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ARCHIVED  December 1, 1995

Greeley enjoys downtown revival

Just Baked! opened its doors in downtown Greeley in August 1994 with lines of customers winding down the street, and business is still booming.
In fact, the dough has been so good that plans for a second Greeley location are already more than half-baked.
Just Baked! owner Tracy Smith’s success reflects the revitalization of downtown Greeley, which has seen more than 30 new-business openings since the inception of the Greeley Downtown Business Association in March 1994. New additions to downtown include such notables as Fleetside Pub and Brewery, the Armadillo and Erion Studio & Gallery.
For Smith, landing his bakery in downtown Greeley was a matter of availability. Ironically, Smith initially sought to do business in the proximity of what will be the second Just Baked! site at 4751 W. 10th St., opening the first week of December.
“Our equipment was sitting in a warehouse waiting to go to work, and nothing was transpiring out there (west Greeley),” Smith said.
Having lunch downtown with his wife one day, Smith noticed the for-rent sign in the window at 900 Ninth Ave. and felt he owed it to himself to at least check into it. Smith’s intentions sparked not only the building owner’s interest but also that of surrounding merchants.
“From the point when we were working for a month and a half getting the bakery ready, it was amazing to see the attitude and reception of everybody down here that something was coming in ` something with some new life,” Smith said. “We didn’t advertise … (on opening day). We just took the plastic out of the windows and opened the door, and they all came in. It was very well-received, and we just feel fortunate for that sake.”
Smith, treasurer of GDBA’s executive board, said he would like to see a broad spectrum of retail shops established downtown.
“Anything that is specialty and unique down here would be fun to have,” he said.
Nancy Fisher, executive director of GDBA, agrees. “It’ll be a race,” Fisher said. “People are clamoring for the remaining available space. We would just love to see retail fill it.”
Erion Gallery opened in May 1995 after a year of construction and remodeling to the retail space in the front of the King’s Storage building at 715 Seventh St. Christopher Cogley, who co-owns the gallery with husband-and-wife Travis and Amy Erion, said, “The buildings down here have so many possibilities, and it’s been really neat to see building owners take advantage of those without eliminating the signs of historical significance.”
“Down the road, of course, we’d like to see more art in public places, such as monumental sculptures … or an art show to draw even more people down here,” Cogley said. “I think art is a draw (to downtown Greeley) like it is in Loveland. The Union Colony Civic Center has both visual and performing arts.”
Downtown galleries, restaurants, and various businesses, in conjunction with the Arts Alliance, hosted a successful Arts Walk the first Friday in October, the first of what will be many more.
“It would be nice for people in Greeley to know they don’t have to go to Fort Collins to do things, or Loveland to see art,” Cogley said. “There really is a lot to do, and downtown is becoming fun again.”
The primary objective of GDBA’s public-information campaign is relaying the message that downtown Greeley offers a unique historical and contemporary mix, Fisher said. “Part of our action plan is to establish an identifiable area and image for downtown: The Greeley Town Center,” Fisher said.
Several physical features such as the train depot, the Meeker house and the old Greeley High School help make downtown the historical treasure it is. However, in creating a unified image for The Greeley Town Center, the public’s perception needs to change from seeing these entities as separate and distinct to picturing them as part of a whole.
“We’re working on a new logo and brochures which describe the unique formation of the Union Colony and of Greeley,” Fisher said, “and by next summer production of a combined historical-sites walking tour and modern-day downtown map should be completed.”
The GDBA consists of 97 members, including business owners, property owners and residents, all with unique resources and expertise. Hundreds of ideas have been explored and recommendations given to the Greeley City Council, many of which require no additional city expense.
Christopher Cogley of Erion Gallery said, “I’ve seen a lot of business owners down here get really excited about the revitalization, and I think we’ve all decided the time for it has come.”

Just Baked! opened its doors in downtown Greeley in August 1994 with lines of customers winding down the street, and business is still booming.
In fact, the dough has been so good that plans for a second Greeley location are already more than half-baked.
Just Baked! owner Tracy Smith’s success reflects the revitalization of downtown Greeley, which has seen more than 30 new-business openings since the inception of the Greeley Downtown Business Association in March 1994. New additions to downtown include such notables as Fleetside Pub and Brewery, the Armadillo and Erion Studio & Gallery.
For Smith, landing his…

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