Phase B Construction Underway
After a long tenure as Bill’s Auto Service, the property at 900 East Hampden Avenue went on the market in 2017, its future uncertain. Like many older buildings in Englewood’s Medical District, the old repair shop could have been razed to make way for new construction.
But Grow + Gather founder George Gastis doesn’t believe blank slates are always necessary for new business, even a business different in size and scope from a straight-shooting auto repair shop. While Grow + Gather is focused on feeding people rather than fixing cars, we hope to thrive as a small business in Englewood that adds value to our neighborhood, not only by offering healthy, accessible food but by serving as a local meeting spot where you can grab a quick bite or spend a casual afternoon connecting with friends over coffee or a great meal.
As local residents ourselves, we’re invested in responsible development for the neighborhood we call home. As part of the city’s revitalization efforts, Grow + Gather wants to honor the horticultural history of the community while joining forces with other local small businesses to cultivate a community hub that invites people to connect with each other and to invest in the future of Englewood.
Our architectural vision for the business relies on adaptive reuse to maintain the integrity of the original building while updating it to serve the needs of our small-scale and highly efficient farm operation, market and restaurant. Adaptive reuse, a design strategy that repurposes buildings for new uses while maintaining historical features, embodies Grow + Gather’s respect for the past and forward-thinking sustainable development. The final plans may alter the auto repair shop’s original function, but the design strives to highlight the unique characteristics of the building. You’ll notice a renovation to the front that serves as our market selling local food and products. Where vehicles once sputtered in to await diagnosis, you’ll find an open air patio to enjoy the big, blue skies characteristic of Colorado. On the northeast side you’ll discover a new wing that welcomes restaurant visitors to share homegrown and local food with old and new friends.
The building’s revamped roof will sport a new use: a greenhouse utilizing the high-altitude sunshine to grow food even during the coldest times of year. These structural developments all connect back to the heart of Grow + Gather, the original Bill’s Auto Service building where we’ll house our hydroponic farm.
Our vision is being realized because of Colorado-based designers, architects, and builders at Xan Creative, Lamora Design, One Line Studio, and Spectrum General Contractors. These professionals bring their expertise, honed from years of experience working with clients on similar projects, to Grow + Gather. We feel fortunate to work alongside them as we create something beautiful and functional with the existing property.
After more than a year of design and planning, site renovation began in September 2018. Infrastructure renovations are well underway as builders focus on electrical, plumbing and structural engineering. Once the building is structurally sound and the roof is rebuilt with the multi-purpose rooftop greenhouse in mind, contractors and engineers will turn their attention to completing the indoor hydroponic farm and installing the equipment for the market, restaurant, patio spaces and rooftop greenhouse.
If you pass by the future home of Grow + Gather these days, don’t be surprised by all the dust. We’re in deep construction mode right now, but behind the scenes we’re assembling all the key ingredients for a warm, welcoming home away from home for patrons. The opening may seem far-off, but we think it’ll be worth your wait. Check back often for major updates, and stay tuned for neighborhood previews (soft openings, special events, etc.) as we get closer to our 2019 Grand Opening.