City of Steamboat finalizes purchase of Yampa Street property

Scott Franz
Traffic streams by the Workman house at 603 Yampa St.
Scott Franz

— The city of Steamboat Springs has completed its purchase of a historic home site on Yampa Street that will eventually be turned into a public park with access to the river.

The sale of 603 Yampa St., also known as the Workman property, closed Jan. 16 for $610,000.

It was purchased from Leland and Linda Workman with the lodging tax revenue that voters dedicated to Yampa Street improvements.

“We’re just happy to see the city make the purchase with their plans for turning it into a park,” Leland Workman said Tuesday.

The yellow house that sits on the Workman property was built in 1914 at a time horseback riders clip-clopped by on a mostly empty dirt road. It was surrounded by a chicken house, corral, outhouse and small barn.

Today, it is surrounded by popular restaurants and bars along with plenty of traffic.

A committee that helped the Steamboat Springs City Council decide how to best spend the lodging tax dollars recommended the purchase of the property and its conversion into a park.

They said the project would help the street become a more vibrant place.

The purchase also will allow the city to improve river access where Butcherknife Creek feeds into the Yampa.

“I’m glad we have something to show that we’re actually moving forward with the whole vision for Yampa Street,” lodging tax committee chairman Jason Lacy said after the sale of the Workman property was completed. “The Yampa River Corridor master plan has been on the books since 1984, and here we are 31 years later in 2015. It’s nice to see some modest progress moving forward.”

The Yampa River Corridor master plan called for a new public river walk to be installed on Yampa, sidewalks to be built and landscaping to be improved.

Lacy said the current Yampa Street lodging tax steering committee will meet soon to discuss the plans for the Workman property.

City staff has said the home could be repurposed somewhere else if anyone is interested in it, or it could be demolished.

City staff next week will ask the City Council how quickly it wants to proceed with funding the improvements on the property with the remaining $290,000 worth of lodging tax revenue dedicated to Yampa Street.

The full funding will not be available until 2016, but the council could decide to spend money sooner from lodging tax reserves and pay it back once the money comes in next year.

In addition to creating the park at the Workman property, the lodging tax committee has recommended the city use lodging tax dollars to turn a public parking lot near 911 Yampa St. into a public park.

Working with city staff, the committee estimated in July both parks could be created for $1.03 million, including the cost of purchasing the Workman site.

Committee members said sponsorships, grants and other funding mechanisms could be used to help cover the cost.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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