Platteville Plaza

Material Information

Platteville Plaza
Sanderson, George F
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
42 leaves : illustrations, chart, plans ; 22 x 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Plazas -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Platteville ( lcsh )
Plazas ( fast )
Colorado -- Platteville ( fast )
Designs and plans. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Designs and plans ( fast )


Includes bibliographical references (leaf 42).
General Note:
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
George F. Sanderson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
10058060 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A72 1979 .S366 ( lcc )

Full Text
* i | Date Due


u i

University of Colorado at Denver College of Environmental Design
Architectural Design Thesis Submitted December 22, 1979

To Mary and George
My wife and son have been extremely supportive and understanding throughout my entire UCD experience. They have made great sacrifices so that I might complete not only this project but the entire degree program. I have also received unending support from my parents, George and Juanita Sanderson, during this effort. All my love and appreciation goes to my family.
Thank you

This design thesis is submitted as partial completion of the require ments for receiving a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Colorado at Denver, College of Environmental Design.
The desirability and need for this project came about as a result of my association with Mr. Walt Stearns and The Stearns Corporation. Mr. Stearns, owner and developer of the proposed site, asked that I become involved in feasibility studies and design orooosals for this parcel. Although we have investigated several land use possibilities, I shall limit my design thesis presentation to a single development solution. The inter pretations and eventual conclusions made from available data are included in support of my design proposal.
I wish to thank Mr. Stearns for his aid and incouragement during my research and design development.
I also wish to acknowledge my Thesis Committee; Professors G. K. Vetter, Robert W. Kindig, and Chalmers G. Long, for assistance throughout the project.

INTRODUCTION ................................. 1
SITE DESCRIPTION...............................8
SITE EVALUATION................................9
MARKET EVALUATION ........................... 16
PLANNING.....................................2 8
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN.........................3 3


My initial involvement with this project came to me on a relatively one-track, straight forward basis. The developer, Mr. Stearns, handed me an architects design proposal for the Bella Vista Plaza (now called the Platteville Plaza), a small linear commercial center. His desire was to have me simply add more leasable space for retail/office use to the center, with no major design changes. This task seemed reasonable enough, since it appeared that additions were possible on either end of the structure without hampering function or circulation. I proceeded to propose an addition of 3600 sq. ft. to the existing 17,100 sq. ft. of gross leasable space (GLA).
Complications arose since that first design in June, 1978. First, part of the site was split off for the development of a bank. Next, the main retail tennant reconsidered the location and went elsewhere.
The bank has since been constructed, but the remainder of the site is, as yet, undeveloped. It seems reasonable, then, to disregard previous design proposals and start fresh. This will be my objective as a commercial facility design project.

possible to supply an architectural product that is economical while, at the same time, being architecturally and aesthetically pleasing. By paying close attention to details of development I hope to achieve this mix.
The Platteville Plaza seems to be best designed with the following program concepts:
1 Unified site design to permit easy access to the trade area.
2 Unified architectural treatment.
3 Tennant grouping to maximize each commercial and/or office use.
4 Thoughtful consideration of customer comfort, convenience, and safety.
5 Appropriate scale and character of the building product, with regard to site itself and the surroundings.
6 19,000 to 20,000 sq. ft. of gross leasable area.
7 On site parking index of 5; i.e. 5 parking spaces per 1000 sq. ft. GLA.


The first residents in the Platteville area were the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians. They travelled through the South Platte River Valley in search of its abundant game. This game also attracted many fur trappers who entered the area in the early 1800's. Fort Vasquez, located one mile south of the present town, was established as a fur trading post in 1835.
The gold rush of 1859 brought many people to the mountains west of Platteville. Many of the new people saw the potential of the area and decided to settle in the fertile Platte River Valley.
The present site of Platteville was surveyed and incorporated in 1871. One hundred years later, Public Service Company of Colorado built the state's first nuclear powered electric generating station. The plant is located approximately three miles northwest of Platteville near the confluence of the South Platte and St. Vrain rivers .4

Platteville is located in southwestern Weld County (Sections 18 and 19, T 3N, R 66W, and Sections 13 and 24 T 3N, R 67W). The Town is 18 miles south of Greeley on U.S. Highway 85 and 35 miles north of Denver. Other major cities in the region are: Boulder, Longmont and Loveland.
The other major north-south transportation routes are Interstate 25 and the Union Pacific Railroad.
Platteville lies in an area of level to gently rolling terrain.
Two major rivers, the South Platte and St. Vrain, traverse the region.
The climate is relatively mild with warm summers and cool winters. Precipitation is light, averaging 10 15 inches per year.
Platteville was developed as a service center for surrounding agricultural activities. This predominantly rural character has remained with the Town/

Commercial businesses are encouraged to locate in Platteville. The Central Business District can be expanded to accommodate the new development. This will upgrade the core area of town and help maintain a viable community.
The future Land Use Map shows a considerable amount of land for Commercial and Business uses. This allows some versatility in locating new businesses, while at the same time, allowing the central business area to maintain its identity.
At present, there is a commercial development proposed immediately south of the town limits between old and new U. S. Highway 85. This land has been zoned commercial by the County for some time. If the development is well done, it could add considerably to the area.
The goals and policies for Commercial Development are:
1) Continue to develop in and make effective use of existing commercial centers.

2) Provide for a minimum of conflict between commercial and other activities.
3) Provide for functional, safe and attractive design and display of commercial enterprises.
4) Provide for varied sites suitable for adequate supply and a variety of commercial goods and services.
5) Discourage strip development along major transportation routes unless proper frontage roads or other safe means of access are provided


The site, approximately 3.7 acres, is located in the town of Platte-ville, Weld County, Colorado, population 2300. It is situated in the expanding southern section of Platteville, bounded on the north hy Colorado State Highway 66, and on the east by U S Highway 85. Adjacent to the site to the south is the Bella Vista Subdivision, a fully developed and occuoied neighborhood of 77 low-to-moderate income single family residences. Main Street (old U S 85), to the west of the site, leads north throuuh the central business district of Platteville, and south to intersect with U S 85. The northwest corner of the site, approximately .58 acres, is occupied by the newly chartered Platteville State Bank.
The site has been recently rough graded and slopes to the east at less than .3% slope. It is totally devoid of vegetation. All utility services are underground and branch off from main lines under Main Street to the west of the site. A 30 inch diameter underground irrigation culvert parallels the north boundary line, approximately three feet north of the property line. No current or projected solar barriers effect the site. Prevailing winter winds are from the northwest.


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1. To determine the attitudes of Platt purchase behavior and to determine the in Platteville, Colorado.
eville residents regarding their feasibility of a shopping center
2. To determine the attitudes of Platteville residents toward existing Platteville businesses to determine need for various retail and service businesses in Platteville, Colorado.
lo Sample----A random sample of persons having telephones was used.
The sample was restricted to those persons over eighteen years of agej who had lived in the Platteville area at least ninety days; and were either the female or male head of the household. A total of one hundred twenty five (81; females and Ul males) were interviewed. All were residents of the Platteville area with a Platteville area telephone exchange number. More females than males were interviewed, as females do the majority of purchasing of consumer products.
20 All data was collected by use of telephone interviewing during the period August 16 to August 23, 1976o About half the interviewing was done after 6:00 pm0
3. The following are characteristics of the sample (which in the

experience of this writer appears to represent the universe of this
a. Age of the head, of the households*
Age Category Percent in Category
18 to 2k 8.8$
25 to 3k 17 06
35 to h9 32 08
50 to 6k 28.0
65 and over 12.8
bo Ninety and four-tenths percent were married while nine and
sin-tenths were not married.
Co Of those 70 households reporting having children at home under 18 years of age, there were 50 families with one or two children, 16 families with three to four children, and I4 families with five or more children,
do There were 76$ who owned their residence and 2Lj% who rented; a total of 85o6% lived in houses, 12,8$ in mobile homes, and 1a6% in apartments e
e. Of those interviewed, l;.7o2$ resided in Platteville and 52o8$ lived on farms in the area.
fo Those responding indicated the following period of time they had lived in the Platteville area:
Tina in Years Percent in Category
Less than 1 year 2.14$
1 to 3 years 20.0
k to 5 years 11.2
6 to 10 years 11.2
11 to 15 years 11.2
16 to 25 years 13 06
More than 25 yrs0 30.14.
go The following are the occupations represented by the

Occupation Percent in Category
Retired 17.6%
Manager or
business owner 12 .0
Farmer 20.0
Laborer (unskilled) 29.6
Professional 0,8
Salesman 1.6
Teacher 2 ak
A daini s tra tive
and clerical 6.1*
Skilled laborers
and technicians 9o6
h0 The following are the towns where these respondents are
Location of Employment Percent in Category
Platteville 53.6^
Greeley 12.8
Denver 12.0
Fto Lupton-Brighton 9.6
Longmont U.8
Boulder 3.2
Ault 2.1*
La Salle 0.8
Johnstown 0.8
io The income categories as indicated by the respondents are
as follows:
Income Percent in Category
0 to $2,999 hoQ%
$3,000 to $1i,999 5.6
$5,000 to $7,999 8.0
$8,000 to $9,999 lli.l*
$10,000 to $11*, 999 27.2
$15,000 to $2U,999 21.6
$25,000 and over 8.0
Refused 10.1*
ho Surmaiy About 60 percent of respondents were between 25 and i
years of age. Over 55 percent had children under 18 years of age ,

horr.eo About throe-fourths cvmed their homes. There were about 20 percent who have lived in Platteville three years or less, while over £0 percent have lived there ten years or moreo About i;6 percent are employed outside of ?latteville0 There are about one-half of the respondents in the $10,COO to -25,C00 income category.
1. It should be realised in any research there are certain limitations* a0 Persons who were long-time residents indicated they just could not downrate Platteville businesses, even though they did not compare to other larger communities* Thus there is a slight overrating of the businesses by residents.
b0 Even though respondents are dissatisfied with currently available businesses, they night not change to a new business unless their purchase habits can be changedo The key here is good grand openings and superior management and merchandising by any new fim.
Co Marketing research data, though collected and analysed by the most modem and careful means, still does not make decisions0 Data should be used to reduce uncertainty in a management decision. The author offers no promises or guarantees except that the data contained in this report has been collected, analyzed, and reported by professionally accepted techniques* The responsibility for its interpretation and use is that of the decision-maker*
lo A majority of respondents regularly purchase groceries, gasoline,

and hardware in Platteville
Table I indicates the regular purchase
Table I
Products and services regularly purchased in Platteville by respondents.
Products or Service
Humber Regularly Purchasing
Health, Beauty Aids
and Drugs Auto Parts Liquor (packaged) Self-Service Laundry
2. then asked what percent of the selected products and services were
purchased in Platteville, considerable variance was reported. The full detail of data in reported in Appendix I. It is noted that in the Health, Beauty Aids and Drug category, only 1$ percent reported purchasing 70 percent or more of these items in Platteville. For packaged liquor, 22 percent reported over 70 percent local purchase} while for groceries, twenty percent reported 70 percent purchases in Plattevilleo There was 31 percent of respondents purchasing 70 percent or more of their gasoline in Platteville, and about 30 percent of respondents purchasing 70 percent or more of their hardware needs locally. Only about 17 percent of the respondents reported 70 percent or more of their self-service laundry and auto parts purchases were made in Platteville0
3o Of those reporting 50 percent or less of their purchases of selected products in towns outside of Platteville, the following was reported:

Table II
Persons reporting buying outside Platteville and of those reporting buying 50 percent or less of their purchases outside Platteville*
Product or Service Number Buying Outside Platteville Number Buying 50 percent or less Outside Platteville
Health, Beauty Aids US 27
and Drugs Packaged Liquor 21 iu
Groce lies 91 5o
Gasoline ss 35
Hardware Si 30
Self-Service Laundry l 0
Auto Farts: 33 13
This indicates a varying market for each category, with groceries and auto parts showing the strongest potentialo
ko Respondents were interviewed regarding eating at restaurants and eating at Platteville restaurants, Table III indicates the eating habits of the respondents:
Table III
The number of times members of respondents* households eat at restaurants and at Platteville restaurants per month*
Categories Percent by category of household members eating at a restaurant Percent by category of household members eating at a Platteville restaurant
Never 15,22 56,62
1 to 3 times 35 o2 28,0
U to 9 times 31<>2 10, k
10 to li| times 9o6 1,6
15 to 20 times 0o8 2 ok
Over 20 times 7o2 0,8
The above at first glance would indicate considerable potential; however, much of the restaurant eating outside Platteville is done while at

places of employment*
5o The items respondents r.ost reported they must go outside Platteville to buy were clothing, furniture, appliances, auto repair, health, beauty aids and drugs* Table IV presents the detail of responses regarding these purchases:
Table IV
Number of respondents reporting what items they most purchase and must purchase outside of Platteville,
Product of Service Number R<
Clothing 110
Medical Services 69
Furniture and Appliances 63
Health, Beauty Aids 61
and Drugs
Auto Repairs 57
Barber and Beauty Shop U5
Gasoline 3k
Groceries 30
Appliance Repair 26
Variety Store 11
snts were surveyed regarding their UW
All but two respondents reported using the services of a banko Ninet four percent 'used bank checking services, seventy-eight percent had savings accounts, and fifty-three percent reported having bank loanso
?0 Respondents were asked to rats, on a scale of one low and nine high, their satisfaction of the existing selected products and services offered in Platteville, The total detail of their responses is found in Appendix II, They tended to rata Health, Beauty Aids and Drugs low, while groceries, gasoline, hardware, laundry facilities, and packaged

liquors were rated high* A middle of the rood attitude appears for
auto parts and restaurants 0
3o When asked what retail or service business they would like to see in Platteville, the majority said a variety store with clothing on the order of a Ben Franklin store (see Table V)*
Table V
The number of respondents indicating the additional type of store or service they would like to see in Platteville0
Retail Store of Service Facility
Responding .
Variety Storo (with clothing) Bank
Movie Theater or Bowling Alley
Grocery Store
Medical Services
Drug Store
Restaurant -*
Car Wash
Furniture and Appliances Gasoline
-£ most
indicated a short-order or fast-food restaurant
9o In cross-classifying the location (city) of employment with the purchase of products outside of Platteville, it was found that a statistical significant difference does occur in the purchase of groceries, gasoline, auto parts, and the eating at restaurants* All of these were to be expectedo It does indicate though that, 'unless added employment occurs in the Platteville area, there is little reason to believe that persons employed outside the area will change their purchase behavior*

10o The length of time people have lived in Platteville vras cross-classified with the purchase of products in and outside of Platteville<>
It was found to be statistically significant that the longer one had lived there, a higher percent of health, beauty aids and drugs, and auto parts were purchased in Platteville* Her,rover, there was also a tendency for those persons living there longer to purchase health, beauty aids and drugs, and auto parts outside of Platteville<, This would indicate that longer exposure to local merchants of these products turns people to outside sources0
llo In cross-classifying household income with eating at a Platteville restaurant, it was found that those in the incomes of from £3,000 to £25,000 are the major users of restaurants in Platteville., The major users of restaurants, as reported by respondents, was the $10,COO to $25,000 income group* As would be expected, the higher income groups appear to eat away from Platteville more than in Platteville, but most of this is related to the fact these persons are also employed away from Plattaville0
To summarize, Platteville is a community of over age 35 residents, married, likely to have a child 'under eighteen at heme, living in a home they own, and about one-half are torn dwellers 0 This resident has lived there over three years, would be employed as a laborer or farrier, and has a 50-50 chance of being employed outside of Platteville, and has a household income of $10,000 to $25,000*
This resident will, ever half the time, purchase health, beauty aids and drugs outside of Platteville} will purchase about half his groceries and hardware outside the immediate area* About 85 percent of the

residents eat at restaurants, but over 56 percent never eat at a Platteville restaurants The respondents indicated several products and services, such as clotiling, medical services, furniture and appliances, health, beauty aids, drugs, auto repair, and barber and beauty shop services, they had to go elsewhere to secure* However, when asked what stores or services they desire, a variety store (with clothing), bank, recreation center, grocery store, and nedical services were those demanded*
It appears the Platteville resident is dissatisfied with the local drug store* He appears satisfied with grocery, hardware, laundry facilities ami packaged liquors* He is only moderately satisfied with gasoline, auto parts and restaurants*
It would appear to this author that the most promising businesses for Platteville would be a variety store such as Ben Franklin, a bank or savings and loan, a recreation center including a movie theater, bowling alley and pinball machine center, and a medical services center* Other businesses might do well or better, but will face considerable competition*
I would recommend consideration be given to a store such as a Gambles or Western Auto Store, a convenience grocery, and a drug store also, but with less optimism than the former list*

Percent of these respondents purchasing selected products in Platteville
Products or Services
Category by percent Health, Beauty Aids, Grugs Packaged Liquor Groceries Gasoline Self-3vc Laundry Auto Parts Hard.-s:
0-15 7.2 hoO 27.2 11.2 0.0 11.2 12.0
16-20 2ch 0.0 3.2 U.O 0.0 2oh U.O
21-30 >4.8 1.6 11.2 U.o 0,0 5.6 h'0
31U0 2.1; 0.3 0.8 1.6 0,0 0.0 0.0
1.1 12.0 U.8 15 .2 10.U 0,8 CM o 13.6
) 0,8 0.0 1.6 0.3 0.0 0,0 0.0
lr- 05 1.6 2oh 6 oh 6 ah 0.0 2 ok U.o
86-95 U.O 3.2 7.2 U.8 0.0 1.6 3.2
96-100 8.8 16.8 Soh 19.2 17.6 12.8 23.2
Never purchased in Platteville 56.0 66.1; 20.8 37.6 81.6 60.3 36.0

Respondents' ratings of selected products and services in Platteville on a scale of low to high.
Scale---Percent responding to each category
Product or Service Not Ana re Low 1 2
Health and Beauty Aids liioU 21,6 5.6
Groceries 3 2 10, u 2oh
Gasoline 8,0 9,6 So 6
Hard'rare 12 o0 9.6 6oh
Laundry Facilities 38.1; koO 1,6
Parts lil,6 8,0 3.2
aurants 12,8 8,0 6.h
Package Liquors 39 2 7.2 0,8
3 k 5 6 7 8 9
8,8 8,0 17.6 koO 8.8 3.2 8.0
3.2 7.2 16.0 U,8 Hj..>4 18,1; 20.0
7.2 >4,0 17.6 5.6 11.2 Iii.u 16.8
6 ok 5.6 16.0 >;.8 12.8 16,0 io, U
0,8 2oh 8,0 3.2 8.8 10 ok 22.1;
1,6 3.2 12.0 U.0 12.8 5.6 8.0
9.6 5.6 17.6 6 ok 15.2 8,0 10,1;
2 cU 2 ok 9.6 U.o 7.2 7.2 20.0




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1 American Institute of Architects. Architectural Graphic Standards.
6th Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1970.
2 Callender, John H. (ed.) Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design
Data. 5th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 197^.
3 Clithero Marketing Services. "Platteville, Colorado, Consumer Purchase
and Attitude Study", 1976.
4 Comprehensive Plan for Platteville, Colorado. June, 1973.
5 Heimstra, Norman W. and McFarling, Leslie H. Environmental Psychology-.
Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 1974.
6 International Conference of Building Officials. Uniform Building Code.
1976 Edition.
7 Lynch, Kevin. Site Planning. 2nd Edition. Cambridge, Massachusetts:
The M.I.T. Press, 1971.
8 Simonds, John O. Earthscape A Manual of Environmental Planning. New
York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
9 Urban Land Institute. Shopping Center Development Handbook. Washington,
D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 1977.