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Fuel & Iron

A catalyst food hall and apartment project in historic downtown Pueblo, Colorado

Pitch Video
Investor Panel

Highlights

1
Fuel & Iron includes a food hall, single-family and multi-family housing units, and other amenities.
2
Phase I includes five food vendors and a 28-unit housing in the historic Holmes Hardware Building.
3
The food hall model is a culinary incubator allowing restaurateurs greater margins.
4
Increased likelihood of distributors with a low amount of private capital with a preferred return.

Our Team

I fell in love with Pueblo in 2009 due to the incredible history, architecture, and resilient spirit of Pueblo residents. Helping the community get to the next level with a catalytic project downtown while showcasing the city's unique food culture is a dream come true of mine, and I am passionate about making the project a success.

The History of Pueblo

The city of Pueblo has a rich history centered around building the American West. At the helm of this growth was Colorado Fuel & Iron, a steel mill that was once the largest employer in Colorado with 15,000 workers from around the world speaking 40 different languages. At its prime, Colorado Fuel & Iron employed one-tenth of the state’s entire workforce, 15,000 workers, and was listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Exchange. Today, Pueblo’s steel mill is still producing rail, seamless pipe, rod, and coiled reinforcing bar and an integral part of the economy.

Holmes Hardware Block Redevelopment 

Inside the former Holmes Hardware Company sits the future site of Fuel & Iron. Part of the Holmes Hardware Block, a two and a half acre site, the historic building sits on the southern edge of downtown across from Pueblo’s Union State near the Riverwalk. The company was a partnership between George Holmes, a self-made businessman, and Alva Adams, a three-term governor of Colorado and the eponym of Adams County. After a fire destroyed the original wood-frame Holmes Hardware Block in 1915, the building was immediately reconstructed with its original façade but with a fireproof concrete structure, leading it to survive the flood of 1921. The Fuel & Iron project plans to generate increased traffic by locals and tourists to strengthen current businesses and encourage growth.

The building sits on the southern edge of downtown, directly across from Pueblo’s Union Station and at the opposite end of Downtown from the Riverwalk, downtown Pueblo’s biggest draw. By creating an incredible amenity at the other end of Union Ave. from the Riverwalk, Fuel & Iron will draw locals and tourists alike back and forth along Union Ave., generating increased traffic and opportunity for the businesses in between. As such, Fuel & Iron will be not only a success in and of itself, but a boon to downtown Pueblo and the city as a whole.

The Fuel & Iron Project

The redevelopment of the Holmes Hardware Block will begin with the build-out of the hardware building to create Fuel & Iron, a food hall and housing complex. The building’s renovations will be the first phase of the project. A half-acre urban garden, parking lot for food hall customers and apartment residents, a performing arts space, and a half-acre lot dedicated to multi-family housing are planned for the second phase of the Holmes Hardware Block.

Fuel & Iron will serve as an incubator for the next generation of great Pueblo restaurants. The five restaurant spaces within the food hall will be occupied by independent local chefs and restaurateurs. During this time, the up and coming culinarians will receive business planning and financing guidance, in addition to help with site selection and lease negotiation for their own brick and mortar location within Pueblo.

After the restaurateurs are successful in opening up their own standalone brick and mortar location, their space in the food hall will be given to another restaurateur, and the cycle will be repeated, affording these entrepreneurial chefs opportunities they would not have otherwise had and at the same time invigorating the Pueblo restaurant scene as a whole!

The upper floors of the Holmes Hardware block, in conjunction with Phase II of the site redevelopment, will bring much needed housing into Downtown Pueblo, and will help activate Pueblo’s downtown during a much greater portion of the week. The aim of the project is to be catalytic, encouraging more commercial and residential development downtown and further encouraging Pueblo’s growth in a way that honors local residents and businesses to live, work, and play downtown.

Floor Plan

Food Hall:

Affordable Housing:

Encompassing the second and third floors of the hardware building will be Fuel & Iron Apartments, a 28-unit complex. This project will consist of two studios, 18 1-bedroom units, and 8 2-bedroom units available for renters with 60% to 80% of the Area Median Income. This affordable housing complex along with the more than 20,000-square-feet plot designated for future residential development, will revitalize Downtown Pueblo allowing for a live, work, and play environment.

The intention of the Holmes Hardware Block is to encourage further residential and commercial growth in Pueblo. The presence of residents downtown will create greater economic opportunities for all businesses. The Food & Iron project plans to be the catalyst to increase market demand for more housing development and the burgeoning of more local businesses.

Community Impact 

The Holmes Hardware Block redevelopment is designed to strengthen the restaurant community and surrounding businesses, increase tourism, and improve the economic prospects of food producers in Pueblo County. Food halls provide a diverse and dynamic employment pool that ranges from highly-skilled artisan and managers to entry-level service staff. The current projections have the Fuel & Iron Food Hall creating 57 FTE positions, including 29 entry-level positions.

Fuel & Iron has created an internship program in conjunction with Pueblo Community College and the Business Management program at CSU Pueblo. This program is designed to give hands-on experience to foster entrepreneurship and forge paths for future employment.

To impact the community, Fuel & Iron will partner with the Pueblo Food Project to reduce food waste and support Pueblo residents dealing with food insecurity. Together with Pueblo Urban Farmers, the team will develop a portion of the project into an urban farm to provide fresh ingredients to food hall restaurants along with a food box program. The project team plans to organize seasonal farmer’s markets providing other local food producers and vendors a platform to sell their goods.

Project Schedule

The project began in May 2020 with the creation of schematic designs, financial models, logos, and branding. Since then, Fuel & Iron has worked diligently with the city and state to assure the project prioritizes the preservation of the Holmes Hardware building. In July 2021, construction will begin with plans to open the apartments and food hall in Summer 2022.

The Investment

Investors in the campaign will receive B Shares, which receive a 9% annual preferred return on capital. Interest began capitalizing on July 1, 2020, and the project team expects to be able to pay out distributions beginning in December, 2022. The distribution in 2022 will be larger to catch investors up for interest that capitalized in 2020 and 2021.


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Overview