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Johnson's Corner renovation proceeding in Prospect

Developer wants old-school vibe
Johnson's Corner being renovated by Nassar group


It took her awhile but Carmen Ramirez is starting to take a real shine to her new neighbor in the Prospect development in south Longmont.

“It’s nice to have something there,” said Ramirez, owner of the lash and beauty bar Made U Look, as she glanced over to the Johnson’s Corner edifice just down the block from her business. “I really like it's architecture.”

Other business owners and residents in Prospect have made similar comments, said developer David Nassar, whose company is turning the vintage gas station into a cultural center where residents can enjoy poets, musicians, fine wine and meals.

When the building is finished in September 2023, people will witness the transformation of a former sit-down gas station built during the Great Depression into a 21st Century “Creative Monastery,” Nassar said.

“We will bring in programming that will include book readings, live music, poetry readings, wine tasting along with drinks with small plate food,” Nassar said. “We want to give people a creative experience, that’s the idea.”

“We also want to give people a kind of an old-school, Dean Martin kind of vibe,” he said. 

There will be a pool open to invited guests as well as four adjacent townhomes, Nassar said. 

City permits for the Johnson’s Corner renovation have been issued and crews are now installing plumbing and electrical systems into the building, said Nassar. He said the work his company is putting into the building will help bury the old rancor surrounding Johnson’s Corner, a local historic landmark.

“I learned from the local history, there was some negativity associated with Johnson’s Corner, especially after it first arrived in Prospect,” Nassar said. “Hopefully we are helping to put that story to bed.”

Developer Kiki Wallace bought Johnson’s Corner and moved the building from its original site on Main Street in 2003 to Prospect, in hopes of restoring it to its former down-home glory. Wallace could not get funding and the tattered property became the target of vandals and those who wanted it razed.

Nassar bought Johnson’s Corner in 2020 and began planning its rejuvenation. Nassar’s company has built high-end homes including Boulder County’s Copper Mountain and Caribou Ridge. The company has also done FLIGHT, a multi-use Aviation and Light Industrial Park in Erie as well as Flying Lady vineyard in Napa Valley, Calif., Nassar said. 

“We are a lifestyle development company,” Nassar said. “We want to build things that have a lifestyle component to them.”

Nassar told the Leader in 2000 that he admired the architect Eugene Groves, who designed Johnson’s Corner. The gas station — built in 1937 — served customers from all over Longmont including beat writer Jack Kerouac. Kerouac mentioned spending some time at Johnson’s Corner in his book “On the Road,” Nassar said.

“There he was, stretched out, enjoying the sights and sounds of Longmont,” Nassar told the Leader. “That spirit also needs to be preserved.”