EAGLE - Eagle voters will say yes or no to Eagle River Station next month, and Gypsum wants to be left out of it, the Gypsum Town Council said.
Some in Eagle are asserting that Gypsum is waiting to scoop up the Eagle River Station shopping center if Eagle voters reject it again.
Not true, says the Gypsum Town Council in a written statement. Gypsum has not talked to Eagle River Station's developers, and doesn't plan to talk to them.
"We don't have a dog in the fight nor do we want one," the Gypsum Town Council said. "If Eagle residents feel 'yes' is the best vote that is fine. If the answer is 'no,' that is fine. That is democracy in local government at its finest."
The campaign leading up to Eagle's May 22 vote promises to be either wonderful or terrible - depending on whether you're in those crosshairs.
New Eagle Town Board member Brandi Resa has been an outspoken ERS opponent, and is the financial chair for the new anti-ERS effort - the Keep it Real campaign - she will be filing the financial disclosure forms the town of Eagle requires.
"Gypsum just wants to be left out of the fray," the Gypsum Town Council said. "Eagle is left to decide its future on the merits of the project and not on unfounded rumors. That is all for the Eagle voters to decide, not Gypsum."
ERS developer Trinity RED Development set a Plan B in motion when it became one of the bidders for the 74-acre Tower Center site in Gypsum.
RED did submit a bid and they've had discussions with Sheldon Good, but RED made it clear they want to be in Eagle.
"The priority for RED remains Eagle River Station," said Paul Witt, RED spokesman.
Into that dust-up are rumors that Eagle's City Market wants to expand, can't do it at its current site and is considering Gypsum.
City Market spokesperson Kelly McGannon did little to dispel that rumor, saying only that the company likes Eagle and the store is profitable. It owns that 38,000 square foot store, instead of leasing. Kroger, City Market's parent company, has been expanding similar stores to around 60,000 square feet.
McGannon told the Eagle Valley Enterprise that City Market is committed to continuing operations in the downvalley area.
City Market churns around 40 percent of Eagle's sales tax revenue.
To bid or not to bid
Jim McDonnell is executive director of Sheldon Good, the real estate company hired to auction the Tower Center property.
When they conduct a sealed bid auction there's a deadline. To be deemed a qualified bidder, you have to sign the purchase and sales agreement and include an earnest money deposit, McDonnell said. In this case it was $200,000 cashiers check payable to First American Title.
Include all that and you have a conforming bid.
"If someone makes the effort to sign a contract and tender a cashier's check, that's a legitimate offer," McDonnell said.
None of the bidders met all that for their Tower Center bid packages.
"It's not all unusual for that to happen," McDonnell said. "We were hopeful we'd get a complete bid package, but we didn't."
They were negotiating with three prospects, but one has fallen away, McDonnell said.
RED Development submitted an 11th-hour Tower Center offer, McDonnell said.
"It was a low offer and was summarily dismissed. We're continuing to have discussions," McDonnell said.
Gypsum's 74-acre Tower Center is already approved for 458,000 square feet of retail space, including a big box store.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.