Avon asks Wal-Mart developer for new plan | VailDaily.com

Avon asks Wal-Mart developer for new plan

Scott N. Millersmiller@vaildaily.comAvon, CO Colorado

VON, Colorado – The Traer Creek project, which includes Wal-Mart and The Home Depot, was supposed to be much farther along now than it is. That’s why the town of Avon is asking the developer for a new plan that matches today’s reality.The Avon Town Council Tuesday approved sending notices telling the company it needs to resubmit plans for the metro district that governs the project. Those new plans will need to include a new construction schedule, as well as a repayment schedule for the bonds the company issued to pay for improvements to the property.”They haven’t built much, and they’ve borrowed a great percentage of what they were allowed to under the first plan, and that’s a concern for us,” Avon Town Councilman Brian Sipes said. One of the biggest worries the town has is the revenue coming from the project – which at the moment is just Wal-Mart, Home Depot and the handful of shops and restaurants in the Traer Creek Plaza building. At this point, those stores are generating only about 20 percent of the money expected in the original service plan.In addition, Traer Creek was supposed to re-build East Beaver Creek Boulevard between the Christie Lodge and Wal-Mart this year. That hasn’t happened.Michael Lindholm, a representative of the Traer Creek Metropolitan District, sent an e-mail response to the town’s notice.”Although I haven’t seen the default notice, drawing upon my knowledge of what has occurred, I can say that, with regards to the (East Beaver Creek Boulevard) improvements, the metropolitan district would deny being in default of the annexation agreement,” Lindholm wrote. “Regrettably, the town’s press release is publicly self serving, as it conveniently is a mischaracterization of the facts regarding the obligations pertaining to East Beaver Creek Boulevard and the related communications.”The town also this year filed suit against Traer Creek, alleging the company hasn’t provided money to “backfill” the loss of the old Wal-Mart store. Traer Creek now keeps all the sales tax generated at the project in order to pay for improvements. The original agreement with the town required the developer to pay the difference between sales tax generated by stores old Wal-Mart building – now a Sports Authority, an Office Depot and a Pier One store – and what the old Wal-Mart provided to the town.Sipes said it’s not rare to require new service plans from developers – the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa had to re-do its plan before the project was finished. “The town council unanimously would like to see this project go forward,” Sipes said. “But there are serious financial questions we need answered.”

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