Avon medical office deal nears completion
AVON — Medical office developers NexCore Group appear to be well on their way to erecting a new facility here. All they needed was the town to secure an inter-governmental agreement with Eagle River Fire Protection District.
It sounds unusual — a private developer needing two public entities to draft a work-together strategy in order to see a shovel hit the ground — because it’s an out-of-the-ordinary deal. But if it works out, then the town of Avon, the Eagle River Fire Protection District, the Oscar Tang Group and the NexCore Group will celebrate a first in public-private collaboration.
With last week’s inter-governmental agreement passing first reading at the Avon Town Council, it looks like, from the town’s end, everything is falling in place for NexCore to meet their goal to begin construction in June.
JUNE 8 CLOSING
The medical facility will be constructed on what is currently Eagle River Fire Protection District land. NexCore Group will buy that land off the Eagle River Fire Protection District, who will then purchase the adjacent lot, a piece of land NexCore Group helped convince the Oscar Tang group to part with. When the Fire Protection District purchased the land it currently owns, the adjacent lot was not for sale, but the Fire Protection District noticed it would be better to suit their needs.
Some on the town council, including longtime councilman, former mayor and builder Buz Reynolds, have been vocal about their feelings that the Fire Protection District paid too much for the land to begin with. This deal will help the district extinguish that debt while securing a better location for their needs, Reynolds said.
But to make the purchase, they need to borrow a maximum of $830,000 from Avon.
That loan — a major part of the inter-governmental agreement that was approved last week — was met with support from council members, who have shown enthusiasm toward the deal as the Fire Protection District has committed to sharing the land with the town for the purposes of construction what is being called a “joint public safety” facility there and also hosting the Avon Police Department.
The planned closing date for the purchases of the lots is June 8.
NOT TAKING INTEREST
The loan has been called into question, though, by members of the community, including former councilman Pete Buckley, who spoke out against the loan at last week’s meeting, taking issue with the fact that it will be an interest-free loan.
“The town has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer, and an interest-free loan is not in the best interest of the town,” Buckley said. “The Fire Protection District also serves all of Cordillera, Arrowhead, Singletree, Edwards/Homestead, Bachelor Gulch, Eagle-Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff.”
To create the joint-public safety facility, talk of potential ballot questions for both the Fire Protection District voters and the Avon voters were also brought up at Tuesday’s meeting, as financing will be necessary to complete the facility.
“What if the taxpayers say, ‘No, we’re not going to allow the financing of this?’” councilman Scott Prince asked town attorney Eric Heil.
“If we go to the voters for approval and we never get a ‘yes,’ the (inter-governmental agreement) will expire on its own,” Heil said.
Developers are circling Minturn, with hundreds of new homes being proposed, but town’s water situation will dictate their fate.