Breckenridge ‘gateway’ deal muddied by pending foreclosure
July 30, 2010
BRECKENRIDGE – Building plans for a lot along Highway 9 north of Breckenridge have run into hard times, and town officials are giving the potential developers one last chance before abandoning the parcel’s annexation.
The roughly 4 acre lot – across County Road 450 from 7-Eleven – on county land was approved several years ago for mini-storage and commercial space.
But the site’s high visibility led to negotiations between developers and the town for annexation: The developers wanted access to town water and town leaders wanted input on the aesthetics of what’s been called the “gateway” to Breckenridge.
A year ago, it appeared the two parties had reached a compromise for development separating commercial space, affordable housing and mini-storage units into thirds. The town would develop the 1.6 acres in the middle for housing.
Today the Entrada property, purchased in 2006 for $2.5 million, is under foreclosure with a Sept. 3 sale date. Breckenridge Town Council on Tuesday was about to make its final vote abandoning the annexation when developer Kirk Mickelsen came with a plea to try once more for compromise.
He explained how problems with plans for vehicle traffic had soured the deal as nearby property owners voided a cross-easement and demanded $50,000 to re-establish it. He said the Colorado Department of Transportation had put in a curb where the property’s former users gained direct highway access.
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In addition, town officials had asked for two units of density, worth roughly $80,000, for access to CR 450 – which they were concerned would present a burden on locals using the tight intersection.
Mickelson told council during Tuesday’s public hearing that he still wanted to annex the property, in part because it could help it to sell as he faces debt problems.
But council members were concerned because they hadn’t heard from Mickelson or his partner, Kurt Ave, for months.
“I’m surprised we’re talking about this now, at the 11th hour and 59th minute,” Councilman Mike Dudick said. “I wish you would’ve been here a month ago.”
Dudick and Mark Burke both were elected to council this spring; the town and developers have been working toward an agreement on-and-off for more than four years. It was discussed Tuesday that perhaps the compromise would unfold differently with different people on the council.
“If we pull out of the annexation, we have absolutely no control,” Burke said, adding that it could lead to the county-approved plan getting built. “This is the entrance to Breckenridge, and it would be a darn shame to see that happen.”
The council voted unanimously to continue their motion to Aug. 10.
“I’d do whatever we can to keep a citizen from getting ruined,” Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said.
SDN reporter Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.