Eagle board studies details of Target proposal
EAGLE, Colorado – As the Eagle Town Board continues its review of the Eagle River Station proposal, discussion has delved down into the development’s details.
The discussion will continue Sept. 2.
Last week, the board painstakingly reviewed Eagle River Station developer Trinity/RED’s development agreement and reimbursement agreement. The two legal documents outline Trinity/RED’s obligations to the town for issues ranging from performance guarantees to public improvements and detail a complicated financial agreement between the town and the developer.
Eagle River Station is a mixed-use development proposed on an 88-acre tract located on the eastern end of town, south of Interstate 70. The plan includes 552,000 square feet of commercial space including a 132,000-square-foot anchor store. Target has signed a letter of intent to become the Eagle River Station anchor.
Eagle River Station also calls for 581 residential units and a 150-room hotel. The estimated cost of the development is $346 million. Of that amount, $62.4 million is earmarked for public improvements, including a new I-70 interchange.
The developers have proposed a revenue-sharing plan to finance the public improvements package. That plan calls for formation of a metropolitan district to issue bonds for the infrastructure. The town of Eagle would not issue the bonds.
Under the agreement, the town would dedicate revenue collected from its 4 percent sales tax generated at Eagle River Station businesses. The money would go toward paying off the public improvements bonds. When the bonds are paid, the sales tax money would go back to the town. In the interim, a Public Improvement Fee (PIF) would be charged on Eagle River Station retails purchases. Proceeds from the PIF would go to the town.
As the town board reviews the legal documents, substantive areas of disagreement include a performance guarantee for future railroad crossing improvements and issues regarding water service and school capacity. Those will be topics for discussion at the Sept. 2 meeting.
As the town board moves toward a vote regarding Eagle River Station, last week members discussed how their decision is unlikely to be the final word regarding the development. Eagle Town Attorney Ed Sands noted there are three possible scenarios that would, instead, determine the final outcome for the development. Under the first, the town could approve Eagle River Station contingent upon a citizen referendum on the plan. If the citizens approve the plan, Eagle River Station would have final approval from the town.
A second scenario would involve town board approval of the plan with a citizen-generated referendum.
“Everything is suspended in the event of an election,” said Sands.
Finally, a citizen lawsuit challenging the legality of the Eagle River Station process could be filed. Such action could hold up the development while the courts decide the issue.
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