Eagle River Station benefits for Eagle are real | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Station benefits for Eagle are real

Paul Witt
Eagle, CO, Colorado

As someone working with RED Development, in addition to being a supporter of Eagle River Station, I’d like to address some of the confusion and misconceptions about the project in Eagle.

First, regarding the public infrastructure cost and repayment, it’s important to understand that the $62 million for the new highway interchange and improvements to the town’s sewer, water and other streets will be repaid only with sales and property tax revenue generated by Eagle River Station. It’s not being paid out of the taxes generated anywhere else in town, and more importantly, the taxes paid by the residents of Eagle will not be increased to pay for these important infrastructure improvements.

There is no loss of current sales tax to the town. In fact, the project is estimated to generate more than $2.5 million annually for the town. The public improvements, tax generation and new revenue for the town’s general fund happen only if Eagle River Station is built.

It’s been questioned whether today is the right time to build a project like this. It’s not. But Eagle River Station is not being built today. Most likely, groundbreaking on the project won’t happen for another year, but the planning must begin now. The view is to the future ” the next five, 15, 30 years ” and to be able to take advantage of that future, the wheels must be put in motion today.

Third, RED builds every center with the intent to retain ownership and to manage it itself. To date, RED has sold only eight of its projects, and it continues to own and/or manage 12 of the 18 shopping centers that it has developed and opened. Of those centers that RED no longer owns, two were sold to joint-venture partners. Even in the projects that have been sold, RED has never left a project unfinished nor sold it before stabilization.

Lastly, Eagle River Station will provide significant work opportunities for local contractors and other local businesses and tradespeople. Some firms from outside the area will be retained for specialized services, but local firms will play a substantial role in getting the project built and keeping it operating. Further, local businesses that may want to locate in a regional center will be encouraged to fill retail and restaurant space.

I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about Eagle River Station to please come to the town meetings to get more and accurate information on the project.

Paul Witt


Support Local Journalism