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Eagle River station reins in retail

Special to the DailyBuildings along Eagle River Station's main street, shown above, have been lowered but the project will retain this general architecture, developer VInce Riggio says.
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EAGLE, Colorado ” In the month since review of the Eagle River Station project has been on hiatus, the commercial portion the complex has shrunk while the residential side has swelled.

The changes came as the result of public comment, said Vince Riggio of Trinity Development, one of the Eagle River Station development partners.

“It’s not so much about what we wanted to see, but rather what the community could embrace,” Riggio said. “We are trying to be as collaborative as we can be.”

The changes include:

– 77,500-square-foot reduction in retail space.

– 20,000-square-foot store removed.

– Department store space moved away from residential area.

– Hotel and condos moved to parcel between “main street” shops and the residential area.

– Increased of multi-family homes to 581 from 431.

– More parking space in residential area.

– Buildings shortened to 45 feet (3 stories) from 65 feet (five stories).

– Private school site eliminated,

The new plan has 555,000 square feet of retail spac, including one 130,000-square-foot “anchor” store. For comparison, Costco in Gypsum is 165,000 square feet. Original plans for Eagle River Station proposed a 100,000 to 200,000 square foot store.

The plan includes three stores ranging from 30,000 to 45,000 square feet next to the anchor store. Five smaller retail spaces are also planned in that vicinity, ranging from 7,000 to 15,000 square feet.

Along the main street, Eagle River Station’s latest plan features 11 buildings with retail on the ground floor and office spaces and condominiums above. A 150-room hotel is planned at the northwestern corner of the main street.

The revised plan still includes a new Interstate 70 interchange on the east end of the property with a road to U.S. Highway 6. Improvements to Chambers Avenue, Eby Creek Road and Highway 6 are also still anticipated.

Jan Rosenthal-Townsend, one of the most outspoken critics of the Eagle River Station plan, said she had not yet had the opportunity to examine the proposed revisions. She said her chief concern with the proposal is the unsteady national economy.

“Bottom line for me is we have a serious national economic crisis on our hands with stores closing everywhere,” she said.

Eagle River Station must pass a rigorous financial test before the town considers approving the development, Rosenthal-Townsend said.

“And, at the end of the day we need to know who is coming in to get any realistic financial projections,” said Rosenthal-Townsend.

Eagle River Station has not released information regarding prospective tenants. Riggio said plans for the Eagle development would be unique to the community.

“There is no ‘typical’ center that we do. Every one is different,” said Riggio.

In the case of Eagle River Station, Riggio said the development team has met with more than 350 Eagle-area residents to discuss the proposal and determine what the community wants.

“That’s not a typical center and that’s not a typical process,” Riggio said.

He added that similar outreach effort will be launched this spring to flesh out plans for the residential portion of Eagle River Station.


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