Fire district buys land for Avon station
AVON, Colorado ” The Eagle River Fire Protection District has reached a deal to pay about $3.8 million for land in Avon on which to build a new fire station.
The district is buying a 2.07-acre piece of land on Nottingham Road, near the Pizza Hut. The land is bordered on the west by Mountain Star Road and on the east by Swift Gulch Road.
The contract between the district and Oscar Tang’s Tanavon Corp. got its final signatures Tuesday. The prospect of the deal allowed the fire district in July to abandon condemnation efforts on a nearby piece of land.
The district envisions building a fire station that would serve as a “hub” station for the district, covering not only Avon, but also surrounding areas when additional help is needed. The fire district, which has six stations, includes Avon, Edwards, Eagle-Vail, Minturn, Red Cliff, Cordillera, Bachelor Gulch, Arrowhead and Wolcott.
“I’m very, very pleased and very appreciative of Oscar Tang and his group for their willingness to sell this at this price,” said fire district board Chairman Ed O’Brien, adding that the price was fair for both Tang and the district.
Earlier this year, the fire district filed court papers to begin condemnation efforts on a different, 1-acre piece of land on Nottingham Road, saying it had no other choice than to use eminent domain powers to obtain land for a station. Jim Pavelich, the owner of that land, objected to the move, saying he would fight it in court.
Pavelich said other land ” including Tang’s land ” would be cheaper to buy.
Indeed, at $42.50 per square foot, the district is paying less per square foot than it would have in offers it made to Pavelich, fire district officials said.
The opportunity to buy Tang’s land ” across the street from Pavelich’s lot ” emerged after the condemnation proceedings had begun, O’Brien said.
District Fire Chief Charlie Moore said Tang’s land is even better than Pavelich’s because it is bigger, allowing fire trucks to drive through garage bays instead of having to back in and out. That won’t disrupt traffic on Nottingham Road as much, Moore said.
The fire district has outgrown the current Avon station, near Town Hall, fire officials have said. The station also is in a congested area with windy streets that slow response times, officials have said.
The district envisions a new fire station that’s at least 18,000 square feet in size ” twice the size of the current station. That would include office space as well as dorms for resident firefighters, Moore said.
Construction on the new station is expected to begin in 2010. The district will likely use a form of lease-purchase to pay for the new station.
Tang, a New York financier and philanthropist, owns a home in Vail and has been supportive of local arts, including the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Ford Amphitheater. He was named Vail Valley Citizen of the Year in 2004.
The land sold to the fire district is the southernmost portion of the land Tang owns on Buck Creek. A duplex complex and a Montessori school are still planned for the remainder of the land, but plans for a hotel on the property have been scrapped, said Jay Peterson, Tang’s attorney. The Gore Range Natural Science School also has been given a portion of Tang’s land on which to build a school, Peterson said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.