The Home Depot, Wal-Mart make deals
The shopping mall, to be built on the old Stolport Airstrip between Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway in East Avon, even comes with a brand new I-70 interchange in east Avon to bring shoppers to the stores.
“It’s wonderful to finally have everything in place to move forward with the development,” Bill Post, a lawyer for Village at Avon developer Traer Creek, said Wednesday. “We’ve been performing a lot of behind-the-scenes work and it’s nice to see it come to fruition.”
The Home Depot is slated to open a 118,00-square-foot store in the summer of 2003 that will employ between 150 and 200 people. The Avon store will be about average size for The Home Depot, company officials have said.
Wal-Mart, meanwhile, will build a “Supercenter” that, at 187,000 square feet, will be more than twice the size of the company’s present, busy store in downtown Avon. The Supercenter, which will include a supermarket, is expected to open in the fall of 2003.
The deals were announced Wednesday, Post said, after two years of negotiations between Traer Creek and the two retailing giants.
It’s unclear what will happen to Avon’s existing Wal-Mart, but construction of the two new stores is expected to start in the next few weeks.
“I think it’s a good thing for the Vail Valley. I think it’s something that’s needed to bring some economic balance to the community,” Avon Town Councilman Buz Reynolds said Wednesday. “Anytime you have competition, it always helps to keep prices on the stable side.”
The shopping mall will span 650,000 square feet.
A unique feature to the two stores will be a 32-foot canopy structure made of aspen that will to connect the two buildings via a covered pedestrian promenade.
“Avon is fortunate to have this high-quality development in town,” Avon Mayor Judy Yoder said. “We are looking forward to having two national retailers in town that will provide expanded shopping opportunities and create more jobs.”
The massive Village at Avon complex, meanwhile, also includes 2,400 homes – 500 which will be “affordable” – 7.3 acres of land for a school, 29 acres of community park, 15.7 acres of parkland, a cultural and recreation center and 500 acres of open space.
Many homes will be built on the hills on the north side of I-70, with the entire complex scheduled to be built over the next 20 years.
The town of Avon will host a public meeting to display models of the Village at Avon on May 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers located at 400 Benchmark Road. Post will show a fully functional model at the meeting to illustrate the Home Depot and Wal-Mart buildings, the proposed I-70 interchange and surrounding landscaping.
Wednesday night’s announcement also marks the end of years of work by the town and the developer.
“It’s been a long process and town staff has worked extremely hard with the people at Traer Creek trying to get all this to come togehter,” Reynolds said. “Now it’s time to get this into gear and get the interchange going so we can get this thing finished.”
Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at email@example.com.