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Town, hospital want redevelopment by 2015

Lauren Glendenning
lglendenning@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – A project that will transform the aging Vail Municipal complex into medical offices and upgraded town offices is going full speed ahead.

The Vail Town Council heard from town staff, a financing consultant and Triumph Development, the company hired to do the pre-development studies, Tuesday night about the upcoming steps the town needs to take in order to get the project on pace for a January 2015 completion date.

The town has been working with the Vail Valley Medical Center, the Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute on a plan to share the costs and redevelop the site. The town would pay about one-third of the cost, or about $12 million based on current estimates.



The Vail Town Council heard a ton of information Tuesday, including everything from construction timelines to temporary relocation sites to financing options. They also saw a preliminary rendering that shows

The construction would last 21 months, said Michael O’Connor, chief operating officer with Triumph Development. He said it’s a “realistic, aggressive schedule.”



The second phase of studies, which began its 90-day period Nov. 1, needs to result in an agreement by all parties in order to meet the scheduling requirements, O’Connor said. He said the critical path of the schedule centers around the design and entitlement process, and a big part of that is working with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The town has a lot of work to do. Town staff and council members need to figure out where the town’s municipal offices could temporarily relocate for the 21-month construction period, but more importantly, it needs to figure out the financing.

P. Jonathan Heroux, managing director at asset management firm Piper Jaffray, told the council that it has three viable options for financing – general obligation bonds, sales tax revenue bonds or certificates of participation.



With the aggressive schedule of the project, however, Heroux said the town’s only option within such a tight time frame would be the certificates of participation.

Both the general obligation bonds and the sales tax revenue bonds would require a November ballot question and voter approval, while the certificates of participation would not require a vote.

The issue is something the council could obviously split hairs on as some members seemed more inclined to get the project rolling, while others feel there is less urgency.

“We have our work cut out for us,” Mayor Andy Daly said.

Vail Valley Medical Center CEO Doris Kirchner said the partners are excited about a project that she said will help enhance patient care, as well as help the hospital free up space that will help it expand its mission.

“Our momentum is strong, we’re moving forward and we really want to keep the momentum going,” Kirchner said.

Steadman Clinic surgeon and institute board member Dr. Peter Milett said the project will help improve Vail’s world class medical and orthopedic services.

“The analogy I would make is that we could become the Silicon Valley of orthopedic surgery if we do this right,” Millet said. “We really need a world class facility to help us represent what we believe we can achieve.”

The Vail Town Council plans to discuss the project again at its Jan. 3 and Jan. 17 work sessions, and there will be a public comment period on the evening of the Jan. 17 council meeting.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.


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