Vail Daily letter: Don’t want it in Eagle | VailDaily.com
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Vail Daily letter: Don’t want it in Eagle

Eric Rosenquist
Eagle, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

I have been following with some interest the Eagle River Station project proposals and the battle over it. As the son of a dreaded developer, I have a few comments:

I am unimpressed by the projections of 95 percent-plus occupancy for commercial space, and the overall size of the project, 550,000 square feet, is an awful lot of space to be absorbed in the Eagle retail market, particularly with all the “For Rent” signs you see in the area.

Some say the economy will recover by the time ERS is built and any way the risk is on the developer. That may be true, but more empty storefronts won’t help all of the existing property owners get fair rents for their space.

I was impressed by one writer who said in essence, “Let’s just say ‘no’ now, because we can always say ‘yes’ at a later date to a better proposal.” I believe this is key to Eagle getting a usable, viable project. If ERS is approved now, that is essentially the LAST decision Eagle will get to make on the project. If ERS is voted down this time, the developer will have to come back with a more realistic project, and the town suffers not at all for this delay.

Which brings me to another point: There’s no money to the town of Eagle in this project – oh, the developer will pay the usual fees, but there’s no guarantee that any actual revenue will accrue to the town. If, as suggested by many, ERS simply cannibalizes retail and food-service sales from other Eagle retail outlets, then the project is not only revenue neutral, due to the special tax district, but will end up costing residents more.

Lastly, even my vegetarian sister scoffs at the thought of a Kansas-based organic food grocer coming all the way to Eagle, and pointed out that City Market carries all the organic foods she needs already.

I cannot vote in this election. I’m a second-home owner here now. Maybe my voice should not count, but my family has been in the valley since the 1960s and I graduated from Battle Mountain High School back in 1977. I hope that Eagle does not choose to go the way of Vail. It’s the locals that make the community, not the big boxes.

Let me put it this way, where would you rather eat? Broadway Cafe or Chili’s? The Eagle Diner or TGI Fridays? Paradigm or “Romano’s Macaroni Grille”? Red Canyon Cafe or Subway? I know that I’d rather shop at The Everything Store and Alpine Lumber than Costco, or have another Lowe’s or Target here. I find Glenwood and Avon close enough to have big-box retailers.

I hope the voters of Eagle will vote “no” on ERS and give the town a chance to get a better deal than the current offer.

Eric Rosenquist

Eagle


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