Vail Daily letter: ERS questions
Vail, CO Colorado
So I hear Eagle’s deciders are leaning toward approval of Eagle River Station. Yuck. I believe the occupancy projections being thrown around are in the 90 per-cent to 95 percent range. So has anyone addressed the costs to the town if those rates are not met? What happens if it’s 70 per-cent rented? Sixty percent? Less? Who pays for the hokey little trol-ley (which will “save” downtown Eagle) and the other costs to the town if half of the project is dark? Failure to address this possibility represents a failure to properly evaluate the project.
Am I being unnecessarily grim? Let’s see. What occupancy rates do they have at the new strip malls near Costco? How about all the vacant storefronts in Eagle and Gypsum? Ever looked at downtown Eagle Ranch? Who’s moving into the failed Harbert Lumber space? What about the vacant mystery building on the north side of The Seasons? How about downtown Avon? How about Chapel Square? How’s Traer Creek Plaza doing?
On the residential side, are we sure Eagle can absorb another 600 units? Look at the struggling sales in Eagle Ranch. Ask the Brightwater people. How many of the 339 units have they sold in Stratton Flats? And how’s that “Bel Lago” proj-ect doing? Need I mention The Gates? If you can’t sell a condo next to Beaver Creek Resort, why should we believe they can sell 600 units in a pukey lifestyle center next to the free-way? ( I can hear the Realtors now. ” Take a blissful stroll across the park-ing lot to Chili’s or the Olive Garden for a sumptuous dinner.”) When all is said and done, the developers will be long gone with the money, and Eagle will have acres and acres of convenient parking. Anything beyond that is speculation.
I repeat: Failure to address these possibilities represents a failure to properly evaluate the project.
Funny how our officials were able to designate those green pasture lands as ” blighted” in the first place, but that’s a subject for another day.