Vail Valley Voices: Exploring project’s future
Eagle, CO Colorado
My name is Jeff McMahon, and I am a partner with Trinity RED Development, which is the company that filed the application for Eagle River Station in the town of Eagle in 2006 and currently owns the property at the east end of Chambers Avenue. You may have read that we have been holding some community input meetings regarding the possible development of our land. With this column, we would like to give the citizens of Eagle and the valley an update on those activities as well as a brief update on Trinity RED Development and how we are proactively weathering the current economic times.
In spite of rising unemployment and challenging commercial markets throughout the country, RED has not only survived but thrived. Over the past year, we have opened approximately 500,000 square feet of retail space as well as Phase 1 of our multi-story office tower called CityScape in downtown Phoenix. In addition to those openings, we have also acquired three retail properties in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.
It is our belief that there are opportunities all over the country and that we want to take advantage of the current economy and search out those opportunities. The past year has certainly been a challenge but we have persevered and remain very excited about the future. Feel free to visit our website for more details.
You may recall in January of this year the voters in the town of Eagle narrowly turned down the plan we had for Eagle River Station. Of the 2184 votes cast at the referendum, the plan was defeated by just 156 votes. Although we were disappointed in the vote, we understand that the town has spoken, and we will continue to listen to fresh ideas and continue to analyze alternative solutions.
Trinity RED has begun exploring whether a modified plan on our land east of town would be appropriate within the parameters of the new Eagle Area Community Plan. In Chapter 5 of the plan, “Special Character Areas,” it says, “regional retailing, ancillary residential development, civic and institutional facilitates are recognized as appropriate uses on land east of Chambers Avenue.” We feel that requirement is achievable.
With that said, it is just as important to Trinity RED that we reach out to the residents of Eagle for opinions and ideas on how to move a project forward if we decide on reapplying.
To that end, we have started these focus group sessions for Eagle and valley citizens. The first two meetings were held in November and there were two more this month. A local neutral facilitator, Black Diamond Research, led by Kathy Chandler-Henry, ran these sessions. We are excited by the results we have seen so far and are looking into the possibility of conducting more of them if there is public interest.
We want to make it clear that the decision whether to reapply will be made based on our focus group sessions, discussions with your elected officials, and continued analysis of the market. If we do reapply, it will be because we have worked together on a plan that is acceptable to the community and makes sense economically for all. Thank you for your ideas that we have received and for those people that have participated in the focus groups. Please contact me directly should you have any questions or concerns at 816-777-3500 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff McMahon is a partner in RED Development LLC.
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