Vail Valley Voices: RED clarifies ERS |

Vail Valley Voices: RED clarifies ERS

Jeff McMahon
Vail, CO, Colorado

Editor’s note: This is the second part of Trinity/RED Development’s statement clarifying and correcting misconceptions about the Eagle River Station proposal.

City Market: Our position at Trinity/RED, since the first moment we learned that City Market wanted to expand their store at their current location, is that we hope they can find a way to do it in its current location. This is contrary to what the opponents have said and that we have been plotting some kind of scare tactic. We’re not that clever, nor were we the ones responsible for the quotes in the Vail Daily article.

We have invested a lot of money in the town of Eagle. It’s important to keep existing retailers in Eagle healthy and successful where they are. We have no interest in relocating City Market to ERS if they can stay where they are.

However, if they decide that the best thing for them to do as a business is to expand, and they can’t do it where they are, we want to have the ability to see if we can work out a deal to keep them in Eagle. I would think the residents of Eagle would want us to do that as well in lieu of losing them to another community.

Either way, we’re going to try to go get some other grocery and retail options in Eagle so that the town doesn’t have to be so dependent on the 40 percent sales tax income that City Market provides currently.

Being so dependent on them is not a good position to be in as a community. Let’s approve ERS and give us the opportunity to try as a community to keep City Market where they are and go after some great organic grocers like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or other exciting grocery options. We’ve done many deals with retailers like them, and ERS will be no different.

Tower Center auction: The land owner of Tower Center in Gypsum sent out a “Request for a Proposal” to developers to submit bids for their land. The timing of the bid date was difficult timing for us with the ERS vote around the corner, but we had no control over the bid date deadline.

Trinity/RED did submit a bid on this land because in our opinion it’s good real estate and we still believe that.

Our interest in Tower Center has no direct impact on ERS whatsoever, contrary to the opponents accusation that it’s a scare tactic. Our primary interest remains focused on Eagle and ERS, and will continue to be that way. The location of ERS is much better real estate than Tower Center, with better access and visibility to attract customers from I-70.

Town of Eagle election: We want to congratulate Yuri Kostick for his election as mayor of Eagle. We’ve always had a great working relationship with Mayor Kostick and it will continue if we’re approved. We worked with Kostick on ERS six years ago when he was on the town planning staff. We were disappointed when he left his position with the town, but we were very pleased when he came back as a trustee and now mayor.

If ERS is approved, we look forward to working with Kostick to make Eagle River Station a success for everyone in the community. We also want to congratulate the new trustees Joe Knabel, Brandi Resa and Anne McKibben. We also look forward to working with them.

Please vote “yes” for ERS on May 22: With the election just around the corner, I am personally asking you, the residents of Eagle, for your support for Eagle River Station.

The approval of Eagle River Station will do the following for the town of Eagle:

• Create 2,100 short- and long-term jobs for family, friends, your kids and neighbors.

• Attract new businesses to Eagle, including grocers, home-improvement stores, electronics stores, restaurants and retailers.

• Jumpstart the economy by getting Eagle-area contractors back to work.

• Generate a diversified sales tax revenue base in Eagle for years to come.

• Generate $17 million in infrastructure improvements for the town.

• Create new shopping options for all Eagle residents.

• Keep Eagle resident sales tax dollars in Eagle, to benefit the community.

• Reduce the amount of time you spend driving in your car to buy something and increase your free time to do whatever you want. Isn’t that an argument for green development?

The ERS agreement that you will be approving comes with absolutely no risk to the Eagle taxpayer. As we said, we’ve done more than 30 similar projects nationally and we understand a thing or two about putting retail development projects like this together.

In the rare event this project is not successful, it’s all our risk. This means there will be no cost to taxpayers, regardless of the level of success of the project. Frankly speaking, it just can’t get any better than that for Eagle taxpayers, now or in the future.

I ask all Eagle residents to consider this great opportunity for the community. If you have any questions about ERS, please contact me directly at 816-777-2830 or at jmcmahon@red, or you can visit our website and Facebook page.

Thanks so much for your support, and please vote “yes” to ERS on May 22.

Jeff McMahon is a managing partner of Trinity/RED Development.