The Downtown Development Authority approved a phased development plan for Woodland Station, but left the door open for another investor or developer.
But a potential developer has 60 days to counter the plan presented to the board on May 3 by Chad Anderson, founder and venture capitalist of ForgeWorks.
The proposal includes a mixed-use development with 35 apartments built over retail facilities such as a bookstore, cafe and possibly a restaurant. Additionally, the plan includes 32 townhouses priced between $250,000 and $550,000.
“They all have million dollar views,” Anderson said.
Anderson is a partner in the proposed development, along with Mike Williams, Mark Crozier and Lisa Morey, a director at Stantec, a multifaceted company that does community development around the world.
“With ForgeWorks, we have the means to make the project happen – not just to bring in capital, but the company has experience in land development and has a heart for Woodland Park,” said Crozier, a partner. of Williams, the Tennessee developer who has strained his relationship with the current DDA board due to his delay in coming up with concrete plans for a project he proposed nearly three years ago years.
However, Williams and a series of investors, most of whom backed down, halted the project with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.
Williams apparently hit the jackpot with ForgeWorks and Stantec.
Before introducing Anderson, Crozier made an indirect reference to the former DDA board of directors as well as the former city council. “We believe the current board has enough diversity and experience to vote on something like this,” he said. “We believe the city, manager, planner and council have the right people to bring this project to fruition.”
New members include Tony Perry, Matt McCracken, Jon Gemelke, David Mijares and Arden Weatherford, who have joined Jerry Good and Al Born on the DDA board.
In his presentation, Anderson highlighted the professional expertise of Stantec, a land development company with 25,000 employees worldwide.
“They are world class in traffic engineering, environmental works and civil engineering, the three biggest challenges we see in developing this property,” Anderson said, adding that the project is estimated between 32 and 75 millions of dollars. “I think we’re going to land somewhere in the middle.”
In recent months, Williams and now Anderson have rejected suggestions by Rusty Neal, the city’s liaison with the DDA, that the partners seek state tax credits to build affordable housing or durable.
“For your question, Rusty, I don’t think we’re looking for low income housing, but a more affluent type of community that we want to develop in your professional workforce,” he said.
Anderson then asked the board to approve the concept and extend the exclusive commitment to the project.
The board gave the green light to pursue the concept, but rejected Anderson’s request to extend the exclusive deal.
“I don’t see anyone clamoring to come up with the roadmap, but I think it’s prudent that we take a short break to see if anyone else comes up with a plan,” Perry said, recommending partners to receive information on tax increase financing, a potential tax reduction on developments within the DDA boundaries.
Anderson agreed to return in 60 days with a contractual agreement.
In other business, the board approved DDA President Merry Jo Larsen’s suggestion that ownership of the rack car be turned over to the Ute Pass Historical Society.
At Larsen’s request, the board approved her continued leadership as president, at least until an agreement is signed with ForgeWorks.