Silverthorne Councilman Stuart Richardson summed up the sale of the Town Center land with two words: “Mission accomplished.”
Last week, the town council unanimously approved the sale of the 2.2-acre ground tract to Natural Resource Consortium for $1,115,000. The city, which bought the land in the mid-1990s for $937,107, doesn’t own the vertical improvements.
“During my six years on the council, it’s been the endeavor of the council to make sure Silverthorne is open for business,” said Mayor Bruce Butler. “This gives us something to look forward to. I believe this is a town that offers a lot of opportunity.”
The development of Town Center as the heart of Silverthorne and a mixed-use area has been in the works for decades.
“Back in the 1980s the town began acquiring lots in the Town Center area,” said Silverthorne town manager Ryan Hyland. “Seven acres were purchased to create a focal point for the town.”
That area was located just north of the intersection of Highway 9 and Rainbow Road on the west bank of the Blue River.
At first, the city put in a pavilion. And by 2006, the second phase of Town Center had been completed. The area had been transformed into a multi-use development complete with modern apartments and several storefronts.
“This is a success story,” Hyland said. “We think that the original goals for the center have been met. We’ve made best use of the site with the mixed-use development.”
The $1.1 million purchase price covers all the town’s investment in the project plus an annual rate of return of more than 3 percent. That includes the more than $600,000 the town has earned through lease payments over the past decade.
Hyland said the city expects to get a return of more than $1 million at the end of the day.
Natural Resource Consortium is still working to purchase all the vertical improvements to the site as well. Developer Peter Cudlip owns those improvements. He’s had the buildings up for sale since last year.
One difficulty with Town Center since it was constructed was leasing out all the retail sites. While the residential units have been successful, the retail spots have never been fully occupied.
However, Natural Resource Consortium officials said they are already planning on recruiting new businesses.
“Our goal is to put in a successful restaurant and also another 4,000 square feet of retail,” said Tom Ethington, a spokesman for the consortium. “We are excited about the future of the development. Our investment group already has money set aside for improvements.”
Councilman Richardson was concerned over the fate of the current tenants. However, Ethington said his company has no intention of alienating current businesses.
“We will interview all the tenants and talk to them about what improvements they’d like to see,” Ethington said. “We have no intention of jacking up the rent or anything. Our goal is to fill it up.”
And even though the city loses its ground lease on the property, many of the shared uses it put in place will remain, including shared signage, parking and snow storage. And the Blue River trail segment that runs behind the Riverfront Building will remain town property.
Natural Resource Consortium describes itself as “multi-dimensional real estate enterprise company” specializing in mixed-used and master-planned developments. The majority owner is McCombs Enterprises/McCombs Partners. Red McCombs is a co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, former owner of the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs and the namesake of the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.