Frisco stays open to more shopping |

Frisco stays open to more shopping

FRISCO – Alberta Development presented a rough sketch of a potential shopping center for the town’s 10-acre parcel behind the Frisco Station shopping center.In December, the town agreed to negotiate in good faith with the developer. Tuesday it decided to keep moving forward with the early stages of the project.”My reaction is that it’s almost too good to be true,” said Councilmember Bernie Zurbriggen during a council work session.The proposal contained two separate wings of retail space on either side of a public building that the Summit Stage would occupy. The conceptual plan also included two restaurant pads separate from the retail wings.The buildings would cover about 120,000 square feet.”We got excited about a transit-oriented development site,” said Alberta’s Peter Cudlip. “Integrating the Summit Stage with the site would really be a benefit to retailers. Also, it would supply and support additional passengers to Summit Stage.”Alberta has initiated preliminary discussions to purchase additional property from the owners of the Alpine Inn, which is adjacent to the site.Cudlip did not announce any potential tenants for the site, but said that he has been talking with local and national retailers, several of which are excited about the project.One of the two retail wings would be dedicated to small, boutique-style establishments, while the other wing would house “junior anchors” on the scale of Bed Bath & Beyond.Councilmember Jon Zdechlik voiced concerns over the kinds of tenants that will ultimately occupy the shopping center.”I’d like to see something like this take the Denver out of Summit County,” Zdechlik said. “In my view, we’re becoming too plain Jane. I would hate for us to become another arm of suburbia U.S.A. Let’s create something unique that’s not a Denny’s. Let’s create something new.”Town manager Theresa Casey said that the project could abate the town’s sales tax revenue woes.”Our current state of the sales tax is not good,” Casey said. “I asked staff to make an across-the-board cut of 10 percent to make our 2004 budget. We’ve got Target (in Silverthorne) that opened last March and our sales tax numbers have hit the skids; we’re going to lose some market share with the new Safeway in Silverthorne. We need to think about how we are going to protect our revenues.””I think we all agree we’re on the right road,” Mayor Dede Dighero-Tuso said in regard to the development.For development to occur, the town must ultimately agree to sell or lease the land, and has the option of placing conditions on such transactions.In the meantime, Alberta will continue with environmental, geotechnical and traffic studies.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 x203

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