Getting to know Home Depot |

Getting to know Home Depot

FRISCO – As president of REA development corporation, Jeff Oberg has built more than 50 Home Depots across the United States. But the town of Frisco is presenting him with its own unique challenge. “Development is not new ground for us – but the election process is,” Oberg said. “In my 50 Home Depot deals, this is the first time I’ve ever seen one put to a public election.”By the time the Dec. 13 election rolls around, Oberg and site development coordinator David Guetig are confident that the public will have enough information about the proposed development to make an educated choice. To that end, they – along with Home Depot – are prepared to do what they have to do.

“Home Depot knew about the election when they got into this,” Guetig said. “Now we need to sit down and put a game plan together.”As part of that plan, the development team of Oberg, Guetig, and Paul Witt (marketing and public relations director) are making themselves available to get the word out in Frisco. “We’re going to listen to what the town has to say. We want to mitigate any concerns anyone might have,” Oberg said.Team awaiting permission from town to begin surveyingOberg and Guetig said that it’s up to the town now to give permission for them to conduct independent surveys on the town-owned 9.4 acres – surveys that they hope will answer a lot of questions the public might have. “Getting information in these surveys will realistically take 45-60 days,” Guetig said. “But we’re going to push for this.” The goal is for the developers to get information and survey results to the public before the Dec. 13 election.”The town is very interested in getting all the information we can from these guys, especially environmental and traffic studies, so that the public will know what’s going on,” said Mark Gage, Frisco community developmental director. “Home Depot is more than willing to supply this.”According to Gage, the town only needs to give permission for on-site studies, such as soil analysis and environmental impact studies.”If they want to do soil studies, we have an access agreement that we can work out with them,” he said.”We’ll let the town council know next week what’s happening,” Gage added. “My guess is that they’ll give them a head nod in a work session.”Once they get the green light, the development team plans to use Range West, a local business, to conduct land surveys. Investigations into proper use of wetlands, as well as impact studies on water quality within the Blue watershed, are also planned.”We’re going to kick-off these surveys to educate ourselves as well as everyone else,” Oberg said. “We’re willing to spend the money to get it done.” Public presentations planned to educate residentsOberg and Guetig hope to provide public presentations over the next several months. Meetings with town staff are also in the works. Oberg added that several local residents have contacted him as well, with an interest in presenting open house forums to educate the public. The development team agrees that these meetings will be taking place “sooner rather than later.” “We’ve met with different people in town, and we’ve met with business owners. We want to get our faces in front of as many people as we can,” Oberg said.Keely Brown can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at Home Depot will feature mining themeFRISCO – In his role as development partner with Home Depot, Jeff Oberg began to formulate ideas for the 9.4-acre parcel before there was even an RFP (Request For Proposal) from the retail giant.”We watched from afar,” Oberg said. “We looked at how we could develop it differently in an architectural way. And we wanted to get a theme.”Both Oberg and Guetig insisted on what Guetig calls “creative architectural design to mitigate the mass.”After viewing the typical Home Depot design concept, Oberg got out his red pencil and decided to do something totally different, departing from what he called the “monolithic” look.”Home Depot is very reluctant to change from their standard prototype,” Oberg said. “We literally forced this building on them. And we did it outside the corporate scheme.”Guetig said that he and Oberg came to Main Street and took photos. “We tried to see how we could implement Main Street characteristics into this building, since it’s the first thing you’ll see when you come into the town.”While the proposed design scheme is still a work in progress, the architects plan to incorporate mining themes and images, in a nod to Frisco’s history as a mining town.Other design plans include four-sided thematic-schemed architecture, recessed walls, and an overall breaking-up of the “big box” look. Since the building will have a prominent vantage point from I-70, the designers are planning to place evergreens spaded out along the highway road. And some of the more mundane aspects of the business will be inconspicuous as well.”We’re making sure you don’t see loading docks,” Oberg said.

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