Lender secured for Dillon’s Uptown 240, but the winter took its toll on the foundation that was already laid

The Uptown 240 construction site off Lake Dillon Drive in Dillon is pictured Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.
Sawyer D’Argonne/Summit Daily News

Uptown 240’s new lender came before the Dillon Town Council Tuesday to appease some worries about the project and assure all its path to completion was forming, although some backward steps would have to be taken before construction could continue.

“There is a horizon,” Jake Porritt, managing member of the Porritt Group, said. He said they’re trying to create the light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s no way of knowing how long that tunnel will be, or how many hurdles it will contain. “The building can be built and will be quality construction,” he said.

The Porritt Group purchased Uptown 240’s debt, giving the developer, Danilo Ottoborgo, the opportunity to seek the capital needed to continue building the planned 80-unit luxury condominium project in Dillon, Porritt said. Ottoborgo said the project will continue as planned within the constraints of its original building agreement.

“It’s our intention to complete the project as conceived,” Porritt said. Addressing Uptown 240’s problematic past, he said, “This is a very commonplace scenario for us.”

The Uptown 240 team is currently working through legal scenarios relating to distressed property, Porritt said.

But before that can happen, some clean-up work needs to happen at the site due to its derelict condition. There are ongoing conversations about cleaning up the sidewalk in front of the site and more.

Sections of the concrete pours at the site will be strengthened in the coming months, likely before winter, as Porritt said the weight of snowfall over the past two winters had strained them. It was determined after a structural engineer visited the site that the weight of Summit County’s snow was more than what the concrete structures were meant to hold in their unfinished state.

In addition, the damage inflicted by the snow is enough to require some sections to be torn down come spring, Porritt said. The foundation contains four concrete pours and a bottom slab, and it’s likely three of the four pours will be torn down in the spring, Porritt said, leaving one pour and the base slab. The whole development team is seeking to retain as much of the current build as possible, he said.

Overall, Porritt said de-construction was not a negative thing and work should continue. He said there’s no need for a new developer just yet, but council still levied deadlines against Ottoborgo and threatened to move on to a new developer should he ever show hesitancy to make progress.

Mayor Carolyn Skowyra said she would like to see the project completed, but the town needs to see some payback. The Dillon Urban Renewal Authority reached a property tax increment agreement with Uptown 240 in 2021 to reimburse some property tax revenue received exclusively from Uptown 240 for project improvements. Additionally, more funding would be made available each time the property value of Uptown 240 increased over the year prior, but that would only kick in after the structure was habitable and received its certificate of occupancy.

“At no time will I ever make a decision that doesn’t benefit you all,” Ottoborgo said, addressing the board as representatives of the town. He said he understood the town’s desire to see the project go forward.

Mayor Carolyn Skowyra brought up the idea of a question-and-answer session between the lender, developer and Dillon residents. A handful of residents attended Tuesday’s meeting with the intention of hearing from the Uptown 240 team.

Porritt said he was open to the idea.

“I have been your biggest cheerleader on this,” Skowyra said, speaking to Danilo. “But something’s got to happen. We cannot sit by for another 13 months.”

The Uptown 240 property has gone without noticeable development for months. The last major event was the removal of the crane towering over the lot in June. Prior to that, the property went untouched by developers since funding disappeared at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project broke ground in June 2019 with support from the town. The Ottoborgo demolished their family restaurant, Adriano’s Bistro, to open the project’s door. The condos would serve as one facet of the town’s core revitalization goal.

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