Dillon to consider updated development agreement with Uptown 240
The Dillon Town Council will hold a special meeting next week to consider an amendment to the development agreement with Uptown 240, which would extend the deadline for the developer to complete a series of public improvement projects and provide a path forward for continued construction.
Developers on Uptown 240 broke ground on the project in June 2019, but a loss of financing as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic caused serious snags in the process, and construction shut down in April 2020. As part of the development agreement with the town, the developer was required to construct a number of public improvements by the end of September, including repairs to sidewalks and road pavement on Lake Dillon Drive and West Buffalo Street, among others.
That deadline has come and gone, and the work has all been left uncompleted. On Oct. 1, the town issued a default notice to the developer and filed a lien on the property to secure payment of outstanding utility and attorney fees.
If council decides to pass the amended development agreement, the deadline for such improvements would be pushed back to the end of October 2022.
“We worked together the last couple weeks to correct the language so that we can modify and amend that development agreement, extending out those deadlines so that we can hit them appropriately as we restart construction,” Uptown 240 President Danilo Ottoborgo said.
The amendment’s approval would also open the door for developers to bring in additional funding to kick-start construction again. Ottoborgo said he’s closing in on a bridge loan that would help clear the title on the property, and he’s anticipating closing a subsequent loan from the same lender to fund continued construction.
When asked if there were any concerns the deals wouldn’t get done, Ottoborgo voiced confidence.
“Other than general market conditions and what every business faces when going through a lending process, (I have no concerns) other than those,” Ottoborgo said.
Town Manager Nathan Johnson said town officials are still approaching the topic cautiously.
“I would say that (Town Council) is a little concerned because they feel that they’ve had this discussion with Uptown 240 before, and nothing has resulted after those discussions,” Johnson said. “… Almost the past two years this project has sat dormant. What they have been told by the developer is that financing is 30 days out, is 30 days out. And we’ve heard that time and time again, and I think we’re to the point now where if it doesn’t happen, we need some swift action to not only take down the crane but also clean up the site.”
The draft amendment agreement notes an expectation that the developer would close on the bridge loan by early December at the latest and on the construction loan in the first quarter of 2022. Johnson said if the bridge loan hasn’t come through by mid-December, Town Council would likely have to again update the development agreement with new dates or otherwise “determine what we can and cannot do pertaining to this project.”
In addition to setting new completion dates for public improvements, the amended development agreement council will consider next week also stipulates that the developer would have to submit an improvement guarantee of nearly $265,000, essentially a deposit that the town could use to ensure the improvements get done one way or another.
Johnson said the town recently used part of a $16,000 improvement guarantee previously submitted by Uptown 240 to acquire and install concrete barriers along the right of way on Lake Dillon Drive and on the property line bordering Homewood Suites by Hilton to improve safety on the site.
“What we’re trying to alleviate is any type of vehicle — if you look at a morning … where it’s icy and there’s a little bit of snow — having a barrier there to stop them from going into that bank where there’s a big drop-off between the bank and the foundation of the parking structure,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the Town Council would consider the amended development agreement during a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Ottoborgo said he’s appreciative of the community members who have continued to support the project throughout its struggles.
“My entire family (and I) appreciate their support and encouragement and words of kindness when we were going through some of these difficult times,” Ottoborgo said. “The last year and a half has been a challenge for everyone, and their support has been incredible to have.”
Ottoborgo said he was hesitant to give any solid timeline for when he thinks construction could resume, but he said he was eager to get things moving again.
“I can assure you it’s as soon as I can make it happen,” he said.
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