President of Uptown 240 backs out of development update less than an hour before scheduled start, leaving residents with unanswered questions
Community members who gathered for an update on the Uptown 240 project Tuesday were left with many unanswered questions after the president of the development backed out of the meeting less than an hour before it was supposed to begin.
Owner Danilo Ottoborgo was supposed to join the lender for a question-and-answer session with Dillon residents regarding the project, which has faced significant delays since crews broke ground in summer 2019, but the scheduled hourlong meeting, which began as an idea from Dillon Mayor Carolyn Skowyra to increase communication on the project, ended in about 20 minutes.
Nathan Johnson, town manager of Dillon, said that he received an email from Ottoborgo at 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday stating he was not going to make it, and Johnson read the email from Ottoborgo to attendees. The open house was slated to begin at 3:30 p.m.
Almost every seat in the chambers was filled, and more community members stood along the walls to listen in on the open house. According to the email read by Johnson, Uptown 240 “continues to work diligently” to complete the refinancing process on the development.
“There are minimal steps that remain to complete the closing process and receive the necessary funding prior to the end of November. (Uptown 240 is) working with a new title company to work towards finalizing the necessary settlements in order to achieve a successful closing,” Johnson stated as he read from the email. “We look forward to the upcoming closing and bringing Uptown 240 to fruition for our purchasers, hometown and community.”
Development on the planned 80-unit luxury condominium project in downtown Dillon stalled in April 2020 when the pandemic began because the project lost significant amounts of funding. Since then, the only major action taken at the site was the removal of the red crane looming over the property at the corner of Buffalo Street and Lake Dillon Drive. RMS Cranes removed the crane in the first half of June. Ottoborgo described the removal as temporary, saying he has plans to resume construction as soon as finances can be secured.
Recently, the Porritt Group purchased Uptown 240’s debt, but winter took its toll on the foundation that was already put in the ground. Sections of the concrete pours at the site will reportedly be strengthened in the coming months, likely before winter, since the weight of snowfall over the past two winters has strained them. The repairs were identified after a structural engineer visited the site and said the weight of Summit County’s snow was more than what the concrete structures were meant to hold in their unfinished state.
Throughout the process, the town of Dillon staff and Summit County building staff have allowed for some extensions for some permits, and Johnson said this was to minimize further delays of the project.
“(Delays are) something that all parties involved want to avoid because, obviously, the completion of this project is the goal,” Nicholas Cotton Baez, town attorney for Dillon, said. “So that’s why you’re seeing extensions. It’s not doing anything specific to help the developer in this instance, but we realize that there are other interests involved.”
In addition, the damage inflicted by the snow is enough to require some sections to be torn down come spring, Jake Porritt, managing member of the Porritt Group, said in September. The whole development team is seeking to retain as much of the current build as possible, he said.
Several members of the Porritt Group attended the open house on Tuesday, and Porritt answered questions that the group had liberty to respond to as the lender.
“We are here just because we are the underlying lender on the project. We don’t have any update for you in terms of new communication with the borrower. We had anticipated that we would — by this time — but we don’t,” Porritt said. “I hope that (Ottoborgo) will be here to provide you with more updates about the his intentions.”
Questions and concerns from unit owners such as current timelines and any updates on the development could not be answered, since those are questions for the president of the development, Ottoborgo.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.