Silverthorne buys land in effort to create town center |

Silverthorne buys land in effort to create town center

Earlier this month, the Silverthorne Urban Renewal Authority purchased the Smith Ranch commercial site located at Highway 9 and Ruby Ranch Road.

The property, purchased for $3.15 million, consists of more than 11 acres of commercially zoned property.

The Smith Ranch site is one of the few remaining large parcels of land zoned for commercial development in Silverthorne, and is an important property for the town’s ongoing economic development efforts, according to a town of Silverthorne news release.

“This 11-acre parcel is an integral part of Silverthorne’s future economic development plans,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bruce Butler in the release. “This key acquisition combined with the arrival of Murdoch’s will foster vibrant commercial activity on the north side of the town’s business district and help create the synergies needed to revitalize the downtown core.”

Ownership of the Smith commercial site ensures Silverthorne and the Urban Renewal Authority can control the type and quality of the development that is brought to the site, the release stated. Ownership of this property also brings the opportunity to more comprehensively plan the entire area, opening the door for integration between the Smith Ranch residential and commercial sites.

The Smith Ranch commercial site is located adjacent to the Smith Ranch residential site, a 52-acre parcel the town of Silverthorne purchased in 2008 for the purpose of providing a workforce housing neighborhood. The residential parcel, annexed into the town of Silverthorne in 2008 and zoned R-6, which permits up to six residential units per acre.

“This purchase allows us to work on a comprehensive vision for the Smith Ranch workforce housing area, and integrate shopping opportunities that are within walking distance,” said Councilmember David Preaus in the release. “We can bring a quality design for the entire 62 acres in the Smith Ranch area. It’s another strategic investment in Silverthorne’s future, just as the Smith residential purchase was back in 2008.”

The Urban Renewal Authority was chosen to act as purchaser of the Smith Ranch commercial property because of its mission to develop a vibrant downtown core, the release stated.

The purchase was approved through a cooperation agreement approved in January between the town of Silverthorne and the Urban Renewal Authority, and an intergovernmental agreement approved in July.

The town of Silverthorne provided funds to the Urban Renewal Authority for the property purchase, the release stated. Repayment will begin once the Urban Renewal Authority collects tax increment funds from an urban renewal project.

Inclusion of the property in the Urban Renewal Plan Area took place through an amendment after a public hearing during the Wednesday’s Silverthorne Town Council. The property was added to Urban Renewal Plan Area so that tax increment funds from the eventual development of the property can be used to assist with the redevelopment of the downtown area, the release stated.

“We’ve had plenty of discussions over the last decade about downtown redevelopment, and it’s nice to be taking some significant action steps toward that goal,” said Urban Renewal Authority executive director Mark Leidal in the release. “Between the updated Urban Renewal Plan we adopted in February, the financing that it makes available and the purchase of the Smith commercial site, which expands those financing opportunities, we are making some genuine progress in making the downtown a reality.”

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