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Silverthorne plans for a new grocery store and child care center

Smith Ranch in Silverthorne is pictured May 14. Plans for a child care center and a commercial site, including a grocery store, are moving forward. The facilities are meant to serve the Smith Ranch Neighborhood and other nearby residential areas.
Liz Copan / ecopan@summitdaily.com

SILVERTHORNE — Plans for a child care center and a grocery store are moving ahead on two plots of land in Silverthorne that would serve the Smith Ranch Neighborhood and other nearby residential areas.

Assistant Town Manager Mark Leidal explained that a 9-acre parcel between Kum & Go on Ruby Ranch Road and Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church will be the commercial site where the grocery store is planned. The parcel was purchased by the town in 2013, and the town has talked for several years about bringing a neighborhood grocery store to the parcel to service the surrounding residential population. 

“Now that Smith Ranch neighborhood is under construction, and we have 120 houses that are occupied and … another 100 that are coming … we said, ‘OK, now is the time. Now is the time that we ought to be planning what that commercial site should look like,’” Leidal said.

The town is negotiating with Continuum Partners, a Denver-based developer, but has not yet reached an official development agreement for the property. Leidal said Continuum Partners understands that the town intends for the parcel to host a small-scale commercial center based around a grocery store. The company also has proposed building additional workforce housing rental units on the parcel. 

The child care facility will be on a 1.8-acre site across from the commercial plot along Adams Avenue. At the town council work session Wednesday, Oct. 14, Town Manager Ryan Hyland said Public Works Director Tom Daugherty has the site “shovel ready” but the holdup is the need to transition a memorandum of understanding to an intergovernmental agreement between Silverthorne and Summit County. In addition, Silverthorne plans to put out two requests for proposals: one to hire a project manager and one to bring on an executive director that would manage and run the child care facility. 

Summit County has committed to funding 75% or $3 million of the estimated $4 million facility through 1A Strong Future tax revenue and community facility revenue. One task of the executive director would be raising the remaining $1 million in funds.

Hyland noted that fundraising has been a challenge amid COVID-19. 

“The project needs to happen, so I think the county is willing to put some additional (money) in there if they have to, but they really want to see what fundraising is possible,” Hyland said. “Hopefully, we’re enough in the rearview mirror with some of COVID that that conversation is possible with fundraising.”

Hyland acknowledged that the project has stalled during the pandemic but is optimistic the town can begin to move forward on the site, which is large enough for a police facility, as well.

“We have a site I think we can get launched, and it would be great to be under construction in the spring,” Hyland said. 

Open House

Silverthorne hosted an open house Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Silverthorne Pavilion to discuss with the community what the commercial development might look like. Planning Manager Lina Lesmes said about 50 people attended the event.

Assistant Town Manager Mark Leidal said it likely was the first of many open houses on the topic. He noted that overall, people didn’t have much negative feedback related to plans but wanted to hear more information.

While a schedule for future open houses hasn’t been set, Lesmes said all of the poster boards that were available at the open house are at Silverthorne.org/shops-at-smith-ranch. There is also a survey on the topic, which will be open until Nov. 6.

Lesmes also noted that Norris Design is putting together a virtual open house so that anyone who is hesitant about attending an in-person event has a virtual option.

Other topics that came out of the open house, Leidal said, included concerns about traffic on Colorado Highway 9, which the town is considering remedying with a traffic signal at the Kum & Go intersection, and the desire for a neighborhood connection between Smith Ranch and Willowbrook, for which the town council has discussed plans.


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