New amenities may be on the horizon for Castle Rock. At a Town Council meeting on February 21, councilmembers approved the first reading of a plan from Citadel Development Group, LLC, that would remediate the Miller’s Landing landfill and replace it with a 65-acre development that includes a hotel, office space, and retail.
Located on the northwest corner of 1-25 and Plum Creek Parkway, it is an area that has been previously undesirable to developers because of the 9-acre municipal landfill. To assist this matter, the Town’s Urban Renewal Authority — an organization that focuses on redevelopment of the Town — recently labeled this property as blighted in order to allow for tax-sharing opportunities between Castle Rock and interested investment entities.
Two years ago, that is exactly the plan that caught the eyes of developer Citadel Development. In an attempt to secure a future agreement with Castle Rock, Citadel was represented an advisory service, P3 Advisors, who presented a 4-phase, large scale project that would add several new amenities to Town.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring this development to Castle Rock,” said Scott Springer, representative of P3 Advisors. “What we see is that this development leverages investments the Town has already made…”
If a financial agreement is reached with the Castle Rock Urban Renewal Authority, the project would begin in 2018 and would lock the Town into sharing 60 percent of the sales tax share back and 100 percent of the property tax from the amenities on the land. Those promised monies are what would then allow the lofty $65 million bond to be issued and the construction of the infrastructure and public improvements to begin.
While some members of council were in support of the project — because it would bring jobs, a hotel and conference center, while rejuvenating the land of the former landfill — others questioned the public finance agreement’s fine print. Jason Bower, representing District 4, expressed his own concerns about the project; both regarding the nearly 20 years of tax increment generation and possible effects to downtown.
“My concern with this project is the amount of retail. We have a lot of retail in Castle Rock right now. We have retail that still isn’t there but is planned to go in,” Bower remarked. “With the amount of retail that is proposed in this project, we are going to start to eat away at ourselves as far as the sales tax that is generated.”
District 2 representative, James Townsend, alluded to possible ways the project might boost the local economy. “The hope is that with the new people that are able to stay in Castle Rock as a result of the new office development, that perhaps that will bring enough people back to Castle Rock,” said Townsend. “There’s going to be a lot more people staying in Castle Rock spending those dollars; that increase of jobs and that increase of office space will more than compensate for the competition with downtown and retail.”
With Councilmembers Brett Ford and George Teal absent, council approved the first reading of the finance agreement 4 to 1, with Bower voting solely against the proposal.
The Miller’s Landing Project was briefly revisited at the Town Council meeting on March 7, when Mayor Green chose to have the details of the agreement further discussed with staff and the developer prior to its second reading. “It will be noted that the Miller’s Landing items, items 7-9 will not be heard tonight but will be continued at a later date,” Mayor Green said. “There will be no discussion on these items and no public comment until we have that added to another agenda on another evening.”
On March 28, at 6:00pm, Town Council will recess to an Executive Session to discuss the Miller’s Landing Public Finance Agreement.