Granby sells 300 acres of Shorefox to Sun Communities for $5.25 million
December 14, 2016
Granby has sold a portion of Shorefox. On Tuesday night Dec. 13 the Granby Board of Trustees voted to approve the sale of roughly 300-acres of the Shorefox property to Sun Communities Inc. for a price tag of $5.25 million.
The price paid by Sun Communities, $5.25 million, is nearly $1 million more than the original price tag of $4.38 million the Town of Granby paid for the entire 1,500-acre property in early June. The deal with Sun Communities means Granby retains total ownership of about 1,200-acres on the larger Shorefox parcel including significant water rights and the entire stretch of the Colorado River that bisects the property.
The deal between Sun Communities and the Town of Granby will now move into a due diligence period during which time either party could potentially back away from any purchase agreement. Granby Mayor, and interim-Town Manager, Paul Chavoustie said Sun Communities has a 90-day due diligence period before the agreement can be finalized. "We would expect to close around the end of July sometime, if not sooner," Chavoustie said. He went on to explain the deal is also contingent upon Sun Communities receiving approval from various State governing bodies for permits relating to the proposed future developments. "We have not closed on this," Chavoustie added. "It is 'under contract".
The specific contours of the development project Sun Communities will undertake is still not known. The process the Town just went through, of selling the 300-acres to Sun Communities, pertained specifically to the number of acres to be sold and the price for that land. "Sun Communities will still have to come in and present their development plans," Chavoustie said. "Those will have to be approved separately."
Mayor Chavoustie said Sun Communities has discussed creating a development with 965 total "sites" with sites being defined as recreational lodging accommodations to include RV sites, tent campsites, cabins, and the potential inclusion of a more permanent type of affordable living community.
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The Town of Granby has further plans for development of the Shorefox property. Multiple different development ideas for the remaining portions of Shorefox have been discussed including potentially developing an outdoor stage and concert venue, a college or community college, an equestrian center and even an indoor water park. No formal decisions have been made regarding which potential development plans the Town will pursue.
Additionally Town officials reiterated their plans for conserving large parcels of the property as open spaces. The Town will retain ownership of the Colorado River and is currently developing guidelines to create gold medal fishing standards and conditions in that section of riparian territory. "There will be a comprehensive open space and wildlife management plan," said Chavoustie. "So everything is managed properly and we don't get too much fishing pressure. We are definitely looking out for the environment, we want to keep it attractive."
Part of the deal between Granby and Sun Communities for the land sale was an agreement for the completion of infrastructure work on the remainder of Shorefox. The previous owners of Shorefox already installed significant amounts of infrastructure, such as water lines and fire hydrants, on the property but a substantial amount of infrastructure work remains necessary for development of the parcel. According to Chavoustie Sun Communities has agreed to finish up to $10 million in infrastructure work in the area as it relates to water, sewer and roads.
He added the Town is contemplating a long-term tax sharing agreement between Granby and Sun Communities wherein Sun Communities would cover infrastructure costs up front and would be reimbursed over the course of several years.
If Granby does decide to enter into a tax-sharing agreement with Sun Communities the funds used to reimburse Sun Communities for infrastructure costs at Shorefox would come directly from taxes assessed on commerce and recreational activities on the Shorefox property and would not come from tax revenue generated outside the Shorefox parcel.
Because the closing date for the land sale between Granby and Sun Communities is not for several months, and because the specifics of the Sun Communities development proposal have yet to be finalized, there is no specific schedule for construction yet on Shorefox. Mayor Chavoustie said he hopes engineering and infrastructure work can be completed in 2017 with development construction likely beginning in 2018 and the development amenities opening in 2019, but he added, "That is just an estimate."
As the entire process moves forward Chavoustie said the Town will try to keep Granby Trails, the public trail network on the Shorefox property, open but added, "that is dependent upon safety. Our goal is to keep Granby Trails open as long as we can during the construction period." Chavoustie added the Town may potentially be able to open up portions of the Colorado River to fishing this coming summer.
Sun Communities Inc. is a publically traded real estate investment company based in Southfield Mich. Sun Communities specializes in recreational vehicle (RV) communities.
Related Story: Sun Communities offers $5 million for 273-acres of Shorefox