After developer failed to close, Granby could nix Rodeo Apartments deal
The Granby Board of Trustees has begun withdrawing from its agreements related to the Rodeo Apartments, which the developer never closed the sale on after proposing an attainable housing project.
Granby owns the 30-acre property between the Silver Sage Subdivision and the Flying Heels Rodeo grounds. Granby Ranch gave the land to the town in 2003 on the condition it could only be used for attainable, affordable or workforce housing.
Developer Mark Unicume of Unicume Colorado first submitted plans for the Rodeo Minor Subdivision, known as the Rodeo Apartments, in 2018. The town signed a contract agreeing to sell Lot 1 of the subdivision on March 26, 2019 for $1.2 million with the developer agreeing two days later.
The anticipated closing date for the sale was June 5, 2019, but the developer has still not closed more than 16 months after the deadline.
After a 40 minute executive session Tuesday, Granby’s board asked the town manager to send a letter to Unicume giving the developer 60 days to close on the property if he still wants to move forward. Otherwise, the town will withdraw from the contract. Prior to closing, the developer would also need to reach a development agreement with the town for that lot.
On April 9, 2019, the town also signed a contract agreeing to sell Lot 2 for $2.4 million with an anticipated close date of June 15, 2019. The developer never signed the Lot 2 contract or its associated development agreement.
“Since Unicume has failed to sign this agreement, in the interim they made a counteroffer,” Trustee Natscha O’Flaherty said during her motion to withdraw the agreement. “The town does not accept the terms of this counteroffer.”
Details of the counteroffer were not immediately clear.
According to a memo from Town Manager Ted Cherry to the board, development plans for the project are well underway, but changes had been made that were not in line with the original plan presented to the board. Specifically, the original plan was to develop apartments while the new proposal included a townhome/duplex layout.
The Rodeo Apartments have raised public interest before, specifically from the residents in the Silver Sage Subdivision who had concerns about the entry and exit into the Rodeo Apartments.
“Regardless of what happens within the next 60 days, we know that there’s other potential developers out there that might consider utilizing that property and putting in attainable, affordable (housing),” resident Christian Hornbaker said after the board made its decisions. “I would like to challenge the board of trustees to work between now and then to try and figure out the proper entrance and exit into the property.”
Hornbaker and other residents feel that their neighborhood would be used as a “backup” roadway for the development, which currently has only one access point to the highway aside from the route through Silver Sage.
In other business:
• The board held a workshop related to the new Bustang route from Craig to Denver that will include a stop in Granby. According to a Colorado Department of Transportation representative, the Granby stop will actually be an extended rest stop due to the length of the trip. Trustees liked the idea of putting the stop in front of the town’s visitor center.
• Trustees approved moving forward with RICK Engineering as the consultant for an update on the town’s comprehensive plan. The town budgeted $200,000 for the plan this year with half coming from the Department of Local Affairs.
Work on the plan would begin in January after the grant from DOLA is awarded. The plan is expected to take 16 months to complete and would involve a large amount of community engagement. The most recent comprehensive plan for Granby was done in 1985.
• The board approved a rate study for the West Water Service Area related to Sun Communities. The study will cost $33,500, billed back to Sun, and will define the town’s rates for taking on the water system at River Run RV Resort and Smith Creek Crossing.
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