Granby closes on Shorefox
It is officially official; Granby has purchased Shorefox.
Granby Town Finance Director Sharon Spurlin confirmed the Town’s wire transfer for the purchase of the property, totaling $4,388,131.57, was received by the appropriate title company early Thursday morning June 9. The real estate transaction is scheduled to close Friday June 10. The closing marks the end of an extremely busy period for Granby Town staff who have been hurriedly working to complete the transaction over the past few months.
To purchase the property Granby has taken out a loan to cover the $4.38 million price tag. Additionally the Town has borrowed roughly $600,000 for capital improvement purchases for the property. Because the Town could not use the Shorefox property as collateral for the loan Town Hall was used as collateral.
The Town of Granby still has $1.2 million in debt related to the construction of Town Hall and that loan was refinanced and rolled into the Shorefox loan, bringing the Town’s total liability to $6.2 million, roughly. Granby expects to see about $200,000 in additional debt service payments on an annual basis.
Town officials plan to recoup the purchase price for Shorefox through a myriad of avenues including land sales/leases and recreation fees. Certain amenities on the property, such as access to the Colorado River for fishing, will require the public to purchase some form of use pass while other amenities, such as walking paths, will remain open to the public at no charge.
While planning for the future park and recreation area is still in the early stages the Town plans to create an RV campground, lodge and other recreational amenities. These recreational amenities will be owned and operated by private businesses that will directly pay the Town of Granby for the right to operate businesses on the property.
Entities that will be granted rights to purchase parcels or operate businesses on the Shorefox property will be determined through a Request for Proposal (RFP) procedure wherein interested parties will submit proposals for their desired businesses in a competitive and open process. The RFP process is similar to the bid process used by the Town to choose construction firms for construction projects.
Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie said the Town has already heard from numerous interested parties. Chavoustie said the Town hopes to have RFPs for a few initial projects, such as the RV campground, ready by the first week of July and hopw es to have an RV park developer secured by the end of the year.
“We are very, very excited for the Town of Granby and what it (Shorefox) is going to mean to this community in the long run,” said Mayor Chavoustie. “We are planning to open a portion of the property this year. Our goal is to have it open by July 1.”
Shorefox is still subject to certain leases from the previous owner so for the time being the sections of the property with river access will not be open to anglers. Fishing within the property will become open to the public, with the purchase of day passes or similar passes, at a future unspecified date.
Granby intends to hire a planning specialist for the project and will hold community forums on the planning process. Chavoustie said he hopes to begin holding the public planning forums for Shorefox in the early fall.
“We are not rushing,” Chavoustie said. “The goal is coming up with the right projects with that development and not try to rush it. Summer goes really fast and we want to get it open this summer and have people out there enjoying it.”
There is still significant work to be done on the property and the Granby is looking for volunteers to help with cleanup. Volunteers are needed from June 13 through June 30 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering to help cleanup the Shorefox property you can contact Kristy Aulicino at Granby Town Hall at 970-887-2501 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the volunteer list
Talks of purchasing the property kicked off earlier this year after a Boulder development company backed away from plans to purchase the land.
The discussions became more earnest after the early April election of a new Board of Trustees, including new Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie who initially presented the idea to the Board prior to his election. Granby entered into a formal agreement to purchase the property in mid-April.
The 1,553-acre Shorefox property has a storied history. Originally a part of the Horn Ranch, Shorefox was purchased by developers in 2003 for $5.2 million with intentions of creating a large 1,200 unit residential development called Orvis Shorefox, which would also include an 18-hole golf course. The tracts original developers installed significant infrastructure and amenities on the property before it was foreclosed on in 2009.
Last fall the Conscience Bay Company based out of Boulder entered into discussions with the Town of Granby regarding zoning specifications, water rights and other details but declined to move forward with purchasing the property.
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A Granby police officer saved a great horned owl that likely stunned itself by flying into a fence at the town’s Bark Park on Sunday afternoon.