Granby to purchase Shorefox
The Town of Granby has formally entered into an agreement to purchase the 1,500-acre Shorefox property northwest of Granby proper.
Town officials announced the move during the April 12, 2016 Granby Board of Trustees regular meeting and have since confirmed that Granby has entered a 45-day due diligence period, which ends on May 14. Until May 14 the Town of Granby can back away from their decision to purchase the property without extensive repercussions. According to Granby Town Manager Wally Baird if the Town follows through with their plans after the May 14 end of the due diligence period Granby will have 30 days to close out the sale of the property.
The entirety of negotiations to purchase of the property has been conducted in Board executive sessions that are not open to public viewing. Because of the confidential nature of the negotiations officials from Granby as well as newly elected Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie could not provide the Sky-Hi News with a specific purchase price figure. Chavoustie has previously provided a ballpark figure though saying, “the original development had more than sixty-million dollars into the property. The purchase price is less than 10 percent of that.”
Chavoustie was quick to point out his ongoing plans to seek funding to cover the purchase price of the property from various land trusts and conservation groups, as well as plans to develop amenities on the property that could also provide revenue to the Town to help cover the cost of the land. Among amenities and activities being considered for the property are a winter tubing hill, cross-country skiing trails, picnic areas, campgrounds for tents and RVs, mountain biking trails, hiking trails, fly-fishing, a dog park and much more.
“Our talks are progressing nicely,” said Chavoustie. “We have strong interest from national, state and local land trusts to partner in purchasing that land so it is preserved for public use… The goal roughly for the Town is to create an amazing local amenity and destination and also have private businesses. It would be a collaboration with private businesses running an RV resort and campground. They would purchase development parcels from us.”
Chavoustie also highlighted talks with conservation groups to purchase parcels of land within the property that could possibly be designated as conservation easements. The talks with land trusts, conservation groups and the possible sale of business parcels within Shorefox would have an overall goal of recuperating the Town’s funds that were used to purchase the land.
According to Chavoustie businesses or entrepreneurs who are interested in purchasing development parcels from the community would enter into a bidding process for the right to open businesses in Shorefox, similar to how construction companies bid on municipal works projects for the Town.
Chavoustie hopes the development will become an attraction for tourists visiting the high country and establish Granby as a destination town. He offered Grand Lake and the benefits the lake produces for that community as an analogy for what he hopes the Shorefox property will do for Granby, including increasing local commerce and by extension tax revenues for Town government.
Chavoustie said Granby is planning to hold a public forum on the topic in early May but did not give a specific date.
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