Market Street project stalled as developer reevaluates
Citing delayed building permit extensions and a scrapped economic incentive agreement, the developer of the Market Street project on US Highway 40 in Fraser said it’s unclear when he will be able to finish the buildings.
Developer Clark Lipscomb said construction on the buildings won’t start any time soon because of the town’s delay in approving the building permits. The town board approved the building permit extensions through May 2023 at its May 19 meeting.
“If (Fraser) had approved the permit back in October, when we applied for the extension, these buildings would have roofs on them,” Lipscomb said. “There is no timeline at this point.”
Construction on the project was paused in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the building permits expired on Oct. 3, 2020. Grand Park requested an extension of the permits on Oct. 19, 2020 and an extension of the economic incentive agreement on Nov. 27, 2020.
Interim Town Manager Wesley LaVanchy said the permit extension was slowed down by the transition in town leadership with former town manager Jeff Durbin leaving in November, as well as negotiations around a revised economic incentive agreement.
The revised agreement added language about surety and would have allowed the town to demolish improvements if the project was abandoned.
Lipscomb said Grand Park wouldn’t accept an agreement that would allow the town to demolish construction. Despite not coming to an agreement on the economic incentives, the Fraser board still approved the permit extensions.
“There’s nothing that prohibits the developer from picking up the building permits and moving forward with the project,” LaVanchy said.
However, Lipscomb said that he’s unable to hire construction crews for this summer because of the heavy development demand that requires developers to plan several months ahead.
He added that he is revisiting the entire project since the town’s support has changed.
Without an extension on the incentive agreement, LaVanchy said the town will be moving forward to collect the waived use tax and service fees in the amount of $52,666.
LaVanchy added that at this time the town is not pursuing the deferred plant investment fees because those fees are typically collected before the buildings get certificates of occupancy.
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When the Braidwood Condominiums in Winter Park were built in the 1980s, the building lacked hallways wide enough for wheelchairs, walls between units were slim and the fire suppression system couldn’t compare to modern requirements.