Officials, developer: Fears of asbestos in Granby demolition unfounded |

Officials, developer: Fears of asbestos in Granby demolition unfounded

Demolition of buildings on the corner of East Agate Avenue and 4th Street in Granby began July 19, 2022.
Tracy Ross/Sky-Hi News

Crews working on a demolition of several buildings on the corner of East Agate Avenue and Fourth Street in Granby are not wantonly releasing asbestos into the air, say officials and the developer of the property.

The demolition stoked fear in an anonymous caller to the Sky-Hi News on Tuesday, July 19. Crews were indeed tearing down buildings at the location, but Royal Oaks developer Steve Wilkie said that although several of the buildings located on the lot had contained both asbestos and lead paint at one time, the toxic materials were cleared from them and they had earned a clean certification from the state.

Granby Town Manager Ted Cherry confirmed the buildings’ status.

“The proper remediation of asbestos and lead paint was completed. The process is hiring a remediation firm, doing the remediation, and then getting the state to sign off on this,” said Cherry. “The proper processes were done for this and the developer has the sign off from the state.”

Wilkie said the process of cleaning the toxic materials from the buildings stalled the start of demolition. The buildings served a civic purpose, however. Both the Grand Fire Protection District #1 and the Granby Police Department used them for training exercises, “with the police department going into the basement and locating shells, and the fire department breaking windows and cutting through the roof,” said Wilkie.

The first building — a row of apartments — went down early last week. The Spirits-n-Things building and Shear Design will follow. And a yellow house behind the Edward Jones building, as well as the Edward Jones building, will come down last.

Wilkie presented plans for the development that will replace the demolished buildings at the Town of Granby Planning Commission meeting on July 21. It’s set to include a residential building with nine two-bedroom “Air BnB-type luxury units,” a three-bedroom townhome with a roof deck, and “a walkable mall with boutiques and restaurants,” said Wilkie, adding that Rocky Mountain Roastery is expected to into the new, purpose-built space.

Wilkie said after the planning commission meeting, a man approached him and said, “I don’t think you really care about Granby, demo-ing these buildings and letting asbestos fly all over.”

“I thought my demonstration would have appeased him. But I think sometimes you meet people who won’t be appeased,” Wilkie said.

Following the demolition, in September, Wilkie will give a second presentation to the planning commission. He hopes to break ground on the residential portion of a project that includes a second lot on the south side of Agate Avenue across the street from the Midtown Cafe. Construction on that project will start in the second quarter of 2023.

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