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MEETING

APRIL 6, 2010

AGENDA

Date:

March 30, 2010

To:

Commissioners of the Urban Renewal Authority

From:

Clay Benson, Chair

Subject:

Special Meeting April 6, 11:00 a.m.

City Hall – Pikes Peak Room

107 N. Nevada Ave, Second Floor

Colorado Springs, CO

Agenda:

1.

Approval of March 18th CSURA meeting minutes

2.

Copper Ridge at Northgate Urban Renewal Plan – Anne Ricker

3.

Other Matters: Hente reappointment

4.

Adjournment

MINUTES

On the 6th day of April, 2010 at 11:00 a.m., the Commissioners of the Urban Renewal Authority of the City of Colorado Springs met in Special session at 107 N. Nevada Avenue, at City Hall in the Pikes Peak Conference Room, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In attendance were:

COMMISSIONERS:

Clay Benson

Michael Collins

Dottie Harman

Jim Kin

John Olson

Rosemarie Venezia

Susan Wood-Ellis

ABSENT:

Scott Hente

Judy Noyes

Also in attendance:

Lisa Bigelow

Economic Development

Bob Cope

Business Development

Nancy Johnson

Assistant City Manager

Gary Erickson

Northgate Properties, LLC

Alex Brown

Northgate Properties, LLC

Charles Murphy

Downtown Partnership

Kathleen Krayer

City of Colorado Springs

Tim Mitros

City of Colorado Springs

Larry Larsen

City Land Use Review

Tom Cone

Oliver Real Estate

Kevin Kratt

Kratt Commercial Properties

Chris Jenkins

Nor'wood Development

Anne Ricker

Leland Consulting Group

Val Snyder

Street Car Feasibility Task Force

Rich Laden

Gazette

Ingrid Richter

Incompass Development

Ron Butlin

Downtown Partnership

Carrie Bartow

Clifton Gunderson CPA

Dan Hughes

CSURA Legal Counsel

Mar-K. Burnett

CSURA Staff

Chuck Miller

CSURA Staff

Jim Rees

CSURA Staff

Chairman Benson called the meeting to order at 11:02 a.m. and thanked Authority members and visitors for attending the special meeting.

Item #1 – Approval of Minutes

Motion was made by Commissioner Collins, seconded by Commissioner Harman, that the Minutes of the Regular meeting, held on March 18, 2010, be adopted as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Item #2 – Copper Ridge at Northgate Urban Renewal Plan – Anne Ricker

Ms. Ricker began her presentation with a summary of the Copper Ridge at Northgate Market Analysis. She covered the economic conditions, regional trends, the City’s fiscal portfolio, competitive threats and overall prospects for this project. Leland Consulting Group’s recommendation was to begin a timeline for the project in 2013, extending over 2 phases of development. The original market analysis done by Jeff Green recommended that the first phase should be the power center and the second phase the regional center/mall. Leland recommends switching the phases and starting with the regional center/mall. The reasoning behind their recommendation is centered on the possibility of tenant competition with another urban renewal project, University Village Colorado and opening without a retail destination draw could give a nearby proposed development a head start in becoming the regional center.

Ms. Ricker also reviewed the site analysis for the project including demographics, access, visibility, traffic volume and aesthetic attributes along with surrounding land uses. She explained that the trade area that their analysis covered extended from northern central Colorado Springs to just outside of Castle Rock, Colorado. She also noted that some of the trade area would be overlap with customers shopping at the Park Meadows development on the southern boundary of Denver.

The next presentation by Leland Consulting Group was for the Copper Ridge at Northgate Urban Renewal Plan. Ms. Ricker explained that the Plan had been written to specify the responsibilities of the Urban Renewal Authority as well as those of the City of Colorado Springs. She noted that there were specific responsibilities of the Authority as set forth in the Colorado State Statutes that were identified in the Plan. She reviewed development objectives that included a retail center and the extension of Powers Boulevard to I-25. The public improvements and facilities section stated that the Authority may cooperate with other entities to install improvements or demolish buildings and combine public and private funding to accomplish the vision of the Plan. The Plan further states that the public investment objectives include a partnership be formed through agreements between the developer(s), City, CSURA, affected taxing entities and a special district.

Extensive discussion ensued among Authority members. The general consensus was to limit the responsibility of CSURA to only the extension of Powers Boulevard. Commissioner Olson boldly expressed his concerns over the consequences of extending Powers and labeling pristine land as blighted through the use of Urban Renewal on undeveloped acreage.

Commissioner Kin stated that he had serious concerns over the true feasibility of the Copper Ridge development. Commissioner Wood-Ellis felt that the community was not able to support two major retail centers so close together (referring to the proposed retail development at Interquest). She asked to hear from Mr. Chris Jenkins from Nor’wood Development and from Kevin Kratt, University Village Colorado developer. Mr. Jenkins expressed his concern over the fact that the extension of Powers Boulevard is a Colorado of Department of Transportation (CDOT) project and that is where the funding should come from. He also questioned why major high-end retailers would place another outlet 40 miles from where they are currently operating in Park Meadows. He stated that his research showed that most of the high-end retailers were hunkered down, reorganizing and attempting to weather the economic storm; they are not looking at expanding their stores at this time.

Mr. Chuck Miller interjected that the Copper Ridge at Northgate Urban Renewal Plan should reflect exactly what the Authority wants City Council to consider.

Mr. Kevin Kratt, Kratt Commercial Properties, stated that he considered Copper Ridge or any other retail development as direct competition for leasing up and retention of retailers to his project, University Village Colorado. He felt that if any of the major retailers in his development were to set up shop in another location sales would be diminished resulting in lower sales tax and tax increment financing (TIF) which is the revenue stream for the payment on the bonds for his development.

Mr. Gary Erickson, Northgate Properties, LLC, stated that even though the Jeff Green Report suggested that Costco or Lowe’s would be a possibility in the Copper Ridge project, he has had no contact with either retailer. He feels that neither are a good fit for his project, especially from a design standpoint. He stated that one of the goals of the Copper Ridge at Northgate development is to create a “shopping experience” not just a retail shopping center. He felt that there really is noo concern over cannibalism of tenants as his project is more focused on a very different clientele than the surrounding retail centers. He further stated that CDOT has no funding to extend Powers Boulevard at this time. He feels the only way to get the project accomplished is to self fund it and then request reimbursement for the cost of connecting Powers Boulevard to Interstate 25 from CDOT at a later time. He clearly reiterated that no TIF will be used towards the retail development. It will only be used to build Powers and that is in agreement with City Council. Mr. Alex Brown, Copper Ridge Finance Consultant, supported the fact that TIF was to be used for Powers only. He stated that other funding sources will be used for the development of the Copper Ridge project.

Ms. Nancy Strong, downtown resident, shared her concerns over sprawl and cannibalism. She feels the City should not be getting involved in a project that would compete with established retailers. She felt this project was not a good use of urban renewal and asked how CSURA could approve the road only and not the entire project area.

Mr. Chuck Murphy, representing the Downtown Partnership, stated that they are unanimously opposed to the Copper Ridge project and feel it is not within the mission of urban renewal. He stated there are many areas of Colorado Springs in decay that need to be redeveloped; not open green field space. He asked CSURA members “What is the best decision for Colorado Spring? What is the right thing to do?”

Mr. Bob Cope and Lisa Bigelow shared that Fred Crowley, UCCS economic analyst, has stated that Colorado Springs needs the stimulation of a large retail high-end development. It was further stated that Copper Ridge is not a good fit for development on Interquest. Both Cope and Bigelow reiterated that the sole purpose of Urban Renewal is to fund the extension of Powers and nothing else. The project area has been annexed into the City and therefore City services must be extended to the area. Mr. Cope stated that without the Powers connection sales tax is estimated to be around $95 million and with the extension the sales tax revenue should be in the range of $141 million. He felt it would be much easier to meet the City service needs with the increased revenue than without. Mr. Cope touched on many of the other concerns of Authority members concerning the project. Ms. Bigelow commented that City staff has already been in talks with many of the taxing entities involved in the project area. School District 20 and El Paso County both support the project development.

Chairperson Benson stated that there were three options for Authority members to consider concerning the Copper Ridge at Northgate Urban Renewal Plan:

1. Modify the Plan and approve it

2. Modify the Plan and defer it

3. Modify the Plan and reject it

Commissioner Kin wanted City Council to know that he feels that the Copper Ridge project is not a proper use of urban renewal. He has not heard enough information that convinces him that the recapture of lost sales tax outside of city limits is viable. He feels that the community should be involved in this issue. He questions whether there is enough corresponding economic benefit to complete the Powers connection to I-25. Commissioner Wood-Ellis stated that she is prepared to vote on the Plan. She is not pleased that the right-of-way (ROW) will be lost in 2018 when the other area developers have dedicated their portion of the ROW. City Staff stated that the other developers have agreements that state that they will donate their portion of the ROW when their project construction begins.

Commissioner Harman wants the Urban Renewal Plan to reflect exactly what the CSURA members want City Council to consider. Commissioner Venezia is in support of the Urban Renewal Plan will cast her vote accordingly.

Chairperson Benson asked Authority members if they can agree that the Plan needs to clearly state that TIF will only be used for the extension of Powers Boulevard.

There being for further discussion Commissioner Kin presented:

RESOLUTION NO. 1694

THE COLORADO SPRINGS URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY RECOMMENDS THAT THE COLORADO SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL NOT USE URBAN RENEWAL AS A FINANCE MECHANISM FOR THE COPPER RIDGE AT NORTHGATE PROJECT AND EXTENSION OF POWERS BOULEVARD TO INTERSTATE 25

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, THAT:

That recommendation is made by CSURA that the Colorado Springs City Council not use Urban Renewal as a financing mechanism for the Copper Ridge project and the extension of Powers Boulevard to I-25.

Motion was made by Commissioner Kin, seconded by Commissioner Harman, that Resolution # 1694 be adopted.

Upon a call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Clay Benson

Michael Collins

Dottie Harman

Jim Kin

John Olson

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

Rosemarie Venezia

The motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Commissioner Kin then proposed the following resolution:

RESOLUTION NO. 1695

THE COLORADO SPRINGS URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY RECOMMENDS TO DISAPPROVE THE COPPER RIDGE AT NORTHGATE URBAN RENEWAL PLAN AS DRAFTED

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, THAT:

That recommendation is made by CSURA that the Copper Ridge at Northgate Urban Renewal Plan be disapproved as drafted.

Motion was made by Commissioner Kin, seconded by Commissioner Harman, that Resolution # 1695 be adopted.

Upon a call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Clay Benson

Michael Collins

Dottie Harman

Jim Kin

John Olson

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

Rosemarie Venezia

The motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Commissioner Kin then proposed the following resolution:

RESOLUTION NO. 1696

THE COLORADO SPRINGS URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY UNDERSTANDS THAT CITY COUNCIL HAS LEGAL AUTHOIRTY TO DESIGNATE THE COPPER RIDGE AT NORTHGATE PROJECT AS AN URBAN RENEWAL DISTRICT AND TO ADOPT A DEVELOPMENT PLAN ON SUCH; WE THEREFORE RECOMMEND THAT CSURA’S ROLE BE LIMITED SOLELY TO THE COLLECTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF TAX INCREMENT FUNDING (TIF). ADDITIONALY, ALL TIF FUNDS WILL BE USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE POWERS BOULEVARD EXTENSION TO INTERSTATE 25.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, THAT:

That recommendation is made by CSURA that the role of CSURA in the Copper Ridge at Northgate project be limited to the collection and distribution of TIF funds and that the TIF funding will be used solely to complete the Powers/I-25 connection.

Motion was made by Commissioner Kin, seconded by Commissioner Olson, that Resolution # 1696 be adopted.

Upon a call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Clay Benson

Michael Collins

Dottie Harman

Jim Kin

John Olson

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

Rosemarie Venezia

The motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Item #3 – Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Commissioners, motion was made by Commissioner Harman, seconded by Commissioner Collins, to adjourn the meeting. Upon unanimous vote, the meeting was declared adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

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