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Flatiron Marketplace Owners Ask Broomfield for $33 Million in Redevelopment Effort

December 17, 2018
Flatiron Marketplace has been largely-vacant for five years, as seen in this August 2013 photo.
Flatiron Marketplace has been largely-vacant for five years, as seen in this August 2013 photo.

Broomfield officials could award $33 million in reimbursements to a developer who intends to redevelop Flatiron Marketplace — an area near Interlocken and FlatIron Crossing Mall that has sat largely vacant for years.

If it passes at the Jan. 8 city council meeting, the money would come in the form of sales and use tax rebates and improvement bonds. Reimbursements would include portions of paid sales, use and lodging taxes; incremental property taxes; service expansion fees; and other development-related incentives.

Flatiron Marketplace 2013, LP, a Texas limited partnership and owner of the property, wants to tear down buildings and construct about 890 multi-family residential units and approximately 14,000 square feet of commercial uses on 20 acres over the course of 18 years. The company paid $20.3 million for the center in 2013 in a purchase from former owner DDR.

Public infrastructure needed for the project includes streets, sidewalks, a public plaza, a public parking structure, and updated and realigned water and sanitary sewer services. A section of the U.S. 36 regional bike path also will be realigned and reconstructed.

Councilmembers David Beacom, Guylen Castriotta, Bette Erickson, Kimberly Groom, Elizabeth Law-Evans, Deven Shaff, Mike Shelton and Sharon Tessier at their Dec. 4 meeting voted to move the item to a public hearing and final vote. Councilman Kevin Kreeger voted against.

Flatiron Marketplace originally was developed between 2000 and 2002 as a retail and restaurant area, which included stores such as Nordstrom Rack, Best Buy, Office Depot and the Great Indoors. It also included a parking garage.

Most of the buildings are vacant and in poor condition after an exodus of tenants that included the Great Indoors closing in 2011 and Best Buy closing in 2015.

In exchange for the city’s multimillion-dollar reimbursement, the developer would be expected to require 10 percent of the housing units be reserved as affordable for households that earn up to 80 percent of the area median income (which for Broomfield is $89,000). The developer also will provide an easement for and reconstruction of the U.S. 36 bike path across the property.

Dave Holland, with Provident Realty Advisors, Inc. of Dallas, said the project could theoretically be completed in a considerately shorter time period, but that “a lot of things in development can happen out of our control.” Provident would manage the redevelopment, which initially was proposed in March 2017 .

Ward 4 Councilman Kevin Kreeger asked if the 18-year period, which he thought incredibly long, could be shortened.

“I think that’s a big sticking point for me,” he said. “I think it should be built much, much faster.”

A $33 million incentive package is the largest he’s seen this council award, Kreeger said, and while he wants the area redeveloped, the extended time-frame brings his support into question.

The agreement includes 18 years of vested property interest, which means one party cannot modify the plan for that length of time.

Kreeger said he would like to know more about what Broomfield would make as a city — breaking even, losing money or making money — on its investment.

Deputy City and County Manager Kevin Standbridge said the city hasn’t quantified the long-term value, but he said he would argue there is some value beyond the pure financial receipts.

This is a plan to fix a “blighted area” that is detrimental to FlatIron Crossing Mall and Interlocken, he said.

“I am very concerned about the really small percentage of equitable housing,” said Ward 2 Councilwoman Sharon Tessier.

She suggested making the affordable housing units available to those who earn 60 to 75 percent of the average median income in Broomfield, not just 80 percent.

“I don’t want to tell you how to do it, but maybe talk to the housing advisory committee to get some insights on what they’ve seen,” Tessier said. “They’re doing quite a lot of homework that suggests 20 percent housing be dedicated to more equitable pricing.”

Lincoln Property Co. of Dallas would handle property management.

Ward 2 Councilman Mike Shelton liked the idea that Broomfield wasn’t giving money up front, but would offer reimbursements after the city collected the money.

“They’d have to produce something before we gave any money back,” he said. “It’d be nice if (18 years) was shorter, but it sounds like what you’re trying to do is ensure your financial stability and look for investments.”

Standbridge, in responding to one question, said the U.S. 36 bike trail is maintained by Broomfield except for any major capital improvements. Otherwise it is maintained by Colorado Department of Transportation.

At the Jan. 8 meeting, council will hear more on specific architectural and site plans for the first of three phases.

Shelton said he looks forward to seeing the next version of plans “because the first are tremendous” and better than letting the area stay as it is.

Ward 3 Councilman Deven Shaff said he gets frequent comments from residents asking when the area will be redeveloped. The perception is that the mall is struggling, he said, even though he knows FlatIron Crossing is doing well.

Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, riosj@broomfieldenterprise.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios

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