By Kate Mulcahy
September brought exciting news: movement on Edgewater’s long-standing albatross, 20th and Depew. A local developer, Littleton Capital Partners (LCP), came before council, outlined ideas for redeveloping the site, and council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the sale of this city-owned property.
All problems were solved: 20th and Depew was sold; the abandoned piece of property would be redeveloped; and Edgewater residents would have new local businesses.
So why has nothing changed, again?
I have come to realize selling this property is like selling a home (only on a much bigger, more complicated level). The city is in a “Review Period” with LCP which is similar to the “under contract” status of selling a home. Meaning, we are still in the process of selling the property. Yet, the usual month-long under contract and $5,000 earnest money is now a 180-day review period with $50,000 earnest money.
During this time, homebuyers are busy completing tasks for a successful sale: an inspection, confirming the home loan, and planning what goes where when they move in. LCP has a similar to-do list.
Right now, LCP is inspecting the property to ensure a good investment. Instead of an hour-long inspection of a roof or foundation, LCP needs months to inspect and evaluate a wide range of elements including utilities, zoning, city code and much more.
They are also confirming their financial status. Like homebuyers, developers don’t usually walk in with cash to buy a property. They too have to get a loan of sorts. In this case, LCP is using this time to confirm with their investors that they are ready and willing to invest in this property.
LCP is also planning what to put where when they move in. They need to know what tenants are a good fit for Edgewater. Zoning and parking codes can have a big impact on the type of tenants that can go into this development, not to mention the fact the tenants need to express interest. Despite how wonderful it would be, we can’t make any specific restaurant or store come unless they want to. (If that were possible, I’m pretty sure Trader Joe’s would be all over northwest metro Denver.) According to the contract, LCP must have at least 70 percent of the tenant space filled before the city will sell.
So what’s our status? Under contract. Have we been here before? Yes. The city has been under contract with a few other developers. So the question is will this contract actually go through this time? It’s looking really good: the city and council are working hard to ensure there are no code or zoning barriers to the project; the developers are confident in their investors; and there is interest from prospective tenants.
May is the deadline of this contract. Will we close then? Maybe. Meanwhile, we are optimistic, and council is happy to keep you posted.
Contact Edgewater City Councilwoman email@example.com and 303-870-8659.