By HJ Stalf and Laura Keegan
The City of Edgewater is currently in an RFPQ (request for proposal/qualification) process for sale of City Hall, 2401 Sheridan Blvd., and the Old City Hall/Fire Station, at 25th and Gray. This follows years of consideration of how to repurpose these properties when we constructed the new Civic Center, now well under way, with an anticipated opening date in the fall of 2018. This RFPQ process allows us to pick not the just highest, but the best bidder.
As part of the election approving the Civic Center, the community was assured that the existing buildings would be sold for private development to return these critically located properties to the tax rolls. Although Edgewater is one of the few communities in Colorado without a local property tax, our schools, fire district, library and county government do and will benefit from these sales and redevelopments.
Council worked the past two to five years adopting land use controls, decreasing height allowance on Sheridan to 25 feet (approximately the height of the current building), limiting density, requiring stringent parking requirements and reviewing specific uses of properties in C-1 zone districts – a direct reflection of council’s interpretation of the “community will” expressed during the current real estate cycle. This resulted in an RFPQ that’s severely limiting in the eyes of the developers expressing interest. In fact, most indicated they wouldn’t pursue these properties given our limitations. Most development teams are accustomed to Denver’s more open zoning and don’t see easy profits here. Staff has actively recruited developers to work within our structure for all sites seeking redevelopment. We believe we’ve attracted a few interested parties with a willingness to work within our land use structure and who have a strong history of quality developments and interesting mixes of tenants.
Edgewater has some control over this process given that we own these properties. Other privately held properties can be redeveloped within these same guidelines, but control of the actual tenant mix is further removed and we have little or no voice in those redevelopments.
For 24th and Sheridan, and 25th and Gray, we hope to have a choice of developments that will be shared publicly after preliminary discussions are held upon submission of proposals at the end of April. We hope council receives information by early June and can then discuss pursuing those concepts. Actual details of specific tenants and terms of any sale are held in confidence until such time an actual purchase and sale agreement is presented for public consideration, prior to any vote to accept a contract on either property.
It’s anticipated a sale may close this fall. Contract(s) will be scheduled for closing approximately 30 days after the city and library move their offices, ensuring we’re not prematurely forced out of these facilities.
HJ Stalf is Edgewater City Manager. Contact Edgewater Mayor Laura Keegan at email@example.com or 303-232-0745.