City OKs $258M in­cen­tive pack­age for pro­ject by I-25

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By The Love­land Re­porter-Her­ald

Love­land City Coun­cil mem­bers Tues­day voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove a 30-year, $258 mil­lion in­cen­tive pack­age for a mixe­duse life­style cen­ter that will be built on both sides of In­ter­state 25 north of Cross­roads Boule­vard over the next five years.

Coun­cil mem­bers said the city needs to act now to bring in the de­vel­op­ment pro­ject be­fore an­other mu­nic­i­pal­ity does. The Brands at The Ranch and Brands West is a $572 mil­lion pro­ject with 2.3 mil­lion square feet of re­tail, restau­rants, en­ter­tain­ment and hous­ing. The city’s in­cen­tive pack­age con­sists en­tirely of fee waivers and re­bates for sales tax for the re­tail­ers as they open.

City Coun­cil mem­bers dis­cussed the risk of the new cen­ter hurt­ing ex­ist­ing re­tail shops; how long it would take the city to earn a re­turn on its in­vest­ment in the in­cen­tive pack­age; and the prop­erty tax rev­enue and jobs the de­vel­op­ment would pump into Love­land.

De­vel­oper Martin Lind urged city lead­ers to take ac­tion be­fore other cities lure those potential re­tail­ers — and their tax rev­enue — away. He cited John­stown lur­ing sport­ing goods gi­ant Scheels with sim­i­lar in­cen­tives, which he said led to an­other sport­ing goods store chang­ing its mind about build­ing in Love­land.

“John­stown, Tim­nath, Wind­sor, Mead are all pray­ing this will be re­jected,” said Lind.

The in­cen­tive pack­age passed 8-0. Coun­cil mem­ber Joan Shaf­fer was ab­sent.

“This is a huge win for Love­land,” said John Fogle, a coun­cil­man who voted “ab­so­lutely” on the in­cen­tives. “We fought the good fight on Scheels and we lost. We fought the good fight on Costco, and we lost. … We haven’t been in the game for a long time, and now we are.”

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