ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – How far will $30 get you in the real estate market?
For one developer, it’s nine acres of land worth $4 million, according to Arvada city officials.
Mayor Marc Williams says almost a dozen developers were in the running for the $30 land deal before Trammell Crow, the developer responsible for Denver’s Union Station, was selected.
“It’s not like we did a sweetheart deal with one developer,” Williams said. “Everybody had the same opportunity.”
Trammell Crow will invest $70 million into a six-story building with two stories of parking on the bottom, and four stories of apartments on top.
They’ll inherit obstacles, like sewer and water issues, but they’ll get a $13 million tax break in return.
“There’s going to be a tax increment financing so that they will receive a portion of the taxes that are generated on the property,” Williams said.
The deal is being negotiated by the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority.
Arvada activist Dave Chandler, who ran against Williams for city mayor, says citizens’ concerns aren’t being taken into consideration.
Trammell Crow is “getting a free ride by not having to pay for city services the way all the rest of us do just for the sake of having this project,” Chandler said.
Chandler adds that the land is being sold for less than it’s worth.
“If the free market was allowed to work without intervention of the local city government, you’d get a much more appropriate kind of development here.”
Williams says that despite the cheap price tag, the deal isn’t the bargain it appears to be.
“My response to folks that say ‘I’ll give you $35 or $40 for it’ is, ‘Do you have the $70 million that’s going to take to produce what we want and need on this site?’ and frankly they don’t,” Williams said.