Please see link —> http:/www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2015/05/09/safeway-closing-9-stores-in-metro-denver.html
The Wheat Ridge Safeway at 38th & Wadsworth Blvd. store is not listed on the “hit list”, but it will be if we keep subsidizing development with tax dollars for more and more grocery stores. Especially if Wheat Ridge subsidizes a 1980’s style development with no new services, no new amenties or no new primary jobs. Oh, I forgot, that’s the best Wheat Ridge can do. I am a teacher at Wheat Ridge High School (WRHS). I’m going to start telling my high school students that when they get a “C” or lower on a test. That’s the best you can do…Sorry. 🙁
If the taxpayers subsidize this current proposed development, the free market at 38th & Wadsworth Blvd. won’t be in play, instead, it will be our tax dollars pitting one business against the other. Let the builder build with their own funds. They can build now if the want (they have the zoning and the use-by-right), but they choose to ask for a tax subsidy.
Someone asked me “How long are we supposed to wait for a development at 38th & Wadsworth Blvd?” I personally don’t mind being patient. Our demographics are changing/improving and we have a plethora of good and solid projects going on in Wheat Ridge. Maybe we need a change at City Hall with regards to how Economic Development is being handled. Maybe we need an “economic rainmaker” with regards to marketing and promotion of the site and TIF to a game changing developer. I can wait, and it sounds like many citizens feel the same way, IMHO.
The redevelopment at 20th & Depew St. in Edgewater sounds eerily similar to the redevelopment of 38th and Wadsworth Blvd. in Wheat Ridge. The difference is patience and vision. Congrats to Edgewater for striving for a win-win for their community.
Please see Denver Post link—> http:/www.denverpost.com/lakewood/ci_27777009/natural-grocer-anchor-mixed-use-development-edgewater
Quote from Edgewater (I love it!): “This is it — this our last real retail play, so we’re being extremely cautious with it and what happens there,” Stalf said. “We’ll have to live with it the next 50 years, so we have to get it right.”
Quotes from Wheat Ridge: “This is the best we can do…” or “Fifty percent of nothing is still nothing” or ” Staff has worked so hard on this project, they’ve done it all” or “We must listen to the experts, they know what’s best for us” or “the 38th & Kipling project received a TIF, so we just doubled their amount, it’s only fair.” What?? That’s their pro forma?
Wheat Ridge could have a win-win with a little more patience, vision and marketing of the site to the right developer for our community. There are developers out there who have vision and understand a sense of community.
City Council awarding $7.8 million or $6.2 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) warrants a better solution than what is being proposed by the developer and City staff at 38th & Wadsworth Blvd. New services, new amenties and/or new primary jobs warrant a TIF, NOT a 1980s style development. Wheat Ridge CAN do better. If the free market cannot financially support the current proposal, why should the taxpayers?
We CAN do better. Let’s not abuse the TIF tool for this current proposal. The developer can build at 38th and Wadsworth Blvd. right now (they have the zoning and the use-by-right), but they choose to ask for a tax subsidy. Wheat Ridge City Council can legally and ethically say NO to a TIF.
We have a plethora of great projects happening in the City right now with huge public support, except this site. And it is always easy to spend someone else’s money. We CAN do better!