Carbondale advances senior housing, new City Market and other major development projects
January 9, 2019
The first meeting of the year for the Carbondale Board of Trustees Tuesday kicked off what looks to be a busy year of development for the town.
Various board approvals cleared the way for major work to begin on the Sopris Lodge senior living facility, the new City Market grocery store and the First Bank building.
The board approved a site improvement agreement and water usage rights plan for the 78-unit assisted living facility known as Sopris Lodge. That means the developer can now apply for building permits and begin preliminary site work.
The agreement includes improvements to the Second Street sidewalk, requirements for the developer to build and maintain a public trail, and irrigation and drainage plans. The project is to be built on land accessed via Second Street, but situated between Second and Fourth Streets east of Town Hall and north of the Rio Grande Trail.
The plan, as presented, was defined in coordination with the future neighbors of the Sopris Lodge, the town, and with RFTA, which needed to grant licenses for the developers to work on the Rio Grande Trail — part of the historic railroad corridor that is legally railbanked for possible future rail reactivation.
It has taken years for the project to get to this stage due to the complexity of the area and the various stakeholders. The town approved the development concept in February 2018.
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In addition to the town and neighborhood rules, RFTA also had to be involved and still needs to complete signed agreements. And, the Nieslanik family, former owners of the property, needed to reach a livestock easement agreement with the developers to drive cattle across the property. That arrangement is outside the town's purview.
"We spent a lot of time on Second Street, with the neighborhoods, with [Public Works Director Kevin Schorzman], with the town," Project Manager Terry Claassen said.
"From the conceptual stage last February to now, it has come a long way. It's fully engineered and ready to go in the best possible alignment," Claassen said.
Developer Rocky Mountain Senior Housing has submitted building permits for the town's review.
"Even before the building permits are issued, you could be doing some grading and site work and there's some drainage work which needs to be done," Town Manager Jay Harrington said during the Tuesday night town board meeting.
Once the improvements are secured and the agreements are executed, they could start that phase of the project, Harrington said.
Also Tuesday, the Carbondale board approved the partial release of $680,000 for Kroger to begin site improvements on the lot west of Highway 133 where the new City Market will be built. Harrington said the new store likely won't be ready to open until 2020.
The board also released $107,000 for the planned First Bank development, which will also be part of the future complex where the new grocery store is going in.
"It's good to see it legitimately moving forward," Trustee Ben Bohmfalk said. "I think when we see progress like this, it feels much more tangible."