C’dale trustee talks to Home Depot | PostIndependent.com

C’dale trustee talks to Home Depot

by Lynn Burton
Post Independent Staff

The Home Depot is eying the Crystal River Marketplace property, according to Carbondale Trustee Andy Montoya.

Montoya said he met with Home Depot representatives, Crystal River Marketplace developer Brian Huster and Huster’s attorneys last week to discuss the retail chain’s interest in building a store in Carbondale.

“They asked if I think the town is amenable to a Home Depot,” Montoya said. “I referred them to the election, and said the town will evaluate projects on their own merit.”

Montoya said Home Depot representatives told him they also met with two other trustees last week, but the representatives did not tell him the names.

Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig said he has met with “close to 100” people since the Crystal River Marketplace development was defeated at the polls in July, but wouldn’t confirm whether he has talked to Home Depot. “People ask for confidentiality,” Hassig said.

Hassig stressed he attended those meetings as a private citizen, and was not acting as Carbondale’s mayor. “I haven’t received any direction from the board,” Hassig said.

Representatives for Huster and Home Depot were not available for comment.

Carbondale residents have been wondering what will happen with the 24-acre Crystal River Marketplace property, located on Highway 133, since voters defeated the project 787-601 in July.

The 250,000-square-foot shopping center was designed with space for a 125,000-square-foot big-box store, although no retailer committed to the project.

The property remains zoned for commercial development, which under the town’s existing ordinances would allow a “big box” store such as Home Depot.

The Home Depot, based in Atlanta, Ga., bills itself as the world’s largest home improvement retailer, operating more than 1,500 stores and subsidiaries in all 50 states, Canada and Mexico.

The Home Depot operates 18 stores in Colorado. It opened 78 stores in 25 states since March, including outlets in Avon and Montrose.

Montoya said Home Depot representatives didn’t indicate their level of interest in building a store at Crystal River Marketplace. “I have no idea why they called me,” he said.

Hassig said he has talked in the last two months with nationally known real estate developers, and individuals who supported or opposed Crystal River Marketplace.

One common question Hassig hears is whether anything can be learned from the election, which brought out a record number of Carbondale voters.

“People ask, `If we take a fly at this, what are the issues?'” Hassig said. “They want to know what the community wants to see out there.”

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534


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