Intersection dispute has Meadows proceeding with caution |

Intersection dispute has Meadows proceeding with caution

Glenwood Meadows developer Robert Macgregor says it’s not fair that the city government is trying to get his development company to pay more than three times the original estimate to build the 8th Street and Midland Avenue intersection.

The impasse between Macgregor and the city has already pushed back the starting construction date for Meadows, which has, in turn, delayed its planned opening date from August 2005 to November 2005.

Glenwood Meadows, which has received approvals to be built along the south side of west Midland Avenue between the Community Center and the city’s Municipal Operations Center, is expected to include Target and Lowe’s stores.

The delay could be critical for the Target store.

Unlike Lowe’s, which will open whenever construction is complete, Target only opens stores three days per year ” one day each in August, November and April.

More delays could cause Target to open in April 2006, causing it to miss the 2005 Christmas shopping season.

“We’re talking about five months of lost revenue,” Macgregor said.

Meadows is expected to attract thousands of shoppers, and the city required a series of road and intersection improvements as part of the development approvals.

The original cost estimate for the 8th and Midland intersection was $250,000. It was raised to $570,000 when Meadows developers and the city agreed to add a street deicing heater to the plan.

On Dec. 19, however, City Council decided it wants the intersection to have a traffic signal and be regraded. The estimated cost for that plan is $1.8 million ” three times the most recent Glenwood Meadows estimate.

If the city insists on the $1.8 million plan for the 8th and Midland intersection, Macgregor said he might refuse to pay for the agreed-upon four-laning project on west Midland Avenue, forcing the city to pay for it.

In the original annexation agreement between Macgregor and the city, Meadows developers agreed to pay $3.25 million in road improvements.

The money was earmarked for the 8th and Midland improvements, roundabouts at the Interstate 70 114 interchange and other improvements. But Macgregor said that tab has already risen to $4.25 million ” and the increased cost of the 8th and Midland intersection could bring it over $6 million.

“I think there’s a grave danger here of smothering the golden goose before it’s even laid its egg,” Macgregor said.

“What’s clear to me is what they want isn’t part of the agreement,” Macgregor said. “I think the city’s preferred alternative was a lot more expensive than what was illustrated.”

Macgregor said the increased cost of the intersection doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of a $50 million development, but it could have a large impact.

“I’m already at $4 million to $4.5 million, that’s fine, but what I can’t do is come up with $6 million,” Macgregor said of the estimates for street improvements. “I think everybody’s working hard to get it resolved. I wish it could be quicker.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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