Rifle hoping to attract big boxes too | PostIndependent.com

Rifle hoping to attract big boxes too

Heidi RiceWestern Garfield County Staff
Rifle's Super Wal-Mart opened in 2003.
Post Independent

RIFLE – The new Glenwood Meadows retail center may offer a slew of new big-box and smaller businesses in Glenwood Springs, but Rifle can expect to see a lot more commercial development itself, according to one major developer in the city.And while Rifle expects the Meadows will have some effect on its sales tax revenue, its own commercial growth looks promising.Adam Rudolph, vice president of The David Glimcher Company based in Columbus, Ohio, said his company has a lot of plans for Rifle in the future.”We’re just getting started – we’ve got a lot left to do,” Rudolph said.The David Glimcher Company was responsible for bringing the Wal-Mart Supercenter to Rifle two years ago as well as developing the property for the Rifle Commons shopping plaza under the name of Rifle Retail Ventures LLC.The plaza currently houses a variety of businesses including Starbucks, Butcher Block, ACA Financial, Coldwell Banker, Rent-a-Center, Radio Shack, The Rock gym, Movie Gallery, Lovely Hair and Nails salon, Rocky Mountain Cash and the Sleep Shop. The Grease Monkey is set to open soon in the plaza and a La Quinta hotel is under construction.

The company also owns 16 acres west of the Wal-Mart site and is looking at either another big-box retailer or dividing the property into smaller lots.”Originally the plans were for another big-box store,” said Matt Sturgeon, city planning director. “But I think they’re looking at all options, from big boxes, middle boxes and little boxes.”Sturgeon classified a “small” or “middle” box store to a retailer such as Staples, Petco, an Old Navy outlet or a Ross Stores, Inc.According to Rudolph, the company may divide the 16-acre parcel if it doesn’t attract a big-box retailer.”We’re thinking of chopping it up into individual 1-acre parcels,” Rudolph said. The David Glimcher Company also owns 180 acres behind the McDonald’s restaurant on Taughenbaugh Boulevard. The property is commonly known as the “Powers Ranch.”Both properties could be the site of another big-box, middle- or little-box stores or a combination of residential and commercial buildings.

“We’ve been talking to a lot of people, including three or four big-box stores and some restaurants,” Rudolph said.While negotiations are taking place, the company is also waiting to see what the city does with infrastructure – including the two planned roundabouts – one at the east and west ramps of Interstate 70 and another at the intersection of Airport Road and Taughenbaugh Boulevard.”Right now it’s in the city’s hands to try and get the interchange and the infrastructure,” Rudolph said.How will the Meadows affect Rifle?The commercial development that has occurred in Rifle over the past two years, lead by Wal-Mart, has already meant a big boost in sales tax revenue.

“Before Wal-Mart, we had basically dwindled down our reserves,” said finance director Nancy Black. “We were doing a lot of negative spending because our demand for services was growing faster than our sales tax revenues.”Revenue figures in August 2005 show a 24 percent increase this year over last, with much of the revenue coming from sales and use tax.”Use tax has seen a 43 percent increase with all the building going on,” Black said.The opening of the Meadows in Glenwood Springs may affect Rifle’s revenue somewhat, but how much is not known.”I expect them to affect us somehow, but how much, I don’t know,” Black said. “We did take that into account in 2005 when doing our budget for 2006. I assume it will have some kind of impact on us – at least initially – but we won’t know until January or February. Time will tell.”If another big-box store should come to Rifle, it would definitely enhance the city’s revenues.”It would certainly add to our sales tax revenues,” Black said. “The city is utilizing these sales tax funds to maintain the current level of city services.””It would certainly add to our sales tax revenues,” Black said. “The city is utilizing these sales tax funds to maintain the current level of city services.”

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