Ross lawsuit against city of Glenwood Springs dismissed in Ninth Judicial District Court | PostIndependent.com

Ross lawsuit against city of Glenwood Springs dismissed in Ninth Judicial District Court

A few patrons walk through the Glenwood Mall Springs which has struggled to keep tenants for years, with most of the store fronts empty.
Kyle Mills / Post Independent

Ross Dress For Less’ lawsuit against the city of Glenwood Springs challenging its implementation of an Urban Renewal Authority at the Glenwood Springs Mall has been dismissed.

In the ruling, 9th Judicial District Court Judge Denise Lynch “dismissed the amended complaint in its entirety with prejudice” according to a recent city press release.

A statement prepared by real estate communications group ReComm Global on Ross’ behalf, stated that Ross strongly disagreed with the court’s decision.

“The city passed two resolutions declaring the Glenwood Springs Mall blighted and forming a taxpayer-funded Urban Renewal Authority to help the mall owner, Frank Woods, get out of his contractual obligations to Ross that have been in place since 2012,” the statement read. “Ross maintains that the city’s use of governmental power and taxpayer money to enable the mall owner’s attempt to breach its contract … with Ross is abusive, unfair and contrary to Colorado law.”

The statement also alleged, “Ross was never given notice of nor an opportunity to be heard at the hearings before the City Council on the resolutions despite Colorado law requiring such notice.”

At the Dec. 6 City Council meeting, councilors in consecutive 6-0 votes approved two Urban Renewal Authority Resolutions. The first found that one or more blighted areas existed in the city and the need for the redevelopment and rehabilitation of those areas in accordance with Colorado Urban Renewal Law. The second approved the West Glenwood Springs Urban Renewal Authority Plan.

That plan, prepared by Denver based real estate advisory firm Ricker Cunningham for City Council found that the primary mall building was “approximately 90 percent vacant, compared to the citywide commercial vacancy rate of 3 percent.”

Additionally, the report concluded that the lease agreement between the mall and its anchor tenant Ross Dress For Less extended “extraordinary control” to Ross, which made “it all-but impossible” for Woods to freely manage the mall properties.

“The city is pleased with the court’s decision as it paves the way for the city, the URA, the mall owner and tenants to work together on revitalizing not only the West Glenwood Mall but the whole neighborhood,” City Manager Debra Figueroa stated following the ruling.

ReComm Global, however, asserted, “Ross will appeal the district court’s decision and is currently assessing additional legal options to address Glenwood Springs’ governmental interference with its private contractual and property rights.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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