By the numbers |

By the numbers

I would like to try to clarify three vague and misleading pieces of information I have seen recently in Crystal River Marketplace ads.

1. The CRMP boasts projected sales tax revenues of $1.4 million dollars annually. To achieve this, the shopping center will have to generate $69 million per year, based on 252,000 square feet of retail space, or $274 per square foot with the main anchor generating sales of at least $34.25 million.

CRMP developers say their sales will be drawn primarily from the Aspen to Rifle region, roughly 65,000 people. If so, every man, woman and child from Aspen to Rifle would have to spend $1,061 per year at CRMP. Is it realistic to think that regional shoppers will come to Carbondale with Target and Lowe’s slated for Glenwood Springs, Glenwood’s existing Wal-Mart and Rifle’s Super Wal-Mart, not to mention Basalt’s plans for commercial growth at Willits?

2. CRMP ads also stress the importance of preserving potential local sales. Consider this: if CRMP fails to attract regional shoppers in the necessary numbers because those shoppers are shopping at their own big boxes, the burden would fall increasingly on Carbondale citizens to keep CRMP viable.

Therefore, theoretically, every man, woman and child in Carbondale (5,509 citizens) would have to spend $12,525 annually to keep CRMP alive.

3. CRMP ads say that by 2006 the town will have a shortfall of $700,000. This figure comes from theoretical budgets projected by town staff for the best of economic times, including any capital projects.

In fact, during these actual times of economic downturn and resulting belt-tightening, realistic town shortfall numbers are more like 3 to 5 percent per year, or about $231,000 by 2006. Here is one example of CRMP developers using misleading facts.

These are just a few of the lingering questions surrounding this project. I am in favor of commercial growth in Carbondale; however, I don’t believe that this project, in its present form, is the answer to our town’s needs. I believe this project as presented could be a mistake that we would have to live with for years to come.

Please vote no on July 15. Absentee and early voting will continue through July 11.

Ed Cortez


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