C’dale land bought for shopping center | AspenTimes.com

C’dale land bought for shopping center

John Klusmire

Crystal River Development, LLC, of Telluride has wrapped up the deal to buy 22 acres of commercial property in Carbondale, but a “big box” isn’t part of the package.

The company on Monday purchased the parcel of land from Colorado Rocky Mountain School. It fronts Highway 133.

Brian Huster, Crystal River’s managing partner, said the firm expects to build about 300,000 square feet of “shopping center and retail” space on the land, complete with “national anchors.” But he said “there’s probably not going to be a big-box” retail giant in the mix.

“The economics just aren’t there for a big retailer like Wal-Mart,” he said. “Carbondale just isn’t large enough.”

However, Huster said the shopping center’s mix of locally owned, new businesses and larger, anchor tenants should create a regional shopping center that attracts shoppers from Aspen to Glenwood.

But, he added, he doubted the operation would be able to lure shoppers to Carbondale from as far away as Rifle or the Vail Valley who frequent Glenwood’s Wal-Mart and Kmart stores.

“We don’t plan to compete with Wal-Mart,” Huster said. The stores in the shopping center will be a bit more “focused” on specific types of merchandise and other goods that appeal to shoppers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Huster said the company has already selected several of its anchor tenants, and that they are “on board.”

The long rumored land deal closed Monday morning, according to Huster and Debra Crawford, CRMS spokesperson.

The private school has had the property on the market since June 1997, said Crawford. The land is currently a hay field, but it has been zoned for commercial uses since 1979.

The 22-acre parcel is a bit irregular in shape. A portion of the land fronts Highway 133, just north of the intersection of the Highway 133 and Carbondale’s Main Street, and can be accessed from the highway. It wraps around behind several existing businesses at the busy intersection, such as the 7-Eleven, and others along the highway, which puts the south end of the parcel fronting Main Street as it stretches toward CRMS.

Crawford said the school was pleased that the land deal finally went through. She didn’t say what the school would do with the money from selling the parcel.

Neither Crawford nor Huster would reveal the price for the parcel, although the word “millions” did escape from Huster.

The company thinks the land will be a good investment. Huster said the land is one of the largest commercially zoned parcels in an existing town in the Roaring Fork Valley, which is one reason the company bought it.

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