Garfield County eyes 7th Street development ideas |

Garfield County eyes 7th Street development ideas

John Colson
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County is poised to buy a tiny sliver of land near the corner of Seventh Street and Colorado Avenue, in between a parking lot and a Mexican restaurant, that may one day become a multi-level parking garage.

And officials may soon conclude that their best option for building new county offices is on land the county already owns.

The land being purchased is two city lots from the original township of Glenwood Springs, immediately adjacent to a parking lot that is jointly owned by the county and the city of Glenwood Springs.

Currently owned by the King Family Revocable Living Trust, the parcel has been subject to negotiations that ended recently with an agreement on price, said County Manager Ed Green.

County officials would not divulge the price, Green said, because the deal has yet to be finalized.

Green said a recent discussion between the county commissioners and the Glenwood Springs City Council centered around the idea that the parcel, combined with the jointly owned parking lot, one day could be the site of a parking garage, although no decisions were made.

The purchase is part of a larger move to build on some of the open property along Seventh Street, including the possibility that the county employees’ parking lot behind the Garfield County Courthouse may one day be developed.

Green said the commissioners are thinking about using the property to house a new justice center, because the 9th Judicial District has outgrown its quarters in the historic courthouse building.

Or, he said, the land could be used to build a new county administration building, to house the offices of the clerk and recorder, the treasurer and the assessor. The elected officials in charge of those departments all say they need larger quarters.

One outstanding issue is the costs involved, Green said.

He said it would cost roughly $12.8 million to build new county offices, while the preliminary cost estimates for a new justice center are approximately $14.7 million.

Plus, he said, the county needs to keep in mind that it must replace the 50-some parking spaces that would be lost, and that “security concerns” would prohibit construction of an underground parking garage beneath a justice center.

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