Home Depot talks to Carbondale | AspenTimes.com

Home Depot talks to Carbondale

Gina GuarascioCarbondale correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE Home Depot representatives said Tuesday night that the chain could bring Carbondale more retail sales tax revenues than other options for the Crystal River Market Place. The 24-acre site, off of Highway 133 in Carbondale, has been the subject of debate for years as residents have been divided over what type of development would fit best there. Rich Schierburg of Peregrine Development Group, the potential developer of the site, brought Home Depot representatives to a community meeting at Carbondale Town Hall where more than 100 people gathered to see what the chain had to offer.Schierburg has worked with the town for about 14 months, trying to figure out a development plan that works for him and the town.He said the town has to decide how much revenue it needs from the site, which is the largest commercially zoned property left in town. If the Home Depot plan (Option 3), fails, Schierburg said he would develop the site with the more residentially focused plan (Option B) the town’s Economic Roadmap Group had recommended.The Roadmap Group’s “preferred development option,” or Option 1, has not proven to be feasible from a market perspective, he maintained. That plan included three junior anchors, and Schierburg said none of those types of chains have shown interest in the site.According to Schierburg’s presentation, Option 3 would bring in about $1.2 million in new sales tax revenues to the town. Option 2 would bring in somewhere around $600,000 a year.”I’m not here to tell you if you need $600,000 a year or $1.2 million a year,” Schierburg said. “You’ve got to decide if that extra $600,000 is important. Once that land is gone to another use, it’s gone.”Home Depot’s director of real estate, James Spitzer, fielded a variety of questions after the presentation, ranging from how the chain could address the carbon emissions that would come from all of the people driving to shop there, to how the store could possibly find up to 150 employees.”There isn’t a job shortage here, there’s an employee shortage,” said Carbondale resident and Roadmap Group co-chairwoman Ro Mead.Spitzer said the company is willing to invest in affordable housing, make the store as “green” as possible and address any other concerns of the community regarding the scale and aesthetics of the building. Home Depot has contracted the services of the Rocky Mountain Institute, based in Old Snowmass, to try to come up with a “green” design for the building. Trustees made no decisions Tuesday but plan to compile a list of follow-up questions to forward to the developer and Home Depot.

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