City council kills $30 land deal in Arvada

ARVADA, Colo. — Nearly eight months after a controversial land deal to sell nine acres of prime real estate next to a light rail station to a developer for $30 was exposed, the plan is dead.

Just before midnight Monday, the Arvada City Council voted, 4-3, to reject the Preliminary Development Plan that would have allowed the project to moved forward.

The plan, officially titled Olde Town Residences, proposed a six-story structure consisting of a two-story parking garage topped with four floors that would have included 256 apartments.

Controversy focused on the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority’s plan to sell nine acres of public land, valued by the Jefferson County Assessor at nearly $6 million, to developer Trammel Crow for $30.

The developer was also going to get $13 million in taxpayer subsidies through a sales and property tax rebate until 2034.

Arvada for All the People, a citizens group opposed to the apartment complex plan, applauded the council’s vote.

“For citizens concerned about the history and character of their community, for regular folks who want fiscal responsibility and openness from local government, and for dedicated residents wanting smart and balanced growth, this kind of effort that impacts the ambitions of a powerful agency like the Urban Renewal Authority is truly a David and Goliath story,” Dave Chandler said.

Council members who voted no cited a concern over a reduction in the number of parking spots per unit and the structure’s incompatibility with the character and ambiance of Olde Town Arvada’s historic retail and entertainment area.

Voting against approving the PDP were council members John Marriott, Nancy Ford, Bob Fifer and David Jones.

Voting in favor were Mayor Marc Williams, Mark McGoff and Dot Wright.

“The Arvada Urban Renewal Authority‘s board of commissioners, many of whom attended and testified at last night’s hearing, is disappointed with City Council‘s decision to reject the PDP application for the Olde Town Residence project,” the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority said in a statement.

“AURA believes that Trammell Crow followed the direction and intent of the Arvada Transit Framework and the many years of guidance and input on how to best develop this parcel.

“That level of thoughtful planning and design is why Trammell Crow was selected by the Executive Oversite Committee during the RFP process.

“AURA recognizes the many hours put into this proposal and application by City Council members, city staff, AURA board and staff, and Trammell Crow.

“In addition, AURA appreciates the public process and input—both in support and opposition—from our dedicated Arvada community members.”

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