Dec 062006
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

The Fort Collins City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to give a developer a $22 million incentive to build a shopping center in southeastern Fort Collins.

“I think overall, in total, it is good for Fort Collins,” said councilman Kelly Ohlson. “That is the what the decision came down to, weighing all the factors; it was a good vote.”

The shopping center is set to be built by Bayer Properties, a Birmingham, Ala., developer.

The center is expected to cost $115 million to build. With the city’s assistance, it’s expected to yield $131 million during its first 10 years.

A Super Target, a Lowes hardware store and a new library are expected to help occupy 900,000 square feet of retail space.

The shopping center is projected to bring in around $2 million dollars in additional sales tax revenue to the city budget.

“The way it is described, it is going to be fantastic” said councilman Diggs Brown. “It is not just your everyday mall.”

Council members had little doubt the vote would pass.

“This has been an ongoing thing for three years,” said Karen Weitkunat, councilwoman and mayor pro tem. “This is probably an appropriate direction if the value is right.”

Council members expect the shopping center to bring in local as well as regional money.

“Fort Collins people tend to want to spend their money in Fort Collins,” Weitkunat said. “This will help keep their money in here, but it will have a regional impact as well.”

Brown agrees that the development will help bring in regional business.

“Instead of people driving from Wyoming to Centerra, they can stop here in Fort Collins.”

“We want to make sure retail happens in Fort Collins,” Ohlson said. “If a business is located even 100 yards out of the city, we get nothing.”

Staff writer Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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