Council approves lease of land for car dealership

Nissan facility planned along Plum Valley Drive in Douglas County

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Englewood City Council gave unanimous approval Oct. 17 to the proposal to lease seven acres of city-owned land in Douglas County to the Miller Family Real Estate Company for the company’s plans to build a Nissan dealership on the site.

“The company has put $200,000 on deposit with the city that is applicable to future rental payments as part of the agreement for a 20-year lease with five five-year options,” Mike Flaherty, deputy city manager, told the council during the discussion of the lease proposal. “The predevelopment rent of $10,000 a month began on Sept. 13 and will continue until the start of construction will probably be early next year. When construction begins, the rent will be $9,910 a month until the facility opens.”

He told the council that once the dealership opens, the annual lease payment will be $229,690 a year and the annual lease payment will increase by 10 percent every five years.

The Miller Nissan dealership will be located south of C-470 near the Lucent Boulevard and Plum Valley Drive intersection. The planned facility is in the same general area as the Ralph Schomp dealership.

Councilmember Joe Jefferson said it is great to see the city is developing alternative sources of income.

Mayor Jim Woodward agreed and he said the leases of the McLellan property are already producing a steady source of income for the city and the amount of that income will increase as more leases are signed.

Englewood became Douglas County property owners in the 1960 when the city bought a total of 280.7 acres of ranch land from three owners in order to build McLellan Reservoir. The total cost of the land in 1960 was for a cost of about $407,000.

There was a land swap and about 100 acres of the city-owned property was used for the reservoir

Over the years, the city sold land to the state for construction of a portion of C-470 and sold land for modifications of County Line Road that left the city owning four parcels totaling about 185.5 acres.

The remaining city-owned land was just tumble weed-covered acres of prairie and remained that way for about four decades. The lack of development was logical since there was virtually no easy access to the four parcels of land and it would be costly to bring utilities to the locations.

However, development of Highlands Ranch and the surrounding area in recent years added value to the land. Also, the property became more attractive for developers with construction of new roads like Lucent Boulevard, C-470 and Plaza Drive that provided easy access to the city-owned parcels and construction of utility lines nearby.

The city council, realizing the potential future value of the land, created the Englewood McLellan Reservoir Foundation to oversee management of development of the city-owned land in 1999. City department heads were tapped as foundation members. Over the years, the foundation spent the money to grade the sites to make them more attractive to developers and eventually leases were signed.

The intent was to lease all sites but an exception was made for one of the first transactions, the sale of 11 acres of land to the Regional Transportation District.

The sale was made because RTD insisted on purchasing the land and, if the city balked, had the authority to use the power of eminent domain to secure the planned location for the Lucent Station when the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Line is extended to the south.

Council approval of the agreement with the Miller Family is the third lease in place. Englewood also leased 11 acres of land for the Ward Infinity Dealership and 10 acres of land for the Ben Franklin School. Currently, McLellan land lease payments bring about $500,000 in revenues to Englewood.