Englewood City Council OKs Flood project incentives

A Denver company has signed a letter of intent to buy the former Flood Middle School site from Englewood Schools. School officials are working with the company to work out a purchase contract for the building that has been sitting empty since it was closed almost three years ago. Photo by Tom Munds
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Englewood City Council approved a request providing assistance to the company redeveloping the Flood Middle School property.

Bradbury Holding, the original developer, created the company Hampden Broadway to take ownership of the Flood site in order to demolish the building and construct a two-building apartment complex. There will be 310 for-rent apartments in the project that is expected to bring about 500 new residents to the city.

Part of the project requires a portion of the city ditch that runs across the north end of the site to be moved, and the council approved $170,000 to help the developer cover the cost of the relocation.

“This agreement allows the developer to retain up to $170,000 in use taxes to help cover the cost of moving the city ditch,” Mike Flaherty, deputy city manager, told the council at the Jan. 7 meeting. “The project is expected to require a private investment of about $38 million, which is anticipated to yield about $500,000 in use tax.”

The city's development assistance agreement for the Flood project will reduce the fee in lieu of providing land for parks from $20,000 an acre to $10,000 an acre. At $10,000 per acre, the company will pay a fee of $59,706 for the almost six-acre site.

Englewood also agreed to use credits from Xcel Energy to relocate overhead cables underground. Estimates are the city will use about $300,000 of its credits for the project. The Xcel money only applies to utility lines and the developer will pay the cost of the other lines providing phone and cable television to residents.

The developer agreed to deposit $10,000 in escrow to cover the costs of any project-associated work to maintain traffic flow at the intersection of Broadway and Kenyon Avenue. The money will remain in escrow for two years after the project receives its certificate of occupancy or until the project is 90 percent occupied, whichever comes first.

The proposal noted the incentives are in keeping the council goals to attract development. The site was a school and not subject to property taxes. The financial impact information attached to the proposal stated the project will return the site to the property tax rolls, which should provide about $11,000 a year in property taxes

Council Member Joe Jefferson said he was excited about the project and the incentives are a good way for the city to support redevelopment.

“However, I will be voting no on the issue tonight because I don't agree with reducing the in lieu of park dedication fee,” he said.

Mayor Randy Penn pointed out the requirement for developers to pay a fee in lieu of dedication of land for parks was established in 2004, but this council is the first to impose the fee in any amount.