Aurora city council ward 4
Point at Nine Mile Update (July 24) As promised here is my update after the Urban Renewal Authority Executive Session earlier this evening. Due to the actions or more accurately the inaction by King Soopers' parent company Kroger the redevelopment of Regatta Plaza is effectively on hold. Because of the fact that information was provided in Executive Session I cannot go into more detail. The turmoil in the retail grocery industry has hit Aurora. Another Executive Session is being scheduled to discuss our options. We will be discussing how we can redevelop the site around the current store. As I have mentioned before it is not feasible to condemn the current store and remove it from the site. I candidly do not believe that writing letters/emails or stopping shopping at the current store will influence the situation. Nevertheless people are certainly entitled to take whatever action they want to take. I realize this news is extremely disappointing.
The Point at Nine Mile (June 28) Constituents continue with good reason to ask about the status of the project. Here is the latest information I have. The City acting through it's Urban Renewal Authority recently (June 19) voted to provide additional monies for pre-development work on the site. The last communication I had with King Soopers was 3 weeks ago. At that time they estimate a beginning of construction during the first half of 2018. The condemnation actions are wrapping up and Excel is finishing up their utility relocation work. The private development firms are marketing the site. On May 10th the Planning Commission approved all six Planning areas on the site. This action is now final because it was neither called up by me for full Council review or appealed by an abutting property owner(s). Two of the sub areas will need to come back to Planning Commission when they are more mature. I don't believe that this review will be controversial. I would be careful in relying upon well intentioned employees for the most accurate information. I will be reaching out to the private development teams picked by the City to handle this project. If there is any additional information I will post it here.
Regatta Plaza Update ( May 10) - WHOOPIE TIMES A MILLION! The Planning Commission approved the Master Plan! This will be the last report using the old name! We are rolling! New King Soopers around Thanksgiving 2018!
Regatta Plaza May 1 - The Master Developer, MHK, has reported that they are in agreement with King Soopers, the City of Aurora and AURA to proceed with a hearing before the Aurora Planning Commission on Wednesday, May 10, for the purpose of approving the Master Plan for the entire 22-acre Regatta site.
An important feature of this Mater Plan submittal is that many issues that have been under negotiation between King Soopers, the Master Developer, and the City have been included in the overall Master Plan submittal. If the Planning Commission approves the Master Plan submission, on May 10, it should not be necessary to go through another time-consuming approval process, since the King Soopers site plan can be approved administratively within a few weeks following the hearing.
This will allow the Master Developer and King Soopers to move forward with the final steps of pre-construction, including preparation of final drawings and construction pricing for the King Soopers store, leading to a start of building construction toward year-end.
If this all happens as the Master Developer and the City have proposed, King Soopers could be under construction with their store prior to Thanksgiving, with the store being completed in the fall of 2018. If there are any unforeseen “bumps in the road’, this schedule could slip slightly, but the store would still be targeting a completion date within a year of the start of construction.
Regatta Plaza April 28 - The Master Plaza for the redevelopment of Regatta Plaza is going to Planning Commission on May 10th. This is an important step in setting the framework for the redevelopment of the overall site. If the Master Plan is approved at the Planning Commission, subsequent site plans (such as the King Soopers site plan) will be approved administratively as long as they conform the approved master plan. Those individual plans are still subject to public comment and we will make you aware as they work their way through that approval process.
Negotiations with Kings Soopers are progressing well. We are working to get site plan approval on their site in May, and they will then begin their internal processes to finish designing the store, the layout, etc.
Please let me know if there are questions.
Respectfully, Jason Batchelor
Deputy City Manager | City of Aurora
Regatta Plaza April 26 - I spoke with the Deputy City Manager in charge of the project today. He will be providing me with an update which I will in turn summarize on NextDoor and as referenced on my website. We discuss Regatta Plaza at every one of my Ward meetings. The 3rd Thursday of every month 6:30 at Ecotech Institute on S. Abeline. It is my understanding that the Planning Commission will be considering the plan for the site at one of their two May meetings. If you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to call me on my cell phone 720-320-0808.
Regatta Plaza Update April 6 - We are at the end of a long negotiation process on a large and very complicated site. We are hopeful that the major deal points have been worked through, and are working diligently to finalize all of the legal agreements and contracts necessary to complete the deal. The major components of the deal include an exchange agreement that allows for King Soopers to take ownership of approximately 6.5 acres on the north of the site, while turning ownership of their existing 4.5 acre site and store on the southern portion of the site to the City. The deal also includes agreements that provide details on the new infrastructure to be constructed for the redevelopment of the site, including easements and access agreements. The deal also includes some restrictive covenants on uses on the remaining portions of the property (e.g. prohibiting other grocery stores and fueling stations). The deal also includes requirements for King Soopers to tear down the existing fuel station and ensure there is no environmental issues. Finally, the site plan for the King Soopers as well the Master Plan for the entire 22 acre site are working their way through the City's planning review process. All of these items have been being worked on near simultaneously so as to allow all of the needed agreements and approvals to be in place for construction activity on the site to begin later this summer. We understand the neighborhoods' interest in seeing the site redevelop and doing so quickly. The Master Developer and the City have worked very hard to gain site control, demolish the existing building, remediate any hazards, negotiate all of the agreements necessary for the first phase of redevelopment, accomplish the necessary site planning, put in place project financing, and maintain access to an operating grocery store and bank.
Deputy City Manager | City of Aurora
Regatta Plaza Update April 3 - As promised I spoke to the Deputy City Manager tonight before the Council meeting. After months of negotiations the City has decided it needs to establish a deadline for the conclusion of negotiations with King Soopers. I support this action. I do not have the exact date but I have been authorized to state that it will be in several weeks in the 4 to 6 range. If negotiations are not successful by the deadline the City will need to move forward with the redevelopment without the participation of KS. In other words the City will work around the current KS footprint. I realize that this news is disheartening but again I support City staff having to set a deadline. With respect to Key Bank the parties are in the process of exchanging appraisals which is necessary as a step before condemnation. Hopefully a deal can still be made short of condemnation. As I have said before the City does not have the financial ability to simply buy the whole grocery store.
Regatta Plaza Update - Sue and I are out in Las Vegas. When I take time out to check NextDoor I feel like I am making money. I tried to reply to the new thread concerning whether to shop at KS but for some reason the reply function would not work. So here is a new thread. In response to that thread. I asked Mr. Batchelor (Deputy City Manager) to provide me with an update on both KS and Key Bank. I received a response indicating he was out of the office until Monday. I have given some thought to the sentiment regarding not shopping at KS. We all do or don't do things in life that express how we feel. Sometimes we change our routine because of either a very positive or very negative experience. Sometimes we hope that our individual actions will change things or have an impact on a corporation. If someone wants to stop shopping at KS because of their perceived intransigence on negotiations for the relocation that is a personal decision. I am not in a position to criticize that decision.
Regatta Plaza Update March 17 - We had a great turnout last night. I want to summarize the discussion. Simply put the City and King Soopers continue to negotiate the terms of the transfer of the existing store to the new store at the NE corner. Many great questions were asked of our panel consisting of representatives of the developer and the City. Unfortunately there is no timetable that can be established. It was the opinion of the panel that boycotting the current store would not be an effective measure at this time. Unlike the other sites it is not feasible to condemn an active grocery store. The City simply cannot afford the cost of this. If you attended the meeting please feel free to share your views and opinions.
Regatta Plaza Update Feb 27 - We had a wild session tonight regarding RP. I noted my disappointment at the hold up and the statement in the backup for the condemnation item (which passed) that said the project cannot go forward until the City gets possession of Key Bank. I asked the City Attorney how long that would take and I didn't get an answer because he tossed the question to another staff person who was not prepared to express an opinion. At that point the Mayor got very agitated at the confusion. Staff backtracked and said that the project can partially go forward. I privately expressed my exasperation to the Deputy City Manager and asked for a definitive answer to whether we are or not going forward during the pendency of the Key Bank condemnation. I will update tomorrow after I receive the message. Did anybody watch this tonight on Channel 8. If so I would like to get your perspective. Stay tuned.
Regatta Plaza Update ( Feb.25) - Mystery partially solved. I was reading the agenda for Monday's Council Meeting and there is an item considering condemnation of the Key Bank site. The backup says negotiations have reached an impasse. The backup also notes that the acquisition of this site is necessary for the project to move forward. Obviously I will ask why some of the project cannot still go forward in spite of this latest set back. I have a favor to ask. I recommend that no action be taken with respect to the bank at RP. IMO nobody at the bank likely has ANY idea about this dynamic. Just as is the case with KS these decisions are made somewhere (I want to say smoke filled room but that indicates my advanced age) far from Aurora. Instead take your frustration out on me. The latest development makes my Next Ward meeting more relevant. I hope somebody asks if there is anything the neighbors can do to influence the pace.
FEBRUARY 22, 2017 - I am putting out this message early because of the understandable consternation surrounding Regatta Plaza ( I refuse to call it the new name until something happens). I have secured the attendance of the Master Developer team to answer questions as to why nothing is happening. Now I must be clear that these folks are the good guys. Their viability is wholly dependent upon getting this project going. They have graciously agreed to answer questions to the best of their ability. I have also invited the Parks and Recreation Director to attend but he can't confirm his attendance at this time. As to babysitting my wife has agreed to help out. I will stop by Ecotech and ask if they can provide a room. Please bring some toys if appropriate. We will see how this works out. I am not aware of any other Council Member who has facilitated this in a needed effort to involve more people. So I am excited to launch this effort. I would ask that you let me know in advance (about a week) if you will be bringing a child(ren)so we can get Sue some additional help if necessary. 720-320-0808.
FEBRUARY 14, 2017 - Well Rome was not built in a day and neither will RP! Learned last night Planning Commission consideration has been postponed indefinitely due to ongoing negotiations between King Soopers, the City and the Master Developer. Wish I had better news. I realize that this a big disappointment but there is still one advantage of not having to deal with the abandoned buildings being used as housing. Also the valuation hearing has concluded on the former Buckley ownership site. He asked for 16 million. The City had offered 8 million and the Court decision came in at 13 million which was in the expected range. As far as I know the corner piece (Sharma) and Key Bank are still in play but if anybody has better information please contribute.