9th and Colorado Wal Mart – Latest News is Confusing

Last week was the latest public meeting between the proposed developer of the 9th and Colorado site – Jeff Fuqua, and the public.  As reported in the Denver Post, the meeting covered a few topics, including the traffic impacts of the proposed project:

For those concerned about increased traffic with this redevelopment, Pachner cited traffic studies that showed a decline in daily trips — 27,000 daily trips when the CU campus was in operation and a projected 14,000 after redevelopment.

Read more:Traffic, public financing on agenda at 9th and Colorado public meeting – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_21486119/traffic-public-financing-agenda-at-9th-and-colorado?source=pkg#ixzz26Q2zB4ol

Still researching the exact info that was presented in the meeting, as this report from the Post doesn’t make sense at all.  FYI, CDOT indicates the AADT (Average Annual Daily Trips) at 8th and Colorado is 52,000 vehicles per day in 2011 (other sources I checked showed 55,000 – a bit more than the 27,000 – or 14,000 indicated in this article – not sure if its bad reporting, bad writing or bad data from the developer…I still am looking into the number of daily trips associated with a square foot of retail development

Also of note regarding the Post’s article and comments about the TIF:

Huggins said TIF is designed to make up the difference when bank financing and private equity falls short of covering the cost of a project.

“TIF closes the financing gap,” she said. “The recipient of TIF is the developer. It’s not a benefit to any retailer.”

She said she couldn’t estimate the amount of the financing for this project until the process of underwriting is completed.

This snippet of reporting leaves out the fact that with the TIF, the people of Colorado end up paying  for a part of this project in the form of higher sales tax on items purchased from this location – The people pay the portion of the cost not covered by financing or equity.  It does not come out of the developer’s pocket.  TIF allows development projects to be more profitable for developers as they don’t have to pay costs of a portion of development. Typically, this makes sense for the people as they benefit by having new infrastructure or beneficial new development –

I think the big claim here by many opponents is that the Walmart/retail- heavy development plan Fuqua is pursuing is not that great of a benefit for those who bear the burden of its impacts and cost,  and they would prefer to see a more integrated mixed use development that enhances the neighborhoods around it.