Plans to redevelop the west side Goodwill building are in jeopardy.
The months-long saga over what might replace the aging building and the rest of the 2300 block of West Colorado Avenue has taken a few new turns lately, ever since Kum & Go abandoned its controversial plan to buy the property and build a convenience store and gas station. Goodwill is now considering pulling its building off the market, which would erase any hope for the first west side redevelopment project in years.
The Organization of Westside Neighbors, or OWN, is scheduled to host a public meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss Goodwill's plans, as well as other plans for the historic Old Colorado City neighborhood. Developers, architects and city planners are expected to attend.
Redevelopment opportunity for that stretch of Colorado Avenue emerged two years ago when Goodwill announced it was moving and planned to sell several buildings and parcels on the north and south sides of the street.
In August, Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado bought two buildings on the north side; last month, Kum & Go withdrew its plan to build on the south side after neighbors voiced staunch opposition to the project.
That opened the door for two developers, Rexroad APG and independent developer Eddie Bishop, to step forward with separate proposals for mixed-use projects that include retail, restaurant and residential development. Old Colorado City residents favored the mixed-use ideas.
Rexroad was expected to make an offer on the property weeks ago, but nothing materialized.
Goodwill says that lack of progress on the property is the problem.
"We've been at this for two years, and it's become a financial liability for us," Discover Goodwill spokesman Bradd Hafer said.
"Right now, we're in a due diligence phase, and it might be more economically feasible for us to just repurpose the property for internal use."
That's not what many neighbors want to see.
Welling Clark, president of OWN, said he and other residents want a redevelopment project that will engage the community, something similar to the Ivywild School project, the former school that opened this year as a microbrewery, restaurant, bakery and community center.
"This is our opportunity to make something great happen here," he said. "Our goal is to create an integrated package, a mixed-use development our community can be proud of."
Rexroad owner Joe Rexroad said he has potential tenants lined up and is ready to go, but assembling investors has taken longer than expected.
Bishop said he has not made a formal offer on the property, partly because Goodwill has not come up with a solid asking price.
Hafer attributed that to a shifting amount for its plans to open a retail center on the city's south side.
"We're not setting a relisting price until our repurposing evaluation is completed," he said. "After Junior Achievement purchased part of the property, it changed how the property's value is calculated."
Clark is holding out hope that a developer will be able to come forward with an acceptable offer - very soon.
"What I'm looking for right now is a triple win, something residents want, something that is economically viable for a developer and something Goodwill can walk away happy with."
Goodwill's stance? Show us the money.
"We hope something positive happens there," Hafer said.
"But when it's all said and done, we are just a property seller."
What: Neighborhood meeting about Old Colorado City and the Goodwill building
When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St.