For Immediate Release | March 4, 2016
Town of Avon Announces Purchase and Sale Agreement to Acquire the Mountain Vista Office Building for $1.5 MillionThe Town Council will hold a work session on March 8, 2016 to discuss the terms of the purchase, independent studies in support of the decision, and the approval process
Avon, CO – Mayor Jennie Fancher has announced that the Town of Avon has negotiated a Purchase and Sale Agreement to acquire the Mountain Vista Office Building located at 140 West Beaver Creek Boulevard for $1.5 million. The purchase is subject to approval by ordinance by the Avon Town Council, a process which begins with public comment at the Council’s March 8th
work session. With the Town moving forward to garner voter support for relocating the police department to the new joint public safety facility at Buck Creek, the Mountain Vista Office Building, also referred to as Skier Building, will relocate the administrative offices, municipal court, Council Chambers, meeting rooms and community spaces. Funds for the acquisition are budgeted in the Town Hall Renovation/ Relocation Reserve in the 2016 Capital Projects Fund.
The Town previously negotiated purchase of the building at a price of $3.2 million, but voters rejected financing with certificates of participation in January of 2015. “I was very vocal in my opposition to purchasing the Mountain Vista Office Building at the price that the Town originally negotiated,” said Avon resident Mark Kogan, “so I want to be the first to say this new price represents the true value of the building. Its acquisition will free up other exceptional opportunities for the Town to continue with its renewal plans. At $1.5 million, the Town is paying less than $100 per square foot for the property, and we should all get behind this fair and appropriate market price and support the Town Council moving forward.” Mr. Kogan is well-known in Avon as an active philanthropist, since retiring as a partner at Goldman Sachs & Co.
Last spring, the Town Council initiated an independent space needs analysis and facilities assessment by retaining consultant services. The purpose of the study was to fully evaluate the condition of the current town hall and project future space needs.
The 2006 Avon Comprehensive Plan
expressly identified a community goal to relocate the town hall and redevelop the existing town hall site, and so the Town Council also embarked on a visioning exercise – again with outside assistance and community engagement – to evaluate the Comprehensive Plan
direction and consider options for the town hall/police station site.
The conclusion of those studies was that the best land use decision and most cost effective option was to move the police station to a joint public safety building at Buck Creek, to relocate town hall to the Mountain Vista Office Building, and to proceed with more visioning work for what can happen in and next to Nottingham Park when the town hall and police are relocated. For Mayor Jennie Fancher, “Getting full civic input in considering all the options for this area, which enjoys great views and access to the park, lake, river and pavilion, is a very exciting opportunity for our town.”
Located on the pedestrian mall, the three-story stone and stucco structure is ideally sized to accommodate the town’s administrative offices, municipal court, Town Council Chambers, meeting space and community uses. Gross square footage of 16,273 feet is equally divided on three floors, with a lot size of 10,840 square feet. Constructed in 2003, the structure has stood as a building shell with minimal interior improvements. The interior finishes are projected by the Town’s consultant to be $3,000,000, with contingency included. The Avon Urban Renewal Authority has available funding resources to finance the interior finishes.
Councilor Sarah Smith Hymes sees relocating town hall to the Mountain Vista Office Building as the most prudent financial decision for the Town, even without taking into consideration the tremendous opportunity presented by vacating the current town hall and fire station. “I don’t feel that putting another cent into the deteriorated town hall is the best use of Town funds, and I’m looking forward to working with our residents and businesses to determine the best use of this extraordinary site.”
Planning and evaluation work completed by the Town in support of the decision to advance a purchase offer for the building included:
- Town of Avon Facility Assessment and Space Needs Analysis, August 2015
- Planning Review and Update of Harry A. Nottingham Park Master Plan, Swift Gulch Master Plan, Lot 5 Development Plan
- Avon West District Town Center Investment Plan, 2007
- Master Plan for Harry A. Nottingham Park Plan, 2008
- Building Inspection Report, February 2016
- Structural Engineering Report, February 2016
- 2016 Capital Projects Fund, adopted December 2015
All documents are available for review at: www.avon.org
No new taxes or tax rate increases are proposed for the purchase of the building and interior finishes. “The building is in good shape at an excellent price,” Councilor Buz Reynolds observed. “The need to renovate town hall or demolish it has not gone away as a problem facing the Town Council. I know the Mountain Vista Office Building structure cannot be built for the sales price not to mention the price of the lot. Our appraisal of a year ago valued the building at $2,042,500. This is not going to get any cheaper and the longer we don’t fix the problem the more expensive it gets. This option is a significantly better economic decision than trying to upgrade the current town hall, which is in really in poor shape. Renovation would cost more.”
After the work session, first reading of an ordinance for the Purchase and Sale Agreement is scheduled for Council action on March 22nd
. If first reading passes, then the second reading will follow on April 12th
. Closing would occur as early as May 11th
“I think through the work session the public will have an excellent opportunity to review the work and independent studies the Town did in reaching the decision to try again to buy the Mountain Vista Office Building,” offered Mayor Fancher. “It is excellent timing as we move forward to gain approval for funding the police department at Buck Creek. The Mountain Vista Office Building completes the plan for addressing the town hall’s failing building. That the relocation of town hall can be done without any new taxes or tax increases speaks to the Town’s success in setting and meeting priority needs through strategic planning and solid fiscal management of Town monies.”
“It is also remarkable timing to work collaboratively with Gart Properties as they plan to upgrade elements of the Seasons building and Lot B development to integrate the Mountain Vista Office Building as part of a vibrant synergy for the area,” continued Mayor Fancher.
The work session on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, One Lake Street. The full agenda and packet materials can be found at www.avon.org