Court waits to see if Butterball property sells

LONGMONT – A trial to settle a dispute between Butterball LLC and the city of Longmont has been postponed until after a possible sale of Butterball’s vacant building and property happens or not, according to court documents.

North Carolina-based Butterball, which in 2011 vacated its turkey processing plant at 150 Main St. in Longmont, contends that the city’s rezoning of the property from light industrial to mixed use after the property was vacated adversely affected Butterball’s chances to find a buyer for the property, and seeks monetary damages.

The property is within the Urban Renewal Area, which the city hopes to revitalize, and planners have been coming up with potential ways the property could be used as mixed use, primarily for retail and residential uses.

Butterball’s 10 acres property, which includes a 300,000-square-foot plant with solid gray cement walls, is at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 287 and First Avenue. It has been under contract for $4.5 million to 150 Main LLC for about two months, according to court documents. Principals of 150 Main LLC could not be reached for comment to see how it might use the property.

Boulder County District Court judge Andrew Hartman ruled on March 13 to postpone the trial until after Aug. 1, the deadline for 150 Main LLC to either buy the property or walk away from the deal.

Hartman said the pending sale is relevant to Butterball’s alleged damages. “Butterball may receive a windfall at the expense of the city’s taxpayers if the trial in this case occurs before the sale is finalized,” Hartman wrote, in favor of the city’s request to postpone the trial.

He said the city of Longmont and Butterball LLC will meet beginning Aug. 11. to determine a trial date.

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