Private groundbreaking for Foothills Wednesday

FORT COLLINS – The long-awaited redevelopment of Foothills mall will officially break ground during a private ceremony Wednesday.

The ceremony is not open to the public because the event is in a construction zone, according to a release from the city of Fort Collins.

The $313 million project to revive the mall, originally constructed in the 1970s, is scheduled to be complete in time for the 2015 holiday season.

The city and the developer of the mall, Denver-based Alberta Development Partners, signed an agreement in January to redevelop the space, including a $53 million public financing package.

The project was initially slated to break ground last summer, but a series of delays related to the financing agreement and tenant issues pushed the project back.

Work on a new building, which will eventually house Sears, is already underway. The 10,500-square-foot building will be located where Tres Margaritas used to stand at 3400 S. College Ave. The Mexican restaurant was razed at the end of 2013 to make way for the new Sears building.

Twenty-six trees will be removed from the site, according to the city, and 54 new trees will be planted as part of Phase I of construction.

Alberta is working on a number of tasks that need to be completed before critical bonds can be issued, according to Fort Collins CFO Mike Beckstead.

The bonds will be issued by a special metro district created to finance improvements for the redevelopment of the mall. The district is expected to issue $71 million in nonrated bonds, according to the city.

In addition to $53 million in public improvement costs, the bond issue will cover $8 million in capitalized interest, a $7 million reserve fund and $3 million in issuance costs, for a total cost of $71 million.

Plans for the residential component of the redevelopment must be approved by the city’s Planning and Zoning board, before the bonds can be issued, Beckstead said. It will take “three or four weeks” for the plans to get through planning, he said.

“Both Alberta and the city would like to get this completed sooner rather than later,” Beckstead said.

The bonds are slated to be issued in the first part of 2014.

Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, or

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