Greeley council approves service plans for 8 new metro districts

GREELEY — The service plans for eight new metropolitan districts that will finance infrastructure and eventual maintenance of a large commercial and residential development north of 10th Street in Greeley received approval of the city council Tuesday night.

On a 6-1 vote, with councilmember Tommy Butler in disagreement, the council approved the plans.

In essence, while the formation of the metro districts is yet to come, the approval of the service plans will likely result in the creation of the districts. The next step is for the district court to call for an election, and the only people eligible to vote in the election are property owners within the districts and their spouses. The property owners are also the developers of the project.

The development, called The Cache, which is proposed by The Cache LLC and its parent organization Orr Land Co., will be on mostly undeveloped land north of 10th Street, south of County Road 62, east of 95th Avenue and west of 83rd Avenue. It would initially be 332 acres with the potential to add 714 more acres in a feature annexation.

Ed Orr, a developer of multiple projects around the region, told BizWest that The Cache will be his largest. And Greeley planner Brittany Hathaway said the eight metro districts combined would be the largest in the city of Greeley.

When completed after multiple years of development, the project would include 3,705 residential units — all but 500 of them single-family — 30,000 square feet of commercial property adjacent to 10th Street, and 10 million square feet (240 acres) of parks, recreational facilities and open space.

As outlined in the approved service plans for the metro districts, infrastructure will cost an estimated $199 million; the service plans permit up to $200 million in bonded debt, and as much as 70 mills of property taxes could be applied to future residents of the districts in order to repay the bonds.

“We would set this up to be competitive with other metro districts” such as Rain Dance and Water Valley, said Todd Johnson of Terra Forma Solutions, the owners’ representative on the project.

In answer to multiple questions, Johnson said the developers will balance the tax load with what other nearby property owners pay and what the metro districts offer for amenities.

“We’ve run our models at 50 mills with 10 mills for maintenance, but we want the flexibility to go to 70 mills,” Johnson said.

The project is proposed to be built out over many years, perhaps as long as 40 but presently targeted at 15 to 20. Market conditions will dictate how quickly it can be built.

Eventually, about 7,000 people will live in the 3,700 housing units planned for the area.

“This is certainly the most diverse development we’ve ever done,” Orr told BizWest. “There are wonderful resources there — lakes, hills …,” he said. 

Orr also said the commercial aspects of the project are yet to be determined. “The reality is that the commercial world is changing. There are things that make sense for there but they won’t be the same as what we’ve seen in the past,” Orr said, in reference to how the pandemic has affected retail and office commercial uses.

The city and council will get a chance later to weigh in on development plans, but councilman Butler posed questions on the type of housing planned. 

Johnson said the housing “will be on the entire spectrum,” from lower range to executive housing. “I think the sweet spot for this project will be in the midrange to lower range. Maybe 5% in the upper and 50% in the lower range,” including apartments and townhomes.

Butler shared discomfort with approving metro district service plans without knowing for sure what the housing will look like. “I can’t agree to create a new taxing district unless it addresses affordable housing needs,” he said in explaining his vote.

Next steps will be for the district court to set an election, targeted now for Nov. 3. The only ballots printed will be for the property owners and their spouses, since there are no current residents in the districts. 

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC

 

GREELEY — The service plans for eight new metropolitan districts that will finance infrastructure and eventual maintenance of a large commercial and residential development north of 10th Street in Greeley received approval of the city council Tuesday night.

On a 6-1 vote, with councilmember Tommy Butler in disagreement, the council approved the plans.

In essence, while the formation of the metro districts is yet to come, the approval of the service plans will likely result in the creation of the districts. The next step is for the district court to call for an election, and the only people eligible to vote in the election are property owners within the districts and their spouses. The property owners are also the developers of the project.

The development, called The Cache, which is proposed by The Cache LLC and its parent organization Orr Land Co., will be on mostly undeveloped land north of 10th Street, south of County Road 62, east of 95th Avenue and west of 83rd Avenue. It would initially be 332 acres with the potential to add 714 more acres in a feature annexation.

Ed Orr, a developer of multiple projects around the region, told BizWest that The Cache will be his largest. And Greeley planner Brittany Hathaway said the eight metro districts combined would be the largest in the city of Greeley.

When completed after multiple years of development, the project would include 3,705 residential units — all but 500 of them single-family — 30,000 square feet of commercial property adjacent to 10th Street,…