The City of Loveland has concluded negotiations with Cumberland & Western Resources (C&W), to purchase the former Agilent campus in Loveland for $5 million (still being erroneously referred to as the "ACE Project" in local media). C&W is owned by Kentucky Billionaire Brad Kelley who proposed buying the property directly without involving CAMT in the transaction. The city proceeds from the transaction are just over $4,995,631.57 to account for the title insurance and other transaction fees.
Loveland retained 130 acres of the 300 acre campus for open space and recreational uses along Loveland's bike trail. Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill announced the transaction was concluded when addressing Loveland's City Council during a regularly scheduled council meeting tonight.
Cahill explained the city was able to retain two original goals in the transaction created at the beginning of this year. He said the first goal was to have the city's ownership of the property be only temporary while the second goal was to promote the "development of a technology center." He said the second goal was memorialized in the sales transaction as a 5 year deed restriction on the property requiring the buyer lease the property to only certain types of high technology development firms. After five years, Cahill explained, the "dye will be cast" and those tenants will be unlikely to allow incompatible tenants into the center.
A number of businesses are specifically excluded from locating in the campus per the deed restriction. The deed restriction prevents the new owner from leasing the premises or any part of the premises to gun stores, places of worship, hospitals, dairy operations or other uses considered to be undesirable to the City of Loveland for this property.
Elaine Thorndike, President of CAMT (Colorado Association for Manufacturing & Technology) was not present at the meeting nor was her organization mentioned by name. Also, conspicuously absent from the conversation was the term 'ACE' Park coined by CAMT to describe their vision of developing a park for just aerospace and alternative energy technology development and manufacturing. Referring to the bidders for the ACE Project indirectly, Cahill described C&W as not "as needy as other developers would have been." A sticking point for the previous bidders were the onerous financial requirements the city was seeking from the bidders to subsidize CAMT in perpetuity with the project. C&W did not seek city financing to acquire the former Agilent property and therefore had better leverage refusing to include CAMT in either a guaranteed revenue stream from the project or equity in the property.
The public transition from calling the project the 'ACE' Project to Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology was smooth as council was aware of the inevitable change now for more than a month.
Councilman Ralph Trenary described the transaction as, "magnificent effort on everyone." Councilman Daryle Klassen offered, "We've got work to do to live up to their [C&W] standards."
LovlelandPolitics will post the full text of the final negotiated agreement once it is made available by the City of Loveland.
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