McWhinney's Mobilize To Convert Western Weld Into Heavy Industrial
Loveland, August 14, 2015
Troy and Chad McWhinney are on the move again to expand their development activities on the eastern edge of Loveland. Instead of visions of Southern California outdoor shopping malls, massive sporting good stores or large apartment complexes, they are lobbying for the conversion of west Weld County, on the edge of Loveland and Johnstown's 25/34 interchange to look a little more like Commerce City by changing the zoning to become Heavy Industrial away from its current mostly agricultural and residential uses.
Last month, the Weld County Planning Commission recommended a denial of an application by Martin Marietta to build an asphalt plant, aggregate processing facility, ready-mix concrete plant and "recycled-product" which means old concrete crushing operation south of Highway 34 between Weld County roads 13 and 15. The vote, 4-3, followed a 12 hour meeting in which testimony was heard from over 20 neighboring residents mostly from the Indianhead development. read 20 neighbor protest letters filed last January
Despite failing to get the support of any nearby cities, county planning or most area property owners, Martin Marietta did find one unexpected ally; the McWhinney brothers who developed and operate Centerra on the eastern edge of Loveland.
McWhinney's Dreams of Heavy Industrialization
Perhaps the only adjacent property owner supporting the project was Troy McWhinney who testified to the Weld County Commissioners last Thursday before they voted 5-0 to approve the project. Troy McWhinney testified that he has halted important development projects due to the high cost of aggregate in this area. What he failed to disclose was that he and his brother hope to also profit from the re-zoning to heavy industrial by submitting an application of their own this coming week to re-zone their adjacent parcel also into heavy industrial and rail zone.
The McWhinney's have failed to properly fund the regional transportation improvements necessary to facilitate traffic to their existing retail developments in east Loveland despite being the custodians of over $100 million in public monies raised through special area sales taxes and diversions of property taxes over a 25-year period. Recently, Chad McWhinney organized a public discussion over the problems with the I-25/U.S. 34 interchange in an apparent attempt to halt the Scheels sporting goods store planned for Johnstown.
The McWhinney's lost the Promenade shopping center east of I-25 in Loveland to bank foreclosure and failed in their subsequent attempts to add more retail to the area. Among the failed projects, Grand Station which the City of Loveland pledged an $80 million parking garage using public monies and the more recent Bass Pro Shops where the City of Loveland is contributing nearly $1 million to install a sewer lift and additional funds to pave the parking lot even though Bass Pro Shops backed our earlier this year.
Troy McWhinney apparently failed to mention the traffic problems at I-25/34 in his testimony in support of an industrial operation that is estimated to add some 500 large truck trips each day into an interchange that C-DOT projects will be a "failed intersection" following the build-out of the retail pads in 25/34 development.
Chad (left) and Troy McWhinney. LovelandPolitics file photo by Brendan Weston