Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - November 23, 2016

Windsor developer and owner of the Colorado Eagles, Martin Lind, presented his plan to develop
200 acres surrounding Crossroads Blvd. and I-25 intersection to Loveland's City Council last night.

The total project envisions developing over 2 million sq. ft. of retail, commercial and residential
properties in addition to attracting a major brand 5 star hotel with hundreds of rooms.  Due to the
limited numbers of hotel rooms available within close proximity to The Ranch, hosting opportunities
had to be turned away last year by The Ranch which Lind explained his project will change thus
creating a catalyst for future increases in visitors to The Ranch.

An IMAX theater has already been secured for the development despite former Loveland City
Manager Bill Cahill refusing to consider any incentives for the theater to locate in Loveland.  Lind
explained the objective of the aptly named project is to attract name brand retailers and employers
not already in Northern Colorado.   Among those listed in the presentation are Apple, Abercrombie
& Fitch, Von Maur, Z Gallaery, Patagonia and many more.  

While similar to McWhinney's failed Grand Station development which proposed vertical
developments to increase the density of residential units available within the development, Lind is
not asking the city to make phony blight designations to create a property tax diversion under the
Urban Renewal Redevelopment laws (as McWhinney did in Centerra).  What Lind is seeking is a
rebate of sales taxes of 2% on some destination retailers and 1.25% for the rest.

This comes as welcome news especially to local government entities that depend on property taxes
for their revenue.  Larimer County,
Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services, Loveland's
Rural Fire Department, Thompson School District and even the City of Loveland have lost millions
in tax revenue as a result of the 2004 scheme by Loveland's City Council to rebate to McWhinney's
Centerra 98% of property taxes collected in their phony "
blight areas" for 25 years.  

Lind's proposal does include a metro district which will collect an extra 39 mills on properties within
the project but none of the additional property taxes this massive development will generate are to
be rebated to the developer or any metro district.  Another key difference is Lind allows property
owners within the district to vote on their governing board.  In contrast, McWhinney established six
metro districts but only allows the tiny district 1, which they exclusively control, to select the
governing board which presides over the other 5.  (
see LovelandPolitics story Aug. 2014)

McWhinney's Centerra not only receives back 98% of property taxes collected but also 1.25% of
the sales taxes, was exempted from the first $7 million in CEF's (Capital Expansion Fees), among
other unprecedented and costly city subsidies.  The mantra that nobody will develop without
massive upfront subsidies was shattered as Lind presented his plan for Loveland's most ambitious
development to date without requiring any money from the city to begin construction.

The sales tax incentives Lind is seeking are the following from Loveland's 3% sales tax;

1.  2% city sales tax rebate for anchor tenant for 25 years (approved on a case by case
2.  2% city sales tax rebate on junior retailers for 15 years dropping to 1.25% for the
remaining 10
3.  1.25% city sales tax rebate on all other retailers for 25 years

About 30 minutes into the meeting several councilmen began asking about what the city's upfront
costs would be.  While the standard questions were raised about waiving CEF's (Capital Expansion
Fees), upfront development costs (City of Loveland paid the development cost of Sprouts e.g.) and
others, Lind and city staff replied, "none."  Councilmen David Clark grumbled under his breath any
plan check fee waivers are a "cost" to the city.

Councilman Rich Ball suggested any business already in Loveland should be excluded from moving
into Lind's development for fear of losing sales taxes following comments of a similar nature by
Mayor Pro Tem Fogle.  Ironically, it was Fogle's own family dealership which he sold but retains a
minority interest that moved to Centerra from downtown Loveland.  Councilman Troy Krenning told
his colleagues it is not the council's prerogative to tell businesses where they are allowed to move
within the city.  

In fact, the city's business development incentives have a long and sordid history of being utilized to
remove businesses from an existing location within the community to another.  In 2008 the City of
Loveland subsidized vNet moving 64 of its employees from their downtown Loveland location to a
facility closer to the owner's residence.  From 2004 until now businesses across Loveland have
abandoned older commercial spaces for new heavily subsidized properties in McWhinney's

In response to council's concerns, Lind explained his intention is to draw from outside the region by
recruiting name brand retailers who are not yet located in the region.  Another concerned raised by
some following the meeting was the potential impact to Centerra and its ability to provide the City of
Loveland with sales taxes.

McWhinney's Centerra has not met their projected numbers for retail and following the foreclosure
of their Promenade Shops continued battling their former partner in court over
allegations of
"wrongful conduct" in McWhinney's handing of the Centerra Metro Districts.

As competition grows for retail sales in Northern Colorado, Centerra doesn't appear to be a
competitive player as it will soon be the oldest destination shopping area following Longmont and
Fort Collins.  
See our special report regarding Centerra's losing ground in Northern Colorado.

If The Brand is allowed to proceed as planned, it will likely become the newest premier shopping
and high-density housing development destination in Northern Colorado.  Whether Loveland's City
Council is willing to provide a percentage of the future sales taxes to make it happen remains to be
Loveland's Own 'Bourbon Street' Proposed
As Part of 'The Brand' Development
Incentive /
Sales Tax Rebate
2% & 1.25%
Property Tax
98% URA
CEF Waiver
$7 million
plus later
CEF tax
Parking garage
and lots w/URA
Bass Pro &
Sewer station
using URA funds
Developer of Windsor's Water Valley, Martin Lind, is
seeking city approval to build a massive retail, residential
and employment center surrounding Crossroads and
I-25 intersection near The Ranch to house 6,800
permanent jobs and provide approximately 4,600
construction job
Comparison of Centerra Subsidies and
What Lind Is Requesting fro The Brand