|Loveland's Independent News Source
|Loveland's Foundry Parking
Could Literally Be Underwater
Loveland - June 15, 2017
Loveland's City Council was recently delivered more bad news regarding the former South Catalyst
Project for downtown now being called the Foundry. It needs even more city subsidies not just to be
completed after 5 years and over $10,000,000 but in perpetuity an additional $100,000 annually just to
keep the parking garage from flooding.
Incredibly, the Foundry's planned 33,000 sf subterranean parking is located in a natural artesian well
that also happens to be contaminated. While staff acknowledges they were aware of the artesian well,
they failed to adequately plan for the volume of water that must be pumped out on an hourly basis to
prevent not only flooding inside the garage but dangerous structural damage (called "buoyancy
pressures") to the parking garage caused by the inflow of polluted groundwater.
According to a city staff memo delivered to the Loveland City Council, "Preliminary testing of the site
indicated that the dewatering system design would need to manage approximately 130 gallons per
minute or gpm to maintain the buoyancy pressures on the foundation." During the June 13, City
Council study session it was acknowledge current well testing has measured up to 350 gpm thus forcing
the city to scrap its current "dewatering" system design. In addition, much of the water is
contaminated with heavy metals (presumably from previous commercial uses of the properties).
Staff presented council with four different options to mitigate the problem but already has begun
implementing number 4 without any council direction or even a public hearing or discussion.
1. Construct a waterproof structural slab at an additional cost of $2,240,000 causing 10 months delay in
construction for the overall project and a 20% escalator in capital costs for the project.
2. Raise the height of the parking garage to be the tallest building in downtown for an additional cost of
$1,500,000 and 10 month overall project delay.
3. DeWater with NO filter at an additional cost of $700,000 and approximately $40,000 annually and
only 2-3 weeks delay.
4. DeWater with filtering so water can be dumped into the city's storm water system maintained by
area utility rate payers at an additional project cost of $240,000 and an annual additional expense
in perpetuity of $100,000 annually for the project.
Again, absent any official or known council direction, staff has already determined how to offset some of
the new costs by raising sales and property taxes within the DDA (Downtown Development Authority)
that has yet to be approved by voters. Below is the chart provided to Loveland's City Council last
One observer at the June 13, Loveland City Council study session commented to LovelandPolitics,
"nobody on the council had a question and without even batting an eye over these significant
changes said nothing" speculating the information had already been briefed and the council's response
known to staff prior to the meeting. Private developers, when faced with significant ongoing costs of
building a subterranean garage inside a toxic artesian well, would likely seek an alternative location for
the garage or acquire new ground to make way for more surface parking. Instead, staff indicated their
current schedule has made the project tenuous already and fear any further complications or delays
could cause commercial "partners" to back out.
According to the staff memo delivered to council prior to their June 13, study session, no response is
consent. The report to council on file states,
"As uncertainty and delays create cost for the project, the management team is moving forward with
the dewatering pump system with a co-located filtering system alternative unless directed otherwise
by City Council."
Not explained verbally or in the memorandum is how staff alone can appropriate an additional
$240,000 for the project while also incurring an additional liability for city taxpayers of $100,000 in
perpetuity. Even if taxpayers approve a new taxing authority (which they have twice rejected) this
November thus approving the new DDA, staff's memo indicates $22,000 of additional city funds are
being obligated with remedy #4 without identifying the sources.
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|See significant South Catalyst
stories beginning in January of 2014
|Formerly the "South Catalyst" project now being called the
"Foundry" covers most land between 1st & 3rd streets in
Loveland's downtown between Cleveland and Lincoln Ave.
|Additional Mill Property Tax
|Additional 1% PIF for Retail (sales tax)
|Additional 1% PIF for Hotel (sales tax)
|Typical contaminated water filtering facility (this one is in India) capable of
handling the peak water volume measured under the site proposed for
Loveland's downtown subterranean parking.
Costs not fully evaluated. This is a rough order of
magnitude estimate by Ditesco and does not account
for market changes related to rental absorption of
units (change of proforma conditions).
This odd footnote accompanies the capital cost estimate
increase of $1.5 million for building the parking garage
above ground - apparently made by the contractor.