Up against a deadline for the expiration of the purchase agreement, Golden City Council on Aug. 8 voted unanimously to go forward with purchasing the MillerCoors building at 311 10th St. “There are …
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Up against a deadline for the expiration of the purchase agreement, Golden City Council on Aug. 8 voted unanimously to go forward with purchasing the MillerCoors building at 311 10th St.
“There are risks and there will be setbacks,” said Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan. But “we are embarking on something that’s going to improve our community for generations to come.”
The proposed purchase is for the building, which is 160,000 square feet, and the surrounding 7.2 acres of land. The purchase price is $12.25 million. The city will be buying from MillerCoors.
The purchase will come out of the city’s capital fund, City Manager Jason Slowinski said.
Located in an area in downtown Golden commonly known as Goosetown, it was originally envisioned that it could serve the community as a civic center, which would house government offices and other public and not-for-profit cultural entities such as the Golden History Museum.
On April 11, city council unanimously approved going forward with efforts to purchase the building and the property, and in June, council approved using certificates of participation to fund the acquisition and renovation costs. These certificates are not to exceed $24 million, according to city documents.
However, after the April 11 approval the city conducted due diligence evaluations and inspections, and discovered that some of the building’s current maintenance and design “will increase the overall cost to renovate the building for use as a future civic and cultural center,” states city documents, and “as currently anticipated, these improvements and renovations would exceed the $24 million.”
Rather than doing the Certificates of Participation for $24 million, the city is going to enter into an agreement with Vectra Bank for a loan for up to $15 million, said Golden’s finance director Jeff Hansen.
The loan will cover the purchase of the property, Hansen said, and a variety of other expenses, including costs for the appraisal, environmental study, engineering inspections and other related costs. It will also cover “space planning and design work for the potential remodel/retrofit of the existing office building, and potential future operating/maintenance costs of the property until construction” of a new building occurs, if city council chooses the latter, Hansen added.
“We wouldn’t want to have two loans outstanding on the same parcel,” Hansen said during his presentation to city council on Aug. 8. “This would give us the flexibility to borrow enough money to build the project, but also pay off this loan at the same time.”
A benefit of going with a loan rather than the original Certificates of Participation is that the loan provides a 12-year financing plan that allows for repayment in full or in part prior to the repayment schedule.
Hansen added that it’s still possible close on the property on Aug. 20.
Should the city decide to construct a new building, it will engage the community on determining the future use of the investment.
Despite the fiscal impact, because of the property’s key location in downtown Golden, city council still felt the purchase would be a gain for the community. Though the idea of a civic center is not off-the-table, city council had many other ideas the property could possibly be used for — a stride toward achieving affordable housing goals or possible expansion of the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) Light Rail, for example.
“There are many potential benefits to the city owning a key piece of property adjacent to the creek,” said councilmember Casey Brown. “The creek is the heart and soul of the entire community and it’s hard to place a value on being able to protect and preserve what happens along that creek.”
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