Castle Rock will soon have a new $300 million development called Miller's Landing near Interstate 25 and Plum Creek Parkway.
The four-phase, 65-acre project received final approval April 18 when the town council signed a $65 million public finance agreement with developers P3 Advisors and Citadel Development, LLC. The 5-2 vote got a no from District 4 Councilmember Jason Bower and Mayor Jennifer Green.
Bower fears the national retail climate, in which stores like Macy's are closing, paired with an already saturated retail market in Castle Rock — with an outlet mall and the still-developing Promenade shopping center — could lead to a cannibalism effect.
The developer has said it intends to attract destination-style retail that won't compete with the existing market.
Green also noted that the finance agreement allows the developer to build up to 100,000 square feet of retailbefore it has secured the plan's flagship component — a hotel with a minimum of 250 rooms. Like Bower, she worried about having that amount of retail without other supporting pieces in place.
"Overall, I do like this project. I like the vision for this project," Green said. However, "this is a project I have been struggling with for a little while. The more I learned about it, the more I started to struggle with it."
But with the green light from council, Miller's Landing is setting out to bring a hotel with at least 250 rooms and 10,000 square feet of conference space. Throughout its projected seven- to 10-year build-out, Miller's Landing will build nearly 900,000 square feet of mixed-use development, including office and retail space.
Under the finance agreement, the developer cannot build more than 100,000 square feet of retail until it delivers a full-service hotel, and no more than 250,000 square feet of retail until it has built 150,000 square feet of office space.
Economic Development Council President Frank Gray says there's plenty to love about the development plan.
For years he's watched numerous developers walk away from the property — mostly because it's home to a daunting town landfill. Remediating the dump is costly and requires state supervision.
Through P3 Advisors, the town has found a developer that is not only willing to take it on, but also experienced in landfill remediations. Phase one of development will include the $12 million remediation.
The project proposal was alluring to councilmembers seeking the hotel and conference center, plus the added office space in town. They hope the event space will generate revenue from visitor traffic, and the offices will attract primary employers. Getting rid of the dump was also a big selling point.
"For me," District 7 Councilmember Brett Ford said, "I see this as not just one project, but the opening of multiple, multiple benefits."
"We have spent hours on this," District 6 Councilmember George Teal said. "This is something that we've really gone over."
Miller's Landing also had support from the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council, both of which believe the project will be a catalyst for Castle Rock.
“We sincerely appreciate the hard work of town council, town staff and Castle Rock Economic Development Council to make this partnership a success,” Shawn Temple, managing director of P3 Advisors, said in a news release. “We look forward to many more exciting announcements for Castle Rock and Miller's Landing in the very near future.”