Our presentation focused on five basic realities:
1. The purpose of the URA is to:
- Renovate/Redevelop deteriorated/outdated retail buildings;
- Reduce the retail vacancy rate in the area;
- Improve the Property Values in the area; and
- Improve the Tax Base of the City.
This is exactly what our Plan is designed to do!
2. While the Jefferson County side of the URA has seen its property values increase over 400% over the last five years, the Adams County side has actually lost value during this same time period and is deserving of investment from the URA;
Phase 1 of our Plan is to put our Local Foods Retail Center into a former 29,000 SF Albertsons within the Hidden Lake Shopping Center in the Adams County side of the URA.
3. Coloradoans spend over $9 Billion each year on Groceries. While only about 14% of our food dollars spent at Walmart, King Soopers or Whole Foods stay in Colorado, with Local Foods, 100% of every food dollar spent by Coloradoans stays in the State and our Communities.
Our Plan is a true Local Economic Development Driver.
4. There have been several millions of dollars in excess Incremental Sales Tax Revenues generated within the South Sheridan URA through purchases made by local citizens that have been retained by the City, put into the General Fund and spent else where in the City.
Leave our excess Incremental Sales Tax Revenue in the URA and use those millions of dollars to revitalize the area like they were supposed to be used.
5. The City has millions of dollars of excess General Fund dollars available to be spent on projects such as ours.
The money is there. We have the Plan. We have the public support!
On Monday, April 13, the Local Foods Campus coalition, supported by over 50 citizens, presented an update to the Westminster City Council on the progress of this innovative project.
We want to sincerely thank all of those who left their homes to travel to the Westminster City Council Chambers to demonstrate their support for our Plan. We also want to thank those many, many other supporters who could not make to the meeting last night, but who have shared their support for our Plan by email, phone calls and Facebook posts. Your support and thoughts are fundamental to our eventual success in bringing convenient and affordable healthy foods to the Hidden Lake Shopping Center at 72nd & Sheridan – located within the South Sheridan Urban Renewal Area (URA).
Many of the organizers and volunteers spoke, as well as a few friends we didn’t even know we had!
There’s something about Local Food and Local Government that just seems to go hand-in-hand.
This innovative project is riding a wave of interest from people who are wanting to produce food and sell it to locally to people who care about the source, flavor, sustainability and health of the food they eat.
Local? It varies, depending on the food or product, but grapes from Chile aren’t local to the Front Range of Colorado.
Foods? Certainly vegetables grown near enough to be farm trucked one step in to the place where someone can buy them. But more than that: honey, eggs, beef and mutton and poultry, salsa, jams and jellies, breads and pasta!
Campus? Bringing it all together in one place, where people can package and process, market and plan, buy and eat, celebrate and learn, all in one place. And if that place has historical agricultural roots … all the better.
Local. Foods. Campus.