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As Wal-Mart continues to make progress towards obtaining a building permit with the goal of a grand opening in the spring of 2014, news has surfaced of another large retailer interested in building a big store in Pagosa Springs.
While introducing the second reading of Ordinance 11 to the Pagosa Springs Sanitation and General Improvement District at last Thursday’s board meeting, Director Gene Tautges said, “This is the Robert and Valerie Goodman property where the tractor store will eventually be constructed.”
Ordinance 11, the Goodman Property Inclusion, is for approximately 9.9 acres of property owned by Robert and Valerie Goodman located near the intersection of U.S. 84 and Mill Creek Road.
“Although the property has a sewer line running in front of it,” Tautges explained, “which serves the Archuleta County fairgrounds, it is not within the PSSGID legal service area. If approved, the owner of record will also be required to pay a $9,000 cost recovery fee to Archuleta County as specified in the agreement between the county and the PSSGID. The property owner intends to connect to the sewer district line in the near future.”
The PSSGID board unanimously approved including the Goodman Property in the sewer district.
Earlier, at the May 7 meeting, Rick Wilson made a presentation to town council.
“I own R. A. Wilson Enterprises. I am a commercial real estate developer for one client. It is a nationwide business called Tractor Supply Company, a farm and ranch supplies merchandise retailer. It is a rather large company. I checked this morning and they are operating fourteen hundred and forty-one stores in all fifty states.
“Tractor Supply Company has recently approved, and highly desires, having stores in the state of Colorado, and a few in northern New Mexico, southern Wyoming and western Kansas. Up until about this time last year, Tractor Supply did not have a store operating in the state of Colorado. As of today, there are four stores in the state, and there are another nine approved by the company. Your fair city, Pagosa Springs, is one of them.”
Wilson went on to explain that the company is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., but the plan is to also build a large distribution center somewhere in Colorado. He then explained the demographic and marketing research behind the company’s decision to open a store in Pagosa Country, projecting the store would earn between seven and eight million dollars per year and employ approximately 30 people.
“I have been in sixteen cities in ten states,” Wilson said, “and I have never seen anyone not welcome these people to town. They have a nice presence. What we will construct will meet or exceed the code for Pagosa Springs, as we do in all areas. Their standard plans for the structure and the footprint that we will put in, we have researched, and there is nothing we can tell that is in any way different from your code. Mr. Dickhoff has been very helpful and I should point out it’s not always the case when we go to a city to start development and the attitude is, ‘What can we do to assist you in bringing this to our community?’”
“They need to go through the same major design review application process that Wal-Mart went through,” town planner James Dickhoff explained during a May 20 interview. “We’re expecting an application from them within a week or so. The design review board, which is also the planning commission, should be hearing their application on either the eighteenth or twenty-fifth of June.”
At the town council meeting, Wilson went on to explain the location and size of the building the company plans to construct. It will be at 205 U.S. 84, the Goodman property, and it will have a 3.5 acre footprint — including the parking lot — with a 22,000 square-foot building. Connected to the side of the building will be a 15,000 square-foot outdoor display area for bulk items that won’t fit on a shelf inside the store. He went on to explain the type of merchandise Tractor Supply Company offers and referred town council members to the company’s website.
Getting back to the building itself, Wilson promised, “The parking lot will, of course, meet or exceed Pagosa Springs code. We are not an ask-for-variance type of developer. We meet or exceed, and we always have. Tractor is not one to come to town and try to change the parking code, for example, or change the landscaping requirements, or this and that. We just don’t. We don’t have any need to do that. We want to fit into your community, and your community will enjoy this store.”