County enters purchase contracts for downtown parcels

Acquisition is for possible public parking complex, county office space or other public purpose

April 30, 2012

Garfield County entered into a single $2.525 million contract Monday to purchase three adjoining properties in downtown Glenwood Springs for possible use as office space and a public parking structure. The properties are located across from the side entrance of the Garfield County Courthouse, ranging from the northeast corner of 8th and Colorado, towards 7th Street. The addresses are 201 8th Street, 720 Colorado Avenue, and 716 Colorado Avenue in Glenwood Springs. Closing on the sale is tentatively scheduled for June 1, 2012.

The current owners of the properties are attorneys Stephen J. Worrell and Anthony J. Durrett. The county plans to execute a lease with Worrell and Durrett, allowing their law firm to stay in its existing location for up to two years. The purchase also includes a separate building used by an auto glass business, and County Board Chair John Martin says the county intends to continue the current lease.

“This purchase serves an important public purpose,” Martin said. “We have negotiated with the owners for some time, and we are pleased with the results. Already this year, the other commissioners and I have streamlined county management and have paid off some substantial financial obligations. And we are equally committed to developing our physical assets and serving the needs of our citizens.”

The purchase will add to the county’s downtown campus. The signing of the contract begins the county’s due diligence period. Representatives from the county’s public works and facilities department and the county attorney’s office will conduct property inspections and further legal reviews, respectively.

“Buying these parcels means that the county will own two-thirds of the west side of the block, and the city of Glenwood owns the other third.” said Acting County Manager Andrew Gorgey. “The Garfield County Commissioners and Glenwood Springs City Council have discussed this location as one that may support a larger parking structure. The complete assessment of our county administration includes our current and future capital needs. Additional parking is essential for the vitality of the Glenwood Springs business community.”

Negotiations for the contract have extended over the past six to eight months. The purchase will be a cash transaction, funded by a budget supplement from the capital expenditures fund. Prior to the sale, the balance of the capital expenditures fund is approximately $21.2 million.

The sellers have signed the contract as well, placing the agreement into operation.