“Timeline, Employment, Restaurants, Entertainment, Retail, Impacts, Erie ‘No’” (9/14/13)

From: Aaron Harber
Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2013 7:28 PM
To: Joe Carnival
Cc: Joe Wilson; Ronda Grassi; Janice Moore; Mark Gruber ; Paul Ogg; Jonah Schrogin ; A.J. Krieger ; Marty Ostholthoff; Gary Behlen
Subject: Timeline, Employment, Restaurants, Entertainment, Retail, Impacts, Erie "No"



www.GoldenRun.com     Aaron@GoldenRun.com

2500 North 119th Street, Lafayette, CO 80026-9216

P:  (303) 666-6161    C:  303-718-3399


Dear Joe,


Thanks for the quick response and all the great questions.  I really appreciate the time you and the other Trustees are putting into Golden Run’s application to become part of Erie.  We already have sent so much information my team is concerned it may not be getting the detailed review we are hoping for so, from this point on, we will try to be more concise.  Also, thanks for posting this information on the Trustees’ blog as well as any other locations where people get information.  In the future, please do include the above Golden Run contact information, above, so people will feel free to contact us directly.  Perhaps when you post one of these messages, you can do that in its entirety so more people can participate in the discussion.  Now, let me try to address all your questions.


  1. 1.TIMELINE.  You are correct in your understanding that this is a long-term approval process and that we do not expect much to happen in the next few years unless one of our major employer prospects makes a decision which requires us to get started earlier.  So your assumption that people are mistaken if they believe something is going to happen on the property right away also is correct.  We have built in plenty of time for everyone to participate in the design of Golden Run and expect that is the real work ahead of us in 2014 through 2016.  By taking our time and working with the National Sustainability Council which we have established, we will be able to develop a state-of-the-art design which gives the entire Erie community the benefits Golden Run can bring without the traditionally proportionate disadvantages.  This is a critically important theme we need your and your colleagues’ help communicating.  Some of the members of the Board did ask for a general timeline and we submitted a draft to the Town’s staff.  We received feedback on it and will send it to you and all the Trustees tomorrow.

  1. 2.EMPLOYMENT.  Our initial discussions with major businesses have led to the conclusion that a unique, sustainable community such as Golden Run will be very attractive to a wide range of businesses.  Almost all significant businesses today have made a commitment to sustainability and often have sustainability officers and departments at high levels.  As you already know, our plan to have 1 Gigabit service throughout the community will make Erie one of the most attractive places to do business anywhere in the country --- allowing the entire community to leapfrog ahead of tens of thousands of other cities and towns. Opportunities such as Golden Run are rare so this should make Erie extremely attractive from a competitive perspective.  As we have discussed, the facts Golden Run (a) is entirely in Boulder County, (b) is entirely in the Boulder Valley School District, and (c) in not undermined are huge attractions.  This is magnified by the likelihood that no other 320-acre location in Boulder County could be designed similarly to Golden Run and only Erie has the opportunity to take advantage of this.  In terms of business sectors, you likely will see concentrations in areas such as (a) biotechnology, (b) health, athletics, wellness, and fitness, (c) geriatric housing, medical facilities, and services, (d) health care, (e) software and high technology, (f) energy technology and conservation, and (g) telecommunications and information technology.  Numerically, we expect Golden Run to be Erie’s primary Employment Center with several thousand jobs --- most of which will be high-paying.

  1. 3.RESTAURANTS.  We anticipate (a) individual (single location), unique restaurants, (b) small local chains (i.e., two to twenty restaurants), and (c) nationally-known restaurants as well as other food-and-beverage operations (e.g., coffeeshops) to all have a presence in Golden Run.  The County Line Road core of Golden Run, in particular, should have quite a variety of choices with many of them open late.  The expansive restaurant opportunities will be driven almost solely by the number of residences we are planning combined with large swaths of non-vehicular zones --- with demographic cohorts highly inclined to stay on-site.  This will have a multiplier effect which will be very attractive to restaurateurs.  With the regional attraction of athletic facilities, performing arts, the arts district, and other amenities bringing people to Golden Run, we expect a substantial net gain in revenue for the Town.  In addition, the sheer numbers of residents will generate substantial business for new and existing restaurant operations elsewhere in Erie.

  1. 4.ENTERTAINMENT.  We expect to have a substantial Arts District as well as a vibrant Performing Arts Center with multiple indoor theaters and smaller practice and performing spaces.  We also would like to have a substantial outdoor arena in the civic area we are contemplating.  As you may know, I have been involved in arts organizations for many years --- including servings as the President and Chairman of the Nancy Spanier Dance Theatre of Colorado as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as having participated in other arts-related activities.  In addition, the numbers and design elements (including our targeted demographics) we have proposed should allow us to secure a multiple-screen theater complex.  We believe many of the first class and Olympic quality athletic facilities in Golden Run will simultaneously serve as entertainment venues for those who do not participate in sports but who enjoy watching them.  These will range from marked race courses within Golden Run to indoor track, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, and other facilities with seating for audiences.

  1. 5.RETAIL.  Golden Run definitely will have local and regional businesses operating throughout the “villages” constituting Golden Run.  We expect to have national brand stores consider Golden Run’s on our County Line locations due to the numbers and concentration of the community’s population.  Many businesses also will locate near but off-site Golden Run (e.g., along County Line Road).  Some of these decisions will depend on the eventual re-routing of Colorado Highway 7.  We are willing to team up with the Trustees and the Town’s staff to achieve positive decisions from the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation District.  We also are looking at creative ways to connect the community and for Erie citizens to get to and from I-25.  If Highway 7 eventually joins Arapahoe near County Line Road, Golden Run could become Erie’s primary internal retail gateway.  Simply the existence of Golden Run should have direct, positive impacts on the development of retail businesses throughout Erie but especially up and down County Line Road.  Golden Run’s sheer numbers also will directly benefit Historic Downtown Erie in a significant way because even if a minority of Golden Run’s residents (e.g., one-fifth) patronize Historic Downtown Erie, business activity easily could increase 100 to 200%.  In fact, we believe Golden Run likely offers the only realistic hope for significant Economic Development of Historic Downtown due to its demographics and proximity --- and because everyone else in Town typically gets into their cars and end up heading elsewhere (such as Larkridge, Orchard Mall, the Lafayette Wal-Mart, et cetera).  Because Golden Run is the only significant high density neighborhood proposed for Erie within walking and biking distance of Historic Downtown Erie, it may be the only realistic opportunity for Downtown to be successful.  And once this new level of success is achieved, Historic Downtown Erie will become attractive to those residents who typically shop elsewhere.  This is yet another example of why the specific residential numbers we have proposed are so critical to the entire Town’s success.

  1. 6.IMPACT MITIGATION.  This is an important issue and one which needs to be viewed through the reality that development mitigation options today are much better than they were in past decades.  One of our biggest challenges will be informing people with anachronistic mindsets that there are ways to have a large population neighborhood without the impacts we have seen in the past.  Specifically, the concept of adding 40,000 people in one location seems daunting but, if you look at how the neighborhood can be designed and the demographic targets (e.g., young people without large families and older people who also do not have large families), you should begin to be able to see how little impact so many people can have.  When you add no-vehicle zones, inter-neighborhood connections limited to pedestrian and non-motorized traffic (except for emergency vehicles), and sustainable practices related to energy, water, and wastewater, you can have a relatively peaceful neighborhood that does not negatively impact surrounding neighborhoods.  Using the transect we have discussed, we can gently phase in Golden Run with Canyon Creek --- with the multi-modal trail being a major separator but one we anticipate Canyon Creek residents will use more than any other group of non-Golden Run residents.  In fact, we believe it will be Canyon Creek residents who will benefit more than any other neighborhood outside of Golden Run.  They will have the best access to Golden Run’s stores, shops, restaurants, coffeeshops, athletic facilities, performing arts and entertainment venues, et cetera.  And, again, we will have the time to all work together to make this a “win/win” for all concerned.

  1. 7.WHAT IF ERIE SAYS “NO” TO GOLDEN RUN?  Working with Erie remains our top choice and we are totally committed to doing this.  We have avoided discussing this matter because we want to focus on getting annexed and zoned.  We also did not want the Trustees’ annexation decision to be based on a concern that Golden Run could get built without Erie’s participation.  My guess is you already know we do have other options and the Town’s staff is aware we had begun exploring some of them prior to petitioning for annexation this year.  Nevertheless, I made a personal commitment to you and the other six members of the Board as well as to the Town staff (and Town Administrator A.J. Krieger, in particular) and to the entire community --- within which we know Golden Run has substantial support.  Our plan is to keep that commitment and see it through.  Obviously, the September 24th vote will be the crucial test of whether or not the Town ultimately wants to participate in this collaborative process.  The Town staff is aware that certain parties we expect to involve financially (a) have been troubled by the delays which have occurred and (b) are concerned that Erie’s codes and governance structure may not be ideal for Golden Run.  I believe, by working together collaboratively, we can make this succeed via the Golden Run PD path proposed by the Town staff.  We have accepted the Town’s recommendation in this regard.  The Town staff detailed a timeline which we communicated to other parties and we have explained to them we all are on the same path.  Your and the other Trustees’ 7-0 vote for the Preliminary Annexation Agreement was a plus as was the 6-1 affirmative vote for the Substantial Compliance Resolution.  Nevertheless, we were hoping for a 7-0 vote on all of the timeline items because unanimity sends a very positive message to third parties observing this process as well as to members of the Erie community.  We hope this will be the case on September 24th.  We realize it is our responsibility to answer all the Trustees’ questions and give each Trustee the information he or she needs to cast an affirmative vote and will continue to respond to all requests.  We do want you and everyone in Erie to know, however, in the event we do not get the required support for annexation from the Board on September 24th, we still would honor all the remaining terms of the Pre-Annexation Agreement and there would be no hard feelings on our part.


Our hope is all the Trustees will decide taking advantage of this opportunity is what is best for the community --- both today and in the long run.  We have accepted the Town staff’s proposal that we complete the annexation and generic zoning processes on the schedule they proposed and then take whatever time is necessary (perhaps two years) to develop the Golden Run PD.  This allows all of us to postpone the biggest decisions until a time when everyone is available to focus on all the issues at hand.  The agreement we have is that, if we cannot get we need in the Golden Run PD, we can disconnect (i.e., de-annex) and pursue other alternatives. 


In conclusion, we very much look forward to continuing to work with you and all the Trustees.  We are confident we can make this collaborative process work. 


Respectfully yours,



Board and Community Correspondence

As part of the transparency of the project, Golden Run periodically posts correspondence it believes citizens might be interested in having the opportunity to read. Please contact us with any additional questions.