Franny Ryan: Redtail Ridge: It will bring us a tax base

I am in support of the proposed development of the old Storage Technology Property. As a resident of the area since 1973, I watched Storage Tec build out their campus to accommodate over 7,000 employees. The campus was vibrant with employment and growth in the evolving technology business. Juan Rodriguez and Jesse Aweida were visionaries and business leaders in the region and around the world. I was proud to have them in our backyard. The campus was often used for community events. They had a separate building for the employees daycare needs! As the property was sold and various owners had various ideas, the neglect of the property saddened me. For 15 years, it has been vacant and actually an eyesore. Removing the buildings from the property was a mistake! It has clearly given the current perception that the property is open space. If one is new to the area, you would assume it is vacant land.

In the previous application for development, Medtronic, a world-renowned business with over 2000 employees in the area, was to be the anchor business to an envisioned use of the property. We would have been lucky to have had the privilege of their employment opportunities and their contributions to the health and vitality of our community. All cities of Colorado are reliant upon sales tax to provide services to its residents. Finding a balanced tax base is what cities strive for to plan and provide to the needs of the community. This property would provide significant balance in our tax base.

I have heard the owner of the property has spent over $5 million on plans over the last 5 years. The plans were repeatedly modified to reflect the input from the council and what they heard from public participation. They have been amazingly accommodating with the roller coaster of public opinions. They offered to absorb the costs of delayed infrastructure needs that the City has not had the resources to direct to the area. They designed and offered new parks, biking and hiking trails, a pond, and reasonable services for the area. They have offered to pay for and address the traffic needs caused by BVSD and the location of their two schools that impede safe access to the hospital and other locations by the fire department and police.

I am at a loss to understand how the 5 year process has culminated into a special election, costing the city $75,000 in election costs, to determine the fate of the property that was purchased and designed for business growth over 40 years ago. I am still at a loss to understand how the community kicked out Medtronic 3 years ago because we could not embrace, value and support a world class clean business that provided employment, taxes, services and support for local non profit organizations

As an involved resident in local governing discussions for multiple decades, I support the development of the old Storage Tec property. As a resident of Old Town Louisville and a homeowner that experiences the construction and traffic growth of new businesses along 96th Street, I am prepared to accept the additional impact on the local roads in order to encourage all the attributes detailed in the current Redtail vision.

Vote “Yes” for Redtail.

Franny Ryan lives in Louisville.