After months of speculation and interest from developers, future of TIC campus is clear
Steamboat Springs — Paul White said he didn’t really market the big empty industrial campus he spent several months trying to sell here in Steamboat Springs.
Turns out, he didn’t need to.
For two years, developers, city officials and others have toured the office buildings and vehicle bays of the TIC campus with different ideas for its future.
Then a growing local electric cooperative called.
Yampa Valley Electric Association’s purchase of 15 acres of the TIC campus last week for $9.7 million brought clarity to the future of a property that in recent months has been the subject of much speculation, and plenty of buying interest.
“It was one of those questions of who is going to be able to use all this? It was just so much,” local realtor Cam Boyd said. “With the needs YVEA has, I think it was a great fit.”
Boyd, a buyers agent with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, represented Yampa Valley Electric Association during the sale.
Before YVEA started to seriously pursue the property, others were touring it with very different ideas.
The city of Steamboat initially approached Kiewit, TIC’s parent company, with the thought of using part of the site for a police station two years ago.
But city officials dropped the pursuit after they said it was offered only as an entire campus with too high of a price tag.
As time went on, Kiewit was entertaining the idea of selling pieces of the campus separately.
Developers from Denver and other places floated ideas of razing some of the structures and creating anything from a supermarket to a strip shopping mall to a new gas station.
White, Kiewit’s director of real estate, said the company thought it could possibly sell the property in three separate pieces.
But a number of factors steered the property toward YVEA in recent months.
For one, White said redevelopment projects take time and carry risks.
“One of the big things is you’ve got to persuade a bank to finance it, and you’ve got to do some rezoning,” White said. “These developments can literally go on for years.”
YVEA, which shares many operational needs with TIC including garage and industrial storage space, became what White called the higher probability buyer.
The company also was willing to purchase the entire property instead of just pieces of it.
“We like to sell to users, people who like the asset as opposed to the developer groups,” White said.
YVEA soon plans to inhabit the campus and make it its headquarters.
Many of the people who spent some time actively seeking out potential buyers for the property, or looking at the property themselves, are praising YVEA’s purchase of the campus.
“I’m excited the property can continue to be used and be vibrant in our community,” City Manager Deb Hinsvark said. “It was sad for TIC to leave but the opportunity it created for Yampa Valley Electric was excellent, so we’re happy to see this turn into an opportunity.”
Chamber CEO Tom Kern said Friday he was “elated” to hear that YVEA will be making the move west of downtown.