Stage Set For First New Commercial Development In Florissant In Years

Not an actual representation

Booming Real Estate Market Cited in Unincorporated Teller For Mega Storage Demand

~ by Rick Langenberg ~

The gates have opened for the first substantial new commercial development in Florissant in more than a decade.

The new spurt won’t consist of a new retail hub or housing project, but a type of development cited as a huge demand in western Teller County:  a mega 209-unit, fully secure and basic, self-storage facility. This may not be the type of development some locals long for, but this is a byproduct of a burgeoning real estate market in the unincorporated sections of the county, according to officials.

With few concerns, the Teller County commissioners last week approved a rezoning change and a district map change to allow a proposed project for a huge storage facility to move forward by the property developers, PK Enterprises.

“This makes a lot of sense,” said Commissioner Marc Dettenrieder, following a presentation by County Planner Dan Williams and Bryan Johnson, a representative of PK Enterprises, who played a key role in a similar development in Divide. The other commissioners echoed similar views, and had no problems with the development as long as storage abuses don’t occur.

Williams cautioned that current highway demands make commercial retail in the main growth area of Florissant really difficult. “The reality of what it would cost (to do a big store) would be impossible,” said Williams.

As a reality, he cited low-density projects like a mega storage facility as a probable course of action for this property.  But in order for the massive storage facility to get constructed, a zoning and map change had to get finalized by the commissioners.

Williams said the project planned by PK Enterprises at the corner of Circle Drive and Second Street, in coordination with MCB Resources, LLC, and Tregos Venture, LLC, would represent the first commercial development in Florissant in at least a decade. He didn’t see any major issues or concerns with the project.

As far as a few negative letters regarding the bid, Williams believes these complaints deal with older storage facilities that were done under a different set of older regulations and really consisted of “mini-warehouses.”

“It would provide healthy competition,” said Johnson. Moreover, he sees the facility as creating more tax revenue for special districts in the area and representing a green light for further development in Florissant. “This may drive other investors/developers to consider developing in the area,” said Johnson, in his presentation.

He agreed with Williams that current highway regulations make core retail stores extremely difficult. For years, rumors have abounded about big box-type development occurring in downtown Florissant, but these plans have always suffered a quick death due to the infrastructure bill required.

During a brief presentation, Johnson cited a huge demand for storage units in this part of Teller. He believes this is a byproduct of better financial conditions county-wide and much more real estate interest in unincorporated sections of Teller, which now surpasses housing activity in Woodland Park. In addition, he mentioned concerns over natural disasters as creating more interest among residents in using storage units. He also cited growth trends for Teller County through 2025, indicating the area’s population will grow at a much higher rate than the state average rate.

Request Sparked By Huge Demand

“There has been a dramatic increase in the demand,” said Johnson.

As an example, he noted that a 500-unit facility they have developed in Divide, known as the “Tregos North Location,” is filled to capacity, and reached this level fairly quickly. Johnson said interest in storage units in Teller exploded around 2011, and has continued at a non-stop rate.

He cited the commercial hub of Florissant as an ideal spot, with a lack of available land in other parts of the county that would meet current land use regulations.

No residents appeared at last week’s commissioners  hearing to oppose the request. However, the county did receive several opposition letters from residents who didn’t believe a storage facility would mesh with the community goals of Florissant. “I think this prime place of commercial property should be developed for the benefit of the town as we would like to see some kind of business center that would help to service the community in a much more beneficial way. We see the need for a restaurant, office spaces or anything else that would bring in more sales tax revenue,” stated Antoinette Clare, in a letter.

Williams acknowledged this desire for more retail development, but reiterated the highway requirements for major commercial projects, with acceleration and deceleration lanes.  He said this particular land area has remained undeveloped for 30 years.

During their final deliberations, the only concerns voiced by the commissioners dealt with what could be stored in these future units.

Johnson said no cars or automobiles of any kinds would be permitted, along with explosives, firearms or flammable objects. He said the facility operators would enforce these rules as much as possible.

In their final vote, the commissioners maintained the new facility would serve as a bonus for Florissant.