Woodland Station Development Hits Another Hurdle

Multi-Use Tava House Project To Land In Laps of City Council


Bob Volpe

The Woodland Park Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the Tava House investment group hoped to have a sales contract signed and delivered by the end of January 2022, for the purchase of developing Woodland Station.

But unfortunately, yet another obstacle has reared its head, and may slow down the project. That is par for the course, as this property, which once served as the beacon of the town’s cowboy culture, housing the old Bergstrom Arnena and serving as the home of the Saddle Club, has encountered one delay after another,. It has mostly sat vacant for the last 20 years, even though DDA founders hoped this would become the prime commercial anchor of downtown Woodland Park.

That vision hasn’t quite materialized.

The most recent proposal, calling for a tap house restaurant, event center, culinary school, retail, housing and more, has advanced more than previous pursuits. However, a few legal hurdles remain before project proponents can reach the end zone.

Last week, DDA Attorney, Marcus McAskins met with the Tava group attorney to discuss finalization of the contract language. During that meeting McAskins suggested language be added to the contract that protects the DDA, the city, and taxpayers in the event that Tava group default on the contract.

Financial penalties were suggested by the Tava group, but McAskins suggested the sales contract would not be signed over until the entitlement process for all four phases was complete. This would involve approval by the planning commission and city council.

DDA Chairman Tony Perry said, “That wasn’t in keeping with our discussions over the last four, five and six months.” Perry asked the board if what McAskins is proposing is reasonable.

DDA Board Member, Jerry Good said he believes it is reasonable. He said, “I believe there should be markers met before it is laid out.”

Perry stated the ultimate goal, outlined by the DDA attorney, was to assure the ultimate protection for the DDA.  But he questioned if the latest requirements were taking this matter to far in the bureaucratical channels.

Further discussion centered around the idea that a default would leave the DDA with the initial $800,000 the group will pay for the land, plus taking back the land, which they agreed would be a win/win for the city.

Perry, however, expressed some frustration with the current dilemma facing the Woodland Station developers.

He said, “I get frustrated with all these machinations we have to go through with government, but we have to, we are government. We need to get this done. We’ve talked about this contract since August and here it is January 2023, and it’s not their fault.”

Perry suggested they get a contract done and kick the can down the road, and have the city council make the final decision. The board agreed.