In 2018 City of Yuma staff and council discussed the need for additional land in the city limits for the development of housing. The city was acutely aware of the very short supply of available housing units for sale or rent and how this affected the job market and our economic development. We looked at what land possibilities were out there, and the 70+ acre tract at the corner of CR 39 and Highway 59 seemed like a good location. It had several things going for it, such as; the amount of acreage, which would provide several types of housing; it is surrounded by city owned infrastructure; it has good access to two major roads; and it has manageable drainage.
We contacted the owner to see if there was any interest in selling the property, and after discussion and approval by the city council, the city was fortunate enough to purchase the property in March, 2018. We paid $10,000 per acre for a total of $737,000 using money from our Capital Projects Fund.
In May of 2020, we put out a “Request for Proposal” to several Colorado design firms for a “Concept Design” based on what the council and staff felt were the needs of the community. Norris Design was the firm chosen to provide the city with a drawing of what might best fit the needs for housing, education, and open space, which were the three priorities staff and council felt were most important for the community. After review with the city council and input from members of the community, a preliminary design was agreed upon. While this design was not intended to be the absolute final plan, it gave us a good starting point and turned out to be very similar to what the developer presented for their site plan.
In early 2021, we were approached by the Armstrong Foundation about the need for an autism center here in Northeast Colorado. After discussion with the foundation representatives, the city and the Jeff Armstrong Foundation entered into a lease purchase agreement for 3.6 acres of the property just south of the Nazarene Church. This project is nearing completion and fits very well with the “education” priority the city had as one of the uses of the land.
Through a connection one of our city council members has with a prominent landowner in the Denver area, a meeting was arranged with a family-owned development company that was willing to come to Yuma and take a look at this property as well as Yuma itself. This meeting occurred in June of 2021. Shortly after this meeting, the city listed the land with Fuller Real Estate to explore the possibility of a sale and development of the property. The listing with a Denver real estate broker was just for the sale of the land to a developer with the understanding that individual lot sales would be listed with local realtors.
On November 21, 2021, the city council voted to accept an offer from Carlson Associates for $12,500 per acre. The purchase agreement details time periods and contingencies such as a site plan approval period, a marketing approval period, a takedown approval period, and a contingency period, as detailed in the purchase and sale agreement.
The Carlson family attended the city council meeting on June 7, 2022, for a site plan approval and public hearing. They pointed out that they looked forward to developing this property as much as possible using local builders and realtors, along with embracing this community by building Yuma Junction.