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ARCHIVED  January 1, 1996

Developer earmarks ’96 for Dacono mall’s launch

An Arizona developer says the tax-increment-financed 100,000-square-foot, $20 million first phase of the Dacono Factory Stores should be open byNov. 15, 1996.
Factory-store developer Ted Decker celebrated the deal with a $13,000 check to the city.
“The $13,000 was just a token of upcoming things,” Decker said. “We originally planned to do that at breaking ground, but since it was such a longtime getting approvals and getting plans together … I decided it was inappropriate to wait about a gift. It is just a way of saying ‘Gosh, we’re glad to be here, and we’re looking forward to being part of the community’.”
Decker has had a hand in the development of about 20 outlet projects, including the Castle Rock Factory Stores that opened in 1992. He said the gift, destined for the city’s general fund, was “part of our early discussions” surrounding the stores.
In the annexation agreement finalized last fall, Decker Development LLC also agreed to cover the cost of converting Dacono from a statutory to a home-rule city. As a home-rule city, Dacono was able legally to enter negotiations with the developers for a tax-increment-financing deal. Under the agreement, the town for 20 years will rebate its 3 percent sales tax on purchases at the first phase of the mall. Decker Development will pay for utilities to be extended from the existing city to the northeast quadrant of Interstate 25 and Weld County Road 8, better known as the Erie exit.
Decker said his investment group has acquired 104 acres and intends to purchase an additional 100 acres as the project swells to about 500,000 square feet over a four-year period. Tenants have already been lined up for the second phase, but there is no guarantee that future phases of the mall will be constructed.
In a meeting with the Carbon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Decker suggested that Dacono consider hiking its sales tax by 1 percent to take advantage of the outlet-mall frenzy from the outset. He also warned chamber members from Frederick, Firestone and Dacono to gird for an influx of tourists looking for expanded shopping and entertainment possibilities.
And indeed, in some cities where outlets anchor the retail scene, downtown tax collections have jumped dramatically. Former Castle Rock mayor Mark Williams said that in the first year the factory stores were open there, sales-tax revenues increased 80 percent overall and 20 percent in downtown.
“The mall brought some businesses, and it put some out, but it made us more of a regional shopping area,” he said.
Castle Rock, too, had a pot-sweetening agreement with the mall. The developer financed the $2 million cost of extending utilities to the building site. In exchange, the city over a 10-year period will repay the $2 million, plus an additional $1 million for tenant improvements.
Sales were so brisk during the first year of business at Castle Rock, Williams said, that the city was able to make three years’ payments to the developer at once. The mall brought financial stability to the city, kicking about $6.7 million in sales taxes into the coffers over 30 months.
“Now we have the cash to pay for capital improvements,” Williams said. “The malls have had an enormous impact on Castle Rock.”
Williams cautioned against thinking of outlet malls as the cure for what ails small-town economies, however.
“We’re starting to get saturated with Castle Rock, Loveland, Silverthorne and the Hahn malls,” Williams said. “This isn’t like in the early ’80s, when we were so retail starved.”
But Decker says his project is different, a “marriage of a sports-park concept to a factory outlet.
“I don’t want people to think this is a normal project,” Decker said. “This is much more than a normal factory outlet.”
The first phase of the Dacono plan calls for three softball fields, as well as a number of what Decker described as “show-and-tell” stores. The show-and-tell roster includes an aviation store that will sell airplanes and flying paraphernalia and will feature a linked flight simulator that will allow patrons to engage in a virtual-reality dogfight. The first-ever boat factory outlet will feature a small lake with boats floating on it. A ski and skate outlet will include an enclosed, heated full-size in-line skating rink, as well as a simulated skiing facility.
Other try-it-out stores include gun and fishing retailers, a chocolate company and a tool manufacturer.
“Both of the industry organizations have been promoting the concept of entertainment and try-it-out marketing,” Decker said. “This sort of thing is within the realm of what they say should be done to energize shopping.”
The Dacono project is one of three sports-oriented malls under construction or being planned. Decker said another company is building a similar mall in Branson, Mo. The group of investors supporting the Dacono mall is working on a second project in West Frankfurt, Ill.
Decker represented Mikasa in its early attempts to organize the Castle Rock Factory Stores. When that deal went sour, the project was quickly picked
up by the Prime Group of Baltimore. The Castle Rock project is destined to reach 500,000 square feet of retail.

An Arizona developer says the tax-increment-financed 100,000-square-foot, $20 million first phase of the Dacono Factory Stores should be open byNov. 15, 1996.
Factory-store developer Ted Decker celebrated the deal with a $13,000 check to the city.
“The $13,000 was just a token of upcoming things,” Decker said. “We originally planned to do that at breaking ground, but since it was such a longtime getting approvals and getting plans together … I decided it was inappropriate to wait about a gift. It is just a way of saying ‘Gosh, we’re glad to be here, and we’re looking forward to being…

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