This morning’s joint press release from the USOC and LandCo, announcing that they have “resolved all disputes relating to the USOC and LandCo’s relationship as part of the project to retain the USOC in Colorado Springs” almost certainly signals that a similar resolution between the city and LandCo is in the offing.
So here’s the question: what will the agreement look like? More to the point, who will pay, and what will they pay for?
Rumor has it that Stephanie Streeter, the newly-appointed CEO of the USOC, worked out a deal with the City a month ago, which would kick in as soon as the LandCo dispute was resolved.
It has been clear for months that, while LandCo’s finances were not strong enough to move the project forward, they were nevertheless in a position to stall the deal indefinitely. Such stalling tactics may have seemed unsporting and ungentlemanly, but real estate development is a rough game, and you play with the cards you’re dealt – unless you can deal yourself an ace off the bottom of the deck.
In all probability, LandCo has cut a deal, allowing the company to exit gracefully from the agreement in return for considerations of some sort-maybe in the form of debt relief, or real estate equity, or even, as some particularly suspicious folks have theorized, future tax relief for a project in which LandCo may have a residual interest.
More questions: is there a new developer, ready to step in and take over LandCo’s role? Has the city filled the gaps with some combination of taxpayer dough, El Pomar grants, contributions from civic-minded citizens, and promises of future largesse? Will the agreement be submitted to voters for approval, or will Council, as is its wont, just rubber-stamp it with no debate and a hearty round of mutual backslapping?
We’ll see – maybe even by tomorrow.