The Colorado Department of Transportation may move forward with borrowing money from currently funded transportation projects to buy a vacant motel at the corner of 8th Street and Highway 24.
The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Board of Directors discussed a proposal Wednesday to reallocate a portion of Colorado Department of Transportation money budgeted for purchasing right-of-way properties at the intersection of I-25 and Cimarron Street to fund the purchase of the Express Inn, a vacant motel in foreclosure at 8th Street and Cimarron Street.
GROT Cimarron borrowed almost $2.2 million from People’s National Bank in 2000. There is $1.33 million remaining on the loan and the property is scheduled to be sold at foreclosure auction July 20.
“People’s Bank approached us,” said Sallie Clark, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments president.
There is currently $4.2 million budgeted for right-of-way acquisitions at I-25 and Cimarron, Clark said. But much of that is vacant land not suitable for commercial development. The department could save millions of dollars by borrowing from that money to buy the property at 8th Street and Cimarron now instead of waiting and allowing an investor to purchase and improve the property that the government will eventually have to buy if it’s going to expand and improve Highway 24, Clark said.
Expansion and improvement to the Highway 24 corridor are already on the drawing board and the environmental study on the area has already been completed, Clark said. But actual improvements beyond the Cimarron and I-25 interchange are not included in the 2010 to 2017 CDOT Transportation Improvement Program.
“The board was very much in favor of proceeding,” Clark said.
The proposal didn’t make it onto the Citizens Advisory Board agenda in time and the council will wait to get direction there before acting, Clark said.