Big Agnes lease approved on 1st reading by City Council
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs City Council approved, on first reading, a five-year lease with Big Agnes, Inc. to occupy the top floor of the building at 840 Yampa St., which was previously occupied by the Steamboat Springs Police Department.
The ordinance passed with a 6-1 vote. Council member Lisel Petis was the only vote against it — objecting to the taking away of 31 public parking spaces.
“We are taking our daily parking spaces to almost half,” Petis said.
Big Agnes will share the building with the city, which will continue to use garage space for Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue. Another 600 square feet will be retained by the city for storage and office space for the facilities maintenance staff. Big Agnes will occupy 6,405 square feet of office space and a 1,200-square-foot garage area.
The terms of the lease rent the space to Big Agnes for $9,573.75 a month in the first year, and then the rent will increase by 3% a year during the course of the five-year lease. Including the escalation factor and $50,000 of tenant finishes, the lease will add $549,000 in revenue for the city, according to Allen Lind, director of general services.
There are a total of 54 parking spaces in the building’s two parking lots. During business hours, 31 of those will be reserved for Big Agnes and the city will retain 23 spaces. Previously, there were 16 spaces reserved for police between both lots. After business hours, there will be 41 spaces available to the public.
Petis argued that all spots should be left open to the public, on a first-come, first-served basis.
“That parking lot is full all the time,” Petis said.
The upper lot, between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street, currently has 26 spots available to the public. The lower lot on the northwest corner of Eighth and Yampa streets currently has 28 public spaces.
The council debated whether Big Agnes should have any reserved spaces. Then the discussion turned into a bigger conversation about available parking downtown, where employees should and do park, and the parking lot battle around numerous other downtown development projects.
If the building is sold, all spots will be lost, Council President Jason Lacy pointed out.
With only one meter each for electric, natural gas and water, utilities for the building will be shared. The city will pay all of water and sewer and will be responsible for plowing both parking lots. Big Agnes will pay all of trash removal, telephone, internet and cable services. Electric and natural gas service will be divided, with Big Agnes paying 85% and the city paying 15%.
It is a five-year lease with a renewal after five years and each year following. Big Agnes has first right of first refusal on the sale of the building.
Council member Kathi Meyer questioned whether the building could be sold in the first five years. It could, said City Attorney Dan Foote, but Big Agnes would have to be given notice and the new owners would need to take over the lease agreement.
Council member Michael Buccino said he thought the city would be better served by selling the building, but that he was OK with the terms if the city retained the ability to sell it at any time.
Other council members agreed it was important and preferable to be able to sell it, including potentially to Big Agnes.
Lacy said Steamboat Fire Rescue still needs the storage space, and so, they are not necessarily tying their hands over the next few years.
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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