With Lone Tree City Council approval, the city is poised to purchase Treõ At Lone Tree, a property located at 9070 Maximus Drive that has been vacant for more than a decade.
In late September, the Lone Tree council unanimously approved a resolution that permits the city to spend up to $3.85 million to purchase the roughly 3.36-acre property, with the intent of the city then selling or leasing the property to a restaurant or entertainment-focused business.
“It’s subject to title review, inspection and acceptance of existing encumbrances and easements on the property, so we have a chance to inspect and review in this process,” said Jeff Holwell, the city’s director of economic development and public affairs.
According to the city staff report, Treõ, which is on the corner of Yosemite Street and Maximus Drive, operated as a nightclub until it closed more than 13 years ago. The commercial property has been vacant since 2009.
“Typically, a vacant property in Lone Tree will sell or lease to a new end user over a short period of time,” the report said. “The Treo property, however, has had multiple potential buyers and contracts that ultimately back out due to site conditions and price.”
The staff report said the status of the property is one of the most common questions directed to city staff.
Per the report, staff’s involvement relative to the property has been extensive, including calls for police service, multiple property maintenance violations and a building code inspection.
The city completed its own formal appraisal of the property “with the idea that acquisition and repurposing of the site would create both an economic development opportunity and eliminate a long vacant and blighted property,” according to the report.
“Ultimately, the plan to acquire this property is to accelerate redevelopment with a fair market offer to the property owner,” the report said.
The property owner — MRJ Holdings, LLC — is interested in selling the property to the city, according to the resolution the council approved.
City spokesperson Nate Jones said via email that the resolution authorized the city manager to negotiate a purchase of the property for up to $3.85 million, but not exceeding that amount.
The city staff report said, “In addition to controlling the redevelopment process, we would have the opportunity to clean up the site, eliminate blight, demolish the building, and make it … ready for a future user.”
A request for proposal — which opens a bidding opportunity — would be posted to market the property for sale or lease to a restaurant or entertainment-type user, according to the report.
“Finally, this transaction would return the property as an asset to the community, provide a return on our investment, and generate revenue rather than liabilities for the city,” the report said.