Folks in Fountain seem to agree that the entrances to town need to be spruced up. Who wants to look at junk yards and abandoned buildings and the like?
What’s the quickest way to spur redevelopment? Certify the area blighted and create an urban renewal agency with the power to condemn property so that large new projects can proceed.
Unfortunately for Patty and James Graf, the authority’s first project involves 17 acres surrounding their Fountain Creek Veterinary Clinic.
They were not pleased when they learned the city wanted to create access through their land and the state wanted a 15-foot strip of their frontage on U.S. Highway 85-87 to allow widening and installation of a median, which will make it more difficult to come and go from the clinic.
Patty Graf is so upset at the way the family was treated that she is writing letters and campaigning to oust Fountain’s elected officials. She’s even dissuading other businesses from coming to Fountain.
Doesn’t matter the project Fountain is promoting is a proposal by Place Properties of Atlanta to spend $30 million to build Independence Place _ 276 units, primarily for soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Carson.
Here’s an artist rendering of the complex as proposed by Place:
It doesn’t matter the clinic will get potentially hundreds of new clients. Or that it will get city water service because utilities will be extended to the area to accomodate the complex. The Grafs don’t like being forced to sell or what they consider as bully tactics.
Place is one of the largest construction companies in the nation and specializes in private student housing. But recently it has begun building unique military housing. Independence Place will rent bedrooms, not apartments as people commonly think of them. That way, a soldier isn’t left in a financial bind when a roommate deploys or leaves for any reason.
Most utilities are included in the rent, so there are no steep utility deposits. At the Fort Benning Independence Place project, rents range from $558 per bedroom in a four-bedroom unit up to $875 for a one-bedroom unit.
Each bedroom has its own bathroom, and the units come furnished. The developments are gated and feature a clubhouse, fitness center, computer rooms, game rooms and swimming pools. Like most apartment complexes, it will have a clubhouse, pool, volleyball court, and basketball court.
Place already has built ”Independence Place” complexes for Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla., Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas.
Place Properties has developed more than $525 million of student and military housing properties since 1996 and manages more than 17,000 beds, according to Commercial Property News.