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Construction delays a roadblock to business

Opening a business is an anxiety producing endeavor. But once the money has been doled out, building delays can send harried business owners over the edge.Just ask three business owners who have been waiting for months for the construction of the new building near Safeway in Falcon.”It’s a waiting game for me and for everyone else that is going in there,” said Art Wilson, owner of Wild Wings and Things. Wilson said construction was delayed because of building permits. “The county held up the all the permits, for whatever reason, I don’t know,” he said. “And all of a sudden – Bam! – permits are being issued.”Wilson said he has been told the building will be completed by December; however, he is playing it safe and opting to open his doors in February. “They say they’ll get the building done in December, but I still have to go in there with my contractor and build the space … as a Wings restaurant.”Although the wait has been frustrating, Wilson has used the delays to his advantage. “Because of the delay, I went ahead and opened another (Wild Wings) store in Colorado Springs,” he said. “We should be open (in the Springs) by December. I had originally planned to do two, but not this fast.”Wilson has company while he waits for the Falcon store. Dr. Andy Royer, an optometrist, is anxious to open Falcon Family Eye Care. “I started looking at the lease in August of last year,” he said. “I was supposed to be in the building in May.”Royer said he has been taking it one month at a time. “It was May and then it was June and then it was Sept. 15. It keeps going back, month by month,” he said. “Last I heard it was supposed to be in December, which looks like it’s not going to happen. I’ll be surprised if we get the building delivered to us to start our tenant build out by the first of the year. [It’s] very, very frustrating. But I don’t know whose fault it is. We keep getting different stories … what’s true or not – I don’t know.”Regardless, Royer is excited about his new business. “I’m going to offer vision therapy, which helps people who work on computers all day or for kids who may have trouble reading in school,” he said. Meanwhile, he’s on hold.And so is Tanya Luiten. She’s been playing the waiting game the longest – three years. Luiten is opening Town and Country Preschool when the build out comes to fruition.When she first looked at the land, it was ready to be leased but not ready for construction. “I had no idea it would take three years,” Luiten said.However, her leasing agent told her the building had to be 50 percent occupied before a construction loan could be obtained. “Businesses kept dropping out or there was no financing,” she said.Luiten said she felt a glimmer of hope when she signed her lease last March, but further delays dimmed her enthusiasm. “As I understand it, all of it had to do with the county’s permit process,” she said. “But there were also delays before that when the land was first plotted out, and, for whatever reason, they had to redo the plots and retest the soil.” Despite delays, Luiten said several people have enrolled their children.Leigh Steiner from Magnum Commercial Real Estate Services, the leasing agent, said she couldn’t speak to the “specifics of why there were delays.””It could be finger pointing in all directions and that is why I really don’t want to comment on that … but I believe, according to the ownership, there was some hold ups on the county level. The county would probably redirect those to the architect or engineers.” (The county did not return phone calls from the NFH.)Steiner said she tried to “accommodate” the tenants with as much information as possible; however, her information was not always “accurate,” she said. “They (the leasers) have all been overly patient.”Fifty percent of the 12,000-square-foot building has been pre-leased for about $17 to $19 a square foot, Steiner said. If the two businesses currently in negotiations sign on, she said only 2,000 square feet of space will remain available. Steiner said a mid-December opening is the target completion date.Steiner confirmed that Sweet Tooth, an ice cream and candy store owned by Shelley and Adolfo Morales, will join Wings and Things, Town and Country Preschool and Falcon Family Eye Care.

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