Take 2: Redtail Ridge hopes scaled back plans jibe with community desires

This story first appeared at BizWest.com, a BusinessDen news partner.

Last summer, Denver-based developer Brue Baukol Capital Partners LLC’s dreams of building a thriving mixed-use project anchored by a new Medtronic Inc. corporate campus at the long-vacant Phillips 66 property adjacent to U.S. Highway 36 evaporated as local residents and city leaders balked at the scope of the ambitious proposal.

About a half-year later, Medtronic has abandoned the project in favor of a development in Lafayette, and Brue Baukol is back and ready to take another swing — a swing more likely to produce a line drive double than a moonshot home run — at developing the nearly 400-acre site that formerly housed the Storage Technology Corp. headquarters.

Brue Baukol bought the site late last year for $34.93 million, a discount of just more than 37% from the $55.6 million that ConocoPhillips paid for the property in 2008.

Redtail Ridge went through several iterations as the developers scaled back density in an attempt to appease critics.

In May, revised plans called for a total of 5.22 million square feet of new construction, down from previous plans of 6.4 million square feet. Of that current total, 2.25 million was planned for office uses, 1.8 million for a roughly 1,500-home senior-living community operated by Erickson Living LLC, 200,000 for hotels, 70,000 for retail and 900,000 for residential rental units.

Much of that proposal has gone the way of the dodo.

In a revised development plan expected to be submitted by Brue Baukol Wednesday, the developer has reduced density by about half to 3.1 million square feet and completely eliminated the residential element, according to a company spokesman.

“Redtail Ridge provides a campus setting for office and industrial corporate users,” he said.

“The revised plan envisions a commercial hub for Louisville, restoring the site’s historic corporate use that will grow the city’s commercial tax base,” Brue Baukol said in an emailed statement to BizWest. It “fully complies with the city’s 2013 Comprehensive Plan [and] aligns with density, building heights, and fiscal performance goals.”

Despite the reduction in commercial square footage, “all public benefits/amenities remain in the plan,” according to Brue Baukol.

Brue Baukol hopes to begin subdividing the site this year and is contemplating a 10- to 12-year buildout for the project.

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