New Road Can Pave the Way for New Commercial Development

Official Opening of Camino de Santa Fe

Official Opening of Camino de Santa Fe

Camino de Santa Fe was officially opened to traffic Friday, May 22, with a ribbon cutting attended by representatives from the City of Lamar, Prowers County, Lamar Chamber of Commerce and CDOT.

The Way it Was

The Way it Was

Built by Lamar Public Works crews, this short stretch of roadway now connects East Parmenter to East Olive Street, between Wal-Mart and Dollar General.  It’s been about 18 years in the making ever since Wal-Mart was constructed.

Camino de Santa Fe Completed (3)

Lamar City Administrator, John Sutherland, complimented two CDOT officials for adding to the push for completion over the past two years, Karen Rowe, District Director for Region 2 and Bill Thibeault, District 10 Regional Director for their assistance.  “We also had some intervention on our behalf from Governor Hickenlooper, thanks to the letter written to him by Mayor Roger Stagner.  That was a critical contribution to finalizing the construction plans and process.  The system worked and we got it done,” he explained.  Last year, the city council and Sutherland decided to begin the roadwork at the city’s expense, after CDOT had delayed the construction work, stipulating 62 different points of construction on the short stretch of the street.  The major point of contention was eliminating any left turns onto East Olive Street from Camino.  Traffic heading back into Lamar under CDOT’s plan, would have had to turn right and then use either the Big R or the Wal-Mart parking lot in which to turn around to be able to head west, or exit onto Parmenter at the rear of the parking lot.

Earlier Construction on Camino de Santa Fe

Earlier Construction on Camino de Santa Fe

Dollar General is happy and so is the city, as this new road brings the promise of commercial growth to Lamar.  Administrator Sutherland, “The Dollar General developer estimated a $1.2 million income per year on the business that only realized about half that.  They had a ten year lease and with only a couple of years left, had been thinking of letting it end.  This new road can bring increased traffic to them and I’ve been in contact with two additional developers over the course of the year who are now interested in putting up stores.  One is interested in open land to the south of Dollar General and the other is looking at land adjacent to Wal-Mart.  We’ll be sending pictures of the new street to one of them very shortly.  I’ve been in contact with both of them over the past week, and both are very excited about the new possibilities.”

There has been a vacant store connected to Dollar General ever since the land was developed, but it never found a renter.  Years ago, there had been plans to develop an eight store mini-mall on the vacant property, but it never received any financial backing.  Camino de Santa Fe cost about $150,000 to complete, according to Sutherland, and future developers will be contributing their share of construction costs.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessChamber/Local BusinessCommissionerscommunityEconomyFeaturedHot TopicsLamarPublic SafetyTransportationUtilities


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