Steamboat Springs Coca-Cola broke ground last week on what will become a 26,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in the Valley View Business Park in Hayden. The company paid $285,000 for two lots totaling 2.7 acres in the development, according to Prudential Steamboat Realty.
The center will replace a 5,500-square-foot facility in Craig and employ approximately 20 people, said Trevor Messinger, president of Coca-Cola Bottling High Country.
"It's going to be a vastly different facility than the other one" in Craig, Messinger said.
The distribution center will serve the entire Yampa Valley, as well as Kremmling, Winter Park and other areas east of Rabbit Ears Pass. Messinger said the company chose Hayden because of its central location in the valley. He would not comment on the cost of constructing the center, which is being built by Delta Construction. Coca-Cola still is finalizing permits and expects to start construction in the next few weeks, with completion expected by the first of February.
"We're hopefully going to be putting more than small shovels in the ground in the next couple weeks," Messinger said at Tuesday's groundbreaking.
Already under construction at Valley View are 12 2,300-square-foot live/work units slated for completion this fall. Construction on an automotive restoration center and a few other warehouses is expected to start this summer as well, said Jon Peddie, who is developing the business park with Paul Franklin.
"We believe Hayden is honestly the real strong growth area," Peddie said. "As the land in Steamboat gets scarce and more expensive, Hayden is a great opportunity."
Bobby Aldighieri of Prudential Steamboat Realty said about half of Valley View's lots, approximately 25, still are available for sale. Aldighieri is the co-listing agent for the property with Annette Hall. The lots cost $100,000 to $150,000.
The Valley View Business Park represents a new phase of growth for Hayden, which has seen loads of residential development, but not as much of the commercial and industrial development that generates more revenue for the town.
"As residential growth occurs, commercial and industrial follows," Peddie said.
Aldighieri said he believes the Coca-Cola project will "start a fair amount of momentum" for further commercial and industrial development in Hayden.
"We're seeing continued and steady interest in Valley View," Aldighieri said.
Donna Hellyer, a Hayden planning commission member, said it is "wonderful" that Coca-Cola is bringing its business and employees to Hayden.
"It's a really great thing for our town," Hellyer said.
Hellyer said the project will help balance Hayden's economy.
"Residential (development) does not pay for itself," Hellyer said. "So we're trying to balance. Do we want a Wal-Mart? I doubt it. But this is a very positive step."