The owner of a vacant gas station and convenience store in the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs is hopeful the Space Station site will be operational again in the near future.
"We are currently in negotiations with two different parties," said Paul Brown, of Grand Junction-based Monument Oil, which owns the site. "If we can get these guys moving, I would hope we could get it open in the next 30 to 45 days."
A failed sale of the property last year and unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a deal with a new local operator have plagued efforts to redevelop or reopen the lot at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue. A chain-link fence to prevent parking on the site surrounds the property.
If the current negotiations also fall through, Brown said Monument Oil probably would reopen Space Station as an owner-managed store.
"We're as anxious as anybody to get that remodeled and reopened again," Brown said. "We're bleeding from the property tax and just the maintenance up there. : We're working diligently to get it operational and to get that fence down, obviously."
Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said Brown has been telling the city for months that a reopening of Space Station is imminent.
"That's what he keeps telling me," DuBord said. "If it starts getting really trashy, we might have to talk to him. : That place is starting to look a little run-down, but we don't want the fence to go away because then it will turn into a parking lot again."
One option available to the city is to cite Monument Oil for public nuisance, but DuBord said the municipal code is not completely clear about what constitutes a public nuisance.
"It's a fine line," she said. "We've actually talked about what's a public nuisance."
City Attorney Dan Foote said a property couldn't be cited simply for being vacant.
"There has to be some sort of threat to the public health, safety or welfare," Foote said.
Foote said a property could be cited for aesthetic reasons, for being unsafe or for attracting illegal activity.
There was a small amount of litter on the site Monday, including broken glass, plastic liquor bottles, cigarette butts and beer cans in the bushes at the street corner.