Could Eastbridge Turn Into a Ghost Town or Cleveland?

ghost-townThere are a lot of real estate signs popping up all over Eastbridge, and it seems that those in the know, have already left. With the impending development of the Eastbridge Town Center anchored by King Soopers, complete with unnecessary gas station, Eastbridge residents are trying to get out now before their homes lose all value. “I don’t think I want to be here when we increase traffic, plus people walking around here to go to the 24-hour Soopers,” says Eastbridge resident Mark Bell who is currently selling his home. “So, if others want to move here and have more confidence that it is not going to be a bad thing, more power to them. I just don’t like what’s going on.”

The distress for Forest City, and Stapleton residents, is that if Eastbridge residents continue to leave, and fewer buyers become interested in that area of Stapleton, what will happen to the Eastbridge borough of Stapleton? “There is legitimate fear Eastbridge could become a ghost town,” said real estate expert Zach Schmit. “Prices will drop, people won’t want to live here, and suddenly, we have a bunch of empty, foreclosed homes. It may seem a ways away now, but it could be where it is headed.” Eastbridge residents are facing the dilemma. “We are trying to fight Forest City and Soopers right now,” said resident Angi Hansen. “Some people have packed it in and quit the fight, but we are going to keep fighting. If we lose, yes, there is a chance our once proud neighborhood will become a series of empty homes where meth addicts live.”

Some people think that a ghost town would be a step up from where it is actually headed. “The truth is, home prices around here are going to hit rock bottom,” said real estate expert Jonathan Steiner. “Then, you have a different socioeconomic element renting and buying here, and suddenly, you’re Cleveland. I think anyone would take a ghost town over that.” The problem doesn’t just affect Eastbridge, but the rest of Stapleton. “If you’re in Bluff Lake, do you want a ‘Cleveland’ as your neighbor?” questions Steiner. “So, home values are affected there, then Westerly Creek, and soon, all of Stapleton falls, until the whole thing is just a mini-Cleveland. Except we won’t even have LeBron James.”

Residents are still clinging to hope that Forest City will work with them to find a solution for both parties. “Right now, there is no middle ground, it seems,” says activist Scott Meyerholz. “From their (Soopers and Forest City) perspective, it is a giant Soopers plus a gas station. From many residents perspective, they don’t want a King Soopers. Is there a middle ground? Maybe a slightly smaller Soopers with no gas station, and then some sort of community input on the retail that will be in the remaining space? I really hope the two parties can work together to find a middle ground, and something that will be good for residents and businesses. Otherwise, we can continue to act like Republicans and Democrats in congress, and simply cry and yell when we don’t get our way.”

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Forest City Opens Prairie Dog and Pigeon Preserve Nature Trail

prairie-dog-preserveRecently, Forest City opened up the 26th Ave. Park on Fulton and 26th. The park is not what was originally promised, however, it is a new place for kids to come play. Forest City also created a black top trail that runs parallel to 26th Ave. beginning at Fulton and continuing to Clinton St. This hastily made “trail” may have some bumps along the way, and parts of the trail have serious flooding issues after a rain, but what often gets missed among the uneven path, mud, and the weeds, is nature’s incredible beauty.
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Parade of Tears: Back to School Day for Stapleton Parents

parade of tearsIt’s always an emotional day. Parents sending their kids back to school or kids going to school for the first time. Many parents cry because they see how quickly their kids are growing up, and others cry out of the pure joy that summer is over and their kids will be back in school. Stapleton parents are at either end of the spectrum, and rarely is anyone in the middle, which causes the extreme emotional outbursts. And with so many parents walking kids to school, the parent walk home looks like a parade of tears to those driving by.
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Kickball Practices Get “Chippy”

kickball-logo_no yearThe SUN Kickball Tournament is right around the corner, which means team camps have been underway for about three weeks. Teams are working to get in shape for the grueling one-day event. “It’s a lot of fun, but we aren’t in it for the fun,” says kickball athlete and team captain Mike Haugen. “We got fourth last year, and are hungry to do better this year.” Haugen says his team started with 40 potential team members, but they will cut the team down to 16 by the tournament. “It’s not about who you are friends with, it’s about who is going to contribute.”
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Elsa Heads Back to Arendelle for Much Needed Break

elsaIf you have a daughter and live in Stapleton, you have no doubt been to a Frozen party provided by Wands and Wishes in the last year. At the party you will most certainly have seen a Frozen cake along with balloons and other party favors. But the stars of the party will unquestionably be the characters that show up to wish the special someone a happy birthday.

The character who seems to be getting far more than her share of work these days is Elsa. “My daughter loves Frozen,” said Stapleton parent Christine McDonald. “And, you know, the story is really about Elsa, so my daughter likes her the most. Plus she has special powers.” Stapleton parents are especially compelled to grant their kids’ wishes. “Whatever it takes to make my beautiful girl happy,” said Stapleton dad Bob Marion. “And if hiring a princess makes my princess happy, then that’s what I will do.”
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“Box Wine Challenge” Raises Funds for Eastbridge Park

box wineDespairing Eastbridge residents, increasingly convinced that Forest City will never actually build their long-promised park at 26th Ave., have taken to “viral” fundraising in an effort to collect the money to build the park themselves.

Inspired by the ALS Foundation’s “Ice Bucket Challenge,” the newly formed Where’s Our F***ing Park Foundation has begun promoting the “Box Wine Challenge,” in which participants are encouraged to drain a box of wine into a bucket, dump it on their heads, and then “nominate” three of their neighbors to do the same.
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Don’t Call it a Comeback: PBR Back at Berkshire!

berkshireAfter what seemed like a decade, but could more easily be measured in weeks, PBR was off of the tap at the Berkshire in Stapleton. “It was really hard,” said resident Kevin Vogel. “It is a great, local place to eat and drink, and losing a top notch, award winning beer definitely stung me a little bit.” Many residents counted on their late afternoon or evening PBRs at the Berk. “It’s just so American to enjoy a PBR with bacon,” said resident and frequent Berkshire customer Rob Hodges. “So, when PBR was gone, I felt like so was a little bit of America.”
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