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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