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Space to Create Trinidad loses part of vision

Two buildings in 200 block of West Main sold, cut into funding for artistic development for Trinidad

TRINIDAD — A burst of optimism at the Tuesday, November 24 meeting of the Space to Create Trinidad coalition, was quickly dampened by an announcement that two of the three buildings being considered for part of the project, had unexpectedly been sold. According to Tara Marshall, the city’s community development director, the buildings, the Toller and the Aiello, addressed at 218 and 228 West Main, were sold by the First National Bank in Trinidad. The bank’s CEO, Ed Eisemann, verified the sale, saying the property had sold recently to a private individual. “We are required to sell as fast as we can, for as much as we can, any property that is in foreclosure.” The sale reduces the amount of grant funding that will be available to Space to Create Trinidad from $7 million to $2 million. Organizers of the project also have several other locations in mind, but surveys taken over

the past several weeks have shown that 70% of those surveyed chose the Franch building on the corner of Convent and Main, also known as “Gordita’s”, as the best location. “A feasibility study has shown that the most important component of the project is that the building for Space to Create be located on Main Street,” said Marshall. Approval of the plans for the project needs to be wrapped up by the end of the year in order to move forward on the redesign of the Franch building. The Franch building, valued at around $230,000 was held by the International Bank in Trinidad, and donated to the city on the condition that the building be used for the Space to Create project. The Franch building alone will not offer the number of apartments for artist housing originally hoped for. Because of the $5 million budget cut, community and display areas and show and gallery space will be reduced, even with the building of an enclosed environment on the empty back lot of the property. Original goals called for the project to cover a city block, offering visual areas and shopping areas for customers along with private living and work spaces for the artists to create in. With Trinidad being the first rural community in Colorado picked to build a state sponsored residential-creative space for artists, what’s learned from the endeavor will be passed on to the next community. That community in turn will add to the body of knowledge and experience passing it to the next community chosen by the Governor’s office of Economic Development. The successes and failures of Space to Create Trinidad will show others what to do as well as what not to do. In about three years, that bundle of knowledge will make its way back to Trinidad for the start of phase two of the project.