What’s Facing Windsor: If you build it, they will come | MyWindsorNow.com

What’s Facing Windsor: If you build it, they will come

Emily Wenger

A record number of businesses and companies considered opening a branch or moving to Windsor in 2017.

Stacy Johnson, economic development director for the town of Windsor, said the department received 170 prospect requests in 2017, and 72 still are considering Windsor as a possible location.

In 2016, 115 prospects were reported, down from the 142 in 2014 and 2015.

Johnson said out of those 170 requests, 29 came to Windsor in 2017, and some still are considering the possibility.

Why Windsor?

Johnson's job, and that of Jill Young, economic development specialist for the town, is to encourage businesses to come to Windsor and help them through the process, from giving them an overview of the town to helping them find a building. Johnson and Young also help already existing businesses in town wanting to expand.

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The record number of prospects in 2017, Johnson said, was a result of the town's reputation for being a close-knit community that's strongly supportive of business.

When speaking to prospects, Johnson said she also may mention the mobility provided by Harmony Road, Colo. 392 and Colo. 257, and Interstate 25, and the 10 business parks that have been built.

The Larimer County portion of Windsor, she said, has a median annual household income of $80,000, and the Weld County portion is $70,000. So for those considering opening a retail location those numbers mean people may have extra money to spend, Johnson said.

"It makes sense to do business here," she said.

Although the majority of active prospects are in the industrial sector, according to a report Johnson presented to the Windsor Town Board in February, retail trade is second at 27 percent.

The town's long-range planning has provided more opportunities for industrial space to be built.


The quote "If you build it, they will come," slightly modified from a quote in the film "Field of Dreams," can be easily applied to companies looking to come to Windsor, Johnson said.

More than half of the prospects Johnson and her department have contacted are searching for buildings that already have been built. If developers prepare to build the buildings, they are quickly leased by businesses, often before the building is off the ground.

Her main concern, she said, is a lack of industrial of manufacturing space under 25,000 square feet. But she's also seen an uptick in requests for larger spaces of more than 30,000 square feet.

Windsor didn't qualify for 18 attraction prospects in 2017, and the majority were requests for existing large industrial space.

Johnson said she will continue to work with developers, as well, encouraging them to provide more space for businesses to fill.

What's next?

The Windsor Town Board is focusing on ensuring the town has the infrastructure, like water, sewer and roadways, capable of sustaining the businesses and people coming to Windsor.

That infrastructure piece is key to bringing businesses, Johnson said, because if a business's employees can't make it to work on safe roads, or they can't trust the town's sewer and water systems, the company won't come.

Johnson and her department have been part of the town since 2011, and she said she's seen the number of prospects shift each year, often depending on nationwide economic trends. During election years, she said, the numbers are often lower, because companies wait to see how changes in political positions could affect the economy.

But she's hopeful the numbers will continue to rise, especially as she works to prepare the town for the growth it continues to have. While some people in town are not happy about the thousands of people moving to northern Colorado and to Windsor, Johnson said she and the town work to prepare for it.

"Thousands are coming, so it's best to plan for the growth and make sure we have a stable environment," she said.

Johnson also is preparing for a possible influx of tourists that could come with the Rocky Mountain Sports Park, a more than $200 million sports complex planned for the north side of town at Colo. 257 and Weld County Road 74. The park hopes to open in 2019.

Retail may be more encouraged to come to the town, she said, if companies know tourists may be passing through.

Her focus, she said, will remain on the companies considering coming to Windsor.

"We want them to locate here if it's the best decision for them," she said.

For more

Windsor’s Economic Development Department works to help new businesses come to and stay in Windsor. In last few years, the following are some of the businesses the department has assisted:

» Dutch Bros

» Human Bean

» Fusion Lighting

» The Mill

» Mash Lab

» The Hearth

» Doug’s Day Diner

» Rocky Mountain

Sports Park