Primary street configurations
April 22nd Denver City Council considers final adoption of the Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan (Plan). The Partnership is fully invested in Plan adoption, having been part of a “start and stop” process for the plan three times, spanning four years! The Plan prescribes future growth and development for the area impacted by the opening of the Decatur-Federal light rail station (Federal and W. Howard Place – 14th Avenue). While the Partnership strongly supports Plan adoption, there are three elements important for future consideration and action.
First, the redesign and reconfiguration of the Federal and Colfax interchange now configured as a cloverleaf. The Plan addresses the possible replacement of the cloverleaf and suggests four redesign alternatives. As the Plan states, we believe the cloverleaf is not an appropriate interchange for the existing urban context and is not safe or accessible for pedestrians. In the future the Partnership will diligently support and work towards the reconfiguration of this interchange to promote greater access to local communities, more opportunity for economic development efforts and safer pedestrian treatments. Read the rest of this entry »
Half Cloverleaf - one of the design alternatives in the Report
In fall of 2012 Denver Planning released a draft of the Colfax Federal Interchange Alternatives report (Report). The report provides four interchange alternatives (design approaches) to replace the existing cloverleaf. The Partnership has long advocated for the removal of the cloverleaf. It does not provide safe pedestrian access along Federal and is wasteful of property utilizing 29 acres, which could be better utilized as developable land and contributing open space. Plus, there is a big uncomfortable gorilla sitting on top of the cloverleaf – a brand new gleaming Federal bridge recently completed by the Colorado Department of Highways. This multi-million dollar investment is probably not going anywhere soon – though it is hard to stomach that the bridge could mandate the future of our community for the next 30 years. Any future interchange redesign/reconstruction must contend with this reality.
At the fall public membership meeting of the Partnership November 15, Denver Planning and the consultant team on the project presented the Report. After the meeting, the Partnership board met and discussed the Report during two board meetings. From the meetings a position letter was drafted and provided to Denver Planning, City Council representatives and surrounding community organizations. As reflected in the position letter the Partnership supports several of the recommendations of the Report. There are two primary concerns. Read the rest of this entry »
2012 a busy year…leads to aggressive program planned for 2013
Open House with BID panel discussing attributes of a business district
Fueled by a grant in late 2011 from the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) to pursue organization of a Business Improvement District (BID) for Federal Boulevard, the process to organize, define and established the district was rigorous and involved many elements. BID’s are complex tools (see this Fact Sheet) and expertise was required to assist the effort. Paid by grant funds, the project began by hiring a BID Consultant and Project Manager. The process then involved one-on-one meetings with all accessible commercial property owners, several public meetings to seek input on drafts of the operation plan with the proposed mill levy on commercial property owners, a petition signed by over 60% of the affected commercial property owners, unanimous passage of the Federal BID by Denver City Council in August, and the successful TABOR election November 6th, 2012.
Due to the timing of the district creation
the Federal BID cannot levy commercial properties in 2013. Knowing this, the Partnership applied for and received a $50,000 grant from OED to pursue activities in 2013. It begins by hiring a part-time Executive Director (job announcement, applications due noon January 28, 2012), who will assist the Federal BID board pursue the 2013 work program. The work program involves opening a district BID office, providing economic and small business development services, developing a branding and marketing plan, establishing a maintenance program for landscape improvements and convening several pubic meetings beginning in the spring to vet ongoing activities and future plans. Read the rest of this entry »