The Commerce City Urban Renewal Authority (URA) announced in early August the purchase of the former Mile High Greyhound Park, a 65-acre site in the heart of Commerce City, which is targeted for redevelopment.
The property, one of three identified urban renewal areas within the city, was purchased by the URA to help the city in redeveloping the site as a mixed-use development. Its close proximity to major highways and future two commuter rail lines, as well as its designation as a Colorado Enterprise Zone—which encourages development by offering possible tax credits to businesses that choose to develop there—make it a target for infill development.
"One of the city’s goals is to invest in our own future," said URA Chairman and Commerce City Mayor Paul Natale. "Redeveloping the dog track has long been a priority and when the property came within reach, we jumped at the opportunity. It’s exciting to know the URA is going to work alongside residents and prospective businesses to redefine this key area in Commerce City."
A series of community meetings are scheduled to begin this September as part of the URA-led planning process. Through the forums, which will last through November, the authority aims to identify community, nonprofit and business goals, needs and challenges for the redevelopment site.
A final strategic plan—including conceptual designs, land use diagrams, a market study, compatibility with neighborhood character, and a financial pro forma—should be ready by May. The city will then issue an RFP based on market conditions to implement the plan.
"For more than 60 years, the Mile High Greyhound Park was a major landmark for Commerce City. As a life-long resident, I remember when this location was overflowing with visitors from near and far," said URA Vice Chair and Mayor Pro Tem Tracey Snyder, who represents the area. "The URA encourages all residents and businesses to engage in the process, because we have a unique chance to make this area into something that will last a lifetime, an area that will redefine Commerce City for generations to come."
The URA, with Goldberg Properties acting on its behalf, closed on the property for $3.3 million on Aug. 2. On Aug. 1, a $4-million loan was appropriated by city council to the URA to facilitate the purchase. The URA accepted the loan and authorized the executive director to use the funds for facilitating development within the URA.
"This is truly a pivotal moment for Commerce City, and one that will define our community for years to come," said Jerry Flannery, URA executive director. "We are truly on the right path for long-term success."