Com­merce City land closer to de­vel­op­ment

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By John Aguilar

Land owned by Com­merce City that was for­merly part of the Rocky Moun­tain Arse­nal may soon be able to shed gov­ern­ment­man­dated re­stric­tions on its de­vel­op­ment, open­ing up op­por­tu­ni­ties for new re­tail and hous­ing in a city ea­ger to jettison its long stand­ing in­dus­try-heavy im­age.

The U.S. Se­nate on Thurs­day ap­proved the Na­tional De­fense Au­tho­riza­tion Act, which in­cludes a pro­vi­sion al­low­ing for an en­vi­ron­men­tal assess­ment to eval­u­ate the re­moval of the deed re­stric­tions on land pur­chased by the city in 2004.

The bill heads to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s desk for his sig­na­ture.

The land is part of the nearly 900-acre Vic­tory Cross­ing prop­erty at the north­east cor­ner of East 56th Av­enue and Que­bec Street, a por­tion of which al­ready serves as home to Dick’s Sport­ing Goods Park. The mixed-use project is a part­ner­ship be­tween Com­merce City and the pri­vate sec­tor.

It was part of the for­mer U.S. Army chem­i­cal weapons man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity that was cleaned up to the tune of $2.1 bil­lion.

Most of the for­mer sprawl­ing arse­nal is now home to the Rocky Moun­tain Arse­nal Na­tional Wildlife Refuge.

The Rocky Moun­tain Arse­nal Amend­ment was in­tro­duced in the House by U.S. Rep. Ed Perl­mut­ter, DAravada, and in the Se­nate by U.S. Sens. Cory Gard­ner, a Repub­li­can, and Michael Ben­net, a Demo­crat.

“The Na­tional De­fense Au­tho­riza­tion Act’s in­clu­sion of the Rocky Moun­tain Arse­nal is cen­tral to Com­merce City’s po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment of the land it pur­chased nearly a decade ago,” Gard­ner said in a state­ment Thurs­day. “If the land is deemed safe for de­vel­op­ment, Com­merce City has the op­por­tu­nity to at­tract new busi­nesses and jobs, boost­ing its lo­cal econ­omy.”

Perl­mut­ter said the bill would al­low Com­merce City “greater flex­i­bil­ity to move for­ward and con­tinue grow­ing its lo­cal econ­omy.”

Com­merce City Mayor Sean Ford said al­low­ing res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment on the Vic­tory Cross­ing prop­erty “aligns with the city’s vi­sion to cre­ate a one-of-akind space for the com­mu­nity to gather as well as make a home.”

“Mul­ti­fam­ily hous­ing will fur­ther strengthen Vic­tory Cross­ing, pro­vid­ing a sense of place and con­tribut­ing to a vi­brant com­mu­nity,” the mayor said.

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