Developers eye spring 2016 for Adams Crossing groundbreaking

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Conceptual plans for a mixed-use development planned for Adams Crossing were brought before city council during its Jan. 27 study session.

The development, which is slated to be located on the west side of Sable Boulevard between 120th and 124th avenues, will be located on about 750 acres and the first phase of the project will include about 450 homes, a community garage where you can get your cars maintained, an innovation center, opportunities for retail developments, community gardens, and a farmers market. 

Adams Crossing Principal Kevin Hawkins said planning for the project required innovation and creative thinking from the start because the property the development is to be built on is technically considered “undevelopable land,”since Second Creek and Third Creek run through the property.

They pushed the boundaries further as they considered how houses would be organized on the lots, how streetscapes should be designed and how geothermal heating would function on the property. 

The developers believe they have found a way to utilize horizontal geothermal heating loops and still allow farming to occur on top of the ground. 

The thing the developers are most excited about is the innovation center. Principal Jeff Woodbury said it would be a corporate innovation center where a series of partners would come together and create a fair of building products, appliances and tools that help make a more sustainable community 

“A big part of this whole process is an education process,” he said, explaining there are now washing machines that use less than two gallons of water, when a standard washing machine can use between 3.5 and 8 gallons of water. “The whole idea of this innovation center that we want to put here, is we want to invite people to come to Brighton and see how they can make their homes better, not only in Brighton but elsewhere. All of these have a cost, but the cost usually results in a savings and so what we need is an innovation center that will educate people on why these are good decisions.”

Hawkins told council they would like to begin the official entitlement process for the first phase of the project by the end of the third quarter this year, hold a ground breaking in the fourth quarter and then have the grand opening for the project in the spring of 2016.

Woodbury said there are going to be things they will have to work with city staff and council in creating the opportunity for these different elements to exist with one another.

“I think if we can pull this off, this could be a real example for the rest of our country from that standpoint and so this is something that we’ve been working on for two years... and we didn’t want to come to you with ideas, we wanted to make sure we had corporate partners who wanted to be a part of this,” he said. 

Councilwoman Cynthia Martinez said the project will be important in helping to change people’s mindset.

“Everything is about energy and savings, energy and renewing energy and recycling energy, and if we don’t start doing something 10 years (from now) we’re in trouble. We’re in big trouble,” she said. “So, everything that you’ve come up with is just crazy awesome. It’s beyond what a person could even anticipate could happen but I think the first thing is, is people need to change that mindset and engaging the community is probably going to be the most exciting thing.” 

The Adams Crossing development is still in the conceptual stage, as no paperwork has been submitted to city staff at this point in time. 


In other business:

Council will likely be extending the moratorium on cyber cafes by four months. City Attorney Margaret Brubaker let council know the moratorium enacted in September will expire in March and recommended the extension since the legislation on cyber cafes is pending. 

City staff will be conducting an audit on the local business Game Trader pertaining to its percentage of sales of electronic cigarettes. The move comes after the owner was quoted in the Denver Post over the council’s decision to pass new regulations on e-cigs about how the new rules would impact. Specifically, Game Trader’s owner had been quoted on how e-cig sales have increased significantly at his business. The business is allowed to sell e-cigarettes as an ancillary use; however, when sales reach 51 percent it would be considered a primary use, and the business is not zoned for tobacco sales. Staff will be auditing the business to ensure to see whether it is in compliance.

Xcel Energy’s Cherokee Pipeline has been completed. The project runs from a natural gas metering facility in Fort Lupton to the Cherokee Generating Station North of Denver.  Area Manager for Community and Government Local Affairs Preston Gibson provided council with the update. He said, at 34 miles in length, that it was the biggest pipeline the company has built in decades.