COMMERCE CITY — The racetrack is gone, the dogs are retired and the fans are off playing bingo, but the thrill of the race is still in town for Mile High Greyhound Park.
The excitement, though muted through layers of Microsoft Powerpoint, was evident Jan. 14 in dual presentation by city staff and real estate advisory company Ricker Cunningham.
Deputy City Manager Jim Hayes started the presentation on the numbers, one number in particular: the project is budgeted for $100,000 with only 30 percent coming from city coffers.
“We received a grant for $70,000,” Hayes said. “So we issued a [request for proposal].”
The city was represented through the development process by one of its branches: the Urban Renewal Authority. The group is tasked with redeveloping areas the city has determined “slum and blighted areas.”
“I don’t like the word blight, but it’s straight out of state statutes, so we use this term when we’re trying to find areas to redevelop,” Hayes said.
Council is the governing body of the URA with council members serving as the board of directors. The mayor serves as chair of the board.
“City staff has provided updates every two to three months since the property was purchased in August, 2011,” Hayes said.
Looking forward, Hayes pointed to several important dates on the Greyhound calendar.
Starting with a two-day Public Private Partnership Conference Feb. 21, it’s a race to the starting line for development.
In March, Hayes said city will start looking to acquire new market tax credits from the federal government.
On the non-financial side, May is the target for completed demolition of the old dog track.
May will be a busy month, with the city also looking for retail investors at a conference hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Council is scheduled to hear updates on these efforts during the second quarter of the year.
Anne Ricker, principal for Ricker Cunningham, presented the feasibility study.
“A lot of people just think market feasibility, but it doesn’t stop there,” Ricker said. “There’s financial feasibility, political feasibility, physical feasibility, and we have to consider all of those things and bring back to you a strategy that addresses all of those.”
The report listed strategic recommendations for the city going forward, including the development of a “land bank” — a portion of a property set aside by the city that could accommodate either an advanced education or training facility.
To read the full reports and watch the presentation, visit the city’s website: www.c3gov.com.
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email email@example.com.