Suburbs north of Denver have “come of age” with explosive growth along I-25 corridor

City leaders in Thornton last week signed off on a $3.75 million incentive package for Topgolf to build one of its sprawling dining and golf entertainment venues in the city.

The issue generated no discussion in council chambers and wrapped up in less than five minutes.

Yet Tuesday’s vote was a significant part of a growing trend in Denver’s north suburbs: Its expanding population base is finally attracting regional draws such as Topgolf, Ikea, Cabela’s and a high-end outlet mall — the type of amenities that to date have largely clustered around affluent communities south of Denver.

“Five or 10 years ago, you would have only seen these types of things in the south metro,” said John Cody, Thornton’s economic development director. “The north I-25 corridor has come of age.”

Cody’s counterpart in Broomfield, Bo Martinez, describes the Interstate 25 corridor north of Denver as “the next urban frontier.” That’s especially true, he said, at the nexus of Colorado 7 and I-25, where Broomfield controls three of the interchange’s four corners.

“We see this as the next regional employment center,” Martinez said.

Ikea, the massive Swedish furniture outlet, plans to break ground this spring on a 400,000-square-foot store at the northwest corner of the interchange while, next door, Children’s Hospital Colorado is undergoing a 140,000-square-foot expansion effort.

Directly west of the interchange, the 1,100-acre North Park development in Broomfield is all about available land, “most of it in large lots that provide opportunities for over 30 million square feet of commercial mixed-used development, regional employment, shopping, restaurants and entertainment districts,”Martinez said.

Last year, the Butterfly Pavilion said it would pull up stakes from its longtime Westminster home to move to a twice-as-large facility in North Park, with an opening date in Broomfield set for 2021.

J.J. Ament, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, said there’s no doubt that more land is available in the north suburbs of Denver than to the south. And that, he said, will have definite repercussions on the areas’ growth prospects over the next few years.

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A fourth-quarter 2017 report from commercial real estate brokerage CBRE calculated that while the Denver’s southern suburbs had 246,000 square feet of retail space under …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – News


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