RE Conference: Developers in nearby communities offer glimpse outside the Boulder bubble
BOULDER — While the so-called “Boulder bubble” might exist in a cultural context, the city increasingly shares interconnectivity with its neighboring communities.
From traffic to jobs, development projects along U.S. Highway 36 or Interstate 25 affect the lives of Boulderites and residents of surrounding Boulder County towns and cities.
Representatives from a trio of these communities — Broomfield, Golden and Westminster — participated in panel discussion on projects with regional impacts Thursday at BizWest’s annual Boulder Valley Real Estate Conference.
Loveland-based developer McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. is knee deep in construction at Baseline, a 1,100-acre property in northeastern Broomfield located generally south of Baseline Road, west of I-25 and east of Sheridan Parkway, that will take decades to fully build out.
“Denver continues to grow to the north and Boulder grows eastward,” McWhinney’s Baseline general manager Kyle Harris said. “Where those two demographic trends converge is where Baseline is located. …We like to say that we complete the Denver-Boulder triangle.”
At full build-out the community could boast more than 6 million square feet of commercial space and more than 9,200 homes.
Baseline was designed to provide “a much more urban feel than your typical suburban surroundings,” according to Harris.
The project is broken up into neighborhoods, which feature clusters of different building types.
For example, the westernmost segment of Baseline is West Village, a residential pocket that includes Park 40, a 313-unit apartment complex built in 2020.
The Center Street District is envisioned as Baseline’s urban commercial core that could include offices, hotels, apartments, senior living, entertainment options and restaurants.
For the first century of Westminster’s existence, the northern Denver suburb lacked a town square, a densely developed hub of residences, business and entertainment.
That’s changing with the development of the Downtown Westminster project.
“We’ve got new streets, new parking garages, new parks planned,” Westminster economic development director Lindsey Kimball said. “We really see this as the center of community.”
The roughly 100-acre Downtown Westminster project, which is being built on the site of the former Westminster Mall, could eventually include as much as 3 million square feet of office space, 700,000 square feet of shops, more than 300 hotel rooms and 4,500 residents.
The project developers “knew it was important to get rid of those skeletons, get rid of the old vestiges of department stores and the 1980s architecture,” Kimball said.
Existing users in the downtown district include the Origin Hotel, Tap and Burger, Tattered Cover Bookstore. The upscale, Denver-based grocer Marczyk Fine Foods is coming soon.
Coorstek Ninth Street
AC Development Co. LLC, a Golden-based master and vertical developer created by the Coors family, began work this year on the first phase of a five-block redevelopment of the CoorsTek Inc. facility in downtown Golden.
The 12.5-acre district will be anchored by a new global headquarters for CoorsTek and will account for approximately 1.25 million square feet of office, multi-family residential, retail and hotel space.
The first phase will include approximately 275,000 square feet of new and reused office space, 10,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space, new Eighth and Ninth street connections through the site, below-grade parking and a plaza. Later phases will feature additional public open spaces, an arts district, mobility strategies, mixed-income housing, additional retail and a hotel.
A “deep and meaningful approach to sustainability” was top of mind when AC Development set out to design an “authentically urban” district in the heart of Golden, AC president Dan Cohen said.
The hope is to create a neighborhood with an energy that matches the “Colorado lifestyle — active, outdoor, et cetera,” he said.