All of Golden benefits when our downtown thrives. Our downtown is a source of both immense pride for our community and wonder for visitors.
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All of Golden benefits when our downtown thrives. Our downtown is a source of both immense pride for our community and wonder for visitors. And rightfully so. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that a big reason why people choose to live here is because of our vibrant downtown.
Our local shops, restaurants and small businesses have all evolved during the global pandemic, and each has demonstrated a great degree of ingenuity in keeping their doors open and their staff employed. It’s this sense of resiliency and continuity of friendly faces that play an outsized role in sustaining this unique community economically and culturally.
And that’s in part because the sales tax generated downtown is such a significant source of the City’s overall revenue each year. This revenue funds our roads, parks, bikeway and multiuse paths, libraries, museums and other important infrastructure. And after more than two years of depressed tax revenue, we are more than ready to ensure that our downtown economy can come back stronger than ever.
This is why I’m such a strong advocate for the proposal from the Coors family to build a new headquarters in downtown Golden for CoorsTek, a global leader in industrial ceramics and porcelain. The CoorsTek property currently encompasses a 5-block area that has been fenced off and closed to the public for generations.
The concept for the new CoorsTek global headquarters is both visionary and practical. True to form, CoorsTek wants to transform this closed area into one of the most sustainable and vibrant mixed-use districts in Colorado. The redevelopment plan, which City Council will vote on at their meeting on June 7, will encompass environmentally sustainable building designs as well as new retail and restaurant space, housing for Golden’s workforce, a public arts district that wraps around new public and open spaces, shared parking and so much more.
I know that we shouldn’t be surprised when one of Golden’s oldest and most innovative companies chooses to walk the walk. But it’s especially notable that the CoorsTek proposal exceeds more than a dozen current requirements in Golden’s code, such as the provision of open space, affordable housing, mobility options, sustainability, and so much more. This is especially important because we can all envision a worst-case scenario where an out-of-town developer buys the land, builds to the lowest standards, and then sells off the pieces. Fortunately, we can have the best possible version of redevelopment, which is why CoorsTek has made binding commitments so the land can be enjoyed and utilized by future generations.
As a member of the downtown business community, I strongly encourage Council to support the proposal as submitted. The transformation of a closed industrial site into a place where people can work and live will greatly benefit our downtown community, especially the businesses that currently rely on the inconsistent, seasonal flow of visitors. Another benefit for downtown comes from the proposal’s innovative “shared parking” model, which optimizes the utilization of limited space while responsibly adding a significant amount of new parking during the weekdays and provides an even greater abundance of new parking in the evenings and on weekends.
Since projects of this size don’t happen too often in Golden, it’s admirable that CoorsTek and the City are looking at the proposal with a thoughtful, long-term, and district-wide approach. As the leader of an organization that helps our clients utilize the financial tools that provide them with certainty and minimize risk from the short term to the longer term, it’s clear to me that a 20-year vesting period for the CoorsTek redevelopment is to our mutual benefit. Clear guardrails can ensure that both sides uphold their ends of this bargain, which in turn triggers the community benefits that CoorsTek is eager to deliver.
For the sake of our downtown’s economic long-term health, I enthusiastically support the CoorsTek redevelopment project. I ask you to do the same.
Tracie L. Wilcox is the president/CEO of On Tap Credit Union.
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