Heart of Golden 2020 project seeking residents’ ideas for corridor’s future

Concert venue and transit center among suggestions though some residents decry potential development

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/14/20

A concert or theater stage. A permanent farmer’s market pavilion. A for-profit café. An extension of walking and bike paths along the creekfront. Those are just four of the visions for potential …

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Heart of Golden 2020 project seeking residents’ ideas for corridor’s future

Concert venue and transit center among suggestions though some residents decry potential development

Posted

A concert or theater stage. A permanent farmer’s market pavilion. A for-profit café. An extension of walking and bike paths along the creekfront.

Those are just four of the visions for potential future uses expressed by Golden residents for the Clear Creek corridor in the central portion of the city. Residents shared those ideas for the corridor with city staff on Dec. 14 at an open house event held to begin soliciting resident input for the direction the city should go. The event is par of Heart of Golden 2020, a citywide project aimed at devising and ultimately bringing to fruition new uses for the corridor.

According to Deputy Golden City Manager Carly Lorentz, the Heart of Golden 2020 project was launched after the city council voted to purchase MillerCoors’ 7.27 acre property at 311 10th Street, which backs to a section of the creek that is currently fenced off and not accessible to the public. The property also includes a 160,000-square-foot building, although city staff now says the building will be torn down.

“We did a feasibility study on the building to see if we might be able to remodel it for some uses and found that it was going to be too costly to remodel the building but that the land was still worth the purchase price and opportunity so we decided to do the purchase then,” Lorentz said.

City seeking feedback

The Dec. 14 event, which was attended by about 70 residents, kicked off the process by which the city will seek resident input into potential uses not only for the newly acquired property but the entire city-owned portion of the Clear Creek corridor, which now extends roughly from Sixth Avenue west to the Coors Brewery.

Golden residents will also be able to learn more about the corridor and share their ideas for potential uses for it at two visioning workshops scheduled to take place this month. Both workshops are scheduled to take place in the Golden Council Chambers at 911 10th Street at 6:30 p.m. with the first scheduled for Jan. 29 and the second for Feb. 12.

At the workshops, residents will be asked to provide their thoughts and responses to the following three questions: 1. What does your dream corridor look like? 2. What uses would you like to see and where? 3. What uses are most important to you? Attendees will also have the opportunity to write uses on sticky notes and attach them to a map of the corridor to show what uses they would like to see where, Lorentz said. Residents can also submit their ideas and pin them to an online map at the Guiding Golden website.

Those visioning workshops will then be followed by two refining workshops in March and April. During those workshops, during which city staff will present options for possible projects along the corridor that will be put together based on resident suggestions. Workshops in May and June will then focus on discussing possible avenues for funding any projects, as Lorentz said the city has not budgeted any money for funding the projects. Corresponding online presentations and feedback gathering will also be available during each of those stages.

Lorentz said it will then ultimately be up to the city council to ultimately determine which projects the city will move forward with. However, it is likely that projects will ultimately need to be approved by voters depending on their size and scope. The decision to go to the voters in November would be made in August.

Arts and transit facilities among early resident suggestions

But while the city is still in the early stages, the 20 suggestions posted to the Guiding Golden website offer a look at the wide variety of visions residents have for the site. Resident Len Matheo was one of several residents that suggested a portion of the creek be used for a theater.

“This could include a small black box theater, or a larger venue to bring in bigger shows,” he wrote. “It would also include classroom space for theater, music, and the arts.”

Another respondent, identified on the site as justinr, suggested the newly-acquired space could be used for a transit hub, which could also be used for a tourist train.

“Durango did a nice job of this, right next to their train station,” justinr wrote.

Others, however, advocated for a more conservative approach and expressed concerns about the direction development could go. Among them was a user identified as jw, who suggests keeping the corridor “as open and natural as possible.”

Jw wrote: “Please do not build up this area. Golden is becoming very dense and feels crowded now. Multi-unit dwellings are popping up everywhere. We need space within the town and less development.”

Respondent derosagoco suggests the project could provide an opportunity to address traffic flow and parking in Golden by building a transit, parking and event hub at the 10th Street site that would help reduce traffic pressure on Washington Avenue and surrounding neighborhoods.

“There is no need to make the Clear Creek corridor any more attractive to visitors than it already is,” derosagoco wrote. “What needs to be done is establish an infrastructure that supports the current volume of visitors efficiently for both residents and visitors.”

Residents can find more information about the project and corridor, ask questions and make suggestions at www.guidinggolden.com/heart-of-golden-2020.

A map of the corridor is also available on that webpage.

Correction: Due to an editorial error, a previous version of this story misstated Carly Lorentz's title. Lorentz is the Deputy City Manager.

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