City Council has approved rezoning the CoorsTek superblock near 10th Street and Ford Avenue to allow for new residential and commercial spaces.
At its June 7 meeting, council also approved vacating the alley between Ford and Jackson streets.
The 12-acre property was zoned for commercial use and manufacturing, and CoorsTek plans to build its new headquarters plus other mixed-use buildings there over the next 15 to 20 years. CoorsTek representatives said they’d like to start construction on its first building — the new headquarters — sometime in 2023.
With the rezoning approved, city staff confirmed the next step is the site-planning process. CoorsTek needs to develop a site plan for its headquarters, including details about its architecture, landscaping, layout, square footage, parking spaces and so forth.
"This new district creates a true win-win for the community," CoorsTek Chief Executive Officer Michael Coors said in a statement via Facebook. "It is important to us to transform this aging industrial facility for the public's benefit and access."
CoorsTek also expressed its gratitude toward Golden community members and city officials for their input and support during the rezoning process.
The June 7 hearing took five-and-a-half hours, running until 12:30 a.m. June 8, and several members of the public voiced their support for the project. Residents and business owners alike said it’d be a unique opportunity for Golden.
“You’ve got a unicorn,” said Jansen Tidmore, president and chief executive officer of Jeffco Economic Development Corporation. “You have a company, a family (and) a team that has a love and a pride in Golden.”
Tidmore and other community members were excited about the project’s affordable housing components, arts district, open space, historic preservation efforts, and new commercial space.
A compromise on vesting
CoorsTek asked for a 20-year vesting on the property, which means the city couldn’t change its zoning in that time. The default vesting timeframe for any application is three years, city staff clarified. Also, when a vesting period ends, nothing happens to the property unless the city wants to rezone it.
While city officials have been skeptical about such a long vesting period, in April, planning commission members suggested a compromise. If CoorsTek pays a fee in lieu of the first nine workforce housing units earlier in the development process, the city would approve the 20-year vesting.
That way, Golden could “get things going,” as city officials have described, rather than waiting for workforce housing units in later phases of the project.
Dan Cohen, AC Development president and CoorsTek project representative, said the developers would be willing to pay up to $3.15 million total, or $350,000 per unit, for the first nine workforce units. This requirement would be triggered whenever the certificate of occupancy is issued for the superblock’s first building — the headquarters.
Council approved this amendment to the ordinance language, along with increasing the amount toward the arts district.
Initially, CoorsTek said it’d be willing to put the greater of $750,000 or 2% of the new headquarters’ hard construction costs toward an arts district encompassing the entire superblock. However, Michael Coors gave the nod to increase that to the greater of $1.5 million or 2% of the new headquarters’ hard construction costs, which council amended and approved in the ordinance.
The next steps
As CoorsTek looks to move to the site-planning process, Golden's Community & Economic Development Manager Rick Muriby said a site plan typically takes six to eight weeks for city staff to vet it and bring it to the Planning Commission, which gives final approval. City Council approval isn't required for a site plan.
If and when Planning Commission approves it, the headquarters and any other buildings will then need construction documents and building permits. Muriby said it's possible CoorsTek could go through the entire process in time to start the headquarters' construction next year.
Depending on how CoorsTek wants to develop the 12-acre superblock overall, Muriby said site plans could include multiple buildings. However, given that the CoorsTek headquarters seems the company's first priority, Muriby anticipates the company will have that built first and then determine how and when to tackle any subsequent buildings.
CoorsTek has more information available about the project at coorstek9thstreet.com.