COMMERCE CITY, COLO. – The Commerce City Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today announced the purchase of the former Mile High Greyhound Park, a 65-acre site in the heart of Commerce City.
The property, one of three identified urban renewal areas within the city, was purchased by the URA to help the city achieve its vision of redeveloping the site as a mixed-use development. Its close proximity to major highways and two commuter rail lines, as well as designation as a Colorado Enterprise Zone – which encourages development by offering possible tax credits to businesses that choose to develop there – make it an ideal location for infill development.
“One of the city’s goals is to invest in our own future,” said URA Chairman and Mayor Paul Natale. “Redeveloping the dog track has long been a priority and when the property came within reach, we jumped at the opportunity. It’s exciting to know the URA is going to work alongside residents and prospective businesses to redefine this key area in Commerce City.”
A series of community meetings are scheduled to begin this September as part of the URA-led planning process. Through these forums, which will last through November, the authority aims to identify community, nonprofit and business goals, needs and challenges for the redevelopment site.
A finalized strategic plan, including conceptual designs, land use diagrams, a market study, compatibility with neighborhood character, and a financial pro forma, is scheduled to be shared by May 2012. A Request for Proposal would then be issued, based on market conditions, to implement the plan. Input during the community forums is encouraged.
“For more than 60 years, the Mile High Greyhound Park was a major landmark for Commerce City. As a life-long resident, I remember when this location was overflowing with visitors from near and far,” said URA Vice Chair and Mayor Pro Tem Tracey Snyder, who represents the area. “The URA encourages all residents and businesses to engage in the process, because we have a unique chance to make this area into something that will last a lifetime, an area that will redefine Commerce City for generations to come.”
The URA, with Goldberg Properties acting on its behalf, closed on the property for $3.3 million on Aug. 2. On Aug. 1, a $4 million loan was appropriated by city council to the URA to facilitate this purchase. The URA accepted the loan and authorized the executive director to use these funds for facilitating development within the URA.
“This is truly a pivotal moment for Commerce City, and one that will define our community for years to come,” added Jerry Flannery, URA Executive Director. “We are truly on the right path for long-term success; this is yet another example of how all of us, working together, can build a Quality Community for a Lifetime.”
ABOUT THE URA AND PROPERTYThe URA is a government authority whose goal is to identify and establish urban renewal areas within Commerce City. It is governed by city council members.
A former dog track and racing club, the Mile High Greyhound Park was built in 1946 with its inaugural race in 1949. In 1980, the facility underwent significant renovations and dog racing came to a halt in 2008. It currently is being used for off-track betting. The property is located in historic Commerce City and is bounded by 64th Avenue to the north, 62nd Avenue to the south, Holly Street to the east and Dahlia Street to the west.