South Westminster Revitalization
Momentum continues in the revitalization of South Westminster, the historic cornerstone of the City of Westminster. Located in the southeastern-most section of the city, centered on the intersection of Federal Boulevard and 72nd Avenue, the area has been the beneficiary of a rising level of investment that is gradually improving the physical landscape and altering perceptions both within and outside Westminster. New housing construction, shopping center enhancements, attractive streetscapes, park enhancements and development, and commuter train service, both completed and forthcoming, set the stage for transforming the once declining area into an attractive, desirable and vibrant city asset.
South Westminster Revitalization Projects Coordinator: Tony Chacon, 303-658-2129
Current City Projects
- The Westminster Station is to be located at approximately 71st Avenue and Irving Street and is scheduled to open in 2016.
Little Dry Creek Drainage and Open Space
- A new, 40-acre park and open space area, Little Dry Creek Park, will be built within the Little Dry Creek valley, south of the Westminster Station railroad tracks between Federal Boulevard and Lowell Boulevard.
Current Non-City Projects
- Federal Boulevard/BNSF Railroad Bridge Replacement – In 2015, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will replace this bridge with one that will accommodate six lanes of traffic, plus sidewalks. The city is funding aesthetic enhancements to the bridge, which serves as a southern gateway to Westminster along Federal Boulevard.
Most of the revitalization success is attributable to the significant level of public investment made by the City of Westminster through the past 15 years. Through its Capital Improvements Program, the city has invested $41.6 million, with another $23.7 million in funding from the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program, the Westminster Economic Development Authority and the Westminster Housing Authority. These investments resulted in major improvements to streets and parks, water lines and historic properties. The improvements to the area have helped attract new housing and commercial development to South Westminster.
In addition, other government agencies, such as the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, Adams County, and Adams County School District No. 50, amongst others, have invested more than $155 million for bridge replacements along U.S. 36, storm drainage control measures and Westminster High School. In total, about $200 million in public funding has been invested in South Westminster.
Major public investments in streetscape enhancements along 72nd Avenue, Federal Boulevard, West 73rd Avenue, Lowell Boulevard and Meade Street have significantly transformed the visual appeal of the area, in particular the historic Harris Park neighborhood. Additional investments allowed the city to build Irving Street Library, make improvements to the Swim and Fitness Center and complete improvements to several parks including the Irving Street and Rodeo Market parks. These improvements along with investment in public/private partnerships, have attracted private real estate investment of about $61.9 million, including the redevelopment of Westminster Plaza, Northgate and LaConte shopping centers, and visual improvements to many small, individually owned commercial buildings.
The investments have also transformed the historic Harris Park neighborhood, where the recent completion of 62 townhomes and a 12,000 square foot commercial building is stimulating additional redevelopment interest.
These improvements are just the beginning. The city and its public partners have committed to invest nearly $36 million through the next several years towards completion of the commuter rail station improvements at to be located at 70th Avenue and Irving Street (two blocks west of Federal Boulevard.) This will result in the construction of a public plaza adjacent to the train-loading platform, additional streets, a bus transfer facility, a parking garage and a 35-acre park. RTD plans to have the station complete by second quarter 2016.
These financial commitments are already raising the interest of private developers for property immediately adjacent to the station and on the adjacent undeveloped 60 acres of land referred to as Northgate. Redevelopment in these areas will lead to more than $150 million in new private investment that will reestablish South Westminster as a vibrant, desirable community to live, operate a business, socialize and recreate. Through public and private investments, the future of South Westminster is looking bright.