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Adams County TOD developments gets green light

A rendering of Clear Creek Transit Village in Adams County.

A New Orleans-based company, the TOD Group, on Monday said it is in discussion with unnamed national builders to construct up to 1,125 apartments, townhomes and condos, as well as 250,000 square feet of commercial space, on a 21.8-acre development just north of Denver.

Last week the Adams County Board of Commissioners gave unanimous approval to the Clear Creek Transit Village west of Federal Boulevard near West 60th Avenue, just north of Interstate 76 in Adams County. Its western boundary is near Lowell Boulevard.

It is being touted as a model for transit-oriented developments nationwide. Because of its location along Clear Creek and its proximity to Lake Sangreco and the Jim Baker Reservoir, it is being marketed as “Wild Colorado Five Minutes from Downtown Denver.”

The TOD Group bought the property in 2009. The land is less than a quarter mile from the RTD Fastracks Gold Line, which will run from the Denver Union Station to Wheat Ridge.

“The Clear Creek Transit Village will offer the best of both worlds, with a combination of urban and natural amenities,” said John Renne, managing director of The TOD Group.  “It will have a mix of restaurants, retailers, apartments and condos, emphasizing both walkability and access to public transit.”

The southern boundary of the project is along Clear Creek, providing access to hundreds of miles of bicycle trails, according to the TOD Group. Recreational activities also will include walking, running, kayaking, tubing and fishing.

A drawing of what the development might look like from Federal Boulevard.

The community will be seven minutes, or 3.5 miles rom downtown Denver by rail when the Gold Line opens in 2016. In addition to I-76, it is closed to I-70 and I-25.

We’re confident that the Clear Creek Transit Village will be a great fit for new residents and the existing neighborhoods in the area,” Renne said. “We met repeatedly with neighbors and listened to their input, which is reflected in the plan.  The vast majority of them became strong supporters of the approved plan.”

A 2011 survey by Oedipus Inc. of 392 residents and businesses within a one-and-half-mile radius of the project found that 93 percent supported its approval. Earlier in the year, 435 residents and businesses expressed formal support to Adams County, although a grassroots group called Concerned Citizens for Compatible Development opposed it.

The plan was also endorsed by organizations including Regis University, Adams County Economic Development, the Metro North Chamber of Commerce, the Goat Hill Neighborhood organization, and many businesses along Federal Boulevard.

New buildings on the site are expected to have a construction value of between $160 million to $170 million by 2020, according to an analysis completed for Adams County.

The analysis, by Economic Strategies LLC of Parker, also estimated 1,970 to 2,812 people eventually would live in the community.

“The Clear Creek Transit is an excellent example of current TOD planning and design that will benefit Adams County, improve property values in an underperforming area, and provide a nexus of smart planned growth for the region as part of the RTD Gold Line,” according to the analysis.

The developer said it will “borrow tenets from successful mixed-use developments such as the Central Platte Valley in Denver, Belmar in Lakewood, Stapleton and the Villagio at Inverness in the Inverness Business Park, south of the Denver Tech Center along the southeast corridor.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.