1.) When will the new lane on Central Park Bridge open?
The new estimated completion date is October 31, according to Nancy Kuhn of Denver Public Works.
2.) What is the construction schedule for the MLK Extension?
“The project goes out to bid on August 29. We expect to begin construction in late fall and the current anticipated completion date is early 2020. The dates will be more firmly established once the procurement process is over and a contractor is on board,” according to Nancy Kuhn, Denver Public Works.
3.) I-70 Construction noise ordinance hearing will be Sept. 6.
Kiewit Meridiam Partners, the contractor for the I-70 construction project, requested a night time noise variance in July, saying they couldn’t complete the project on schedule in 2022 without the variance. A July hearing was scheduled, but based on community response to that request, the hearing before the Board of Public Health and Environment was postponed. Kiewit has suggested some noise mitigation measures that are expected to be publicized on August 30.
The noise variance hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 pm in the third floor Parr Widener Room at the City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St. Input for DDPHE’s recommendation and comments for the Board on the variance request can be sent via email to BEH@denvergov.org by Sept. 5. Any change to the meeting location will be posted prior to the meeting at denvergov.org/BPHE. For questions regarding the hearing contact Kathy Houston at 720-865-5484 or email BEH@Denvergov.org
4.) Will the A-Line horns be stopping soon?
The City of Denver and RTD filed an application to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on approximately August 6 requesting to stop the horns on the A Line. “We will not be able to speculate on how long this might take, we are dependent upon the regulatory process being completed and approved,” said Scott Reed, Assistant General Manager for Communications by email. At the time the Front Porch went to press they did not have a response from the FRA.
5.) Remember the plan to widen Quebec? It’s off the table for now.
In September 2017 the City started the environmental review process to determine the impacts of Quebec improvements between E. 13th Ave and E. 26th Ave. In that review process, “it was determined that estimated costs to implement the recommendations are well beyond the $23M we have in available funding and no additional funding for the project has been identified at this time.” The city continues to engage in the East Neighborhood Planning Initiative (search DenverGov.org for East Area Plan).
The Front Porch described the improvements in our May 2015 issue, “Funding Approved for MLK Extension and Quebec Improvements.”
6.) What’s happening at the Quebec interchange during the I-70 project?
With the start of the Central 70 construction, the Front Porch requested information on how the Quebec St./I-70 interchange will be improved. Work is not scheduled until the third and fourth quarters of the construction project that’s scheduled to be completed in 2022, but the basic changes are described in the caption with the graphic at right.
For more information go to www.codot.gov and search for “Central 70.”
7.) Brookfield Asset Management Acquires Forest City
On July 31, Brookfield Asset Management Company and Forest City, the master developer of Stapleton, announced on their websites that Bookfield woud acquire Forest City in a transaction vlued at $11.4 billion, subject to approval by Forest City stockholders.
Forest City’s assets, in that announcement, are described as 6.3 million square feet of high-quality office space, 2.3 million square feet of premier life science assets, primarily in Cambridge, MA, 2.2 million square feet of retail space and 18,500 multifamily units, as well as five large-scale development projects in the New York Metro area, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Surprisingly, to those of us who think of Stapleton as a big project, it was not mentioned by name in the press release. In response to an email asking what this acquisition means for the Stapleton development, Tom Gleason, Forest City Stapleton’s Vice President for Public Relations replied, “The entire company, including anything we own at Stapleton, will be acquired if the shareholders vote to accept the deal. The reference in the press release to the ‘large development projects’ was intended to point to large chunks of future entitled development. Because Stapleton is largely a land project, and reaching a mature stage, we consider it in a different category.”
Forest City previously sold the Shops at Northfield to QIC, an Australian asset management company, so, in Stapleton, Brookfield is acquiring Forest City’s apartments, retail property, land not yet sold to builders, and land not yet acquired from Denver International Airport.
At the August Citizens Advisory Board meeting, Gleason said 88 acres (including the land adjoining the tower) remain to be purchased from Denver International Airport. He confirmed that David Friedman has purchased the land for Sprouts and other retail, along with residential, near the Central Park Station, so that land is not part of the Brookfield deal. Gleason did not respond to our inquiry about the retail and residential development plans Forest City had previously announced for the land directly adjoining Central Park Station. It is our assumption that that land is being acquired by Brookfield, which will determine it’s future use.
Who is Brookfield Asset Management? Their website says the company, founded in 1899 and based in Toronto, Canada, manages $282 billion in assets that “form the backbone of the global economy.” Assets include utilities, transport, energy, communications infrastructure, sustainable resources including more than 200 hydroelectric facilities, and several high quality business services and industrial companies. They employ more than 80,000 people in 30 countries.
On the subject of community engagement, the website states, “… we continually look to involve our local communities…”
Mayor Hancock said the City of Denver has worked with Brookfield on commerical projects in Denver and confirmed that they will be required to fulfill the requirement of ten percent affordable housing in Stapleton.