AURA Meeting April 2, 2014 — Notes of Note

by John Kiljan
[updated April 4,  2014)

AURA Meeting April 2, 2014 — Notes of Note

Most of this evening’s Board meeting was a review of a draft Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the north side of the Triangle shopping center between Independence and Garrison streets. The most notable change in direction is that AURA is no longer considering an offer by the City to relocate the Courts and Police (aka a Justice Center) into the Triangle urban renewal area.

Ralston Creek Concept Plan

Ralston Creek Concept Plan

The RFQ is the first step to giving a developer an exclusive right to develop this part of the Triangle (aka Arvada Square) beginning sometime in the late summer.

That change came after a March workshop field trip to the Belmar shopping center and another to Boulder by the Board members. The majority decided that a municipal use, such as a Justice Center, would not be an attractant for development in the Triangle. The possibility of a municipal use will not be included in the RFQ which is expected to be issued in about two weeks time.

Nor will the RFQ have any statement about a recreation center. However, AURA is still looking at locating a recreation center at the site of the old City water treatment plant at the southeast corner of Garrison Street and Ralston Road across from the park. No mention was made of a replacement for the Fisher Pool at the meeting.

The issue of what happens to the Courts and the Arvada Police Department headquarters is expected to come up again in July when the Council begins its workshop for planned capital improvement projects. Currently, the thought seems to be to rebuild those facilities on-campus using City-owned properties adjacent to City Hall.

[Update:  The City of Arvada’s workshop schedule has recently been updated to include,  “Urban Renewal Board Authority Board (Update on RFP for Ralston Creek North and Police & Justice Facility:  April 14, 2014”.  Also, the workshop session for Capital Improvement Projects has now been scheduled for June 9, 2014.  That’s same date the City Council is scheduled to make a go or no-go decision on whether to continue its efforts to turn the operation of the Arvada Center to a new non-profit foundation.  –JK]

The RFQ will offer no tax-increment financing (TIF) or public-improvement fee (PIF) incentives to developers — only other public investment in the area and reduced or free cost of the land to develop on. The Triangle is below its TIF “baseline” and developments north of Ralston Road are not expected [to earn enough sales tax] to make PIF financing worthwhile.

The RFQ will become a document open for public review online when it is issued. The RFQ is to down-select to two or three developers and give those finalists an invitation to produce a more detailed plan in a follow-on Request for Proposals (RFP). Here’s the link to find the RFQ when it is posted.

The Board review and down-selections will be held in meetings open to the public. The final developer selection meeting is expected to be at a July 23rd meeting. By then we should know what the development community sees as the best options for what is now being called either Ralston Creek North or North Ralston Creek in the area where the Safeway building and Chuck E Cheese’s is now.

In other news, the Safeway demolition is expected to start in about two weeks.

US Bank is no longer planning to move next to AutoZone and will try to stay at its current location and reopen its old drive-through on site. However, it is uncertain that they can get a permit to do that. The current drive-throughs will be taken out when Walmart is built and the AutoZone moves into its new building nearby.

The suit filed by Russell Weisfield asking the District Court to void the appointment of Jerry Marks to fill the remaining term of Council member Rachel Zenzinger was dismissed by the Court. The judge found Mr Weisfield has suffered no actual harm and has no standing to sue. The judge did not otherwise rule on the merits of the suit.

Maria VanderKolk

Maria VanderKolk

Former Assistant City Manager for Public Relations, Maria VanderKolk, is returning to the job. She will be replacing Wendy Forbes who has been Arvada’s Communications Manager for the last two years. Ms VanderKolk is the wife of the former owner of the Ace Hardware store in the Triangle and has strong ties to Arvada.

Without being specific, the Mayor said that he expects more than half of the current boards and committee vacancies being filled by the City will be filled by women. The City Council is also making an effort to appoint younger applicants.

The next meeting of the AURA Board of Directors is scheduled for May 7, 2014.

John Kiljan

Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO  80004


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