by John Kiljan
Dear CLRC members and friends,
High-rise apartments, professional buildings, commercial recreation, Belmar-type boutiques, fast casual dining, senior housing, a swimming pool, a relocated Clancy’s Irish Pub — what will the market bear and what will developers want to invest in? The answers to those questions may come with the responses to a development solicitation for the Triangle that has only recently been issued.
Anyone concerned about what happens to this part of central Arvada should take a few minutes to look through AURA’s recently issued Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Ralston Creek North. How the development community responds to this solicitation will do an awful lot to determine what this run-down shopping area becomes in the not-so-distant future and what effect it has on our adjacent neighborhoods.
Here is the link to the 25-page RFQ document itself:
But there are also a slug of area maps and things like demographic information that go with the solicitation. Those can tell you a lot about what many of us still call the Triangle and the neighborhoods around it and about the people that live in this part of the Arvada. If you want to know how much we make, or how old we are, or our ethnicity, and how all that compares with the rest of the State — it’s all there for you and the developers to see.
You can download almost everything the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) is putting out in the RFQ by going to their Arvada.org website for the Ralston Creek North solicitation site at
The RFQ is expected to lead to giving a single developer an exclusive right to develop this area for AURA and for the City by late July of this year. That’s fast — very fast. And it will happen before Walmart even opens its doors across the street.
If you think something is going to be proposed that you are uncomfortable with, now is the time to start paying attention. And if you see something you really like in a developer’s response, it’s getting close to the time to say something about that too. AURA’s proposal evaluation meetings are expected to be open to the public, and each of their regular business meetings has a public comment period.
What’s not in the RFQ is also interesting — and worrying. There is no mention of City Hall, the Courts or the Arvada Police Department relocating in or near the development area. That means those needs will probably have to be met at some other location.
Nor is there any mention of a City-sponsored recreation center — with or without a pool — or the $3.1 million the City has set aside for that purpose in its budget. And that is despite a lengthy list of past and planned public investments in the area that have been put in the RFQ. Some light is shed on that omission with this content requirement in the RFQ on page 23:
“8. Evaluation of Safeway Building & 24 Hour Fitness LOI – Preliminary assessment of whether the former Safeway building should be kept and if it should be incorporated into the development program with 24 Hour Fitness as the primary tenant.”
LOI stands for Letter of Intent. Apparently, there is an unsolicited offer to re-purpose the old Safeway building by a commercial fitness center. That could also explain why the building was not pulled down several weeks ago as had been planned. The LOI is not listed as one of the available documents on the RFQ’s public announcement web page.
The deadline for developer responses is May 16, 2014.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The results of last summer’s recreational needs survey can be found by following the links on this City website:
Spoiler alert: The survey showed a large majority of respondents supporting the construction of a replacement swimming pool as part of any new recreation center.
Not familiar with Clancy’s? Here’s a link to a recent Denver Post article that talks about how they are being forced out of the development that will house the new Sprouts Famers Market at 38th and Kipling in Wheat Ridge. The Triangle lost two well-patronized bars with the Walmart decision and Arvada is likely to see another bar of some sort located in the area.
And here’s the website for the 24 Hour Fitness center at 81st and Sheridan so you can see what one might look like. There are lots of photos.
And, of course, you can find out more by keeping up with our postings on our website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org and on our Facebook page at “CLRC — Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community” (we’re still trying to get Facebook to change the spelling).
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association.
April 20, 2014