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Improvements Abound
Westminster, Colorado is a community on the move. For starters, the Westminster Economic
Development Authority (WED A) is in the process of redeveloping eight acres within the historic town
area, where the first phase of a 50 town-home project is currently under construction, and plans for the
second phase involving neighborhood, commercial, and office expansion are underway. Planning is also
underway for the transformation of a 150-acre industrial area into a transit-oriented project that will
include a large creek-side park and a diverse range of residential housing. In addition, the city is in
negotiations with a major homebuilder to redevelop another older industrial area. In part, the city is
using EPA Brownfields Assessment funds to focus its efforts on the community of South Westminster.
The city determined that the greatest need for redevelopment exists in South Westminster where each
of these projects are located.
The South Westminster area, first homesteaded in 1870, was once open rangeland inhabited by buffalo
and antelope. Later, with its immediate access and strategic location to Denver, Westminster became
a thriving area for commercial, small low-tech-industry, and residential living. Over time, this area
eventually went into decline. By the early 1990s, South Westminster comprised of 260 separate
commercial parcels including large neglected shopping centers; small, independently owned retail and
service centers; vacant manufacturing and warehouse facilities; junkyards; salvage yards; and abandoned
water and wastewater treatment plants, all intermingled with residential properties.
The residential population is disproportionately
large with minorities and people living on low-
incomes. To address this, the city is working with
citizens of South Westminster, through community
outreach meetings and educational material, to
identify and encourage entrepreneurial opportunities
in the project area.
Restoring Civic Pride	Harris Towrihome Project Breaks Ground
The city's goal is to return the historical area of
South Westminster to its former prosperity and restore an overall sense of community and civic pride.
The city established WEDA in 1987 to implement its urban renewal plan of revitalizing the South
Westminster area. Being the City of Westminster's designated urban renewal agency, WEDA has the
authority to acquire abandoned properties for development purposes in accordance with the urban
renewal statutes of the State of Colorado and is entitled to a portion of South Westminster's taxes to
financially support new development projects.
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ed, the s
When WEDA was.formea!^the stigma of contamination; in-South Westminster still hindered private
investment. Through the efforts of the Browm^ds Assessment work and WEDA, the city is removing
barriers to redevelopment and addressing potential risks posed bjy suspected contamination. According
to Tony Chacon, South Westminster Revitalization Proj ect Coordinator, "The EPA grants have served
as-a- significant catalyst for raising developers' interest in working on redevelopment projects on

brownfields property. The City of Westminster is several years ahead in its redevelopment efforts, and
that is attributable to our partnership with EPA."
A two-phase environmental assessment plan was conducted to determine the presence of environmental
contamination in the South Westminster area. The first phase, completed in October 2000, included a
database search for the 260 properties. It was determined that 243 of the 260 properties did not pose
a risk of environmental contamination and required no further action. Phase II of the assessment plan
consisted of additional investigation activities of the sites that required further action. Once the
assessments were completed, WEDA started its plan of cleaning up and revitalizing the area. Great
strides have been made to date to ensure that these plan come to fruition.
Westminster completed conceptual plans to convert the 40-acre, vacant, industrial Delia Villa/England
Water Treatment Facility property into a park and residential project. The area currently includes an
abandoned water treatment plant, debris laden storage yards,
and vacant properties. The redevelopment plans will help turn
these abandoned properties into a vibrant neighborhood
resource. In addition, construction is underway on a 50 town -
home project along 73rd Avenue/Lowell Boulevard. The city
is working with a developer to redevelopment a 35 acre site
near 72nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard in the Northgate
neighborhood. The plan calls for a mixed
commercial/residential project providing up to 100,000
square feet of commercial space along with 138 residences.
Historic 73™ Avenue Reconstruction Completed
Transit Improvements Connect Westminster
In addition to residential and commercial redevelopment, in June 2002, the Regional Transportation
District (RTD) announced that a commuter rail station will be located in South Westminster (Lowell
Boulevard) that will be built in conjunction with the Denver FasTracks proj ect. FasTracks is a regional,
multi-modal (combination of Commuter Rail and Light Rail) transportation system that will connect
regional corridor hubs to Downtown Denver. The planning area also includes 150 acres in the area that
will be immediately affected by the construction of a commuter rail. The Lowell Boulevard Gateway
project includes a transformation into a mixed-use development area the will include industrial, office,
commercial, and residential development. Through its efforts, the city has secured verbal commitments
of interest from developers to participate in the planning and design of the Gateway project, and in the
development of this area.
The long-established, historic nature of the neighborhoods of South Westminster and the affluence of
the supporting Denver area communities will help serve the interests of residents and businesses in the
project areas. Westminster is well on its way to reclaiming its place as an important part of the Denver
and a commitment to putting its distressed areas back into
Metro Area through thoughtful piannir
productive use.	J f |"'
For the latest information about the Westminster Brownfields ^project, please contact Tony Chacon,
City of Westminster, at (303) 426-5857, or Mary Ahlstroml, EPA Region 8, at (303) 312-6626.