Gilmore is working to help more construction companies win business from what is known as the “Corridor of Opportunity.”
The 23-mile corridor is essentially Denver’s burgeoning northern gateway entrance, linking Denver International Airport and the city’s downtown Union Station. It includes nine new transit stations with links to the light-rail network running throughout the Front Range. Denver’s economic development officials report that the corridor represents a $2.6 billion impact on the region over the next 30 years and will create 40,000 new jobs.
The corridor’s construction also is expected to trigger the development of thousands of acres of land — including a region known locally as the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative. This region is home to six major construction projects involving more than 3,000 acres and concentrated in three of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods — Globeville, Elyria and Swansea. In addition to spurring new construction, the projects also are designed to repair and strengthen old infrastructure, reactivate a neglected segment of the Platte River and breathe new life into the county’s popular National Western Stock Show.
Vince Gilmore, Gilmore Construction’s safety officer, serves as co-chairman of the Construction Empowerment Initiative, a committee assembled by the Denver Office of Economic Development to educate, coordinate and empower construction companies owned by women and minorities qualified for contracts within the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative. In coming weeks, we’ll provide information about how interested, local companies can compete for this business.
Here’s a quick look at the six major projects planned for the region:
I-70 East Reconstruction
The Colorado Department of Transportation has recommended the lowering of a portion of Interstate 70 between Brighton and Colorado boulevards with a nearly five-acre park and new north-south transit connections between the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods. This project is projected at $1.2 billion and would be the largest in Colorado history. It is expected to include critical infrastructure improvements that would strengthen one of the state’s primary east/west interstate highways.
Globeville Elyria and Swansea Improvements
These three small communities totaling about 11,000 residents stretch along the east and west sides of the Platte River — and they have been historically underserved. Given their prime locations adjacent to both Interstates 25 and 70 and along the Denver’s major north/south connections at Washington Street and Brighton Boulevard, they are poised for resurgence. The neighborhoods are collaborating with public and private partners to secure investment with an eye on developing affordable housing and preparing for what promises to be a population boom.
A three-mile segment of the boulevard linking with Interstate 70 already is undergoing massive transformation. Commonly called River North or “RiNo,” it is quickly becoming one of Denver’s hot spots for mixed-use development and has attracted big influxes of young, first-time homebuyers. In addition to the projects set to break ground over the next several years, the City and County of Denver is committed to spending $26 million to rebuild this important gateway.
River North/South Platte River
The RiNo community is emerging and already home to a remarkable mix of companies that include artisans and is known for its eclectic combination of warehouses, rail yards and industrial-loft offices. RiNo is also home to the last of the South Platte River that has yet to be reclaimed. Denver is working to return this cherished waterway to its glorious, recreational past.
As part of its regional transit investment, RTD is building out three new transit lines and four new stations across the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhood. These public-transit connections will provide direct access to downtown, Denver International Airport and the broader Front Range.
National Western Center Campus
For more than a century, the National Western Stock Show has represented Colorado’s largest agricultural convention. It attracts more than 600,000 visitors annually from across the country and around the world. However, its existing complex is antiquated and will not help Colorado maintain its position as a global leader in 21st-century agricultural innovation. A bold new mater plan is designed to transform the current 130-acre site at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Brighton Boulevard into a dynamic 270-acre campus.