Remediating & Redeveloping Urban Blight | Challenge Studio Spotlight

04/14/2017 4:02 PM | Will Cundiff (Administrator)

As development pressures build, Metro Area communities look to redevelop land adjacent to natural amenities. The challenge, however, are the historic land uses on these parcels. Businesses such as auto salvage yards, recycling centers, or lumber yards, bring up questions about the environmental suitability for redevelopment. What types of partnerships, financing, and resources make clean-up ad re-use of the this land a viable option? 

The most recent retail district at River Point in Sheridan, CO is an exciting urban renewal project consisting of major retail stores, specialty shops, dining, and entertainment. It was built on land that was formerly a landfill. A public improvement fee (PIF) of 1% was established to pay for the public improvements at River Point. Improvements included: Environmental remediation, open space and trails, public roads and bridges, public street lighting, regional stormwater, water quality and protection, and utility infrastructure.

We talked to Jennifer Henninger, a senior city planner who works with the City of Sheridan, about the urban development in the area.

DCI: What challenges has the community faced? What is an example of a successful project? 

JH: The area immediately to the north of the Sheridan Santa Fe Business Park (SSBP) used to be a series of landfills, older businesses, and in general, an unsightly mess. Through an urban renewal process the area has been redeveloped into the successful River Point Shopping Center. 

What outreach and response have you seen from property owners in the area?

Several property owners in the SSBP area are interested in having water and sewer connections to their properties so they can either expand their operations or  make their land more valuable to future developers. There are two large property owners in the are that have their properties up for sale.

Are there currently incentives or design guidelines to shape investment for developers and property owners? 

There are no incentives or design guidelines in place to shape any type of future development. All of the property in the SSBP is zoned industrial. 

Be IN THE GAME. Join DCI at the Vibrant Downtowns: IN THE GAME Conference on May 2-5 in Breckenridge Colorado as we explore solve this challenge and 10 others that Colorado Communities are facing.

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