Arvada Urban Renewal Authority gives Ralston Fields redevelopment update

25-year redevelopment plan beginning to take shape

Ryan Dunn
RDunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/10/21

At the Arvada City Council meeting on May 17th, Arvada Urban Renewal Authority Executive Director Maureen Phair gave an update on the Ralston Fields redevelopment project, which has been in the works …

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Arvada Urban Renewal Authority gives Ralston Fields redevelopment update

25-year redevelopment plan beginning to take shape

Posted

At the Arvada City Council meeting on May 17th, Arvada Urban Renewal Authority Executive Director Maureen Phair gave an update on the Ralston Fields redevelopment project, which has been in the works since 2003. To learn more about the project, the Arvada Press' Ryan Dunn sat down with Phair to discuss the changes that have taken place in the area and what's to come.

1. Morgan Ralston Creek

Located at the site of a former Kmart near Kipling Street and Ralston Road, a development featuring 348 apartments and up to 10,000 square feet of commercial space was approved by City Council on March 15. Developed by the Morgan Group, the complex will feature 17 affordable housing units and between 300 and 330 one and two-bedroom units.

The development is set to break ground in the first quarter of 2022, according to Phair, and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2024.

2. Shops at Ralston Creek

Located at 9543 Ralston Road, the Shops at Ralston Creek opened in 2018 and features businesses such as Tokyo Joe's, MOD Pizza and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

3. Ralston Creek Townhomes by Berkeley Homes

The Ralston Creek Townhomes will feature 44 for-sale town home units developed by Berkeley Homes. The project was set to break ground this spring but was delayed due to electrical issues. The site abuts the Shops at Ralston Creek to the north, near Ralston Road and Independence Street.

“It should have broken ground two months ago,” said Phair. “These guys were ready to break ground, we were getting ready to go and dig in the dirt, but Xcel Energy found out that there might be a power line that runs through the center of the site. So, they're trying to figure out what to do with it.”

Construction for the Ralston Creek Townhomes is expected to take two years.

4. Ralston Commons: 27 for-sale townhomes

Located on the site of the former Arvada Square shopping center, 27 for-sale town homes will be available as part of the broader Ralston Commons development. Ralston Commons is being developed by Loftus Developments.

“This has proven to be our most challenging center to redevelop,” said Phair at the May 17 council meeting. “We've owned it for 10 years… and have gone through six uniquely separate site plans, but for a variety of reasons, the site plans just couldn't gain traction. So, in the meantime, we have been working on the site.

“There was a lot of environmental contamination,” Phair continued, “we abated it, we demoed it. There was dry cleaning contamination, and that has now been resolved. The site didn't get traction until the AURA board gave approval to purchase the gas station located in front. So, with that added to the site, we were able to come up with a terrific site plan.”

5. Ralston Commons: 186 apartments

Ralston Commons will also feature 186 apartments built in two and three-story buildings over garden-level parking garages.

“Because of the garden style garage that elevates the bulling 5 feet up,” said Phair, “we have the ability to do brownstone-style stoops. So, each one of the units that encircle the building are going to have their own individual entrance with a nice tall stoop. So, (residents) can decorate it, drink coffee in the morning; it activates the street. It’s a traditional brownstone you see in New York.”

Groundbreaking is set for the first quarter of 2022, with completion projected for the first quarter of 2024.

6. Ralston Commons: Retail park

Dubbed “the heart of the area” by Phair, the final component of Ralston Commons will include a 5,500 square foot retail park that will feature restaurant space and a small park. One local/regional flagship restaurant will occupy a street front space, while two others - preferably an ice cream shop, according to Phair - will occupy smaller retail spaces set back from Ralston Road.

“What we're looking for is a place for people to come,” said Phair, “with their kids to run around and play. So, this is surrounding an active plaza, it will hopefully have games like corn hole and a fire pit. This is really a place for people to come and stay, so we're looking to have food trucks there as well.”

Phair said that the developer is working on finding a restaurant to occupy the flagship retail space, and that AURA is hoping that Ralston Commons will break ground at the beginning of 2022.

7. Ralston Road improvement project

Construction is already underway for phase two of the Ralston Road Project, which will seek to widen lanes from Yukon Street to Garrison Street, widen sidewalks, upgrade lights and underground overhead power lines. The current nine-foot travel lanes will be widened to 11 feet, the center turn lane will be widened to 12 feet, and an eight-foot-wide pedestrian path will be constructed.

Resurfacing will begin this summer and will call for intermittent lane closures.

8. Ralston Gardens

Ralston Gardens affordable housing project is a planned development that would include roughly 100 apartments. The project is contingent on securing Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which AURA will apply for this August, with a decision being issued around November. If approved, Phair said it would take about six to nine months to break ground.

“I think it's a great project with a great developer in a great location,” said Phair. “We've really done our homework, and we're hopeful because everything has been so well thought out. When you do your application, you have to have everything perfect, you can't have one thing unknown or unresolved.”

9. Garrison Street Paseo

The Garden Street Paseo will provide an upgrade to the current concrete path that connects 57th Avenue and Ralston Road. The renovated path will feature a linear park adored with art and plants.

“This is probably one of our funnest projects that I think urban renewal has done in years, if ever,” said Phair. “What we're looking to do is create a very inviting linear park that will take the neighbors to the south and give them a comfortable and inviting way to enjoy all the amenities.”

Phair added that the Paseo will utilize the Swadley Ditch to construct a water feature.

“There’s a steep hill that we’re taking advantage of by making a lookout where you can see the mountains,” said Phair, “and watch the fireworks from there. And there’s going to be a creek that meanders down the hill. The Swadley Ditch currently flows underground in a pipe and we are going to daylight some of that water to make a creek to meander down the hill. It goes out into Ralston Creek.”

The project is scheduled to break ground next in 2022 and be completed in 2023.

10. Arvada Place

Adjacent to the Garrison Street Paseo will be the Arvada Place apartments; 36 “boutique” units with two of the units designated as affordable. The apartments will be constructed on a 16-acre site that currently contains a single-family-occupant house.

The project is set to break ground later this month and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.

11. Super Walmart

Located at 9400 Ralston Road, a Super Walmart was completed in 2017. According to Phair, the store has provided enough tax revenue to allow the other Ralston Fields developments to take shape.

“(The Super Walmart) is really the thing that launched everything,” said Phair. “If it wasn't for the Super Walmart, everything else would not have happened.”

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