Golden residents finally got a chance to hear from CoorsTek and learn a little more about the request to rezone and redevelop a historic 12.2-acre downtown industrial block.
The March 10 virtual community engagement meeting was the first in a series of meetings set up by the Golden-based corporation after the city planning commission received more than 50 pages of public comment prior to its last public hearing.
The size and complexity of the mixed-use project has been a recurring theme.
Dan Cohen, redevelopment representative for CoorsTek, said the project spans five city blocks and would require special considerations to deliver on commitments made to the city.
CoorsTek has asked the City of Golden for 20-year vesting along with its rezoning request.
If adopted, the vestiture would protect CoorsTek from changes in city zoning.
“Vesting means we agree to a set of rules that are embodied in the PUD, and they can’t change for a period of time,” Cohen explained. “What’s different about this project is it covers the equivalent of five city blocks; it’s gonna take 10,15, 20 years to build—10 to15 at a minimum—and that’s if we don’t have future unexpected disruptions to our economy or society, like the pandemic.”
Cohen said it simply means the rules wouldn’t change during the building process.
The average building delivery time is three years, according to Cohen.
“The vesting would give us the time to deliver on all of the commits that we have agreed to in the PUD without the rules changing beneath us,” he said.
Commitment to workforce housing
Currently, the City of Golden has no requirements stipulated for affordable housing.
CoorsTek has committed to making 10% of the housing they build deed-restricted workforce housing.
This means that for every nine units of housing built that are not workforce housing, CoorsTek, under the PUD, would be required to provide one unit of affordable housing in the middle-income category, defined as 80-120% of the Area Median Income.
The units would be deed-restricted for 30 years.
They could be for sale, rent or a combination of both.
While the units would not necessarily be located on the new project site, Cohen said they would be required to be situated in the city of Golden and have access to amenities such as transportation and retail.
But when asked whether CoorsTek would consider units that might serve incomes less than workforce housing, Cohen said it was a possibility but would have to be considered as part of a holistic package of changes they would make.
“For a big picture idea, you can use the idea of an equation,” he said. “There are things that allow us to do development and help pay for the things that are great but might not have a financial return on them. We have to understand both sides of the equation—how much can much we can build and how much are we committing to that’s not revenue producing— to give an ultimate answer. So, yes, we’re willing to consider that, but we’d have to consider that as part of an overall PUD.”
Funding for district art
CoorsTek also has made a substantial financial commitment to district art.
“We think art is a really important part of how you make a place feel uniquely of its context, and how we make this place feel like it’s uniquely part of Golden,” Cohen said.
CoorsTek has committed a minimum of $750,000 to fund publicly-viewable art throughout the redeveloped district. On the high end, the company has promised 2% of the first building’s cost.
Cohen emphasized eligible art would need to be accessible to public view, such as fountains, sculptures, and murals, and “not art in a conference room in somebody’s office building.”
There would be a special focus on finding local artists and artists with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
Although Cohen said the Golden Public Art Commission would not be permitted to select the pieces, they could still have a say or influence.
He said this is district art, not public art. Public art is art owned by the city and displayed in public city-owned areas.
“This is art paid for by CoorsTek on CoorsTek property in the public realm, and viewable to any member from the public.”
There are several more opportunities to learn more about the CoorsTek development project. For upcoming times, dates, and locations, visit www.guidinggolden.com.