When my great, great grandfather first settled in Golden, he knew then — as we know today — that it was the perfect place to work, live and raise a family. And for the past 110 years, these same values have contributed to the strong bond between Golden and CoorsTek.
CoorsTek is, and has been, a family-run business. In fact, today’s leadership represents the fifth generation of Coors in Golden. And while the iconic “Coors U.S.A Chemical & Scientific Porcelain” sign along Ford street is recognizable to most, we appreciate that not everyone knows what CoorsTek actually does. From this five-block area, we have continuously operated and produced the finest industrial porcelain and ceramics products in the world.
In what began as an investment in an art ceramics venture, CoorsTek has evolved to create products and applications used to make bulletproof vests for American soldiers, navigational control components for the Apollo space missions, and today provides highly durable medical implant components, to name just a few. Everyone in the CoorsTek family takes great pride in what we’ve created from this little pocket of Golden, and we’re even more excited for what comes next.
Our vision for our Ninth Street property is to transform this heavy industrial complex — accounting for nearly 500,000 square feet — into a vibrant, publicly accessible district for our community to work, play, eat, relax and live. Our new global headquarters, founded more than a century ago on this very site, would anchor the district. This would be a significant redevelopment for downtown and the community, and we know how important it is to get this right.
Honoring community aspirations, modeling best-in-class design and sustainability standards, and achieving the best possible outcomes for our stakeholders — these values have shaped our efforts, and they continue to do so. When city leaders and community members codified in Golden’s Comprehensive Plan the need to rezone this site to a form-based district, we aligned our proposal accordingly to enable what’s known as district-wide PUD zoning. We are now asking for approval from the Planning Commission and City Council to do just that.
The district approach creates mutually reinforcing benefits for the community and our company. By codifying consistent and binding standards, this district approach makes it possible to make significant commitments for more robust sustainability, additional open space, and delivery of workforce housing beyond that typically required of any individual development in Golden.
Our proposal is grounded in redeveloping this land better, not bigger. In fact, we want to build less than what is allowed under current zoning. This rezoning triggers a significant contribution of areas set aside for open space (40%) and active preservation of our historic buildings. I’m proud to share that we have also committed to best practices in publicly accessible shared parking, dynamic traffic reduction programs and investments exceeding $500,000 to support pedestrian/bicycle safety.
In looking to our future, our vision has been heavily informed by our past. Over sixty years ago, the aluminum can was pioneered on-site, which enabled the adoption of recycling in our country. Transitioning existing industrial buildings to all-electric, net-zero buildings is a fitting next chapter in our company’s legacy. Likewise, dedicating over two acres of private property for open space (the equivalent of Parfet Park) and showcasing local artists in a new art district build community and protect our connection to nature.
Finally, I understand that community begins with a home. I am proud to guarantee delivery of at least 25 units of income-qualified, permanently deed-restricted housing for Golden’s workforce. Although not a requirement in Golden’s code, I felt it was consistent with our long-standing commitment to our community. I gratefully acknowledge the many community voices that have helped shape this element and look forward to continuing the dialogue.
We have tried to model a new standard for development in Golden and beyond. This is important to us, and we want this project to be a source of pride for future generations of Coors and our entire community. Please visit www.coorstek9thstreet.com to learn more.
Michael Coors is the CEO of CoorsTek, Inc.