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Denver is one step closer to creation of the Ballpark General Improvement District

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jul 08, 2024

DENVER — Denver's City Council is expected to decide on Monday whether to approve the creation of the Ballpark General Improvement District.

The purpose of the district is to create opportunities for businesses near Coors Field, while ensuring safety as well. Through the proposed district, a tax could also be collected from business owners and residents within a certain boundary. That collected tax would go toward creating those opportunities for businesses.

The defined boundaries of the district are 20th Street to the south, Welton Street to the southeast, Broadway/24th Street/Park Avenue West to the northeast and Wewatta/Delgany Street to the northwest.

Ballpark District Boundaries
Denver's Ballpark District's boundaries include 20th Street, Coors Field, Broadway and adjacent parcels and an alley behind Welton Street.

"Denver is changing, and Ballpark is too," the district's website reads. "As a district, we grew up around Coors Field after its opening in 1995 brought interest to this part of Downtown Denver. A mix of old and new, today our community is dense and is home to a diverse group of individuals who live here, work here and seek services here... Increased populations and demands on our district have brought both opportunity and challenge, but to date there has not been one strong leadership voice for Ballpark to help navigate the complex changes we have and continue to face."

Matt Van Sistine, property and business owner within the proposed district, told Denver7 concerns over safety, cleanliness, and consistent social services drove him and others in the neighborhood to push for the district.

"What I love about this neighborhood is all the great businesses," Van Sistine said. "What I don't love about the neighborhood is the inconsistent level of services that there's been, poor communication with the city."

Consultants say the creation of the district could help solve those very problems.

"A majority of the funding, at least in the early years, is going to go to continue working on safety and outreach, and this is not adding police or, you know, armed security down there," said Jamie Giellis, president of Centro, a consulting company. "We are proactively working to ensure everybody feels welcome and comfortable."

Denver is one step closer to creation of the Ballpark General Improvement District

Giellis told Denver7 that could be in the form of hospitality ambassadors instead of police officers, who could act as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood.

"Ballpark sits in a bit of a doughnut hole of services," she said.

The goal is to ultimately close that hole, and a proposed $1.3 million budget for the first year would help with that. That budget would be generated through tax collections in the first year.

"I would say this is just one step in the process," Van Sistine said.

If city council approves the creation of the district, business owners and residents within the boundaries will vote on the proposed tax in November.

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