Denver's growth bringing challenges to southern metro area

Our Colorado: Summit to focus on transportation
Posted at 8:38 AM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 10:40:52-04

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. — On Thursday the Denver South Economic Development Partnership will host "Constructing the future of Denver South." The meeting of business and community leaders will address development and transit in the area along the south I-25 corridor, encompassing parts of Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, and the the cities of Greenwood Village, Centennial and Lone Tree. 

"We firmly believe that economic development and transportation go hand in hand and a 21st century transportation system is vital in order to remain competitive in today’s global economy," said Lauren Masias, the managing director for corporate engagement for Denver South EDP.

The group is pushing for the passage of the Let's Go Colorado sales tax initiative, which will raise money for the area's transportation needs.

It's a 0.62 percent sales tax increase that will raise $766 million dollars in the first year for transportation funding. The increase would cost the average Colorado taxpayer an additional $130 dollars a year.

Money raised would be split between CDOT and local governments.

"What that means for voters is that you have the ability to really say where your money is going because it’s local control and you can help design and build that future that we’re living in," Masias said. 

Part of that future includes creating developments that allow people to live, work, and play in one area, without having to commute across the metro.

The Jones District is one of Centennial's newer developments, with 42 acres of mixed multi-use development, including luxury apartments.

There are also new projects coming to the area around RTD's southeast rail line extension at Ridgegate Parkway, and around the Belleview station, with new restaurants and nightlife opportunities planned.

With over 230,000 employees and five Fortune 500 company headquarters, the southern metro area is a major economic driver for Colorado. The hope is to find ways to continue to grow responsibly and provide different options for everyone who wants to make this area their home.

"I think this is an important area," Masias said. "This is a great place to live, work and play, it’s a major employment center, but it’s a great place to raise a family as well."