Land owned by Commerce City that was formerly part of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal may soon be able to shed government-mandated restrictions on its development, opening up opportunities for new retail and housing in a city eager to jettison its long standing industry-heavy image.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision allowing for an environmental assessment to evaluate the removal of the deed restrictions on land purchased by the city in 2004. The bill heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.
The land is part of the nearly 900-acre Victory Crossing property at the northeast corner of E. 56th Avenue and Quebec Street, a portion of which already serves as home to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The mixed-use project is a partnership between Commerce City and the private sector.
It was part of the former U.S. Army chemical weapons manufacturing facility that was cleaned up to the tune of $2.1 billion. Most of the former arsenal is now home to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal Amendment was introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Aravada, and in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner, a Republican, and Michael Bennet, a Democrat.
“The National Defense Authorization Act’s inclusion of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal is central to Commerce City’s potential development of the land it purchased nearly a decade ago,” Gardner said in a statement Thursday. “If the land is deemed safe for development, Commerce City has the opportunity to attract new businesses and jobs, boosting its local economy.”
Perlmutter said the bill would allow Commerce City “greater flexibility to move forward and continue growing its local economy.”
Commerce City’s mayor, Sean Ford, said allowing residential development on the Victory Crossing property “aligns with the city’s vision to create a one-of-a-kind space for the community to gather as well as make a home.”
“Multi-family housing with further strengthen Victory Crossing, providing a sense of place and contributing to a vibrant community,” the mayor said.
Content originally published by the Denver Post on December 8, 2016.