Will Development Follow RTD Light Rail in Aurora, Colorado?

The mayor of Aurora has lofty ambitions for a new “Main Street” along its forthcoming 10-mile light rail route, but will the market deliver, especially with the rise of real estate prices?
February 12, 2014, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A new 10.5-mile RTD light rail line is already getting built through Aurora, a suburb of Denver, but will mixed-use development come? The new stretch connects major destinations, including the Aurora City Center, the Anschutz/Fitzsimons Medical Campus and Denver International Airport, so the ingredients are there for solid ridership numbers.

But the city’s goals for the project go beyond good ridership, according to an article by Ryan Parker. “Plans at some stops call for vertical development, whether higher-end condos in seven- or eight-story buildings or similar office buildings. A mix of retail and commercial within a quarter- or half-mile of the station will mean people can live, work and play all in a walkable area.”

"It's an opportunity for Aurora to stop accepting average and start shooting for the stars," says Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan in the article.

Less optimistic city leaders, however, point to the unrealistic expectations for the cost of real estate near the station could sink the city's lofty TOD ambitions. Old concerns about how much the city's zoning code prohibits the type of high-rise, mixed-use development are still present, as well.

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Published on Monday, February 10, 2014 in The Denver Post
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