Thursday, December 30, 2010

Commerce City 2010 achievements pave way for future successes

COMMERCE CITY – In the midst of a bleak economic climate elsewhere, Commerce City’s achievements during 2010 position the city for greater advancement in the years to come, according to city officials.

An early 2010 Business and Development Summit attended by local business leaders led to the creation of a unique incentive program to spark economic growth. Projects approved to date are expected to create more than 450 new jobs and generate about $33 million in capital improvements.

A Fortune 500 company, Cummins Rocky Mountain, was among the businesses to receive incentives when it announced plans to build the nation’s largest, high-horsepower diesel engine remanufacturing center in Commerce City, creating about 150 new jobs during the next five years. All told, more than 200 businesses joined the Commerce City community during the past year.

Annexation of the Mile High Marketplace into Commerce City – a process involving multiple departments and that was completed in about 90 days – is another accomplishment that will help boost sales-tax revenues for years to come.

“At the start of this year, the City Council developed a list of more than 100 items it wanted to see city staff act upon, and we were able to check off most of these action items," Commerce City Mayor Paul Natale said. "I would have to say we succeeded in strengthening the city’s position, particularly considering the state of the economy.”

Other notable developments in 2010 included the revitalization of the Derby Downtown District, completion of a 4½-mile segment of the Second Creek Greenway Trail and the opening of a police department substation to serve citizens in the northern part of the city.

Everything accomplished in 2010 was done so with a balanced budget.

Less visible, yet important, accomplishments included working with the Regional Transportation District on funding issues and track alignment for RTD’s FasTracks rail expansion, adoption of the city’s first-ever Economic Development Strategic Plan, its first comprehensive plan in 25 years, and participating in efforts to rebrand the area surrounding Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as Victory Crossing. It is hoped Victory Crossing brings in a mix of retailers, restaurants, hotels, corporate development and sports destination type facilities during the next decade.

This past year also marked the start of a lengthy process that many hope will come to fruition in 2012 – a grocery store in the northern part of the city. In December, City Council approved a rezoning request and incentive package to help attract a King Soopers Marketplace to the northwest corner of 104th Avenue and Chambers Road.

“It’s nice to reflect on the past year’s achievements, but the city’s work is far from over," City Manager Jerry Flannery said. "We were able to accomplish many things in 2010 that will lay the foundation for bigger and better things in 2011 and beyond.”

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