Thursday, February 24, 2011

In regards to the Economic Development Update presented by Brittany Morris, the Gateway News has the following questions:

Gateway News: It is stated that the unemployment in 2010 was 8.2% in Colorado , what is the unemployment rate in Commerce City for 2010 and projected for 2011?

Commerce City: The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics only tracks unemployment statistics by county (not by municipality). The 2010 Adams County unemployment rate will not be reported by the agency until later this quarter.

Gateway News: The Metro Denver Industry clusters that you state are trending upward, which of these "clusters" are suited to Commerce City and who (which specific business or businesses) in that "cluster" have come to Commerce City in 2010 or will come in 2011?

Commerce City: As reported by Ms. Morris during the presentation, the only metro-area cluster to trend upward in 2010 was the energy industry. Commerce City continues to target traditional energy and renewable energy business prospects. Within the Advanced Manufacturing industry area, for example, the city is targeting the “niche” of renewable energy component manufacturing. The following are examples of businesses the city has attracted or retained in the energy industry cluster:

· Rentech, a biofuel company, recently expanded their operation in Commerce City next to Suncor.

· Suncor Energy also recently expanded and hired over 100 well paying jobs.

· Douglass Roofing recently expanded their business model to include solar instillation services.

Gateway News: Is there a correlation between the lack of retail and lack of jobs in Commerce City and the high foreclosure rate in Adams County ? What is the rate of foreclosures in Commerce City ? How does Commerce City compare to Adams County in general for foreclosures, more or less?

Commerce City: Based on our experience, there is not a correlation between retail and foreclosures. Nationwide, home foreclosures continue to be an issue. While Colorado , metro Denver and Commerce City are not immune, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation indicated foreclosures within the metro area are not as bad when compared throughout the nation ( While we do not have Commerce City-specific foreclosure information While the Colorado Division of Housing does not track city-specific filing information, below are the specific filing numbers reported by the county (which includes unincorporated Adams County , Brighton, Commerce City and Thornton ). As you can see, these numbers are declining.

· 2010 3rd Qtr, 1,276 foreclosure filings.

· 2009 3rd Qtr, 1,456 foreclosure filings.

· 2008 3rd Qtr, 1069 foreclosure filings.

· 2007 3rd Qtr 1,350 foreclosure filings.

Gateway News: Did the over $100 million dollars in hail storm damage have any impact on the number of residential building permits in 2010? How many were actually non hail storm related and how many were actual new builds by a developer or private for new residences?

Commerce City: · The hail storm did result in an increase in building permits for 2010. From May 26, 2010 through Feb. 17, 2011, a total of 3,030 permits were obtained for re-roofing (2,815) or window/siding replacement (215).

· The number of new residential permits for single-family detached homes totaled 218 in 2010; new multi-family units totaled 19.

Gateway News: Please submit to us a list of the 210 new businesses so residents can start shopping at them or apply for jobs at them or use them as vendors in their own businesses. Please include the addresses.

Commerce City: Please see attached CLICK HERE The list includes businesses that pulled a “new business license” in 2010. Licensing is the city’s best information source in identifying new businesses as this is the first official step to opening a business. Since this is a first step, some owner’s may not open their doors right away. Stelatto’s Grocery, for example, pulled a permit in 2010 but are not opening until next month.

Gateway News: On the prospect activity page, please list the 2010 prospects and the 2009 prospects. Who are these businesses?

Commerce City: Given the confidential nature of business prospects, we are unable to release specific company names. I have attached a file CLICK HERE that provides a comparison of prospects for 2009 and 2010 by industry type, acreage requests, and square footage requests for your review.

There are a list of prospect lead sources, are there any plans to ask the community who they might have relationships with themselves. With a population of over 40,000 people, there might be a lot of untapped relationships that would help bring businesses here.

The division’s strategic plan and 2011 goals acknowledge the need to form economic development-focused citizen and business advisory committees. Leveraging existing networks within the community and relationships is a great idea for the citizens group to focus on and would encourage you as well as readers to apply and participate in the coming months.

Gateway News: Please provide a list of the projects that were eliminated. Are these the same projects referred to in the prior slide of 2010 prospects.

Commerce City: As noted in the earlier question, we are unable to provide specific company names. I included reasons for elimination of projects in a 2009 to 2010 comparison in the attached file CLICK HERE

Gateway News: Please provide the total tax dollars collected in 2009 by the city from Mile High Marketplace and provide the use of those tax dollars. Did they go right back to benefit the Mile High Marketplace or the citizens in general?

Commerce City: Under state law and local ordinances, we do not provide individual taxpayer information. Taxes collected from Mile High Marketplace are placed in the general fund and then used to provide city services consistent with the adopted 2011-2012 budget.

Gateway News: How many jobs have been provided at the new Cummins Rocky Mountain plant and how many for actual citizens of Commerce City ?

Commerce City: As stated in the attached press release, the first phase will include 70+ new hires over the next five years at the facility. While local hiring was not a requirement of their incentive agreement, the city will ask Cummins if any of their employees live in Commerce City following the opening.

Gateway News: How many jobs have been provided to Commerce City citizens as a direct result of the Economic Development Incentives given by the city?

Commerce City: To date, 450 new jobs will be created as a result of the incentive program. Some packages mandate the hiring of residents (such as Canopy Parking), while others do not. The incentive program mandated job positions had to be maintained for two years. The city will be tracking these new jobs as well as the number of residents hired by these firms. It is important to note many of the projects we incentivized are not built yet – i.e. King Soopers, which is scheduled to open during the third quarter of 2012.

Gateway News: What were the goals for 2010 and were they reached?

Commerce City: The division set the following goals for 2010:

1. Prepare Final Recommendations and Implement the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan
2. Host the Commerce City Business and Development Summit and Develop a Business Incentive Program
3. Updated Website and Enhance Economic Development Marketing Tools
4. Attend the 2010 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) ReCon Convention
5. Continue to Improve the Business Retention and Expansion Program
6. Develop Strategy for Dog Track Redevelopment

All goals were met with the exception of the business retention and expansion program, which was under the leadership of Pam Downs. With her passing last year, the division faced challenges in sharing the workload. This is a goal for 2011.


  1. Commerce City Says: "Based on our experience, there is not a correlation between retail and foreclosures."

    Isn't rooftops what drive retail?

  2. I thought Mile Market deal was discussed in public meeting. Doesn't the tax collected from them go into improving the surrounding streets in that area?

  3. Does anyone want to bet on whether all of what Mrs. Morris has "accomplished" would have happened with or without her involvement or any involvement from the City for that matter - why do they insist on taking credit for anything and everything - The entire City Manager office and upper management all suffer greatly from delusions of self importance. I see Mizraim Cordero was appointed to the Rangeview Library Board - I wonder who he upset to have to endure that low level unimportant appointment that the City felt was necessary to put in the Denver Post"on the move section". I have an idea let's put Mizraim in the "look at what me and my $100,000 dollar a year job with great benefits have accomplished for the tax payers of commerce city section of the paper"- ooops that section doesn't exist and neither do accomplishments for the tax payers.

  4. Sammy, Commerce CityFriday, February 25, 2011

    can you get list of comm city businesses that went out of business?

    (as of 3/25/2010)

    BRIGHTON FORECLOSURES 316 Total Locations
    (as of 3/25/2010)

    maybe there is a correlation between retail and foreclosures.

  6. Nice twist cc staff, but Adams cty foreclosure filings are NOT declining. Use current updated figures.

    December 2010 foreclosure filings = 183
    January 2011 foreclosure filings = 204

    That is a increase of 11.5%