Urban Renewal Authority, Mile High Greyhound Park Selected for Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge's 10th Anniversary Project


COMMERCE CITY, COLO.- Over the last 10 years, the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge (sponsored by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association) has created visionary development ideas for sites such as Solterra, the Denver Coliseum and most recently 9 Mile Station. The 65-acre Mile High Greyhound Park joins that illustrious list, with today's selection as the Challenge's 10th anniversary project.

The Challenge asks more than 50 of the state's best and brightest graduate students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver to evaluate and make recommendations for the Greyhound Park's redevelopment as they compete against one another for scholarships, future employment, and the NAIOP Cup. Student teams begin a four-month period in December of working with industry professionals and the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) to analyze every aspect of the site. The Challenge culminates with a banquet event on May 2, 2012, where students will present their findings to the URA and an audience of over 600 people. Tickets for the event, which will be held at the Hyatt Convention Center, will go on sale in March.

"The redevelopment of the Mile High Greyhound Park provides students with a unique 65-acre infill project full of real-world challenges," said Richard Morgan, Chairman of the NAIOP organizing committee. "From land-use and transportation, community engagement and financial considerations, we couldn't have picked a better project to celebrate a decade of the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge. We look forward to working with Commerce City to see this important parcel redeveloped in a timely manner."

The Mile High Greyhound Park was built in 1946 as a greyhound race track and club, with its inaugural race in 1949. In 1980, the facility underwent significant renovations and dog racing came to a halt in 2008. Purchased by the Urban Renewal Authority in August, the property is located in historic Commerce City and is bound by 64th Avenue to the north, 62nd Avenue to the south, Holly Street to the east and Dahlia Street to the west.

"One of the city's goals is to invest in our own future," said URA Executive Director Jerry Flannery. "The purchase of the dog track was a pivotal moment for Commerce City and one that will define our community for years to come. It's exciting to know the URA is going to benefit from the wealth of ideas and knowledge generated during the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge - a premier event for the region."

The property, one of three identified urban renewal areas within the city, was purchased by the URA to help the city achieve its vision of redeveloping the site as a mixed-use development. Its close proximity to major highways and two commuter rail lines, as well as designation as a Colorado Enterprise Zone - which encourages development by offering possible tax credits to businesses that choose to develop there - make it an ideal location for infill development.

A series of community meetings are underway as part of the URA-led planning process. Through these forums, which will last through November, the authority aims to identify community, nonprofit and business goals, needs and challenges for the redevelopment site. A comprehensive sub-area plan, completed in tandem with the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, is scheduled to be finalized next summer. Specific meeting details as well as ways to provide input can be found at www.c3gov.com/ura.