Ground breaks on hook ramps near I-70 and 32nd Avenue

Wheat Ridge to fund a portion of construction cost with 2E revenue

Posted 8/13/19

A lot of dirt has been moved on the future site of the Clear Creek Crossing development, but a groundbreaking on Aug. 6 became the first significant step forward for the project. Clear Creek Crossing …

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Ground breaks on hook ramps near I-70 and 32nd Avenue

Wheat Ridge to fund a portion of construction cost with 2E revenue

Posted

A lot of dirt has been moved on the future site of the Clear Creek Crossing development, but a groundbreaking on Aug. 6 became the first significant step forward for the project.

Clear Creek Crossing is located near the southwest quadrant of Highway 58 and I-70 — roughly, just west of I-70 between approximately 34th Avenue and Clear Creek in Wheat Ridge.

The Aug. 6 groundbreaking was for construction of the hook ramps for westbound I-70 access. The project will replace the I-70 westbound off-ramp and improve the westbound on-ramp at 32nd Avenue.

“Creating the hook ramps to the Clear Creek Crossing development from I-70 is a critical part of infrastructure improvements that will not only benefit Clear Creek Crossing, but also the Applewood Shopping Center on Youngfield,” said Wheat Ridge City Manager Patrick Goff in a press release, “and (all) Wheat Ridge and Jefferson County residents who shop, dine and do business in the area.”

The hook ramps construction project is being funded in part by the revenue from a ½ cent sales tax increase — the Investing 4 the Future ballot question 2E — approved by voters in November 2016. The sales tax rate began on Jan. 1, 2017, will be in effect for 12 years.

The hook ramps at Clear Creek Crossing are one of four projects funded by the sales tax measure. Improvements to Anderson Park were recently completed. These included improvements to the playground, Clear Creek access points and facilities. Two more Investing 4 the Future projects are in the works. They are the Wadsworth Boulevard Widening project, which will take place on Wadsworth Boulevard from 35th Avenue to I-70 and will improve the corridor for multi-modal use; and the Northwest Subarea/Wheat Ridge-Ward Station. The latter consists of several infrastructure projects to improve the northwest corner of the city’s boundary, including the area surrounding the Wheat Ridge-Ward Station, which is the end-of-line station for the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) G Line commuter rail.

Clear Creek Crossing

The 2E sales tax is funding $10 million of the approximate $15 million hook ramps at Clear Creek Crossing project. The project developers are paying for the rest.

After spending years anticipating and working on a project, “groundbreakings are always a lot of fun,” said Tyler Carlson, managing principal for Evergreen Devco, Inc., one of the firms working on the Clear Creek Crossing project.

Carlson added the hook ramps project is on time and on budget, and will be in operation by the end of this year.

Clear Creek Crossing is a mixed-use development concept that will include retail, entertainment, hotel, residential and privately-owned open space. It will sit on about 110 acres — the largest undeveloped property in Wheat Ridge.

The property has a long history of development challenges. It was annexed into the city in 2005. The next year city council approved a rezoning of the site for Cabela’s to build a 185,000 square foot store. In 2011, the property was rezoned a second time to accommodate a somewhat smaller Cabela’s store and a 177,000-square foot Super Walmart. However, a Cabela’s corporate decision led to the 2013 opening of two stores located along the I-25 corridor at the north and south ends of the Denver metropolitan area. Walmart continued to be a part of the proposed Clear Creek Crossing project, but in the summer of 2017, Walmart made the decision not to build there.

On Jan. 18, 2018, Wheat Ridge Planning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend approval of the mixed-use concept, and Wheat Ridge City Council unanimously approved the rezoning from planned commercial development to planned mixed use development on March 26, 2018.

The property has been divided into eight planning areas and developed into five districts, each with their own list of permitted uses ranging from office space, retail and residential to multi-use trail and sidewalk networks. SCL Health/Lutheran Medical Center is proposed to occupy a 25-acre parcel of the property as well.

It will be several years before build-out of Clear Creek Crossing occurs, said Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker, but the groundbreaking for the hook ramps is a “really good start.”

People are attracted to living in Wheat Ridge, and as more people move to the community, Clear Creek Crossing is a keystone project for the west end of town, Starker said. It will offer new business and residential opportunities for the next generations, he added.

“We’re looking to the future,” Starker said. “We’re building for our children and their families.”

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