Arvada established its first project area in July of 1981 and expired twenty-five years later in 2006 to great acclaim. Arvada’s City Center District is only the second district to sunset in Colorado and is widely regarded as one of the most successful examples of urban renewal in the state. AURA increased the tax revenue in the district by over $13.7 million a year; this translates into significantly increased services for the citizens of Arvada.
The AURA was charged with redeveloping the 443-acre area located in the southeast quadrant of Arvada, abutting Interstates 70 and 76 and bisected by Wadsworth Boulevard. This area of the City was the impetus that caused the citizens of Arvada to take action and vote for the creation of an urban renewal authority.
Over the past two and a half decades the district has seen a remarkable transformation from an underutilized area with poor infrastructure, high crime rate, blighted neighborhoods and a dying Olde Town into a vibrant commercial and retail center. Not only has the inclusion of large retailers such as Costco and Home Depot created shopping options never before available in the City, but AURA used its powers to invest in the preservation, protection, and enhancement of Historic Olde Town Arvada, a regionally unique downtown community, and to develop the Water Tower Residential Village.