AURA Tackles Environmental Blight

April 17, 2024

Redeveloping a site that contains environmental contamination is difficult. The costs and risks associated with cleanup can make even a prime real estate location unattractive to developers.

Environmental regulations were less comprehensive in the past. Older developments can create environmental challenges when it is time to breathe new life into the site. Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) often takes on difficult environmental challenges to deliver first-rate projects for Arvada. Petroleum, dry-cleaning chemicals and other contaminants can remain long after a business has closed. Many older buildings also contain asbestos that must be removed before demolition can begin. Older sites may contain more unique environmental concerns as well.

Recently, AURA cleaned environmental contamination from 70 acres of land in Ralston Creek near Kipling and 58th Ave. The site was contaminated and couldn’t be redeveloped without a cleanup. The costs associated with environmental cleanup may have prevented the private market from investing in the area without AURA’s intervention.

This land is buttressed by Ralston Cove Park, The Ralston Central Park and the Ralston Creek Trail. It is a key recreation center and substantial urban ecosystem. The environmental blight of the past posed a risk to Arvada’s future.

AURA’s cleanup prepared the sites for mixed-use developments, four new parks, affordable housing, for-sale townhomes, and a future beer garden. AURA has a long track record of cleaning up environmental blight. Investing in redeveloping contaminated sites has environmental benefits beyond the immediate project. Infill redevelopment can prevent the need to develop raw land located further from services, preventing urban sprawl and shortening commutes.

AURA is helping to create a more sustainable Arvada.


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