Survey finds residents view light industry, grocery store as desirable for Heritage Square

JCOS to look for developer for former amusement park property

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/7/20

Heritage Square's past was go-karts, dinner theater and alpine sliding. Its future might look more like warehouses, a gym and maybe even research labs. At least that's one vision that was preferred …

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Survey finds residents view light industry, grocery store as desirable for Heritage Square

JCOS to look for developer for former amusement park property

Posted

Heritage Square's past was go-karts, dinner theater and alpine sliding. Its future might look more like warehouses, a gym and maybe even research labs.

At least that's one vision that was preferred by a majority of respondents who participated in an interactive survey about the future of that property and the West Colfax corridor during a virtual community meeting on Dec. 1.

The meeting was held after the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners approved a plan for Martin Marietta, which owns both Heritage Square and the materials mine to the north, to give Heritage Square and other surrounding parcels to Jefferson County Open Space.

In exchange Martin Marietta will receive a northern portion of Matthews-Winters Park, which they will utilize for their mining operations before ultimately returning it to JCOS.

Under the approved plan, JCOS will look to sell the Heritage Square property to a developer and use the money generated by the sale to purchase new property for open space elsewhere in the county. However, JCOS has first agreed to work with the city of Golden to determine proper land use for the sight.

“Before any type of request for proposals or courting of any developer occurs it is important to determine land uses that the city of Golden feels are important for the former amusement park sight,” said Golden Senior Planner Cory Miller.

The Survey

The survey began by asking the respondents which of the following four categories of uses they felt were most and least appropriate for Heritage Square: large scale destination commercial uses, including hotels, movie theaters or a mall; office park uses; light industrial flex-space uses such as warehouse and research and development spaces or heavy-industrial uses, such as chemical labs and sheet metal shops.

Of the four options, 51% of the 34 respondents expressed a preference for light industrial flex uses while 30% preferred office park uses. Conversely, 48% cited heavy industrial uses as most inappropriate while 40% said large scale commercial uses.

Respondents were also able to suggest their own ideas for appropriate uses. The most popular suggestion was a grocery store.

“Grocery stores might be hard because they are really looking for a critical mass of rooftops within 360 degrees of a proposed location,” said Miller. “But we will absolutely pass that on.”

There were also several suggestions for both a brewery or a solar garden, which planner Rick Muriby said would likely fall into light industrial uses.

Open Space

When the city of Golden conducted its first citizen survey on Heritage Square earlier this year, residents expressed a strong preference for open space as an appropriate use for the property, Miller said.

In response respondents were asked to choose which of the following three options for integrating open space use into a redevelopment of Heritage Square would be the most important: access to trails; preservation of open spaces and views; new open space amenities.

Access to trails and preservation of open spaces and views tied for the most votes while new open space amenities received about 25 percent fewer.

Next steps

Miller said the city was planning to use the data to think about how we can explore these concepts further” in preparation for another public meeting where the city would present more concrete concepts for the space to residents. He said Jefferson County Open Space will likely also hold their own public input process prior to the sale of the site, which will likely not happen for at least a year.

Bachman Farms

One of the parcels received by JCOS in the exchange is Bachman Farms, which is a 5.69-acre property located just to the north of Heritage Square. That parcel will likely be turned over to the city of Golden with the stipulation that it be used for “open space.” Miller said the city's planning department is in talks with JCOS about what they deem qualifies as open space use. Golden will likely begin seeking feedback on what specifically to do with the parcel next year.

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