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The Push For Denver Airport Development


The largest economic engine for Colorado is Denver International Airport, generating $26B for the region annually. But the airport's efforts to bring in more development to the barren areas surrounding the 53-square-mile airport have been hitting resistance from area residents, says Denver International Airport aviation manager Kim Day (with Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport commercial development VP John Terrell) last Wednesday at the Aerotropolis Airport Conference at the DFW Airport. (Our local reporter dutifully relayed us back the info.) While Kim says competition for the airport's business recruitment efforts are global (and not local), there is a suspicion that the airport will attract business relocations from downtown and surrounding areas.


Kim says there's a 519-room Westin hotel and public transit center under construction, as well as a TOD in the works on land adjacent to the airport. The transit center will include a commuter rail station connecting the airport with downtown Denver and a centralized pick-up and drop-off for all regional transportation district buses serving the airport. Kim was among the speakers at the Aerotropolis conference to address why investors, developers, and tenants choose airport locations. This wasn't just a pleasure trip; there was some scouting involved, as Denver will host the 2014 Aerotropolis Americas conference. (We're guessing ours will have less BBQ, or at least different sauces.)