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Planning For Land South Of Mile High Stadium Kicks Off Later This Spring

A rendering from the 2013 Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan depicts a possible future Old West Colfax streetscape.

Denver will kick off the master-planning process for the south end of the Broncos’ stadium property in the Sun Valley neighborhood later this spring.

The Denver Broncos and the Metropolitan Football Stadium District have been exploring creating a mixed-use neighborhood destination on the property, which is currently surface parking lots that are only used during games and special events. 

That has prompted Denver Community Planning and Development to step in to lead the master-planning process to ensure any potential development adheres to the 2013 Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan. Public meetings to gather input on the project will start this spring. 

“This is a unique opportunity for the district to become a year-round destination with places to live, eat, shop and enjoy,” Denver Broncos Chief Commercial Officer Mac Freeman said. “Similar to what many other sports teams around the country have done, this is a great chance to turn empty lots into family-friendly spaces that draw visitors throughout the year.”

The Denver Housing Authority, in partnership with the city and county of Denver, has a mixed-income public housing development underway in the Sun Valley neighborhood; city planners will work closely with DHA and its residents to incorporate their needs and perspectives into the master plan.

Redeveloping the south end of the stadium property is an opportunity to realize the recommendations in the neighborhood plan, which include improving transportation connections between the site and nearby transit, downtown, the Sun Valley and west side neighborhoods, the highway and the South Platte River, Denver Community Planning and Development Executive Director Brad Buchanan said.

“The stadium district can transform its surface parking lots into a neighborhood asset, and we want to work with the community to guide that transformation and ensure it conforms to Denver’s values,” he said. 

Five years ago, Sun Valley residents, businesses and property owners, including the Denver Broncos, established a vision for the area in the Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan. They recommended creating a year-round, mixed-use retail, entertainment and cultural hub to complement the stadium and other area recreational opportunities, with Lower Colfax as a main street.

“The Metropolitan Football Stadium District, the Sun Valley neighborhood and the Denver Broncos have a long history of working together even prior to the adoption of the 2013 Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan,” MFSD Director of Stadium Affairs Matt Sugar said. “This planning effort is an encouraging step towards realizing the potential of this uniquely Colorado and Denver community.”