In unison, the Denver City Council agreed Monday night to rezone a 32-acre plot in Green Valley Ranch as a mixed-use space, a move which should bring food and jobs with it.
The site will have many things once it’s built out, said Mark Goldberg, president of Goldberg Property, which is developing the area alongside CP Bedrock. But perhaps most important will be a Costco, which will bring new options for people in the area — a longstanding food desert — to buy food.
The massive retailer also will create about 200 jobs, Goldberg pledged, paying an average of $24 per hour.
Several people spoke in favor of the move before the council’s vote on the rezoning request. Nearby Montbello resident Lawrence Murray said that the project will provide an economic boost for the area and a chance to avoid losing those opportunities to Aurora to the south.
On top of the Costco, which will anchor the new development, Goldberg said they’re planning even more retail spaces, sit-down and faster eating options. They’re also planning for a town center that will be “very walkable,” an amphitheater, fire pit, places to sit and even open space.
Construction of the Costco should be finished by the end of July 2023, according to a timeline set out by city officials.
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For Colorado’s Afghan community, Taliban control evokes new fears and painful memories.
Capitol Diary • By Saja Hindi
Colorado lawmakers have four months to figure out how to spend $400 million in federal dollars on affordable housing and propose new state policies to put a dent in the crisis as the state’s population continues to grow.
The Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force — made up of Democratic and Republican lawmakers, and state housing and economic development officials — met Thursday. A subpanel of experts will help the committee, and includes nonprofit housing and homelessness representatives, interested parties and others in the development and real estate sectors.
Members at the meeting noted their concerns about skyrocketing prices across the state from the mountain areas to the Denver metro area.
The task force reviewed data from a Harvard University report published in July on the state of housing in the nation. It found that even with a pause in some home sales in May 2020, sales of existing homes still were up year over year on average from September 2020 through February 2021. New single-family home sales rose even faster in 2020, reaching the highest level since the peak of the housing boom in 2006, according to the report.
A presentation by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing noted there was a 40% drop in housing production over the last decade because of a decrease in construction workers and contractors and a change in the type of housing being built. While Colorado has diversified its economy, housing construction has not kept up, affecting housing for workers and seniors, and permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.
“I am encouraged from the willingness from task force members to engage deeply on the need for access to housing — regardless of party affiliation, we all recognize that Coloradans need us to act,” said Vice Chair Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat.
GOP Rep. Dan Woog of Erie said he’s looking forward to focusing on how to address the housing shortage but also cautions that the state shouldn’t implement so many subsidies that more people experiencing homelessness end up moving here.
Other state politics news
- Gov. Jared Polis repealed two proclamations by a former territorial governor that threatened Native Americans.
- Colorado’s far-right pushes to close its primaries.
- How a new Colorado law affects medical cannabis.
- Nine takeaways from new census data.
Federal politics • By Justin Wingerter
Buck v. Big Tech, again
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck is again teaming up with a Democrat to rein in the powers of Big Tech.
The Republican from Windsor has joined with Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia to introduce the Open App Markets Act. The bill would allow iPhone and Android users to install third-party app stores on their phones, weakening the dominance of Apple and Google stores.
“For far too long, companies like Google and Apple have had a stranglehold on app developers who are forced to take whatever terms these monopolists set in order to reach their customers,” Buck said in a statement.
The problem, as Buck sees it, is that Apple and Google control 98% of the app market. As a result, they can charge app makers fees on transactions within apps. This is most common on iPhones, which don’t allow for any third-party app stores; Androids are less restrictive.
Apple has warned that the bill would allow so-called “sideloading,” the downloading of apps from websites or other places that are not app stores. Apple claims that could lead to malware and other security concerns. The company told CNBC that by only allowing its own app store on iPhones, it ensures all apps on iPhones have met rigorous privacy and security guidelines.
“This bill is a finger in the eye of anyone who bought an iPhone or Android because the phones and their app stores are safe, reliable and easy to use,” Adam Kovacevich, CEO of the Chamber of Progress, an industry group partly funded by Apple and Google, said last week.
Other federal politics news
- Colorado’s federal firefighters are getting a pay bump to $15 per hour.
- Colorado gyms to Congress: Give us a bailout of our own.
- U.S. Rep. Jason Crow on the fall of Kabul: “We didn’t need to be in this position.”
- U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert belatedly disclosed her husband’s work for an energy firm.
- U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper has a breakthrough COVID-19 case.
Mile High Politics • By Conrad Swanson
Just the links
- Two methods Denver uses to handle the homeless came under fire Wednesday: sweeps and safe outdoor spaces.
- The freshman year that wasn’t: Colorado high schoolers keep their heads up heading into a new school year.
- Denver now requires masks in all public and private schools and child care facilities.
- One member of the Denver City Council tested positive for COVID-19.
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