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    Westminster Station Selected for 14th Annual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge

    12/21/2015
    Student teams from CU and DU to evaluate options for transit oriented development site
     

    Land Title Guarantee Company and NAIOP Colorado, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, will host the 14th Annual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge. The challenge is a premier real estate event featuring students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, as well as industry leaders in the Colorado real estate community.

    Building on the challenge’s 13-year history, the featured project will focus on Westminster Station. Student teams will evaluate development opportunities on a 21-acre site adjacent to the station, which features transit oriented development opportunities at the center of the south Westminster revitalization area. As part of the FasTracks project, the station and transit plaza will be a central hub within the surrounding 135-acre transit oriented development area. The challenge site represents unique opportunities for development and place-making.

    In its 14th year, the challenge tasks more than 40 of the state’s best and brightest graduate students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver to evaluate and make recommendations for this transit oriented development site, owned by the City of Westminster. The students will form teams that will compete against one another for scholarships, future employment and the NAIOP Cup (awarded to the winning school each year). In January 2016, student teams will begin a four-month period of working with industry professionals and the City of Westminster to analyze every aspect of the site.

    The challenge culminates with the largest real estate event in Colorado on April 28, 2016, where students will present their recommendations to the City of Westminster and an audience of more than 750 real estate professionals. Tickets for the event, which will be held at the Marriott City Center in downtown Denver, will go on sale in early February.

    Westminster Station is the first stop from Denver Union Station for the RTD B-Line, which will eventually go to Boulder. Just 11 minutes from downtown Denver, the station is located just west of Federal Boulevard near 69th Avenue between I-70 and Highway 36. The station and adjacent 900-space parking garage are slated to open in summer 2016. 

    The 21-acre subject site encompasses unique challenges and opportunities for the student teams on how to transform a low-density industrial site into a higher density, mixed-use transit oriented development. Recently, the Federal corridor was named one of four "demonstration corridors" in the country ripe for reinvention as a healthy place with strong connections to surrounding communities. The challenge site benefits from the city’s investment in new infrastructure as well as its dynamic community with distinct neighborhoods and a resilient local economy that includes: a spectrum of jobs; diverse, integrated housing; and shopping, cultural, entertainment and restaurant options.

    “We are pleased to have a motivated project sponsor who is highly invested in the long-term realization of the ideas presented by the students through this Challenge. This is exactly the type of project students would face once they graduate. This year’s Challenge site represents a real-world scenario for putting all of the development pieces together on a catalyst project for a major metropolitan area,” said Kathryn Spritzer, Chairman of the NAIOP organizing committee. “To be successful in this year’s competition, students will have to balance the interests of multiple stakeholders and address a broad range of issues from economic development to active living and affordable housing.”

    “The City of Westminster anticipates that the station will be a catalyst for private redevelopment surrounding the station,” said Mac Cummins, Planning Manager for the City of Westminster. “We believe that sponsoring the NAIOP Real Estate Challenge, in support of the participating university students and programs will not only result in great ideas for the many redevelopment options associated with this significant 21-acre assemblage, but will shine a light on the opportunities available to development teams across the state.” 

    The outcome of the NAIOP Challenge will help the City of Westminster understand the various development options for the site and evaluate the cost/benefits of different ideas for this important real estate asset. Student teams will be responding to an RFP-formatted case statement that will weigh the strategic vision, economic realities and the environmental constraints of the site. The city will be using this year’s challenge to help create a better understanding of the site development potential and are optimistic that elements of the outcome can be a part of what is ultimately built on the site.

Westminster Colorado Economic Development Office 4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031