In 1911 Charles Gates, Sr. purchased the Colorado Tire and Leather Company for $3,500. Over the course of the next 85 years, the Gates Rubber Company became one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of rubber products, including tires, belts, and hoses for the automotive and industrial businesses. To accommodate the expanding business, Gates began purchasing land adjacent to Denver’s Consolidated Main Line (CML) railroad tracks and the Central Platte River at the site of what today is the intersection of Interstate-25 and South Broadway. Gates' holdings grew to approximately 80 acres and over time became a mixed-use campus of industrial, administrative, recreational and retail uses, all designed to maximize employee efficiency. At its height, more than 5,000 people were employed at the Gates campus.
But, as with much industry in the U.S., during the 1980s and early 1990s Gates manufacturing effort began to move abroad and by 1995 Gates ceased manufacturing in Denver. In 1996, Gates became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tomkins plc and in 2003 relocated its local operations to a modern office building in the Central Platte Valley.
In December of 2001, Cherokee Denver (“Cherokee”) purchased approximately 50 acres west of South Broadway from the Gates Corporation. Given the site’s proximity to the major thoroughfares of I-25, Broadway, and Santa Fe, and the existing and planned opening of transit stops for the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD’s) southwest and southeast lightrail lines, the site’s redevelopment potential was strong. However, the site was also burdened by significant environmental contamination, lack of urban infrastructure, and its bifurcation by the CML. In order to help overcome these obstacles and to insure that the opportunities presented by the transit stops were maximized, DURA and Denver’s City Council approved the creation of the Cherokee Urban Renewal Area in June 2003.
Since that time, remediation of contaminants from decades of industrial manufacturing has gotten underway and the remaining 30 acres on the east side of South Broadway were acquired by the Lionstone Group. Free of any environmental contamination, development at that site is already underway.
In February 2006, the City, Cherokee, and DURA entered into agreements allowing for an estimated $126 million in public financing (approximately $85 million from TIF and $41 million from metropolitan districts) to support the City’s vision for redeveloping the site. The first phase of development got underway without TIF assistance in 2007, when Trammell Crow Residential began the first phase of a for-rent residential community at the southwest corner of Broadway and Mississippi. The first phase opened in early 2009 and at full build out will consist of an estimated 418 market rate units, 50 affordable units, and 12,000 square feet of retail space.
Since that time, however, subsequent phases of development have stalled and Cherokee has yet to identify a vertical developer partner to complete the planned development. As a result, DURA has not approved any TIF commitments to date.
Phased redevelopment of a portion of the former Gates Rubber Factory into a high-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented development adjacent to the Broadway Light Rail Station. This includes approximately 50 acres of land and buildings, with development plans for approximately 2,500 residential units (both for sale and for rent), significant retail space, office pace, entertainment facilities, and potentially a hotel to complement the expanded light rail services at the Broadway Station.
Expected Total Project Cost:
Public Infrastructure: $126 million (estimated in 2005 dollars)
Expected DURA Participation:
$85 million (estimated in 2005 dollars)
Tax Increment Source:
Sales and Property Taxes
February 6, 2031