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Developer interest growing for new Downtown Westminster

(Jun 17, 2015)

Developer interest has been strong since the City of Westminster announced it was moving to a “block by block” approach to develop its new downtown on the site of the former Westminster Mall.

The city currently is talking with nine different developers interested in 10 blocks on the site, according to Deputy City Manager Jody Andrews, who updated Westminster City Council on the project at a June 15 study session.

“We’re seeing a strong response from the industry, and what we’re hearing is their support for the city sticking with its vision,” he said.

The city remains committed to an active, mixed-use urban center with distinctive parks and open spaces, paired with retail, office, hotel, civic and residential uses, Andrews said.

Having the new downtown develop over time, one block at a time, by different developers and builders means it will “be a true downtown,” he added.

Andrews also shared information on how the city plans to finance public improvements -- roads, utilities, parks, etc. -- at the site by using an urban renewal strategy similar to methods used to develop the Orchard Town Center and the Shops at Walnut Creek.

The strategy would have the city investing in public infrastructure up front to prepare for development, then seeing that investment paid back over time as the development builds out.

“This means the development will pay its own way, all while building a valuable new asset in our community,” Andrews said.

Council is scheduled to vote on June 22 on the first part of the strategy, which involves issuing $40 million in certificates of participation (COPs) to fund infrastructure, parks, structured parking, acquisitions and interest payments.

By comparison, the city issued about $68 million in COPs for the Orchard Town Center project.

View a PDF of the June 15 presentation to City Council.





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