Date: July 9 – 12, 2006
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Sponsor: City of Littleton
Chair: Abe Farkas
Subject Area: Transit-Oriented Development, Sustainable Development
Summary of Recommendations:
At the invitation of the city of Littleton, a ULI Advisory Services panel convened to evaluate the development opportunities around the Mineral Avenue light-rail station. Since the land was virtually undeveloped on, the panel believed it provided an incredible opportunity to create a vibrant mixed-use transit-oriented development. The city had a unique chance to capitalize on a convergence of community needs and strong market dynamics.
First, a development and design framework plan, that guided private sector development in a way that helped achieve the community’s vision, was needed. This vision focused on creating a sustainable community, one that naturally fit into the theme of TOD and the neighboring South Platte Park. Three distinct planning districts had been proposed by the panel in order to promote phased development. The C-470 District would include medium to large retail and office spaces, because of its excellent access and visibility to the C-470 highway. The Middle Mineral District would be transformed into a vibrant walkable town center, with focus on the light rail station. The Quadrant District would include mid to low density townhome development leading up to the connections of South Platte Park. It was essential that all new development respected the importance of the already established, surrounding infrastructure. Panel recommended the construction of “complete streets” throughout the development, so that Mineral Avenue was drivable, bikeable, and walkable. The city would have to use a number of public financing tools (tax increment financing, Community Development Block Grants) during the phasing period to fund the project. In following the panel’s suggestions, this last piece of developable land in Littleton would likely become its most successful.