By Karen Morfitt
Denver public officials held the first community meeting to discuss transforming the south parking lots into a year-round entertainment district.
The Denver Department of Community Planning and Development along with stadium officials and representatives from the team were all on hand.
They way input from those who live and work nearby as well as fans to weigh in on what they want to see.
“This is an opportunity to realize the recommendations in the neighborhood plan, including improving critical transportation connections between the site and nearby transit, downtown, Sun Valley and west side neighborhoods, the highway and the South Platte River,” said Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. “The Stadium District can transform its surface parking lots into a neighborhood asset, and we want to work with the community to guide that transformation and ensure it conforms to Denver’s values.”
Many of the families who call the Sun Valley Neighborhood home participated in a community meeting and barbeque Wednesday.
Renee Johnson has been in the area for four years.
“It’s a lot of scrambling; you just see everybody scrambling like bears getting ready for the winter,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s home is near 10th and Decatur. It’s one of the 333 public housing units that makes up Sun Valley Homes — which are soon to be redeveloped.
She is one of the first to be relocated with an option to come back once the new units are up.
“They said we could relocate move over there, go over there when they get finished, or we could take a section 8 voucher, or we could do dispersed housing,” she said.
The changes in housing are just one piece of a much bigger plan.
Lisa Saenz is a resident who also sits on the plans steering committee. She’s been key in ensuring those who call the area home now don’t get left behind.
“We’re going to be there every step of the way… Because we have to live here,” Saenz said.
She sees the changes like adding an entertainment district and redevelopment along Federal Boulevard as having a postitive impact.
Although, Johnson has decided not to return, she agrees.
“It’s been a long time coming,”she said.
LINK: Decatur Federal Station Planning Documents
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.