Heart of Golden

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Heart of Golden logo - Creating a lasting legacy in our city

In October 2019, the City of Golden purchased 7.27 acres of land east of Ford Street along the Clear Creek Corridor adding to the approximately 50 acres of public land all the way west to where US 6 crosses Clear Creek.

311 Building

Part of the purchase was a large office building that was formerly a Coors Office building. While considering the purchase, the city investigated reuse of the building and conducted a feasibility study. The results of the study were presented before the purchase was finalized and found that remodeling and ensuring the building is up to code would cost a similar amount to building a new building with city use in mind. City Council determined that the purchase was a good investment even without reuse of the building. City staff has been working on deconstruction of the building with the goal of recycling and reusing as much of the building materials as possible.

There was a significant amount of furniture included with the purchase, staff held a community sale on October 10th, sales on the “GovDeals” web site and made donations to area non-profits. The city was able to donate to the Jefferson County Homeless Navigator project and the Porchlight Family Justice Center, kitchen items to two local food banks, and furniture to the Golden Landmarks Association and Chamber of Commerce.

The City received bids for deconstruction on January 14, 2021. Bids were under budget and reviewed by City staff and our various project consultants. The deconstruction will be “mechanical”, which involves the use of high reach equipment to pull down the building walls. The project will involve several weeks of interior salvage work followed by the demolition activity. The estimated completion date is August 1st, 2021. Staff will post the more detailed schedule on Guiding Golden when we have it.

Heart of Golden Public Engagement

The building at 311 10th St. is only one aspect of a much larger project of the community envisioning the future of the corridor. In December 2020, the City of Golden kicked off its public engagement process for the Heart of Golden project. There were four planned phases of the project: Visioning, Refining, Funding, and Selecting.

In December 2019, the City of Golden kicked off its public engagement process for the Heart of Golden project. There were four planned phases of the project: Visioning, Refining, Funding, and Selecting.

Visioning: December 2019-March 2020

The Visioning stage was a success with over 4,000 ideas submitted from the community. Three largely attended community meetings were held, as well as a high amount of online participation. Staff also meet with Board and Commissions to discuss the vision. There were several feedback activities and outcomes:

  • Evaluation Criteria activity:Individuals were asked to rank their four most important criteria that should be considered for concept plan development. Results:
    1. Open space and natural features/habitats are protected and enhanced.
    2. Flexible spaces accommodate for formal and informal programming and cultural facilities (public art, performances, markets, festivals, etc.).
    3. The overall corridor project demonstrates fiscal responsibility.
    4. The current and future City Government, Cultural, and Civic priorities of the entire community are accommodated.
  • Survey
    1. 300+ People took survey, 80% of respondents were Golden residents, and 55% have lived in Golden more than 10 years.
    2. When respondents were asked what their dream corridor would look like, the overwhelming main theme was centered around parks, green and open space, and keeping the Clear Creek corridor as the “Heart of Golden”; the center of the community. Other responses focused on a mixed-use of the space to include city buildings, open space, cultural centers, and event space. A small handful of respondents included parking, restaurants, community gardens, and housing.
    3. The number one concern reported in our feedback was cost; both the cost to build a new building and to repurpose the corridor. Other concerns cited less often were parking, over-development, and a concern over losing green/open space.
  • Map Feedback:A map of the corridor was broken down into three zones – West, Central, and East. Overwhelmingly in all responses, the top three mentions were open or green space, walking trails, and bike paths. The West zone has been identified as remaining largely the same.
    1. Top Ideas for Central Zone:
      • 1. Library 2. Museum 3. Cultural Center 4. Fire Station
    2. Top Ideas for East:
      • 1. City Hall 2. Parking 3. Future Transit 4. Event Space

Refining: March 2020-May 2021 (estimated)

The second stage referred to as the “Refining” phase had just kicked off when the pandemic hit. We were able to have one community meeting and post the next round of options and ideas for the corridor on Guiding Golden. We continued with a brainstorming approach to test different ideas with the community from moving many services to the East end of the corridor to spreading out services along the corridor. The goal was to develop three distinct plans and collect more feedback.

March:

  1. The Three Concepts released:
    • Civic Campus and Cultural Core
    • Eastern Intensity and Central Parks
    • Civic Anchors and Distinct Destinations

We received a lot of great feedback from the community on these concepts and found some common preferences:

  1. Parking garage near civic buildings in the East Zone to serve visitors of Clear Creek Corridor and Downtown Golden.
  2. Vanover Park and Parfet Park to remain with enhanced trail connections and accessibility along Clear Creek and Water Street.
  3. New building development concentrated in the East Zone with an amphitheater for large events.
  4. Open space network expanded to promote passive uses and a continuous green corridor along the Clear Creek trail.
  5. Central passive park space with nature playground, meandering pathways, and creek access.

September - December: In September we kicked off our pandemic refining stage with three new concepts based on what we heard from the community on the last three concepts. We also develop several pandemic safe feedback options for the community. We received over 200 comments and ideas in online meetings, and almost 200 people completed online surveys.

  • Walking tour: We created a walking tour with four stations along the Clear Creek Corridor to allow passersby to get a sense of the spaces and potential functions of each location. Over 100 visitors and residents attended the day of the tour and many participated later and online.
  • Create your own corridor survey: The survey was completed by over 50 residents and was a deep dive into preferences of locations of key buildings in the corridor. The preferred concept from this exercise had the library located in the central zone, Fire Dept in the East, and the History museum located across the creek.
  • Board and Commission Feedback and Stakeholder meetings:
    • Eight meetings were held with boards and commission to keep them updated and gather their input.
    • Five stakeholder meetings with specific neighborhoods and groups:
      • 8th and 9th Street Neighborhoods
      • 12th Street Neighborhood
      • South Golden
      • Elected Official "Alumni" Group
      • Cultural Arts Input

There were several questions about the project during these meetings and it became clear that a couple of areas needed to be developed further:

  • Parking, traffic and congestion issues especially in the west zone.
  • The scope, uses, and operation of a Cultural Center
    • The different locations of buildings and how they fit the city’s needs.

Golden High School Feedback: An engineering class completed projects and sent feedback on Heart of Golden. Common themes students brought up in their presentations:

  • Students really enjoy the trails around the Golden corridor and would like them to be retained or even expanded.
  • New buildings should be constructed sustainably, possibly including solar panels and green roofing.
  • Students would appreciate a more permanent location for the Golden farmers' market.

Citywide Meeting: We held an all-city meeting November 2020 to summarize what we have heard so far and talk about our plans for 2021.

Next Steps

January-April 2021

Through the spring we plan to conduct supplemental analysis about Creek Access and Operations Management Plan, and a Cultural Arts Facility Space Needs and Programming Stakeholder Engagement Analysis. We plan to meet internally to discuss some of the community’s preferred concepts and how they might work for city and community needs.

May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is central to seeing what and how engagement will take place for Heart of Golden 2021. Our hope is that in late spring/early summer we can kick-off more engagement (possibly in person) for Heart of Golden. We will check in with Council around this time to decide what the rest of 2021 may look like for this project. We do not want to rush financial discussions with the community when our local businesses are in distress. We will continue to look for opportunities to keep the project exciting, productive, and moving without rushing any aspect.

Our goals are to stay flexible and adapt to the world around us, check in regularly and adjust accordingly. All while we maintain excitement and gather input for this exciting legacy project.

In October 2019, the City of Golden purchased 7.27 acres of land east of Ford Street along the Clear Creek Corridor adding to the approximately 50 acres of public land all the way west to where US 6 crosses Clear Creek.

311 Building

Part of the purchase was a large office building that was formerly a Coors Office building. While considering the purchase, the city investigated reuse of the building and conducted a feasibility study. The results of the study were presented before the purchase was finalized and found that remodeling and ensuring the building is up to code would cost a similar amount to building a new building with city use in mind. City Council determined that the purchase was a good investment even without reuse of the building. City staff has been working on deconstruction of the building with the goal of recycling and reusing as much of the building materials as possible.

There was a significant amount of furniture included with the purchase, staff held a community sale on October 10th, sales on the “GovDeals” web site and made donations to area non-profits. The city was able to donate to the Jefferson County Homeless Navigator project and the Porchlight Family Justice Center, kitchen items to two local food banks, and furniture to the Golden Landmarks Association and Chamber of Commerce.

The City received bids for deconstruction on January 14, 2021. Bids were under budget and reviewed by City staff and our various project consultants. The deconstruction will be “mechanical”, which involves the use of high reach equipment to pull down the building walls. The project will involve several weeks of interior salvage work followed by the demolition activity. The estimated completion date is August 1st, 2021. Staff will post the more detailed schedule on Guiding Golden when we have it.

Heart of Golden Public Engagement

The building at 311 10th St. is only one aspect of a much larger project of the community envisioning the future of the corridor. In December 2020, the City of Golden kicked off its public engagement process for the Heart of Golden project. There were four planned phases of the project: Visioning, Refining, Funding, and Selecting.

In December 2019, the City of Golden kicked off its public engagement process for the Heart of Golden project. There were four planned phases of the project: Visioning, Refining, Funding, and Selecting.

Visioning: December 2019-March 2020

The Visioning stage was a success with over 4,000 ideas submitted from the community. Three largely attended community meetings were held, as well as a high amount of online participation. Staff also meet with Board and Commissions to discuss the vision. There were several feedback activities and outcomes:

  • Evaluation Criteria activity:Individuals were asked to rank their four most important criteria that should be considered for concept plan development. Results:
    1. Open space and natural features/habitats are protected and enhanced.
    2. Flexible spaces accommodate for formal and informal programming and cultural facilities (public art, performances, markets, festivals, etc.).
    3. The overall corridor project demonstrates fiscal responsibility.
    4. The current and future City Government, Cultural, and Civic priorities of the entire community are accommodated.
  • Survey
    1. 300+ People took survey, 80% of respondents were Golden residents, and 55% have lived in Golden more than 10 years.
    2. When respondents were asked what their dream corridor would look like, the overwhelming main theme was centered around parks, green and open space, and keeping the Clear Creek corridor as the “Heart of Golden”; the center of the community. Other responses focused on a mixed-use of the space to include city buildings, open space, cultural centers, and event space. A small handful of respondents included parking, restaurants, community gardens, and housing.
    3. The number one concern reported in our feedback was cost; both the cost to build a new building and to repurpose the corridor. Other concerns cited less often were parking, over-development, and a concern over losing green/open space.
  • Map Feedback:A map of the corridor was broken down into three zones – West, Central, and East. Overwhelmingly in all responses, the top three mentions were open or green space, walking trails, and bike paths. The West zone has been identified as remaining largely the same.
    1. Top Ideas for Central Zone:
      • 1. Library 2. Museum 3. Cultural Center 4. Fire Station
    2. Top Ideas for East:
      • 1. City Hall 2. Parking 3. Future Transit 4. Event Space

Refining: March 2020-May 2021 (estimated)

The second stage referred to as the “Refining” phase had just kicked off when the pandemic hit. We were able to have one community meeting and post the next round of options and ideas for the corridor on Guiding Golden. We continued with a brainstorming approach to test different ideas with the community from moving many services to the East end of the corridor to spreading out services along the corridor. The goal was to develop three distinct plans and collect more feedback.

March:

  1. The Three Concepts released:
    • Civic Campus and Cultural Core
    • Eastern Intensity and Central Parks
    • Civic Anchors and Distinct Destinations

We received a lot of great feedback from the community on these concepts and found some common preferences:

  1. Parking garage near civic buildings in the East Zone to serve visitors of Clear Creek Corridor and Downtown Golden.
  2. Vanover Park and Parfet Park to remain with enhanced trail connections and accessibility along Clear Creek and Water Street.
  3. New building development concentrated in the East Zone with an amphitheater for large events.
  4. Open space network expanded to promote passive uses and a continuous green corridor along the Clear Creek trail.
  5. Central passive park space with nature playground, meandering pathways, and creek access.

September - December: In September we kicked off our pandemic refining stage with three new concepts based on what we heard from the community on the last three concepts. We also develop several pandemic safe feedback options for the community. We received over 200 comments and ideas in online meetings, and almost 200 people completed online surveys.

  • Walking tour: We created a walking tour with four stations along the Clear Creek Corridor to allow passersby to get a sense of the spaces and potential functions of each location. Over 100 visitors and residents attended the day of the tour and many participated later and online.
  • Create your own corridor survey: The survey was completed by over 50 residents and was a deep dive into preferences of locations of key buildings in the corridor. The preferred concept from this exercise had the library located in the central zone, Fire Dept in the East, and the History museum located across the creek.
  • Board and Commission Feedback and Stakeholder meetings:
    • Eight meetings were held with boards and commission to keep them updated and gather their input.
    • Five stakeholder meetings with specific neighborhoods and groups:
      • 8th and 9th Street Neighborhoods
      • 12th Street Neighborhood
      • South Golden
      • Elected Official "Alumni" Group
      • Cultural Arts Input

There were several questions about the project during these meetings and it became clear that a couple of areas needed to be developed further:

  • Parking, traffic and congestion issues especially in the west zone.
  • The scope, uses, and operation of a Cultural Center
    • The different locations of buildings and how they fit the city’s needs.

Golden High School Feedback: An engineering class completed projects and sent feedback on Heart of Golden. Common themes students brought up in their presentations:

  • Students really enjoy the trails around the Golden corridor and would like them to be retained or even expanded.
  • New buildings should be constructed sustainably, possibly including solar panels and green roofing.
  • Students would appreciate a more permanent location for the Golden farmers' market.

Citywide Meeting: We held an all-city meeting November 2020 to summarize what we have heard so far and talk about our plans for 2021.

Next Steps

January-April 2021

Through the spring we plan to conduct supplemental analysis about Creek Access and Operations Management Plan, and a Cultural Arts Facility Space Needs and Programming Stakeholder Engagement Analysis. We plan to meet internally to discuss some of the community’s preferred concepts and how they might work for city and community needs.

May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is central to seeing what and how engagement will take place for Heart of Golden 2021. Our hope is that in late spring/early summer we can kick-off more engagement (possibly in person) for Heart of Golden. We will check in with Council around this time to decide what the rest of 2021 may look like for this project. We do not want to rush financial discussions with the community when our local businesses are in distress. We will continue to look for opportunities to keep the project exciting, productive, and moving without rushing any aspect.

Our goals are to stay flexible and adapt to the world around us, check in regularly and adjust accordingly. All while we maintain excitement and gather input for this exciting legacy project.

Feedback and Questions

Have any additional feedback and questions about the Heart of Golden 2020 project? Let us know here.

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    Inability to comment on these comments is still a missed opportunity. I am underwhelmed at the surveys and ability to provide freeform input. Especially when we have all meetings remote, the limited ability to communicate and see what other people think, and give like/dislike takes away some of the validity of the process, which happens when there is a public forum. The nature of some of the questions here (like where did suggestions come from), leaves one to suspect that some people's input happening "somewhere" is making a bigger impact on this process than the limited input we can see, or survey results that you have not reported on. Two simple questions come to mind. How did a cultural center get added to the plan to move municipal buildings? Why are sports fields not in any plans? Those are some big changes that require big rationale that has not been provided.

    camerdb asked 10 months ago

    One of the challenges of having many ways to provide feedback is that they are not all visible at all times to prevent confusion. We are working on providing the details of the engagement efforts and expect to have more information up on guiding golden in the next few weeks. Remote stakeholder meetings are availalbe to view. Identifying where all ideas originate from is difficult because much of the feedback is in conversations, writing, meetings, etc. To specifically answer a couple of your questions:

    How did a cultural center get added to the plan to move municipal buildings? The cultural center was identified in the phase 1 surveys of uses which we have reported on several times and will share more documents with the results on Guiding Golden. It has continue to receive overall positive interest in the community. We are absolutely open to hearing other ideas.

    Why are sports fields not in any concepts? The maps and layouts put forward so far are concepts where we are testing ideas with the community. This idea came in phase 1 and we were looking at different ways to utilize the space. We have been asking “What do you think of re-purposing the fields” to each group we have talked with and it is not at all decided. During this process of narrowing ideas we are showing ideas we have heard continually but certainly not every possibility. We have tried to make it clear that we are interested in all feedback including on ideas that are currently not reflected in the concepts. We have heard some concerns about the removal of the ball fields, so it may not move forward with that space as open space but we continue to hear that open space is a main priority and that maximizing open space is preferable to more narrow use of a ball field. We will continue to discuss it with the community and see where we land.

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    What are we doing to use this initiative to make Golden a more welcoming, diverse, and inclusive community? Have we considered getting input from diverse communities or diversity-based organizations on what sorts of designs or concepts would help?

    Minihane asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your questions. We have been working to include many groups in our outreach. We have been doing stakeholder meetings, as well as board and commission meetings in the last couple months. This is an important suggestion we will look at more specifically addressing. Thank you!

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    I would love to see an integration of the Racial Equity initiative with the Heart of Golden planning. We are spending a lot of time and resources on that plan, and it will impact our community for decades to come. How can we solicit input from appropriate stakeholders to improve our Heart of Golden design ideas to make Golden more welcoming and inclusive for diverse communities?

    Minihane asked 12 months ago

    This is a great suggestion. We are working with the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee to find the best ways to to incorporate both initiatives. The Heart of Golden is an extensive community outreach project and it is important to think about it through the Racial Equity lens during our community engagement. Thank you for your input.

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    In answer to one of the previously posted questions about where some of the draft ideas came from, the City responded that " The draft ideas have come from the community, board and commission members, city council, staff, and stakeholders". In the future please indicate on all Heart of Golden meeting documents the source of said idea. I think this is an important data collection inclusion point.

    derosagoco asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your input. This suggestion makes sense when its possible but there are times when "ideas" are coming from many places and it can be difficult to determine origin.

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    What time are the neighborhood meetings?

    derosagoco asked about 1 year ago

    The rimes will be posted on the Key Dates side of the page, usually the meetings are at 6pm.


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    Please consider setting aside some of the recently purchased land for affordable housing. From some of the proposals, the area near 311 10th Street might work well. This is critical for helping Golden become a place where people who work here (teachers, fire fighters, minimum wage earners, etc.) can live! Let's make the investment in making Golden an attractive, diverse, and welcoming community.

    Minihane asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    Why are the ballfields gone? In all three concepts, correct me if I'm wrong, the ballfields that Golden kids and adults have enjoyed for a very long time are eliminated. Big mistake. Looks like the City is more concerned to have blank, "open space" for people to use. Use for what? Kids don't play baseball, softball or football in Golden anymore?

    canyon conch asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for you feedback. Nothing has been decided yet. During our feedback process so far members of the community had brought up that there might be better uses for the area than ball fields that are only used by a small number of the community. We are still collecting feedback and have heard from some residents that they prefer having the ball fields. We will continue to gather feedback and we appreciate your thoughts.

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    Being able to Like or Dislike any posting in this section would provide you with a lot more information.

    maysi01 asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for you feedback.

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    Can I view all Q&As?

    Eddyline asked over 1 year ago

    They are posted.

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    Is there any consideration being given to additional commercial/restaurant space along the river? It's really nice to be able to have lunch or dinner along the creek, especially in the summer, and utilizing this space for a parking lot, indoor museum, or city hall seems like a waste of prime space. There is basically one, maybe 1 and 1/2 restaurants on the river right now and it could be so much better utilized. I would guess that the sales tax and/or rental revenue from commercial space would be greater than the income from the campground which benefits maybe a few hundred people a year.

    GoldenGuy asked over 1 year ago

    We continue to gather input from community on uses and ideas, thank you for your idea.

Page last updated: 12 February 2021, 15:37