CASTLE ROCK – Construction is about to get underway in Castle Rock on a new commercial development project that could be an economic driver for the town.
The development, which will feature a hotel, conference space, offices and retail space, is being built on the same land where Castle Rock’s landfill used to sit. The landfill was closed down in the 1980s.
“As developers when you buy a landfill you really buy a location to be honest,” said Shawn Temple, a master developer for Millers Landing and the Managing Director of P3 advisers.
P3 Advisers, which is leading the Miller’s Landing project, said it took years of work to get the land cleaned up. Roughly 9,500 truckloads of garbage needed to be removed from the land.
“In real terms like four Coors Fields – it kind of gives you an idea of how much garbage was removed from the site,” Temple said. “It was very complicated in the beginning because we had to risk money to find out exactly how much trash was on the site.”
All of that trash was transported to the new municipal waste center. Last week, the group was given the all clear from the state to start development on the 65-acre property, which is right across the street from the Miller Activity Complex off of Interstate 25.
Temple said his team was working on developing a year-round ski hill right across the street when they found out about the landfill being a development option. He hopes to have the ski hill opened up next year and the entire Millers Landing project completed within six years.
“We see the future of this land is being an economic driver for the community and its citizens and we see it is a wonderful place to linger and hang out,” Temple said. “It’s a lot of change but it’s a good change.”
The plan also includes new bike trails that will connect the area to downtown Castle Rock to help alleviate some of the congestion on I-25.
Since 1990, Castle Rock has doubled in population size every 10 years, with the exception of this year. However, the director of development services for the town, Bill Detweiler, said the current population is very close to being double that of 2010. There are now more than 70,000 people who call the town home.
“The entire front range is growing rapidly and Castle Rock is one of the more desirable places to live,” Detweiler said.
One of the reasons he attributed to the growth was a recognition in Family Circle magazine as one of the top places to live several years ago.
However, while the town is expanding with new homes and apartments, the commercial side of things is only now starting to catch up with the development.
“Right now, almost 80 percent of resident in Castle Rock leave every morning to go someplace else. Our goal is to change that,” Detweiler said.
The town’s goal is to bring more primary employment to the area so that people don’t have to drive to Denver or Colorado Springs to find a job.
For years, the town has tried to find someone to take on the development project for the old landfill at Millers Landing. However, it was difficult to convince developers to take on a project that would cost tens of millions of dollars to cleanup, so the land sat empty for decades.
“We’ve chased development for nearly 10 years on that property. We tried very, very hard, but the dumpsite just prohibited people from moving onto the site,” Detweiler said.
It wasn’t until the Urban Renewable Authority was created in 2013 and allowed property owners to bond against the land that the town was finally able to find someone to take on the project.
He’s excited about the prospects the new project has to offer for the community.
“I think Castle Rock has a really bright future,” he said. “I think we’re doing well now, and I think we will do better in the future.”