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Aerotropolis: Eight partners looking to attract businesses to land surrounding DIA

Adams County leaders believe Colorado Aerotropolis will bring visionary industries and investments to the land surrounding Denver International Airport.
Aerotropolis: Eight partners looking to attract businesses surrounding DIA
Posted at 12:10 PM, Jun 24, 2024

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — For around a decade, there's been an ongoing conversation about developing a unified marketing plan for Colorado Aerotropolis — a collaboration between eight different partners who own land surrounding Denver International Airport (DIA). Those marketing plans are now official, and the hope is to start attracting businesses to their respective areas.

The eight partners are Adams County, Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Denver, DIA, Federal Heights and Thornton. Each partner has specific businesses and industries they hope to bring to their land parcels.

The director of community and economic development for Adams County, Jenni Hall, said the vision is building upon agricultural tradition, while moving into a more innovative realm.

“People can see the future in Adams County," Hall said. “We are really fortunate in that we have one of the younger populations across the state and one of the most rapidly growing counties in the US... Agricultural industry, health care, biomedical, advanced industries, advanced manufacturing, and all of those target industries are highlighted on our website."

Hall said cities and counties will retain their power around land use and development proposals.

“We're also looking for synergies, right? And so the fact that we have all of the interstates passing through this area, the rail lines, the air, it puts those things in close proximity, and all that's important for things like a carbon footprint as well and keeping things clustered," Hall said.

One of the ideas is to attract businesses that would not be welcomed in residential areas because they make a lot of noise.

“The businesses are probably looking to export ideas, people, or goods," Emma Pinter, the chair of the Adams County Commissioners, said. "They might also be using Colorado as a central hub for distribution for other goods that they bring in, given all the rail and highways that run in and around Adams County and the airport, this is a great hub for freight and logistics as well... Our Aerotropolis is really focused on industry innovators and Colorado way of life. So people who are looking to live here and work here, but need access to international and national flights, for trade and transit and for their workforce to come and go.”

Each jurisdiction has different parcels of land for sale, and each will have their own comprehensive land use plan. Within those plans come different incentives.

“Take a look around, and somebody's going to have a good fit for your business," Pinter said. “We all do better when we all do better, and if we have a healthier workforce, and we have a healthier economy that has diversified investments, we're all going to do better and be more resilient."

Hall said there will be incentives for foreign trade as well.

The growth is expected to happen over decades, but those with Adams County hope to see development start soon.

Aerotropolis: Eight partners looking to attract businesses to land surrounding DIA