In one of the many unincorporated areas near Centennial, large, vacant swaths of prairie land sit in Dove Valley, a region east of Centennial Airport and situated between the city's east and west wings.
But industrial, office and storage space — and the Denver Broncos training facility — dot the map among the grassland, and roughly half of Dove Valley sits in the City of Centennial near East Arapahoe Road.
As one of the south Denver metro area's largest infill land sites — generally undeveloped areas near already built-out regions — Dove Valley is ripe for potential changes, and Centennial is conducting a study to map out a vision for its future.
Here are a few things to know about the region and input on what could change.
What is Dove Valley?
Dove Valley is home to Encompass Business Park, the Arapahoe County Justice Center and Dove Valley Regional Park, and it's roughly bounded by Arapahoe Road, East County Line Road, South Jordan Road and the east side of Centennial Airport.
The Dove Valley Metropolitan District was organized in 1984 as a government body similar to a municipality, managing aspects like traffic, parks and recreation, water services, and drainage facilities for the area. Roughly its northern half lies within Centennial.
Why the study?
The City of Centennial's study takes into account key players like Centennial Airport — which is a separate entity from the city and whose name predates the city's — Arapahoe County, Dove Valley Metropolitan District, and various businesses and property owners in Dove Valley and the development community, according to the city.
The “visioning study” aims to create a shared vision for more coordinated efforts related to transportation planning, land use, economic-development strategies and other factors that could improve Dove Valley's competitiveness as a business and development location, said Neil Marciniak, economic-development manager for Centennial.
“The Dove Valley area is an important piece of Centennial's central Arapahoe Road corridor, which extends (roughly) from Interstate 25 to Parker Road. Activities that occur in Dove Valley, whether it is business, development, traffic, recreation or residential, have the potential to create opportunities for the city,” Marciniak said. The study “seeks to better understand those opportunities and impacts.”
A crowded field
Dove Valley competes for development with land near Denver International Airport as well as Interlocken, an area in Broomfield along U.S. Highway 36, according to a Centennial staff report.
More locally, sites in the surrounding area such as Meridian, which sits on the east side of I-25 and E-470; The Jones District, near I-25 and East Dry Creek Road; and RidgeGate, along I-25 near East Lincoln Avenue, also compete for development, the report said.
Pros and cons
Stakeholders including businesses, property owners, developers, real estate brokers and government entities offered input for the study. Positives they gave for Dove Valley included available land, its “prime industrial area” and its location. Among the negatives were its lack of direct access, that it's accessible only by car, its distance from major roads and a lack of marketing, the city's report said.
What could change
The stakeholders said a mix of land uses, housing, better access and more retail options are what they'd change about Dove Valley.
“Dove Valley is one of the few remaining development areas in the (south Denver metro) area with relatively large vacant land sites that can accommodate certain types of office, industrial and residential land uses,” Marciniak said.
Centennial City Council appropriated funds for the study in 2017, and its next steps will be to recommend next steps for the area.
The study may guide city council on issues such as land use, transportation, infrastructure improvements and signage to help people find their way through Dove Valley. Annexation is listed in the city's report as a possible topic on which council could receive guidance, but the city is not currently considering a proposal to annex the parts of Dove Valley that fall outside the city, Marciniak said. Typically, a property owner petitions to annex into a city, he added.
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