Downtown plaza project moves forward

Posted on May 2, 2017
By Andrea Tritschler
This article was written by the Brighton Standard Blade and was originally featured online

Plans for a new downtown plaza are moving forward at the southwest corner of South Main Street, after Brighton officials approved a $44,000 bid from Norris Design of Denver in April.

Norris Design is expected to create a master plan and construction design for the downtown plaza to go in at 5 S. Main St. and 9 S. Main St. City officials closed on the Strictly Boxing building and property at in December for $625,000. That property is expected to be demolished by the end of this year to make way for the downtown plaza project, officials have said.

The plaza could include a water feature and an outdoor event space, based on documents shown to business owners in September.

Public meetings are planned so residents can give input on plans for the space, said Ryan Johnson, executive director for the Brighton Urban Renewal Authority, although no dates have been set.

The plaza would provide much-needed public space downtown, said Gary Wardle, Brighton’s parks director.

“We are trying to go into it with a blank slate and get as much resident input as possible,” Wardle said.

About $400,000 of the purchase price came from the city’s parks and recreation capital improvement fund, about $150,000 came from an open space fund balance from the parks department’s capital improvement fund. The remaining  $75,000 came from the city’s urban upgrades capital improvement project.

No funding has been set aside yet to build the downtown plaza project, Wardle said. Plans are expected to be complete in 2019, officials have said.

“I think there’s always been a vision to get some kind of public space downtown,” Wardle said. “The sidewalks adjacent to Bridge Street are narrow. This will help to create more space.”

In addition, Norris Design won bids to work on the Brighton Japanese American Association park at the southeast corner of Longs Peak Street and North 12th Avenue for $72,444 and on the city’s water tower fields at 4204 Crestone Peak St. to switch from real turf to artificial turf  for $63,911.

City officials plan to get input from residents and consult with local sports teams on the other two projects, with plans likely to be completed some time in 2018.