PROJECT FACT SHEET
Cherokee Redevelopment of Former Gates Rubber Factory
Purpose of Project
The Cherokee Redevelopment of the former Gates Rubber Factory site envisions the reuse of a
former industrial property located in central Denver. The approximately 50-acre site is directly
adjacent to an existing Regional Transportation District (RTD) light rail and bus station that will
serve as a major transit hub for the city.
The Gates Rubber Company was founded on this site in 1911 primarily because of its close
proximity to the Ford Motor Company’s Model T Factory. Ironically, the site that flourished due
to the proliferation of automobile usage is now located adjacent to a major Denver mass transit
station and the convergence of three rail lines. The proximity of these two locations mandates a
transit-oriented approach to planning and urban design that will benefit the developer, RTD, the
City of Denver and the surrounding neighborhoods. The primary goals of the redevelopment
program are to: create additional benefit to the City of Denver and the public by leveraging the
investment of public funds in transit opportunities; and re-create and reintroduce a thriving
mixed-use community atmosphere to the site.
The philosophy behind this project is to seek the best possible solution by encouraging a
public/private partnership and create a forum that welcomes community input in order to:
1. Create a Diverse Mixed-Use Urban Village - Provide a thoughtful mix of residential, office,
retail, hotel and entertainment opportunities and create a walkable community.
2. Celebrate the Public Realm - Create lively public spaces with active ground-floor uses to enhance
the sense of community and identity for the site.
3. Maximize Transit Opportunities – Capitalize on the proximity to light rail and provide
convenient, attractive and safe access to transit for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles.
4. Protect the Environment - Reclaim the site from the effects of its industrial past and promote
development that conserves water and energy and reduces reliance on the automobile.
5. Reconnect with the Community - Create an opportunity to provide neighborhood services and
access across the South Platte River, Santa Fe Drive and Broadway.
6. Be a Good Neighbor - Develop at a scale that is sensitive to the surrounding neighborhoods,
while providing density appropriate to maximize the transit asset.
Role of the Landscape Architect
The landscape architect manages and leads a team of 10 consultants and coordinates with
multiple public agencies. The landscape architect directed the planning and urban design,
including shaping the development vision and strategies, developing the historic building reuse
strategies, leading the entitlements process and coordinating the work of the entire group.
1. This plan creates a jewel for the City of Denver and the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as a
national model for urban infill development and brownfield redevelopment. As such, the City of
Denver has enacted the following emblematic processes to promote this transit-oriented
2. The City has developed a truly innovative zoning category – Transit Mixed-Use (T-MU-30) – to
promote the density and mix of uses necessary to create a thriving urban environment. T-MU-30
allows high-density residential, office, retail, hotel and transit uses on large properties such as this
one, in close proximity to a transit facility (the RTD Broadway Station). With a maximum 5:1
floor-area ratio, shared parking, pooled open space and parking reductions, this zoning category
places many people and active uses as close to transit as possible.
3. The City has formed planning and transportation workgroups to ensure that this crucial project
receives the appropriate level of attention from City agencies and other public stakeholders
including RTD and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
4. The Gates Redevelopment transforms a site located in the middle of an urban thoroughfare into a
dynamic urban village destination. Located at the confluence of Broadway, Interstate 25 and
Santa Fe Drive, the site is impacted by a convergence of transportation modes. It is accessible by
light rail and by car; it is also bisected by a 150-foot-wide railroad corridor. The end product will
be approximately 7 million square feet of space organized in four- to 12-story buildings with a
mix of uses laid out vertically and horizontally. Office uses will be located adjacent to the transit
station. Residential uses will adjoin surrounding neighborhoods to create a seamless and
appropriate use transition. The reintroduction of the historic Acoma Street alignment in the heart
of the project facilitates internal circulation and creates an opportunity for a dynamic
concentration of retail, entertainment and residential uses.
The Gates Redevelopment models principles of sustainable development because:
1. As urban infill, it does not contribute to sprawl.
2. As high-density development, it will utilize almost 70 times less water than low-density residential
3. The redevelopment process will decontaminate an urban brownfield site.
4. LEED-certified buildings will be constructed on the site.
5. Thousands of people at this site will utilize mass transit, decreasing auto use by an expected 30 percent.
Denver has an enormous supply of brownfield land in proximity to the city core. The planning
and design process for the Gates property is a conscious effort to create a successful local and
national model for the redevelopment of infill properties based on transit opportunities.
The environmental history of the region is embodied in the desert arroyo garden. This one-quarter-acre
centerpiece was designed to recall the verdant landscapes found in the neighboring mountain arroyos. The
garden contains a mixture of native fan palms (Washingtonia species), which are indigenous and an
important part of the area’s past. Centuries ago, Native American Indians were known to settle in the
arroyos where native fan palms provided food, shelter and clothing. Additionally, the desert arroyo
garden provides a palette of native hand-picked stones, arroyo cobble and desert plant materials that
create a lush desert landscape.
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