The Innovation Center @ Brentwood

Photo courtesy of City of Brentwood 

City leaders recently took a big step toward turning a swath of northwest property into one of the county’s key employment generators.

The Brentwood City Council approved a contract of up to $348,500 with a master planning and architectural services consultant to create a master plan for the area — over 430 acres surrounded by Lone Tree Way to the north, Heidorn Ranch Road to the west, Sand Creek Road to the south and Shady Willow Lane to the east.

The area — branded as The Innovation Center @ Brentwood — is considered the future job-generating hub and a perfect location for mixed-use development, capable of one day featuring 4 million square feet of nonresidential establishments, 8,400 jobs and 2,100 housing units, according to city estimates.

“The concept of an innovation center is a next-generation business park that acts as a highly flexible, multi-tenant hub for technology, office, health care, advanced manufacturing and research-focused end-users to coexist, grow and expand,” said Senior Analyst Joshua Ewen.

The master plan will build on the area’s previously approved specific plan, laying out key area elements, including in-ground infrastructure, road locations, parking areas, building sizes and other land-use, architecture and engineering details — all feeding into future marketing materials and efforts.

“The idea is to take that specific plan, which is actually fairly general, and bring it up to a level where we can attract investment to the area,” said Assistant City Manager Terrence Grindall.

The 2018 council-approved specific plan envisions a host of area land uses, including 150 acres of employment center and light industrial development, which could include research and development facilities, tech or biotech centers and medical offices or hospitals; 67 acres of high-density residential development (such as condominiums, apartments, duplexes, triplexes and small-lot detached single-family homes); a 40-acre transit village that could also include professional and medical offices, personal services, retail, restaurants and upper-floor multiple-family residences; eight acres of regional commercial development and a fire station.

But now the challenge is designing the center to woo and accommodate developers, employers and future employees, which is where the consultant enters the picture. Chosen from over 17 teams, ELS will be backed by a team of sub-consultants, including land-use planners, landscape architects, marketing and branding experts, economists, civil engineers and a development strategist.

ELS representative Ryan Call indicated that the master plan will involve several factors, including an accommodating, unique vision that financially entices the development community while demonstrating an acceptable level of risk. Branding and marketing strategies are also expected to emerge through the plan. Grindall added that the plan’s development will also involve community outreach, which should commence in late summer or fall. Before that process even begins, however, the emphasis appears to be on future employment opportunities.

“It’s time for us to move into the next part of our plan and start bringing the jobs in,” said City Councilmember Karen Rarey.

It’s expected that the plan could go before the council for approval in spring 2021. Any updates to the already approved specific plan would occur after, with development applications possibly rolling in as soon as 2022.

For more information on the plan, visit packet page 628 at https://bit.ly/33z6vSP.

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