THORNTON, Colo. -- Thornton, the city that was once a bedroom community, is now becoming a bedrock for business development.
Right now $350 million in commercial development is underway within a half-mile of Interstate 25 and 144th Avenue.
“I think it’s come a time that we have available land,” Thornton economic development director John Cody said. “We’ve made significant investments in infrastructure to get this area ready for development.”
That development includes a 2.4 million-square-foot Amazon robotics warehouse that will create at least 1,500 jobs, an outlet mall with 800 jobs and just announced Tuesday night, a Topgolf with 500 jobs.
“You have to make hay while the sun is shining,” Cody said.
Jay Hill agrees. He and his family own James C. Hill Real Estate and have been helping people buy and sell homes in Thornton since the 1950s.
“A lot of people were like, oh my God, you live in Thornton?” Hill said of Thornton decades ago. “It takes like an hour to drive to Thornton, you know.
“What started out as a small-town suburb on the outskirts, has turned into a major city for the state of Colorado."
Thornton’s population is booming. It’s about 136,000 and has doubled in the past two decades.
But all of the development and growth are causing some problems.
Traffic is increasing and there’s a housing shortage. About 130 homes are on the market in the city. Most sell in a few days and often go for above the asked-for price. New homes, according to Hill, are too expensive for many families.
Despite all that, he sees the growth as a good thing.
“I’m kind of proud of our city of Thornton,” Hill said. “We’ve got a good place to live and work.”