Denver Mayor shares vision for “Airport City”

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DENVER – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Thursday unveiled the city’s ambitious long-term plan to develop property at Denver International Airport not currently being used for air travel purposes.

Called “Airport City,” the vision involves developing 9,000 acres of land for housing, commercial and office space, retail, agriculture, bioscience, military and aerospace.

Development of a commuter rail line to DIA and an airport hotel are already under way.

“What this is about is really tapping into the potential of the airport to be the real, true economic powerhouse it can be,” Hancock said at the Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. “Today it’s a $22 billion economic impact, but we’re only scratching the surface.”

According to Hancock, the 53 square miles of undeveloped airport land offer developers and companies, not to mention the city, a unique economic opportunity.

“More so than any other place in the world, Denver’s International Airport has the land and capacity to leverage these new industries,” Hancock said. “We can take advantage because we have the land and capacity to house them.

Progress, however, won’t come quickly. DIA officials say it will take 30 to 50 years for the vision to be fully realized.

Over that time, “Airport City” will generate an estimated 25,000 construction jobs, more than 30,000 other jobs within the development area, and 40,000 new jobs elsewhere in the Denver metro area, the city estimates.

It is also estimated that the “Airport City” will generate more than $300 million in tax revenues for the region and the state.

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