Castle Rock, CO

Planned Castle Rock recreation center garners town support

Mike McKibbin
A new recreation center has been proposed in Castle Rock, a public/private partnership that could open in 2025. |Town of Castle Rock/Confluence Cos.

By Mike McKibbin/NewsBreak Denver | May 18, 2022

[CASTLE ROCK, COLO.] A new 175,000-square-foot recreation center could open in Castle Rock in 2025 under tentative plans unanimously supported by the town council Tuesday.

A public/private partnership between the town and Confluence Cos. of Golden would see a blighted industrial site west of Interstate 25 redeveloped into the Brickyard Sports Development Center. The company would also develop and own a multi-use residential and commercial project next to the center.

Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Brauer noted the town has nearly 5,000 people on a waitlist for gymnasium, swimming pool, turf and classroom space since January 2021.

"Right now, our recreation center is open from 3 p.m. to close late at night but we only have two lanes open for public swimming and we have not built a competitive swimming pool or basketball facility since 1988," he said.

Under an intergovernmental agreement, the town holds several recreation programs in Douglas County School District buildings.

After a review of town property found none suitable for such a facility, the town issued a request in 2021 for proposals from private companies to form partnerships. Confluence Cos. responded since it had acquired the Acme Brick Co. property after it closed in 2018.

Confluence would donate 9.62 acres of its 31-acre site to the town for the center, which could have room for close to 500 parking spaces.

The first phase of the two-floor recreation center could include five basketball courts, a 25x25 meter competition pool with a 3-4 lane warm-up pool, spectator seating, an indoor overhead adventure track, fitness and sports training areas and locker rooms. The project also could include meeting and team rooms.

Several sources could cover costs

Brauer told the council the first phase could cost $63 million to $67 million. He said a combination of already-collected impact fees charged to developers, private financing, and/or certificates of participation could cover the project cost.

An urban renewal authority process would allow tax increment financing to help pay for some of the project, said Town Manager Dave Corliss.

Brauer said the first phase could change once cost figures are firmed up.

"We see this third facility in Castle Rock complimenting the Miller Activity Center, which is focused on entertainment, and our traditional recreation center, which is centered on family activities," Brauer said.

He noted the town paid for the Miller center with certificates of participation that will be paid off with impact fee revenue in 2023, 10 years early. That will save the town $1 million in interest, Brauer added.

'Something special'

Tony DeSimone, partner and principal of Confluence Cos., said he and his family lived in Castle Rock for a dozen years and he saw the project as an opportunity "to do the right thing."

"We felt this could be a catalyst to spur growth on this site and in (nearby) Millers Lane," he told the council.

DeSimone noted Confluence has spent $150 million on downtown Castle Rock projects.

Along with the recreation center, DeSimone said the commercial and retail portion of the project could include a food hall concept, rental and for-sale housing, commercial and office space and a high-end boutique hotel with conference space.

The town will hold an open house to explain the project and collect public input from 4-6 p.m. on June 14 at the Millhouse in Phillip S. Miller Park. Feedback will be presented to the council on July 5.

A tentative project timeline calls for the town council to approve the project in the third quarter of 2022, site grading and earthwork to begin in the second quarter of 2023 and construction to last two years.

The project would also need to be rezoned as a planned development.

"I really think we have an opportunity to create something special," DeSimone said.

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Mike McKibbin is an independent journalist on Colorado's Front Range and covers Douglas County for NewsBreak.

Denver, CO

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