A local church plans to fund and build a public plaza and parking garage in downtown Golden.
Congregants and staff members of Calvary Church propose transforming vacant land adjacent to the church between 13th and 14th streets along Arapahoe Street near Miners Alley into a community-centric space.
“The current street and sidewalk area will become a multi-purpose open space with terraced gardens, stairs and ADA compliant ramps, while the surface parking lots will be converted to a two level parking structure,” according to a site overview released by Calvary Church.
Senior pastor Tim Phenna said he hopes the plaza will provide Golden residents and visitors a place to connect. If approved, downtown Golden will gain about 20,000 square feet of outdoor space to be used for parking, markets, casual lunches, church services, weddings and, potentially, summer concerts. An initial proposal suggests more than 30 parking spaces will be included in the project.
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“Calvary has always been closely connected to the wider city of Golden,” Phenna said. “For 150 years now, we’ve been a church right in the middle of town, and we just see this as a way to continue the community values for the whole of the community of Golden. We hope (the plaza) will enhance that.”
In an effort to instill that sense of community early in the process, Phenna has looked to nearby businesses and community members for feedback. So far, it’s been mostly positive, he said.
“We’re very excited about the project,” said Marv Kay, adviser for the nonprofit Golden Civic Foundation. “The foundation has been involved in much of the development downtown, including business and recreational development, and I think this is a project that will just add to the beauty of our community. I’m very enthused about it.”
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Phenna has been working with a building team, architects and Golden’s planning department to solidify the blueprint. He initially believed construction would begin in April, but Golden planning manager Rick Muriby said the final design is not likely to be presented to the Planning Commission until May.
“Once they get approval from the Planning Commission, they’ll be free to pursue a building permit,” Muriby said. “They’re currently working on a new street design to make it wider and make it more of a streetscape. There would be sort of an S-curve street that goes through the site, if they can build it.”
Phenna speculates that, if the current proposal is approved, construction will begin in July.