About Arapahoe Urban Center District 4 (AUC-4)

What is AUC-4?

A: AUC-4 is at the southwest corner of East Arapahoe Road and I-25 in Centennial. Located on approximately 40 acres, there are 23 properties in AUC-4 with 21 different ownership entities. AUC-4 is zoned Urban Center (UC) and is envisioned to be an iconic gateway to the City of Centennial and seen as a dynamic, mixed-use area. Redevelopment at AUC-4 could consist of a network of walkable blocks, active streets, public gathering spaces, and a mix of uses.

What is the AUC-4 Regulating Plan?

A: The AUC-4 Regulating Plan (“Regulating Plan”) would provide the rules and framework for how development would occur within the area. Regulating Plans lay out the network and function of new streets in the development, building and frontage types, and maximum building heights on each block through sub-districts; the number, general location, and types of residential units; and the minimum and maximum gross floor area and more. The Regulating Plan’s framework would show how future development could cohesively fit into the AUC-4 area. Essentially, a Regulating Plan unlocks the development standards from the UC zone district.

Why is the City proposing the Regulating Plan? Shouldn’t a developer be the one bringing forward a plan?

A: The number of properties within AUC-4 and the dispersed nature of ownership creates a situation where it is difficult for a single property owner to acquire enough properties to make the creation of a Regulating Plan financially viable. Despite these constraints, there is a unique redevelopment opportunity within AUC-4 to create an iconic, cohesive development. Therefore, the City is initiating the creation of the AUC-4 Regulating Plan to guide that development and provide a predictable process for potential developers.

What does this mean for existing businesses in AUC-4?

A: The AUC-4 Regulating Plan would set a vision for the area, but would not require a property or business owner to take any immediate action. In other words, no existing businesses would be required to close or relocate by the adoption of a Regulating Plan.  However, the Regulating Plan would provide Property owners a clear path to bring forward site plans that advance the vision of the Regulating Plan for consideration. 

What do pedestrian-oriented developments such as AUC-4 offer?

A: The AUC-4 area could provide for a mixed-use community where people can live and work. Residential, office, and commercial uses would be able to mix within the area and provide an attractive environment where residents and office tenants can easily walk to work, grab lunch, or get a drink after work within AUC-4.

What types of uses are anticipated for AUC-4?

A: The vision for AUC-4 hopes to attract a mix of townhome, apartment, office, hotel, retail, restaurant, public art, outdoor public plazas, and outdoor public and private space uses. The Centennial Land Development Code (LDC) determines the types of allowed uses within the UC zone district.

How are building heights regulated?

A: Building heights are regulated by the UC zone district standards. There are 3 sub-districts (Edge, General, and Center) within the zone district. Properties within the Edge sub-district are limited to a minimum of 2 stories and a maximum of 3 stories, properties within the General sub-district are limited to a minimum of 3 stories and a maximum of 8 stories, and properties within the Center sub-district are limited to a minimum of 5 stories and a maximum of 15 stories. An exhibit showing the proposed sub-district locations within AUC-4 can be found here(PNG, 6MB). The height limitations proposed for the east side of South Yosemite Street contain taller building heights in the areas farthest from neighborhoods.

What are the traffic impacts, both within the project area and in the general vicinity?

A: A Traffic Impact Study (TIS) was conducted by a consultant team and will be reviewed by the City. The TIS outlines what traffic mitigation steps are required to be provided by future development of AUC-4. The TIS can be found here(PDF, 7MB)

What level of development is planned for in AUC-4?

A: 1.8 – 2.5 million square feet of gross floor area, of which no more than 50 percent could be residential. Permitted uses would include for-sale and for-rent townhomes and apartments, office, hotels, retail, restaurants, public art, outdoor public plazas, and outdoor public and private spaces.

Will there be an affordable housing requirement in AUC-4?

A: The City does not have an adopted affordable housing policy, therefore the AUC-4 Regulating Plan would not require affordable housing. Should an affordable housing policy be adopted, development in AUC-4 could be subject to the policy. 

Will the City have a role in the implementation of the AUC-4 vision?

A: Given the existing conditions within AUC-4, it is likely the City may have a role in the implementation of the vision if the AUC-4 Regulating Plan is approved by City Council. The extent to which the City would be involved has not yet been determined and will require additional analysis and consideration by City Council. City involvement could take the form of development agreements, the formation of a special district, or urban renewal.

Will the redevelopment look exactly like the conceptual renderings of AUC-4?

A: No – the renderings are merely conceptual and illustrative in nature. The AUC-4 Regulating Plan would establish the sub-district boundaries and unlock the development standards of the UC zone district, but it does not guarantee that redevelopment resemble the conceptual renderings. However, the City will ensure the redevelopment complies with the Regulating Plan and how the standards are applied. To ensure a mixed-use development, the proposed Regulating Plan requires that certain amounts of non-residential uses are built before the residential uses can be built out, as required by the phasing requirement within the UC zone district standards.

What is the reasoning for mix of office vs. residential vs. retail?

A: In order to create vibrant, walkable environments, workplaces (such as offices) need to be within walking distance of residential uses. Nearby residential brings activity to an area on the weekends and outside of work hours, which creates a critical mass to support retail, restaurants, and services that may not survive from only daytime office workers. COVID-19 illustrated that businesses which solely survive on daytime office workers are often less successful compared to businesses in areas with residential or mixed uses. Having a mix of office, residential and retail uses in close proximity allows for uses to be more responsive to demands regardless of customer type or time of the day.