DALLAS — Denver plans to issue $673.3 million of bonds to finance redevelopment of the National Western Stock Show complex north of downtown, according to the Denver Business Journal.
The total cost of the project is pegged at $856.4 million and is expected to take more than a decade, Mayor Michael Hancock told the DBJ.
"It's a big number, but we have to keep it in perspective with the city's role for being the catalyst in reconnecting the neighborhoods, developing tourism and bringing economic development to our city," Michael Hancock said.
Bonds would be repaid with tax revenues on hotel rooms and car rentals. Voters would decide in November whether to extend the taxes beyond 2023, when they're currently slated to end, said Denver Deputy Mayor Cary Kennedy.
The city is also asking for $117 million in the state sales tax increment financing via the Regional Tourism Act to provide 14% of the financing, the DBJ reported.
The redevelopment plans come as the Colorado Department of Transportation is considering replacing 12.2 miles of an Interstate 70 viaduct that runs from Aurora to north Denver, bisecting the National Western grounds.
CDOT is the process of identifying funding, with a large share expected from federal grants.
The viaduct built in the early 1960s is nearing the end of its service, according to CDOT. One part of the replacement plan would include an 800-foot section of covered freeway upon which a park or open space could be built.
In 2011, the National Western and the eastern suburb of Aurora angered Denver officials by proposing to move the National Western grounds to a site near Denver International Airport that had been annexed by Aurora. The NWS site was designed to combine with a Gaylord resort that is still under consideration.
Studies commissioned by National Western showed that building a new complex at the existing grounds in a congested industrial section of Denver would cost $100 million more than starting at a vacant site.