Today, DIA generates $26 billion of economic impact for Colorado. This astronomical number is part of the economic insurance our state enjoys due to DIA’s unique position and success among the nation’s airports.
Since 1989, both Adams County and Denver abided by an intergovernmental agreement that limited development on DIA land to give neighboring communities an advantage in attracting development. While the agreement served as a means of reducing the possibility of rekindling generations-old conflicts, both cities lost potential job-creation opportunities.
The 2015 ballot measure would amend the original agreement to allow tax sharing between Denver and Adams County for commercial development planned on up to 1,500 acres at DIA. In exchange, Denver would provide a one-time payment of $10 million to Adams County for the privilege of collecting land lease income from prospective development.
The advantage for Adams is the signal this amendment sends within the marketplace. Prior to the proposed agreement, support for needed infrastructure investments around the airport generated little interest from companies we worked with. Now, with both on- and off-airport opportunities, we expect to see increased interest and activity, especially along Tower Road just west of DIA.
While the 1A for DIA initiative isn’t as monumental of an undertaking as the original 1989 election, it is in that category of importance. DIA and its neighbors are setting a new standard for job creation – one that will enjoy the historical bookmark that DIA’s creation brought about.