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CDOT accepting bids for land in Globeville where residents hoped to build green space

4601 Washington St..jpg
Posted at 5:30 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 20:57:03-04

DENVER – On Thursday, the Colorado Department of Trasnportation opened a sealed bid auction for a parcel of land in Globeville where some neighbors were hoping to build a park or green space.

The land is located at 4601 Washington St. and neighbors were hoping to plant trees in the space to help filter out traffic pollution from Interstate 70, which is just a few feet away from the parcel.

While most of the land is owned by CDOT, the land around the fence line and near an alley on the property is owned by the City and County of Denver.

The City of Denver submitted a sealed bid for the CDOT-owned part of the property, but Denver Director of Real Estate Lisa Lumley said the city’s bid was below CDOT’s $1.08 million asking price.

“While I could not support the price, the city was still interested in discussing it if there was a change in price. That's when they began the bid auction process,” Lumley said.

Because the city did not purchase the property at the listing price, the city will compete with other bidders for the land.

In a statement to Denver7, a CDOT spokesperson said it is required by state statute to sell excess properties for a fair market value.

"CDOT has followed all legal processes and requirements to sell the Washington Street property. As required, the property was first offered to all political subdivisions of the state to purchase at fair market value," the spokesperson said.

“I would say that by virtue of us submitting the bid, that is certainly a sign of good faith of our attempt to try to acquire the parcel,” Lumley said.

If Denver wins the bid, Lumley said they’ll ask residents what they need most in that space.

Green Latinos Colorado State Director Ean Tafoya said many residents have already communicated the neighborhood's needs.

“There's a lot of evidence and cool science out there about densely planting, in particular evergreen trees, so that all throughout the year, they're pushing the pollution higher into the air [and] serving as a buffer,” Tafoya said

Tafoya supports planting a tree lawn on the lot and was a part of a group of northeast Denver residents who sued the state over the I-70 expansion and its environmental impact on the community.

“In that settlement, we actually won thusands of dollars for tree plantings,” Tafoya said.

CDOT has plans to build a park in the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, on top of I-70, two miles away.

But Tafoya and several other neighbors said that won’t bring relief to those living near 4601 Washington Street.

“Those are actually two different parts of the neighborhood. …For community park space, I think we were always against a park for children on top of highway. It just doesn't fit with our ideals,” Tafoya said. “The whole point is for us to expand our open space. We used to be at the top of the list. We're not necessarily anymore.”

Several residents said they reached out to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, asking him to intervene, and again, create more green space in the neighborhood.

A spokesperson for the governor issued the following statement on the issue:

“It’s unfortunate that some have chosen to point fingers rather than follow the facts which is that part of this land is owned by the City and County of Denver and CDOT is required to sell this land by law and was offered to all political subdivisions but none including Denver stepped up. We share the goal of increasing green space to improve our air quality and protect the Colorado we love which is why we have taken bold action.”

Lumley said it will likely take 90 days for CDOT to review bids and an additional 30 days to close on the property.