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DENVER-Cherokee Development, which is cleaning up the former Gates Rubber Co. site on the west side of Broadway at Interstate 245, is seeking $85 million in tax increment financing to help offset infrastructure costs. When completed, the Cherokee site, one of the key high-density, transit-oriented developments in the metro area–and one of the largest infill sites near downtown Denver–is expected to have a completed value of more than $1 billion.

The idea behind a TIF is that it will create development that otherwise would not be built, generating taxes that otherwise would not exist. But the additional revenues beyond the TIF would flow to holders of bonds issued by the city, if it decides to go forward, not to Cherokee. The council is scheduled for a final hearing in February.

John Huggins, economic development director for Denver, tells GlobeSt.com that the $85 million, based on his analysis, is the appropriate amount. The TIF money will allow increased affordable housing opportunities, and will help bring more public art, plazas and open space to the project. The total infrastructure cost is estimated at $126.24 million.

The project is expected to generate more than $1 billion in private investment during the next 15 to 20 years and generate more than $16 million per year in incremental revenues by 2032. It also is expected to provide $1.5 million revenue stream for city services. In addition, the city will benefit from the developer’s “upside” potential as the development increases in value. Cherokee is cleaning up the property and will soon choose a vertical developer to actually construct buildings on the first phase of the land.

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