DENVER - If you drive to downtown Denver from Denver International Airport, most likely, you will drive through the six areas receiving new focus from Denver's Mayor.
Mayor Michael Hancock appointed Kelly Leid last week to serve as project manager for the new North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative. Leid is now tasked with planning and overseeing six key projects in the general area of Interstate 70 and Brighton Boulevard.
The six projects include the National Western Stock Show's future, Interstate 70 reconstruction, RTD station development, Brighton Boulevard redevelopment, River North neighborhood development, along with the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhood plans.
"We're focusing on parts of our city that in some ways have been lost," Leid said. "How do we reclaim those portions of our city that have been separated by a big highway?"
Leid will transition to role within the mayor's administration during a 90-day process. He has led the city's Development Services department for the past 19 months.
Before, Leid served as Director of Operations for Denver Public Schools. He also oversaw financing and construction of Sports Authority Field at Mile High and the University of Phoenix Stadium, along with other projects.
Bahman Shafa, a developer who just opened Greenbox Self Storage at 3310 E. Brighton Blvd. in the River North neighborhood, welcomes the new emphasis on smart development from city leadership.
"It went relatively easy with this particular facility," Shafa said about the development process with the City of Denver. "It's very important to have someone who cares. Someone who's our advocate and someone who we can go to and who's going to listen to us."
As for his new role, Leid says he is optimistic.
"You see a hodgepodge of things that seem very disconnected," Leid said. "I've got to step back at a very high level and say, 'What's the framework for bringing these projects together?'"
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