By Marsha Barancik, Senior Vice President of Strategic Impact
Mayor Marc Williams gave his final State of the City address on Friday, April 21, 2023, walking nearly 200 local elected officials, business leaders and citizens through a timeline of the city improvements, challenges and other milestones that mark his 12 years in the mayor’s seat and the more than 10 years he previously served as councilmember at large.
Key takeaways from his address:
In 2022, 136,000 square feet of new commercial construction was underway. In recent years, Barber Nichols added 43,000 square feet of advanced manufacturing space, adding 150 jobs, while MOOG Inc. added 40,000 square feet and 60 jobs. Other key commercial developments include: Big City Mountaineers, Stone Cellar Bistro, Stix Crafthouse, Colorado Tap House, Freedom Street Social and SCL Health Medical offices at Candelas.
The Mayor also referenced the countless ribbon cuttings he has attended. “Each one represents an individual or group that had a dream to be in business and specifically chose our community.”
He thanked both the Arvada Economic Development Association (AEDA) and Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) for their work on a wide range of development initiatives – emphasizing the economic value of the Hilton Garden Inn and Marriott Residence Inn, Costco, Super Target, Super Walmart, former Ridge Home site, Arvada Plaza and Arvada Square (now Water Tower Village) – and cited collaborative efforts with AURA on the streetscaping for Grandview and Olde Wadsworth and Olde Town Square and restoration of Arvada’s first schoolhouse.
More than 700 affordable housing units are in various phases of development, according to the Mayor. “In 2022, we saw a number of new development applications, thousands of building permits and tens of thousands of inspections,” he said.
Connectivity: The opening of the Gold Line and Transit Hub in 2019 has brought more than 4 million riders and visitors to Olde Town to date.
Road maintenance: More than $12.5 million is now spent on maintaining Arvada’s 1440 roads, twice the number that existed in 1999. Adopt a Street program now covers 102 routes.
The launch of the One Small Step program helps defendants connect with social services, treatment and housing is designed to help break the cycle of homelessness and criminal activity.
The City gained four community policing facilities, new fire stations and remodeled existing fire stations during the Mayor’s tenure.
Parks and Recreation
Thirty parks were added to the city’s roster. Arvada’s 93 parks now cover more than 3,400 acres. From Ralston Central Park businesses and residences were removed from the flood plain, creating the opportunity for a splash pad and relocation of Apex fieldhouse. West Woods and Lake Arbor Clubhouses were remodeled. Adopt a Park program became Adopt a Trail and all 150-plus miles of trails are now adopted.
In his concluding comments, the Mayor thanked City Council and staff, AEDA and the Chamber for its resiliency taskforce and B.O.L.D. 2026 for enhancing Arvada’s business-friendly climate.
The city is currently working on a 20-year strategic plan that supports growth while maintaining the unique character and charm of areas like Olde Town. Arvada has grown to more than 123,000 residents and its projected buildout will accommodate 160,000 residents.
The Arvada Chamber’s Community Impact Forum series introduces the community to the trends and leaders underlying the B.O.L.D 2026 five-year regional economic strength and resiliency initiatives. The Arvada Chamber’s work through B.O.L.D. 2026 requires a team of business, non-profit and community leaders to play an active role in solving the challenges that are stifling economic strength and opportunity for businesses and families. If you are passionate about solving business challenges in areas like talent and housing, please sign up to be an Arvada Chamber Business Champion here.