By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – The city of Denver will no longer seek a private-public partnership to help expand the National Western Center campus. Officials said the later phases of the project are currently on hold due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(credit: CBS)

The city is pursuing $274 million in voter-approved revenue bonds to support construction of the National Western Center campus and the Colorado Convention Center Expansion projects. Denver officials said the 2C Revenue Bonds are estimated to have a $10 billion impact on the regional economy and support nearly 7,200 jobs in the next three years.

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Denver City Council needs to approve the bond issuance before it can be used for early phase upgrades. A committee is expected to take up the issue later this month.

“These investments create good-paying jobs and economic opportunities for thousands of residents and businesses that have been burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “Infrastructure investments work to recharge our local economy, as we know well from the Great Recession, and we will deploy these same tools here combined with an equity lens to support our economic and financial recovery.”

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(credit: CBS)

The city said it will look for alternatives to finish building out 60 acres at the National Western Center campus located off Brighton Boulevard.

“We will be engaging with the partners on the project and the public to determine the most appropriate approach for completion, which will include the associated timeline for building the remaining campus,” stated Kiki Turner, Deputy Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Denver’s Department of Finance.

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Work is scheduled to begin on the Colorado Convention Center expansion project in June. The city plans to add an 80,000 square feet ballroom on top of the facility. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2023.

Audra Streetman