Kelly Leid is the Director of Development Services for the City of Denver. He manages 200 employees, providing building and zoning review for all commercial and residential projects as well as neighborhood inspection services. On January 25th, Leid was appointed by the Mayor as the Project Manager for the Cornerstone Collaborative. Leid will serve in both positions until the project plan for the Collaborative is fully up and running, at which time he will transition out of the his position as Director for Development Services and a new staff member will take his place. GPHN talked with Director Leid for this edition of the Z&P 500.
What is the Cornerstone Collaborative?
It is a collection of six projects along what Mayor Michael B. Hancock refers to as the ‘Corridor of Opportunity’. The corridor is a 23-mile stretch from Union Station east to D.I.A. The opportunity that the Mayor sees is one of economic development and job creation. This collaborative is an umbrella project to leverage the opportunities and get input from all internal and external stakeholders so that the total benefit is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, according to Leid.
These six projects are identified as:
- National Western Stock Show – Assess, in partnership with VISIT DENVER, Arts & Venues and the National Western leadership team, the NWSS site and current facilities to determine how to assure the NWSS’s long-term sustainability at the existing site.
- Interstate-70 reconstruction – Collaborating with the Colorado Department of Transportation and area stakeholders to ensure smart improvements to I-70 between Colorado and Brighton boulevards that help reconnect Denver neighborhoods.
- RTD station development – Working with the Regional Transportation District and city agencies to coordinate the planning and implementation of the 38th Avenue and Blake Street (East Line) and the NWSS (North Line) stations that will serve the stock show area and connect downtown to the airport.
- Brighton Boulevard redevelopment – Overseeing effective public infrastructure improvements to the boulevard — the gateway to downtown from I-70 – and continuing the momentum of reinvestment that is beginning to emerge along this important roadway.
- River North – Reclaiming the river via greenway and transportation improvements and identifying sustainable development opportunities along the riverfront.
- Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhood plans – Ensuring that the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhood plans are aligned with each other and with the myriad projects happening in and around these historic neighborhoods.
What developments for the Cornerstone Collaborative have come about since the project was announced?
As the Project Manager, Leid has implemented his ‘90 Day Entry Plan’ which is in two parts: listening tours and project management development. On the listening tours, he is meeting with stakeholders for each project. He is gathering input from them on their perspective of the projects, to understand their concerns, to find out what is important to them and also building more contacts for whomever else they feel needs to be included. Meanwhile, his project management team is talking to City staff in multiple departments on how to interface and create a framework for communication and collaboration. They are developing a Community Outreach Plan for engagement and communication. By May 1, they plan to have the basic project management and project framework in place, at which time Leid will step down from his Director role and focus solely on Project Management for the Cornerstone Collaborative.
What can be expected in the near future?
The ‘90 Day Plan’ is the first step of many in figuring out how to support, link and fill in the gaps in these six project efforts. A public meeting schedule and a website are part of the plan. Currently, meetings are taking place for each of the individual projects which Leid is attending and encouraging the public to engage in. Ultimately, the goal of the Cornerstone Collaborative is to have a team in place that monitors the projects and makes effective use of resources by being responsive and proactively engaged. Leid will continue to build relationships and work to stay connected to stakeholders.
Bernadette Kelly is a Denver native, a 12-year Park Hill resident and has served on the board of the Greater Park Hill Community for five years. For more information about the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, visit denverinc.org.