Almost half of the 15,850 acres the LRA for the Pueblo Chemical Depot is responsible for developing would be devoted to industrial uses, including manufacturing, distribution and warehousing, under the draft redevelopment plan released for the central Colorado site last month.
Other primary uses would include R&D, education, agricultural research, renewable energy production and open space. Industrial uses would take advantage of the depot’s central location, existing road and rail networks, and its 600-plus storage igloos.
“This is where the fun part begins,” PuebloPlex CEO and President Russell DeSalvo said at a public meeting. “This has the potential over time to expand our real estate base, our economy and our property tax base,” DeSalvo said, reported the Pueblo Chieftain.
Officials outlined a variety of possible uses for the site that would fit with the draft plan:
- a business park, with a truck plaza, hotels and shops;
- a storage and maintenance depot for rail cars;
- a training facility for law enforcement;
- manufacturing plants;
- solar arrays and wind turbines;
- a research center for hemp or marijuana; and
- storage facilities for residents or industry.
At the same time, they stressed the ultimate uses for the depot could change dramatically, given the size of the property and the possibility of new technologies.
“This is one of the largest redevelopment projects in the United States,” said Celeste Warner, vice president and director of planning for Matrix Design Group, which prepared the reuse plan. “The key is to remain flexible.”
In addition to the acreage DOD already has declared surplus, the LRA likely will gain control of the remaining 7,000 acres at the depot now being used to destroy the nation’s chemical weapons stockpile.
“The buildout wouldn’t occur for 100 years,” Warner said.
One key hurdle to implementing the reuse plan is the aging infrastructure at the 74-year-old depot targeted for closure in 1988, according to the story. The plan’s success also depends on the construction of a new interchange at U.S. 50 providing access to PuebloPlex.