Quality of Life

Community and Economic Development

Align Economic Development with Community Vision

Due: December 2025

Principle: Supporting the community’s vision by cultivating an environment that attracts and retains private-sector investment, a talented workforce, and an engaged business community.


On an individual basis, Economic Development can mean very different things to different people. It is the City's goal to ensure economic development efforts are consistent with the goals that are expressed by the Community as a whole. 

To that end, the City will conduct a significant community engagement campaign to align the City and the Arvada Economic Development Association's (AEDA) efforts with the information collected from this effort. 


Over the past several decades the City has taken a more traditional path towards it's economic development efforts. These efforts include increasing the number of primary jobs, sales tax, and capital investment. 

However, with the total build out of the City rapidly approaching, land for both new development and redevelopment are at a premium. With limited opportunities available, the City efforts need to help customize the market forces to the community's overall vision of development and quality of life. 


An RFP for a third party firm to assist the Community and Economic Development Work System to develop and deploy survey mechanisms for Long Range Planning, Building, Development Review and Economic Development was sent out in November 2019.

Proposals were received in December and the team will be interviewing two finalist firms in January, with the hopes to be under contract and have the survey deployed by the end of January.

Additionally, the AEDA Board assembled a Development Committee which will begin looking at survey results from citizens and businesses focusing on economic development interests and perceptions.  

The Development Committee will use survey data to understand risks and opportunities for economic development and community engagement around commercial activity in Arvada, and ultimately shape and implement a community outreach strategy and program in 2020.

Work System
Performance Measures


Business Retention

Business Retention - Description

Year over year, the City of Arvada will retain 99% of its existing bricks and mortar businesses, as defined by registered non-home based Arvada business licenses.  According to the Small Business Administration, sixty to seventy percent of all new job growth comes from existing businesses in a community, suggesting a significant portion of economic expansion in Arvada is attributed to the organic net growth of existing businesses.  

Business Retention - Significance

Real estate opportunities for new commercial development are limited, further emphasizing the importance of an environment supportive of existing business health.

Business Retention - Analysis

The 2020 baseline number of existing bricks and mortar business licenses in Arvada is 2,292, up 106% percent from the beginning of 2019.   As of the beginning of the 3rd quarter, 2020, there are 2,275 bricks and mortar business licenses in Arvada. 

Business Retention - Data Source

The City of Arvada Finance department provides quarterly reports to AEDA with a full count of all bricks and mortar business licenses.

Development of New Commercial Real Estate


Development is defined as new construction or repurposing of commercial property (retail, office, industrial) and real estate.  Square feet will be counted in the year the project is finaled as reported in TrakIt. 


The ability to add square footage of commercial real estate in the City is important as it is the foundation for attracting new businesses and assisting current businesses to expand without leaving the City.


In the third quarter of 2020, there was 120,334 square feet of New Commercial Real Estate developed in Arvada, resulting in a total of 172,401 square feet year to date.  This surpasses the annual goal of 150,000 albeit a slow first half of the year due to COVID-19 related delays.  The large majority of new development this quarter, nearly 80,000 square feet, can be attributed to the Bear Mountain light industrial development at 67th Ave and Fig Street. 

Data Source

Data is provided by Trakit report for Commercial Square Feet finaled by date.  The Report includes New Construction, Change of Use and Additions, and it reviewed and confirmed by staff based on project nature.  Multifamily, civic, religious, public school and self storage uses are excluded.  Data will be updated quarterly.