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5 questions with Matt Sturgeon, city manager

Top administrative official talks fiber, parks and trails, and senior issues


Matt Sturgeon is the city manager for Centennial, a position that leads the administrative side of the city government.

Sturgeon was city manager in Rifle in western Colorado before taking the position in Centennial last year.

Here are a few updates on what's happening in Centennial from Sturgeon, including news on parks and trails, the fiber-optic communication system — known to many as simply “fiber” — senior issues and business developments.

What's underway for the fiber-optic cable infrastructure project?

This year, the city will complete the construction of the 50-mile fiber backbone. This backbone will connect and complete the city's underground infrastructure and be available to serve key municipal sites and other community anchor institutions such as public-safety facilities, schools and libraries, among others. The backbone will also enable both existing and new broadband (internet) providers to tie into the new infrastructure with the goal of providing better and more competitive choices and services for Centennial consumers. 

What's around the corner for parks and trails in Centennial?

Late last year, the city's Planning and Zoning Commission and city council approved the city's Trails and Recreation Plan. We received a lot of great feedback from our citizens that will guide the city in future projects. One of the things that came out of the outreach was connecting the existing trails throughout the region. So this year, the city's open space fund has $130,000 allocated for the design of the East West Trail. A core component of this design is to connect approximately 17 miles from the High Line Canal Trail to Piney Creek Trail (and a continuous connection between E-470 and South Platte River trails). Currently, there is not a trail that connects the west and east sides of the City of Centennial. Design will take place in 2018. Construction is to be determined.

What's on the horizon for senior-related issues and concerns in Centennial?

With direction from the mayor and city council, along with the strong partnership of the (city's) Senior Commission, the Innovation Team (i-team) transitioned focus areas from transportation and mobility to aging in community in January 2017 — with a specific focus on housing. This means encouraging community and building design that makes Centennial homes smart, connected and responsive to residents' needs.

The city is focused on assisting homeowners and home contractors with the discovery of effective means to retrofit their homes with minor renovations and adopt technologies that can remedy difficulties faced on an individual basis.

What can residents expect out of the Centennial NEXT comprehensive plan process?

The city is currently gathering community input for the third and final phase of the city's comprehensive plan (which sets priorities for city development). Residents and businesses are invited to provide feedback on potential city-wide design and development standards and smart-city (technology) possibilities. There will be additional outreach topics through April, and interested parties can visit the city's website to discover more about this ongoing process, including dates and locations for community participation. The plan is anticipated to be adopted this year.

Any big news or developments in the business community in Centennial?

The Jones District, Centennial's first transit-oriented community, is beginning to take shape adjacent to the Dry Creek (RTD) light rail station. Improvements have been made to East Mineral Avenue in anticipation of The Glenn Apartments opening. The 306-unit luxury apartment complex is the first development within Opus (Development Company LLC's) The Jones District, which is master-planned for significant office development, ground-floor retail, hotel and residential (uses).

Strong business growth is already evident in the business-park areas surrounding The Jones District, including Panorama Corporate Center, Southgate Business Park and INOVA Dry Creek. These business parks have seen an influx of thousands of jobs from company expansions including Comcast and Fast Enterprises as well as Arrow Electronics' corporate headquarters. Additional company moves and expansions are underway within INOVA by Inocucor and Travelers Insurance.

Retail-related development continues along East Arapahoe Road, where Culver's Restaurant recently opened and Natural Grocers is under construction on a new store near Arapahoe Road and South Peoria Street. Hotel development continues at a fast pace as well, with numerous hotels recently completed or under construction including Hampton Inn, Woodspring Suites, Home2Suites and others along the Arapahoe Road corridor and Fiddler's Green area.

Within our neighborhoods, the city is actively working with shopping-center owners to strategize reinvestment in our neighborhood shopping centers, some which have experienced vacant stores, due to changes in the retail industry brought on by online shopping and other fundamental shifts that change how we spend money on a daily basis.


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