A Castle Rock proposal would have the town partner with a private developer to build an indoor recreation facility and transform the former Acme Brick facility and surrounding area into a mixed use project, including residential units and commercial space.
In looking to expand the recreational opportunities in town, Castle Rock accepted Request for Proposals to help identify space for a Sports Development Center. On May 17, the town council heard details of Confluence Companies’ idea to develop the Brickyard project.
Castle Rock Director of Parks and Recreation Jeff Brauer said existing recreation facilities can’t handle the demand and roughly 5,000 people have been put on waitlist since January 2021 due to a lack of pool, classroom, turf and gym space.
“We haven’t built a competitive swimming pool or basketball facility since 1988,” Brauer said. “We’re trying to complement the Miller Activity Complex, which focuses more on entertainment activities and the traditional recreation center which really focuses on family activities.”
The proposed sports center would be around 125,000 square feet and house five courts for basketball, pickleball and volleyball, a 10-lane pool and warm-up pool, spectator seating, an indoor track, gym and group fitness spaces, among other amenities. The town’s budget is around $63-67 million.
Land already owned by the town was considered for building the sports center, but Brauer said the sites weren’t suited for the project since most are located in residential areas where a traffic-generating recreation facility would have negative impacts.
The Brickyard proposal would place the sports center on Prairie Hawk Drive on the old Acme Brick site near Interstate-25 in the central part of town. It would be surrounded by apartments, condos, townhomes, retail, offices, restaurants and a destination hotel, per Confluence Companies’ vision.
“We saw a really great opportunity to make the site even better by proposing to work together with the town to do a no-cost land contribution to Castle Rock to build a future facility,” Tony DeSimone, a principal at Confluence, said. “What really brings the viability to the site is the residential component.”
Though details of Brickyard are still in the works, DeSimone did tell the council that the project is planning for 300-500 housing units.
With Confluence choosing to provide land to the town instead of paying an in-lieu fee, DeSimone said the developers are hoping Castle Rock will help with rezoning the land and developing an Urban Renewal Authority, which could allow for sales and property tax rebates to the developer.
Financing for the construction of the sports center would happen through impact fees assessed on new development, Brauer said. He added that the town will be saving roughly $1 million in interest on debt it took out to build the Miller Activity Complex by paying the debt off a decade early, which will also free up finances to support the sports center.
DeSimone said the plan is to have a development proposal in front of the council for a vote in the fall and begin construction next year with the goal of an opening date in 2025.
“All of that is doable based on our track record and experience,” he said.
Public comments on the initial proposal were largely supportive of the idea because of the need for more indoor recreation options. Several resident pickleball players urged the board to move forward with building the sports center.
Confluence and Castle Rock will host an open house on the proposal from 4-6 p.m. June 14 at the Millhouse at Miller Park.