Brighton
76Commerce Center
Hyde Development and Mortensen developed 76 Commerce Center, a 1.7million-square-foot Class A industrial park in Brighton.

Prospects brightening for Adams County seat

BRIGHTON — Folks in Brighton can’t decide what’s more exciting.

Is it BNSF Railway’s plans for a sprawling intermodal facility and logistics park between nearby Hudson and Lochbuie, which promises to drive more commercial, industrial and residential development to the Adams County seat?

Or is it the culmination of a 10-year quest to bring an Olive Garden restaurant to town, its alfredo sauce and breadsticks lured by a $315,000 incentive package?

Whichever it is, Brighton benefits nearly as much from what it’s near as what it has and what it plans.

Brighton’s close proximity to Denver International Airport makes it an attractive target for new business, its residents live close enough to enjoy Barr Lake State Park and many of the urban advantages Denver has to offer. But despite its ranking as one of Colorado’s fastest-growing communities and its proximity to the state capital, Brighton has made an effort to distance itself from the “suburb” label, focusing in recent years on setting design standards, strengthening environmental initiatives and channeling commercial growth to specific neighborhoods.

Brighton’s close proximity to Denver International Airport makes it an attractive target for new business.”

Brighton, whose northern edge sits firmly in Weld County, is home to a manufacturing plant for Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world leader in wind energy, which unveiled the longest wind turbine blades ever produced in the United States.

Startup company Global Thermostat is commercializing its carbon-dioxide gathering technology, and VSK Energy Inc. a joint venture developing a vertically integrated solar manufacturing operation, has a $250 million project at the seven-year-old 76 Commerce Center.

In May, the Brighton City Council voted to extend an incentives agreement with Amprius Technologies Inc. of Fremont, California, until June 1, 2025. The plant, slated for a former Kmart distribution center, was previously due to open in June 2024 and  manufacture lithium-ion cells in a 775,000-square-foot facility on East Bromley Lane.

Startup company Global Thermostat is commercializing its carbon-dioxide gathering technology. VSK Energy Inc. a joint venture developing a vertically integrated solar manufacturing operation, has a $250 million project at the seven-year-old 76 Commerce Center.

Since its incorporation in 1887 with a population of 175, Brighton has hardly stopped expanding. The opening of the Prairie Center created opportunity for retailers and consumers alike, and the Pavilions Shopping Center brought more stores downtown, as well as a 12-screen movieplex.

Keeping up with the growth is a new $155 million water-treatment plant consisting of organic carbon removal, greensand filters for removing manganese and turbidity, chemical storage, pumping and more.

Health care also has enhanced the city’s economy. Brighton’s $138 million Platte Valley Medical Center has been cited as one of the nation’s top performers on key quality measures.

The Brighton City Council in February voted 7-2 to allow recreational marijuana shops for the first time, although the city still prohibits cultivation and manufacturing businesses.

A new and unusual Veterans Memorial was added to the expanded Riverdale Regional Park; it’s a replica of the USS Colorado that juts out of the park’s Mann-Nyholt Lake.