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DIA Tech Center Filing No. 6, Lot 1

The DIA Tech Center, and neighboring Nexus North properties, make up a 434-acre business park near the Denver International Airport in Commerce City, Colorado. Kimley-Horn provided entitlement, civil, landscape, and irrigation design services for the DIA Tech Center Filing No. 6, Lot 1, a 540,000-square-foot combination build-to-suit and speculative cross-dock distribution center.


During the last four years, the 434-acre business park in Commerce City has been transformed from vacant land to a thriving development that supports new and growing businesses. One of the first warehouses to be developed on this site was the DIA Tech Center Filing No. 6, Lot 1. Design and construction involved multiple phases for the build-to-suit and speculative portions of the facility. Kimley-Horn provided site improvements for the development, including truck docks for loading and unloading, employee parking, multiple guard houses, and fire truck circulation.

Providing Guidance in a New Market

Becknell Industrial was part of the catalyst for the development of the DIA Tech Center and Nexus North. Having only once previously worked in the Colorado sector many years prior, Becknell needed a partner that was familiar with working in the area. They approached Kimley-Horn to team with them on their first venture back into the Colorado Market. Becknell secured a contract with Haier Company (GE Appliances) to construct a distribution center on 39-acres in the DIA Tech Center Development, determining that the project would consist of a hybrid build-to-suit and speculative facility. Haier anchored approximately 351,000 of the overall 541,000-square-foot building, leaving the remaining portion of the building to be constructed as a phased speculative distribution space for future tenants.

“In addition to the aggressive design and construction schedule, the master industrial park developer had to design and obtain final approval to construct approximately 1,700 feet of offsite storm sewer and drainage swale to the master detention facilities, along with 1,250 feet of public roadway. Kimley-Horn was instrumental in coordinating with the master developer’s engineer for the design of our project. In partnership with Kimley-Horn, Becknell, along with the team of designers and contractors, achieved an on-time occupancy for the tenant as promised.”

— Darrell Phillips, Senior Project Engineer

Utilizing Relationships to Meet Deadlines

The concept plans were reviewed for the 39-acre development, resulting in development entitlement and construction documents for the site. A phased construction solution was developed to meet Haier’s needs for the initial build-out while also space planning for future phases of construction, depending on the needs of the eventual speculative tenants.

Becknell’s agreement with Haier Company included an expedited schedule to quickly deliver the build-to-suit distribution center. The project had to be designed, entitled, approved, and constructed within one year. Kimley-Horn worked with Commerce City to receive an early grading permit, allowing the extensive earthwork required to commence as soon as possible. During earthwork operations, final approvals for the remainder of the site were received from Commerce City and other review agencies so construction could continue, and the facility could open on time.

“Kimley-Horn was instrumental in helping Becknell complete the project for our client in a very tight time frame. From the time of the notice to proceed and initiation of design, Becknell had 13 months to prepare the warehouse facility for occupancy. To meet the accelerated schedule, Kimley-Horn navigated the permitting process with Commerce City to obtain an early release for site grading and earthwork. They did this while optimizing earthwork balance as best possible with the design layout.”

— Darrell Phillips, Senior Project Engineer

Growth in Commerce City

The success of this project has encouraged new companies to bring their businesses to Commerce City. Lot 1, which was developed by Becknell in the DIA Tech Center Development, led to numerous additional sites, providing multiple job opportunities for community members with many more to come as the site  continues to be developed. Kimley-Horn has continued to serve Becknell on these projects which include:

  • A 307,000 square foot speculative distribution center on 19-acres
  • A 279,000 square foot build-to-suit distribution center on 39-acres
  • A 1 million square foot build-to-suit distribution facility on 72-acres
  • A 330,000 square foot speculative distribution center on 22-acres
  • A 170,000 square foot speculative distribution center on 15-acres