PERFECT PITCH: Youth Colorado Rapids soccer club a good fit for Aurora

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AURORA | The Havana Street corridor will become a major hub for the region’s youth soccer scene in the coming months.

The Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club announced this week it will be moving its headquarters to 111 Havana St., and is also building multiple indoor soccer fields at the new west Aurora site.

Aaron Nagel, executive director of the club, said the club — which works with 5,000 young people across the metro area — hopes to move in by August.

Once the facility is up and running, Nagel said there will be more than 20 employees there.

“And we’ll have thousands of kids coming through there every week,” he said.

The 41,000-square-foot headquarters will replace the club’s current headquarters in Denver.

Nagel said the current space is just an office, but this one will have office space, fields, weight room and classroom space.

“This is actually a full-scale training hub,” he said.

Aurora is an ideal spot for the club, Nagel said, because the central location lets them serve young people from Colorado Springs to Boulder. The building is also near the Denver border, and Nagel said the bulk of the Rapids youth players come from Denver and Aurora.

David Fried, a managing director at Cushman and Wakefield, the building’s owners, said construction on the fields and office space will begin in the coming weeks.

Crews will likely need between 90 and 120 days to complete the project, he said. Then, the soccer club can move in.

Fried said that combined with planned redevelopment of the old Fan Fare site to the north, the project is a sign that this particular stretch of Havana is poised for something of a boom.

“I think the city is doing and has done a great job to work on that area being a long-term mixed-use project that again will serve the community,” he said.

Yuriy Gorlov, business development manager at the Aurora Economic Development Council, said local officials have been hoping to lure a tenant to the building for some time.

“We’ve been trying to fill that building for years and years and years,” he said.

Gorlov said he expected a tenant with a more industrial focus, rather than a soccer club, to eventually move in, but said the club is a good fit for the area.

A medical school occupies part of the building and there is still room for a third tenant after the Rapids move in, he said.

“It’s a good use of the space and there is still plenty of space for another user in the building,” Gorlov said.

Gayle Jetchick, executive director of the Havana Business Improvement District, said there had been other ideas floated for the space, including a potential call center. But the youth soccer club is a better fit, she said.

“Having a recreational use for the kids is much better than a call center,” she said.

The businesses along Havana are also surely looking forward to the regular visitors the soccer facility will lure, she said.

“Soccer moms buy Subarus,” she said with a laugh. “So the car dealers will be excited.”