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Gas station with roof deck for plane spotting planned on DIA land (Local Tips & Reviews)

Site rendering

A rendering showing the layout of the 3-acre site. (City documents)

A gas station that would feature two separate drive-thrus and a roof deck for plane spotting is in the works along Pena Boulevard on the way to Denver International Airport.

Aaravya Investments LLC wants to develop the project on 3 acres at the northwest corner of 75th Street and Gun Club Avenue, Denver City Council members were told Wednesday.

Building rendering

Renderings of the convenience store building on the property, which would feature a roof deck. (City documents)

The company has a tentative $6.4 million, 20-year lease deal with DIA, which owns the land.

The company would lease the land for $2.02 per square foot in the first year, with a 2 percent annual increase after that, according to council documents. Aaravya would also have to pay the airport 5 to 7 percent of sales food and beverage and retail sales, as well as $0.03 to $0.06 for every gallon of fuel sold.

The deal comes with four possible five-year extensions.

DIA would invest roughly $5 million to bring utilities to the site, which sits on undeveloped land near the airport’s Pikes Peak lot and Final Approach retail center and cell phone lot.

DIA announced in February 2022 that it was seeking development proposals for the 3-acre site and other nearby parcels in an area that the airport calls “West Approach.”

This will be Aaravya’s fourth gas station venture, and its first in Colorado. According to the council documents, Aaravya plans on building a roof deck for “airplane and mountain viewing,” electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels.

The company hopes to break ground during the third quarter of 2024 and open later that same year.

In a Wednesday afternoon meeting, a City Council committee unanimously voted the proposed contract to the full council for a vote. The committee also forwarded a proposed $270 million lease deal with Swire Coca-Cola that would allow the bottler to build a 1.1-million-square-foot building on DIA land, although Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore said she wants to see Swire Coca-Cola do more community outreach.

DIA is pushing to commercialize its  “non-aviation land,” which accounts for 16,000 of its 34,000 acres. The airport recently changed its process for development proposals, implementing a “rolling request for offers” that essentially allows developers to submit a proposal for any non-aviation land at any time.

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