Cheyenne’s West Edge is where Western heritage and leading-edge progress unite. Combining elements of the city’s rail-enabled industrial history with the shiny and new (the Laramie County Library, Saint Mary’s School, The Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s building, the Dineen building, etc.) the West Edge district has a unique and interesting persona. A persona that’s poised to create a welcoming and inclusive community focused on life, art, music and food.
The West Edge persona celebrates its industrial past and its visible ties to the railroad. It’s proud of the extensive and well-worn brick inventory it holds — and excited about the progressive repurposing possibilities that inventory holds. The West Edge persona is hip, but not arrogant. It’s artsy, but not exclusionary. It’s inviting, engaging, creative and cool.
In 2011, the city of Cheyenne received a $1 million Brownfield EPA Coalition Grant. The grant became the foundation for planning and implementation efforts directed at making the Lower Capitol Drainage Basin and the West Edge of Downtown Cheyenne a vital, vibrant attractive and inviting place to live, work, shop and play.
Although it has been historically challenged by the risk of flooding and the high costs of addressing the impact of previous industrial development in the area, the Lower Capital Drainage Basin has many assets, including historic buildings and proximity to downtown and the depot.
An extensive public engagement process was initiated in September 2012 and concluded in May, 2013. The process revealed that there was a clear desire to inspire/motivate West Edge reinvestment efforts through development of a multi-purpose downtown amenity with a flexible footprint. Although a specific design wasn’t identified, the goal of the amenity would be to improve storm water management, mitigate potential brownfields and promote private investment in residential and commercial revitalization efforts.