West Colfax BID Garners Governor’s Award for Best Sustainable Downtown Project
DENVER—The West Colfax Business Improvement District (BID) has garnered the 2011 Governor’s Award for Downtown Excellence for Best Sustainable Downtown Project. This award went to the BID for its work in creating “Denver’s Sustainable Main Street” through infrastructure improvements making West Colfax more walkable and successful promotion of green technology in businesses.
“We are honored to receive this recognition and especially indebted to our board president Jim Hannifin and former Councilman Rick Garcia for their leadership in creating the vision and key tools to transform West Colfax to a pedestrian-oriented Main Street,” says Dan Shah, the director of the BID.
The BID has assisted businesses with energy efficiency improvements that result in a savings equivalent to taking 29 cars off the road. Infrastructure improvements include $1.5 million in on-street parking, medians to slow and buffer pedestrians from West Colfax traffic, as well as artwork and other streetscape improvements powered by fully renewable energy sources.
Green technology advances along West Colfax with the addition of a new solar thermal array on the Lake Steam Baths at 3540 W Colfax Ave. There is also $494,000 of committed funding for solar panels on new building projects as well as a new LEED certified Denver Public Library planned to open in 2013.
The award committee commended the West Colfax BID for having “accomplished significant improvements to the overall sustainability of the district. Through both forward-planning and proactive/targeted retrofits, the BID has structured a future plan for increased sustainability in building and construction, while also actively educating and supporting existing business owners in ‘green’ retrofits. The program has already shown significant, measurable progress, and their model for how to work with a BID to establish and implement sustainable goals could be easily adapted by other downtown districts.”
The West Colfax Business Improvement District, created in 2006, revitalizes West Colfax Avenue as Denver’s sustainable Main Street by promoting large-scale investment through land assembly and sustainable redevelopment, retail support and recruitment, and sponsoring improvements to the ROW that encourage pedestrian usage and multi-modal transportation.