WHO WE ARE
When land is expensive, it is often unfeasible to use for community-oriented facilities such as libraries, schools or nonprofit office space. ULC land banks parcels of land in Metro Denver to preserve the affordability of future developments for long term community benefit.
Certain challenging community projects — such as redeveloping a brownfield into an environmentally and socially responsible community — require more capital, resources, and coordination than any single organization or entity may possess. ULC provides expertise and resources to community partners and facilitates the community development process.
ULC preserves both commercial and residential buildings to promote long term affordability in an increasingly unaffordable city. Through the preservation of these spaces, nonprofits and residents can continue to rent affordably and remain in their communities.
WHAT WE DO
ULC will continue to play a unique and important real estate role on behalf of the community by acquiring, developing and preserving physical assets that are essential in meeting critical community needs especially in high poverty, low-income, underserved, at-risk communities.
We are in the community building business.
WHY WE DO IT
In January 2018, Shift Research Lab published a report titled, Exploring Colorado’s Housing Affordability Challenges in All of Their Complexity. The report argues that Colorado’s housing crisis is largely a supply issue, and now is the time to develop innovative approaches to improving our housing system.
In 2003, ULC was founded by Sam Gary (founder of Gary Community Investments) when he noticed an immediate need for affordable housing in Metro Denver. 15 years later, and our mission to preserve and develop real estate for long term community benefit is as relevant as ever. Our unique approach and innovative techniques to increase affordable options in Metro Denver through strategic real estate development has been noted in CityLab from The Atlantic and The Guardian.
HOW WE WORK
Urban Land Conservancy acquires, preserves, and develops real estate to under-served areas for long-term community benefit. Through the acquisition, development and preservation of real estate in urban areas, we are supporting neighborhoods with community assets such as schools, affordable housing, community centers and nonprofit facility space.
ULC also recognizes that creating affordable space alone is not enough. This is why we focus on the development of permanent affordable space through the community land trust (CLT) model. ULC’s unique CLT means we own the land under a 99 year ground lease to ensure the space is used for community benefit regardless of circumstance. To date, ULC has five properties in our CLT, ranging from early childhood education centers to affordable housing.
Since 2010, ULC has acted as the sole borrower of two loan facilities and fully deployed over $29 million in five years. Through two funds, ULC made 12 acquisitions for the preservation of affordable housing, nonprofit facilities and affordable nonprofit commercial space. With our full repayment and proven success with these loan funds, ULC closed on our third resource in December 2017. To learn more about our impact investment experience and future plans, read the full report here.
As stewards of real estate investments that profoundly impact the quality of life of many underserved and low-income Metro area residents, ULC is informed by a broad network of community partners. Our work in the neighborhoods in which we served is guided by underlying principles that fall under our community engagement philosophy. You can read more about our community approach here.