305 Park Avenue West, Unit B
Denver, CO 80205
The Common Roots Shared Space is located within Denver Housing Authority’s (DHA) Benedict Park Place, a Hope 6 redevelopment of the former East Village Apartments at 305 Park Avenue West in Denver. As DHA’s first tenants in the 3,850 square foot commercial store front office, the space is designed in a collaborative way with a shared Office Manager, copier/printer, phone systems, kitchen, shower, conference rooms, and customizations designed to maximize utility and collaboration within the space.
Just a few years ago, this site was the home of East Village, a residential community originally developed for the 1976 Winter Olympics that was later converted to Section 8 family housing when the Olympics did not come to Colorado. Due to neglect and broader neighborhood change, the property fell into a state of disrepair and degenerated into 4 square blocks of concentrated poverty. However, with DHA’s purchase of the property in 2000, an innovative and ambitious plan for redevelopment of the 15 acre site was put into place. DHA’s new Benedict Park Place demonstrates a sustainable, mixed-income, and successful community home to hundreds of Denver’s citizens and also Common Roots.
The space currently houses two nonprofits: Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) and Denver Preschool Program (DPP). Working with local architectural firm Studio Completiva, ULC and DPP designed the space in a functional and collaborative way.
At Common Roots, tenants pay utilities and other shared costs according to their allocation of the space. Through the design of Studio Completiva, the customization of their new offices maximizes cost savings and collaboration through a shared space. As a prime example of this collaboration within partners at Common Roots, all the furniture and computers in the facility were donated from other partners, making up a total value of over $50,000.
In addition, as a complement to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold sustainability rating that Benedict Park Place has achieved, Common Roots has launched a sustainability initiative far reaching enough to incorporate the residents into its plans and will continue to expand on these efforts. To date, the office has instituted a broad recycling plan, inspired behavioral changes such as turning off lights, and instituted reusable materials in the office. Common Roots is focused on bringing the standard from merely “green” to the much more ambitious standard of “sustainable.”
The name “Common Roots” originates from the shared benefit that these organizations derived from the generosity and visionary leadership of Sam Gary of Gary Community Investments. This is the common thread that weaves itself around these three organizations and so many others in the Denver Metro area that improves the lives of families while increasing educational opportunities for children and helping to strengthen the community in which they live.