August 2015 Partner of the Month

West Colfax Business Improvement District

 

Urban Land Conservancy celebrates the achievements of its partnerships that create and preserve nonprofit facilities and affordable housing for communities in metro Denver. ULC’s Monthly Partner Spotlight is awarded to partners who demonstrate the value of collaboration, furthering our mission to improve the lives of Denver area residents through our real estate investments and community assets.

Congratulations to our August 2015 Partner Spotlight of the Month:  West Colfax BID!

The West Colfax BID (the BID) is revitalizing West Colfax Avenue to become Denver’s Main Street a variety of creative ways including the promotion of small and large scale investment through development, streetscape re-design, right-of-way improvements to promote walkability, safe bike routes and transit access, as well as retail support and recruitment to increase the economic vitality of the corridor.

The BID has had significant success through various programs in offering support and incentives to businesses for energy efficiency improvements, tax credits and rebates to increase business sustainability, financing assistance, marketing analysis for new retail and targeted investments in public art, transit amenities, lighting, landscaping, and wayfinding signage to improve the streetscape, safety, identity and connectivity of this central corridor.

With over $1.5 million in projects underway, the BID is working closely with new and existing businesses to ensure these resources are leveraged for their benefit, which brings benefit to the West Colfax community.

ULC’s President & CEO Aaron Miripol states, “The West Colfax BID is being very innovative about engaging businesses and residents along the West Colfax corridor. Their willingness to help with initiatives around walkability, bikeability and a safe and pedestrian friendly Colfax goes above and beyond what anyone would expect from a Business Improvement District. Much thanks to Dan and all the hard work he has done to make the WCBID a great community asset.” 

ULC and the West Colfax community are excited about the BID, and here are a couple of reasons why!

Recently the BID completed Denver’s first design demonstration of an arterial called Re-Imagine West Colfax, giving the community a real life look at tactical urbanism at its best. Colfax was transformed for a day to include a dedicated bike lane, greenery and flower bins to separate pedestrians and bikes from cars and accentuated bulb outs and medians with pedestrian refuges to create safer crossings. This special day gave people a true feel of how Colfax can be a main thoroughfare for buses and cars, while also being safe and welcoming for people to walk or bike on “Main Street.”   Thanks to committed partners including the City of Denver, PlaceMatters, WalkDenver, Radian, Groundworks, CDOT and RTD, and the BID. The event held earlier this month, had over 600 participants and had incredible participation from local businesses and the community! Big thanks to Jordan Hallman, ULC Intern who helped with the event!

The BID also celebrated a success recently, partnering with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) on a first ever joint bus shelter project. After a long process, the BID was happy to announce a unique partnership for a set refurbished, artist-designed bus shelters where RTD continues to maintain the facilities owned by the district. If it were not for this partnership, the new shelters would not have been constructed.

These permanent changes, and design opportunities for future improvements are what make the BID an incredible partner to ULC. Throughout the acquisition and development phases of the new transit oriented community, Mile High Vista, ULC worked with the BID on incorporating pedestrian, bike and bus friendly concepts into the overall master site design. Mile High Vista is now home to new Corky Gonzales public library and the Avondale Apartments, 80 units of permanently affordable housing. The West Colfax BID was instrumental in creating a colorful new bus shelter only steps from the new library to benefit those who live, work and visit Mile High Vista.

West Colfax BID Executive Director Dan Shah states, “We are delighted to be partners with ULC, a unique player in the real estate world that understands the benefits and is willing to foster collaboration across sectors, from business to health, education, social service, and environmental, to creatively leverage investments for equitable community benefit.”   

ULC chose to highlight the BID as this month’s Partner Spotlight to highlight their recent successes as well as exciting future endeavors they are taking on. This fall, the BID will host a Fall Harvest Celebration which will kick off efforts to create a new West Colfax Food Co-op. Located in a food desert, this new co-op will be a much needed resource in bringing healthy, local and fresh food to the community.

Partnering with the BID has provided ULC the opportunity to achieve its goal of real estate stewardship for community benefit. Thank you West Colfax Business Improvement District for all you do, not only for increasing the economic impact and development of West Colfax, but also for creating catalyzing opportunities for the greater community!

For more information please visit: www.westcolfaxbid.org