Urban Update | January – February 2017
ULC’s Urban Update is a bi-monthly newsletter that highlights stories you may have missed! There have been many opportunities to highlight our place based real estate investments, as well as the great work that our partners are doing in our communities. ULC welcomed in the year announcing a new development partner as well as our 2017-2020 Strategic Framework. 2017 is going to be a very busy year!
To stay up to date with all things ULC related, you can sign up for our blog, Talking Denver! Make sure to visit our website to read all of ULC’s announcements.
Events and Happenings
ULC Selects Zocalo Community Development as Partner for Race Street TOD
In January, ULC announced Zocalo Community Development as our master development partner for our six-acre Race Street Transit Oriented Development (TOD) site in Denver’s Elyria Swansea neighborhood. The mixed use development is set to be completed in multiple phases over several years, with a goal of it’s initial phase being operational in line with the opening of RTD’s North Metro Rail Line in late 2018. The development will include up to 560 residential units, as a combination of mixed-income rental and mixed-income for sale homes.
This marks the first partnership between Urban Land Conservancy and Zocalo. With an extensive resume in community development and project management across the Denver metro area, Zocalo is a proven leader in sustainable urban development. The company currently has nine completed developments in metro Denver, seven of which are LEED certified. Zocalo has taken a strong stance in the need for low impact and environmentally sustainable developments, and past developments have won awards in categories ranging from Most Innovative Use of Technology to Project-of-the-Year. In 2012, Zocalo was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as the Developer of the Year.
The announcement also caught the eye of the Denver Post, who published an article highlighting the continuous change Elyria-Swansea residents have felt over the past decade. David Zucker, the CEO of Zocalo spoke of the prevention of ongoing displacement with the Race transit-oriented development site. To read more about the upcoming development and the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, you can find the Denver Post article here.
ULC Announces 2017 – 2020 Strategic Framework
As Urban Land Conservancy moves into our 14th year of preserving and developing real estate for community benefit, we announced a new three year strategic framework defining our top priorities.
As always, ULC is committed to using real estate as a tool to ensure that all neighborhoods enjoy a high quality of life that includes affordable housing, access to transit, affordable office space for nonprofits, good schools and other support services. As we move through the next three years, we aim to focus our resources on creative investing, transit oriented development and acting as stewards of permanently affordable housing and nonprofit facilities through the Community Land Trust model.
If you are interested in learning more about ULC’s plans in the coming years check out the link here!
ULC Announces Denver Shared Spaces now a Program of Denver Nonprofit Radian, Inc.
In 2016, ULC and Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships (DOSP) led the joint effort to find a new nonprofit to manage the Denver Shared Spaces program, as the organization has grown significantly since ULC and DOSP started the program in 2009. In seven years, DSS supported 28 shared spaces that represented over 350 nonprofits, government agencies and mission-driven businesses, and it has been extremely rewarding to see DSS grow into the organization that it is today.
After careful deliberation by the steering committee led by ULC and DOSP, a decision was officially reached at the end of 2016, with Radian, Inc. chosen to house the organization. Radian is a collaborative design group focused on creating healthy and sustainable communities in underserved areas of Denver. As a nonprofit community design center, Radian provides urban design and architectural services, with efforts to help connect neighborhood-based projects with the design community.
ULC is confident that DSS will continue to grow and evolve to better serve the real estate needs of nonprofits in the Denver region. Stay tuned to the ULC website to learn more about our new partnership.
Lutheran Family Services Shares the Reality Behind a Refugee’s Journey to the United States
In February, ULC met with Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFS), a partner and tenant at the Mountain View Nonprofit Tower to help explain the challenges refugees are currently facing. According to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), there were an estimated 19.5 million refugees worldwide in 2014. In 2017, the United States will accept only 50,000 of these refugees (down from the 110,000 that was originally planned).
LFS best explained that refugees can only come to the United States through the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program of the U.S. State Department. Refugees must have left their country (due to fear of racial, ethnic, religious or political persecution) and officially registered with the UNHCR. This typically takes place in a refugee camp. Most refugees that LFS Rocky Mountains serves have lived in refugee camps for over 20 years! Once a refugee is registered, they must then go through a rigorous screening process that typically takes a minimum of two years.
Once a refugee is granted entry into the United States, that is where resettlement agencies like LFS come in. To learn more about the refugee process and the amazing work Lutheran Family Services is doing in our community, click here!
Clinica Tepeyac Provides High Quality Healthcare to Medically Under-Served Population
Tucked away in Globeville – one of Denver’s lowest income neighborhoods – sits Clinica Tepeyac, a healthcare nonprofit for the medically underserved. Tepeyac was established in 1993 after a community needs assessment revealed major barriers to health care access for a portion of Denver’s population. According to analysis from the Health Coverage Portal, the average monthly premium for healthcare in Colorado is $226 per month. For a Denver resident making 60% of the area median income ($33,660 per year) this is over eight percent of their annual salary. This only adds to the growing dialogue surrounding Denver’s unrealistic cost of living for many residents. Tepeyac recognized the challenge many low-income families face in receiving healthcare, and decided to make a change.
The reasoning behind Tepeyac’s expansive reach and overwhelming patient demand is simple: they provide high quality healthcare services to those who are uninsured and who experience challenges accessing care. And for Clínica Tepeyac, this is over 90% of their patient base.
As Tepeyac’s patient base continues to expand – they currently see between 13,000 and 14,000 visits each year and have hit capacity in their current space, renovated and expanded in 2015. Tepeyac’s goal to increase their patient visit capacity to 20-25,000 visits annually in the next 3 – 5 years is only possible with a larger space. To learn more about Clinica Tepeyac – and how you can get involved – check out their website here.
ULC Celebrates Accomplishments of our Partners
January Partner Spotlight: Integral Group, LLC
Every month ULC showcases the incredible work of a partner organization who shares in our mission of improving lives and making a positive impact in the Denver region. For our January Partner Spotlight we highlighted our new development partner at ArtWay North at Park Hill Village West, Integral Group LLC.
Based out of Atlanta, Georgia and with offices across the U.S., Integral Group Inc. recently formalized a partnership with ULC as our new development partner for the $90 million ArtWay North at Park Hill Village West, a mixed use transit oriented development in Northeast Denver. The 6.7-acre site, which is set to include 350 mixed income residential units, and approximately 60,000 square feet of commercial space, is expected to break ground at the end of 2017. ULC is thrilled to be working with a company that highlights community development as one of its key pillars.
In addition to partnering in the development of ArtWay North, ULC recently retained Integral’s property management services for our residential portfolio which includes 3 properties and 152 units in Denver and Lakewood. While the transition began in December 2016, Integral is now fully managing these affordable rental properties which include the Dahlia Apartments in northeast Park Hill, Villas at Wadsworth Station in Lakewood, and the Santa Fe 10 apartments in Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District. To learn more about Integral and their long list of accomplishments, you can visit their website here.
February Partner Spotlight: Rick Garcia, Former VIII Administrator, HUD
As the former Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Region VIII, Rick Garcia has long been a champion for affordable housing, transit oriented development and equitable opportunities for all residents. During his six and a half year tenure with HUD, Garcia also served as Senior Adviser to the HUD Secretary on Sustainability, where he assisted in the department’s role in both the Federal Partnership on Sustainability, and the Sustainable Communities Initiative. Prior to joining HUD, Garcia was elected to the Denver City Council in 2003, where he represented District 1 until his appointment to HUD in 2010.
During his tenure on the Denver City Council, Garcia became heavily invested in equitable development along the West Transit Corridor of Denver, linking residential neighborhoods to employment hubs across the region. RTD’s W Line light rail officially opened in 2013, with five new stations connecting downtown Denver and Lakewood. Garcia focused on a site near two of these stations for a future development that would bring benefit to the community, Mile High Vista. This property was successfully acquired by ULC in 2011 largely due to Garcia’s vision for a library branch to be sited on the West Colfax Corridor, bringing a new urban resource to the community.
Garcia played a major role in launching the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) grant program, a $250 million HUD program that shifted the image of the Federal agency to include broad redevelopment strategies to improve communities. As of January 2017, Garcia completed his term with HUD. To learn more about Rick Garcia and his long list of accomplishments in our community, click here.