Urban Land Conservancy Finances Denver Warehouse as part of Ours To Own Initiative
Sun Valley Warehouse Home to Five Environmentally Focused Nonprofits
Denver–The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) financed a 45,000 square foot warehouse in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood for $2,970,000 in order to provide affordable rental space to five nonprofits. This is ULC’s third investment made with Calvert Foundation’s Facility Fund, an innovative financing vehicle created in 2014 through the Ours To Own initiative, a campaign that gives metro Denver residents the opportunity to invest in community projects for amounts as low as $20, all while earning a return on their investment.
Now called the Social Enterprise Foundry, this new community asset is a critical preservation investment for ULC, as it preserves affordable space in a market that is outrageously expensive due to the high demand for warehouse space by the marijuana industry. ULC was able to acquire this building without it going on the market, therefore was not forced to compete with potential buyers who would have paid cash to convert the warehouse into a marijuana grow house.
“It is incredibly important for ULC to invest in Sun Valley and create a job center for environmentally focused nonprofits that serve residents and nonprofits locally, regionally and statewide,” stated ULC’s President and CEO Aaron Miripol. “The Social Enterprise Foundry is a vital partner, bringing jobs, services and investment into this passionate community, while being accessible by both light rail and bus which is critical to the success of our nonprofit tenants.”
ULC has invested an additional $600,000 in capital improvements at the Foundry in order to create a healthier and more vibrant environment for this new community asset in Sun Valley, a Denver neighborhood which historically has seen very little economic development. These investments will provide the Foundry’s 150 workers with healthier living options during their commute and in the office. The Social Enterprise Foundry is home to the following nonprofits:
- Blue Star Recyclers provides certified electronics recycling services to create local jobs for people with autism and other disabilities,
- Energy Resource Center provides energy audits, conservation measures and energy education, improving 1,000 homes each year for low income clients,
- Mile High Youth Corps provides youth the opportunity for hands-on job skills in energy and water conservation,
- PCs for People, who recently expanded to Colorado from St. Paul MN, partners with Blue Star in providing affordable personal computers, computer repair services, internet service and education to people who have barriers to technology because of social, physical or economic circumstances, and
- ULC’s Denver Shared Spaces program, in partnership with the City Office of Strategic Partnerships, works with tenants to identify collaborative opportunities to help further the impact of each Foundry tenant.
ULC fully deployed Calvert Foundation’s $10 million Facility Fund in only one year, with the Ours To Own portfolio now having three properties to benefit community including: Race Street Transit Oriented Development, a six-acre master development site that will include affordable housing; Mountain View Nonprofit Tower, a seven story building in central Denver that houses eight nonprofits employing 130 people; and now the Social Enterprise Foundry.
“Ours To Own was built to provide local residents with a way to own and invest in Denver’s sustainable and equitable future,” said Jenn Pryce, Calvert Foundation’s President and CEO. “This property is another great example of the power and impact of bringing local, grassroots financing to community development.”
The Urban Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that uses real estate as a tool to benefit urban communities in metro Denver. ULC preserves, develops and invests in place-based real estate including affordable housing, nonprofit office space, community centers and schools. www.urbanlandc.org
Calvert Foundation enables people to invest for social good. Through its flagship Community Investment Note, Calvert Foundation has raised $1 billion in investment from more than 15,000 investors to invest in hundreds of nonprofits and social enterprises worldwide. Investor dollars empower women, fund the construction of affordable housing, provide loans to small business owners, increase access to healthcare, and support fair trade and sustainable agriculture. http://www.calvertfoundation.org and http://www.vested.org/initiatives/denver
Contact: Christi Craine firstname.lastname@example.org