ULC’s mission is to intervene in the real estate marketplace in underserved, at-risk neighborhoods to acquire, develop and preserve physical assets that would be lost to the market or otherwise not be available. Over the next three years, ULC will continue to play this unique and important real estate role on behalf of the community by acquiring, developing and preserving the public purpose physical assets that are so essential in meeting critical community needs especially in high poverty, low-income, underserved, at-risk communities.
The vision and mission that spurred the creation of ULC a decade ago continues to serve as the driving force behind activities and priorities today and serve as the basis for strategic recommendations for the next three years.
ULC’s vision is that the region’s underserved at-risk populations be able to live and thrive within vibrant diverse neighborhoods, and that all neighborhoods will have the physical assets and resources necessary for individuals to enjoy a high quality of life including affordable housing, transportation, office space for nonprofits, childcare, job training, good schools, health care and other support services.
Over the next three years, ULC’s organizational efforts and
resources will primarily focus on its key roles as:
Creative investors in community real estate in Metro Denver, moving quickly on critical properties that are at risk of being lost to the market.
Master developers who acquire and develop properties in low-income distressed neighborhoods and along transit corridors for the benefit of these communities.
Stewards of permanently affordable housing and nonprofit facilities through Community Land Trusts and other sources that provide at-risk populations access to equitable and sustainable community services.
ULC’s highest priority strategic goals for acquisitions and ongoing activities through development will seek to meet current compelling needs, act as a catalyst for a broader or longer-term impact, and/or act as a steward of those physical assets for future benefit of these top priority underserved neighborhoods:
North and Northeast Denver:
This includes neighborhoods that are in transition and with high needs, offer significant opportunities for ULC to take the lead with catalytic projects in Cole, N.E. Park Hill and Globeville-Elyria-Swansea with projects including: Tramway Nonprofit Center/Cole Train, Blake TOD and Race Street TOD. Northeast Park Hill will be a continued neighborhood of focus, ULC will continue to invest resources and maximize impact and sustain the transformative work at Holly Square, Dahlia Apartments, Park Hill Village West and the 303Artway projects.
West Denver and Lakewood:
ULC will continue its role to create and preserve affordable housing in West Denver around the 10th and Sheridan Station on the W Line and in Lakewood at the Wadsworth Station. Support of redevelopment efforts in Sun Valley will also be a focus with a continued effort to identify investment opportunities. ULC will also advance the early efforts to jump-start needed change in the Westwood neighborhood with the redevelopment of Thriftway and other at-risk projects.
Commerce City and Original Aurora:
Building on our role with New Legacy Charter School, we will seek to take advantage of additional opportunities in these underserved communities to bring about a range of community benefits that better serve the at-risk population.
Other Organizational Priorities
ULC has clearly stated goals, top priorities, and criteria that guide new activities and acquisitions, and ULC will continue to be entrepreneurial and open to new opportunities when the prospect for significant impact and likelihood for success are high. Recognizing that our most impactful and successful projects almost always occur when there are strong partnerships, community support and adequate funding sources, ULC will continue to be opportunistic to meet a compelling need or have a significant impact on a neighborhood when these three elements are clearly present.
ULC will continue to depend on strong partners. As local governments, foundations, and community organizations change and evolve, we must strengthen, clarify and redefine long-standing relationships and we must invest in creating new strong partnerships. Partners present unique challenges and opportunities and ULC will craft and implement intentional strategies to cement long term relationships.
Optimizing our relationships with the cities of Denver, Aurora, Commerce City and Lakewood, grassroots community organizations, regional housing authorities, philanthropic institutions and foundations are essential to enabling ULC to accomplish its goals. Building community support as we begin working in a neighborhood enables ULC to better understand community needs and identify potential funding sources that are critical to the success of a project.
A high priority for ULC in the coming years is to build a more sustainable financial model to ensure financial stability over the long term. Fundamental to achieving financial sustainability is sound fiduciary decision making and identifying and growing revenue streams. Current growth is dependent on identifying funding support (often new debt) to support each project. In the next three years, ULC will seek to expand income streams through property sales, development fees, grants and the development of new relationships within the philanthropic community.