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Colorado Enterprise Fund to participate in CO Impact Days

Colorado Enterprise Fund is among the 100 social ventures seeking “impact investments” that was chosen to meet with investors at CO Impact Days Social Venture Showcase Nov. 17.

The 100 ventures will convene at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the second year of the “shark-tank for good” statewide marketplace for impact investing. The selected social ventures will showcase their investment opportunities to offer not only a financial return on the impact investor’s investment but also to offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

“We are so thrilled to again invite more than 200 investors and philanthropists to interact with these valuable social ventures,” says Dr. Stephanie Gripne, founder of the Impact Finance Center and creator of the CO Impact Days. “When these two groups of powerful movers and shakers share a room, there is no telling the good that will come. We’ve aimed to offer a diverse array of impact investments, with a goal that every investor will leave knowing that deal flow is not a Colorado impact investing problem.”

The goal of CO Impact Days is to catalyze $100 million in impact investments into Colorado social ventures in the next three years, and it is kicking off with CO Impact Days Nov. 15-17. The initiative is possible because Colorado is home to a number of national leaders in impact investing and a thriving and collaborative community of social venture entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, as well as philanthropists and investors who are committed to growing Colorado’s economy and creating good jobs.

“Funding from these impact investors will enable us to serve more Colorado businesses, which in turn will ultimately advance economic opportunity and prosperity in our Colorado communities,” says Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund.
 

Broker's buyer bonus: Helping to send a child to school in Uganda

Denver real estate broker Tenzin Gyaltsen is helping put Ugandan children through school one home sale at a time through a partnership with the S.O.U.L Foundation.

One child will be put through school for every home sale that’s over $300,000. It costs about $1,600 to put a child through all seven years of primary school.

“That gives them all of their school books and one meal per day,” said Gyaltsen, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. “It’s an added bonus to the house. It almost personifies it in a way.”

Gyaltsen, who formerly owned an eco-friendly clothing company, met representatives from S.O.U.L (Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn) at an event and fell in love with the organization. He had a desire to do something philanthropic, so he sponsored Rita Naigaga, the first of many students.

When he turned his attention to real estate he decided to expand his efforts by sponsoring a child with proceeds from every house he lists for more than $300,000.

Gyaltsen works with investors to buy houses, fix them up and resell them. When he has an upcoming listing he contacts S.O.U.L to pledge to sponsor a student, The organization then sends a child’s photo and bio, which will be framed and displayed in the house. If the new owners wish, the address of the newly sold home stays with the sponsorship, and all the letters and updates from the student are mailed to the house.

“Lack of education is one of the biggest problems in the world,” Gyaltsen said. “In this part of the world, most children don’t get an education. It’s important to equip children with knowledge so they can go out and better the world and their communities.”

Business loan program for veterans created

The Colorado Enterprise Fund has created a program for Colorado veterans and Gold Star family members who are interested in starting or growing a small business in the state.

Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource (VALOR) will provide discounted loan rates and extended terms for military veterans who are unable to secure financing through traditional banks.

Any honorable discharged U.S. military veteran or Gold Star family member who is a Colorado resident is eligible to apply for a VALOR loan of up to $500,000. Recipients will receive a 2 percent discount from standard Colorado Enterprise Fund rates and an origination fee of 1.5 percent. The loan term would be for up to 10 years with an interest-only period of up to six months.

The loans can be used for working capital, equipment, inventory, property improvements, business purchases and commercial real estate.

For more information, contact Senior Loan Office Mike Jensen, a U.S. Army veteran, at (720) 473-4068 or at mike@coloradoenterprisefund.org.

Founded in 1976, the Colorado Enterprise Fund is a non-profit lending institution that specializes in loans for small businesses and startups statewide that are unable to secure traditional bank financing. To date, the organization has has made more than 2,000 loans totaling $63 million to small businesses.

Craft makers open up shop in North Denver

Two of Denver’s homegrown makers, Craft Boner and Moore Collection, are teaming up to open their first brick-and-mortar store in North Denver.

Yes Please has opened a 3,000-square-foot retail and production facility at 3851 Steele St.

“Craft Boner and Moore Collections are very different brands, but for years we’ve shared the dream of opening a store that’s also a community space,” says Kiwi Schloffel, owner of Craft Boner. “Our vision is to showcase the real people and work behind our products with a retail space in front and a visible production area in the back.”

Craft Boner, known for its hilariously poignant gifts and paper products, started its online business in 2012, inspired by the dilemma of purchasing a greeting card that honestly says what the giver means. Brand favorites include a mug inscribed with  “Christmas is For Carbs” greeting card.

Moore Collection, owned by Tanner Barkin and Taylor Palmie, began in 2010 as a custom screen printing business in Barkin’s parents’ garage. Today, the duo designs and hand prints its own T-shirts, each with a high level of quality. Popular styles include imagery of Aspens surrounding a campsite, as well as designs inscribed with “The Mountains Are Calling” and “Take Me To The Trees.”

“Our goal at Moore Collection is to create something tangible, inspired by our own interests, that other people can enjoy,” says Palmie. “By juxtaposing our T-shirts with Craft Boner’s playful products, we’re confident that Yes Please will offer something for everyone while supporting Colorado makers.”

Yes Please will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
 

The real numbers: Center city neighborhoods add housing, but is it affordable?

Denver is on track to meet a goal set in 2007 to add 18,000 housing units in the city center by 2027.

The center city has seen an increase of 10,000 residential units since 2010, and another nearly 9,000 are under construction, according to the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Center City Housing report.

Even so, the units added have not been enough to keep housing costs affordable for some residents and workers.

“The Downtown Denver Partnership has advanced a variety of solutions to stem the impact of rising housing costs, ad we are focused on addressing the need for diversity in housing type and affordability to meet the needs for downtown’s workforce,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the partnership. “While our residential and employee populations are growing at unprecedented rates, we must ensure companies can continue to attract and retain the employees they need to be successful, and affordable housing is a key part of the equation.”

The partnership has led several strategic housing initiatives, including advocating for construction defects reform, working with developers to add a variety of unit types and endorsing the creation of the first affordable housing fund in the City and County of Denver. The partnership also played a key role in moving the LIVE Denver program forward.

Other insights from the report include:
  • Denver’s center city neighborhoods are home to 79,367 residents and 130,227 employees
  • Since 2010, the center city has added 15,877 new residents and 33,065 new jobs
  • Denver is the fourth fastest growing city in the United States, and the demand to live in the center city is high, with the residential population tripling since 2000
  • Capitol Hill is the most populous center city neighborhood with a population of 17,142 residents
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood adjacent to Denver Union Station experienced the highest percentage of population growth since 2010
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood also added the most new units since 2010, totaling 5,669 units completed or under construction, more than 3,800 more units than the next busiest neighborhood for development, River North.

The Record Company to headline holiday concert benefitting public schools

The Grammy Award-nominated Los Angeles band The Record Company is headlining the fourth annual Sing It To Me Santa concert Dec. 9 at the Ogden Theatre.

The concert will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools through the newly formed nonprofit organization Take Note Colorado.

“I am honored and proud to announce that Sing It To Me Santa will become a signature event under Take Note Colorado,” says Karen Radman, executive director of Take Note Colorado. “And, that net proceeds from Sing It To Me Santa 2017 will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools.”

The Record Company is a Los Angeles-based rock trio whose 2016 debut album was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Tickets for the show are available at www.axs.com. General admission tickets are $25-30, and VIP tickets are $250. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. For information on sponsorships for the show, contact Karen Radman at karen@takenotecolorado.org.

Denver-based vintage rock/funk/blues powerhouse Tracksuit Wedding will open the show, performing original new tracs from its just-released second album “Now or Never” — and some holiday favorites to celebrate the season. 

Take Note Colorado, chaired by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Isaac Slade of The Fray, is a new statewide initiative with a goal to provide access to musical instruments and instruction to all of Colorado’s K-12 students. Sing It To Me Santa is a benefit concert created in 2014 by Libby Anschutz.

Study will evaluate minority- and women-owned business program

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is launching a disparity study to guide future implementation of minority- and women-owned business programs in Denver. 

The study will measure whether minority- and women-owned contractors are being underutilized in city business, thereby providing a basis for the continuation of Denver’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program and related federal programs.

OED has retained BBC Research & Consulting to conduct the study to help evaluate the effectiveness of the local MWBE program and two federal programs: The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. The study will examine the city’s procurement services and products, the subcontracting participation of contractors/service providers who do business with the city and anecdotal evidence collected from a cross-section of the local business community.

“With significant public investment projects on the horizon, and by staying true to our Denver values, this city will show how economic prosperity can bring everyone along,” says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “We’re looking forward to taking a thorough, objective look at our inclusivity programs in order to bolster our approach and further level the playing field for Denver’s minority contracting community.”

To help inform the study, a series of public hearings will be held this fall: 
 
  • Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Eisenhower Recreation Center, 4300 E. Dartmouth Ave.
  • Oct. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.
  • Oct. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Police Station-District One, 1311 W. 46th Ave.
  • Oct. 13, 9-11 a.m., Denver International Airport (tentative)

Comments and information can also be submitted to denverdisparitystudy@bbcresearch.com. For more information visit denvergove.org/dsbo.
 

Affordable housing news: Proposals sought for Five Points condo project

A new mixed-income condo project is planned for Five Points. 

The Denver Office of Economic Development and the Regional Transportation District are seeking a development partner to build a transit-oriented, mixed-income condo project on an RTD-owned parcel at the northern corner of 29th and Welton streets. A request for qualifications (RFQ) will be issued beginning Aug. 15.

A portion of the condos will be priced to be affordable for income-qualified buyers earning 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), which is $47,000 for a one-person household or $67,100 for a four-person household. the development also may include commercial space such as retail on its ground floor. 

OED has entered into an option agreement with RTD for the purchase of the site, which it intends to assign to the selected development team. The .43-acre site is located within the Five Points Historic Cultural District and the Welton Corridor Urban Redevelopment Area. The site’s zoning allows for construction of a five-story, mixed-use building. 

A pre-bid meeting will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St. The deadline to submit RFQ entries is Oct. 17.

 

Economic development in Denver strong in 2016

2016 was a good year for economic development in Denver.

There were 579 affordable housing units created throughout Denver, and two mixed-income condominium developments at separate transit-oriented development sites, according to the Denver Office of Economic Development’s (OED) annual report on job creation and capital investment.

OED also supported catalytic development in Arapahoe Square, which has been a priority for the city, by providing gap financing for the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network’s new headquarters and innovation center. 

The city’s various incentive, tax credit, loan and training assistance programs helped 85 companies expand in Denver, collectively creating 2,968 new jobs and making more than $111 million in capital investments.

“During this dynamic period of growth for Denver, we have maintained a laser focus on propelling the powerful momentum of our economy forward, supporting diverse commercial sectors, good jobs, strong neighborhoods and a fertile climate for entrepreneurship,” says Mayor Michael Hancock. 

Other highlights of the annual report include: 
 
  • Completion of a comprehensive economic analysis to support the creation of an agribusiness innovation area surrounding the National Western Center redevelopment.
  • Support of 36 separate neighborhood development projects designed to enhance neighborhood vitality.
  • Increased access to contracting opportunities by growing the city’s business certification programs, with a total of 1,278 small and minority/women-owned firms earning more than $105 million from the city’s construction, professional services and purchasing opportunities.
  • Serving more than 30,000 people with job search assistance through Denver Workforce Services.

How to get a deal at Denver's best coffee shops

If you’re a coffee junkie, the Fika Coffee Passport is your ticket to learning all about Denver’s vibrant coffee scene.

The $20 passport features 28 craft shops and roasters featuring two-for-one coffee specials per venue between April 1 and July 31. Some of the participating venues include Allegro Coffee Roasters, The Denver Bicycle Cafe, Huckleberry Roasters, Pablo’s Coffee and Pigtrain Coffee.

Why is it called Fika? Because a fika is a custom in Swedish culture that celebrates a break from work for a bit of play. The Passport Program folks liked the idea of getting out of the office to meet a friend for a chat over a cup of coffee.

The locations in the booklet were selected for both atmosphere and quality coffee and each offers a one-of-a-kind experience. You can share your coffee with a friend or enjoy both yourself. Each location has crafted a speciality beverage that best represents their shop or practices. You can also substitute any craft coffee drink for a drip coffee.

For every book sold, $1 will be donated to Colorado Public Radio.

City of Cranes: A whopping 42 projects either planned or under construction downtown

Forty-two projects with an investment value of $2.8 billion are either under construction or planned in downtown Denver, according to the 2017 State of Downtown Denver Report recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

The projects will add more than 1,000 hotel rooms, 5,000 residences and 2.5 million square feet of office space. 

“Great cities do not happen by accident,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “Our thriving center city is a result of a strategic vision to build one of the most economically powerful center cities in the country, and the metrics outlined in the 2017 State of Downtown Denver signal great success. Our residential population is expanding at unprecedented rates, $2.8 billion is being invested through development projects, we’ve added 6,000 jobs and 23 new companies have relocated to or opened a new office in the center city to grow their business in the last 24 months.”

Downtown Denver’s workforce of 130,227 people has grown at a rate of 17 percent since 2010, outpacing the national rate of 11 percent. Employment is led by new and growing private-sector businesses, where employment is up 21 percent.

Nearly 80,000 people are choosing to live in downtown Denver and its center city neighborhoods. Population in the downtown core has tripled since 2000, and more than 66 percent of downtown residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.Downtown’s residential renaissance and its growing employee base is encouraging new retail development. Retail sales tax collection is anchored by restaurants, which make up 44 percent of the revenue. 

There is a diverse array of educational opportunities, from traditional universities to coding schools that is helping to build the workforce of the future and ensure downtown businesses have access to top talent. About 58,000 students are being educated in the center city at a variety of educational institutions.

$250 million development on tap for Cole neighborhood

Saunders Construction has teamed up with the owners of the former Denver Rock Drill building to develop a $250 million, 700,000-square-foot building with offices, retail, residences and a hotel near the 38th and Blake transit station in the historic Cole neighborhood.

The project will include 150,000 square feet of adaptive reuse of historic buildings, as well as 550,000 square feet of new construction that will have 150,000 square feet of office space, 65,000 square feet of retail, 180 residences and a 175-key hotel by Sage Hospitality. Built as machine shops, the preserved historic buildings will provide large, flexible floor plates, as well as 25-foot ceilings allowing significant flexibility for office use and mezzanines.

“I knew early on there was going to be light rail coming into the area, which at the time was a Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) program, and I knew the neighborhood would eventually undergo major changes, although I don’t think I anticipated the pace of change would be so fast,” says Byron Weiss, who with his sons Andy and Brett own the property. “I knew this property had enormous potential, both from a local perspective and from a cultural perspective with its deep Denver history.”

Located on 39th Avenue between Franklin and High streets, the property’s history dates to 1910, when it was the home of Denver Rock Drill Manufacturing Company, whose line of pneumatic rock drills were used around the world. By the 1920s, the facilities occupied more than a city block and housed a community of 600 employees.

Weiss, a Denver native and longtime resident of the Cole neighborhood, acquired the property in 1992 in one of the last big sales made during the savings and loan crisis of the 1990s. The site is now home to his company, Porta Power, a material handling and warehouse supply company. 

Just one stop from Denver Union Station and 30 minutes from Denver International Airport, the project will serve as a bridge between the River North Arts District and Col Neighborhood Historic District. Designed by Tryba Architects, the project will feature a unique character of lanes, courtyards and rail spurs intended to create opportunities for exploration and discovery. The retail environment will reflect a culture of craft, production and innovation, blending the best that Denver and Colorado has to offer with national and international brands.

“There is no other place in Denver with such untouched industrial history and the ability to completely customize and repurpose three full city blocks,” says Dorit Fischer, broker for Shames Makovsky, who is handling retail leasing for Denver Rock Drill. “We think there are numerous food and beverage operators and cutting-edge companies that will want to be part of this unique site.”

The project is pre-leasing office and retail space in Phase 1, which includes the redevelopment of the existing structures, as well as the hotel. Cushman & Wakefield is handling the office leasing.

Arts & Venues partners with Meow Wolf on art space effort

Denver Arts & Venues is teaming up with Santa Fe's Meow Wolf to help with the compliance and safety needs of the city's Do-It-Yourself and alternative spaces.

Arts & Venues will contribute $20,000 toward funding the program organized by Meow Wolf, which previously announced plans to distribute $100,000 in annual funding to support safer DIY music and arts venues across the country. Arts & Venue's money will support infrastructural improvements, rent assistance, materials, equipment and other needs identified by Denver applicants. The fund also supports additional resources for legal, zoning and building code consulting services.

"Meow Wolf was an ideal partner for addressing short-term needs while we continue to explore more long-terms opportunities to support safe, creative spaces," says Kent Rice, executive director of Arts & Venuses. "As an artist collective, Meow Wolf has emerged as a leader in the region, working closely with Denver-based artists and reacting quickly to the acute space challenges of artists nationwide with the development of its funding program."

Meow Wolf is collecting applications for Denver-based funding until March 31. 

In addition to Arts & Venues' efforts, Denver Community Planning and Development and the Denver Fire Department have taken steps to support the needs of the arts community. For those seeking to turn an existing warehouse or commercial space into a live/work space, CPD launched a guide that outlines basic steps for establishing a safe and legal live/work space in an existing building. The fire department is offering free inspections for tenants and landlords, who can apply through March 31.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver housing inventory hits record low

The number of homes on the market in metro Denver dropped 6.47 percent to 3,989 in January -- an all-time low for any January on record, according to a recent report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR).

"Low housing inventory has been a key driver for over two years now, and I don't see that changing any time soon," says Denver real estate agent Steve Danyliw, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee. "Historically, inventory follows a seasonal pattern. We see the bottom in January to February, then peaking in late August to September. The second driver is mortgage interest rates. All predictions indicate a steady rise in interest rates throughout 2017. This could compel buyers that are sitting on the sideline to get into the big game."

The number of homes sold declined by 33.21 percent in January, compared to the previous month, but the average sold price increased 3.86 percent to $448,373. The median sale price remained relatively unchanged at $380,000. Year-over-year housing prices have increased 9.25 and 9.99 percent in the average and median sale prices, respectively.

"Sellers are thrilled by the price appreciation and buyers are frustrated by the low inventory," Danyliw says. "If you're a real estate agent working with a homebuyer under the$400,000 price point, you have a front-row seat to a real estate feeding frenzy."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Commuters: Transit pass more valuable than parking space

Workers in downtown Denver placed a higher value on a transit pass than they did on a parking space in the Downtown Denver Partnership's annual commuter survey.

The 2016 Downtown Denver Commuter Survey revealed that 87 percent of employees rate a transit pass as a very valuable or valuable employer-provided benefit, which is also the most common employer-provided transit benefit with 68 percent of employees receiving a fully or partially subsidized transit pass.

"It's clear that employers play a big role in impacting commuting habits," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Specifically, when employers offer employees a transit pass as part of their employee benefits, they are 67 percent more likely to use transit and 28 percent less likely to drive alone. It's imperative we work closely with employers and transportation providers to encourage employees to consider alternative modes of transportation in order to achieve our goal to create a truly multi-modal center city."

Also notable is that for the first time in five years, the number of people driving alone (40.3 percent, up from 38.5 percent in 2015) exceeds the number of people who regularly use transit (39.6 percent, down from 40.6 percent in 2015). Seventy-four percent of those who regularly drive to work alone are open to considering other modes.

"Our goal is to increase the number of people choosing to bike, walk and take transit while reducing the number of people who drive alone to under 35 percent by 2021," Door says. 

It's not just new options that impact commuting decisions. Factors like age and gender and commute length, which averages 13 miles among all commuters, have an impact as well. For example:
  • Younger male commuters are more likely to bike and walk
  • Females in their thirties and forties are more likely to drive alone
  • Transit use increases in older commuters
  • 30 percent of commuters who have a commute length of five miles or less drive alone, despite having more options than those with longer-distance commutes. These short-distance commuters are also more likely to walk and bike to work
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
87 Five Points Articles | Page: | Show All
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