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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.”

Oskar Blues to open in LoDo

Oskar Blues will open its third Grill and Brew location this fall at 1630 Market St. in LoDo.

The 10,636-square-foot restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily in the two-story structure. The traditional restaurant and bar service will be upstairs. Downstairs, the Black Buzzard music venue occupies 5,500 square feet and boasts a stage and professional sound system, grand-and-go food kiosk and full-service bar that accommodates up to 330 guests. Patrons can expect an impressive lineup of local and national bluegrass, rock, blues, reggae and folk musicians with scheduled performances.

“We’ve been working diligently over the past 20 years to evolve and perfect our concept, and now we’re ready to bring the Grill and Brew’s signature blend of Southern-inspired Creole and Cajun dishes and entertainment to Denver,” says Jason Rogers, Oskar Blues Grill and Brew's restaurant director and partner. “It mirrors the Lyons and Colorado Springs locations, while adding a signature Denver flair. We want to deliver something special that LoDo could call its own.”

The grand opening of the restaurant and music venue is slated for late November.

Founded and headquartered in Lyons, the Oskar Blues Fooderies division is a brand of the Oskar Blues Brewery.

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.

The Confluence apartments open in new Denver high-rise

The Confluence, a 35-story apartment building in the Central Platte Valley, has officially opened.

It’s the first venture into the Denver market for developers PMRG and National Real Estate Advisors.

“We’re very excited to contribute to the positive growth taking place in this vibrant city,” says Bryant Nail, PMRG’s executive vice president of multi-family development. “We have an outstanding track record with similar properties in other parts of the country, and we’re pleased to make The Confluence one of our most recent additions to our portfolio.”

Designed by GDA Architects, the building’s amenities include a heated outdoor pool and hot tub on a large deck overlooking Confluence Park; cabanas with individual fire pits; master grilling stations; skyline lounges with NanaWall Systems; a professional chef’s kitchen and catering facility; a fitness center; gated, underground parking; a maintenance center for bikes and skis; direct access to Confluence Park; ground-floor retail; and a 24-hour front desk attendant.

All apartments have blackout shades; hand-scraped hardwood floors; gourmet kitchens with granite countertops and full-height backsplashes; designer porcelain tile in spa-style baths; walk-in closets; private terraces; and a washer and dryer in each unit. Some apartments have adjustable bookshelves and direct elevator access.

“The Confluence is in keeping with National’s investment strategy to develop build-to-core projects in America’s most dynamic urban locations, providing vanguard amenities and distinctive design for our tenants,” says Jeffrey Kanne, National’s president and CEO.
 

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.

Hotel Born opens in Denver's Union Station neighborhood

The much-anticipated Kimpton Hotel Born has opened in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood.

Hotel Born’s 200 guest rooms feature dark brown and gold herringbone patterned carpet and a mix of traditional and modern furniture offset by fresh white walls. The most dramatic feature of the rooms are the knotty pine headboards, which fold into a ceiling canopy. And because the connection between the indoors and outdoors is so much a part of the Colorado experience, each room features large floor-to-ceiling windows. There are 40 suites, including two premier suites with separate living rooms, six-top dining tables, wet bars and free-standing soaking tubs.

“Denver is one of the most dynamic places in the country right now, and the opening of Hotel Born is another major milestone for the Mile High City,” says Von DeLuna, the hotel’s general manager. “We sit at the end of the Union Station platform but in the heart of the city, making Hotel Born the hub of Denver’s incredible arts, culture, dining and entertainment scenes, as well as, of course, the outdoors.”

Developed by Continuum Partners, the co-master developers of the Union Station Transit Station, and designed by Denver-based Semple Brown in collaboration with Ellen Bruss of Ellen Bruss Design, Hotel Born’s alpine-modern decor includes locally sourced natural and handcrafted materials with a balance of wood, concrete and metal to capture Denver’s sophisticated locale while referencing the pine-filled mountains visible from the hotel’s west-facing windows.

The exterior of the building reflects the brick masonry of LoDo’s original historic warehouses, while the floor-to-ceiling, randomly placed vertical windows give the hotel a striking presence distinct from any adjacent buildings. The lobby is contemporary but warm and inviting, with knotty pine paneling, custom millwork and walnut herringbone floors combined with board-formed concrete. Hand-woven rugs, textured materials, warm lighting and unique one-off custom furniture pieces make it feel like a home. 

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.
 

New tenants announced for Dairy Block

Denver’s cool, new Dairy Block has revealed a lineup of tenants that will help to create a unique experience in LoDo.

Developed by McWhinney, Sage Hospitality and Grand American Inc., Dairy Block is a mixed-use redevelopment of the LoDo block that once housed Denver’s Windsor Dairy. The soul of Dairy Block will be The Alley — a lively micro-district and experience that will run from 18th and 19th between Blake and Wazee streets.

Scheduled to open later this year, the first retail tenants include:

    •    Huckleberry Roasters — a coffee and retail market that will open in the lobby.
    •    The Perfect Petal — Denver’s popular Highland Square flower and gift shop is expanding with a second LoDo location inside the lobby.
    •    Roost — A modern retail space by the founder of the popular Denver Flea marketplace opening onto The Alley, featuring a curated collection of emerging makers and brands from Colorado and across the country.
    •    Seven Grand — the first Colorado outpost of the popular whiskey bar located off of The Alley will poura comprehensive selection of premium whiskeys and crafted cocktails, while also featuring live music and pool tables.

Also now open at Dairy Block is The Maven Hotel, an independent, modern hotel with 172 industrial-chic guest rooms and an energetic lobby managed by Sage Hospitality, along with Kachina Southwestern Grill and Poka Lola Social Club.

Downtown has seen $5.3 billion investment in five years

Since January 2012, $5.3 billion of total investment in development has been completed or is under construction in downtown Denver, according to the 2017 Downtown Denver Development Map recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

That’s a total of 87 projects, 3.5 million square feet of office space; 9,126 residential units and 2,819 hotel rooms.

“The private sector is responding to increased demand for residential housing, office space and hotel rooms propelled by strong population and job growth, as well as key public sector investments,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “This investment supports our vision of an economically powerful center city by creating opportunities for companies to move to downtown Denver and space for our existing companies to grow, as well as helping to meet the increasing demand to live and visit here.”

Intended for developers, investors and brokers interested in downtown Denver, the Downtown Denver Development Map highlights key investments within the boundaries of downtown Denver. The annual map tells the story behind downtown Denver development and encourages continued investment by highlighting projects completed in the past five years, in addition to projects under construction.

Paleo restaurant opens near 15th and Platte streets

Just BE Kitchen, a paleo, gluten-free and grain-free kitchen has opened at 2364 15th Street between Denver’s LoDo and LoHi neighborhoods.

Chef Carrie Baird has created a menu that features items from local purveyors like Neiman Ranch, Rocky Mountain Eggs, Frontier Natural and Red Bird Chicken. Menu items include the Meatzza featuring a sausage base rather than pizza dough. Breakfast is served all day and includes grain-free breads, cookies, and pastries made in-house, as well as a breakfast burrito wrapped in a house-made almond flour tortilla and filled with scrambled eggs. Menu entrees range from $8 to $13.

Just BE Kitchen’s coffee bar features coffee from Copper Door Roasters and Method Roasters.  A liquor menu complete with grain-free spirits is in the works and will launch later this spring.

“We want everyone to feel nourished and cared for when they are here,” says Jennifer Peters, one of the restaurant’s operators. “We want our guests to be able to have a mindful moment at Just BE Kitchen and feel like they are doing something good for their minds and bodies. Food is the vessel for the experience we want to create because food is at the heart of well-being.”

Just BE Kitchen is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. 

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.

Austin-based barber Finley opens first Denver location

An Austin-based barber shop is opening its first outpost in Denver at 1601 Wewatta St. near Denver Union Station. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to introduce Finley’s to the Denver community,” says Scott Finley, co-owner of the business. “Guys have come to appreciate the personal service … the hot towels, the scalp massage, the aromatherapy and the comaraderie. It’s a true escape for Denverites.”

Finley’s selected Denver as its first out-of-state location because of its economic vitality and energetic community that appreciates quality service and seeks to build meaningful relationships with business leaders. 

The concept is best-known for its Father and Son days weekly Sunday service special, which reflects the company’s belief that a barbershop is the perfect place to build a special relationship between father and son.

“We are excited to start this next chapter of Finley with our first out-of-state location in Denver,” says Darren Peterson, co-owner. “The expansion is a sign that our local communities still appreciate and seek out old-fashioned, service-based businesses and tells us that the tradition of barbering is alive and well in Denver.”

Finley’s Barber Shop is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
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