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CHFA invests $2.36 billion in affordable housing in 2017

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority invested a record $2.36 billion in affordable housing last year.

The organization helped more than 8,000 Coloradans become homeowners and supported the development or preservation of more than 6,000 units of affordable rental housing. Both figures are at the highest levels ever for CHFA, which was created in 1973.

“CHFA is a mission-based organization, so our production growth is directly aligned to the growing needs of those we serve,” says Cris White, CHFA’s executive director and CEO. “In the last three years, CHFA’s investment in affordable housing has increased 182 percent compared to 2011 through 2013, with 2017 being our most historic year yet in terms of production. This demonstrates that demand for affordable housing options in Colorado, whether purchasing or renting, is at an all-time high.”

To help Coloradans purchase homes affordably, CHFA offers 20-year fixed-rate home loan products at competitive rates, with options for down payment assistance. In addition to grants, CHFA last year launched down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage. It also offers Mortgage Credit Certificates, a tax credit that can save homeowners 20 percent of their mortgage interest each year.

CHFA also sponsors statewide home buyer education classes, which reached the highest level of enrollment to date in 2017 with 13,224 households served.

To support the development or preservation of affordable rental housing in Colorado, CHFA allocates federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and also offers financing to developers. Last year, CHFA awarded $53.2 million in credits to support 4,397 units of affordable rental housing that will be built or preserved by undergoing renovations.

CHFA also invested $363.3 million in multifamily financing, bringing the total number of units supported last year with either loans or tax credits to 6,217, setting a new benchmark for total units supported by CHFA in one year.

“CHFA will continue to work with our communities and housing partners in 2018 and the years ahead to help make Colorado a more affordable place to live,” White said. “Identifying ways to leverage and increase resources for both for-sale and rental housing is key, along with preserving existing affordable rental housing stock.”
 

Fund to help artists make spaces safe



Denver Arts & Venues has launched the Safe Creative Spaces Fund as an extension of the city’s Safe Occupancy Program in an effort to provide funding for improvements to buildings that are occupied by artists.

The program will provide $300,000 in need-based funding for creative space tenant safety and building improvements. Applications are being accepted online.

“We are committed to cultivating, sustaining and promoting our diverse artistic and creative industry, including that our artists have a safe, affordable space where they can live and work,” Mayor Michael Hancock says. “The Safe Occupancy Program and the Safe Creative Spaces Fund are designed to support our creative professionals with resources to get these live-work spaces up to code, keep them affordable and avoid further displacements.”

Funding will be administered through Jan. 17, 2020 and is available to tenant or owner applicants who own or run a creative space such as a live/work collective, a creative business or a creative assembly space in the City and County of Denver that is enrolled in the Safe Occupancy Program.

The funds will be administered through a partnership with RedLine, a nonprofit contemporary art center. RedLine also will facilitate support between artists and art businesses. Applicants are encouraged to contact Redline for free, confidential guidance before enrolling in the Safe Occupancy Program or applying for Safe Creative Spaces Funding.

“RedLine is very excited to collaborate with Denver Arts & Venues, the City of Denver and the greater arts and culture communities to help address the growing need for safe creative spaces in Denver,” says Louise Martorano, executive director of RedLine. “Both the Safe Occupancy Program and Safe Creative Space Fund represent two key initiatives that not only provide a path for security and stability for artists in creative spaces, but also the financial resources to make that path accessible.”
 

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.

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.

Red Owl apartments bring new residences to the evolving West Wash Park neighborhood

Red Owl, a 46-unit apartment project in West Wash Park, is ready to welcome tenants.

The project includes lofts and townhome style units on South Logan Street between Ellsworth and Bayaud.

“We wanted to respect the scale and rhythm of the neighborhood, so we ended up with a composition that gives every unit useable and functional outdoor space,” says Chris Fulenwider, president of CF Studio Architecture + Development, architect and co-developer of the project. “We also emphasized energy efficiency using passive elements like large windows, outdoor circulation and overhangs, which not only result in lower energy use but also become part of the character of the building.”

Red Owl was named after the old grocery store of the same name on the adjoining lot, which recently was transformed into the Alchemy Co-Working Space.

“We took one look at the old Red Owl grocery warehouse and knew we could creatively repurpose the space as opposed to demolishing the classic barrel-roofed structure, giving it a new life,” Fulenwider says.

Alchemy opened in early September and already has attracted nearly a dozen companies. As part of its emphasis on wellness, the first floor of Alchemy also houses the newest expansion location for the Endorphin fitness studio.

“Chris and I wanted to create an authentic co-working space in the neighborhood that emphasized work-life balance and matched the positive entrepreneurial spirit of the city,” says Travis McAfoos, co-developer of the project.
 

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.
 

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.

Country Club Towers hit topping off milestone

Broe Real Estate Group has reached another milestone with the topping out of Country Club Towers II and III in West Wash Park near the intersection of South Downing and East Bayaud streets.

The twin, 32-story Country Club Towers has reached a height of 328 feet and will be available to renters in August. 

“The development of Country Club Towers II and III has been a model for team work and creative solutions between the owner, architect and the general contractor,” says Doug Wells, CEO of Broe Real Estate Group, an affiliate of The Broe Group. “We are proud to have achieved this milestone so quickly and are looking forward to delivering a best-in-class new residential community for Denver.”

Country Club Towers II and III will offer 558 sustainable, luxury high-rise apartments and 985 structured parking spaces. Each apartment has floor-to-ceiling, energy-efficient windows, granite surfaces, stainless steel appliances and washers/dryers. Amenities include a lap pool with 20,000-square-foot deck, 4,000-square-foot fitness center with yoga and massage rooms, dog spa, bike repair station, two common kitchen areas and related amenity spaces. Several acres of the development have been left in a parkl-ike open space condition to ensure the property retains its existing character.

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.

New Discover Denver website encourages public participation

Discover Denver, a project to identify historic and architecturally significant structures across the city, has launched a new website that invites the public to share stories about Denver's buildings.

The website offers an interactive map that lets users post stories and background about specific buildings, including photos and documents. The map will feature photos and histories of some of the buildings Discover Denver has surveyed, along with stories users have shared. The site's Discoveries section features findings and reports compiled from past survey areas, including Mid-Century Modern buildings in Harvey Park, prewar residences in Park Hill and Berkeley and streetcar commercial districts in Globeville and Cole.

"We invite anyone with a story to tell to share it at DiscoverDenver.co," says Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver. "Maybe a building was owned by your family for generations or was an important gathering place for your community. We want to capture and catalog its role in Denver's history, no matter how big or small."

Denver joins other cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tulsa, that are conducting building surveys. The benefits of building surveys include uncovering buildings of historic and architectural significance; providing property owners and real estate agents up-front information about buildings to inform reinvestment and sale decisions; equipping city planners with information about historic resources when creating neighborhood plans; bolstering civic pride and heritage tourism.

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

re:Denver forum to explore demolition, adaptive reuse

The next installment of the re:Denver Forum series will explore demolition, density and adaptive reuse as it gives attendees a sneak peek into the space that the Bigsby's Folly Craft Winery will occupy when it opens this spring in an 1886 warehouse at 3563 Wazee St. in RiNo.

The Jan. 17 forum "Old Buildings, New Tools" will feature speakers Brandon Spencer-Hartle, senior city planner at the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, and Tom Mayes, vice president and senior counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They will discuss different approaches to the challenges demolition presents to neighborhoods. 

Spencer-Hartle will address Portland's recently adopted Deconstruction Ordinance and other approaches that foster both density and preservation. Mayes will explore the opportunities presented by innovative adaptive reuse ordinances, as well as ways to shift thinking about demolition to recognize not only preservation concerns but also environmental and social issues. 

The re:Denver forums always include interactive activities to gather the thoughts and perspective of participants, a presentation from the guest speakers and a robust question and answer session. Historic Denver hosts the forums every other month at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday. Locations and topics vary. 

Doors for the free forum open at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
67 Washington Park West Articles | Page: | Show All
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