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Denver city planners roll out land-use, mobility ideas

City planners are rolling out ideas for land use and mobility in Denver neighborhoods at workshops this week.

Denverites have called for a more inclusive city with strong and authentic neighborhoods. To achieve that, the city must move beyond the city’s “areas of change” and “areas of stability” model that was established in 2002.

The new concept acknowledges that all places in the city are evolving in pursuit of becoming complete in their own way — not just through enabling or limiting development but through quality-of-life infrastructure like sidewalks, housing options, transit access, parks and open space. Diversity, affordability and good urban design and architecture are key to complete neighborhoods as well.

Denver will continue to grow and change. Regional centers and corridors would take on the most growth, while the remainder of Denver’s places would evolve in smaller ways. Ensuring the proper scale and intensity for all places — and appropriate transitions between residential areas and other places — are key to livability.

Based on more than a year and a half of listening to the community’s voice about critical issues from inclusivity and affordability to neighborhood character and transit connections, city planners are working on a new approach to managing land use.

Residents can learn about and provide input on potential strategies at the Blueprint Denver workshops. The first workshops were held earlier this week. The remaining workshops are as follows:

• Feb. 27, 5:30 - 8 p.m., Corky Gonzales Library, 1498 Irving St., Denver (Council district 3)
• Mar. 1, 6 - 8 p.m., All Saints Parish Hall, 2559 S. Federal Blvd., Denver (Council district 2)
• Mar. 6, 5:30 - 7:30, Community of Christ Church, 480 N. Marion St., Denver (Council district 10)
• Mar. 7, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Evie Garrett Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St., Denver (Council district 11)
• Mar. 8, 6 - 8 p.m., Valverde Elementary, 2030 W. Alameda Ave., Denver (Council district 7) SPANISH-LED
• Mar. 14, 6 - 8 p.m., DSST Byers School, 150 S. Pearl St., Denver (Council district 7) - No Spanish interpretation
• Mar. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m., DSST Stapleton High School, 2000 Valentia St., Denver (Council district 8)

Celebrate public art with selfies

Denver Arts & Venues is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Denver Public Art, a program that sets aside 1 percent of every municipal capital improvement project over $1 million for the creation of public art, by inviting people to share photos and videos of how they engage with the collection.

Denver residents and visitors can share their photos and videos through social media using the hashtag #DenverPublicArt30.

“The Denver Public Art collection is an anchor of the city’s cultural landscape,” Mayor Michael Hancock said. “This will be a celebration that encourages residents and visitors to engage with and celebrate the collection by finding and interacting with some of Denver’s iconic artworks, as well as those pieces located in their own neighborhoods.”

The social media campaign will encourage people to focus on 15 themes — two per month — and 30 favorite photographs from these posts will be displayed at the end of the year at Buell Theatre. Favorites will be selected by Denver Arts & Venues staff and Denver artists. All submissions will be highlighted on PublicArtDenver.com.

“There are some pieces in the collection that everyone recognizes,” says Denver Public Art Manager Michael Chavez. “But by identifying themes, we hope people will seek out the art hidden in plain sight.”

Monthly themes are as follows:
  •  March: Art in Cold Weather, and Women’s History and Heritage
  •  April: Animal Art, and Public Art Selfies
  •  May: Memorials and Statues, and Asian and Pacific American History and Heritage
  •  June: Summer-Time Art (Picnics and Park Fun), and Find Art in Your Neighborhood
  •  July: Denver International Airport Collection, and Light or Kinetic Art
  •  August: Urban Arts Fund, and Indoor Art
  • September: Latino and Hispanic History and Heritage
In addition to the public art funding ordinance which was created in 1988, the Denver Public Art Collection of more than 400 pieces includes several donated artworks, many of which are more than 100 years old. Denver Public Art also offers free, year-round tours in addition to other Public Art related events, and manages the Urban Arts Fund (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year).

Denver adopts five-year housing plan

Denver has adopted a five-year housing policy, strategy and investment plan that outlines the strategies that will guide the city’s affordable housing investments to create and preserve diverse housing options that are accessible and affordable to all residents.

Housing an Inclusive Denver is centered around four fundamental values:
  • Leveraging and enhancing housing investments to support inclusive communities
  • Identifying ways to foster communities of opportunity around good homes, good jobs, good schools and access to more transportation options and health services.
  • Looking at housing as a continuum that serves residents across a range of incomes, from people experiencing homelessness to those living on fixed incomes.
  • Embracing diversity throughout our neighborhoods to ensure that Denver remains a welcoming community for all residents.
“The adoption of our plan is a milestone in our work to ensure safe, affordable and accessible housing for every Denver resident,” says Mayor Michael Hancock. “This plan will guide our future housing investments in a way that reflects our city’s values, especially when it comes to helping lift up those residents that need our support the most.”

Action plans that support the implementation of Housing an inclusive Denver will be adopted annually by the Denver Office of Economic Development. The 2018-2023 plan recommendations include investment guidelines balanced along the income spectrum, with 40 percent to 50 percent of the city’s combined housing resources supporting people experiencing homelessness and/or earning between 31 percent and 80 percent of area median income and 20 percent to 30 percent of investments serving residents seeking to become homeowner or remain in the homes they own.

Social Fare opens in former Second Home space

Social Fare Denver Dining & Drinks has opened in the former Second Home space in the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek.

The new restaurant’s sunlit dining room has a 300-bottle illuminated wine wall and floor-to-ceiling retractable glass doors that open onto a year-round patio with a roaring fire pit. Social Fare’s eclectic menu starts with Social Bites that are meant to be shared, including Ancho Braised Beef Short Rib Nachos, Crispy Lobster Gnocchi, Carnitas Poutine and BBQ Rotisserie Chicken Flatbread.

Entree highlights include Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Mile High Meatloaf and Papardelles Fettuccini Bolognese with Colorado Lamb. There also are a variety of salads, including Tuscan Kale, and Grilled Scottish Salmon and PEI Mussels.

Social Fare serves a seasonal cocktail menu and a selection of Colorado craft beers. Its Social Hour specials include:
  • Whiskey & Wine Wednesday — discounted pricing on whiskey and wine starting at 4 p.m.
  • Feeling Fine Friday —  featured Social Fare cocktail starting at 4 p.m., the restaurant will donate a portion of proceeds to a local charity.
  • Brunch Booze Bar — create your own brunch cocktail with a variety of elixirs, juices and garnishes or follow the Social Fare mixology guidebook to mix up a special breakfast drink from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Social Fare hosts a special Pancake Social Brunch from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays that features a complimentary pint-sized pancake buffet for kids ages 8 and younger who will be able to create Pancake Art and enjoy supervised movies and crafts.

Social Fare is open daily starting at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends. The restaurant offers complimentary valet parking for up to three hours with dining validation.

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.”

A very 2017 promotion: Cherry Creek shop will pay for Uber, Lyft

Massive construction projects in Cherry Creek North have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to find parking, so one creative business owner is taking matters into her own hands by offering to pay for customers to use UBER or Lyft to visit her gift shop.

Katie Friedland, owner of Show of Hands, an art gallery and gift shop that’s called Cherry Creek North home for 32 years, said she’s seen sales decline this year as shoppers steer clear of the area because of construction.

Even though Show of Hands has four of its own parking spots, to help save the holidays for all the small businesses in Cherry Creek North, the shop will pay anyone that presents a receipt for an UBER or Lyft ride into the area and spends $100 at the store, $20 in cash. Customers will receive $40 in cash if they spend $200 or more.

“While many people love finding one-of-a-kind gifts at the stores in Cherry Creek, because streets are closed and they can’t find parking, they are not visiting our store,” Friedland said. “I’m a single mom and small-business owner. While we support progress, the holiday season is critical to me and many of the retail stores in the area. After hearing complaints from customers and calculating current sales numbers, I realized we needed to get creative here. I though, if parking is the issue, then let’s pay for people to take an UBER or Lyft ride into the area to shop. Problem solved.”

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.

Gallery, boutique opens in Cherry Creek North

A new design gallery and women’s boutique has opened at the corner of Third and Detroit streets in Cherry Creek North.

BOLDI sells women’s apparel and art prints featuring exclusive patterns designed by founder Andrew Bermingham, as well as complementary lifestyle accessories.

“Inspired by the graphic rhythms found in nature and technology, BOLDI celebrates superlative patterns,” says Christina Sage Quigley, BOLDI’s vice president of marketing. “Andrew has always been captivated by recurring graphics in nature, science and technology. The BOLDI brand is his canvas.”

Bermingham is a Denver native and the founder and artist behind BOLDI. In addition to design, he has spent 27 years in the energy sector and currently serves as CEO of Montreux Energy.

The store is featuring the line’s spring 2018 collection inspired by the Amalfi Coast in the 1970s. The line has warm citrus shades contrasted by moody blues and sea greens.

The store at 280 Detroit St. is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.

Brisk condo sales prompt end to project's first phase of sales

The Laurel Cherry Creek condominium project is selling so well that the development and sales team are ending the first phase of sales on Nov. 30, giving interested buyers a limited time to buy a residence at current pricing and the opportunity to select their own finishes.

A second phase of sales for the high-rise condos will be announced during the first quarter next year.

“The level of interest has not only been high for Laurel Cherry Creek, but so has the sales pace, which is the reason we’re going to suspend sales during the holidays and announce a re-release in 2018,” says Dawn Raymond of The Kentwood Co. and the exclusive listing broker for the project. “Interested buyers still have a few weeks to act and finalize their purchase. Otherwise, we expect to see a new rush of interest and sales when we commence our sales efforts early next year.”

Residences have private balconies or terraces with glass railings; natural gas BBQ service and hose bibs on the balconies; linear gas fireplaces; 10-foot, 8-inch ceilings throughout the living areas; porcelain tile flooring in all bathrooms and laundry; and looped-wool carpet in all bedrooms.

“We have designed and built Laurel Cherry Creek to be the preeminent residential address in Cherry Creek, where owners will enjoy upscale, maintenance-free living in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the United States,” says Paul Powers, president of Pauls Corp., which is developing the project.

Moxy hotel to open in Cherry Creek

Moxy Hotels is poised to open the brand’s first location in Cherry Creek.

Developed and owned by BMC Investments and managed by Vision Hospitality Group, Moxy Denver at 240 Josephine St. is steps away from restaurants and shops and just 10 minutes from downtown. The brand is part of Marriott.

“With its reputation as one of the most progressive cities, Denver embodies the essence of Moxy — fund, edgy and social,” says Vicki Poulos, senior global brand director for Moxy Hotels. “Business and leisure travelers will find a willing and able accomplice in Moxy Hotels to bend the rules of conventional hotel models, without worrying about disapproving stares from the crowd.”

The 170-room hotel will feature more than 3,000 square feet of communal spaces, ranging from quieter library/plug-in zones to the hotel’s buzzing bar. The bar, which will serve local beers and crafted cocktails alongside shareable finger fare, also doubles as the hotel’s physical check-in where guests are greeted with a complimentary Got Moxy cocktail upon arrival.

Moxy’s tech-enabled rooms feature keyless entry; motion-sensor lighting; internet TV featuring Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora, and Crackle; abundant power and USB outlets; and fast and free Wi-Fi.

Moxy guests enrolled in the award-winning Marriott Rewards loyalty program will be able to check in and out in advance and earn points during their stay that can be redeemed for flights, hotel accommodations and merchandise.

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.
19 Cherry Creek Articles | Page: | Show All
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