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RiNo flips switch on art installation at underpass

The RiNo Art District has flipped the switch on a creative lighting and mural installation at the 38th Street Underpass between Blake and Wazee streets.

The installation includes an immersive light environment designed and created by Knomad Colab, as well as a new mural for the southern wall designed by Jason Graves and Pat Milbery of the So-Gnar Creative Division. The project required retrofitting nearly 100-year-old railroad infrastructure. The installation provides enhanced light, activation, color and safety to an important connector for the area.

“Two years ago, RiNo won the P.S. You Are Here Grant from Denver Arts and Venues to provide a creative solution to the sudden blindness drivers experience as they go from the bright light of 38th Street under the train bridge,” says Jamie Licko, president of the RiNo Art District. “We never anticipated the project growing into what it has become nor could we have predicted how much of a challenge this project would be, but the outcome is a spectacular utilization of art to solve a complex problem.”

The lighting installation, called Arabesque, will make one of the longest-standing connections between the east and west sides of RiNo safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike. Knomad Colab was tasked with creating an installation in an environment that was prohibitive of installations because the bridge and its walls are owned by Union Pacific Railroad and could not be touched. Ultimately, they drew inspiration from the antique railing underneath the underpass and worked closely with the City of Denver to use property fabricate a creative solution.

“Arabesque is the culmination of many individual paths woven together to create a unified fabric, a whimsical experience and a safe and inviting passageway for community members and visitors alike,” says Katy Flaccavento, half of the Knomad Colab team. “Arabesque invites all walks to travel through a fantastical portal, to weave their story into the thick fabric of what was, is and will be.”
 

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.”
 

Art, event and maker space Lot Twenty Eight opens in RiNo next summer

Next summer, Denver developer Formativ will open Lot Twenty Eight, a 45,000-square-foot restaurant retail and event space in the River North neighborhood.

The project, in a former manufacturing plant at 28th and Blake streets, also includes a 20,000-square-foot outdoor urban garden designed for gathering, events and community activations. The development includes space for unique food and beverage concepts, gathering spaces, street-facing retail and an artist maker space.

Designed by Oz Architecture, Lot Twenty Eight’s artist and maker space will allow the local creative community to show their work and expand their brands. Small and mid-sized, open rooms will be available for individuals or groups to rent. The space will enable makers to be highly visible.

There also will be 2,300 square feet of event space that can be reserved for private, community or corporate events. When not in use, the space will be programmed as a rotating gallery featuring the works of local artists.

Founded by Sean Campbell and Josh Marinos, Formativ’s projects include the World Trade Center Denver adjacent to the 38th and Blake commuter rail stop and Industry, a 4-year-old collaborative workspace and residential development on Brighton Boulevard.

Crush, Clyfford Still, Shakespeare Fest lead Mayor's Arts Awards

Six groups and individuals are being with the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture for their significant and lasting contributions to the arts in the City and County of Denver.

“These award recipients exemplify Denver’s vibrant and diverse cultural and artistic scene,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says. “Through the work of these dedicated and inspiring individuals and groups, the arts have become more accessible, visible, interactive and integrated into the lives of our residents and visitors.”

The winners were chosen by a panel made up of members of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, Denver Arts & Venues employees and community members involved in arts and culture in Denver.

The winners are:
  • Arts & Culture Youth Award: Denver Public Schools for the 34-year-old Shakespeare Festival, the oldest and largest student Shakespeare Festival in the Country.
  • Arts & Culture Impact Award: Mexican Cultural Center, which over the last 25 years has developed a variety of cultural and educational programs designed to increase awareness and highlight the importance of Mexican culture in the United States, particularly in Colorado.
  • Arts & Culture Global Award: Clyfford Still Museum, which in September 2016 sent nine paintings from its collection to the Royal Academy of Arts in London for a seminal exhibition on Abstract Expressionism.
  • Arts & Culture Innovation Award: Crush, Colorado’s largest independent graffiti and street art project and event.
  • IMAGINE 2020 Award: Irene Vilar, who for more than a decade has demonstrated how the arts can be an effective and impactful vehicle for raising social awareness and inspiring action.
  • Leadership in the Arts Award: Floyd Ciruli, who has worked with a variety of organizations and public officials to build a coalition of support for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

Hancock also presented the IMAGINE 2020 District Challenge Award to Denver Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore for the “Community Channels” mural, which community members and Montbello High School students and artist Pat Milbery created in the canal at 51st Avenue and Crown Boulevard.

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.”

Eight showrooms sign on to IDC Building

When The IDC Building opens early next year, it will house up to 15 of the metro area’s top home-design showrooms in 60,000 square feet at 590 Quivas St.

The showrooms will offer a variety of products and services an a range of styles from modern to contemporary and traditional to transitional. Each showroom was chosen for its unique product selection and the value they bring to trade professionals and homeowners alike.

“Gone are the days of the traditional design center model with exclusivity only to the trade and doors and walls between every showroom,” says Al Castelo, head developer of IDC. “When creating The IDC Building concept, my team and I visited major design centers around the country and discovered the demand for a more experiential retail model. We chose to build a community at IDC and create an accessible environment that encourages partners, homeowners and the trade to collaborate.”

So far, eight showrooms have signed onto to be part of The IDC Building:
  • Aztec Carpet & Rug
  • Benjamin Moore
  • Classy Closets
  • Custom Concrete Prep & Polish
  • Inspire Kitchen Design
  • Lolo Rugs & Gifts
  • T&G Flooring
  • Ultra Design Center
The functional displays will allow visitors to experience how products will look and work in their own homes.

The building was a collective effort designed by architect Hartronft Associates and developed and owned by Tri-West Companies.
 

Del Corazon apartments open in Westwood

A $40 million affordable housing project has opened in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood.

The 197-unit Del Corazon at 4400 Morrison Road is located on 4.5 acres spanning both sides of Morrison Road. All of the apartments will be available to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income (up to $35,280 for a one-person household or up to $45,360 for a family of three.

Community amenities include a clubhouse with fitness center, lounge, kitchen, patio, playground, futsal court, community plaza and Westwood’s first-ever car-share program provided by Enterprise. The project also features a new median for safe crossing of Morrison Road.

Del Corazon, meaning “from the heart,” was developed by St. Charles Town Co. Public finance partners include the Denver Office of Economic Development, Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Last year, Denver’s Community Planning and Development Office completed a neighborhood plan for Westwood, which is bounded by Sheridan Boulevard on the west, Federal Boulevard on the east, Alameda Avenue on the north and Mississippi Avenue on the south. The plan addresses the neighborhood’s isolation and food options, while celebrating the culture of the diverse community. The plan includes a health impact assessment from the Department of Environmental Health and addresses the neighborhood’s obesity rate, density and drainage issues and lack of recreation facilities.
 

RedPeak buys two apartment buildings in two weeks

RedPeak has acquired two Denver apartment buildings within a two-week time frame, bringing the company’s portfolio of multifamily properties to 29.

The company paid $11.5 million for the 69-unit property and adjacent parking lot at 960 Grant St. in Capitol Hill. The building was built in 1937 and consists of studios and one-bedroom units.

It paid Coughlin & Co. $14.75 million for 54 one- and two-bedroom apartments at 1375 High St. in Cheesman Park. The property was built in 1963 and renovated in 2008.

“With these two recent purchases, our current portfolio stands at 29, and we’re excited to be able to provide Denver’s growing population with quality residences in great urban locations,” says Bobby Hutchinson, RedPeak’s chief investment officer. “These are two of Denver’s finest apartment buildings, with classic brick facades and provide us with the opportunity to make renovations where needed and upgrade them even more with the RedPeak brand.”

RedPeak, which is actively pursuing acquisitions throughout Denver, is a full-service apartment owner, operator and developer with a portfolio of more than 2,300 units.

Family Jones distillery opens in LoHi

The Family Jones Spirit House has opened in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood.

The distillery at 3245 Osage St. is the result of a partnership between distiller Rob Masters and entrepreneurs Jack Pottle, Denielle Nadeau and Paul Tamburello, the developer behind the Olinger complex and Little Man Ice Cream. Justin Cucci, chef and owner of Root Down, Linger, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, Vital Root and El Five is also part of the team.

Located in a 2,000-square-foot space at 3245 Osage St., The Family Jones Distillery occupies the former Mancinelli’s Market building two doors from Root Down. Designed and built by tres birds workshop, the space pairs industrial elements with rich wood details. The roof was lifted to add a second-floor mezzanine where distillery operations are perched above a sunken, curvilinear, concrete bar. Guests enter the space through a large, square, woodent door made from reclaimed, on-site materials.

“This project has been a dream for several years,” Tamburello says. “The sharing of spirits and the idea of libation are part of many celebrations in life — whether it be celebrating the life of a loved one, toasting to new parents or even part of a liturgical service. It’s with this respect and knowledge that we enter this venture, crafting with care a family of spirits that will help people mark life’s special moments together.”

The 17-foot copper CARL still is where the blending begins. The Family Jones creates everything from vodka to gin and rum, as well as Stop Gap Whiskey, a house blend of whiskeys collected from Masters’ friends that will only be available at The Family Jones Spirit House during the distillery’s first years while The Family Jones’ house-distilled whiskey comes of age.

“We are making things that push the boundaries of a traditional cocktail bar,” Masters says. “We are putting our own spin on it. This is a distiller’s dream — to create all sorts of crazy things in small batches. It’s a test kitchen: If it doesn’t work, we can try something new.”
 

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.

Zeppelin Station gets Korean food vendor

Chef Bill Espiricueta’s injoi Korean Kitchen is the latest concept to join Zeppelin Station’s market hall opening in December in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood.

The restaurant will feature a mix of Asian cuisine and regional favorites from the American south. Menu items will include Korean fried chicken with gluten-free options and multiple sauce choices, bibimbap with house-made kimchi and bulgogi with Korean barbecued brisket.

“I’ve been playing with the flavors of Korean fried chicken for the past year, and the timing was ideal with Zeppelin Station filling up so quickly,” Espiricueta says. “Injoi (pronounced enjoy) falls perfectly in line with my background preparing smoked meats. The menu will offer a fun take on popular Korean dishes with creative spice profiles. Basically, it’s the food I want to eat."

Diners who want a sneak preview of what’s to come at Zeppelin Station can join Chef Espiricueta and an injoi menu preview at the RiNo Yacht Club in The Source on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 from 5 p.m. until it sells out.

Espiricueta was born in Austin, Texas, and learned about regional styles of cooking early on at Kansas City’s progressive Bluestem Restaurant. Later, he worked for Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu in Dallas’ Crescent Hotel. He made his way to Boulder where he was drawn to the casual atmosphere and heavy focus on locally sourced food at Oak at Fourteenth. He recently announced the opening of his first restaurant, Sm?k BBQ at The Source Hotel, slated to start serving in early 2018.

The Bindery opens in LoHi

Chef Linda Hampsten Fox has opened The Bindery, a culinary concept modeled after European marketplaces where diners can shop for handcrafted products, grab a gourmet lunch to go or enjoy a chic fine dining experience all in one space.

Located in the recently opened Centric LoHi apartment complex in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood, The Bindery will offer options for breakfast lunch and dinner, seven days a week, as well as catering services.

“The Bindery is a culmination of everything I’ve done and provides the perfect platform to share my passion for the craft of cooking sustainable, local food rooted in my personal history and heritage,” says Hampsten Fox.

Hampsten Fox searched for years for a space large enough to accommodate the multifaceted experience. At just over 4,000 square feet, The Bindery welcomes visitors with a mix of modern style and old-world charm.

The marketplace, which surrounds the bakery/cafe, will offer a mix of seasonal products made in-house, including house Bindery Sriracha (referred to as Bindaracha), smoked maple syrup, cardamom pear butter and habanero tomato jam.

“Our customers lead busy lives, and they want options: to stay or go, be casual or be served, to snack or feast,” Hampsten Fox says. “Our goal is to provide them with convenient, high-quality choices.”

The main dining room focuses on meats and recipes borrowed from her Polish-Czech heritage, as well as the many years she spent cooking in Italy. The menu has a blend of shared plates, salads, homemade pastas and hearty main dishes.

“We hope to serve as a neighborhood hub where fresh food, bold flavors and exceptional service are our hallmarks,” Hampsten Fox says.

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.
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