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7 startups chosen for program to help growth

Seven Denver startups have been selected to participate in the city’s ScaleUp Network, an intensive six-month training program that helps proven but fledgling companies catapult to their next stage of growth.

The companies chosen for the program, now in its second year, are Altius Farms, Bold Betties, Ensight Energy Consulting, Maxwell Financial, Nokero, Orderly Health and Overwatch ID. The companies were all referred to the program upon graduation from a diverse set of business startup accelerators, and each firm has demonstrated the potential to garner capital investment and add jobs.

“Denver is proud to work with our startup and accelerator communities to hand-select enterprises that are positioned for growth, funding expansion and job creation,” says Turid Nagel-Casebolt, director of business development for the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED). “We’re building on last year’s ScaleUp Network, with training and key connections that is matched beautifully by the peer-to-peer mentoring among the founders themselves.”

The 2018 group of companies begins its curriculum knowing that the 2017 class is enjoying significant success in equity raises, obtaining other financing and leveraging critical connections. Leaders from the 2017 group have pledged to continue supporting each other in addition to actively guiding the 2018 class on the path to second-stage growth.

Major collection donated to Denver Art Museum

The Berger Collection Educational Trust has donated a major collection of British masterworks to the Denver Art Museum.

It’s the largest gift of European Old Masters since the museum received the Kress Collection in the 1950s. The gift, consisting of 65 works, will enrich the museum’s collection of European art, currently strong in early Italian Renaissance and French 19th-century artworks. The donation is part of the museum’s effort to strategically grow and enhance its encyclopedic collection in anticipation of its North Building’s 50th anniversary and revamped collection galleries, that set to reopen in 2021.

Core works from the trust have been on long-term loan since 1996, and the gift will now dramatically increase the museum’s holdings of 14th- through 19th-century European art. Major genres important to the British School, including portraiture, landscape and equestrian subjects, represent the bulk of the Berger trust gift.

“We are grateful to receive this important donation of British art from the Berger Collection Educational Trust, which will enable us to tell new stories with our collection,” says Dam director Christoph Heinrich. “Art inspires a greater understanding of and connection with our world, and we believe the acquired works will enhance and deepen the experiences of visitors into the future.”

The gift spans six centuries of paintings, drawings and medieval works. One of the earliest gifted artworks is a 14th-century Crucifixion, one of the best-preserved religious panel paintings of its period. Doroty, Lady Dacre by Sir Anthony van Dyck and Portrait of a Lady by Sir Peter Lely represent significant works by two 17th-century masters of portraiture.

“We’re delighted to integrate this significant gift into our collection of European art,” says Angelica Daneo, painting and sculptor curator at the DAM. “This is a transformational gift that complements and strengthens our existing holdings and allows us to offer our visitors a richer and broader narrative through focused and engaging juxtapositions, as well as educational programs and learning opportunities.”

The Berger trust gift is part of a larger donation that includes 12 Winslow Homer artworks that were donated to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. To date, the gift made to the DAM and the Portland Museum of Art is the largest donation made by the trust in its two-decade history.

“William and Bernadette Berger were exceptionally committed to this city and community, to the arts and to education,” says Arthur Lipper, chairman of the Berger Collection Educational Trust board. “With this gift, the BCET trustees are fulfilling not only the mission of the trust but also the philanthropic intent of these visionary patrons. It is hoped the museum’s already excellent educational programs will be expanded.”


Here's the tasty lineup of eateries for brand new Zeppelin Station

A variety of culinary talents will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in the latest concept to be announced for Zeppelin Station, a creative workplace and marketplace slated to open March 12 at the 38th and Blake light-rail station in Denver’s River North neighborhood.

No Vacancy will feature a rotating lineup of of local, national and international restaurants that will occupy the front-and-center space, each for a 60- to 90-day stint.

The first guest to stay in No Vacancy will be Comal, the heritage food incubator in partnership with non-profit Focus Points Family Resource Center, where female entrepreneurs from the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea districts cook and serve the Mexican, El Salvadorian, Syrian and Ethiopian foods they grew up eating, while honing their culinary and business skills. Zeppelin Station will be the second, albeit temporary, outpost of Comal, which calls the Taxi development its permanent home.

The rest of the of food and beverage lineup includes:
  • Kiss + Ride, the main floor bar
  • Big Trouble, the upstairs cocktail bar and lounge
  • Namkeen, Indian snacks and street food
  • injoi, Korean comfort food
  • Au Feu: Montreal Smoked Meats
  • Vinh Xuong Bakery, a third-generation, family-owned banh mi shop
  • Aloha Poke Co., made-to-order raw fish bowls
  • Gelato Boy, a Boulder-based gelato shop
  • Dandy Lion Coffee

A full-service anchor restaurant, separate from the food stalls, will be revealed this summer.

“When we originally envisioned Zeppelin Station, we imagined a day and night destination where you’d find the most sought-after food and drinks in the city,” says Justin Anderson, director of hospitality development for Zeppelin Development. “Over the past year, we’ve assembled a lineup of highly regarded, independent operators who will showcase their very best dishes in an environment that encourages diners to personally experience the dishes being prepared through smell, sight and sound.”

The market hall also will be the new home of the RiNo Arts District and the organization’s retail shop that showcases pieces created by local artists

Designed by award-winning Dynia Architects, Zeppelin Station is on track for LEED certification and features indoor-outdoor open spaces, high ceilings, natural light and native plants in the exterior landscapes. Above the market hall, three floors of office suites offer roll-up garage doors that provide access onto green roof terraces overlooking the Denver skyline and Rocky Mountains. Office tenants include Beatport, Brandfolder and Love Your Hood.

“Denverites are seeking similar amenities in their workplace that they have at home: well-designed spaces, ready access to fresh air, great views and natural light in a hall experience on the ground floor that is the ultimate amenity,” says Kyle Zeppelin, president of Zeppelin Development.

Huckleberry Roasters, Perfect Petal among list of major additions to Dairy Block

Huckleberry Roasters and The Perfect Petal are now open at Dairy Block lobby off of Wazee Street between 18th and 19th streets.

Open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Huckleberry Roasters at Dairy Block offers a variety of coffee, espresso and tea drinks, along with specialty coffee shakes and smoothies. Huckleberry also is serving an assortment of toast and waffles, including avocado toast, seasonal hummus toast and a Noosa yogurt-topped waffle with seasonal fruit and maple drizzle.

The second location of Denver’s popular Highland Square flower and gift shops, The Perfect Petal at Dairy Block, offers fresh floral arrangements, as well as potted succulents and homeware. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., The Perfect Petal carries greeting cards, jewelry, journals and trinkets. Several Colorado product lines are represented, including lotions and soaps from Formulary and Zents.

Milk Market, a food hall featuring 15 restaurants and bar concepts by Denver Chef Frank Bonanno, will open by late spring. Bonanno also will open Engine Room Pizza, which will serve pizza by the slice facing The Alley at Dairy Block.

Dairy Block will also be home to Mr. Pink’s, an underground lounge off The Alley that serves food and drinks with live music nightly, a Seven Grand whiskey bar and a retail space by the founder of the Denver Flea marketplace.

Kachina Southwestern Grill and Poka Lola Social Club already are open in Dairy Block.

Johnson Nathan Strohe designs City Park Golf clubhouse

Johnson Nathan Strohe has designed a view-oriented clubhouse to anchor the City Park Golf Course, which is being rebuilt.

The design’s stone, wood and glass materials will help to integrate the clubhouse into the new golf course. Its curvilinear form will allow for public functions with a panoramic facade that will capture course, city and mountain views.

Slated for completion in the spring of 2019, the 22,560-square-foot project includes an upper level for golf operations and entertainment, as well as a sunken lower level for golf cart storage. In addition to serving as an amenity space for golfers, the clubhouse is suited for events such as weddings, family reunions and other social gatherings.

The clubhouse also includes space for The First Tee of Denver golf program, which aims to educate and inspire youth academically, socially and physically through the game of golf. Adjacent new buildings will accommodate maintenance operations and a comfort station.

The project is part of a broader golf course redesign that will increase course yardage, create a driving range without netting, provide new sidewalks to improve connectivity and integrate storm water detention.

Johnson Nathan Strohe has previously designed public golf clubhouses for Indian Tree Golf Club, Riverdale Golf Club and The Greg Mastriona Golf Courses at Hyland Hills.

Historic Denver stops the wrecking ball aimed at the Elyria Building

Denver has agreed to postpone demolition of the Elyria Building at 4701 Brighton Blvd. to give Historic Denver a chance to conduct a Historic Structure Assessment.

The assessment will provide documentation of the building and determine whether it can be relocated and saved.

The city has slated the building for demolition to accommodate the expansion of Brighton Boulevard north of 47th Street for bike lanes and streetscape improvements. Formerly known as Fuller’s Drug Store and located on what was once Elyria’s Main Street, the prominent 1906 commercial building was used by neighbors to buy their groceries and host meetings, political rallies and social gatherings.

Historic Denver says that it’s possible the building could be incorporated into the National Western Complex site to provide a tangible reminder of the neighborhood’s history, as well as a human-scaled, authentic place-maker. The assessment, made possible by a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund, is currently under way by Form + Works with assistance from Martin/Martin Engineering.

Since 2011, Historic Denver has advocated for historic preservation as part of the plans for the reimagined National Western Stock Show site. Among its successes are the recent landmark designation of the 1909 Stadium Arena, which will be rehabilitated and reused, as well as plans to protect and reuse the Stockyard Exchange Building and Stock Show Association Building.

New reality: Arts organizations compete at Art Tank

Five local arts organizations will compete for $55,000 during Colorado Art Tank 2018, a creative variation of the Shark Tank concept to be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at Gates Hall in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Performing Arts.

Each group will present a concept for an innovative, artistic project with the power to inspire, educate and engage the community. A panel of judges, as well as the audience, will vote to determine the winners.

Colorado Art Tank 2018 finalists Control Group Productions, Think 360 Arts for Learning, ECDC African Community Center of Denver, Phamaly Theatre Company and the Trust for Public Land were selected from a competitive group of applicants from across metro Denver.

Now in its fourth year, Colorado Art Tank takes a “business unusual” approach to finding and funding innovative, creative programs. The event is presented by The Denver Foundation’s Arts Affinity Group in partnership with Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, Denver Arts & Venues and the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts. The 2018 grants will bring the total awarded by the Arts Affinity Group, since its inception in 2013, to $300,000. Past recipients include Arts Street, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Access Gallery and Warm Cookies of the Revolution.

Tickets to the event are free.

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.

Aria Denver is part of National Building Museum exhibit

A Denver developer’s cohousing project is featured in a National Building Museum exhibit called Making Room: Housing for a Changing America.

Located in Washington, D.C., the museum’s exhibit explores new design solutions for the nation’s evolving, 21st-century households. From tiny houses to accessory apartments, cohousing and beyond, these alternatives push past standard choices and layouts. the exhibit will run through Sept. 16.

Urban Ventures’ 28-unit Aria Cohousing Community, on the site of the former Marycrest Convent at West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard, is similar to other cohousing developments in that residents have private living spaces, as well as community-based common areas that allow them to share meals and interests. The goal is to create an intergenerational and mixed-income community that is committed to sustainability, inclusivity and intellectual growth.

“We are honored to have the Aria Cohousing Community showcased in the National Building Museum as recognition of cohousing as a successful lifestyle that promotes community engagement and social cohesion at a time when there is so much isolation in our country,” says Susan Powers, president of Urban Ventures.

The post-World War II suburbanization of America was driven by the housing needs of nuclear families, the nation’s leading demographic, according to the National Building Museum. In 1950, these families represented 43 percent of households; in 1970 it was 40 percent.

Today, nuclear families account for 20 percent of America’s households, while nearly 30 percent of people are single adults living alone, a growing phenomenon across all ages and incomes, and it’s causing developers to reimagine the way they build communities.

In addition to the Aria Cohousing Community, the Making Room exhibit features housing alternatives like micro-apartments in New York City; backyard accessory cottages in Seattle; and tiny houses that are helping the formerly homeless in Austin.

Denver Tennis Park under construction

Construction has started on Denver Tennis Park at 1560 S. Franklin St. adjacent to Denver Public Schools All City Stadium complex.

The project, being built by PCL Construction, is the first publicly accessible youth-centered indoor/outdoor tennis facility in the Denver region. It will feature seven indoor courts and six outdoor courts. The project is expected to be completed in October.

The Denver Tennis Park is a new non-profit organization with a mission to foster whole child development for youth of all ages and abilities. The initiative is a collaboration of the Denver Tennis Park, the University of Denver and Denver Public Schools. The project has been funded philanthropically, and DPS has provided funds for a portion of the drainage work at the site. Fundraising efforts are under way as part of a capital campaign.

“This will be a tremendous addition to the Denver tennis community, as well as to student athletes for the Denver Public Schools and Denver University,” says Kerri Block, PCL’s project manager for the Denver Tennis Park. “PCL is looking forward to delivering an outstanding tennis complex to the people supporting this effort and everyone who plays — or wants to learn to play — a great lifelong sport.”

The project also includes regrading part of the surrounding athletic fields to divert storm runoff to a new 48,000 cubic foot underground retention system. The 279-space parking lot also will be preserved to serve sporting events, as well as the tennis park.

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.”

Free beer for life? It'll cost you $1,000.

In an effort to raise money to bring a new Latino-influenced club to Denver, the founders of Miami Vibez are offering free beer for life to anyone donating $1,000 or more through their Kickstarter campaign.

Co-founder Rebecca Buch expects the 50 available free-beer-for-life awards will be gone in the early stages of the campaign.

“Beer isn’t just a pastime in Colorado,” Buch says. “It’s a way of life. We’re harnessing that way of life into an amazing fusion of art and entertainment.”

Miami Vibez also is offering a range of additional rewards to those who donate through the Kickstarter campaign or through the website using PayPal. From T-shirts and custom beer pints to equity ownership in the business, there is something for backers and investors of any level.

Located on Market Street in LoDo, Miami Vibez will cater to the trendy and artistic young working professionals in the area. Inspired by Miami’s Art Deco and Cuban influences, the 9,000-square-foot club will have three levels of dancing dancing and dining. The club will be equipped with sound and lighting systems that bring the best of the beach to Denver.

The club will be open from 11 to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Montbello gets new grocery store

Brothers Chris and John Leevers have obtained the financing they need for the $10.5 million redevelopment of the old Chambers Place shopping center in northeast Denver’s Montbello neighborhood.

The brothers received a $4.9 million bank loan commitment from Wells Fargo that covered about half of the total project cost. They searched for more than two years for the additional permanent financing for the property. Ultimately, Colorado Enterprise Fund filled the gap by assembling and coordinating three non-profit investors that are providing $3.5 million in a shared second mortgage: Colorado Enterprise Fund, $1 million; Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, $1.5 million and The Colorado Trust, $1 million.

The project will improve retail access to fresh and health foods, increase healthy eating and active living and encourage economic development in a formerly vacant retail center in a lower-income neighborhood.

“The community really needed this project to once again have access to healthy food,” says Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund. “Chambers Place is an exciting model of mission-driven lenders collaborating on an impact investment resulting in improved health and economic vitality to an under-resourced community.”

The property is a shopping center that originally was anchored by a Safeway store that abandoned it more than four years ago, with other tenants departing soon after.

The Leevers, who own the Chambers Place property, are part of a fourth-generation grocery family. Their company, Leevers Supermarkets Inc., is 100percent employee owned with nearly 200 members and about 65 percent minority ownership. the company generally operates under the name Save-A-Lot, which is the anchor tenant in the redevelopment.

The Save-A-Lot will provide healthy food at affordable prices, sometimes as much as 40 percent lower than mainline grocery stores. The entire project is expected to create more than 80 jobs. Other tenants will include a Planet Fitness and a DaVita clinic. The center also has a well-established high-quality child care center, Early Success Academy, which is owned by long-time Colorado Enterprise Fund customer Diana Gaddison and serves many families in the area.

“The project model of a grocery store that creates quality jobs and has a wide variety of fresh food optoins at affordable prices, combine with the overall health, fitness and family orientation of the tenant mix, is the gold standard of impact we want to see in a project like this.”

Improvements to JCC completed

After spending a year under construction, improvements to the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center are complete.

“We have been working hard over the last 12 months to update our main campus and some of our other facilities, including Ranch Camp and the Tennis Center, in a variety of areas that needed some attention,” says Lara Knuettel, CEO of the JCC Denver. “We are appreciative of our members and the community who has been patient with us as we made these much-needed updates. These renovations help ensure that our buildings are safe for the community and provide a better experience for members and their guests.”

The updates include:
  • Creating a new Early Childhood Center wing with five new classrooms and updating the existing wing with new paint, fixtures and lighting, as well as new landscaping on an existing playground.
  • Remodeling several areas of the Fitness & Wellness Center, including renovating the men’s and women’s locker rooms, creating a new childcare drop-off center with access to an outdoor space, adding massage rooms, purchasing new cardio equipment, creating a new group cycling room and updating the HVAC system and ventilation.
  • Opening up the lobby, including removing pillars, adding sliding doors to the entrance, enhancing security, adding energy-efficient lighting and new artwork.
  • Redoing the parking lots to add more parking spaces while making them larger.
  • Updating the exterior of the building including painting and adding new signage and landscaping.
  • Adding new artwork, paint and carpet in different areas of the building.
  • Adding new back drops, ceiling and LED lighting at the Tennis Center.
  • Updating the JCC”s Ranch Camp in Elbert by adding to new turf activity fields, updating the dining hall and adding new landscaping.
334 Community Change Articles | Page: | Show All
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