Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock encourages minorities and women who want to further their careers in real estate and real estate development to apply for the 2014 Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI), as the program celebrates its fifth year of service.
Started in 2009, REDI is a partnership between the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) and the Colorado District Council of Urban Land Institute (ULI Colorado). The goal of the program is to help increase awareness of opportunities in the real estate industry among women and minority groups. Over the past four years REDI has introduced 140 people to real estate development principles, concepts and implementation strategies.
“Real estate and real estate development are a major component of any city’s economic development foundation,” Hancock said. “Denver will have more opportunity to better serve our diverse communities by building out a more diverse real estate professional body. This program will help drive toward that goal.”
This fifth REDI session builds on four years of highly successful programs, in which three groups of protégés were paired with real estate mentors and asked to evaluate real estate possibilities. In 2013 students worked with real estate developers, architects, land use and site planning professionals and real estate finance experts to craft development concepts for two sites on the West Colfax corridor in Denver. At the final class, the three groups presented their projects and enumerated on what they had learned through the process. This year the initiative moves to a site in the Westwood neighborhood near the Morrison Road Corridor.
REDI is supported by six sponsors including Greenberg Traurig, LLP; the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA); PCL Construction; Denver Housing Authority; Urban Land Conservancy and Wells Fargo. The 2014 program involves returning mentors Ismael Guerrero of DHA, Doug Elenowitz from Raindrop Partners and Elli Lobach of Holland Partners. They will be joined by new mentor Tony Pickett from Urban Land Conservancy. The program will name two additional mentors soon.
The first four REDI programs have garnered high praise from graduates with program evaluations boasting more than 90 percent approval.
“This has become an integral program for ULI Colorado. Over its four successful years, REDI set the stage for the development of similar programs at district councils across the nation as part of ULI’s National Diversity and Inclusion Program,” said ULI Colorado Chair Kirk Monroe.
The program is open to minorities and women who have some knowledge of real estate concepts. The application process involves completing a detailed questionnaire about the potential participant’s background, knowledge and experience in the industry and goals for involvement in the program. There is no cost to apply. Participants selected will be required to pay $250 prior to the start of the session and commit to 100 percent participation which includes two meetings each month, in addition to other small group work sessions with class members. Upon completion each protégé receives a certificate of completion, and a one-year membership in ULI Colorado where they may enhance their knowledge and participation in the industry through programs and networking opportunities. In addition to the membership, the mentoring, networking and expertise involved in the program is valued at more than $15,000 for each participant. Continuing education real estate credits are also available to participants holding a real estate license.
Applications may be found at colorado.uli.org. For additional information about REDI contact the REDI coordinator at 303.887.1115 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Denver Office of Economic Development at 720.913.1602. Applications may also be picked up at the OED office on the 2nd floor of the Wellington Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave. The application deadline is 5 p.m., Monday June 16.
View REDI application