Mayor announces development plans for Five Points Business District, including predevelopment financing of historic Rossonian Hotel
Future development of the Five Points neighborhood received a major boost today, as Mayor John Hickenlooper, City Councilwoman Carla Madison and other officials celebrated the grand opening of the Five Points Business Development Office and the new Five Points Business District. Both announcements were made possible through the Denver Office of Economic Development’s Denver Neighborhood Marketplace Initiative.
“Today we celebrate a shared vision for the future economic development of Five Points,” said Hickenlooper. “As the City has collaborated with the community, it has become clear that our vision will focus on preserving the rich history and heritage of Five Points while advancing the further revitalization of the corridor, creating opportunities, jobs and services for our community.”
The Five Points area was named last year as a pilot district of Denver’s Neighborhood Marketplace Initiative, a citywide program that fosters the growth of public-private partnerships to strengthen business districts and their surrounding neighborhoods. Over the past several months, OED collaborated with local merchants, businesses, property owners and neighborhood representatives to develop a Five Points District Development Plan. The plan identified the establishment of a business development office as a critical component to bringing additional development to the corridor.
“Our Neighborhood Marketplace plan recognizes that there is tremendous opportunity along the Welton corridor,” said André Pettigrew, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. “The area’s fast-growing population has been offset with challenges including a high retail vacancy rate and a shortage of neighborhood-serving retail and amenities. The launch of the new business district and development office are targeted at addressing these challenges and sparking the continued enhancement of Five Points.”
The Five Points Business District is a new non-profit organization that serves to create, support and sustain a thriving and diverse business environment along the Welton Street corridor, from 20th Street to Downing. The organization has been funded by OED to operate a business development office to spur additional development.
Located at 2444 Washington St., the Five Points Business Development Office will work closely with the City, established businesses and prospective businesses. Goals are to attract and retain relevant neighborhood-serving businesses, strengthen existing businesses, and collaborate with property owners, residents, the City, developers, non-profits and other stakeholders to promote and support development of the corridor. The office will also promote the Welton Street corridor as a destination for arts, culture and entertainment showcasing the African American history and the rich jazz heritage of Five Points.
“This is such a great opportunity,” said Wil Alston, the newly hired executive director of the Five Points Business District. “I am so looking forward to playing a leadership role in helping Five Points take its rightful place as the jewel of the city.”
"We were all so excited here on the Points when we were chosen as one of the City’s Neighborhood Marketplace Initiative sites,” said City Councilwoman Carla Madison. “Five Points will benefit greatly from having the full-time focus of a business development office. By evaluating space availability and then drawing new business in while supporting our existing businesses, the office will greatly warm up the retail climate.”
During the grand opening celebration, the City’s recent support of the historic Rossonian Hotel, located at 2650 Welton St., was also announced. OED has entered into a contract with developer Carl Bourgeois to provide a predevelopment loan supporting the redevelopment of the historic hotel. The loan provides funding for predevelopment activities, including market and feasibility studies, and architectural and financial consulting. The loan is provided through the City’s Neighborhood Business Revitalization program, a gap financing program that helps stimulate business development within targeted commercial districts.
“It’s probably no longer a secret that the Five Points is one of Denver’s hottest emerging neighborhoods,” said Bourgeois. “Unfortunately, infrastructure and commercial services lag far behind other downtown urban neighborhoods. As a 30-year resident and business owner, I appreciate the efforts of Mayor Hickenlooper and the OED staff for supporting Five Points and sharing our goal of someday turning Five Points into one of Denver’s proudest neighborhoods.”
Bourgeois identifies the Rossonian redevelopment as the first in a series of development projects projected for the area, which include a new boutique hotel on Welton Street, a mixed-used transit oriented development adjacent to the Rossonian building, mixed-use development on Washington Street and a parking structure on E. 26th Ave.
For more information regarding the Five Points Business District and the Business Development Office call 303-290-1788.
The Denver Office of Economic Development is dedicated to advancing economic prosperity for the City of Denver, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents. Working with a wide variety of community partners, OED operates to create a local environment that stimulates balanced growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options, neighborhood redevelopment and the development of a skilled workforce.