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 2013 Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI).
Started in 2009, REDI is a partnership between the Denver Office of Economic Development 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 three years REDI has introduced 102 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 fourth REDI session builds on the highly successful 2012 program, in which three groups of protégés were paired with real estate mentors and asked to evaluate real estate possibilities for three different sites along the Welton Street corridor in Five Points. Protégés worked with real estate developers, architects, land use and site planning professionals and real estate finance experts in developing the sites. 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 three different sites along the West Colfax corridor, a burgeoning economic area in Denver.
Supported by a $22,500 grant from the ULI Foundation and sponsorships by the Urban Land Conservancy, Wells Fargo, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, the 2013 initiative is scheduled to start in mid-August and culminate in early December. Mentors for the 2013 program include Ismael Guerrero, executive director of the Denver Housing Authority; Grant Bennett of Proximity Green; Chris Waggett from D4 Urban and Doug Elenowitz of the EnviroFinance Group. REDI organizers are working with additional real estate developers to secure two more mentors.
The first three REDI programs have garnered high praise from graduates with program evaluations boasting 90 percent approval. “This has become an integral program for ULI Colorado. Over its three 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 Chris Achenbach.
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 $200 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 Business Assistance Center in the first floor of the Wellington Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave. The application deadline has been extended to 5 p.m., July 12, 2013.