City, National Western Center Partner to Deliver Funds to GES
Published on October 05, 2021
$400,000 will help advance GES equity goals, identify other sources of revenue
The City and County of Denver and the nonprofit National Western Center Authority will provide $400,000 to Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods to enlist their choice of professional advisors to secure community benefits at the National Western Center redevelopment. The funding, approved by Denver City Council on Monday, Oct. 4, will come from the city’s contingency funds and will help neighborhood residents advocate for what they want included in the redevelopment, will help them negotiate a formal community benefits agreement, and will support them in identifying future sources of revenue for a community fund.
Construction is well underway on the first phases of the National Western Center. Future phases of the project will include a 10,000-seat arena, the rehabilitation of the 1909 Stadium Building to house Denver’s first public market, and other public assets, as envisioned in the 2015 master plan. They could also include a mix of uses such as office, retail, housing, open space and more. City and National Western Center officials want the community’s input on those choices.
On Monday, Oct. 4, Denver City Council approved a request from the National Western Center Authority for a $400,000 grant from the City and County of Denver. The funding is earmarked to allow GES to enlist professional support for legal, financial and land-use matters, and to build capacity for:
- Advocating for the community’s desires in future phases of the redevelopment
- Negotiating a community benefits agreement
- Establishing an entity to accept contributions to the Community Investment Fund
- Identifying new campus-based sources of revenue for the fund
Community benefits agreements often include anti-displacement measures, affordable housing requirements, and land-use and design choices. The agreements can allow for a more constructive and collaborative conversation about meeting a community’s needs, especially as it relates to considerations around equity. This grant is the first of its kind in Denver to help empower a community with the capacity and expertise needed to have the biggest impact.
“My priority is delivering equitable outcomes for the residents in these neighborhoods. We want to ensure residents have a meaningful seat at the table and the tools they need to realize the benefits most important to them and their communities,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said.
Brad Buchanan, CEO of the National Western Center Authority, was the applicant for the grant. “Our neighbors in the GES community have had input on the National Western Center since the very beginning,” Buchanan said. “This will amplify their voices and will ensure the neighborhoods succeed as the campus grows and thrives in the coming years.”
“The GES communities in Denver have advocated for this kind of support for years,” said City Councilwoman Debbie Ortega. “Any major redevelopment project needs community input, but many residents wish they could come to the table with more capacity and expertise, to have a bigger impact by securing greater community benefits. I’m pleased to have worked with the community and the city to deliver this important resource.”
The $400,000 may also be used, in part, to identify or create an organization to accept contributions to the National Western Center Community Investment Fund (CIF). The CIF was established in 2015 and will be funded by customers opting to “round up” to the next dollar on their retail purchases at the National Western Center; contributions will begin in January 2022 with the annual National Western Stock Show and the opening of the first new buildings at the National Western Center. The grant may also be used for the community to identify additional campus-based sources of revenue for the CIF, and to identify ways to distribute CIF funds in the community.
For more about the National Western Center, visit nationalwesterncenter.com.