Feb 21, 2014
Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) today announced the winners of the city’s first-ever Welton Design/Development Challenge. The unique funding approach with pre-development funds garnered 10 proposals in January for commercial and mixed-use residential projects along the primary corridor of the Five Points business district. OED’s community-based selection committee opted to fund the top five.
“When we stood here on Welton Street last August and announced this opportunity, making the call to the community to present bold, collaborative projects for consideration, we didn’t know what to expect,” Mayor Hancock said. “This funding marks a significant milestone, as these projects not only highlight of my administration’s commitment to making real and lasting progress when it comes to jobs, housing, and retail for Five Points, but provide an incredible glimpse of what’s possible here on Welton.”
The project winners are:
“We were very impressed with both the quality of the proposals and the range of intriguing concepts for the Welton Corridor. Several of them start with empty lots and build new, while others represent exciting ‘legacy’ investments for historically-focused renovations of existing structures,” said OED Executive Director Paul Washington. “We’re enthusiastic about the collective future vision for Five Points that this process demonstrates.”
In all, the 10 applicant projects collectively represent $88 million of development activity that would create nearly 500 jobs. The proposals include 77,000 square feet of retail space, 63,000 square feet of office space, and 277 new housing units.
The pre-development grants will fund a wide range of expenses, including architectural renderings, engineering specifications, financial pro formas, environmental reviews and market research. The grants are designed to help support the steps generally required to prove project viability and garner commercial financing.
Funds for the Welton Challenge awards are derived from the city’s federal Community Development Block Grant funding.