Affordable housing in Denver's enviable transit-oriented site Denver
Ours To Own

Equitable Access for Transit-Oriented Development site

July 2015 Update

After purchasing a six-acre site on the future North Metro Rail Line in April, Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) has been working closely with neighborhood residents in the surrounding community of Elyria Swansea to gather input for a redevelopment master plan. This plan will serve as the basis for the proposed rezoning of the site in order to maximize this mixed-use development.

ULC and a planning consultant team convened two community design workshops at local neighborhood facilities with residents, local business owners, area nonprofits and representatives from city agencies and elected officials. Both design workshops provided participants with an overview of the property and then cross-sector groups worked together to create four different concepts:

A Women’s Center Focused Plan
This group concept design emphasized the need in the community for more women focused services. The concept included residential with a community commercial kitchen, urban garden, market place, homeless services, day care and medical clinic.

A Housing Focused Plan
This plan included a variety housing types from 3 story town homes with accessory dwelling units, mid-rise multifamily buildings with senior housing and a green public open space connection down the center of site toward the existing park and recreation center, with retail on the western edge of the site.

Service Center Focused Plan
This concept focused on the needs of children and young adults. Housing was located on the north edge of the site, and supporting uses including day care, open market and a commercial kitchen.

Kids Heaven Focused Plan
The entire group consisted of neighborhood kids designing a paradise for children. The resulting concept included an amusement park, a garden, food market and an arcade. The tallest building was located on the Northeast corner of the site to take advantage of the skyline and mountain views to the west and included a rooftop garden; creating a tall “visible marker” for the area. The plan also included a swimming pool, and residential town homes. Sounds like a kid paradise indeed!

Community vision is a critical piece of ULC’s master site planning process, and this passionate community has some incredible ideas on how to incorporate housing, retail and commercial space to best serve the neighborhood. Stay tuned for the next step in this planning process!


Urban Land Conservancy acquires property along Denver’s upcoming transit corridors for equitable access to future community benefits including jobs and affordable housing

The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) purchased a six-acre site at 48th and Race Street in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood of Denver to create a mixed-use development that will produce jobs and include affordable rental housing. This is ULC’s second largest land purchase and the second acquisition using the Calvert Foundation’s Ours To Own Denver Facility Fund made possible by small investments from Denver residents.

ULC worked in partnership with the City of Denver’s Office of Economic Development for the swift acquisition of this industrial site, with a goal of preserving and redeveloping the property for future community benefit that includes new businesses, jobs and affordable housing options. The purchase followed the efforts of a recent housing task force which explored affordable housing options in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods by identifying key acquisition sites for future development. The 48th and Race Street acquisition took place in advance of anticipated future market rate development forces, likely to be attracted to the area by the large scale National Western Center redevelopment and completion of the RTD North Metro Commuter rail line in 2018.

ULC looks forward to working with the city of Denver, the community, and additional partner agencies to transform this industrial site into a vibrant neighborhood center.

The catalytic redevelopment of this industrial site, resulting in a new transit oriented community, fulfills the inspiring vision of the adopted 2015 Elyria & Swansea Neighborhood Plan. ULC will work closely with many partners including: the Denver Office of Economic Development, the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, local and national foundations, local nonprofit organizations and private developers to ensure this development supports the city’s affordable housing goals, while meeting a variety of neighborhood needs and priorities.

The property requires immediate rezoning to allow for the variety of future uses envisioned; ULC plans to initiate a community engagement master site planning process for local resident and stakeholders. ULC expects to identify a development partner in 2016 to finance and construct the first phase of the multi-year project.

By investing in Ours To Own Denver, residents are actively participating in the future development of their city while ensuring their own needs for affordable housing and secure jobs are met.

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