Space for Denver Social Enterprises to Flourish
ULC preserves nonprofit working space and jobs in Sun Valley neighborhood
In December 2015, the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) used Ours To Own funding to finance the Social Enterprise Foundry, a warehouse in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood. The Foundry hosts several social enterprises that employ nearly 150 people in jobs that support Denver’s efforts to be more sustainable.
Over the past several years, the cost of commercial warehouse space in Denver has increased dramatically, representing a threat to nonprofits who lease office space. ULC acquired the 44,000 square foot warehouse to preserve the space for some of Denver’s leading sustainability-focused nonprofits.
The largest tenant of the building, Blue Star Recyclers, is a certified electronics recycling service that employs people with autism and other disabilities. Another tenant, Energy Resource Center, provides energy audits, conservation measures and energy education, improving 1,000 homes each year for low income clients. Mile High Youth Corps provides hands-on job skills in energy and water conservation for local youth. PCs for People, who recently expanded to Colorado from St. Paul, MN, provides affordable personal computers, computer repair services, internet service and education to people who have limited access to technology because of social, physical or economic circumstances.
ULC’s Denver Shared Spaces program, in partnership with the City Office of Strategic Partnerships, also has offices at the Foundry, working with tenants to identify collaborative opportunities to help further the impact that each organization is making.
ULC has invested an additional $600,000 in capital improvements at the Foundry in order to create a healthier and more vibrant environment for this new community asset in Sun Valley, a Denver neighborhood which historically has seen very little economic development. These investments will provide the Foundry’s workers with healthier living options in and around their office.
The Social Enterprise Foundry is another example of how ULC, in partnership with Ours To Own investors, is strengthening urban communities in Denver through the preservation and sustainable development of real estate.