DENVER, CO - The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) today purchased the sixth property for $1.7 million using Denver's Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Fund. This unique fund was set up with ULC, Enterprise Community Partners, City and County of Denver and other investors, to acquire and preserve real estate for workforce housing near light rail stops and high frequency bus routes.
Blake TOD is a 1.4-acre property comprised of five parcels located at E. 38th Avenue and Walnut Street, is the first stop on RTD's future East Corridor Commuter Line connecting Downtown Union Station to Denver International Airport. This property, which has been vacant for the past year, will be stabilized and eventually developed as a mixed-use site with an emphasis on affordable housing. Development on this site will be catalytic to the Cole neighborhood, with much-needed access to transit at the Blake Street Station at E. 38th Avenue and Blake Street, scheduled to be operational in early 2016.
"The purchase of the Blake TOD accomplishes exactly what was intended when the TOD Fund was created, which is to preserve real estate for workforce housing and other community uses near public transit," said Aaron Miripol, President and CEO of ULC. "We are excited about the opportunity to help be a catalyst in Northeast Denver."
ULC purchased Blake TOD to land bank a strategic transit-oriented development site across the street from the East Corridor, Blake Street Commuter Rail Station, which is expected to be operational by early 2016. Lower-income households spend an average of 60 percent of their gross income on housing and transportation expenses combined. By offering affordable housing near transit, families will be able to build wealth and access employment and educational opportunities.
"ULC has been an important community partner with Council District 8 in several other land purchases in the district, including the Holly Shopping Center, the Phillips Center and the Dahlia Apartments," said Councilman Albus Brooks, council member for Council District 8 where the property is located. "As a resident of Cole and leader in this district, I have a particular interest and excitement for ULC's current proposal for the 38th and Blake station. I look forward to our continued partnership as we move forward."
ULC is committed to partnering with affordable housing providers following the TOD Fund focus on rental households below 50 percent of Average Median Income (AMI), with 15 percent of units serving households at or below 30 percent AMI.
"While FasTracks begins the construction of its east line, it's vitally important that Denver neighborhoods maintain the necessary component of affordable housing. By integrating homes that people can afford with access to public transportation, residents are able to utilize these two vital components to maintain and increase their quality of life," said Melinda Pollack, vice president, Enterprise. "We are extremely excited about working with ULC and other partners in developing Blake TOD and look forward to watching this community grow with the advent of the east line."
Established in 2003, Urban Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that uses real estate as a tool to benefit urban communities. ULC acquires, preserves and develops real estate for urban assets such as workforce housing, nonprofit office space and schools.