New Development Brings Permanently Affordable Housing and Expands Accessible Healthcare in Elyria-Swansea
Joint Venture Creates Unprecedented Affordability and Access to Essential Services in Historically Underserved Community
A groundbreaking ceremony occurred on October 23, 2020, to officially commence development on an affordable mixed-use development in Elyria-Swansea. The $57 Million redevelopment project—phase I of a multi-phased development—will take approximately 2 years to complete and is the result of an innovative joint venture between the property owner, Urban Land Conservancy (ULC), the developer, Columbia Ventures, and nonprofit health partner, Clínica Tepeyac.
ULC, a local nonprofit, will continue to own the land under the approximately two+ acres of the six+ acre site to ensure that the housing, clinic, and retail space in the new building remain permanently affordable and will always serve the local community. Using a land trust model, ULC and Columbia Ventures have entered into a 99-year renewable land lease under the condition that 51% of the housing built across the six-acre site will be affordable to households earning no more than 80% of Denver’s Area Median Income (AMI).
“We share the community’s concerns about families in Elyria-Swansea experiencing involuntary displacement due to the many public improvements planned and under construction in the area,” said Erin Clark, Urban Land Conservancy’s Vice President of Master Site Development. “Our goal is to make sure local residents and organizations like Tepeyac have an opportunity to maintain their long-standing roots here and can enjoy the benefits of these community investments without being priced out.”
Columbia Ventures intends to rent the phase I housing at below-market rates, with 45 units targeted for those earning up to 30% of AMI. Another 30 apartments will be income-restricted to those earning up to 50% of AMI. The final 75 units will be reserved for those earning up to 80% of the AMI. This range of affordability is unprecedented for a new development in Denver and was reached following a number of community meetings with neighborhood stakeholders to help drive the need for deeply affordable housing options in this part of the city.
“This is an important milestone because it demonstrates the power of collaboration between three distinct partners and the community,” said Dillon Baynes, Managing Partner of Columbia Ventures. “We know that community input and support are critical to our success, and we will continue to partner with community leaders through every development phase.”
The Elyria-Swansea neighborhood is 80% Latino with more than 70% of its residents qualifying as low-income with limited access to healthy food. Clínica Tepeyac is a community health center in Globeville that is currently operating at capacity.
“Many of our patients are essential frontline workers who are an integral part of our economy and live with disproportionate health risks, like COVID-19,” said Jim Garcia, Chief Executive Officer of Clínica Tepeyac. “Our families often need a combination of services and resources that we will be able to offer in this new and significantly larger clinical facility.”
The redevelopment project also includes new retail space for fresh food, another essential service in one of Denver’s historically underserved communities.
About the 48th & Race Development
The first phase of development will offer 150 permanently affordable apartments available to those with household incomes ranging from 30% to 80% of AMI (incomes of $21,000 to $80,000). The development will also include a 24,500 sq. ft. health clinic owned and operated by Clínica Tepeyac and 5,000 sq. ft. available for neighborhood-serving retail.
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