Welcome to Cherry Creek Perspective – monthly news of mobility-related and affordable housing real estate throughout the Denver-metro area, and news of real estate, public sector and economic developments in the southeast Denver – Glendale area, relying in part on articles published in Real Estate Perspective. To read the newsletter easily on a mobile device go to:
Research a property or a market in our searchable on-line library of Real Estate Perspective articles compiled since 2001 at:
Each business day for Real Estate Perspective, the JRES staff reviews all Denver metro area wide and local newspapers, trade journals, government websites, blogs and other sources for commercial and residential real estate and economic news. News items are condensed into easily readable summaries providing all of the essential facts for the Real Estate Perspective newsletter. And Apartment Perspective, provides a detailed update of Denver metro area apartment rental, vacancy and development/construction activity including proposed projects.
The latest on Real Estate and Mobility is also available at a Group in LinkedIn with that name and moderated by Bill James at:
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Mobility Choice Blueprint – Denver Metro Area – Take the Quiz
The Mobility Choice Blueprint is a collaborative strategy to help the Denver metro region identify how to best prepare for and invest in the rapidly changing technology that is revolutionizing transportation mobility. A unique planning and funding partnership of CDOT, DRCOG, RTD and the Denver Metro Chamber is creating the Mobility Choice Blueprint – a coordinated strategic direction for the evolving mobility of the region related to walking, bicycling, driving and transit. The 2030 Blueprint will analyze travel trends and technologies in the region, explore and evaluate various technologies and their implications for mobility, align transportation investments of multiple public agencies and create new planning and implementation partnerships.
5 minutes of your time will help shape the future of mobility in the Denver metro area! Take this unique quiz:
Join local and national experts for a unique half-day summit to discuss the changing mobility marketplace and RTD’s plans and innovations to lead the transformation and integration of mobility as a service across our region.
Thursday, September 13, 7:30 am – 11:30 am
Tivoli Turnhalle on Auraria Campus
900 Auraria Parkway, Denver
Who should attend? Local government transportation and planning staff, city managers, transportation management associations and organizations, and other public/nonprofit agencies involved in mobility integration. Continental breakfast will be served
High Line Canal Opportunity Forum
September 14, 2018, 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Aurora Public Library, 15151 E Alameda Parkway
Join ULI Colorado for an exclusive tour and expert panel featuring opportunities for sustainable development and health equity along the High Line Canal. Attendance is limited– letter of interest required to register. ULI Colorado, in partnership with the High Line Canal Conservancy, and funding from the Colorado Health Foundation and the Urban Land Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, offers a one day “Opportunity Forum” to identify challenges and opportunities, as well as better ways to work together, to advance sustainable development and health equity along the High Line Canal. The forum will engage stakeholders, developers, community members, and ULI members to promote and advance access to the High Line Canal, spur smart investment, and integrate Building Healthy Places principles. Following the Opportunity Forum, ULI Colorado will publish findings in a “Development Toolbox” on best practices for development along waterways and greenways.
Commercial Economic Update and Property Tour
Friday, September 21
8:30 – 10:30 am – Breakfast Program
11:00 am – 12:30 pm – Property Tour
KC Conway, MAI, CRE
Director of Research & Corporate Engagement, Alabama Center for Real Estate
Chief Economist, CCIM Institute
- National economy update – real estate transactions and areas of growth and expansion
- Effects of tariffs on the businesses
- Adaptive reuse and the new skills required to undertake reuse projects
Tour the Hines Highrise Office – 1144 15th Street
- Review of the design, construction and leading-edge technologies
- Economies that substantiated the development
- Leasing market and target tenants.
Housing Colorado NOW! Annual Conference
October 3-5, 2018 at the Vail Marriott in Vail, Colorado
The NOW! Annual Conference is celebrating 30 years as Housing Colorado’s signature event, which gathers affordable housing professionals for creative, inspiring, and thought-provoking education. This year, we will build from our past successes to shape Colorado’s future—a future of more affordable options and excellent, safe housing for all. The time for solutions and collaboration is NOW! We hope you join us for a week of inspiration in the mountains; together, we will tackle the big issues together and find ways to develop and preserve our state’s housing. This event, is one of the largest of its kind, with 850+ in attendance in 2017.
Denverright: Game Plan for a Healthy City
Denver’s two-year Denveright outreach and planning effort, has obtained input from thousands of Denverites and resulted in plans for a more inclusive, connected and healthy city. The plans will guide the city’s growth, development, parks, mobility options and more over the next 20 years. The plan drafts are available for review, comment and a detailed survey through October 31. City planners will also host office hours in several locations beginning in September. The draft plans will be revised based on input received, and in early 2019, Denver City Council will review plans that require council adoption. Draft plans include:
- Comprehensive Plan 2040 – An overall 20-year vision and goals
- Blueprint Denver – An integrated land use and transportation plan
- Game Plan for a Healthy City – A parks and recreation plan
- Denver Moves: Transit – A first-ever local transit plan
- Denver Moves: Pedestrians & Trails – A sidewalks, street crossings and trails plan
FROM THE LinkedIn GROUP – REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
The Future of Livable Cities: Shared, Coordinated, Multi-Modal Services
“Last-mile services with autonomous vehicles have the advantage of being relatively easy to deploy. They require minimal infrastructure and reduce costs in important ways. San Ramon officials point out that parking structures cost about $75,000 per space. By reducing the amount of parking space needed, the vehicles could easily pay for themselves.”
High-Value Rail Estate
Another thing to contemplate is the scope of the TOD. This is largely driven by population density. In major cities, it’s common for the TOD to extend one or two blocks in each direction. “In the case of Phoenix, for instance, the rail went through some underserved communities,” Petroski said. “Huge development ensued within a four-block radius of every station.”
Parking Limits at 41st and Fox Would Be (Small) Win Against Government-Mandated Traffic
“If you lease an apartment and it comes with a parking space, or you buy a condo and it comes with a parking space, there it is, it’s sitting there, you might as well fill it with a car,” says Chris Nevitt, the city’s transit-oriented development manager. “But if it’s a choice you have to make — ‘Do I want to pay extra for the parking space?’ — then you’re open to saying, ‘No, I don’t want to pay more for having a parking space, and I won’t have a car, or I won’t have a second car.’”
This new apartment building will pay you to ditch your car
“So for their latest project with the Melo Group, which they head up along with their father, they decided to take a stand against parking minimums, and offer residents a $100 discount on their rent every month (rents range from $1,650 for one-bedroom units to $2,500 for a three-bedroom) for not using their allotted parking spot in the garage…The building is about 75% leased now, and few residents are taking up the Melo brothers on their $100 discount offer–many people, even if they don’t drive to work, like to have a car for longer weekend trips, Martin says. ”
Forget Working From Home, Autonomous Vehicles Will Drive A Boom In Working From Car
“The work-from-home debate is largely binary. You can either work from the office or from a fixed location outside of the office such as your home or a coffee shop. The advent of autonomous vehicles (AVs), however, creates a third option: working from car.”
The “Last Mile” Isn’t Just a Transportation Problem but a Land Use One Too
“The solution to this problem is obvious, if politically fraught: we must extend mid-rise density out from our newly proposed transit corridors (something not currently envisioned in the Denveright plans). We need a solid two to three blocks of three- to five-story buildings on either side. This will provide the ridership necessary to make the buses economical. ”
Kroger rolls out driverless cars for grocery deliveries
“Under the self-driving service, shoppers can order same-day or next-day delivery online or on a mobile app for a flat rate of about $6. After the order is placed, a driverless vehicle will deliver the groceries curbside, requiring customers to be present to fetch them. The vehicles will probably be opened with a numeric code.”
More and wider roads cause more congestion, not less, report says
“The study issued Monday by the Active Transportation Alliance finds that roadway expansion has spurred an explosion in driving since 1980, worsening area traffic and leading to more crashes and pollution.”
To Get Ready for Robot Driving, Some Want to Reprogram Pedestrians
“The industry is understandably keen not to be seen offloading the burden onto pedestrians. Uber and Waymo both said in emailed statement that their goal is to develop self-driving cars that can handle the world as it is, without being dependent on changing human behavior.”
Ford to invest $740 million in Detroit train station, city development project
Ford aims to turn the building into a campus of offices for up to 5,000 tech workers and software engineers focused on self-driving vehicles and ancillary technologies and services…Ford said total investment in the development of the train station and developing 45 acres of vacant land will cost approximately $740 million over the next four years…The Detroit train station closed in 1988 and fell into disrepair, becoming a symbol of the decline of the “Motor City.”
Why valet parking is the future of smarter urban transit
“Increasingly, cities find streets and sidewalks flush with new transit options and mobility technology, including dockless bikes and scooters, and navigating the increase in traffic from ridehailing as well as the increase in urban freight deliveries. One proposed solution, a set of rules governing access to the curb, and infrastructure allowing for more multimodal transit options, can grow out of better data and information about how these important slivers of urban real estate work. ”
SOM Thinks Autonomous Vehicles Could Rapidly Change How Cities Grow and Develop
“With this sort of rapidly deployable autonomous transit in mind, Seanna Walsh, panelist and senior designer at SOM, argued that the configuration of today’s default urban development—locating housing and retail atop arterial heavy rail hubs—may be outmoded. Instead, more dispersed transit networks might inspire new patterns of development. ”
Bay Area Developers Investing In Offices Along Transit Boast Higher Rents, Lower Vacancy Rates
“Nationally, rents in transit-oriented office buildings are 65% higher than average market rent and vacancy rates are 8.3% in transit-accessible buildings compared to 9.1% in all properties.”
From Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation – Transportation Committee
But how do I get there by transit? A look at RTD’s First and Final Mile Strategic Plan
RTD is very early in the development of a regional “First and Final Mile Strategic Plan,” that aims to close the gaps in station accessibility while making RTD more accessible to more people. RTD is accomplishing this bold goal through a careful analysis of 15 representative stations. These stations, which are primarily suburban in context, and their subsequent recommendations, will provide a roadmap for how RTD can improve accessibility elsewhere. Thank you to Paul DesRocher, Manager of Planning Coordination, for providing a progress update on this plan.
Denver Streets Partnership Petition for 2019 Budget Priorities
As discussed at our July meeting, the Denver Streets Partnership is encouraging the Mayor and City Council to increase transportation funding for safety, pedestrian, and bike projects, in order to stay on track with our Vision Zero goal and the Denver Moves plans. These goals are supported by the adopted INC Transportation Platform, and Denver INC is a founding member of the Vision Zero Coalition. You can lend your voice to the call for multimodal funding and safety improvements by signing on to the survey at:
Those are great goals, Denver, but we need to fund them. An overview of the $40M annual transportation funding gap.
Jill Locantore, Executive Director of WalkDenver and co-founder of the Denver Streets Partnership, provided a concise call to action: Denver needs to fund its promises. Want safe streets for everyone? Want a full pedestrian network? Safe bikeways? We gotta pay for it, and we need to pay for it now. The Streets Partnership is asking Mayor Michael Hancock, City Council and the Director of Public Works to consider the following funding requests for Denver’s 2019 budget:
- $10 million for sidewalks and $5 million for bicycle facilities
- $5 million to improve safety on Federal Boulevard – the city’s deadliest corridor
- $1 million for interim design treatments like paint, epoxy, and plastic bollards to make designated lanes clearer and safer
- $1 million for updating Denver’s Street Design Standards to improve safety for all
But the Streets Partnership isn’t only about money. They’re also focused on policy development, vision zero, and critical corridor transformations for the Broadway’s, Colfax’s, and Federal’s of the city. Feeling inspired? You can quickly advocate to your elected official here:
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a scooter!
What in the world is dockless mobility? Under this umbrella are all vehicles that use an onboard technology to allow someone to remotely check out the [bicycle, e-bikes, e-scooter, etc.] from the public right of way. Sam Sadle, with Lime, was one of the scooter companies that landed in Denver, was removed while the City developed a pilot program (explained below), and is now back in action. During their first run, Lime found that for 40% of survey respondents, the scooter replaced a car, Lyft, or Uber ride. That means that scooters are not just a lot of fun, they’re serving as a viable transportation option. Most of the scooter trips are between 1 and 1.5 miles long, providing a quick option for short trips. The advantage to Lime and other scooter technologies is that they’re flexible (no stations), provide a fare structure that benefits one-off trips rather than many trips within a 24-hour time frame (much different from Denver B-cycle), and essentially free for the city (Lime covers all costs of equipment, operations and rider outreach). Just how popular were Lime scooters? When they launched over Memorial Day weekend, Lime boasted a staggering 18,000 rides within the first four days. That’s a lot. Here are some cool features of Lime scooters:
Small business partners have opted into serving as “Lime hubs” and are requested by businesses as a location for morning set-up.
The Lime app provides areas of restricted parking and recommended parking locations, making it easier for riders to figure out the best place to park.
In the future, fare for riding Lime scooters will be integrated with Uber.
Acting fast: the City’s approach to scooters and other dockless mobility options
Let’s take a minute to applaud the City for rolling out a pilot program for an entirely new mode of transportation in six weeks. Six! “That’s unheard of for the speed of government,” says Parking and Mobility Services Manager Cindy Patton. So, how to build a pilot program for a brand new mobility option whose use increased exponentially over the period of just a few weeks? Cindy turned to the City of Seattle, the first US city to grant permits to dockless mobility. She also turned to other partners in the city and found an existing program could be leveraged to serve Denver’s needs, the Transit Amenity Program (TAP).
The TAP permits the placement of amenities at transit stops to encourage transit ridership. Through it, a dockless mobility pilot was born. This pilot provides an opportunity to permit e-scooters and e-bikes, while retaining the freedom to adapt the program along the way. Each of the permits is fully revocable and can be adapted to meet the program’s evolving needs. But where will they go?? When ridden, scooters are to be ridden on sidewalks per a city ordinance that will take much longer than 6 weeks to change. (An ordinance change in the future is being explored.) When parked, they should stay out of the main pedestrian path, preferably being left near transit stops.
The operators are expected to rebalance vehicles back to transit stations continuously. A “hard reset” is required prior to each morning so that all scooters and bikes will start the day at a transit stop. Many thanks to Cindy Patton and Nicholas Williams, the Public Works Deputy Chief of Staff, for their presentation. Have comments, concerns, questions? Write:
TRANSIT SCREEN – THROWIN’ A CURB BALL: WHY CITIES ARE LOOKING TO REDESIGN SIDEWALKS AND CURBS
Curb space has become some of the most valuable property in urban areas. Why? Traffic. This is one of the biggest issues that many crowded cities face in our modern world, causing myriad problems, from pedestrian and road safety to pollution and health concerns.
Denver City Council Member Kendra Black reports in July, DIA kicked off the construction of a 3.5 year renovation project of the Great Hall. The project will make substantial improvements to levels 5 and 6, enhance security, provide a more flexible and open airline check-in space and add new dining and shopping options.
Denver City Council Member Paul Kashmann reports Denver’s first ever Sidewalk Repair Program kicked off earlier this month in several central Denver neighborhoods. City inspectors will evaluate sidewalks block-by-block, requiring property owners to repair trip hazards. Discounts are available for income-challenged families. Visit denvergov.org/sidewalks for details.
Denver City Council Member Jolon Clark reports Denver Public Works wants you to stay safe while enjoying time on a scooter! According to State and municipal code, scooters are classified as “toy vehicles” and required to be ridden on the sidewalk, with riders required to yield to pedestrians at all times. We realize this might not be the ideal place for these vehicles to be operated (especially at the higher volume created by the new “dockless” programs), but we are working with city attorneys and City Council to attempt to address this issue. DPW has put out a number of media statements about the program and they are working with the permitted operators to ensure that the riders receive the rules of the road directly on the respective apps prior to riding. Ultimately, this is a one-year pilot program, and we’ll need all the public input we can get as we move towards a potentially permanent permit program. Have comments, concerns, questions? Write:
From Saturday, September 8, 2018 to Friday, September 14, 2018, the Athmar Park Active Living Coalition will be holding a pop-up demonstration event. Event set-up will begin at 6:00 AM on 9/8, and event breakdown will begin at 6:00 AM on 9/14. This event is intended to give the community an idea of what different traffic-calming measures might look like in Athmar Park. These traffic-calming measures help to make people feel safer walking, biking, and wheelchair-rolling as a form of transportation, leading to residents and community members leading more active and healthy lives. The location of the event will be on South Tejon Street from West Alameda Ave to West Mississippi Ave. There will be a sidewalk buffer added to the east side of South Tejon from West Alameda to West Virginia Ave.
Confluence reports the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) has unveiled a new statewide housing fund to support the development and preservation of affordable and rental housing across Colorado. Funding for the new Capital Magnet Fund comes from a $7.1 million grant recently awarded to CHFA by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
National Real Estate Investor reports More Real Estate Funds Aim to Preserve Affordable Housing, Boost Economic Development. Both national and regional funds are emerging to preserve low-income and non-subsidized affordable housing across the country. In December, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT) and Morgan Stanley launched a new $100 million initiative aimed at protecting affordable housing for low income families across the country. The initial pilot made $30 million immediately available to non-profit affordable housing providers through the Fund to Preserve Affordable Communities (FPAC).
In a unanimous vote, the Denver City Council approved higher taxes on marijuana and also promised new money from the city’s general fund, boosting the city’s commitment from $15 million to about $30 million per year for housing. About half of the new money will go to the Denver Housing Authority, allowing it to take on $105 million of new debt in order to accelerate redevelopment projects and land purchases. Altogether, the change could result in the creation or preservation of about 6,200 additional below-market homes over the next decade, doubling the previous projections.
Britta Fisher was appointed as Chief Housing Officer for the City & County of Denver by Mayor Hancock and started in her role in June 2018. She has been involved in affordable housing in the Denver area since 2000, serving primarily in the nonprofit sector. Fisher, who also serves as Chair for the State Housing Board, most recently served as the Executive Director of mpowered, an organization providing financial coaching and transformation. For 11 years prior to that, she led Localworks in Wheat Ridge, supporting revitalization through community and economic development strategies and tools.
The Denver Regional Transit-Oriented Development Fund provided an $8.1 million loan to Gorman & Company to acquire The Colburn Hotel in Capitol Hill. The property has 92 single-room occupancy units which will be upgraded to efficiency apartments through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. Renovation is also slated for the common areas. For more information on the TOD fund, contact Joshua Griff, senior loan officer.
Denver City Council Member Kendra Black reports the city’s newest mural shouts “Welcome to Denver” and provides a friendly greeting for travelers venturing to southeast Denver along I-225 and Greenwood Village onto S Yosemite St. Noted Denver Muralist, Delton Demarest donated his talents to help create the colorful new mural on the CDOT sound wall. Engaging the community, Ascend Cannabis—located at S. Yosemite St.—paid for the landscaping materials, plants and contributed labor. Other contributors included Brothers BBQ, Nuggs Ice Cream, American Bonded, American Family Doug Nordlander Agency, GB Fish & Chips and Farmers Insurance Agent Brock Lindsay. Don Ireland, president of the Cherry Creek 3 HOA spearheaded the project. He said, “I always thought that boring, ugly old entrance to Denver didn’t give a good representation of southeast Denver.
Thanks to Delton, it’s a modern upgrade that is a great welcome sign. I think Delton is brilliant because he incorporated so many Denver Icons into the design. If you look closely, you’ll not only see the city’s beloved football franchise but also Red Rocks, the Capitol, statues from City Park, Civic Center Park and the Molly Brown House. The ends of the mural feature a hummingbird and butterfly because we need to think about planting things that will help sustain our pollinators while also looking beautiful and saving water at the same time. It took a lot of teamwork to get this project started and completed. I hope it will become one of denver’s best-known and most-admired murals. I can’t thank Kendra, Ascend and all the other companies and individuals who helped turn an idea into reality.”
Councilwoman Black and southeast resident, Frank Rowe, welcomed about 100 community members to a reception introducing a foundation supporting land acquisition for new Denver parks. New parks are needed to keep pace with Denver’s growing population. We were joined by friends, neighbors, parks advocates and leaders including Parks Director Happy Haynes, DPS Board Member Anne Rowe, Senator Joyce Foster, Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann, Representative Paul Rosenthal, Jeff Shoemaker, Councilman Paul Kashmann, Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman and Auditor Tim O’Brien.
Denver City Council Member Mary Beth Susman reports Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) is in the process of implementing a technical update to its current Dog Park Master Plan, which was completed in 2010. Currently, there are more than 50,000 dogs registered in the City and County of Denver and 12 designated off-leash dog parks. Much like Denver’s human population growth, it’s expected that the number of dogs will continue to increase. To help alleviate the various issues that arise from an increasing dog population in a growing city, many municipalities are looking towards dog parks. Click here to take a survey.
The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) announced that it has released two Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) for a wide range of neighborhood and housing projects to be funded in 2019. For neighborhood public service projects, OED is soliciting proposals from organizations that provide services to Denver residents in the following program areas:
- Adult and youth job training and placement
- Early childhood care, youth education, and youth opportunities/access
- Basic adult education, including literacy programs, English as a Second Language (ESL), or General Education Development (GED)
- Community-based wellness programs – healthy eating and living behaviors, and family support activities
- Micro-business and entrepreneurial development and technical assistance
Housing proposals are being solicited in the following program areas:
- Housing Counseling (HC)
- Down Payment Assistance (DPA)
- Tenant/Landlord Rights and Related Housing Information and Referral Services (TLR)
- Rental Housing Access Modification Program (RHAMP)
- Emergency Home Repair (EHR)
- Single Family Rehabilitation Program (SFR)
- Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
- Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs)
- Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
- Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program (TRUA)
- Innovative Housing Programs or Services
Programs must be ready to implement in the first quarter of 2019. Selected projects and activities will be funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, in addition to Denver’s dedicated Affordable Housing Fund. A general information meeting for all NOFA applicants will be held on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 3:30 to 5 p.m., in the Parr-Widener Room at the City and County Building located at 1437 Bannock Street, Denver. This meeting will discuss both the neighborhood and housing NOFAs. The meeting will include presentations from OED staff as well as an opportunity for questions and answers. Proposal guidelines, additional information, and the link to online applications in both categories can be found at:
The deadline to submit funding applications for neighborhood projects is Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 4 p.m., and the deadline to submit funding applications for housing projects is Friday, September 28, 2018, at 4 p.m.
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods reports that Sherman Street is changing; you can help influence its direction. A major rezoning is proposed for parts of Sherman Street between 16th and 19th Avenues. If adopted by City Council, the result likely would be taller and denser buildings along Sherman Street than currently allowed. A neighborhood community meeting to learn more about it and discuss it with planners and developers is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, at 6 PM at The Colorado Health Foundation Building, 1780 Pennsylvania Street, Denver. The proposal will be filed soon with the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development for formal consideration. Denver City Council will be asked for its approval on the final version. The proposal calls for extending the Downtown zone district farther to the east to include more of Sherman Street, and would also realign the western boundary of the City Park/Natural History Museum view plane. Denver Councilman Wayne New, CHUN (Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods), and Uptown on the Hill are sponsoring this important community meeting.
Confluence Denver reports on Reinventing the Art Museum: Everything You Need to Know About Meow Wolf’s Big Move to Denver. When a group of Santa Fe artists couldn’t find a gallery to exhibit their offbeat body of work, they built one. The exhibition was a howling success — and now it’s slinking into Denver, prompting development in one of the city’s rare untapped neighborhoods.