- Affordable housing opens in south Denver.
- Evan Stations Lofts is a TOD.
- Grand opening ceremony on Tuesday.
The Urban Land Conservancy and Medici Communities LLC have opened Evans Station Lofts, an affordable-housing development in a new, but historic-looking building next to the Evans Light Rail Station in south Denver.
A grand opening ceremony will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the community at 2140 S. Delaware St. in the Overland Park neighborhood.
All 50 of the units have been rented.
The developers of the brick-and-flagstone building used advanced construction and innovative financing techniques for the Evan Station Lofts.
Affordable housing is much-needed in the area, according to the developers.
Market-rate features, not market-rate prices
The development itself has many of the features found in luxury, market-rate units.
They include 10-foot ceilings, glass-tile accents, a community room with laptop computers and free wi-fi, exercise room, a rooftop barbeque area and a shared car for hourly rental.
“We wanted this project to not only provide a high quality living environment for the residents, but to be a positive catalyst for future development of the surrounding community,” said Troy Gladwell, founder and principal, Medici Communities.
The apartments are one- and two-bedroom units with rents of $380 to $850 per month. The average overall monthly rent for the area was $1,171 in the second quarter, according to the Colorado Division of Housing.
Individuals and families who qualified for units in the Evans Station Lofts, who met limited, annual-income requirements, have rented all of the units. Residents started moving in the first week of August.
The building has 10,000 square feet of commercial space that incorporates the work of the Denver Shared Space Program with the first commercial tenant being Kim Robards Dance, a local nonprofit.
Model for affordable TODs
“This development shatters the stereotype of mixed use affordable housing and is a powerful example of how nonprofits, the public sector and for-profits can positively incorporate new transit-oriented development into an established neighborhood,” said Aaron Miripol, President and CEO, ULC, who will be attending Tuesday’s ground-breaking along with Gladwell, District 7 Councilman Chris Nevitt and others.
The development, which cost $12.35 million, is a five-story building that was designed to match the architectural history of the area.
The cost efficiencies in construction were invested in higher quality selections of materials and amenities, such as the use of brick and flagstone accents, and raising the ceiling height in each apartment from the standard nine feet to 10 feet.
In June 2011, ULC purchased the land for $1.2 million using Denver’s Transit Oriented-Development Fund, a loan fund that was created to acquire and preserve land near transit stations for affordable housing and other community benefits. ULC sold the land in May 2012 to Medici for the Evans development, which was awarded $1 million in annual low-income housing tax credits from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
The housing credit program provides private market incentive to invest in affordable rental housing.
“Evans Station Lofts is a fine example of how the Denver TOD Fund provides flexible financing options so developers can build quality affordable housing along the city’s expanding transit lines,” said Melinda Pollack, vice president of transit-oriented development, Enterprise.
In addition to Miripol, Nevitt and Gladwell, others who are scheduled to attend the grand opening event on Tuesday include Brad Weinig, of Enterprise Community Partners and Shelly Marquez, vice president of Community Development for Wells Fargo.
Capitalized with $15 million of public, private and philanthropic capital, the fund supports the creation and preservation of affordable homes and community assets through strategic property acquisition along current and future transit corridors.
The Denver TOD Fund is a partnership between ULC, Enterprise Community Partners, the City and County of Denver and several other investors including Wells Fargo and CHFA, who joined together to establish the country’s first affordable housing TOD acquisition fund in the country.
Since April 2010, the fund has made eight acquisition loans to create and preserve more than 625 affordable homes, a new public library and 100,000 square feet of supportive commercial space, all easily accessible by public transit.
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