Posted on 04-12-2012
DHA highlights revitalization projects in west Denver
The Denver Housing Authority (DHA) celebrated the next phase of community revitalization at the Mariposa development on West 10th Ave. and Navajo St. on April 10. Festivities began with an opening ceremony with local dignitaries Ismael Guerrero, DHA’s Executive Director, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Rick García Dir. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Region VIII, Denver City Councilwoman Judy Montero, Lloyd “Skip” Brown, DBE/SBE Compliance Officer with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and EPA Regional Dir. Jim Martin.
Phase II construction will begin immediately and is scheduled for completion next summer. Work includes major infrastructure improvements on West 10th Ave, which will become the neighborhood’s central promenade, and a plaza for community gatherings, markets and festivals. Four new mixed-income, mixed-use buildings totaling 93 residential units will be built to LEED Gold standards, including rooftop solar panels. The residential units will be 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom apartments and townhomes. The area will be graced by a dramatic sculpture by prominent local artist Emanuel Martínez.
“We’ll officially start construction on four new buildings and a central plaza while welcoming new arts, education and culinary tenants,” said Guerrero. “Mariposa is becoming the creative urban community we’ve all envisioned.”
The first building on West 10th Ave. and Navajo St. will include a 6,000 square-foot, ground floor space for a youth media studio in partnership with Flobots.org, a nonprofit organization. The award-winning group is fundraising for the $2.75 million state-of-the-art space, which will also include an indoor/outdoor performance venue, digital design studio and space for poetry, music and youth leadership workshops.
“This sustainable, transit-oriented project is a true example of how public-private partnerships can be leveraged to create jobs and long-term solutions for local communities,” said Rep. DeGette. “I’m so proud that this first $22 million phase of construction is estimated to create 300 jobs, with approximately $47 million in local spending through contracts, materials, equipment and labor.”
Groundbreaking comments were followed by a community open house at Tapiz Apartments at 11th Ave and Osage, a new 100-unit affordable LEED apartment community.
Denver’s West High School marching band led a colorful parade throughout the west Denver neighborhood leading to the Tapiz Apartments.
“Today, we are in the heart of one of Denver’s many culturally rich neighborhoods, bringing a mixed-use, family friendly community adjacent to the light rail and the Santa Fe Arts business district,” said Mayor Hancock. “This nationally recognized redevelopment project is truly a stunning model of sustainable living in Denver that exemplifies how together we are delivering a world class city where everyone matters.”
The Tapiz Apartment building also hosts a wide variety of programs for the community. A new state-of-the-art kitchen and café for Youth Culinary Academy, where nearly 100 youth have graduated from this successful program, going on to jobs in the culinary industry. The Osage Café is open to the public and located on 11th Ave. and Osage.
The Connections@Tapiz is a new community center offering job training, health and wellness programs and social activities for residents.
The Tapiz building is also a new permanent space for Arts Street, a nonprofit that provides classes and multimedia design instruction to more than 2,000 under-served youth each year.
Tapiz is one of Denver’s greenest buildings, with rooftop solar photovoltaic, geothermal and gray water recycling systems. The 100-unit, LEED-Platinum building was named one of the “100 Recovery Act Projects Changing America” by HUD.
DHA in partnership with the City, RTD and community continues work on several other sustainable transit-oriented developments. Some of the projects planned or underway on the West corridor line include Federal Decatur Station, Knox Station and 44th Ave.
DHA’s urban design team, led by OZ Architecture, includes Perspective3 and Urban Ventures. Landscape design is by Wenk Associates, Inc. and civil engineering by Jansen Strawn Consulting Engineers. The general contractor is Denueve Construction.
For further info, www.denverhousing.org or 720/932-3000.