Land for Denver Affordable Rental Sold by Urban Land Conservancy

A mixed-use, transit-oriented development featuring 50 workforce-housing apartments will be coming soon to Denver.

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Denver—A mixed-use, transit-oriented development featuring 50 workforce-housing apartments will be coming soon to Denver, as a result of the sale of property at Denver’s Evans Light Rail Station by Urban Land Conservancy (ULC).

ULC purchased the one-acre property in June 2011, using Denver’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Fund, a $15 million fund created the previous year to preserve land near transit stations for affordable housing development.

The new five-story development will be called Evans Station Lofts, and will offer 7,100 square feet of commercial/retail space in addition to the apartments. It is slated to break ground this month, and welcome residents in spring, 2013.

Households earning 30 to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) will be eligible to live at Evans Station Lofts. As an example, a family of three earning household income of between $21,450 and $42,840 a year would be eligible.

Some 60 percent of low-income household outflows are the result of housing and transportation expenses, ULC reports. That burden will be eased for low-income families residing at Evans Station Lofts, because residents will enjoy ready access to transportation, jobs, education and additional services.

“The property is directly across the street from the Evans light rail station,” Aaron Miripol, ULC president and CEO, tells MHN. “We recognized the potential to bring additional value to the area, including housing options and services to residents and commuters. There is currently a lack of affordable rental housing in the area, and this project will help fill that gap.”

The developer of Evans Station Lofts is Medici Communities LLC, which was established in 2002 with the objective of creating affordable housing developments. Medici was awarded low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) for the project from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority in 2011.

“Medici has a long-standing excellent reputation as affordable housing developers,” Miripol says. “We respect their work ethic and like the developments they have completed, and we recognize their success in getting tax credits. ULC has been trying to partner with Medici for a long time, and we are happy to finally have the opportunity to work together.”

“This project is very exciting for us,” adds Troy Gladwell, Medici Communities CEO and president. “It is a pleasure to work on a development of such significance for the residents and families that will live here, as well as provide an economic boost to the surrounding communities.”
The nine-year-old Urban Land Conservancy is a non-profit organization that acquires, preserves and develops real estate for urban assets like workforce housing, affordable non-profit office space, community centers and schools.

“We are excited to see the goals of the TOD Fund come full circle,” Miripol says. “ULC purchased and held a terrific site in an underutilized area for an experienced development partner to bring a high-quality residential building. It is rare that we see this kind of lead-in development at an existing station site.”

Evans Station Lofts will be a first step in revitalizing a very visible, yet slightly forgotten area of Denver, he adds. ULC has noted the start of some area improvements, which Evans Station Lofts should nicely complement.

“The construction of these homes will also have a positive economic impact on the community, creating temporary and permanent jobs, [as well as] additional income, and increasing recurring revenue,” Miripol says.

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