Denver Housing Authority (2018)

Denver, CO

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COMMUNITY IMPACT

Denver Housing Authority (DHA) is building a 175-unit, 117-square-foot Collaborative Resources Facility (the ‘facility’) and community gardens with a fresh food farmers market (collectively, the ‘project’). The project is a Transit Oriented Development (TOD), adjacent to the 10th & Osage RTD Light Rail stop, ensuring easy access by the public. The facility includes a community room with a leadership and job training program, the new headquarters for the DHA, and a space for other nonprofits and mission-oriented tenants. The site for DHA’s Collaborative Resource Facility is located just north of the 10th and Osage light rail station in the midst of their Mariposa affordable housing development. The transit-oriented neighborhood is centrally located near DHA’s North Lincoln Homes and Sun Valley neighborhood which houses many of DHA’s residents and support services, and it is accessible through multi-modal transit to the Central Business District. The building was highly visible from the light rail (both directions) and from the I-25 highway. The Osage streetscape, stretching the entire length of the property, was activated daily and early evenings as employees and passersby encounter the icon of DHA. Upon entry the lobby, flexible conference space, and visit the Mercado marketplace are readily apparent. The ‘Mercado at Mariposa’ has a rich history within the community. Early on in the neighborhood’s redevelopment, residents had long desired a ‘mercado’ or market that would provide affordable, fresh foods as well as a central place for locals to sell products and incubate their small businesses. The new market seeks to fill this need in addition to providing a ‘third space’ for residents, office tenants, and transit users alike to grab a coffee, a fresh salad, or a few local crafts or goods in a space that embraces connections to nature, health, and environmental stewardship through its many sustainability and wellness-centered design features. In addition to space for local micro-vendors, the market features fresh ‘grab-and-go’ food prepared daily at the nearby Osage cafe-which provides low-income youth with culinary training and employment. The same model of local job creation and skills building was used at the Mercado as well. Another key feature is the green ‘walls’ that house fresh foods, produce, and even plant seedlings to populate the many community gardens that have sprung up across the neighborhood. This green wall will extend through the office lobby, which features drop-in technology stations, all the way into the multi-use community room. This room features a flexible layout for DHA trainings but also provide much needed space for community meetings, local events, and community-based programming. The Denver Housing Authority’s Mariposa District is a nationally recognized redevelopment known for its commitment to the residents, environment, and creation of vibrant, mixed-income communities. The Collaborative Resource Facility and its ground floor marketplace serves as an iconic beacon in what has already become one of Denver’s most transformative development sites.

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