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DDP Housing Council Looks to Bring 18,000 New Housing Units by 2027
Skylines

Urban living options are growing in demand as individuals and families look to reduce commuting times and costs and increase access to unique amenities. In turn, this trend will spur the growth of retail and other development in the heart of major metropolitan cities. The Downtown Denver Partnership is helping meet this demand by assigning its new Housing Council the goal of bringing 18,000 new housing units to Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods by 2027. The Partnership's Housing Council is coordinating efforts to help remove barriers and create incentives that will encourage the development of market-appropriate Downtown housing. The group's Steering Committee met in January of 2009 to develop its overarching goals. Three tactical committees were then developed to manage the group's top three priorities: housing marketing, housing policy and place-making.

Co-Chairs, David Zucker (Zocalo Community Development) and Barry Benware (Global Pacific Properties) will lead the group through the process. "I believe that development of Downtown residential is our greatest single priority," said Benware. "Dense and urban residential development drives so many other good results for Downtown, including substantially enhanced retail, safety, vitality, energy efficiency, air quality and other environmental considerations." "The Partnership is taking a leadership role in ensuring the continued, sustainable growth of the Downtown Denver population," said Zucker. "Increasing Downtown's population by half in less than 20 years is ambitious, but the rewards for retailers, residents and businesses will be dramatic."

Housing Council Priorities

Marketing Chaired by Dee Chirafisi (Kentwood City Properties) and Chris Crosby (The Nichols Partnership, Inc.), this committee will focus on:

  • Encouraging, creating and promoting events that cultivate community and enhance neighborhood brands.
  • Internal outreach to engage the "audience" that already spends time in Downtown Denver. (workers, event attendees, diners/shoppers, hotel guests).
  • Creating and enhancing a virtual community that reflects and enhances the physical community.
  • Creating an external outreach program to attract a new audience to Downtown Denver by increasing awareness of the diversity of living Downtown: diversity of product type, lifestyle and price.
  • Educating the community on the environmental sustainability aspects of housing option.

Place Making Chaired by Henry Beer (Communication Arts, Inc.) and Sarah Harman (Zocalo Community Development), this committee will focus on:

  • Supporting the development of "sense of place" and an individual identity for Downtown's 13 adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Promoting the development of a strategic balance of jobs and housing in Downtown.
  • Advocating for more integrated, multi-modal transportation opportunities to and throughout Downtown Denver, with additional focus on routes to access-challenged amenities.
  • Working with established resident and neighborhood organizations and advocacy groups to identify amenities gaps such as schools, groceries, green markets, retail and entrepreneurial / artisan venues.

Policy Chaired by Charlie Wooley (St. Charles Town Company) and Sarah Rockwell (Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell LLP), this committee will focus on:

  • The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) as it relates to development
  • Permitting and zoning, including the policies and processes that inhibit or facilitate residential development
  • Market-appropriate development
  • Builder and Other Liabilities
  • Incentives
  • Regional Issues

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