May has brought exposure and new perspectives on the district through three events: an Urban Land Institute tour on May 10th, an art project dinner party held on a parking lot last Friday night, and the Colfax Marathon this past Sunday. The BID planned these events as opportunities to open eyes to possibilities and opportunities on West Colfax, and the real estate professionals attending the ULI tour reported just that.
During the tour on May 10th, the BID hosted 100 Urban Land Institute members, as they explored the district. The event, organized by ULI Colorado and the four Colfax business districts, showcased the vitality, new investments and opportunities along Denver’s 13-mile-long Main Street.
“This tour opened the eyes for many developers, investors and architects to all the great progress and new projects on Colfax East and West,” says Michael Lecasse, director of ULI Colorado. This reflects the scale of investment and opportunities such as St. Anthony’s. “The past two years has seen more than $20 million in new development and infrastructure investments in our district, with an additional $30 million that is fully committed and a further $165 million more projected through 2017,” said Dan Shah, the BID director. “We have improving local demographics, affordable real estate, and businesses are beginning to take notice.”
Reflecting these changes in the perception of Colfax, “progressive” retailers are now interested in Colfax, according to Katy Press, retail consultant with KP & Associates. “As the Colfax Corridor continues its dynamic transition, it is attracting national retailers who now see it as a more viable opportunity,” she said.
Tour highlights included a stop at St. Anthony’s campus, where Cameron Bertron of EFG Brownfield Partners, the presumptive purchaser of the site, described a vision for connecting Colfax to Sloans Lake. Aaron Miripol of the Urban Land Conservancy went on to recount the motivations for his organization’s catalytic investment on West Colfax, centered on bringing a new library as well as high quality workforce housing. The tour also encompassed the West End Flats and the BID’s renewably-powered infrastructure investments.