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By: Inside Real Estate News, October 2, 2014

Grove Street Apartments, a planned 42-affordable housing development in southwest Denver’s Westwood neighborhood, has been awarded almost $1 million in federal tax credits.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority $915,504 in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the development by Gorman & Co. on a 1.3-acre site at 3116 W. Alameda Ave.

The development is part of a comprehensive revitalization effort being implemented by city leaders in partnership with the Westwood community.

CHFA recently announced the final round of LIHTC allocation awards for 2014, which included Grove Street Apartments, a proposed mix-use development incorporating affordable housing and a nonprofit community services organization.

“By partnering with cities and Urban Renewal Authorities, CHFA can leverage our resources even further to help address the need for affordable housing, especially in communities like Westwood where revitalization has been prioritized,” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO.

Westwood has been identified as a blighted Urban Renewal Area in need of reinvestment by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.
In addition to the tax credits, the $14.3 million project will include a financial contribution from DURA.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with Gorman and Co. the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and the city and county of Denver by deploying DURA resources for the Grove Street Apartments,” said Tracy Huggins, DURA’s executive director.

“The redevelopment of this site, identified as a priority location for redevelopment in the 1990 Urban Renewal Plan, represents a significant milestone for the corridor,” Huggins continued.

DURA has had a long relationship with Westwood.

“For over 20 years, DURA has worked with individual residential and commercial property owners to reinvest in the Westwood area,” Huggins said.

CHFA’s allocation of federal LIHTC in round two will allow Grove Street Apartments to leverage $3.35 million in DURA funds that otherwise would not be available to support redevelopment in the area.

These resources are crucial, as 24 percent of Westwood’s families live below the poverty line and 95 percent of the children in Westwood are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 27 percent of all of Denver’s substandard housing units are in Westwood. Its rental housing stock also is old. Some 78 percent of renter-occupied housing in Westwood was built before 1980.

Additionally, Westwood’s affordable housing rentals are 99.8 percent occupied with very long wait lists, of up to 300 people.
“Grove Street Apartments is the kind of catalytic project we specialize in,” said Kimball Crangle, Colorado market president for Gorman & Co.

“We’ll provide high quality housing and services for working individuals and families who are low income earners, helping to strengthen the economic well-being of families and transforming the community over time,” Crangle added.

Crangle was previously a senior developer for Denver Housing Authority and led its flagship Mariposa redevelopment at West 10th Avenue and Osage Street.

The development of Grove Street Apartments coincides with coordinated efforts by City Councilman Paul López, Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration, and others to bring new investment into the Westwood neighborhood spanning housing, health care and food access needs.

“Mayor Hancock is focused on five critical strategies for Westwood revitalization through community investment—parks/open space, youth, fresh food, affordable housing, and commercial development,” said Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development.

“We are therefore so pleased to see Grove Street Apartments added to Denver’s spectrum of affordable and workforce housing, and particularly in Westwood, as one of the highest areas of concentrated poverty in the city,” Washington added.

“The Grove Street Apartments development is a catalyst project for Westwood,” said López, who represents the area.

“In addition to critically needed affordable housing, this mixed use development will bring job training opportunities to southwest Denver,” he said.

The construction of Grove Street Apartments is estimated to generate $15.85 million in economic impact and support 74 jobs. Ground breaking is expected in early fall of 2015 with an opening in fall of 2016.