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By John Rebchook, Denver Real Estate Watch, August 8, 2015

DENVER – A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday for a $15 million, 42-unit apartment building, Terraza del Sol, which is viewed as a catalyst for Westwood, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Denver.

Gorman & Co., in its first Denver project, is developing Terraza del Sol on a 1.3 acre-site at 3116 W. Alameda Ave.

The three-story development will provide housing for those earning 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.

Monthly rents will range from $382 for a one-bedroom unit to $733 per month for three-bedroom units.

Qualifying renters would earn from $23,000 to $46,020 annually.

Mi Casa Resource Center, a Denver-based nonprofit that has served the community for four decades, will occupy the first floor, providing a range of educational and economic services.

“We specialize in complex public-private affordable housing partnerships in communities that are revitalizing in an equitable way,” said Kimball Crangle, Gorman’s Colorado Market President.

The City of Denver, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Colorado Health Foundation, the Urban Land Institute and others have worked for years to bring new investment to the area

Almost a third of all of Denver’s substandard housing units are in Westwood, and 95 percent of the children in that south-central/west Denver neighborhood are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Paul Lopez, the Denver City Councilman for Westwood, grew up in the neighborhood and knows what is it like to grow up poor with substandard housing.

“As a young man, my family constantly moved searching for decent, safe, and affordable housing,” Lopez said.

“Every time we moved, I had to change schools, make new friends, and the six of us would share a two-bedroom apartment,” Lopez said.

Terraza del Sol addresses social issues that have plagued Westwood, according to Lopez.

“By providing the units at Terraza del Sol, we are not only creating affordability, but sustainability in the lives of people in Westwood,” Lopez said.”

The 71,000-square-foot, energy-efficient buildings will embrace healthy living goals. Amenities will include a fitness room, interior bike storage, a large outdoor terrace with gathering and play space for families, a community lounge and media room.

Mi Casa Resource Center will open its new organizational headquarters and Family Economic and Education Center in almost 20,000 square feet in Terraza del Sol.

The space will house Mi Casa and its core partners, providing:

  • Entrepreneurial training;
  • Business counseling and micro-loans;
  • Career training, coaching and job search help;
  • Financial coaching;
  • Tax preparation;
  • English as a second language programs;
  • GED test preparation;
  • Computer literacy classes;
  • And legal consultations.

“We are excited to bring our comprehensive economic and educational services to this beautiful facility in Southwest Denver,” said Christine Márquez-Hudson, CEO and executive director of Mi Casa.

“This will enable Mi Casa to provide easier access and help more families achieve lasting economic stability,” Márquez-Hudson added.

Terraza del Sol is being financed through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Denver Office of Economic Development, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Citibank and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Terraza del Sol was designed by Shopworks Architecture.The general contractor is Deneuve Construction Services. When complete, the property will be managed by the Ross Management Group.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.