Ashley Union Station ground breaking

  • Ground was broken on Ashley Union Station.
  • Ashley Union Station is a $30 million affordable housing project.
  • Ashley Union Station is near Union Station.
Ground was broken on Thursday for the $30 million, Ashley Union Station, a mixed-use, affordable housing project near Union Station.

Ground was broken on Thursday for the $30 million, Ashley Union Station, a mixed-use, affordable housing project near Union Station.

Ground was broken on Thursday on Ashley Union Station, a $30 million, mixed-used, transit-oriented, affordable housing project near Union Station.

Some 75 of the 107 apartment units, or 70 percent of the units in Ashley Union Station, are reserved for low-and moderate-income residents and households.

The development at 18th Street and Chestnut Place is viewed as one of the only remaining opportunities to bring affordable housing near Union Station.

Ashley Union Station is a public-private partnership.

Public funding includes the Denver Office of Economic Development. The Denver Housing Authority is the general partner of Ashley Union Station.

“It’s critically important that residents of all income levels benefit from the new housing that is quickly sprouting in the Denver Union Station area,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock

“A new community is literally rising in the Central Platte Valley, and we’re proud to say that hard-working families can access urban living within steps of our major transit hub, benefitting from connections to the entire metro area,” Hancock said.

The 4-story building will include one- and two-bedroom units, as well as a partly covered parking garage and a ground-level retail space.

Ashley Union Station will incorporate significant energy efficiency measures, complying with the Enterprise Green Communities Standards.

“Our partners in this undertaking have been outstanding – we simply could not have done it without the dedication and commitment of all parties involved,” said Egbert Perry, Chairman/CEO of the Integral Group, LLC., Ashley Union Station’s developer.

“We are here because of the leadership of Mayor Hancock, the City Council, the Denver Housing Authority, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Division of Housing,” Perry added.

Some 34 units will be available to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, which is up to $43,200 for a family of three.

Another 34 units will be offered to households earning 50 percent or less of the area median income, and seven units will be for households at up to 30 percent of the area median income.

“The best neighborhoods in Denver have a diversity of housing options,” said Ismael Guerrero, DHA’s Executive Director.

“We’re excited to be creating affordable housing options in the Union Station neighborhood with our partners at Integral and OED,” Guerrero added.

The City and County of Denver provided $2.3 million in financing from its general fund for Ashley Union Station.

The DHA provided $2.75 million to support the land acquisition and is providing a 70-year ground lease to the Integral Group for Ashley Union Station.

The city also provided a $950,000 loan from its  Inclusionary Housing Ordinance special revenue fund.

Other financing partners include the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, the Colorado Division of Housing, and Enterprise Community Partners.

“Ashley Union Station will provide much-needed affordable housing at the heart of the Denver Union Station redevelopment area,” said Vicki Lundy Wilbon, President of Community Development for Integral.

“The vibrancy of the surrounding area will serve to enhance the living experience of the residents, who can literally work, play and live within a few city blocks,” Wilbon added.

“With access to transit steps away from the community, future residents will enjoy easy connectivity with the outskirts and suburban areas of Denver,” she said.

Ashley Union Station is expected to be completed in early 2017.

Meanwhile, other affordable housing initiatives by the City and County of Denver include:

  • The Denver Office of Economic Development is currently funding a total of 12 affordable developments that are either under construction or in the planning phase. These units will deliver 1,240 affordable rental units to people across the income spectrum, from the homeless to residents earning up to 80 percent of the median income.
  • The Mayor’s “3×5 challenge” of producing 3,000 affordable units over five years is tracking ahead of schedule, with nearly 1,400 units developed, rehabilitated or preserved after two years.
  • Earlier this year, Denver City Council passed revisions to the city’s Affordable Housing Preservation Ordinance, which strengthens the city’s ability to preserve long-term affordability of existing rental units.
  • A new construction defects reform ordinance, designed to help spur the development of condominium projects in Denver, was recently passed by City Council.

And just over a year ago, the Mayor issued Housing Denver, the city’s first long-range affordable housing plan to be completed in 15 years. The goal of the 5-year plan is to harness the resources of the public and private sectors to deliver accessible housing opportunities for individuals and families of all income levels throughout the city.

Interested in buying a home in downtown Denver? Please visit COhomefinder.com.

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

 

 

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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