Denver snaps up rights to RTD lot
The Regional Transportation District has given Denver’s economic development office the green light to pursue affordable housing development for a vacant lot owned by the transit agency in Five Points.
The city early next year plans to solicit competitive bids from developers to build condos aimed at buyers of mixed incomes, according to a news release. The site, now a parking lot, is at 2907-2915 Welton St., across the street from RTD’s central rail line.
RTD’s Board of Directors voted Tuesday to give the city a purchase option on the land. City officials can assign that option to the chosen developer, which would pay a price set by a fair-market appraisal, the release says.
It’s unclear how many condos will result, and what portion will be reserved for purchase by buyers who meet income restrictions.
Denver has targeted the site for its second recent effort to spur affordable condo construction in a market that has seen little such development, even for market-rate projects.
The Denver Office of Economic Development earlier this fall loaned $3 million to developer Confluence Companies to help with the purchase of land for a mixed-income condo project next to the 41st and Fox station on the soon-toopen G Line commuter rail.
“It takes strategic, proactive efforts like this to put homeownership within reach of the hard-working residents of our great city,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in the release.
RTD will be represented on a selection panel that considers developers’ bids for the Welton Street property.
“RTD is proud to partner with Denver to help facilitate another transit-oriented community,” said Dave Genova, RTD’s general manager and CEO. “We are especially pleased that Denver will be making affordable housing a key focus for this location.”
A 10-year, $150 million affordable housing plan spearheaded by Hancock and the City Council won approval in September. It will draw on property taxes and new development impact fees to expand the resources available for affordable housing project loans and subsidies, but critics have argued the plan is too moderate to make a serious dent in Denver’s affordable housing problem.