By Eric Heinz
It may be a few years before the anticipated 4995 Washington St. building comes to fruition, but community members are eager to see what could be the home to a new grocery store, possibly a library and 200 residential units.
Updates to the project were provided at a recent meeting hosted by the development group, which includes Chicago-based Evergreen Real Estate Services, Denver-based Rocky Mountain Communities and The G.E.S. Coalition’s Tierra Colectiva.
Denver Public Library has yet to make a decision as to whether it will host a library in 10,000 square feet of space in one of the buildings, but there is another 3,850 square feet available for some kind of retailer, possibly a food vendor.
The building is not expected to be completed until 2026, but Nola Miguel, the director of The G.E.S. Coalition, said because of the timeline to start construction on the building, finding a long-term tenant in the near future is crucial.
“We’re hoping to look at different options and things that people want,” Miguel said. “(The commercial area) is not as large as we had originally hoped, but it’s a decent size. We need a tenant to pay rent or leverage funds to purchase the space, and then work on designing what that space could look like. That does bring more urgency to it. If it’s a restaurant, then we need a commercial kitchen and so forth.”
One possible occupant floated by attendees at the meeting was to solicit Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery store, but nothing has been established with the organization at this time.
Some of the latest developments regarding the building include that 20 of the units will be two-story townhomes for rent, there will be tuck-under parking spaces, and native landscaping has been added to the courtyards of the buildings. There also are plans for a play area for children.
The city of Denver owns the land that was once a car dealership, which it purchased in 2018 for $6 million with the intent of creating an income-restricted housing complex. The units of the complex, between one and four bedrooms, will be rented at 30-80% of Denver’s area median income, with half the units being rented at or below 50%.
Javonni Butler, a project manager with Evergreen, said the development team will apply for low-income housing tax credits — which are distributed through the state by way of federal funding each year — in order to finance the majority of the project.
Future topics of discussion will include safety, transportation, building amenities, art for it and more. For information on future meetings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.