By Julia Alvarez, JVA Consulting
Home to a number of blighted, dilapidated and potentially contaminated sites, Colfax Avenue is no stranger to abandoned buildings or deserted lots, but residents and businesses situated along a 15-mile stretch of the Colfax corridor, spanning from Yosemite Street in Denver to Indiana Street in Lakewood, are about to start seeing some important changes. On Friday, June 1, JVA Consulting staff members who wrote the grant joined a group of partners and supporters in an empty parking lot on the corner of Colfax and Irving in Denver for the official announcement of the $900,000 award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Colfax Mainstreet Coalition. Ranked in the top 10 percent of over 450 proposals submitted for the Brownfields Assessment grant, the Colfax Mainstreet Coalition will use the funds to begin the process of assessing brownfields and preparing them for cleanup and redevelopment.
Defined as pieces of property that face complicated redevelopment or reuse because of the actual or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, brownfields have long been a source of environmental, economic and community strife. Coined the “Cinderella grant” because of its ability to transform communities, Brownfields Assessment grants are used across the U.S. to boost local economies, transform blighted spaces, protect the environment and make room for community growth. The Colfax Mainstreet Coalition, a partnership between the City of Denver, the City of Lakewood and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, together with a group of over 20 nonprofit organizations and neighborhood associations, produced “one of the strongest, most compelling proposals” the EPA reviewed. The Coalition’s proposal was the second largest assessment grant awarded and the fifth largest Brownfields grant overall.
Working with its nonprofit and neighborhood partners, the Coalition will identify potential brownfields along the corridor and will conduct intensive environmental assessments to determine the cleanup and transformation requirements that can help facilitate revitalization and redevelopment. The site of the award presentation, once an old and contaminated gas station, underwent a brownfields assessment and cleanup several years ago, and is now slated for redevelopment into a new branch of the Denver Public Library and a new public housing development. JVA was honored to partner with the Colfax Mainstreet Coalition to write this grant proposal last fall and, as a business situated just off the Colfax corridor, we look forward to seeing the results of the assessment and continuing to support the revitalization and growth of Colfax Avenue, Colorado’s first main street.
For more more information on the Colfax Mainstreet Coalition’s proposed project, click here. And contact us at 303.477.4896 if you’d like us to write a grant for your organization.