Once a thriving economic hub that went neglected for decades and had become an eyesore for Northeast Park Hill residents, Dahlia Square today met a bright, new future with the grand opening of the Dahlia Square Senior Apartments.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, who during his time on City Council was instrumental in helping the redevelopment come to fruition, spoke to the community at the Dahlia Square Senior Apartments grand opening, calling the project a “symbol of revitalization” for Northeast Park Hill.
“Fifty years ago, Dahlia Square was the lifeblood of the Park Hill community,” Mayor Hancock said. “But anyone who has driven by the old Dahlia Square in recent years knows that the site had become anything but that. “Today, with the help of community engagement, organizations like DURA and the addition of the Dahlia Square Senior Apartmentsand Park Hill Family Health Center, Dahlia Square has been reborn and will once again be an asset for the Park Hill neighborhood.”
For McDermott Properties, the developer of the project, bringing Dahlia Square back to life required the support of countless partners, including the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA), the Colorado Finance and Housing Authority (CHFA) and community leaders.
DURA assisted McDermott Properties in producing a comprehensive finance structure to complete the land acquisition. The organization also helped with the remediation of the site, which was filled with construction debris and solid waste since the late 1940s when a previous tenant, the Farrey Brick Company, ceased operations.
“The story of Dahlia Square’s makeover is quite remarkable, especially considering the dilapidated state of the site prior to DURA’s involvement,” said Tracy Huggins, executive director at DURA. “In addition to helping secure more than $3.5 million in local and federal grants, DURA has facilitated almost $10 million in additional debt financing to date. This type of public investment, leveraging an even larger private one, is at the core of DURA’s mission.”
The grand opening of the complex marks exactly one year since the developer, McDermott Properties, broke ground on the first phase of the Dahlia Square Senior Apartments. The first phase, which is located at the corner of E. 35th Avenue and Elm Street, will be home to 88 affordable housing units for seniors and already has 40 of the apartments leased and occupied.
“There has been an overwhelming amount of support from the community on this project, and it’s been so rewarding to hear the positive feedback from neighbors and Park Hill residents,” said Arthur McDermott, president of McDermott Properties. “I would like to extend that collective gratitude to the teams at DURA and CHFA for helping us make the Dahlia Square Senior Apartments a reality.”
In March 2010, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) awarded $1.25 million in annual Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to Dahlia Square Senior Apartments. LIHTC are a federal resource designed to increase private sector investment into the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing. Since 1986, LIHTC have helped finance nearly 40,000 affordable rental units across the state, and 2.4 million units nationwide.
“The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is a critical resource that helps communities to revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs and provide affordable housing for their most vulnerable citizens,” said CHFA Executive Director and CEO Cris White. “We applaud McDermott Properties, the City of Denver, and Denver Urban Renewal Authority for the tremendous work at Dahlia Square. CHFA is proud to be a part of this effort.”
The Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) offers language translation by utilizing Google's free translation service. While it's common to find some imperfections in these translations, the service provides easy access to translation in several different languages at no expense. If you have any specific questions or would like to speak with someone in Spanish, please contact DURA at 303-534-3872.