LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Earlier this month, Fifty Eight Hundred—Metro West Housing Solutions’ (MWHS) newest affordable housing community—was awarded the Urban Land Institute of Colorado’s 2019 Impact Award in Innovation. Fifty Eight Hundred was selected as the winner out of three finalists, including the Dairy Block in Denver and Basecamp Center in Frisco.
ULI’s Impact Awards are based on the ULI Awards for Excellence, the most highly respected international program of land use awards. As with the ULI Awards for Excellence, ULI Colorado recognizes projects that realize ULI best practices while also providing successful business and economic models. The Innovation category of the awards recognized the most innovative projects throughout the state, taking into account projects’ resourceful use of land, sustainability practices, entrepreneurship, and innovative design and planning features.
Fifty Eight Hundred is an adaptive reuse project that transformed a long-abandoned concrete office tower into 152 units of affordable housing. After an 18 month construction period, the building was open to residents in early October 2018. It is completely leased with over 4,500 people on the waiting list.
In total, the apartment community features seven studios, 46 one-bedroom, 78 two-bedroom and 21 three-bedroom apartments. A majority of the units serve residents earning 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with the remainder serving those who earn between 30 and 50 percent AMI. The complex also offers top-notch amenities including underground parking, indoor bike storage, a rooftop deck with mountain views, two community rooms, and youth and adult education rooms.
“I am not sure there is any greater impact on a community and on personal lives than taking a blighted, contaminated, vacant building and turning it into a vibrant, beautiful space that meets one of the greatest challenges our community—our state—is facing: affordable housing,” said Tami Fischer, MWHS’ CEO and Executive Director. “[Fifty Eight Hundred] is a true testament to our mission of providing safe, beautiful and affordable housing in our community.” George Valuck, Board Chair of MWHS added, “Our residents—every family, every child—deserve this award, [along with] everyone who brought this world-class vision of attainable housing to light.”
Adam Paul, Mayor of the City of Lakewood, was also present to accept the award with MWHS executives. “Metro West demonstrates that affordable housing can and should be beautiful and be a community asset,” he said. “This transformation of an empty 1970s monolithic and outdated concrete complex to an inviting place enriches the lives of those who live there. The project is a major community amenity, contributing to the enhancement and revitalization of the Alameda Corridor through residential units on the street, an upgraded urban streetscape, a highly used multi-purpose walk, and iconic public art.”
The $41 million project was supported through public-private partnership and used more than $20 million in state and federal tax credit equity. Sprocket Design-Build served as architect on the project with general contracting through JHL Constructors and interior design by Modern Century Design.
For more information about the event and the award, please visit the ULI Colorado website.