Denver comes one step closer to winning a $30 million grant to help transform Sun Valley

Denver comes one step closer to winning a $30 million grant to help transform Sun Valley

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that Denver is one of five finalists for a sought-after $30 million grant – seed money city leaders hope will spur the massive planned makeover of Sun Valley, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the state.

The city was one of 34 applicants for the Choice Implementation Neighborhood grant. Federal housing officials will be visiting Denver in the coming weeks to meet with city and Denver Housing Authority officials for a closer look at plans to turn Sun Valley into a community where people of all incomes live.

The neighborhood, consisting almost entirely of the Sun Valley public housing community, is tucked away between the Platte River and Federal Boulevard, just south of Mile High Stadium. It is made up largely of women and children, nearly all of whom live far below the federal poverty limit.  The city has been working for several years on a plan to create a much more dense neighborhood that brings together a mix of market, workforce and public housing — without the forced displacement of the residents who live there now. Sun Valley’s location, just south of the Decatur Street light rail station and within a few minutes drive of downtown, makes it a prime spot for development in a city that is now booming. The transformation of what is now called the Sun Valley eco-district is expected to cost $600 million over a 10-year period.

“We’re excited that we are one of the five,” said DHA executive director Ismael Guerrero. “It’s a kickstart for the whole Sun Valley eco-district revitalization.”

The other finalists are in Boston, Massachusetts; Camden, New Jersey; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis, Missouri. Guerrero says HUD will likely award four grants, each $30 million, and the winning cities will be announced in December.


Photo courtesy of the Denver Housing Authority. Sun Valley residents and community organizers discuss plans for the new Sun Valley neighborhood in 2012.

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About the Author

Tina Griego

Tina was a city columnist for the late great Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. She left Denver for Richmond, Virginia in 2012 and learned the joys of news editing at the city's alternative newspaper, Style Weekly, and its premiere city mag, Richmond Magazine. She was also a staff writer for the Washington Post and its Storyline public policy/narrative journalism project. Tina is now living in Fort Collins with her husband and two kids. She's a native New Mexican and prefers red over green.

1 Comment

  1. FIN Denver on said:

    Sure, but where will the women and children go in the mean time? How much does Mayor H. stand to pocket on this deal? Will those same women and children, relocated, be able to return? Unlikely.

    It’s time to elect officials who will serve the populace, rather than juicing the economy so that the populace serves elected officials.

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