Urban Updates
February 2020
Urban Updates 
is ULC's monthly newsletter that highlights stories in the community and beyond! Read more about ULC's Community Land Trust, the Villas at Wadsworth Station, and one of our incredible new tenants at the Tramway Nonprofit Center. 
303 ArtWay Community Meeting
Calling all Northeast Park Hill residents! Please attend one of two stakeholder input meetings for 303ArtWay, where we will discuss a proposed heritage trail highlighting local history and increasing safety and connectivity 
Meetings are: 
Wed, March 18th 
Boys & Girls Club
3333 Holly Street
Sat, March 21st
The Hope Center 
3475 Holly Street
People on the Move

ULC would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Ismael Guerrero, who was just named Mercy Housing's new president and CEO starting in July. "Ismael has been so critical to the affordable housing world in Denver" said Aaron Miripol, ULC's President and CEO. "This is a fantastic opportunity for him to have an even greater impact nationally." 
ULC's Commitment to Sustainability 
Did you know that ULC's Tramway Nonprofit Center has a 200 kWh solar array on the roof? In January, the solar panel generated 14,887 kilowatt hours of energy. That's enough energy to charge 1,342,366 smart phones!

ULC is committed to social and environmental practices that improve energy efficiency and sustainability of the built environment. Stay tuned for more.
Office Space Available
ULC currently has office space available in Commerce City and Lakewood. To learn more email ULC's property manager. 
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Neighborhoods With More People of Color Pay Higher Energy Bills
Colorado's housing crisis has gotten so bad that small towns are now building people homes
Jeff Bezos Commits $10 Billion to Address Climate Change
 New York Times
ULC's Community Land Trust In Action - Hudson at the Holly

                                              Hudson at the Holly Building, now occupied by the Center for African American Health 
ULC acquired the Hudson at the Holly building in the Park Hill neighborhood earlier this month.  The land beneath the building is held in ULC's community land trust, which allows us to preserve the property for community beneficial use. The 99-year ground lease created an opportunity for  The Center for African American Health (CAA Health)  to be selected through a community process to re-locate to the Holly Square property.

"Without ULC's community land trust and our ability to retain ownership of the Hudson building, we would not have been able to re-engage with the community to decide which nonprofit's services would be most beneficial in this location," states Erin Clark, ULC's VP of Master Site Development. "We are thrilled to partner with The Center for African American Health and know they will provide invaluable services to Northeast Park Hill and other north Denver neighborhoods."

Coffee With a Mission 

ULC recently switched our coffee supply order, but not due to changing espresso tastes. We switched to support an incredible organization by the name of Purple Door Coffee, a specialty espresso bar and coffee company in Denver, Colorado that employs young adults who have experienced homelessness and want to leave homelessness behind. Their mission is to "reclaim and sustain the lives of homeless youth and young adults through supportive and meaningful employment". They choose the color purple to represent royalty, and to remind everyone that they deserve respect and kindness, regardless of their past.

Guided by their motto that "every individual, no matter what they've done or haven't done, has unsurpassable value and worth and deserves to be treated like royalty" Purple Coffee is making an extraordinary difference in our community. 

Click here to read more
ULC Earns 2020 Eagle Award Nomination

Established in 1990, the Eagle Award has come to represent one of the highest achievements for the Colorado housing community. This prestigious award celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments and outstanding leadership in housing and support services. The award honors individuals, agencies, projects, and programs that soar to new heights in their work to ensure safe, fair, affordable housing for all Coloradans.

ULC's nominated project, The Villas at Wadsworth Station, is a 100 unit permanently affordable housing preservation development by the W-line acquired by Urban Land Conservancy in 2012. In December of 2017, ULC closed a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) deal in partnership with CHFA, Richman Capital, FirstBank, Colorado Division of Housing and Metro West to complete a $2.3 million rehabilitation project. ULC completed renovations in an innovative and minimally disruptive way. To ensure residents were not displaced from their homes due to the renovation's tax code qualifications, ULC used income averaging, becoming the first entity in Colorado do so. 

Urban Land Conservancy's 

February 2020 Partner Spotlight of the Month:
Phamaly Theater Company!
Urban Land Conservancy celebrates the achievements of our partnerships that create and preserve nonprofit facilities and affordable housing for communities in Metro Denver. ULC's Monthly Partner Spotlight is awarded to partners who demonstrate the value of collaboration, furthering our mission to improve the lives of Metro Denver residents through our real estate investments and community assets.
Congratulations to our February 2020 Partner Spotlight of the Month: 
Phamaly Theatre Company

The Physically Handicapped Amateur Musical Actors League (PHAMALy) was founded in 1989 by five students from the Boettcher School in Denver, all living with disabilities. The students were frustrated with the lack of theatrical opportunities for people living with disabilities, and set out to change the trajectory of theater forever. Well ahead of their time, the five students built an inclusive organization that directly served disenfranchised individuals with disabilities from all racial, ethnic, gender, and class identities.

Thirty-one years later, the organization has changed its name to Phamaly Theatre Company (PTC). PTC continues to exclusively feature actors within the entire spectrum of people with disabilities, including physical, cognitive, intellectual, and emotional. PTC provides a supportive space and takes away barriers to allow artists to do their best work and develop as performers, while also educating the community about access and inclusion. Not only are PTC's audiences entertained by high-quality, award-winning performances, their understanding of disability and the human condition transforms as they watch each production.

      PTC's production of Annie 
Photography by Michael Ensminger Photography

"One of my favorite aspects of our productions is the change I see in our audience members." said Sasha Hutchings, Phamaly's Managing Director.  "I chat with people in the lobby before our performances and I often come across audience members who have never seen a Phamaly production. As I talk with them about Phamaly, it is clear they are not sure what to expect when the show starts. However, by the time I see them during intermission, their entire perspective about Phamaly and disability has changed. People tell me, 'we forgot we were watching actors with disabilities.' It is not that anyone actually forgets; rather, people become more comfortable with the human condition and begin to see disability as the creative asset it is. This transformation of thought is what we're hoping to do."

PTC moved into Urban Land Conservancy's Tramway Nonprofit Center in the Cole neighborhood in January of 2020. After working for many years in the nonprofit world, Hutchings knows how difficult it is for nonprofits to find affordable space, especially in Denver. With their affordable office space, PTC is able to create long-term goals without having to worry about rising rent. One of those goals is to be a national leader in accessibility in theatre.

"We're thrilled to have such an impactful organization at Tramway" said Autumn Buehler, ULC's Property Manager at Tramway.  "The work Phamaly does is truly inspiring, and they have been a joy to work with. I'm glad ULC is able to provide nonprofit office space to organizations like Phamaly."

          PTC's production of  Into the Woods
Photography by Michael Ensminger Photography

PTC's vision is to "create a world in which disability and the differences within the human condition are celebrated, and the theatre experience is accessible and welcoming to all". This catalyzes wildly creative productions, as the team works to ensure each show remains true to this vision. PTC intentionally creates a disability aesthetic - it's not reliant on the simple notion that people with disabilities happen to be performing on stage.

"We use the differences in people's bodies and forms to enhance the stories we're telling" said Hutchings. "We're recreating narratives that are more in line with reality. Every person is different, and we aim to highlight that in our productions."

For example, Phamaly Theatre recently put on the Broadway Classic, Chicago, in a non-traditional theatre space. Phamaly's Artistic Director and the director for the production, Regan Linton, worked with the organization's Scenic Director, Nicholas Renaud, to design the set entirely out of ramps, so that the whole set was accessible. The set often plays a role in developing the story that unfolds on stage, but a completely accessible stage told a story of accessibility and inclusiveness, while still serving as a canvas for the actors to tell the story.

                                                                                                                        PTC's production of  Honk
                                                                                    Photography by Michael Ensminger Photography

PTC holds open cast calls with only one requirement - that you have a disability as defined by the ADA. Stage productions are often held at the Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA), one of PTC's first and most valued partnerships. This summer, PTC is putting on a production of Alice in Wonderland, which will be performed in DCPA's Space Theatre with original music from the hip hop group "Wheelchair Sports Camp".

Phamaly Theatre is the only theatre of its kind in the country, which often attracts international attention. PTC recently returned from Tokyo after taking one of their productions on the road. They were even able to have two Japanese actors with disabilities come to Colorado to perform in the show before taking it to their country.

                            PTC's production of  Chicago
                                                                                                           Photography by Michael Ensminger Photography

Phamaly Theatre Company is a 501c(3), and relies on its many partnerships. They receive funding from several foundations, the government, and from ticket sales at each show. To check out PTC's upcoming shows, visit their website here , or consider making a donation here .