“Veteran-focused” housing and retail project coming to Aurora in early 2018

Northstar Commercial Partners took a first step towards a new veteran-focused development Tuesday, buying 25.6 acres of land near East Colfax and Sable.

staff photo

Northstar Commercial Partners took a first step towards a new veteran-focused development Tuesday, buying 25.6 acres of land for $7.75 million near the intersection of East Colfax Avenue and Sable Boulevard.

The mixed-use will include 200 market-rate townhomes as well as 100 units of permanent supportive multi-family housing, says Project Manager Matt Runyon.

While there will be conventional retail, the hope is that all elements will be impactful or meaningful to a veteran population — whether that means veteran-owned businesses or services for veterans.

“I’m an army veteran and my unit brought everybody home more or less in one piece. I lost a lot more friends since I’ve been home,” said Runyon. “The outcomes from all sectors, private, public and nonprofit, still hasn’t had the outcome that we should require. I want to see the private sector play a bigger role.”

By mixing market-rate housing and conventional retail with the social-minded veteran services, Runyon says that the company should be profitable and prove that the veteran-focused concept could work.

“Hopefully, this will show that an investor can expect a return but maybe take a haircut on a return in exchange for having a social impact.”

Runyon hopes that the project will be online in early 2018, in time for the scheduled opening of new Veterans Affairs complex being built at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.