The Denver Housing Authority is leaving Capitol Hill for new housing in a western neighborhood it transformed.
Thursday, Denver’s public housing corporation showed off what is still a construction site to hard-hatted members of the Urban Land Institute. The RTD’s 10th & Osage light rail station is at the foot of the 11-story, 185,000-square-foot building, which towers over the historic Buckhorn Exchange bar and restaurant across the street.
It’s the neighborhood where DHA demolished its 250-unit South Lincoln Park Homes and built the Mariposa District, an architecturally eclectic collection of buildings that house market- and below-market-rate homes as well as shops, restaurants and community organizations such as the music education nonprofit Youth on Record.
Planning for the headquarters started four years ago and the building is nearing completion, Mark Howard, DHA’s senior development manager, told his ULI guests Thursday. He said the new headquarters building embraced Mariposa’s “cutting edge design strategies.” Its windows, for instance, can vary their tinting based on the sun’s movement. The roof and southern facade have solar panels and the building will be heated and cooled by an energy-saving variable refrigerant flow system.
The original goal was to be net zero — using no more energy than the building produced. The budget made that tough, but “we did as much as we could to get there,” Howard said.
DHA will occupy the top two and a half floors. One floor will be for shared work-space tenants. Other tenants include the affordable housing non-profit Enterprise Community Partners. Five floors are parking.
DHA provides affordable housing to more than 10,000 very-low-, low- and middle-income families.