A former transportation hub in Denver may soon see the building of a long hoped-for neighborhood grocery store and just under one hundred affordable housing units.
The project will go up on a largely vacant 1.3-acre site at 12300 East Albrook Drive on the northeast side of Denver.
That site was once the home to a Regional Transportation District Park-n-Ride stop, which ceased operations four years ago.
In the years since, community activists in the geographically large Montbello neighborhood have been trying to get a combined housing and retail development built at the site.
Last month it was announced that the Montbello Organizing Committee, which is dedicated to providing more affordable housing options in the neighborhood, had purchased the property in question from the RTD for $600,000.
In a statement, Chris Martinez, president of the Montbello Organizing Committee, hailed the purchase agreement, remarking: “We are very proud that this project is being envisioned by the community and that it will be owned by the community.”
It is expected that it will cost at least $40 million to build what is being called The Hub.
Funding support for the effort has previously been secured from the Kresge Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, and the Denver Foundation, a nonprofit supporting community endeavors.
The housing part of the new project is expected to include one, two, and three-bedroom units, as well as studio-sized apartments.
The grocery store, as well as a community center, will be located on the ground level of the structure.
Organizers they would like to see construction on the project begin by early next year, with a completion date of sometime in 2022.
The Montbello community has long been regarded as a food desert - defined as a neighborhood with little access to nutritious and affordable food. The last full-scale supermarket in the area, a Safeway, closed its doors in 2014.
By Garry Boulard
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