A homeless advocacy group based in Denver has announced plans to build what could turn out to be 600 housing units spread out over five buildings and specifically geared for the homeless.
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless says it will build the ambitious project in Lakewood, some 8 miles to the southwest of Denver, on a currently vacant 59-acre site at W. Sixth Avenue and Simms Street.
The site became available for development after the federal Housing and Urban Development department, which owns the land, reversed an earlier decision saying the property was unsafe due to a previous toxic chemical contamination.
According to officials with the Coalition for the Homeless, the project will see the initial installation of temporary housing in the form of insulated tents and geodesic domes, to be followed by the apartment building construction later in the year.
Those buildings, which could provide housing to up to 1,000 people, will be U-shaped, surrounding a green community space, with the entire site itself lined at its perimeter with trees.
The project, which will cost $120 million to build, will go up adjacent to the massive 670-acre Federal Center, the compound that houses a variety of federal government offices.
The proposed complex, which has been the subject of at least one community meeting, is still awaiting city approval.
By Garry Boulard
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