Sun Valley EcoDistrict
Denver, Colorado, United StatesMap
The Sun Valley EcoDistrict Trust (SVED) is the master developer entity structured to lead the district-wide implementation and sustainable redevelopment of Sun Valley. SVED is a nonprofit entity, separate from the City and County of Denver and the Denver Housing Authority, that exists to synthesize the vision for a neighborhood-wide revitalization and to work through new channels to secure private financing in order to reduce the burden of government. SVED is committed to delivering projects with a social return and an economic benefit to community members and the city as a whole. Initiatives will include projects related to rental housing, youth and education facilities and programs, international food and micro-business services, parks and open space. In partnership with the City, SVED will also oversee the design and construction of district infrastructure, roadways, and energy.
Sun Valley is a formal city recognized neighborhood in west Denver with a compact census tract of .64 square miles bound by Colfax Avenue and the Broncos Stadium on the north, Federal Boulevard on the west, 6th Avenue and the light industrial district on the south, and the South Platte River on the east. Sun Valley is Denver’s lowest income neighborhood and home to only 1,492 people. The majority are residents of DHA’s 333-unit, distressed public housing site comprising over 30 acres located at the heart of the neighborhood. Other neighborhood residents live in Mercy Housing’s transitional housing, Decatur Place, and a small number of single family homes.
Multiple planning processes have been completed to date including the Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan (SAP), the Sun Valley General Development Plan (GDP), and the most recent Sun Valley Transformation Plan (CNI Planning Grant). These plans all outlined the challenges and the incredible potential for positive public and private investment in Sun Valley. The neighborhood is the first stop on Denver’s FasTracks West Corridor light rail line, providing improved access and connectivity for the neighborhood residents. Improvements have been made to the South Platte River for flood management and recreation, and transformation of the Weir and Lakewood Gulches from industrial waterways to landscaped amenities. Future plans include the City’s allocations to commercial building improvements and business lending in the thriving industrial center to the south. And in the middle, DHA will be redeveloping the current Sun Valley Homes into new mixed income, multi-family housing to integrate with other planned urban ventures and amenities.
As part of the foundation for any work completed in Sun Valley, it must be recognized that projects embrace and reflect the voice of the community. Through years of planning, the planning teams and the community have worked hard to outline what equitable and authentic revitalization means for Sun Valley. The core of this foundation comes from the Sun Valley CNI Transformation Plan and its six GROW Principles: 1) Youth + Education, 2) Food, 3) Opportunity, 4) Intentional Housing, 5) Connections + Open Space, and 6) Sustainable Infrastructure. All work that is to be done in Sun Valley should recognize these GROW Principles and incorporate them into their understanding of their responsibilities to this next great neighborhood of Denver.