By Kristen Moree
Bio-Logical Capital is working alongside its sister company, Urban Villages, Inc., to revitalize one of Denver’s most historic blocks, Larimer Square. Together we will ensure the vibrancy, relevance and historic appeal of this block for years to come, while addressing key challenges facing the city. Significant investments in affordable housing, urban farms, green roofs, infrastructure and alley activation are part of the proposed long-term vision, and are a few of the key elements which Bio-Logical Capital will help to design and implement.
For more than 100 years, Larimer Square has been Denver's "main street" by offering a mix of cultivated retail, restaurants, office space and entertainment. Now it is poised to be a local destination for the next 100 years with a focus on being the first district to highlight urban agriculture at this scale and create a diverse and inclusive mix of retail and housing options. Larimer Square's steward for 25 years, Jeff Hermanson, in partnership with Urban Villages, Inc., has outlined a strategy to invest in the block while retaining its exclusive status as the city's oldest historic district.
Urban food production will be a cornerstone of the revitalization. Designed and implemented by Bio-Logical Capital, we are calling for an array of rooftop urban gardens and small farms that will grow produce for the restaurants that operate in and around Larimer Square.
Developing a robust urban agriculture program is critical in making local food production more integrated into the city’s greater food economy. The block will serve as a model to other communities by building local food hubs that provide both access to and affordability for a diverse mix of community members, food businesses, social enterprises, and other stakeholders.
In addition, the block’s brick alleys will be revitalized and refurbished to become a fully activated pedestrian corridor where an eclectic blend of retail and public spaces. The alley corridor will offer incubator spaces for burgeoning ideas and businesses that otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to grow in downtown Denver.
The development team projects the revitalization of the block to take several years, commencing in 2019 upon all necessary approvals from city leaders.
UPDATE, July 11, 2019 - Urban Villages withdrew the above referenced plan in mid-2018 to focus on further dialogue with the community around its vision for the future of this treasured block. While it remains committed to the values and aspirations expressed in this post, the project team is incredibly excited by the thoughtful feedback the community has offered, and by the myriad ways that feedback will improve the project. In addition to a variety of other, community-driven elements, the team is experimenting with urban agriculture installations that will inform their future plans. For more information on the Larimer Square project, please contact Caitlin Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.