Impact Awards 2019 Recap

What a night! Fruitdale School Lofts, Clinica Health, Fifty Eight Hundred, and the Downtown Fort Collins Enhanced Alleyway System take top project awards; Susan Powers of Urban Ventures LLC is Legacy Award winner for Lifetime Achievement; Jordan Block of WSP is named Rising Star.

Impact Awards 2019 Recap

The next Impact Awards will occur in Spring of 2021. See you then! In the meantime, check out our recap below.

Solar-powered affordable lofts in a historic Wheat Ridge school; a cutting-edge Lafayette medical clinic that serves 15,000 uninsured people a year; “the ugliest building in Lakewood” converted to affordable housing, and artistic enhancement of urban alleys in Fort Collins were winners in the fourth Impact Awards of Urban Land Institute (ULI) Colorado.

The winners were honored at a gala attended by 500 at the Seawell Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, on Thursday, April 4. Susan Powers of Urban Ventures was also honored with the Legacy Award for lifetime achievement, and urban planner Jordan Block of WSP won the Rising Star award for Young Leaders.

The event title sponsor was Plante Moran, formerly EKS&H.


Sponsored by Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti

The winner:

Fruitdale Lofts, Wheat Ridge. Vacant since 2007, the last school designed by Denver architect Temple Buell (Paramount Theater, Fillmore) has been reborn as 16 solar-powered and affordable lofts set within a sustainable landscape of edible plants.

Also nominated as a finalist:

Downtown East Louisville (DeLo). This transformative $60 million, 12-acre redevelopment of a former industrial site into mixed-use neighborhood includes 130 apartments, 30,000 square feet of Class A office and retail/restaurant space, 60 townhomes, a community plaza and park area, new public parking, and a pedestrian gateway that links the community to Historic Downtown Louisville.

Go Spot Check, Lower Downtown Denver. The 16,000-square-foot tech headquarters is the first all glass-and-steel building in LoDo, yet it complements the historic context while replacing a parking lot.


Sponsored by Brinkmann Constructors

The winner:

Clinica Health, Lafayette. Designed by a noted health-care architecture firm, Clinica delivers services to 15,000 insured people a year in a location accessible to populations in need. The jury also cited the project’s creative finance requiring a capital stack of nine sources.

Also nominated as a finalist:

St. Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square, Colfax, Denver. Replacing a parking lot near St. John’s Cathedral (which donated the land), these 51 apartments are housing very low-income people, some formerly homeless.

Silverthorne Performing Arts Center. Located in the town’s urban renewal district, this small theater complex heralds Silverthorne’s evolution from a stop off the highway to a true community with a walkable downtown and destination attractions.

Innovation Category

Sponsored by Redland

The winner:

Fifty Eight Hundred, Lakewood. 
This project rescues a long vacant/abandoned/contaminated eight-story office building as high-quality affordable housing that is 100 percent preleased with a wait-list of 3,500. It’s success is changing the image of a blighted area of Lakewood and attracting new interest in business revitalization.

Also nominated as a finalist:

Basecamp Center, Frisco. What could be a routine Whole Foods-anchored shopping center has become “the world’s highest T0D” that includes six separate green buildings, a central park, local retailers, and 24 above-the-shop microunits (75 percent affordable, 50 percent reserved for locals).

Dairy Block, Denver. A long-stalled project has become an exemplar of infill combined with historic preservation. Dairy Block blends 250,000 square feet of new office construction with 172-room hotel, local retailers including a successful food hall, 700-piece Colorado-focused art collection, and “Maker Space” alley enlivened by public art.


Sponsored by Trammell Crow Company

The Winner:

Downtown Fort Collins Enhanced Alleyway Program. Since 2006, this project has revamped seven square blocks of alleys with paving, lighting and public art, creating walkable new connections from Old Town to CSU. It has spurred new investment in 12 buildings and boosted the value of adjacent properties.

Also nominated as a finalist:


Festival Park, Castle Rock. In 2017, this project remodeled an ugly, unused two-acre park into a vibrant downtown center that has attracted $150 million of new investment into vertically mixed-use projects within a block.

The Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver. This $23.6 million effort replaced a 12-acre brownfield into a state-of-the-art complex for baseball, softball and soccer. An innovative system to compact fill soil in place rather than hauling it away saved the client $3 million.

Projects selected by a jury including:

  • Bruce Alexander, Vectra Bank
  • Cameron R. Bertron, EnviroFinance Group
  • Crissy Fanganello, Panasonic
  • Barbara Jackson, Franklin L. Burns School, University Denver
  • Sarah Komppa, Tryba Architects
  • George Thorn, Mile High Development
  • Chris Waggett, D4 Urban

“The Impact Awards showcase the best work of Colorado’s developers, architects, builders and their teams to create great places,” says Tracy Huggins, executive director of the Denver Urban Renewal Authority and ULI Colorado chair, 2017-19 “These examples will inspire others to improve our communities by creating the best possible projects.”

“We are pleased to see a record number of entries from across the state,” adds event co-chair Stacy Stout. “This reflects ULI best practices implemented throughout our state to create more compact, livable, sustainable and thriving communities.” The Impact Awards committee included co-chair Cyndi Thomas, John Blackshire, Beverly Carlson, Brian J. Cohen, Tom Kooiman, Jackie Sciarra, and Becky Stone.

Introduced by her friend of 45 years, Bill Mosher of Trammell Crow Company, Legacy winner Susan Powers reviewed her efforts to revive moribund downtown Denver during her 11-year tenure as executive director of Denver Urban Renewal Authority. Powers recalls the city buying the closed Denver Dry department store buildings.

“For years we worked with a series of developers who just couldn’t put their projects together, so eventually we became the developer in spite of the fact that we had no background to do that,” recalled Powers. “At times when I heard a fire engine in the neighborhood I prayed that it was responding to a large fire at the Denver Dry, to put us out of our misery…. eventually, it took a village to develop a successful mixed use project.”

Powers’ private-sector projects with Urban Ventures include the Monarch Mills lofts; Fire Clay Lofts (winner of a 2013 Impact Award); and Steam on the Platte.

Corporate sponsors for the event included: Beck Group, Brinkman Construction, Design Workshop, Essex Financial Group, First American Title, Koelbel and Company, Langan Engineer & Environmental, OZ Architecture, Taylor Kohrs, and Vectra Bank.

The event was co-chaired by Stacy Stout of BRANDiac and Cyndi Thomas of Etkin Johnson.

Videos for all winning and nominated projects can be found here.

We welcome your feedback for this program. To submit a comment, please fill out our 2019 Impact Awards feedback survey.

2019 Infill Winner

Fruitdale School Lofts, Wheat Ridge

Watch Fruitdale School Lofts’ video here. 

Past winners: Crossroads Commerce Park (2017), Aria Apartments (2015), and Fire Clay Lofts (2013).

2019 Influence Winner

Clinica Health, Lafayette

Watch Clinica Health’s video here. 

Past winners: Red Tail Ponds (2017), Denver Union Station (2015), and Golden Urban Renewal Authority (2013).

2019 Innovation Winner

Fifty Eight Hundred, Lakewood

Watch Fifty Eight Hundred’s video here. 

Past winners: INDUSTRY (2017), Hangar 2 (2015), and Drive at Taxi (2013).

2019 Inspire Winner

Downtown Fort Collins Enhanced Alleyway System

Watch the Downtown Fort Collins Enhanced Alleyway System’s video here. 

Past winner: The W Line (2017).


Title Sponsor: