REDI, or the Real Estate Diversity Initiative, in the coming months will be ready to help to redefine and redevelop a 64-acre parcel along South Sheridan Boulevard that was once a bustling retail site but now is a largely desolate swath in southwest Denver.
REDI, an MBA-like real estate development for women and minorities, will play a role in helping to create a path renovate and revitalize the site into a walkable, bike-friendly site that could serve as a community gathering place.
REDI participants gain hands-on experience from development and design mentors.
REDI traces its roots to 2009, when the idea was launched by then Mayor John Hickenlooper’s office. ULI Colorado provided $20,000 in seed money from an Urban Land Institute Foundation Grant.
REDI is still hosted by Denver’s Office of Economic Development and ULI Colorado.
So far, 260 minorities and women have graduated from REDI, a number that will rise by more than 10 percent with this year’s class.
REDI is designed to appeal to women and minorities who either wonder what it takes to be a real estate developer or want to sharpen existing real estate skills.
REDI program goals include:
- Increase the number of minorities and women in the real estate industry, specifically in real estate development;
- Empower minority and women real estate professionals and businesses to step into the role of real estate developers through participation in a mentor program with local developers and architects;
- And through membership in ULI, give minorities and women the opportunity to network with real estate professionals increasing the diversity of ULI Colorado.
The deadline to apply for REDI has been extended to 5 p.m. on June 8. The deadline had been May 31.
As many 30 minorities and women will be accepted to REDI. To be accepted into the program, a qualified person must complete an application, which requires two letters of reference.
In order to graduate, one must attend 100 percent of the classes. REDI kicks off from 3 pm to 6 p.m. on June 25, which will include a presentation of the case study site along Sheridan Boulevard. The site is especially challenging to redevelop in that it includes 37 irregularly shaped parcels ranging from 6,000 square feet to 13 acres, with their 29 owners that are both local and from out-of-state.
The Sheridan Commercial Corridor, as it is known, in years past included a movie theater, a skating rink, a grocery store and a 110,500-sf Target. Target closed the store to open one in Lakewood’s Belmar.
In the past, REDI students have brainstormed on a number of high-profile, infill development projects including:
- The Welton Sreet Corridor in Five Points;
- Three differents sites on West Colfax Avenue;
- A Morrison Road site in Westwood;
- Holly Square in northeast Denver;
- And the Globeville Community Center redevelopment.
While compared to an MBA program, at a cost of only $250, REDI is a bargain. REDI also also is more condensed than an MBA program.
REDI participants also will meet from 3 -5 p.m. on a dozen different dates: July 2, July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 13, Aug. 20, Aug. 27, Sept 3, Sept. 10 and Sept. 27.
The final group presentation will be held from 2-6 p.m. on Sept. 24.
REDI members will participate in both large group and small group mentoring sessions and will have access to a free course on pro formas at the University of Denver.
The ideal participant will have, at minimum, some knowledge of real estate concepts, an undergraduate degree, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to engage in real estate development.
A panel consisting of representatives from the Urban Land Institute and the City and County of Denver will select individuals for the 2018 class in June.
Mentors in the 2018 REDI program include:
- Ismael Guerrero, Denver Housing Authority;
- Kenneth Hoagland, Community Capital Corp.;
- Anthea Martin, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC;
- Rich Wilson, Forum Real Estate;
- Tim Schlichting, LCP Development;
- And Mary Anderies, Anderies Consulting
2018 Architects that will mentor REDI participants: