REDI to tackle 64-acre Sheridan corridor

REDI participants present their final development proposal for the site around Southmoor Station in southeast Denver at CHFA’s headquarters last November. From left: LaChelle Harris-Coffey of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Mallory Corley of the Black Creek Group, and Haley Jordahl of the Office of Economic Development at the City and County of Denver.

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 participants will play a role in redeveloping this 64-acre Sheridan Boulevard corridor site in SW Denver.

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.

The site, however, does include the expanding Rebel Farm, which grows organic vegetables and popular destinations such as VASA Fitness and Rosemary Café.


Ismael Guerrero of DHA, leads an early REDI tour.

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.


Women and minorities have until 5 p.m. on June 8 to apply to this year’s REDI.

Mentors in the 2018 REDI program include:

2018 Architects that will mentor REDI participants:

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at or 303-945-6865.

John Rebchook has been taking the pulse of the Denver-area and Colorado commercial real estate world for almost 35 years. He joined the editorial staff of CREJ in 2011. Prior to that, he was the Real Estate Editor of the Rocky Mountain News from 1983 until it closed in 2009.