The Mile High Vista site is strategically located along the West Colfax corridor in the West Colfax neighborhood, in close proximity to the Villa Park and Sun Valley neighborhoods. It is located approximately two miles from downtown, accessible by car, light rail transportation, and bike, along the Lakewood Gulch Trail. It is also located less than one mile from the Sloans Lake Park.
To better understand uses that would be most frequently patronized by residents surrounding the Mile High Vista property, we reached out to 25 neighborhood and nonprofit organizations based in the Sun Valley, Villa Park, and West Colfax neighborhoods. We asked these organizations to share information about this project and solicit feedback from their clients and members. For this feedback, we offered two channels. First, we designed and distributed a link to an online survey that could be completed in less than ten minutes. Questions ranged from basic demographics to opinions about four particular uses (e.g. food, health care, day care, and business services), as well as opportunities for qualitative and open-ended feedback. To the online survey, we received 196 responses over the approximately two weeks for which it was open. Second, we held two community meetings in the Avondale Apartments lobby in the morning of Saturday, March 4th and evening of Wednesday, March 8th, 2017.
In these interactions, participants walked through four stations, first, capturing their base demographics. Second, we captured the location of their home, primary grocery store, primary health care service provider, and early childhood care center (if applicable). Fourth, we asked for opinions of what uses should be located at the Mile High Vista site and qualitative aspects desired for each use. Finally, we asked for their general perceptions of the neighborhood in which they lived. At community meetings, we spoke with approximately twenty people, a majority of which being residents of the Avondale Apartment building. Following are details of both key takeaways and detailed results we learned from this process. Unfortunately, there were participation gaps regarding renters in the three communities, and results from Sun Valley were too low to be analyzed. If time allowed, we recommend a more targeted process to hear from those specific populations.
1. Extraordinary support for healthy food retail at Mile High Vista
2. High levels of interest in community and meeting space, represented by the types of food options requested—markets with small vendors paired with grocery store
3. Less demand for early childhood education than we anticipated based on high percentage of families with young children
4. Potential demand for small business office space on upper floors
With our insight from the Community Engagement phase, we selected five different uses to study more closely. In partnership with Shift Research Lab and the West Colfax Food Co-op, we gathered market feasibility data for the five uses within a one mile radius surrounding the Mile High Vista site. The following pages provide market data for: 1) Grocery/Market 2) Food Retail 3) Housing 4) Early Childhood Education and 5) Office.
Community Centered Design