Community Benefits Agreement, Gates Cherokee CBA
In February of 2006, FRESC and the coalition members of the Campaign for Responsible Development secured a set of Community Benefit Achievements at the site of the former Gates Rubber Factory.These achievements were the result of more than three years of research, advocacy, organizing, leadership from the city and elected officials, and a process of dialogue with the private developer.
The redevelopment project, undertaken by developer Cherokee Investment Partners, is a 50+ acre, $1 billion brownfield located on a light rail transit line and at the intersection of I-25 and Broadway in central Denver.(A brownfield is an abandoned, idled, or underused industrial or commercial facility where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.)
Cherokee sought $126 million in public subsidies and taxing authority to support the clean-up and redevelopment of the site into a mixed-use, transit-oriented development that will include retail, offices, housing and open space. The CRD took the position that any project receiving that magnitude of public support should meet principles of responsible development and provide community benefits.
A landmark Affordable Housing Plan that not only exceeds the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) in for-sale affordable units but also includes hundreds of affordable rental units targeting the income levels of Denver’s greatest need.
Construction of 150 affordable, for-sale units out of 1,500 total for-sale units (10%).
Construction of 200 low-income rental units out of 1,000 (20%).
A commitment to conform with state, federal, and local handicapped accessibility standards, ensuring that all housing units are accessible or accessible-convertible.
A unique agreement that excludes low-road big-box grocery stores like Super Wal-Mart who undercut existing good jobs in the grocery industry through poverty wages and inadequate health care.
An unprecedented commitment to provide free and convenient public access to all cleanup documents at the nearby Decker Public Library.
Cooperation and participation with the neighborhood coalition Voluntary Cleanup Advisory Board (VCAB) that is monitoring the cleanup and communicating cleanup issues to affected neighbors.
An unprecedented agreement to pay prevailing wages and benefits for every construction worker engaged in the publicly-funded construction of site infrastructure and maintenance of public spaces and facilities.
An unprecedented agreement to extend Denver’s Living Wage Ordinance to include parking lot attendants and security personnel employed at the site’s public facilities.
An enhanced “First Source” local hiring system that promotes recruitment of local residents to fill new positions and, for the first time, prioritizes immediately adjacent low-income neighborhoods.
Denver’s Office of Economic Development is now employing, for the first time, an explicit “public benefits framework” to outline the public financing package for this project.
The full list of Gates Cherokee CBA Community Benefits is available here.
For more information about the Gates Cherokee CBA campaign, visit FRESC- For Good Jobs and Strong Communities.
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