Building Small Solutions to the Missing Commercial Middle on Main Street Corridors

  • 03/05/2020
  • 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Carla Madison Recreation Center Rooftop


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Colfax Avenue is America’s longest main street, and an important corridor in the Denver Metro Area. Many unique buildings were designed when small development along trolley lines was the norm and products and services were intended to meet the needs of locals. For many decades now, Colfax has functioned as a large commercial corridor with drive-through traffic. Area planning today is working to transform Colfax back to a mixed-use, transit-enriched community main street. Planners are trying to balance the need to accommodate growth equitably and sustainably, while supporting small business and retaining scale and character on the many small lots and buildings along Colfax. The challenges are many--rising property taxes/rents, increasing costs for small business, high construction costs and a regulatory framework that does not support the vision.

In this forum we’ll share new approaches to zoning, adaptive reuse, business support services and property taxes. Lessons learned on Colfax may be applicable to other neighborhood nodes, community corridors and main streets in Colorado. Let’s start a wave of development possibilities that protect and enable small business and property owners to stay put, grow, and thrive!


  • Understanding the Small Development Conundrum, Hilarie Portell, Colfax/Mayfair BID
  • Solutions in Progress: Adaptive Reuse Tools and the Small Lot, Cheney Bostic, Jenny Buddenborg 
  • The Impacts of Taxes on Commercial Property, Matthew Bossler
  • How can BIDs help navigate the system, Hilarie Portell, Colfax/Mayfair BID
  • Next Steps and Closing 

Join us for the third conversation in this series on May 13, when Downtown Colorado, Inc. and our partners bring Jim Heid of UrbanGreen to help dive deeper into solutions for the Colorado’s small development challenge.

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