The story behind Boulder’s open source development (2 of 2)

So how did Boulder Housing Partners (BHP) bring together seven different developers to work together on a common vision for the Holiday Neighborhood in Boulder? Mind you, developers rarely partner with other developers, much less six others.

The key is that BHP had a very clear vision for the 27-acre former drive-in theater site, one that resulted from extensive citizen participation. The vision’s focus on people and community also greatly appealed to the 45 interested parties that responded to a request for letters of interest. It’s also no coincidence whatsoever that BHP had someone like Cindy Brown, the co-executive director for development, who was essentially the project manager for the Holiday neighborhood from beginning to end.

She recognized what kinds of interested tenants were good matches for interested developers and introduced them to one another, such as artists/creatives with live/work, mews, and studio developers, or even Habitat for Humanity with a co-housing group. She also ensured that 138 of the 333 housing units were attainable, an especially important asset in attracting the creative class.

The good news is that Cindy, through BHP, is available to consult other cities that are interested in multi-developer, even multi-site development, with a keen interest in urban infill and redevelopment.