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DENVER-Two non-profit groups broke ground on a $12.5-million mixed-use project that civic and neighborhood leaders will jump-start what was once the black cultural and business center in Denver. Hope Communities and the Five Points Business Association broke ground on the residential and commercial development called the Point at East 26th Avenue and Washington Street.

It’s the largest development of its kind ever in the Five Points neighborhood, which takes its name form the confluence and 27th Street and East 26th Avenue, Washington Street and two directions of Welton Street.

Many of the black professionals left Five Points starting in the 1960s. Although the area never ranked among the worst areas of urban decay, it was plagued by a perception that it is not safe. Efforts to gentrify Five Points in the 1980s failed when the local real estate market crashed.

Today, the Point, and a number of private developments in Five Points and the nearby Curtis Park neighborhood could revitalize one of Denver’s poorest neighborhoods. The neighborhood includes many Victorian homes built around the turn of the century that have greatly appreciated in value in recent years.

The four-story development includes 35 affordable apartments. In addition it includes 33 market-rate condominiums.

It also includes 13,000 sf of retail and commercial space. Residents will have underground parking. Possible tenants include an ice cream parlor, bookstore and other boutiques.

The apartments and 30% of the condos will be restricted to households making up to $51,500 for a family of four. Monthly rents in the apartments will range between $330 and $1,000, while condos will be priced from $140,000 to $240,000.

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