DENVER-Mayor Wellington E. Webb says the redevelopment of the Dahlia Shopping Center in northeast Denver is the toughest one ever undertaken by the city. “It’s tougher than the convention center hotel. It’s tougher than Winter Park,” he tells

And the $32.5-million private-public partnership would not have been possible without the help of Rep. Diana DeGette, he says.

“Representative DeGette provided critical leadership in the United States House of Representatives in the city’s efforts to obtain federal funding for the Dahlia Square Shopping Center redevelopment project,” Webb says. “The nature of this help was on several levels, including making a request in the House version of the VA, HUD appropriations bill that ultimately contained funding for the project.”

Webb adds the Denver Democrat supported the HUD Section 108 loan package and Economic Development Initiative reprogramming application that were submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, both of which provided critical pieces of the funding for the $32.5-million project. “Many public and private funding sources were brought together to make this project work,” he says.

Federal funding crossed party lines, he says. Republican US Senators Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Wayne Allard, as well as Rep. Mark Udall, a Boulder Democrat, “worked together to make this a reality,” Webb says.

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