T hreading the needle at 60 miles per hour is a decent metaphor for the increasing challenges of real estate development in the Front Range of Colorado. Bedeviled by labor shortages, materials cost increases, recently introduced tar- iffs and the market-unsettling visage of a trade war with China, construc- tion costs outpacing income growth and ascendant power of neighborhood groups, creating attainable housing is turning into a blood sport with devel- opers as prey. Providing economically attainable housing while navigating increasing in-migration and balancing negative impacts from development meant to serve these new res- idents is the Front Range’s existential dilemma. Development supporters might fawn over increas- ing excitement of urbanism and the diversity of people, shopping and din- ing that it can bring. They are firm believers in devel- opment’s ability to create diverse hous- ing and to bring about transportation options. Detractors of development, however, believe that the impact of development degrades quality of life and makes the things that they enjoy about where they live worse. What divides pro- and anti-devel- opment is, I believe, what also binds them. At the heart of both the pro- and anti-development ethos are the same fundamental goals: the preser- vation or creation of a neighborhood that supports a “15-minute commu- nity;” communities in which residents can reach stores, schools, cultural and religious centers and friends in a dependable 15-minute walk, car ride or bike ride. From the Medieval Ages and the Roman Empire, humans are preternaturally disposed to live in compact communities for purposes of protection, trade, sharing of culture, commerce, industry and art. But the binary land use structure of the agrarian vs. the urban of pre-World War II, where there was clear defini- tion between city and rural, changed. It changed with auto-dependency and the creation of sprawling, in-between areas called suburbs. The suburbs still had their milestones and mark- ers of community, of course, but their uses were simply more diffused and stratified than the urban equivalent. Post-WorldWar ridership on streetcars that served compact neighborhoods Zocalo Community Development For the Coda project in Cherry Creek North, pictured above, neighbors expressed concern over how increased traffic and the project’s height could impact their community. Please see Page 32 The developer’s dilemma: Preserving the 15-minute community INSIDE Denver flirts with a new equilibrium while Northern Colorado enjoys more room to grow. Colo. market updates This issue examines what is being done to identify, contain and mitigate rising costs. Affordable spotlight PAGES 35-44 Creativity is needed for contaminated sites, topographical extremes and other problems. Challenging sites PAGE 20 May 2018 David Zucker, LEED AP Principal and CEO, Zocalo Community Development PAGES 4-8