We design, construct, and invest in dynamic, district-wide ventures anchored by extraordinary buildings and the spaces that connect them.
No two projects ever look alike. We view structures within organic, evolving networks. Frequently, we initiate these changes. Our property management expertise supports this type of systemic transformation. We carefully select and nurture local restaurateurs and retailers, often mentoring young entrepreneurs and fresh ideas to make each addition congruous with the setting.
Our prescience and timing also set us apart, as does our emphasis on this untapped niche of the development sector. Rather than limit our scope to a single building, we contemplate the lifestyle of an entire region over an extended period of time. How will people live, work, dine, shop, play, and connect today — and 100 years from now? The pursuit of enduring quality, environmental responsibility, and vigorous financial performance drive our daily decisions.
Environmental Stewardship + Biophilic Design
A pillar of our mission is a commitment to sustainability that augments long-term investments. We consider the origin of our materials, as well as the carbon footprint of creating and transporting them. Natural daylight infuses our structures, reducing energy consumption. We analyze how operations affect water utilization and waste streams. We collaborate with our commercial tenants on intelligent practices by offering trainings in sorting, composting, and recycling, with quantifiable results and feedback.
Traditionally, developers have excluded nature. But surroundings deeply impact our behaviors, and natural elements inspire creativity. We strive to incorporate biophilic design, whether in a rooftop farm or an interior green wall. Along with the experts in our affiliate company, Bio-Logical Capital, we constantly challenge ourselves to progress in ways that benefit built, human, and natural environments.
“For hundreds of years, we have mined resources from our planet with little to no consideration for the vibrancy of life. Our focus is on shifting toward a regenerative model. Sustainability is not enough. Our primary goal is to develop projects that generate more energy than we use, that rebuild soil, that filter and purify rainwater, while creating new jobs and infusing investment into the communities where we work.”
Founder and CEO
Our creative yet methodical approach begins with identifying unanticipated opportunities. Next, we strategize: How will we generate enduring value for investors and the community?
The following is a high-level overview of our assimilated process.
Research Analytics + Site Due Diligence
Every Urban Villages project starts with research analytics. We study the history of the area and build a contextual narrative. We determine the best use for a property — whether its adaptive re-use, vacant land, or urban-infill — based on market demands and community needs. Only when we have obtained a complete understanding of the particular site and the surrounding vicinity do we move ahead.
Strong partnerships are critical to successful real estate developments. Throughout the project lifecycle, we build lasting relationships with the local municipality, neighborhood groups, and other governing bodies. This allows us to learn from local leaders and integrate their advice and ideas into our projects. It also facilitates the community’s investment in the process, ensuring the alignment of interests.
A connection to the natural environment changes people’s behaviors and productivity. When we design a project, we start with the human perspective. How will our tenants and guests interact with the building? Does natural daylight permeate the space? Will they see grass and plants? Which scents will envelop the room? How will the materials feel in their hands? Which sounds will resonate? We want to enhance the way people engage with, and respond to, their surroundings.
Underwriting + Financing
Following the initial design, we begin an exhaustive cost-estimating process to develop a strong basis for underwriting. With a robust pro-forma in hand, we identify potential equity and debt partners for prevailing financial stability. Our focus on ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) investing motivates our project and partner selection. Collaborators contribute financially, intellectually, and emotionally. They, too, commit to making a city better than it was before.
Entitlements + Execution
Once the initial underwriting is thoroughly vetted, we pursue entitlements with experienced legal guidance to mitigate risk. Our ability to quickly navigate this process, and bring a venture to market, differentiates us. When permits are secured, our dedicated project execution team works with our architects, contractors, and engineers to keep the project on budget and on time.
Leasing + Asset Management
Well before construction begins, our operations team starts preparing for the launch. In multi-family projects, we forge partnerships with neighborhood amenities to ensure the first residents feel at home. While most brokers post a vacancy and wait for commercial tenants to contact them, we seek and incubate new concepts to devise an interesting mix. But we don’t stop there. We spend years honing the experience to create a compelling destination.
Our deal structures are as diverse as our ventures. We may act as the master developer, the development manager, an investor and principal, or a consultant. Partners include private landowners, government organizations, NGOs, institutional advisors, and fellow developers. Our team maintains vigorous relationships with the investment and brokerage communities, and regularly tracks buying and selling opportunities for all assets under management.
Sugar Block - Denver, Colorado
Our contribution to the revitalization of Denver’s LoDo District is embodied in the specifics. The century-old vaults in the Sugar Building that held cash from the spirited sugar beet trade still carry the narratives. Rugged brick masonry mingles with walnut and marble in the adjacent SugarCube. The scent of fresh-brewed coffee drifts from Little Owl with the sound of laughter and the promise of connection.
Larimer Square - Denver, Colorado
At Larimer Square, we honored the historic buildings of Denver’s first block while converting the area into a more sustainable pedestrian-only oasis. After consulting with landscape architecture and green roof experts in our affiliate company, Bio-Logical Capital, we designed tree wells and planters below a canopy of energy-efficient bistro lights, and fashioned a rooftop farm above the parking garage to complement the art, tenant, and event procurement.
RailSpur - Seattle, Washington
Named for the railways that once ran through the area, this multi-faceted revitalization project encompasses three historic warehouse buildings in Pioneer Square, Seattle’s first neighborhood. Constructed of brick and timber, the structures – and the corridors between them – connected the Great Northern Railway and the bustling Port of Seattle.
Populus - Denver, Colorado
Designed by world-renowned architecture firm Studio Gang, Populus is a hospitality project destined to become an animated new social center in downtown Denver. Located on a prominent corner site, the building greets the neighborhood equally on all three sides, welcoming visitors and residents, and connecting Denver’s civic, arts, and commercial districts.
West Village - UC Davis
West Village, a campus expansion project for the University of California, Davis, is an example of a transformative master-planned community centered around environmental stewardship. With over 10 megawatts of solar-generated electricity, West Village remains today the largest planned net-zero energy community in the United States. Sustainable designs include a network of parks, gardens, pathways, and courtyards that augment traditional biophilic design.
Though we’ve detailed only a few of our many projects, others around the country further reinforce our versatility, knowledge, and ability to execute bold plans.