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Redevelopment "Centers" on New GLBT Community Center

December 28, 2009

DENVER - The new GLBT Community Center of Colorado is rising in a Denver neighborhood. The city has committed community development block grant funds to the project to enable it to add to the positive redevelopment of East Colfax Avenue, one of the city's iconic thoroughfares.

Colorado's GLBT community is proud to take part in these efforts, according to Center Director Carlos Martinez. People are excited to be moving into a larger, more visible location, he says, right in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West.

"It's like, for us, coming out of the closet - coming out, being visible, being able to show our strength, our unity, the power we have as a community."

The City and County of Denver Office of Economic Development invested $500,000 in community redevelopment loans in the new center, spokesman Derek Woodbury says, because it will help create jobs and be a positive influence in keeping the historic neighborhood vibrant.

"Providing services to individuals in the community is an essential use of these neighborhood development funds, so the GLBT Center hit the mark."

Martinez agrees.

"We intend to use our facility to have classes for the small merchants there on East Colfax - to hold classes on accounting or other things."

When the new center is completed in May 2010, Martinez predicts the space will allow them to double youth programming and expand senior programs. He says it could be a model for projects around the state – in part, because the project was funded in part by a million-dollar donation that the center has been able to leverage to cover much of the total cost of more than $2 million.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - CO