The property management companies Lakewood possesses have been watching with interest a debate in the Lakewood community over the use of 59 acres of land near the Federal Center. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) had proposed to take over the land and build transitional housing units for 200 to 250 people. The proposed housing might include trailers, geodesic domes and large tents and could eventually be expanded to 600 units.
Lakewood Resident Reaction
Some Lakewood residents, however, are opposed to the proposal and loudly voiced their opposition at a CCH hosted public meeting. Concerns included the environmental safety of the land (the area was once a landfill for the Federal Center), the size of the proposed development, security of the surrounding areas and potential problems caused by the new residents.
Under the Homeless Assistance Act, because the area is considered federal surplus land, organizations created to help the homeless are given preference when it comes to purchasing the property. The City of Lakewood actually has no say in the matter since the lands are federally owned. Because of this, some residents opposed to the shelter feel their voices aren’t being properly heard.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) denied the CCH’s application with concerns over the availability of adequate funding to see the project through. With their proposal denied and the land put up for auction by the current landowners, the General Services Administration (GSA), the CCH responded by filing a Motion For A Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction to prevent the land’s sale and force the HHS to reevaluate the plan.
The saga began in October 2015 when the GSA and Lakewood embarked on a joint project to build a laboratory. Negotiations faltered and the land was put up for auction in the spring of 2017. The CCH then filed for an injunction against the auction to allow the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine whether the land could be used for homeless housing. By the fall of 2017 the HUD announced the land was suitable.
Effects On Property Managers
The property management companies Lakewood supports have followed the development of this story closely as its outcome could set a precedent and affect the development of other tracts of land that come up for auction.