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Residents march to gain control of public property development near Globeville neighborhood

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 19:33:25-04

DENVER — On Saturday, residents of the Globeville and the Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods marched to reclaim, direct and develop the use of 45-acres of public land located in the Triangle, an area in the middle of both neighborhoods.

Members of the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Coalition, also known as GES Coalition, were out in full force to launch a campaign that will give community members the power to help develop land at the National Western Complex.

“What we would like to see the reclaiming of this land,” Nola Miguel, the Director of GES Coalition said.

The nonprofit created the Tierra Colective Community Land Trust to address the needs of the community.

“We really feel like public land should be public and not be given to private developers,” Miguel said.

The organization wants to partner with city leaders to create a space that will benefit residents of the nearby neighborhoods. Miguel said for too long residents of the area have been pushed and priced out of their neighborhood.

“Nine out of 10 neighbors are at risk of displacement,” Miguel said.

Yadira Sanchez, a GES housing navigator, says over the years property developments in their community have failed to create any benefits for residents of the area.

The organization and residents are calling for affordable housing in the area, laundromats, and basic needs like a pharmacy. They also want their culture reflected in the design.

“We want to have a “plaza central” (a central plaza). We want to have stores that are owned and run by people that live in this neighborhood,” Miguel said.

To help guide the nonprofit's mission, the coalition held a ceremony to bless the land.

Alma Urbano is part of GES and owns a home in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. She acknowledges her community doesn’t have the best reputation but says it’s her home and where her extended family lives too.

“If we don’t speak out, they may just develop something very expensive we would never be able to use, and it would make the other businesses around unaffordable to buy into,” Urbano said.

GES has also launched a website to help community members and other cities navigate their vision and learn more about their mission.