HUD awards Denver $30 million to help revitalize Sun Valley neighborhood

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DENVER -- The U.S. Housing and Urban Development announced Denver as the winner Monday of a $30 million grant to revitalize the Sun Valley neighborhood.

Denver joins four other cities that will use the money to bring distressed neighborhoods back to life.

The Sun Valley neighborhood is located near Sports Authority Field at Mile High, just west of downtown Denver between Federal Boulevard and Interstate 25.

The city says homes in the neighborhood are among the most distressed in the city.

The grant will cover one-eighth of the $240 million project. The rest of the money will be covered by the city, state and private funds.

In the plan, the city will triple the density by replacing the existing 330 public housing units with 750 new units of mixed-income housing.

There will also be a 31,000-square-foot youth center adjacent to an elementary school, a microbusiness and international food market featuring more than 45 business, and a 10-acre riverfront park.

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The city will connect the neighborhood to downtown by realigning streets.

"We were tucked in here for a reason. That's not how it is anymore. Not everybody who lives here is on TANF or food stamps. We do work. We work hard,” Sun Valley resident Lisa Saenz said.

"No one is going to be ashamed to live here. They're going to be proud to live here."

The Broncos are also part of the project. The team said it is in talks with the city about how to enhance the area around the stadium.

The Denver Business Journal reported the Broncos are planning a $351 million "entertainment district" in the north part of Sun Valley, citing a summary of the grant.

It would include "retail, commercial and residential developments," according to the document.

RELATED: HUD document

“Our organization fully supports the enhancement of the area around the stadium, including the Sun Valley neighborhood," the Broncos said in a statement. "While we’ve had discussions with the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and the city about the future development surrounding the stadium, those conversations have been very preliminary and have not included any cost estimates. We will continue to explore this possibility with the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and the city.”

The entire project is expected to be complete in about 10 years.