Although Model Cities’ Community Development Corporation was not formally established until 1998, the agency has been an active community-based developer since 1987. Since that time, Model Cities has successfully developed four commercial and mixed-use properties in the Summit-University and Frogtown areas.
580 Fuller Avenue was new construction, built in 1991. This 7,500 sq.ft. building, named Model Cities Family Development Center, provided services for early childhood development and social service staff. It is now being leased to a nonprofit day care center.
839/849 University Avenue BROWNstone building was completely rehabbed in 2000. This 35,000 sq. ft. mixed use structure is used for Model Cities’ offices, leases office space to other non profits, and leases retail space to first time entrepreneurs. The name BROWNstone was derived to portray the vision – Business Revitalization and Ownership for a Working Neighborhood. The building provided commercial space for small and minority retailers interested in doing businesses on University Avenue. This development not only provided a physical presence, it also spurred on job training and placement opportunities for local residents.
The Frogtown Square project opened in June 2011 and includes retail businesses on the ground floor and senior apartments above. The development team included Model Cities, Greater Frogtown CDC, Neighborhood Development Center, and Aurora/St. Anthony NDC – collectively known as NEDU (Northeast Dale-University). The senior housing was developed by and is owned and managed by Episcopal Homes. The building of the Frogtown Square at University and Dale represents nothing less than the rebirth of the neighborhood.