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2015 Year In Review

At the heart of Denver Shared Spaces is our passion for making a positive impact on our Metro Denver community.  We work to support community-minded businesses – including nonprofits – to Create, Improve, and Champion shared space models that support community and economic growth.  When done well, coworking and shared space centers increase collaboration, support productivity, and accelerate mission impact.  We help foster an ecosystem where effective shared spaces can take root and thrive.

In 2015 we expanded our services and piloted new programs to support the shared space community.  This expansion reflects the start of the next chapter for DSS – with improved financial sustainability, increased evaluation of our impact, and deepened partnerships with our key collaborators.  2015 was a big year, and we are excited to highlight our work. Check out what we accomplished in our mission to Create, Improve, and Champion the shared space movement!


Early-Stage Planning for
4 Clients

Analyzing feasibility of over 45,000sf
of shared space

Managing 7500sf
of shared space


Re:Vision – Re:Vision is a strong, community-based nonprofit working with the neighborhood of Westwood to create economic opportunity and enhance food security. As they began a multi-phase redevelopment project, they were considering the opportunity to integrate a community wealth building coworking concept into their plans.  We provided a market feasibility scan and initial recommendations to  inform their planning process.

Aurora Housing Authority

Aurora Housing Authority-Peoria Crossing – Provided recommendations to Aurora Housing Authority about the viability of creating affordable commercial space at 31stand Peoria as part of their two-phased affordable housing development. Not only did we determine the viability of developing commercial space, we outlined specific uses and potential partners for AHA to consider.

B’nai Havurah – As a subcontractor for the Nonprofit Centers Network, DSS provided facilitation and analysis to inform the facility feasibility study for this Reconstructionist Jewish Congregation.

Boulder Children’s Justice Center – DSS led the effort to understand the feasibility of co-locating three key Boulder County nonprofits. While the findings of the study were that the opportunity was not feasible at this time, the final deliverable provided a framework for all three partners to explore the option again in the future or with other partners.

Governance and management structure for 2 clients(representing 4 organizations, managing 7500 sf of shared space)
In partnership with Forte Commercial Realty, we led three nonprofits through a planning process ahead of their new co-location. Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition,National Hemophilia Foundation-Colorado, and YESS Institute co-located to create a new shared space location on South Colorado Boulevard.  The cohort shares similar goals for efficient operations, community engagement, and meaningful mission impact.  DSS helped them develop a roadmap for moving in together and “being good roommates”, and provided an all-staff orientation to build relationships and on-board everyone to their new home.

Provided management and coworking model recommendations to Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute as they plan for the new satellite coworking location at 10thand Navajo in the DHA Mariposa Redevelopment.


Pilot Year Completed
in 2015

Over 30 Participants
in 2015 Learning Community!

Community Management
for 2 Dynamic Shared Spaces

2 new professional development programs piloted

Animating Space: A Workshop for ManagersDeveloped in collaboration with The Cultivation Center, we piloted this new curriculum that supports skill building among those responsible for managing shared spaces. The tools delivered in this workshop include approaches for managing the physical space, experimenting with design principles that increase opportunity for innovation, and creating effective systems for managing member/tenant relationships.

Managers’ RoundtableWe concluded year one of this pilot program, retooled the curriculum, and launched year two with a new group of center managers. Representing a cross-section of nonprofit and for-profit centers, this peer-learning group meets monthly to share best practices, learn from each other, and build on our collective wisdom about how to “do shared space” well.

New Learning Community Program

15 Subscribers and over 30 total participants in this year’s 3195D_DSS_LearningComm_Logo_2015Learning Community Series: We continued to build on our signature professional development program by reimagining this quarterly gathering of shared space practitioners. Instead of one-off learning opportunities, we curated a series of four sessions over the course of the year focusing on a single issue.

With a group of about 20 shared space practitioners, we looked at how shared spaces catalyze collaboration from four different angles. We captured the learning visually through graphic recording. The final 2015 Yearbook compiling all the rich information will be released on February 17th.

Provided Community Management for 2 dynamic shared spaces

20 Tenant Partners Supported!

In partnership with the Urban Land Conservancy, DSS provided on-going tenant relations management and community building for the Tramway Nonprofit Center in the Cole Neighborhood and the Social Enterprise Foundry in Sun Valley. The result – increased tenant satisfaction, improved community integration, and a framework for increasing programmatic collaboration between tenant partners.


Supported the Implementation of
Executive Order 138

4 Collaborations with
Denver Organizations

Completed Phase II of the
Nonprofit Space Survey

International Presentations:Presented at the Building Opportunities Conference in Vancouver, BC June 2015. In partnership with other leaders in the social purpose real estate movement, DSS shared expertise on effective cross-sector partnerships, municipal leadership for community-benefit commercial real estate development, and community animation.

Building a Policy Framework: Continued to support the City and County of Denver in the implementation of Executive Order 138. In 2015, we began building the case for additional financial and policy supports to make it easier for community-minded businesses to create meaningful commercial real estate projects. We will continue this work in 2016.

Key Collaborators:


New Opportunities for Development: Through Mile High Connects, DSS created a new set of tools to champion development of community facilities at key transit areas.


2015 Nonprofit Space Survey: Partnered with Nonprofit Centers Network to complete phase two of the Nonprofit Space Survey. The results will inform the industry, funders, and policy makers on the impact the improving economy is having on nonprofits’ bottom line. The data explores the current status of nonprofit leases, mortgages, and operational plans.