Wyoming Community Media (WCM) and Outback Investments are developing an ambitious creative economy mixed use, diverse housing project in Downtown Cheyenne. The project proposes 65 apartments in the renovated Hynds Building and over the adjacent vacant lot colloquially known as “The Hole”.
Download a copy of the project narrative. The project was presented to the Laramie County Community College Board of Trustees on October 3rd. The LCCC Board by consensus asked that a formal Letter of Intent be brought forth for its consideration on October 17th.
The Hynds Capitol Core project consists of 65 universally-accessible apartments on the first and second floors.
The first floor, now occupied by LightsOn! Downtown, and the 2nd floor continue to be envisioned as civic/educational – commercial/retail and the top three floors as rental housing and common space.
The Hynds Capitol Core project has as its mission to develop a mixed-use community consisting of diverse homes to incubate the new creative economy integrated with offices, civic – classroom – gallery spaces and service retail to serve the greater neighborhood and at the same time protect the public health and safety in a neighborhood that is the location of a huge open pit resulting from a structure destroyed by fire and an historic building built in 1919 that has fallen into disrepair and largely vacant for the past 26 years.
The Hynds Capitol Core project pursues its mission through a multidisciplinary public/private partnership. The collaborative approach will result in a diverse, mixed-use development Housing is the bridge between creative community development and traditional economic development.
Finding and retaining affordable living/work space is an age-old problem for artists, and creative businesses. Such artists and businesses gravitate to old warehouses and other industrial buildings. Their very presence in a developing neighborhood often acts as a catalyst, setting in motion the undesirable process of gentrification that drives rents up and forces the artists out.
The Hynds Capitol Core will build a strong sense of community. In collaborative housing residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods. The physical design encourages both social contact and individual space.The apartments contain all the features of conventional homes and residents also have access to extensive common areas.
Positive impacts create vibrancy and activity.
1. Participatory process. The Hynds Capitol Core residents participate in the design of their community so that it meets their needs. Typical speculative housing communities are driven by a developer’s vision. In such cases, the residents will have less input into the design. The physical layout and orientation of the building floor plan encourages a sense of community – for example, when residences are clustered and have their doors opening into a shared space. The apartments face each other across a walkway. What far outweighs any specifics is the intention to create a strong sense of community, with design as one of the facilitators.
2. Neighborhood design. The Hynds Capitol Core project will not only be affected by the community design, but the cohesive nature of the community that creates more vibrancy in the exterior neighborhood when community members decide to enjoy a night out at a restaurant or take in music across the street at the Atlas Theatre.
3. Common facilities. Common facilities are designed for daily use, are an integral part of the community, and are always supplemental to the private homes. The common spaces typically include a common kitchen, dining area, sitting area, laundry, and also may contain a library, exercise room, meeting and conference room spaces and in some cases a guest room that may be reserved by community members for visitors.
4. Resident management. Residents manage their community, and perform some of the work required to maintain the property. They may participate in the preparation of common meals, community celebrations and meet regularly to solve problems and develop policies for the community.
5. Non-hierarchical structure and decision-making. Leadership roles naturally exist, however no one person (or persons) has authority over others. Governance is generally some form of consensus, and, although many groups have a policy for voting if the group cannot reach consensus after a number of attempts, it is rarely or never necessary to resort to voting.
6. No shared community economy. The Hynds Capitol Core project residents do not share any common ownership or a source of income. However a resident association determine which common tasks are better contracted out or performed by community members. There may be additional income to the association which may derive from leased space and/or rental of common areas.