Developer looks to continue UCCS, UVC relationship

Oct. 6, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
[email protected]

The University Village Colorado shopping center has brought several businesses close to UCCS over the last couple years. Anchored by Kohls, Costco, and Lowes, the area offers a wide variety of other eateries and retail stores to meet consumer needs.

Its proximity to UCCS, as well as its name, has made it a staple for students, and the recent addition of several stores has raised the demand for its many types of goods.

But the biggest contributions the center has made to the students are not the ones that can be seen or bought. UVC has a tradition of helping UCCS students with scholarships and financial assistance.

The most recent example is a $5,000 scholarship for incoming seniors in Visual and Performing Arts, specifically sculptures.

A group of seniors are asked to create a sculpture for use in the UVC. The applicant whose art is chosen for display wins the scholarship and the exposure of having their work displayed.

In addition to scholarships and financial aid, UVC has also reached out to the school to encourage the use of their spaces and facilities for school events such as concerts and gatherings.

In return for their help, UVC is aided by UCCS in a variety of unconventional, but mutually beneficial capacities. One of these benefits includes temporary utilization of a UCCS parking lot for the grand opening of Trader Joe’s.

“Any type of situation where we can generate some cross cultural exchange, we try to seize that moment,” Kevin Kratt, president and founder of Kratt Commercial Properties, said.

Kratt is the chief developer of the properties located in UVC.

He is also a member of the Chancellor’s Round Table and the Regional Connect. The committees aim to spread UCCS into a philanthropic role throughout the community.

“It’s not a formal partnership where we have something in writing,” Kratt said, “but it is more of a strategic alliance that started over a decade ago.”

Both UCCS students and the UVC benefit from the advantages of student employment. While specific numbers could not be obtained due to a constantly rotating work force and privacy acts, Kratt estimated that between 250 and 300 students are employed at UVC.

The partnership began over a decade ago when Kratt reached out to the university with ideas for an informal partnership. It grew over time to now include the financial aid programs and scholarships that both sides benefit from, and Kratt wants to see that continue.

“It will just continue to evolve as new and different opportunities continue to present themselves,” Kratt said. “It’s in full swing and it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, and we are thrilled to have UCCS as a strategic partner. As time goes on, our partnership will continue getting stronger and stronger.”

Trader Joe’s is expected to open Oct. 10 and a Starbucks opened in September.