Practice Areas ...

Public / Private Finance Solutions
Coley/Forrest has managed many assignments where the task was to craft a finance and management solution for both public-sector and private-sector parties.  Some specific examples have included working with  a consortium of developers and the City of Aurora on methods to finance development costs, a Western slope developer to propose community capital financing arrangements  in conjunction with annexation, the cities of Lakewood and Westminster regarding the redevelopment of retail centers, and the City and County of Denver regarding the redevelopment of inner-city mixed use sites.  


 Each assignment has required creative and case-specific solutions using public finance tools (taxes, fees, districts, debt instruments, intergovernmental agreements, tax increment financing, etc.) and private finance tools (voluntary fees, payment and reimbursement, dedication, lease/purchase, etc.) and presenting ideas and options in informal negotiation settings as well as formal meetings until a satisfactory solution was achieved.  

Public Finance Plans

Coley/Forrest has developed innovative public finance plans for local governments to fund capital, operations and maintenance costs associated with a variety of public improvements including courthouses, park and recreation facilities, amphitheaters, police and fire stations, libraries, drainage improvements, and other facilities.


Fiscal Impact / Cost Recovery / Impact Fee Analysis

Coley/Forrest has developed a number of fiscal impact, cost recovery, and impact fee analyses for public-sector clients, such as municipalities, counties, school districts, and park and recreation districts and for private sector clients, such as investment bankers and real estate developers.  Each analysis is tailored uniquely to the financial practices of the district or local government and to an appropriate level of detail, given the issues to be resolved.  Most recently, Ms. Townsend was retained by a group of 15 residential and mixed-use developers to represent them in an 18-month process where the developers partnered with the City of Aurora to develop a workable cost recovery fee and financing plan for development. Currently, the firm is building a fiscal model that will contain features that measure sustainability.   


Transportation Finance

The firm has extensive working experience in structuring transportation finance arrangements for departments of transportation, transit authorities, transportation districts, municipal and county governments, property owners and developers.  The scope of work has included recommending alternative techniques to finance projects, forecasting related revenues and expenditures, proposing public/private and public/public partnership arrangements, preparing cost/benefit and cost/effectiveness analyses, preparing financial feasibility analyses, and anticipating economic and fiscal impacts.  The type of transportation finance projects have included heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, road widening and extensions, bypasses and new parkways, interchange additions and improvements, parking, and transportation demand management alternatives.


Park and Open Space Finance

Coley/Forrest has assisted a number of municipalities, counties, districts and non-profit organizations regarding the market and financial feasibility of park, recreation, and related educational facilities, programs, and services.  An illustrative sampling of these assignments has included a financial and market plan for refurbishment of Red Rocks Amphitheater, financial plan for redevelopment of Calkins Lake, a market potential analysis for a new mountain reservoir, and financial plans for park and recreation master plans.


Expert Witness Experience

Ms. Townsend, president of Coley/Forrest, has represented cities, counties, and districts as a testifying expert witness in the fields of market and real estate feasibility, economic impacts and public finance.  One extended assignment was working for the City and County of Denver during its years of land acquisition work in conjunction with the Denver International Airport; another assignment was working with the City of Lakewood regarding a bankruptcy action filed by a metropolitan district and its impact on City residents and businesses.  


Socioeconomic Impact

Coley/Forrest has participated in the preparation of the social and economic portions of a number of impact analyses under NEPA and other federal and state guidelines.  This work has involved the rigorous application of input-output and fiscal impact models, detailed analysis of business impacts, careful analysis of qualitative economic issues such as job quality, and economic health.  Several projects have involved impacts on natural resources including national parks and the exportation of water.  Other assignments have been uniquely tailored to impacts associated with major airport construction or expansion.


Trans-Jurisdictional Water Issues

Coley/Forrest has represented Park County, Elbert County, Grand County and Chaffee County on socio-economic and financial impacts considerations associated with trans-jurisdictional or trans-mountain water diversion projects.  Responsibilities have been to help each county analyze anticipated impacts, articulate these potential impacts to proponents, work through potential mitigation solutions with all parties and testify at public hearings as an expert witness.  


Market Feasibility

Coley/Forrest has prepared hundreds of market feasibility analyses for developers, investment bankers, lenders, districts, and municipalities.  The range of assignments has included the full price range of residential products, as well as retail, office, industrial, recreation, and institutional uses.  She has prepared market analyses in downtown, suburban, rural, and resort settings


Real Estate and Revenue Forecasting

Coley/Forrest has prepared forecasts of real estate parameters, such as population, households, employment and sales activity and related public finance parameters such as property and sales tax revenues, user and tap fees, and real estate transfer fees.  Representative assignments have included forecasts of sales and property tax revenues for investment banking firms preparing to issue tax increment debt, real estate transfer fee revenues for developers, household and employment for municipal and county governments, and households by income bracket for real estate developers


Community Revitalization / Urban Renewal

Coley/Forrest has worked with municipalities, urban renewal and downtown development authorities on the finance, market, economic and strategic components of community and downtown revitalization.  A sampling of clients have included the cities of Aurora, Boulder, Denver, Englewood, and Lakewood, urban renewal and downtown development authorities of Aurora, Boulder, Denver, Grand Junction, Lakewood, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and Winter Park, the Sugar House District in Salt Lake City, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.  The firm has also worked for real estate developers in collaboration with urban renewal authorities in Aurora, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Northglenn and Timnath.


Economic Development

The objective of economic development is action.  A hallmark of Coley/Forrest’s economic development work is its detailed focus on its client’s unique economic assets and careful consideration of economic development initiatives that match the client’s interests and commitment.   Every assignment is quite unique.  The assignment is successful only when action begins.  Nearly all of the firm’s practice areas (fiscal impact, forecasting, public finance, community revitalization, socioeconomic impacts, etc.) provide pertinent background support for its economic development work.  The firm has prepared economic development plans on a citywide scale and for targeted areas.  These plans have been prepared for communities facing decline and seeking a wide range of development at any volume, for communities that question the benefit of economic development and seek to attract a very narrow range of prospects, and for communities seeking substantial growth, development and redevelopment


Affordable Housing Development

Coley/Forrest staff has worked as project manager to develop an affordable housing and mixed-use transit-oriented development for two non-profit organizations.  Ms. Townsend functioned as project manager, handing assignments from the initial purchase of property, through financing, construction, and sale or lease. The development included market and tax-credit residential rental units, residential condominiums, office condominiums, retail and office space for lease.  Tax increment financing, federal and state tax credits, subsidized loans and market rate loans are mortgages were used


Complex Applications Practice Group

On occasion, local governments, businesses and real estate developers become engaged in negotiations that are unusual in their size and complexity.  The outcome can be significant and permanent for all parties.   Often, the local government is not staffed appropriately to manage these complex applications simply because of their unusual nature.   In collaboration with colleagues experienced in local government law, water law, mediation, hydrology, land use, and engineering, Coley Forrest lends its expertise in socioeconomic impacts, fiscal impacts, and mitigation. Please visit Complex Applications Practice Group  for more detailed information


Sports Events Feasibility

In collaboration with colleagues experienced in distance-running event operations and management, Coley/Forrest is a partner in Win Together, LLC, which provides strategic advice regarding race feasibility, sponsor development, operations and management to existing and potential event sponsors and organizers.

For a partial list of who has retained us in the past, please visit Clients.  

For more information, contact Jean Townsend: