‘The Fourth Quarter’ Victory

William “Bo” Matthews is known to many as a former NFL football star who was the top draft pick of the San Diego Chargers from University of Colorado in 1974. Since retiring, however, Matthews has become a committed philanthropist.

In 2001 Matthews founded the first nonprofit Bo Matthews Center for Excellence (BMCE) in his home state of Alabama, which focused on academic support, tutoring and mentorship of underprivileged youth. Upon returning to Colorado in 2005 Matthews founded a Colorado nonprofit corporation of the same name but with a broader focus.

Matthews’ efforts started with a personal acquisition of a large building in Five Points to “incubate” local area nonprofits. The BMCE entity itself grew into an employment training and service provider for women transitioning out of the Department of Corrections and, more recently, for any homeless individuals referred through the Denver’s Road Home provider network. Within the last two years, BMCE has secured contracts with the City of Denver and the State to provide these services out of the BMCE center at 30th and Downing streets.

Matthews took bold action in 2008 to expand BMCE’s capacity to provide housing and services to homeless individuals. He and partner Claudie Minor assembled a development team and successfully competed for a 20-year annual subsidy from Denver’s Road Home initiative to provide housing and services in a proposed 28-unit rental development.

The site of the project – called Fourth Quarter Apartments – is on the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Downing Street. The 14,000 square feet site is made up of four parcels, three of which were already owned by Matthews.

Negotiations with the Good Neighbor Agreement contributed to the expansion the project to four stories and 36 units, and created the ability to diversify the income level of residents.

MCHLF assisted the project with two predevelopment loans – the first, a $75,000 unsecured loan made in 2008, and a second secured predevelopment loan for an additional $250,000 was made following the award of a tax credit allocation in 2009.

The Fourth Quarter project used the Tax Credit Exchange Program funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and administered by CHFA to secure the equity needed to proceed.

The project, when completed in 2011, will have 28 units restricted to 30% AMI, 5 units restricted to 50% AMI and three unrestricted units.