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Justin Croft: Barista to Mile High City-Builder

Zeppelin Development's VP of development has many irons in the fire, showcasing why he's a top young pro


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JUSTIN CROFT, 35

VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT, ZEPPELIN DEVELOPMENT, DENVER

When Zeppelin Co-President Kyle Zeppelin first met Croft, he was a barista at Crema Coffee House. That background in food and beverage led to Croft overseeing The Source, the company’s first culinary-focused retail development in the River North (RiNo) neighborhood. Croft, who is now an equity partner in Zeppelin, supervised the build-outs of 15 independent tenants with demanding requirements and limited budgets. He’s doing the same for the Source Hotel, a culinary complex and lifestyle hotel in the heart of RiNo set to open in 2018.

Croft also has been assisting on Zeppelin Station, a multicultural food hall and creative workplace. In 2012, Croft co-founded the RiNo Urban Improvement Committee and later led efforts to create both the Business Improvement and General Improvement Districts in RiNo. He has served on multiple steering and stakeholder committees for Denver’s planning efforts and led the creation of design guidelines for RiNo. Currently, Croft serves as the Chair of the River North Business Improvement District and is a board member of the RiNo Art District. In partnership with Focus Points Family Resource Center, Croft facilitated the 2016 opening of Comal Heritage Food Incubator, which aims to provide women entrepreneurs from the underserved neighborhoods of Globeville and Elyria Swansea with culinary arts, business and language skills.

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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