Denver City and County Building

DALLAS — Denver held its fifth annual sale of "Mini-Bonds" Monday, and it didn't last long.

The $12 million of bonds sold in denominations of $500 were gone in an hour, abruptly ending the planned five-day sale, officials said.

"Thank you, Colorado, for your overwhelming response to the 2014 Denver Mini-Bonds," the city's Mini-Bond Web site told potential buyers. "Coloradans purchased all of the Denver Mini-Bonds available-a total of $12 million-before the end of our planned order period. We are thrilled to be able to use the proceeds from these bonds to complete the final phases of the Better Denver projects approved by Denver voters, particularly improvements to the city's outstanding cultural facilities."

The Mini-Bond program is the city and county of Denver's attempt to increase civic involvement in local projects under the Better Denver bond program.  The program was launched by former mayor John Hickenlooper, who is now governor of Colorado.

Along with civic pride, buyers in Colorado also gain double tax exemptions and yields ranging from 4.38% to 4.89%.

To give more investors an opportunity to buy the triple-A-rated bonds, Denver limited sales to 40 bonds per customer, or $20,000 worth.

Officials estimated that about 1,000 investors bought the bonds, estimates that remain to be confirmed.

Two maturities were offered: a nine-year bond will earn $750 at maturity, while a 14-year bond doubles to $1,000. At a price of $500 each, the Mini-Bonds were about a 10th of the typical muni bond denomination of $5,000.

"We are pleased with the strong response from Colorado citizens," Deputy Mayor Cary Kennedy, also the city's chief financial officer, said in a prepared statement.  "Coloradans have proven once again they value the investments we are making in Denver and want to be a part of Denver's success."

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