BOULDER — From retail to institutions to housing, Philip Shull’s company has built it all. Its speciality in recent years has been projects that provide affordable housing, particularly housing that enables people who are homeless to find shelter and services.
Shull, the founder of Deneuve Construction Services, trade name for Deneuve Design Inc., will be among six individuals or groups to be inducted on Sept. 15, into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame. The luncheon event is at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Boulder.
Shull, 75, arrived in Boulder in 1965 from Arvada to attend the University of Colorado where he earned a degree in psychology. He has lived in the community since, with life partner Christine Kimura.
While his degree may have been in a social science — one that bridges behavior and the human mind with natural sciences — construction and design were in his blood. Shull’s father was an architect, and the younger Shull was fascinated by design and fabrication processes, especially woodworking, since his teens. After a short stint as a carpenter, he founded Deneuve Construction Services in 1973 and has been producing buildings ever since, including projects in 14 states.
He named his company after the French actor Catherine Deneuve. “I saw her as representing a classic European style and timeless beauty,” Shull told BizWest. Shull had intended to design a line of distinctive furniture using that name, but didn’t. Instead, it became his company’s appellation and defined the quality of the work it would perform over decades. [Catherine Deneuve has acted in films since 1957. In 1992, she was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her role in Indochine.]
Deneuve Construction projects include more than 300 restaurants, grocery stores, medical clinics, custom homes, schools, churches, retail establishments, community centers, condominiums, and more recently, hundreds of affordable housing units throughout Colorado.
Affordable-housing projects that offer alternatives to people facing homelessness and those that include access to services useful to combat veterans or teenagers without a place to call home are among the firm’s portfolio. Energy efficiency has also become a hallmark of the company.
The Attention Homes project in Boulder received an Eagle Award in 2020 from Housing Colorado. Guadalupe Apartments in Greeley is another project receiving recognition for the services it provides.
Shull sold a majority interest in his company to David Garabed in 2019 but remains engaged as executive adviser.
His civic activity has also been wide ranging, including the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority, which oversaw redevelopment of Crossroads Mall and development of the St. Julien Hotel; CAGID, which operates the downtown parking facilities; the Boulder Chamber and its Community Development Council; the Boulder Planning Board, and Chautauqua Association Board.
He and Christine have managed their historic home as a bed and breakfast and ran the BookEnd Café and Riffs restaurant for 30 years on the Pearl Street Mall. Those endeavors provided a home for his collection of architectural antiques.
He enjoys classical music, jazz, crime mysteries, jigsaw puzzles, their small apartment in Umbria, Italy, his E bike, the essays of Ann Patchett and David Sedaris, and all of Christine’s cooking.