Every month, LIFE will provide answers to the community’s burning questions about new and ongoing developments. If there is a pile of dirt you’re curious about, or if you want to know how much …
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Every month, LIFE will provide answers to the community’s burning questions about new and ongoing developments. If there is a pile of dirt you’re curious about, or if you want to know how much longer your street parking will be sacrificed during construction, email Stacey McDole at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll do the investigation for you and report back.
Fenced lot at 14th Avenue and Vine Street—Vine Townhomes
Demolition happened and construction began long ago at 1360 Vine St., and what formerly stood on the lot is a fuzzy memory. A sign on the corner indicates townhomes are in pre-sale. Cindy Wofford of Koelbel Urban Homes says construction of 14 townhomes will begin again sometime in the next month. Work on the site is currently at a standstill while water samples are being tested.
By spring 2018, the townhomes should be complete. Wofford said Koelbel worked closely with landmark preservation to design sleek townhomes with modern finishes that blended with the historical architecture of the neighborhood. Michael Henry, director of historic preservation of CHUN, said he was upset Koebel never reached out to them after an initial meeting for historic consultation.
The large hole at 9th Avenue and Grant Street is to become Grant Street Self-Storage. Photo by Sara Hertwig.
Sewall Child Development Center, which was established in 1944 by Dr. Henry Sewall, stood on the lot previously. His center provided care for adults and children with disabilities.
Rachel Griffin, co-delegate of CHUN Neighborhood 5, aka West Cheesman, said the project was close to her heart, considering her daughter went to Sewall before they moved to their new home at 960 Fillmore St.. “There was some deferred maintenance with the school, but they weren’t sure what direction they were going in yet either,” she said. “The situation was a win/win for both Koebel and Sewall.”
For more information visit the website: koelbelurbanhomes.com.
12th Avenue and Grant Street—Modera Capitol Hill
Mill Creek Residential is working on a new complex on Capitol Hill—an eight-story, 197-unit apartment complex. Thankfully, three floors of parking are included within the structure, since on-street parking is at a premium in this area of the neighborhood.
“I’m always happy to see underutilized spaces on Capitol Hill redeveloped into new housing,” said John Riecke, CHUN treasurer and delegate of CHUN Neighborhood 4, aka West Capitol Hill. “However, the developers weren’t allowed to place garage access along the alley as they had intended, and are instead being forced to put the garage front and center of the building.”
This creates valid safety concern for pedestrians, which are plentiful on Capitol Hill. “We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot when it comes to making walkability the first and best choice in Denver,” Riecke continued.
Mill Creek Residential was unavailable for comment.
9th Avenue and Grant Street—Grant Street Self-Storage
The VanWest Group, which specializes in repurposing existing real estate in the Denver area, has acquired the former Denver Public School building on 9th Avenue and Grant Street. The building will have three, 1,500 square feet storefronts for lease on the ground level, along with common area restrooms and plenty of parking for patrons.
“For the remaining spaces, we will be seeking coffee, bakery, sandwich shop, fitness, boutique, cocktail bar, or if Wade Buxton [who is handling the self-storage development] gets his way, a Cat Café,” said Forrest Bassett, director of commercial brokerage at VanWest Real Estate Group, LLC.
Bassett says they are seeking out neighborhood-oriented retailers that will benefit from this location. “Ideally, we will land a taproom for a brewery. We are reaching out to existing breweries who could utilize the space as a satellite taproom to their existing brewery,” said Bassett.
“We like the more creative uses and have completed several projects that have brought some unique users to an area.”
The development is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. “I’m grateful that it will be something other than a blank-walled fortress and look forward to seeing more people on the street as more destinations are created,” said Riecke, “and more empty buildings and parking lots are replaced by people and places.”
However, according to Riecke, Grant Street was designed by Denver Public Works to act as a quick thoroughfare out of downtown. “It damages the livability of the neighborhood and the safety of the neighbors, many of whom cross the street on foot and bicycle,” he said.
Developments on Grant are confronted with a double-edged sword; pedestrian/neighborhood foot traffic is crucial for these new developments with first-floor retail.
Governor’s Park is booming now! Next month will be all about Seventh Avenue construction.
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