A former work site in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood could become a new spot for workforce housing as part of Confluence Cos.’ massive Zia development.
Altogether, Zia could add 431 residential units southwest of West 41st Avenue and Inca Street. Confluence Cos. expects to break ground on the $110 million project in spring 2018, said Tim Walsh, president of the Golden-based development company.
In January, Confluence plans to start clearing the site that formerly housed the Denver-based Concrete Coring Co., Walsh said. City records show there are three office buildings along Jason Street that would be replaced with 119 condos in the eight-story portion of the Zia and 312 apartments in the six-story portions of the development.
“We feel like it’s going to be connected and part of the existing neighborhood and provide workforce housing to an area where a lot of manufacturing jobs were historically located in Denver,” Walsh said.
Almost 7,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space is planned as well as work-from-home areas, a parking garage, a cross-fit style fitness center, a roof-top dog park, an outdoor lounge space and a pool. The bridge leading to the 41st & Fox Station is located near the northeast corner of the site.
The Zia could transform the east half of Sunnyside, where residents tend to be more racially diverse and less wealthy than the rest of the metro area.
At least 20 percent of both the for-sale and for-rent units in Zia would be priced for families making between 80 percent and 95 percent of the average median income in Denver. That’s $47,000 to $55,860 for a single person and $60,400 to $63,840 for a three-person household.
Overall, the goal is that all for-rent and for-sale units are affordable to moderate-income earners making 80 percent to 120 percent of the average median income, according to Confluence. Affordable is generally considered to mean that only about a third of a household’s monthly income, before taxes and deductions, goes toward housing costs.
Condos being built in Denver, like Lakehouse in West Colfax and the Coloradan downtown, tend to be on the high end and popular with empty nesters and high-income earners. Walsh hopes Zia is more accessible to younger, first-time buyers. Unit reservations aren’t planned to start until 2018.
Many people are waiting to see how developers like Confluence respond to the construction defects reform that legislators passed earlier this year. The legislation was intended to make it easier for developers to build condos.
Condos have traditionally been seen as a stepping stone to homeownership for many middle-income households. In 2005, condos comprised 20 percent of the metro Denver new housing market. But in recent years that number has plummeted to about 2 percent.
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