More than 500 new homes and buildings up to 8 stories tall planned for University Hills sites

If approved, the added density would take advantage of RTD’s nearby Colorado Station.

Compass Equipment workers construct a tower crane on a jobsite on Pearl Street at 16th Avenue, April 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Compass Equipment workers construct a tower crane on a jobsite on Pearl Street at 16th Avenue, April 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

A crevice of land near Interstate 25 and Evans Avenue will go vertical if the Denver City Council OKs new building parameters at several sites currently occupied by low-rise office buildings, a vacant motel and an industrial property.

Homebuilders operating under the company name CREA-Flywheel Evans LandCo LLC have asked elected officials to allow five- and eight-story buildings on about 4 acres a short walk from the light rail station at Colorado Boulevard and Evans Avenue. Three stories are currently allowed on some properties, while five stories are allowed on others.

The developments would supplant six low-density properties with 515 apartments and condos, 37 of which would be “affordable,” Chase Hill with Cyprus Real Estate Advisors told the City Council’s land use committee Tuesday.

“It is possible out there to build what the city actually needs so I just ask you to consider that,” City Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval told the developer rep, referring to affordably priced homes and homes for larger families. Currently, the homes planned have no more than two bedrooms.

Denver does not require the developer to build below-market housing on-site.

“We always try to get as much (affordable housing) as possible but it is voluntary on the developer’s part,” said Scott Robinson, a city planner with Denver Community Planning and Development.

Hill said the developer plans to reserve 30,000 square feet of land for open space, of which 20,000 square feet will be parkland.

The projects will supplant buildings at 2100, 2135 and 2175 S. Cherry St., 4500 Evans Ave., 2176 S. Clermon St. and 4501 Warren Ave. Some of the buildings date back to the 1950s.

City planners say the projects align with the city’s blueprints for the area, including the 2003 Colorado Station Area Framework Plan, which envisions the area as a walkable transit hub, instead of a car-oriented neighborhood. Still, the developer plans to build a five-story parking garage.

Committee members unanimously advanced the rezoning request to the floor of the full City Council.

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