Developers propose towers housing a hotel, apartments and offices in University Hills

Plus a sky bridge!
3 min. read
A lot on the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Evans Avenue. Oct. 23, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

UPDATE: On Dec. 2, the Denver City Council paved the way for the project by allowing new building parameters on the southeast Denver lots.

The properties combine for about 1.8 acres at 2100 S. Colorado Blvd., 4040 E. Evans Ave., 2140 S. Albion St., 2130-2150 S. Colorado Blvd. and 4102-4108 E. Evans Ave.

Developers opted to pay into Denver's affordable housing fund instead of providing below-market homes onsite.

Council members voted 13 to 0 to allow the project.

Two towers with homes, hotel rooms, office space and a restaurant could supplant a dry cleaner and a vacant liquor store in the University Hills neighborhood.

Vinny English, the chief development officer for Q Factor, and Sandy Hecomovich, asset manager for Z Portfolio, told the Denver City Council's development committee Tuesday that their plans include 86 residential units, 120 to 130 hotel rooms, plus office space and a restaurant at Colorado Boulevard and Evans Avenue near the Colorado RTD station.

They'd be spread across two buildings, one eight stories tall and the other 12, and connected by an elevated bridge.

The concept is similar to Q Factor's other Denver developments, which include mixed-use office and co-working spaces in River North. The best known is INDUSTRY, which combines co-working space, bars and restaurants, retail, and event spaces all under one roof.

The project is still in its early stages. Developers Q Factor and landowner Z Portfolio hope to develop want the Denver City Council to change the building parameters on the site to allow their project. The planning department recommended approval because it fits with the city's long-term goals to add density near transit.

Although the Denver Planning Board advanced the rezoning request earlier this month, one dissenting member expressed concern for allowing such a tall building. The board member said the city's land use and transportation plan recommends buildings eight stories high in that area.

This development isn't the only thing in the area moving skyward. The parcel of land where the building would go sits on the southeast corner of Colorado and Evans, an intersection that has been slowly moving from small shops to tall buildings. A six-story apartment building is under construction across the street.

City planners have highlighted these transit hubs ideal locations for more density because the light rail stop would theoretically absorb some of the traffic generated by the development, which is at the intersection of two main city roads.

The developers said they're aware of concerns like aesthetics, traffic and green space.

"There is also a significant portion of open space both elevated and at grade that we are planning to incorporate into the project, really trying to tie in with what the community has been asking for," English said. He added that the design with the towers will make the interior square footage of the building the same as a five-story building extended to the site's boundaries. "We're sculpting that same density into something that's more architecturally pleasing," he said.

The rezoning request heads to the full City Council for a vote next.

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