A chunk of land across from Sloan’s Lake that developers have been trying to build on for two years is a step closer to filling up with new housing.
On Tuesday, a Denver City Council committee approved a rezoning request for parcels near the intersection of Sheridan Boulevard and West 17th Street. Local developer Arrow Capital wants to build a multi-building project with 60 rental units at 1634, 1642, 1650, and 1680 North Sheridan Blvd., which technically fall in the West Colfax neighborhood. The rezoning request will now head to the full City Council for final approval.
But it was City Council that, in September 2019, overwhelmingly rejected a rezoning request for the same parcels. That request was for a development that would have included housing and storefronts and would have been up to 45 feet tall. Council members received far more letters from the public opposing the project than supporting it and heard concerns from the area’s Jewish community about parking.
Fast-forward to Tuesday: The rezoning request approved by council members will also allow for mixed-use buildings up to 45 feet tall. But Matt Chiodini, an associate principal with OZ Architecture who’s involved in the rezoning request, said the project will only include housing. Senior City Planner James Van Hooser said during Tuesday’s meeting that the project wouldn’t add as much density as the previous request. Councilmember Amanda Sandoval, who represents the district where the parcels are located, said it would also allow for more pedestrian-friendly amenities like sidewalks and tree lawns.
The four parcels are currently zoned for single-used residential and have three single-family homes. Chiodini said Arrow Capital would purchase all the parcels.
“It’s a tough corner,” Chiodini told Denverite before Tuesday’s meeting. “It’s two major arterials and a pretty good gateway for Denver in terms of Sloan’s Lake and entry into that Sloan’s Lake neighborhood.”
Ray Perez has lived at 1680 North Sheridan Blvd. for seven years. His lawn looks out onto Sheridan Boulevard. Perez was sitting on the home’s big lawn on Tuesday, which looks toward a buzzing Sheridan Boulevard, where he said he often witnesses car crashes near the intersection.
The project would include installing a multimodal sidewalk, Chiodini said, which the area doesn’t have right now. Perez said the dirt sidewalk currently along Sheridan Boulevard often gets muddy, and a nearby hill can be tricky to travel on.
Chiodini said developers will give more than 4,500 square feet of property to the right of way, opening up this space for the public via sidewalks and tree lawns.
Developers want to put 8-foot-wide sidewalks and 8-foot-wide tree lawns along Sheridan Boulevard and on 17th Avenue to provide a buffer along the busy corridor, while a 5-foot-wide sidewalk and 8-foot-wide tree lawn would be installed on West Annie Place. The housing units would be split between five separate buildings and would include studios and one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
There are currently no plans to provide affordable housing units in the project. Chiodini said the project will include 50 parking spaces.