After a delay, plans to put a mix of parks, apartments, condos, a hotel and other businesses into the old Colorado Department of Transportation campus in Virginia Village are still on.
Vacant since about 2018, the land a few blocks north of I-25 and Colorado Boulevard is on its way toward that vision, starting with the 150 units of affordable housing.
Chris Viscardi, director of development for Kentro Group, said the developer plans on breaking ground next summer on the residential portion of the complex.
Viscardi said this portion of the project is focusing on the affordable units, which will be a mix of studios, one- and two-bedrooms and will be available for those making 60 percent of the area median income or less.
“The affordable housing portion is absolutely critical not only to the Denver market but as part of our project,” Viscardi said. “We’re really happy we got selected on the tax credit deal.”
Securing the tax credit deal has been part of the holdup. Kentro applied for the credit through the state twice and was denied, which isn’t uncommon.
Viscardi said the credits are limited, making the process extremely competitive, but the group was awarded the credit and is planning to move forward with construction.
The development is also set to be anchored by a retail store but Kentro is still working on those details. Viscardi said the main focus has been getting the affordable units on the market.
“We’ve always felt that having an anchor is important,” Viscardi said. “Having retail space and being able to walk or bike to an amenity was always pretty critical for us, so we’re still working through that.”
Kentro is also working on affordable units on the other side of Virginia Village near Esters Neighborhood Pub on S. Holly Street and E. Atlantic Place.
There will be 62 available units for seniors 55 years and older. That project is set to break ground in November.
“We’re just short of attainable and affordable housing,” Viscardi said. “People are starting to get priced out that would normally try and live in an urban setting. We’re excited to get both affordable housing projects built and completed.”