South Broadway could get up to 270 more units in a proposed residential and retail development.
Holland Partner Group says it is under contract to purchase more than 2 acres on the northwest corner of Bayaud Avenue and Broadway. The land currently houses Security Service Credit Union, which has 75-plus parking spots now used as free public parking at night.
Holland Partner development manager Tyler Elick presented the potential development at the Baker Historic Neighborhood Association meeting on Tuesday.
The land is currently zoned for three stories. But Holland hopes to rezone it for five.
“We see five stories as the ability to provide room for creativity in the budget,” Elick said at the meeting. With only three stories, he said, “the economics become more challenging.”
Elick said building five stories will allow Holland to spend more money making sure the design meshes with surrounding architecture. Although the land is not in the historic district, residents at the meeting worried that the proposed building would not fit in with older brick establishments nearby.
Jeff Pring, a general contractor who lives two houses away from the site, was one of 60 residents attending the meeting.
“I’m concerned with all the cheap apartment buildings that are being built too quickly. They are cheapening our neighborhood,” Pring said. “My house is 130 years old. It’s a beautiful piece of art.”
At the meeting, Elick described the possibilities for both a three- and a five-story development.
A three-story building would have 160 to 180 residential units, while five stories would have 250 to 270 units. Both would rent at $2.50 per square foot, he said.
A zoning change would allow for five stories on the east side facing Broadway, then tapering down to three stories on the western side facing the neighborhood.
There would be ground floor retail with a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units, along with townhomes on the west side. Walk-up units would line the north and south edges along Archer Place and Bayaud Avenue. All units would be rentals.
The proposed design includes parking. But residents expressed concerns about added traffic and parked cars clogging neighborhood streets.
“This is where my kids learn to ride their bikes,” Pring said. “If you are adding 270 apartments that’s over 300 cars, and it’s very close to us.”
If the sale goes through, Elick said the project will break ground in a year.
There are lots of other projects in the works in the neighborhood. The proposed project would join the 187-unit Alta Sobo Station popping up along South Broadway and renovations to the former First Avenue Hotel.
Holland Partner Group has been active in Denver for a decade. They have built the Mile House and The Den near the Tech Center, Union Denver and Platform near Union Station, and Line 28 in LoHi.