A multifamily developer is looking to build at the White Fence Farm site in Lakewood, now that the family restaurant known for its fried chicken has flown the coop.
A spokeswoman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Crescent Communities confirmed to BusinessDen that the company wants to develop a complex called Novel White Fence Farm at 6263 W. Jewell Ave.
Restaurant White Fence Farm operated at the site for 45 years before closing at the end of 2018.
“We have begun to engage with members of the local community and look forward to incorporating feedback into our plans for a thoughtfully-designed and vibrant residential community,” Crescent spokeswoman Lisa Richards said in an email.
Local newspaper Lakewood Sentinel, which attended one such meeting with community members this month, reported that Crescent is proposing a 260-unit project, and hopes to begin construction by year-end.
The 6263 W. Jewell Ave. parcel is 7.36 acres. It is owned by C&P Properties LLC, which purchased it for $3.75 million in November 2014, according to property records.
Richards said the company’s project does not require the property to be rezoned.
“We intend to preserve the historic Americana Barn as our community clubhouse and incorporate modern uses and amenities and other site improvements along the adjacent gulch and trail system,” Richard said. “We anticipate that the resulting community will become a welcome addition to the neighborhood.”
Richards did not respond to questions sent in response to her initial email.
White Fence Farm owners Craig Caldwell and Tom Piercy, who purchased the restaurant in 2014 and briefly tried to expand the brand with additional locations focusing on take-out, announced in October that the Lakewood restaurant would close at the end of 2018. The owners said the restaurant had “been operating at a net monthly loss for a considerable amount of time,” and also was struggling to find staff.
Crescent, however, apparently knew of the impending closure prior to October. City spokeswoman Stacie Oulton said Crescent submitted an early-stage development proposal for the site in June. The company has yet to submit a formal development application, she said.
Crescent’s website does not show any Denver-area properties in its portfolio, although the company has an office in Greenwood Village. The company’s multifamily and mixed-use projects are primarily in the southeast, along with Texas and Arizona.