The Regional Transportation District has decided it no longer needs a parking lot it owns in Five Points — and that a condo building is what should replace it.
The transit agency issued a request for qualifications last month, seeking a firm to redevelop the 0.43-acre corner lot at 2907-2915 Welton St.
At least 25 percent of the condos constructed would have to be income-restricted, available to those making up to 80 percent of the area median income, according to the RFQ. That’s currently about $56,000 for a single person, or $64,000 for a two-person household. The transit agency is offering the property in partnership with Denver’s Department of Housing Stability.
RTD’s board passed a resolution in February pledging to “encourage the development of affordable housing on RTD real property,” in part because poorer people who live near public transit options are more likely to use them.
The Welton lot is zoned for up to five stories, and was appraised in August 2021 for $3 million, according to the RFQ. It is located along the L Line.
RTD’s board of directors would like to strike a ground lease with a developer, but is not completely ruling out a sale.
“The board has stated a clear preference to ground lease the property, but RTD may permit a sale if a ground lease structure is financially infeasible; or if a sale structure substantially increases the quantity, depth of length of the term of affordability; or if a sale structure is financially beneficial to RTD,” the RFQ states.
RTD says ideal applicants would have experience building condos and income-restricted housing. Denver’s Department of Housing Stability could potentially provide financing for the winning project.
The lot has 48 spaces; about 20 were taken when a reporter was there early Thursday afternoon. There is no charge to park at the lot, and no limit on time, although overnight parking is not allowed, according to signage.
RTD acquired the lot in 1993 so it could build a parking lot to replace parallel spaces along Welton Street that were lost during construction of the agency’s L Line, which opened in 1994. It paid about $148,000, records show.
Proposals are due Feb. 18, and RTD expects to make a final selection on April 19, according to the RFQ. A pre-proposal briefing will be held online Dec. 14.