The Denver City Council has approved sweeping proposals aimed at helping to transform downtown’s Arapahoe Square from an area dominated by parking lots into the city’s next dense, walkable neighborhood.
City planning officials envision that development eventually could bring thousands of new housing units to the area, if developer interest holds.
Zoning changes approved Monday night divide a 21-block area sandwiched between 20th Street and Park Avenue into two newly created zone districts that allow 12-plus stories closer to Park and 20-plus stories closer to 20th Street, the boundary with the Central Business District. Those unusually defined height boundaries are intentionally elastic: Developers can build even higher — up to 20 or 30 stories, respectively — if they meet criteria such as concealing parking garages from the street or designing slimmer towers atop shorter bases, called “point towers.”
Those new zone districts between 20th and Park stretch from properties fronting Lawrence Street to those fronting Welton Street, in Five Points. Broadway cuts through the rezoned area diagonally.
The height flexibility will allow taller buildings for some projects than would have been permitted by the current zoning, which pre-dated Denver’s 2010 rezoning of most of the rest of the city.
The council approved two paired zoning proposals 8-1 on Monday.
Those new maximum heights spurred a little controversy among some residents of surrounding neighborhoods, especially when coupled with no requirement for developers in the new zones to provide parking. But the rezoning process for such a large area, which is well-served by transit, has been relatively smooth in the context of Denver’s contentious development boom.
District 9 Councilman Albus Brooks, who represents most of downtown, said the zoning changes carry out the vision of the 2011Northeast Downtown Neighborhoods Plan, which was led by his predecessor, the late Carla Madison.
On the council, the lack of any restrictions or incentives in the Arapahoe Square plans to encourage affordable housing construction gave some members pause. Paul Kashmann cited the issue in voting no — despite, he said, liking other aspects of the zoning changes. Rafael Espinoza abstained from voting, also citing misgivings.
Other members and city staff said that choice on affordable housing was made in part because Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration and the council are drafting proposals geared towardraising at least $150 million over 10 years for housing subsidies. Those likely will include a property tax increase and a new impact feethat, if enacted, would apply to future development projects in Arapahoe Square, along with the rest of the city.
The Arapahoe Square zoning text amendment approved by the council created the new high-rise zoning districts and called for creation of a design advisory board to review proposed projects, akin to the board that reviews designs in Cherry Creek North. That and the companion rezoning proposal were the subject of a public hearing before the council voted.
Denver planning officialsdeveloped the measures with a community task force that also worked to establish design guidelines, including setback requirements for higher floors.
The area also is home to a clustering of social services nonprofits that include the Denver Rescue Mission — a source of tension with the development-rich Ballpark neighborhood nearby.
In recent months, the city has been flooded by letters and e-mails, with some passionately in support of the plans to allow more density while many others have zeroed in on aspects they oppose.
Residents of Curtis Park northeast of Park Avenue pushed back against an initial proposal for higher density to extend into their neighborhood as a transition zone. Until it can hold a wider community discussion, the city has held off on rezoning proposals that would allow buildings up to five stories there, except for properties along Park. Monday’s rezoning included mixed-use rezonings for some other areas adjacent to the new Arapahoe Square zone districts, including allowing a maximum eight stories along Larimer Street.
At the southeast end of the new “20 story-plus” zone district, some residents expressed concern that the maximum 30-story towers allowed there potentially could cast shadows on the small adjacent Clements Historic District.
Brooks and downtown advocates have supported the zoning changes vigorously, arguing that they will prime the “blank slate” of Arapahoe Square for meaningful development in coming years.
The Denver Planning Board previously approved the proposals 6-0.
Michael is a motivated realtor specializing with investors and new home buyers located in the following areas; Denver, Arvada,Aurora and surrounding areas. Michael Steffen uses advanced internet marketing to insure your property gets maximum exposure and holds a high value of ethics in his work to ensure the ideal scenario for everyone!For helpwith buying or selling a propertycall 303-981-2750!
My name is Michael Ross Steffen. I’m an Exit Realty Cherry Creek Agent in the Denver metro area. I specialize in advanced marketing, buying, selling and investing for seasoned, as well as first time....
Denver Tech Center | Cherry Creek | Colorado Springs
DENVER, CO 80206 303-800-9021
The real estate listing information and related content displayed on this site is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This information and related content is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the Pikes Peak Realtor Services Corp.
This site is used and paid for by multiple independent companies. The real estate broker cannot
require you as a prospective buyer to pre-qualify with or utilize the services of either of the mortgage loan originators. Nor can either of the mortgage load originators require you as a prospective buyer to utilize the services of the real estate broker.
1. This publication
is designed to provide information regarding the subject matter covered. It is displayed with the understanding that the publisher and authors are not engaged in rendering real estate, legal, accounting, tax, or other professional services and that the publisher and authors are not offering such advice in this publication. If real estate, legal, or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent, professional person should be sought.
2. The information contained in this publication is subject to change without notice.
METROLIST, INC., DBA RECOLORADO MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND WITH REGARD TO THIS MATERIAL, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. METROLIST, INC., DBA RECOLORADO SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ERRORS CONTAINED HEREIN OR FOR ANY DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH THE FURNISHING, PERFORMANCE, OR USE OF THIS MATERIAL.
3. PUBLISHER'S NOTICE:
All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Colorado Fair Housing Act, which Acts make it illegal to make or publish any advertisement that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
4. METROLIST, INC., DBA RECOLORADO will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate that is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.
7. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WORLDWIDE. No part of this publication may be reproduced, adapted, translated, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. The information contained herein including but not limited to all text, photographs, digital images, virtual tours, may be seeded and monitored for protection and tracking.