ENGLEWOOD —Just as a huge apartment complex at South Broadway and Hampden Avenue nears completion, another dense multi-family development is springing up a few miles away in Englewood.
The multi-family building rush isn’t new to the metro area — or to Englewood, for that matter — but with more than 1,000 apartments, condos and even some single-family homes welcoming tenants, breaking ground or otherwise moving through the city’s development pipeline this year, Englewood leaders are excited about what the increased density means.
“Attractive residential is so important,” Englewood Mayor Joe Jefferson said. “We have a lot of good, primary job providers. Swedish (Medical Center), Craig (Hospital) … But we’re not so great at capturing all of the economic activity that comes from that by providing appropriate housing.”
One multi-family project with the potential to attract young professional tenants is Oxford Station at 4101 S. Navajo St. Like the eye-catching and all-but-completed Alta Cherry Hills apartments at Broadway and Hampden, Oxford Station turned heads recently when its two 5-story buildings began to spring up near the southeast corner of Santa Fe Drive and West Oxford Avenue.
The $40 million project is being brought about by LCP Development and Brue Capital Partners, LCP partner Jonathan Bush said. The 238-unit project is building on the former site of Martin Plastics. Developers preserved a 9,400-square-foot bow truss-style industrial building there, which likely will be split between a fitness center and a potential office tenant, Bush said. The key to the market-rate project, which could be completed by the end of the year, is proximity to amenities and shopping, like the nearby Target and Costco in River Point.
“All of the embedded amenities are there,” Bush said. “We are literally across the street from the Oxford light rail platform. Englewood Rec Center is a block away and Broken Tee Golf Course is half a mile to the west.”
City Manager Eric Keck credits the influx of multi-family housing, and the younger population it is bringing, for helping spur recent business activity in Englewood, like what is happening in the 3400 block of South Broadway.
“As a community that is seeking diversity within its constituent population, allowing for multi-family housing is important,” Keck wrote in an email. “It is interesting to note that these increased housing density projects are also the reason that there is renewed commercial interest in Englewood, with bars, restaurants and retailers seeking to capitalize on these developments.”
He pointed out that not all of the multi-family development is high-end or market-rate. The Traditions at Englewood project under construction at 3500 S. Sherman St. will add 180 apartments for seniors, and a workforce housing project is expected in the 3400 block of South Acoma Street.
Both Keck and Jefferson said there has been public opposition to the influx of dense development in town, with some residents wondering when Englewood will get its fill.
Jefferson noted the boom is market-driven. With industrial real estate in greater demand locally, he expects multi-family development to slow some, and the City Council to be more selective when granting zoning changes that allow for denser development.
“I’m excited about the growth, but we have to be careful about it,” he said.
One project Jefferson is eagerly awaiting is a landscape-changing redevelopment that will bring apartments, condos and for-sale townhomes to the former General Ironworks property at 601 W. Bates Ave. The 18-acre site is the biggest redevelopment project in the city, Keck said.
The Foundry, as the project has been dubbed, will include a 70-unit apartment component that should break ground this spring, builder SW Development Group said.
“What’s really exciting about (the Ironworks) is some of it is for ownership,” Jefferson said. “That’s been lacking in the entire metro market, really. In my mind, when we provide a product that hasn’t existed in Englewood before, that’s really great.”
Joe Rubino, “Multi-family building boom fueling landlocked Englewood“, The Denver Post, March 29, 2016