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Alta Alameda Station Update #1

Today we are heading a little South of Downtown Denver to the Baker neighborhood. West Alameda Avenue and South Cherokee Street to be exact. This is a great transit-oriented development that is going to be located just down the block from the Alameda light rail station.

Construction equipment has arrived at the site and some foundation work has begun. This is a very large lot which Alta Alameda Station will fill bringing a great face to the edge of the Baker neighborhood.

 

Alta Alameda Station is going to be a 388-unit apartment complex split between three 4-story buildings. Head on here for the official announcement by Wood Partners LLC.

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7 Comments

  1. mckillio says:

    I’ve been watching this progress riding the light rail every day, glad to see something go up in this lot, it looked very blighted. It would be really nice if they would expand Alameda under the rail bridge here, it definitely feels like a bottleneck/barricade between two parts of the city.

  2. Baker Bob says:

    I too have been watching this development for some time as I live just down Byers from it and walk by every day on the way to the Alameda station. I think that this sort of development is fantastic for our neighborhood but Alta will miss the mark a bit I’m afraid.

    First off, the design isn’t consistent with the context of the Baker neighborhood. It is very similar to projects like Premiere Lofts, Uptown Square, etc. I’d have liked to see some sensitivity to the streetscape with off street entrances to units, an undulating facade to reflect the single family homes in Baker, and a more traditional aesthetic in general. On top of that, the intersection of Cherokee and Byers will be the only access point to the site as far as I can tell with the restrictions of a lower Alameda, buildings to the north, and the train tracks to the west. Traffic at Alameda and Cherokee is already too congested and from a pedestrian’s point of view, slightly dangerous with inattentive drivers.

    With that said, I think that the development overall will be a good think for Baker and the Alameda Station. Broadway is developing and old, crappy businesses are moving along or closing shop. Having a higher density of young renters near the intersection of Alameda and Broadway will help bring some of the new businesses south a bit quicker. Alta plans to use one of the old rail bridges over Alameda as an access point to the light rail station I believe although I don’t know if it will be available to the general public or not.

    Does anyone have any other information on the direction of the design other that what the developer has announced?

  3. steve harley says:

    Wood Partners, in their July presentation to the Baker Historic Neighborhood Association, stated they’ve changed their plans and the development will now be 338, not 388 units; the development plan provided to me by Wood Partners shows three-story buildings; aside from a jutting glass facade at the corner, we’ve been told to expect the typical “Denver contemporary” jumble of bland colors on the exterior; remains to be seen that this will be a “great face” for Baker — the previous deep tree lawn with mature trees on Cherokee will be replaced with a street-hugging facade and perfunctory landscaping

    though the apartments will be close to light rail, i wouldn’t call it “just down the block” — if the grid were intact south of Alameda it would be three blocks, plus a pedestrian-unfriendly intersection, from the development to the station; this will be more clear when the pending Dakota Outfall storm-sewer project punches W. Dakota Ave. through the shopping center to Cherokee; another residential development is also in the works right at the current site of light rail parking

    a public easement has been allocated through the development property for access to the unused railroad bridge (westernmost of the three over Alameda) for future bike/ped access to the light rail station, but it will probably be several years before the dots are connected; the actual bridge is owned by Denver, but there needs to be another bargain struck for right of way west of the chemical plant south of Alameda, and to my knowledge no funds have been allocated; the easement as it has been shown to me is also not very convenient — pedestrians would have to walk two blocks west of Cherokee on Cedar, then two blocks south before reaching the bridge; pedestrian bridges often fail when they only offer circuitous routes, so it is my hope that there is enough public ROW along the south of the development (above the Alameda underpass retaining wall) to also allow direct access to the bridge from Cherokee

    as to the comment about widening the Alameda underpass, this has come up repeatedly in relevant studies of the area (Baker Neighborhood Plan, Valley Highway EIS, South Broadway NEPA, Alameda Station Area Plan) , yet CDOT & Denver officials have studiously avoided formally addressing it because it was perceived to be extremely difficult until most heavy rail operations move east of Denver; however a letter this year from CDOT has labeled this rail relocation planning project to be “inactive”; i think it will be twenty years or more before we will see the Alameda underpass widened

    and regarding Baker Bob’s comment about vehicle access to the site, there is also access at the west end of Cedar; a winding drive through the project connects both outlets, and Cedar will clearly be convenient for those living in the small, westernmost building, but intuitively, unless congestion holds them back, most residents will opt for the Byers & Cherokee outlet

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for this info (your post had not appeared when I wrote mine below). I’m also thinking that this might push redevelopment of broadway marketplace / denver design district which can only be an improvement of the vast parking lot we have now. Their GDP appears to transform alameda into a more pedestrian and bike friendly road.

  4. Dave says:

    It’s too bad they had to cut down those big old trees on cherokee but I think the neighborhood will benefit from this development. It should open up connections to light rail and along alameda (hopefully public access above the retaining wall?)

    Their website says they will have a connection to the platte river bike trail, but i’m not sure how this is possible since alameda is the only access point and the recent bridge construction does not accomodate cyclists. its a shame that the 400 new residents won’t be able to easily ride to the bike trail that is so close.

  5. Tom Carberry says:

    They will have to do something about the Alameda/Cherokee crossing or we will have a choice of really bad outcomes. Baker also has the Atlantis community and a lot of handicapped and older people who need to cross the street. If you add another 300 plus people crossing the street to the light rail, we either will have massive congestion or dead pedestrians, or both.

    I would suggest either an overpass or an underpass, preferably an overpass. It also should have left turn signals for the Alameda traffic.