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New Prospect Neighborhood Project: Residences at Prospect Park

Over in the Prospect neighborhood, one of the final vacant lots is undergoing some much needed development. Edwards Companies is developing a 5-story 296-unit apartment building. This will fill a huge gap in the Prospect neighborhood and contribute greatly to its urban fabric.

The Residences at Prospect Park will sit about mid block north of West 29th Street facing Huron Street. Across the alley are the WaterTower Lofts. The building currently to the south will be renovated and used for approximately 20,000 square feet of retail.

At the public meeting, one of the major concerns from current residences is the parking situation this will bring to the neighborhood. These apartments will be taking up a lot that was used for parking and as well as possibly congesting street parking given the increase in residences. Well, Edwards Companies has this taken care of. The City of Denver granted them lower parking requirements but they denied it and are building parking that exceed code (approximately 1.25:1). Given every residence in this neighborhood has dedicated parking, this shouldn’t be a problem. Remember, the largest multi-modal transit hub under construction, Union Station, right across the way. Also, as soon as the 20th and Chestnut project gets built there will be a full service grocery store within walking distance.

Here are some ground level shots of the site.

This dirt lot is a huge eyesore and this development is the perfect size, and design to fit in the Prospect neighborhood. This will help the area become a more tightly knit urban community. Construction is expected to be completed in 2014.

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25 Comments

  1. Larry says:

    It might be nice to turn the old red brick warehousy building to the north into retail also. That might give this neighborhood a little life. I feel like every time i go thorough there. It feels so lifeless. I guess no one walks there because they have nothing to walk to now. Union Station is a bit of a walk at five or six blocks, but I would guess, that these folks work downtown most likely and don’t really need the Station too much.

    • Chad Reischl says:

      I’ve always thought that building would make a cool indoor market.

    • jeffreymiller says:

      Absolutely. And if I may add, the CBD and close environs lack basic amenity services. An office supply store is nice, but seriously, with all this new housing and without a subway system, there needs to be a meeting of the minds about grocery, housewares, and personal services finding affordable locations. What about a TJ’s or WF with a BB&B combo and a side of Ace Hardware in LoHi? Within 3-5 years, we might experience if not gridlock, something close to it in an around the Platte Valley without either more thoughtful transport options out of the Valley or more retail within the CBD region. I don’t mind going to Edgewater for stuff but it would be even better to walk or bike to LoHi or even down to Taxi. FWIW, Taxi is cool. But it seems like the economy tanked just as that area was set for a larger renewal.

  2. Derek Berardi says:

    I can speak to that. I live directly across the street. There really is close to nothing in the neighborhood aside of the overpriced convenient store (Red Baron Frozen Pizza = $9). Union Station is really my favorite part of living here though. It’s only 4 blocks to reach the Mall Ride and I walk far more than I would have expected. Extremely bikeable, too!

    As for the development…I couldn’t be happier that this is happening. Sure, it will be waking me up every morning for the next 2 years, but it will be fun to watch. Great that it’s providing such a nice chunk of density down here. I’m hoping the renderings are just preliminary as they look very scrapped together and lacking in careful thought/imagination. Much of the development down here is way higher quality than I gave it credit for before moving down. I’d hate to see such a large project have such little consideration for good design.

    Nonetheless, another mystery solved and more density for Denver! Woo!

    Thanks, Ryan!

  3. Larry/Chad, those warehouse structures to the north that you speak of have already been demolished. I lived across the street at the Jack Kerouac while this happened and it was very difficult to watch. Those 100+ yr old structures had so much character and it was sad to watch them go…..

    • Kevin Snow says:

      As Jorgen said it would have been nice to see some more of those 100+ yr old building preserved instead of cookie-cutter like apartments. Here is hoping something structurally appealing gets built in it’s place.

  4. Paul says:

    I’m disappointed to see that the old Denver Mining Supply warehouse did end up meeting the wrecking ball. While it was pretty much just the outer shell that was still standing, it would have been nice if the facade would have been able to be preserved in whatever multi-unit apartment building ends up getting built there.

    I guess the residents of the Kerouac Loft that fought to preserve the building couldn’t come up with a buyer as they stated that they could. Kind of expected though. If anyone was serious about buying and preserving the building, they would have done so years ago.

  5. RickB says:

    It will be nice to see this filled in. I agree with the rest and hope the design can be enhanced. Is there any news on when the 20th and Chestnut (Nichols Partnership) building with the grocery store will be started? This is needed badly in this area.

  6. Ballpark Resident says:

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what will become of the Self Storage unit and old “historical” building on the corner of 20th and chestnut? These two places will be entirely out of character for the upcoming changes coming to the area..

    • Zach says:

      The Self-Storage Unit is an eyesore (but I think is still in business: http://homerunselfstorage.com/), but I’ve always thought that the building on the corner could be a great spot for a bar, restaurant, coffee shop, etc. if someone wanted to put a little work into it. With all the development between Prospect and Union Station, could be a cool, hip little spot if done the right way.

    • K says:

      The old historical building started as Denver Firehouse #5 before it moved to 19th/Market, which the DFD let go a few years ago and has since been beautifully renovated. After the move the old building became home to a boiler company. A few years ago there was a sign up at the property that it was going to become a bar & grill but that fell by the way side. If you look at it the entire back wall is about to fall down so who knows if it will be saved. Cannot imagine that the mortar holding those bricks is anything other that dust.

  7. Dan says:

    Nice to see. With this I estimate Prospect will be about 75% developed, with some development deferred until Amtrak moves out. This will provide more opportunity to develop Arapahoe Square, Ballpark, and especially Denargo Market.

  8. Eric says:

    That building is going to be God AWFUL compared to the possibilities provided by the old building that was there. Shame on the developer who tore it down and is putting up more of this “LoDo schlock.” Oh Look, there’s criss-cross structural detailing. That will make it better.

    Shame on the Denver (lack of) Planning Department too for letting this happen.

    • Ted says:

      Before blaming the planning dept. one should consider that more strict design guidelines and reviews tend to drive up the cost of a project. I think this is why most everything that gets reviewed by the LDDRB ends up being a high-end development. The planning dept. has a duty to consider this balancing act. Too much design control (outside of historic districts like LoDo) and the city won’t be competitive with the suburbs on a basis of cost; not something that we urbanists should want. Not every building can be a masterpiece, at least not if we want to see our city built to a reasonable level of density in our lifetimes.

  9. Stosh says:

    Anybody remember Downtown Browns and or Dana Crawfords vision for a Prospect neighborhood Loft Village, with several Loft buildings and a Piazza? At that time, the owner of the old Denver Mining Supply warehouse had visions of restoring it and turning it into a BrewPub with a new condo tower adjacent. Unfortunately it was all a victim of the economic collapse. Since those days, the Prospect neighborhood has become home to several large new dorm rooms, I mean poorly built cheap looking apartment buildings filled with mostly college kids, I.E the Metro etc.
    Inca 29, which are the townhomes adjacent to these new apartments, have roof top decks, (which have great city views and inside Coors field, at least until these apartments are built.)and was originally planned with 2 phases, the second being a mirror image of the first, to be built where these apartments are proposed. This new 5 story apartment building will completely block the views from the decks, which is why many buyers spent 500K+ to live there in the first place.
    Denver residents who have invested their time energy and money in infill projects deserve a bigger voice when it comes to new “Infill” developments nearby. Infill alone is not enough, we must demand more thoughtfulness to the needs of residents and the quality of construction and architecture replacing historic structures. We must be smarter with what we allow our beloved city to be filled-in with; Otherwise it will just need to be torn down again. We need to have a long term vision and demand excellence for our city’s Infill, b/c most short term investors/builders could care less what Denver looks like in 50 years. JMO

    • bryan says:

      While you state that this is “JMO”…those are some serious property right violations you are throwing around.

      If there is no changing in zoning, and no viewplane ordinance in place, then why would a neighbor deserve the right to impact how somebody uses their adjacent land?

      While I agree that development should *consider* input and impact from their neighbors, property rights trump in this situation. The only way to ensure a view from your rooftop deck (of the skyline) is to by all of the properties between you and the skyline.

      Another option is doing your research and not purchasing in an area that we have all know for a decade is zoned for 5 stories. Should we punish the next developer because the homeowner may or may not have know this? I think not.

      • Dan says:

        Very much agree with Byran. These “zoning” matters have been settled. There has been tremendous opportunity for Denver property owners to influence the zoning in the neighborhood where they own property. If you were involved and did not get your way, isn’t that how our system works? If you were not involved and you want to change it now, pursue the avenues available to you. But remember – the zoning is essentially your property development rights. I know – I was in a neighborhood battle concerning zoning and my side lost. I accept this and will work with the rights I have. Sounds simple, but I can’t see how anyone can cry foul when the process has been so open and inclusive.

        As an aside, I also take issue with the notion of ‘viewplane’ rights, especially in the densely populated areas of cities. I wonder what good legal minds would conclude on this issue. It is so subjective, and is most likely to be violated by those who claim the right. When I was young we lived in west Denver with an unobstructed view of the mountains. That view disappeared first when we planted our own trees, then when neighbors planted theirs when they moved in as the city gres. Those in high density areas who bought when the view was unobstructed can’t possibly expect that view to be preserved. I can’t imagine how to make such “rights” fair and equitable without essentially depriving someone else so you can have that right. What a nightmare. Someone in my neighborhood even suggested his rights superseded mine since he had lived there longer. Rights are granted to you by law – not things you make up at will for your own benefit.

    • VW says:

      Yes, I remember the visions (promises) that were made to those of us purchasing lofts in the Jack Kerouac building in 2005 and what the neighborhood was going to be like in the future. Didn’t take long to realize that wasn’t going to happen. I just hope that between what’s going on at Union Station and the energy that appears to be happening now, it will bring some life to the neighborhood…not to mention increased property values!

  10. Kyle says:

    I can think of nothing other than calling this building a shame. They took a gem and replaced it with a turd. What a shame :(

  11. Jane Doe says:

    The parking situation will even more of a nightmare. While I do have my own parking at Jack Kerouac Lofts, if ever I have a guest or host an event it is next to impossible for even my significant other to come over. I know that it’s not a national emergency but it is frustrating that there is not room for a single guest to visit. During this construction time, there is even less parking for actual tenants along the whole street.

  12. Django says:

    Yes; they should leave the lot undeveloped so Jack Kerouac visitors will have a place to park! Isn’t that a typical DT problem? A good percentage of the time you can’t find a parking space in front of an DT building you want to go in. Just the way it is. I think the most legitimate criticism of this building is its length. It’s to bad they could’nt put two or maybe three buildings on this site instead of one monolithic building.

    • Lee says:

      1.25:1 spots:units parking ratio. Doesn’t seem likely that the number of 1 Bedroom Units with 2 cars will be significantly less than the number of 2 Bedroom Units with 1 car given this high income demographic downtown. But if you don’t build the parking, then maybe they won’t come.

  13. Jane Doe says:

    I never said to leave it undeveloped and clearly when I said “it’s not a national emergency” I was stressing that its not life or death for me. I was just saying how parking is indeed already a problem and with construction it is getting worse and will get even more worse as this giant building goes in. Please actually pay attention to what I actually said instead of assuming what I meant. Yes it is a downtown problem anywhere you go and yes it’s frustrating. And yes it’s getting worse anywhere you go. It is not always optimal to ride a bike as a women when you’re dressed up in a dress and heels! (Chick problems…)

  14. Scott C says:

    It’s kind of sad that downtown was such a cool place to live, and then developers decided to go overboard with it. Fewer and fewer parking spots. Fewer line of sights to the mountains. And now the latest wave seems to be fewer homeowners and more renters who don’t care about the land or the community so much.

    There’s got to be an even balance here somewhere. The quality of life for homeowners in both this neighborhood and the lower highlands has gone nothing but south in the past 2 years. I think we’re headed for more apartments and meters over the entire 5 mile radius of Coors Field by 2015.

  15. K says:

    Man, parking woes galore! You do comprehend that this “neighborhood” is adjacent to the largest mass transit redevelopment in the ENTIRE country, don’t you? Isn’t the point of this blog about increasing the density of downtown Denver and trying to become the next San Francisco/Chicago/NYC/etc? Taking rail, bike, taxi or heaven forbid foot seems to be on the docket if you buy/lease/rent in this part of town. As to the demo of old warehouses, some buildings are just not worth saving. Plus the developers know that 5 stories of apartments bring in a lot more cash than some Mom & Pop market.
    The red brick warehouse directly to the south is in fact being renovated into a mixed use as well as being home to the leasing office for the apartment building going up. As far as the view of the mountains go, please, if you so crave that view, take a 5 minute walk around the corner/up the street/to the park and soak up your vista because the developers couldn’t care less if your unit looked at their mechanical systems or elevator machine rooms on their rooftop. Point is that the vacant dirt is being built on and that is helping Denver make it to the big leagues.