New Project: 21st & Welton Apartments

Lennar Multifamily Communities has submitted plans to the City of Denver for an 18-story, 329-unit apartment project on Welton Street between 21st and 22nd streets in a particularly parking lot-infested section of the Arapahoe Square district. Here’s the site outlined on a Google Earth aerial, followed by a Google Street View image:



The following rendering shows the Welton Street side of the building, with 22nd Street at left and 21st Street at right. All images presented below are from project documents submitted in January to the Denver Planning Board and are preliminary and conceptual in nature and are subject to further modification and refinement. RNL Design is the project architect.


Preliminary plans show the project stacking up as follows:

The ground floor includes leasing office, lobby, and building services near the 21st Street corner, a little over 4,000 square feet of leasable retail/restaurant space near the 22nd Street corner, and about 40 motor vehicle parking spaces in the center and rear. Levels 2, 3, and 4 would each contain 120 additional parking spaces, for a grand total of approximately 400 spaces for the storage of private automobiles. Over 30 motorcycle/scooter spaces would also be provided. The preliminary plans do not indicate how bicycle parking will be accommodated.

Level 5 contains over 3,000 square feet of indoor tenant amenity space and over 20,000 square feet of outdoor amenity space including a pool, lounge and landscaped areas, as well as about 20 residential units. Level 6 includes over 3,000 square feet for a fitness center and another 21 residential units, while Levels 7 through 18 provide the remaining 288 residential units. Level 17 also includes some indoor and outdoor tenant amenity space.

Here are all four corner perspectives:

22nd and Welton:


22nd and alley:


21st and alley:


21st and Welton:


A timeframe for project construction is currently unknown.

By | 2016-12-01T18:29:35+00:00 February 13, 2016|Categories: Arapahoe Square, Infill, Residential, Urban Design|Tags: |22 Comments


  1. D.C. February 13, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    One less ugly parking lot in Arapahoe Square.

  2. Jeffrey February 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I like it!

  3. Rafael February 13, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Its very ugly, but it eliminates a whole block of parking lot. I am very conflicted on what to think.

    • Ryan February 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you, exalted one, for bestowing upon us little people your unparalleled architectural criticism. I hope one day to discern the worthiness of building designs from preliminary renderings myself.

    • Jason February 14, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Ugly? Really? I think it’s neat.

    • Dennis February 14, 2016 at 10:21 am

      I couldn’t agree more with you, Rafael. Mediocre design only for development’s sake is resulting in far too many boring, ugly buildings that will collectively create a boring, ugly city. This period will be berated just as severely as we berate the 50’s for giving in to the automobile and the 60’s for mass demolition in the name of urban renewal. Our architects and their clients can do better and the city and its citizens must demand better design. Denver is an amazing city that deserves amazing architecture.

    • Jack February 14, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      If you all think this is ugly, then you obviously have not traveled much.

      This design will be a striking upgrade to this section of the arapahoe neighborhood. Also, Denver has pretty strict guidelines as to what architecture can be built.

      Dismount your high horses and be thankful for the economic boom we are experiencing, as many places are not as fortunate.

  4. Mark smith February 14, 2016 at 10:59 am

    One less parking lot…yes. Motorcycle parking us a plus. They should put in space for 30 bike spits as well.

  5. adam February 14, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    great building to fill the space. excited to see that part of downtown developed

  6. Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog Denver February 15, 2016 at 9:08 am

    […] Arapahoe Square Development May Supplant Parking Lot — and Add 400 New Spaces (DenverInfill) […]

    • Citizen Kane February 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

      […] this just in, some blog reader expects appartment buildings to not provide any parking. (DenverInfill) […]

    • Citizen Kane February 15, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Do you even realize how impractical that would be???
      Think of the nightmare street parking situation that would cause.
      Think of how that would negatively affect livability, both for apartment residents and the surrounding residents and businesses.
      It would be great if this city were at a point where the majority of people didn’t need a car. Fact is we’re not there yet, people still need cars. And until that’s not the case anymore, we still need space to put those cars. Requiring projects like this to provide sufficient parking helps to allieviate the street parking situations.

      • Anthony February 16, 2016 at 11:13 am

        On the contrary, a 1.26:1 parking ratio is high here. Taking the 16 census tracts closest to Downtown, the actual ratio of vehicle ownership to dwelling units is 1.13:1. Be mindful, I’ve included areas like Capitol Hill, LoHi, and Baker that contain a total of 4,767 single family detached dwelling units whose occupants tend to have higher vehicle ownership. Just looking at the two Downtown census tracts that ratio drops to 0.99:1.

        Now, that’s all well and good, it looks close to actual usage, right? So it looks like the developers are providing just a little more parking than is actually needed, so nothing’s hurt and everybody wins because residents aren’t pushed into PUBLIC on-street parking spaces, right? Let’s dig a little bit…

        In those 16 census tracts, 22.7% of all households own zero cars, and 47.9% own one car. The Downtown tracts have 27.7% and 48.5%, respectively. Because there are more parking spaces than will actually be used, guess what the apartment operators do. They include parking in your rent. Great deal, right? Well sure, if you’re one of the 77.3% of households with at least one vehicle. But what if you don’t have a vehicle, like me and my wife? You’d think maybe we could opt out of a parking space, or sublease our spot to someone else in the building to offset the rent we aren’t using. But apartment operators don’t do that because hey, awesome, I can sell my parking space for $150 a month and park on the street for free if I own a car, so us car free households are stuck paying about $200 extra in rent for an amenity we never use, while subsidizing a two-car household’s excessive vehicle ownership.

        An allegory: When my wife and I moved here from suburban Phoenix, we were so excited to get rid of our car! We moved Downtown, but frankly it didn’t make sense to sell because our car was paid off, it was a bit of a clunker so we just kept liability insurance only, and parking was included in our rent. The cost of owning and operating our car (not including depreciation because, let’s face it, that thing wasn’t depreciating much more) was somewhere around $125/month including gas and maintenance our first year here. When we moved to a place that charged $120/month for parking, it tipped the scales and now it suddenly made sense to sell our car because our monthly car share, bike share, and transit costs run about $150/month. The point is, of course, if supply and demand are at an equilibrium, operators can charge separately for parking and it may reduce car ownership, meaning of course the developer didn’t have to build as much parking as they did in the first place and the complex can charge less per month than their competitors while simultaneously making more money with higher occupancy and lower turnover.

        1.26 spaces per dwelling unit is an over supply that all the building’s residents are paying for whether they use a parking space or not.

        • Anthony February 16, 2016 at 11:17 am

          Note, $200/month is a very rough estimate for the cost of a structured parking space. Surface spaces over their 24-year life cycle including land purchase, construction, and maintenance cost about $101 per space. The $150 I might be able to get from subleasing the parking space more closely reflects the market rate of parking in this neighborhood and still doesn’t recoup the actual cost of the space.

        • Anthony February 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

          I apologize for the multiple posts. My recommendation for this location would be to eliminate the third floor of parking reducing the number of spaces provided to 280. It’s not about eliminating parking entirely where there’s a demand for it, it’s more about providing the right amount to meet demand so affordability and the urban form are preserved to the greatest extent possible.

        • Citizen Kane February 16, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          I hear you, and for the most part, agree with you.
          I’m a major proponent of alternate/public transportation vs the personal car.
          My comment was aimed at “Today’s Headlines” who routinely complains about the amount of parking provided in any project posted on DenverInfill.
          My point was that parking is still a necessary evil in this city.
          We can discuss what an appropriate ratio is, and I agree that it depends on number of units, unit mix, car ownership in surrounding neighborhood, etc. but ultimately it’s still required for the forseeable future.

  7. […] love the Denver Infill blog because it keeps me in the know on what’s going on in Denver better than anything else, at […]

  8. Vladimir February 15, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Reminds me of my childhood in the Soviet Bloc.

  9. Bill February 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    When this development is completed, Welton will have a very nice street wall on the light rail side of the street. Amazing how much development is following the transit lines. It will be really nice when they extent this light rail line all the way to the airport commuter rail line. Development will then explode along Downing.

    • Nash February 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Funny thing about rail lines, the way they generate Transit Oriented Development. Gee, how does that happen? So if we build more street rail…?

  10. Suburbanite February 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Architecture and art often evoke very strong opinions. This is not my favorite architecture, but I wouldn’t classify it as bad as some have shared above. I thinking they have done a decent job of mixing materials to break down the massing of a large building on the upper floors. The materials are probably muted in color until they finalize them. I am hopeful those colors and materials will provide more visual interest. The massing and materials on the base could use some work. From the pedestrian perspective it looks and feels like one big block. Overall, an ok design that with a little work I think can contribute. Time will tell.

  11. ruins my view February 17, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Seriously? Looks like an office building in the burbs.

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