New Project: Wellington Apartments

An innovative approach to making housing in the city more affordable—co-housing rental apartments—is being developed by Carmel Partners in Downtown Denver’s La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood. Located at West Colfax Avenue and Osage Street, the Wellington Apartments will contain 253 apartment units in a five-story building.

Here’s a Google Earth aerial image showing the project site:

What makes the Wellington Apartments different than your typical apartment community is the co-housing concept. Co-housing is usually developed as a for-sale project where full-sized private homes (attached or detached) are clustered around a “common house” containing kitchen, dining, and recreational spaces shared by the members of the co-housing community. A new local example is the Aria Denver Townhomes in northwest Denver.

At the Wellington Apartments, the co-housing concept is scaled down to work within an apartment unit. Tenants lease a private bedroom and bathroom, and share the living/dining room, kitchen, and outdoor balcony with the other tenants in the apartment.

According to plans approved by the city, the building stacks up as follows: One underground level contains the majority of the automobile parking plus building utilities. The ground level contains a mix of uses, including the primary building entry, leasing office, clubroom, fitness center, and other tenant services at the corner of Colfax and Osage; the balance of the vehicle parking south along Osage and along the short stretch of 14th Avenue; residential units in several wings that extend west toward the light rail tracks, and three large landscaped courtyards with outdoor amenities including a swimming pool. The remaining residential units are found on floors 2 through 5. A total of 368 automobile parking spaces is included on site, and bicycle parking and a bike repair room are also provided. The Wellington’s unit breakdown by bedroom is: 14 studio apartments, 23 two-bedroom apartments, 5 three-bedroom apartments, and 211 four-bedroom apartments.

The Wellington Apartments is exceptionally convenient for transit users; it’s a three-minute walk to the Colfax at Auraria light rail station and only a few minutes more to walk to the 10th & Osage and Auraria West stations.

We have a nice rendering to share with you, courtesy of Studio PBA, the project architect, showing the Colfax and Osage corner of the development. Site excavation has started, so we have two construction photos for you: a shot looking north along Osage toward Colfax, and a panorama looking west showing the rest of the development site.

If you’re a long-time DenverInfill reader and a project at this site sounds familiar, you’ve got a good memory! Back in April 2008 we had a short post about a project at this location called the Osage Apartments, but it never got off the ground before the recession hit. That project was actually a revival of a similar development called the Wellington Apartments from 2005. And prior to that, in 2001 soon after acquiring the property, Carmel Partners proposed The Residences at Vulcan Ironworks for the site, a 250-unit apartment complex named after the former industrial occupant of the property.

By | 2017-09-18T18:00:14+00:00 June 24, 2017|Categories: Infill, La Alma Lincoln Park, Residential, Transit-Oriented|Tags: |10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. JerryG June 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    An interesting concept. Not new, since people have been subdividing older houses to create multi-bedroom apartments (more common in the northeast US), but purposely building apartments like that is novel. The rendering of the corner is much improved over what Studio PBA shows on their site, but I still do not like the treatment of the ground floor facing the street south of the corner. Parking with zero activation is not an attractive look! The developers easily could have placed apartments there.

  2. Patrick June 26, 2017 at 9:32 am

    The Wellington’s unit breakdown by bedroom is: 14 studio apartments, 23 two-bedroom apartments, 5 three-bedroom apartments, and 211 four-bedroom apartments.

    Is 211 four-bedroom apartments a typo?

    • Ken Schroeppel June 26, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Not a typo. Given the co-housing approach, this would make sense to allow a group of friends to rent together while each having their separate lease arrangement.

    • Ryan June 28, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      This really is a fantastic idea for meeting the housing needs of a lot of young professionals in town. Ten years ago, I would have been all over something like this.

  3. JohnG June 26, 2017 at 10:36 am

    When will you cover 9th and Colorado again?

  4. Citizen Kane June 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    The co-housing concept is interesting. I like the approach and I’d be interested to hear a report about it’s effectiveness a year or two after its completion.

    Architecturally, this project is a trite mess of arbitrary angles, kitchy colors, god-awful fake stone veneer.

  5. Jordan June 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I know that there is a handshake (maybe formal?) agreement that Auraria would never build student housing south of Colfax as a way of minimizing the impact after tearing down a neighborhood north of Colfax. This looks like a way to provide student housing without calling it student housing. What this sounds like is a dorm! I am neutral on the concept, but it definitely reads that way to me!

    • Paul June 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Auraria, and the resident institutions, wouldn’t. But that does mean that a private company not associated with the campus could not develop a project like with without running afoul of the oft-mentioned Auraria compact.

      And that .4 parking to bedroom ratio is pretty damn impressive, though I’m sure there will be plenty of bleed-over of on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.

  6. John June 26, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Why no convenience commercial given proximity to Auraria and Regency? Too much parking for a site with great transit access by light rail and Colfax bus.

    • JerryG June 27, 2017 at 9:12 am

      While I agree that this site has very good transit access, I not so sure about there being too much parking. 368 spaces is a lot but there are 919 bedrooms. Assuming that everyone of those are occupied by one person, 60% of the residents cannot have a car. Or at least park a car there. However, this site is woefully underserved by commercial retail space. It would be great for all of those stand-alone fast food places along Colfax to be replaced with mixed use buildings with ground floor retail. Then I am sure that the fast food places will reopen.

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