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.