21st & Welton Apartments Update #4

Over the next few posts, we are going to be visiting the Welton Corridor where there is a lot of infill action taking place. Our first stop is at 21st and Welton, where Lennar Multifamily Communities is building a 18-story, 329-unit apartment building that takes up an entire half block of surface parking. When we last visited this project in the spring, two tower cranes were just erected and the project was just kicking off.

Now the project is 4-stories up, which tops out the parking podium. From here, the project will start to setback as construction for the residential component begins. Head on over to this post for a rendering refresher.

Because of the length of this project, and that concrete is the primary structural material, this building will take some time to top out. Stay tuned for more Arapahoe Square and Welton Corridor projects!

By | 2017-09-21T07:10:11+00:00 September 20, 2017|Categories: Arapahoe Square, Infill, Residential, Urbanism|Tags: |11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Bobby Mucho September 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    It blows me away that planning accepts let alone encourages so many parking spots on projects that sit directly along a lightrail like this. Anyone know what the specific requirements are for projects in this part of the city? Seems absurd.

    • James September 21, 2017 at 12:00 am - Reply

      How many spaces per unit? Then also I would consider if a lot of the units are designed for 1-2 occupants and it that gives residents the ability to escape to the wilderness of the mountains and be there within an hour. Now if the only thing people quantify as having and enjoying the Colorado lifestyle is completely contained by what you are able to access with public transit, isn’t that limiting possibilities and limiting the market you can sell to?

  2. Observant September 21, 2017 at 5:41 am - Reply

    I know for a fact that planning actively discourages developers from adding extra parking to their projects (above that required by the zoning code). And, the zoning code has lots of ways to lower parking requirements for things like being located on a transit line. But, developers still provide additional parking because they are spending millions of $$ and their evaluation of the market is that to rent their apartments, renters want parking.

  3. Bobby Mucho September 21, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

    I guess I just find it a bit contradictory for a city that has been moving diligently towards a solid mixed-use zoning (which encourages inter-neighborhood walking, working, shopping, etc) allows every mid-rise to dedicate the bottom 20-50% of the structure to parking cars, and in some cases, even at the expense of the street level / pedestrian experience. I also know that giving more space to cars via the whole “what if” excuse is toxic. Flooding the city with parking sure as shit isn’t going to encourage people to walk, ride bikes or take public transit (which these projects sit directly on).

  4. Dan September 21, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Honestly I don’t find it surprising or negative that developers continue to provide parking in new projects. Despite the general consensus of many Denverinfill readers who prefer to do away with cars altogether and rely solely on public transportation, that is a highly unrealistic expectation as people will continue to want at least the option of being able to drive themselves to and from wherever they need to be…

    The other thing to consider is while Denver is taking steps in the right direction re: multimodal transportation, the city/metro area by and large is a long way off from being a true, public transit-oriented city. Even if Denver’s public trans options were more bountiful and accessible at present, some people might still prefer to drive based on any number of factors (which should not be surprising or offensive to anyone), and forcing people to adhere to a different mindset isn’t something we should strive for anyway. Different strokes for different folks.

    • Bobby Mucho September 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      I think you’re missing the point or inflating it for the sake of argument. I’m not saying that parking for cars should go away entirely or that developers who “continue to provide parking” are doing wrong. I’m just pointing out the fact that allowing or in some cases encouraging it to the degree shown here when there’s already an abundance is counter-intuitive. The entire point of regulation is to dissuade bad behavior and provide an incentive for better behavior. I mean, if you take a second to look at the map, you’ll see that we’re just replacing surface lots (grossly abundant based on inadequate regulation of the past) with covered parking, and at a greater number of spaces (yep, it’s nice they put condos on top too). It’s obvious that isn’t a shift in behavior, but a masking of an ignorant illusion of convenience at the expense of the city and its future.

      Cars aren’t going anywhere soon and the city isn’t going to turn into a mass transit miracle overnight, but at least we could work more intelligently towards building a safer and more sustainable city.

      • Dan September 21, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

        My comment was not addressed to you specifically, and I don’t mean to inflate anything for the sake of argument whatsoever. It seems as though there is always some concern about the scale of parking inclusion on basically every project throughout this blog and I personally don’t see why. If residents want a car they will get one, at which point they can park in a dedicated space included within their building, or if they are not provided with a space then they will continue to clutter up the streets.

        In my opinion, 400 spaces for 329 units – which most likely means more than 400 residents, if filled to capacity – is perfectly reasonable. We live in an area where most folks like to venture outside of the city, most notably into the mountains, and it’s obviously much easier to do so with a personal vehicle than with public transportation in this metro area. Regardless of where the future might take us in terms of multimodal transportation throughout the city itself, developers will continue to provide parking spaces as current market demand dictates. If the demand for parking wasn’t so high, I can absolutely see the developer opting for more leasable apartment space instead…

        Also just because there’s ample parking in this building doesn’t mean that each resident will spend their entire waking day on the road in a vehicle. As Arapaho Square continues to grow, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to take care of their daily business via foot, bike, light rail, etc. Having the option to have your own vehicle and be able to store it in a safe place is just a bonus.

        One thing I do wholeheartedly agree with is your previous concern about the street level experience. I’m usually in favor of underground parking so as to mitigate lost potential for ground-level retail space, something which most land-barge type buildings such as this one seem to lack in shocking abundance. Further detrimental to the pedestrian experience is the fact that the parking podium is actually visible… Even though said parking podium is not “at the street level”, it’s objectively ugly to look at and no one here needs a degree in architecture to understand this concern.

  5. bl September 21, 2017 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    it’d be nice to see more solar and gardens on top of many of these large residential downtown buildings going up around town

  6. Dan September 22, 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Just curious, does anyone here know if there are plans to increase the greenery and density of trees around the city, especially in Arapaho Square? I feel like this area appears barren and oppressively “concrete” or utilitarian given the current density of parking lots and older, unkept structures and it would be great to see more “nature” included within the scope of new projects. And agreed with bl above, it’d be cool to see more solar and garden inclusion on some of these new projects (some projects do, however many do not).

    • Ken Schroeppel September 22, 2017 at 7:39 am - Reply

      When any property redevelops, the developer must put in the full spread of streetscape improvements required by the city. So just through the natural development process, we will get a lot more trees in these barren areas like Arapahoe Square. There will also be public projects, like the 5280 Loop that runs through Arapahoe Square, that will add an even higher level of streetscaping and landscape improvements. So yes, in time, we will see more trees, but on an incremental basis.

      • Dan September 23, 2017 at 8:46 am - Reply

        Good to hear. Thank you, Ken!

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