Englewood zoning commission approves high-density housing on commercial site

Plans call for 61 affordable units

Robert Tann
rtann@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/14/22

The Englewood Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-1 Feb. 8 to recommend a new rezoning and development plan to the city council that seeks to build 61 new for-sale residential units on a 1.14-acre …

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Englewood zoning commission approves high-density housing on commercial site

Plans call for 61 affordable units

Posted

The Englewood Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-1 Feb. 8 to recommend a new rezoning and development plan to the city council that seeks to build 61 new for-sale residential units on a 1.14-acre site in what has historically been a commercial area of the city. 

The plans, put forward by Denver-based developer Metropolitan Residential Advisors, will serve the “middle of the market,” according to CEO Peter Kudla, who spoke during the virtual public hearing.

The proposed homes will be built at 3600 Galapago St, the site of a mostly vacant strip mall just south of Hampden Avenue. 

With prices expected to range from $275,000 to $475,000, Kudla said he believes the development will help fill a void in the city's housing stock, which has seen little in the way of attainable housing for middle-class residents. 

The median home value in Englewood is $530,000, according to developers, who also estimate that the median household income is $59,774. At that income, developers estimate that a household of one to two people could afford a home between $350,000 and $450,000, but not what is currently the median price in Englewood. 

“We've seen so many apartments come through and very little … opportunities for homeownership in Englewood,” said Michele Austin, the commission chair, who voiced support for the proposal shortly before her vote. “You just can't buy a house in Englewood for less than half a million dollars.”

Along with adding to the city's housing stock, something that has been flagged as a crucial need for the metro area as more and more housing proposals pop up, the developers pitched a variety of city-wide benefits should the proposal go through. 

This includes about $130,000 in property taxes generated each year, up from $14,000 that is currently being generated by crrent businesses. Developers also said they will pay $635,000 to the city in permits and fees and pitched an uptick in local business support with new residents. 

“The businesses are very enthusiastic about us being in the neighborhood,” Kudla said. 

Overall, the proposal includes 50 two-bed, two-bath condos and 11 smaller, studio-like carriage units built over garages. The plan calls for 62 private garages as well as 89 off-street parking spaces, the remainder of which will be off-street. The proposal also includes plans for a small park that will take up just over 14% of the acreage as well as 32 trees and nearly 300 shrubs. 

During the public hearing, the third of which the developer has been a part of, just two residents raised concerns about the proposal, Linda and Ivan Erwin. The two expressed reservations about high-density housing in an area that has mainly been commercial use land and feared what it would mean for traffic. 

These sentiments were echoed by one commissioner, Carl Adams, the only no vote, who said traffic from residents could clog up important businesses such as the nearby McDonald's and Burger King. He also said having more residents walking, especially at crosswalks, would exacerbate traffic congestion. 

“The problem I have … is the traffic reports, I just can't imagine that people living in that area having to put up with that,” he said. 

Commissioner Cate Townley pushed back. 

“Cars cause traffic, not people walking,” she said. 

The proposal is the third from the developer to be approved by the commission and sent to city council, joining a similar proposal to build 66 condos at 3690 South Jason St and 24 townhomes at 3601 South Huron St and 888 West Ithaca Ave.

englewood, housing, 3600 Galapago St, Metropolitan Residential Advisors

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