A wide frame­work for new rowhomes

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Em­i­lie Rusch Em­i­lie Rusch: 303-9542457,er­usch@den­ver­post.com or @em­i­lier­usch

A112-unit town­home de­vel­op­ment is ris­ing from the site of the former East Den­ver YMCA north of City Park.

Un­like many of Den­ver’s re­cent in­fill projects, though, Sky­land Vil­lage, at East 31st Av­enue and Wil­son Court, will in­clude a mix of moder­ately priced and high-end units, with rowhomes start­ing at $299,000 and go­ing up to the mid-$600,000s.

“We meet just about ev­ery buyer out there,” said list­ing agent Bryon Hor­vath of Wild & Mild Homes.

About a third of the 68 units planned for the site’s north side will be priced un­der $375,000, said Pa­trick Guin­ness, one of the Sky­land’s de­vel­op­ers. (All 44 units on the south side, with rooftop decks and two-car garages, will be high­end units.)

By com­par­i­son, the me­dian price of a sin­gle-fam­ily home sold in metro Den­ver was $394,000 in Fe­bru­ary, ac­cord­ing to the Den­ver Metro As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors.

New con­struc­tion has strongly fa­vored high-end of­fer­ings, too. Among new homes built in metro Den­ver last year, nearly seven in 10 were priced above $400,000, and 27 per­cent were $500,000 or more, ac­cord­ing to data from Met­ros­tudy.

“The mar­ket is good right now, but who knows what it will be a year from now,” Guin­ness said. “We feel more com­fort­able sell­ing less-ex­pen­sive units that more peo­ple can af­ford.”

Price at­tain­abil­ity was also a source of con­cern for the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood, which is largely made up of mod­est sin­gle­fam­ily homes, he said.

“We’re meet­ing a prom­ise to the com­mu­nity,” Guin­ness said.

The 4.25-acre site, one block south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boule­vard, has been the tar­get of re­de­vel­op­ment for more than a decade.

The YMCA moved out in late 2004, a spokes­woman said, and the build­ing has housed a box­ing gym, among other uses, over the years.

A pre­vi­ous de­vel­oper had pro­posed re­zon­ing the prop­erty for five-story apart­ment build­ings, some­thing the neigh­bor­hood roundly op­posed.

The cur­rent de­vel­op­ers, Sky­land Vil­lage LLC and Sky­land In­vest­ment Group LLC, pur­chased the site in 2015, ac­cord­ing to county prop­erty records. The Den­ver City Coun­cil ap­proved a re­zon­ing to al­low homes up to three sto­ries that same year.

Con­struc­tion be­gan last fall, and the first 42 town­homes — 20 on the north side and 22 on the south — are sched­uled to be ready for move in this fall. Phase 2 could break ground later this year. Units range in size from about 800 square feet to 2,500 square feet.

The Den­ver Of­fice of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment is work­ing with the de­vel­op­ers to en­sure the project meets its af­ford­abil­ity re­quire­ment un­der the city’s now-sun­set­ted In­clu­sion­ary Hous­ing Or­di­nance, a city spokesman said.

That or­di­nance, which was re­placed by the city’s new af­ford­able hous­ing plan this year, re­quired all new for-sale hous­ing de­vel­op­ments with 30 or more units to set aside at least 10 per­cent of the units for in­come-qual­i­fied buy­ers, make a cash-in-lieu pay­ment or de­vise an al­ter­na­tive plan to pro­vide af­ford­able units.

Con­struc­tion crews raise walls on the sec­ond floor of Sky­land Vil­lage, at East 31st Av­enue and Wil­son Court, in Den­ver on Mon­day. The 112-unit town­home de­vel­op­ment will in­clude a mix of moder­ately priced and high-end units. Joe Amon, The Den­ver Post

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