IRVINE, CA – According to Michael Ohara, AIA and principal in the Denver, Colo., office of the award-winning national firm KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture + Planning, the Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood is enjoying a resurgence with the number of people who are moving back to the city core. Walkscore.com states that Capitol Hill is the 3rd most walkable neighborhood in Denver with a neighborhood Walk Score of 90 and offers good transit and is great for biking, too. Slipstream Properties of Glendale, Colorado, recognized this opportunity and purchased the former Smiley’s Laundromat and Cleaners mixed-use building at 1080 E. Colfax Avenue for $2.725 million in October 2012.
The three-story building, built in 1932, is located between Corona Avenue and Ogden Avenue. Slipstream Properties has renamed the building Route 40 and has completed a major renovation, which includes 28 completely refurbished one-bedroom and studio apartments above 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail. The units, which range in size from 400 to 500 square feet for the studios, and 500 to 600 square feet for the one-bedrooms, will include new, high-end kitchens and bathrooms, larger windows, and refinished original hardwood floors. The apartment homes will be available for occupancy later this month.
Adjacent to this project on the site of an existing parking lot at the corner of Corona Avenue and Colfax, Slipstream Properties is developing a new five-story mixed-use building on .68 acres to include 74 apartments above 8,300 square feet of ground floor retail, and a parking garage. The new building, designed by KTGY, will feature a second-floor courtyard/deck, laundry, fitness center, business center, extra storage, and a rentable guest suite, a hotel-type room for visiting family and friends. The apartment units will range in size from 470 to 658 square feet. A property management office will also be located in the new building. Groundbreaking for the $12 million project is slated for March 2014, with delivery of the first units in fall 2015.
"Although the vacant Smiley’s Laundromat and Cleaners building was in disrepair and was a gathering place for some of the less desirable citizens of Denver, Slipstream Properties saw the potential in the location as well as an opportunity to help clean up a section of the Avenue. KTGY is very excited to be a part of this revitalization project," said Ohara.
Denver's Colfax Avenue was the road to the Rockies back when Denver was first founded in the 1850s, noted Ohara. "It was originally called the 'Golden Road' and Grand Avenue for this reason. It was eventually renamed in the 1870s for Schuyler Colfax, Jr., a prominent Indiana Congressman and U.S. vice president under Ulysses S. Grant. At one time, Colfax Avenue was lined with mansions as it was the prominent thoroughfare in Denver. It was also the main business route through town until the opening of Interstate 70 in the 1960s," Ohara said.
"The new interstate, coupled with a renewed American sense of postwar mobility and movement to the suburbs, left Colfax Avenue behind as a place of years gone by. Today, Colfax Avenue is enjoying a resurgence. There are festivals celebrating its history and, a change in lifestyle, has people moving back into the city core. The renewed vibrancy of Colfax Avenue can be seen in the form of many new residents who enjoy the benefits of living in a historic neighborhood close to Downtown. There are new restaurants and retail shops opening regularly," said Ohara.
"The architecture provides an updated look to the existing 80-year-old Smiley’s building, with larger windows and large storefront openings for the retail," said Ohara. "There will also be a continuation of the street-level retail/commercial spaces in the existing building. The exterior materials used on the new building will be a combination of brick, stucco, and cementitious panel siding."
“The combination of a giving an 80-year-old building a new life next door to a brand new, modern, five-story mixed-use structure makes this project unique. KTGY Group, with their experience in adaptive re-use of existing buildings and multifamily housing has been instrumental in this process of designing both buildings to create a cohesive, yet timeless look," said Anthony Loeffler, a principal with Slipstream Properties.
Celebrating 21 years, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture and Planning, is a national award-winning firm providing comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market trends and financial performance. Serving clients worldwide, KTGY maintains offices in Irvine, Oakland and Santa Monica, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Tysons, Va.