The developer of a 6.2-acre site is gearing up for a second construction phase.
After delivering the Viña apartments — 150 affordable units for tenants making between 30% and 80% of the area median income (AMI) — Columbia Ventures has proposed its next phase at the site. A concept plan submitted to the city indicates that this next stage will be a senior affordable housing center at 2150 E. 49th Ave.
Iván Anaya, president of the Mountain West region at Columbia Ventures, said the number of units at the proposed senior housing building would be between 150 and 180 units and will target residents making between 30% and 70% of the AMI.
Anaya said what makes Columbia Ventures stand out is its commitment to delivering community services at its development sites.
The Viña Apartments building at 2121 E. 48th Ave., for example, also has a taco shop, community health center and a future co-op featuring 18 different local vendors. At the senior housing building, Anaya hopes to collaborate with a nonprofit or another partner to operate a senior center on the first floor.
According to Anaya, there’s a significant need for Columbia’s proposed senior affordable housing development in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood.
“If we could build two of them, we would,” Anaya said.
Columbia Ventures hopes to finance the project through low-income housing tax credits and is targeting a groundbreaking date during the third quarter of 2024, with construction finishing up in 2026, according to Anaya. Urban Land Conservancy currently owns the property.
Although the third phase of development at Columbia Ventures’ Elyria Swansea project is still in the earliest planning stages, Anaya said it will include multifamily housing, as well as community-based retail.
Anaya thinks the site is well-connected to other parts of the city, located only one rail stop from Union Station and a block and a half away from the National Western Center.
“It also is serving a neighborhood that has been neglected from an affordable housing investment standpoint for a really long time,” he said. “And so we’re really excited to not only bring the housing but the service enrichment that comes to housing, just based on our affordable housing model or mixed-income model.”
Columbia Ventures has offices in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and just opened its Denver office last year. Anaya is the only Denver employee right now, but he’s looking to hire more people to help with the firm’s growing number of projects in the Denver area.
In addition to its Elyria-Swansea site, Columbia Ventures is developing in Aurora.
Elevate at Aurora, located at 1671 Altura Blvd., is a 137-unit affordable housing project that will be available for residents making between 30% and 70% of the AMI.
Along with the four residential buildings on the site, Columbia Ventures plans to build a 15,000-square-foot one-story community facility. The landowner, Living Hope Community Church, and a career guidance organization called CrossPurpose would be the primary users of that facility.
Columbia hopes to break ground at Elevate at Aurora this fall.
“Within every single building that we build, we start with a human being first and then we back into a building, as opposed to starting with the building and trying to fit people into it,” Anaya said.
Source: Denver Business Journal