t? f2 2 //
: ' BOULDER COURT
~~^Â¥' !r r.
l'")l he? 3
JANIE KNEPPER 1981 UCD
..."the way to look at all parameters, financial and other, is as helping hands towards the realisation of significant form in what would otherwise be a formless universe." Ia
My thesis project is a multi-use development in the neighborhood of Highland i'n Northwest Denver. The project interests me because it encompasses three of my concerns in studying architecture: strengthening a city center, developing multi-functional structures, and reusing existing buildings. It presents a challenging and complex problem for which a solution might prove meaningful in future city development.
CONCLUSION AREA ANALYSIS SITE ANALYSIS MARKET ANALYSIS
ARTICLES AND REPORTS
A r't END Ia
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The project I have chosen for my thesis is located in Denver, Colorado. The site is approximately one mile to the northwest of Denver's central business district but is separated from it by the Platte River Valley containing railroad yards and the Valley Highway. It encompasses 4.51 acres bounded by Fifteenth, Sixteenth,
Boulder, and Central Streets. A Denver real estate firm is developing the block for residential and commercial use.
The late nineteenth century commercial buildings along Fifteenth Street have been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places and are designated for renovation. The other structures on the site are to be demolished.
ISSUES ADDRESSED: With direct access to center city, the site adapts well to business and residential development.
The location provides an opportunity to relate to the established residential neighborhood of Highlands and the expanding city core of Denver. Within these relationships it is necessary that the use of the block relate to the needs of the city as a whole.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: My intention in choosing this project is to design a community one block in size encompassing offices, light commercial spaces, and housing. Outdoor areas and parking facilities will also be considered. The
historic two and three story structures on Fifteenth Street will be renovated for use as combined commercial
and office space. The remainder of the block will be hew construction for housing.
SCOPE OF PROBLEM: Due to the size of the project, the interrelationships of the three separate site functions and their association with the Highland neighborhood and the city core will be of primary concern. As a result, placement, circulation, and exterior design will be stressed. A residential unit and a commercial unit will be developed and diagrammed as examples.
APPROACH PROPOSED: Having identified the nature and scope of the project, investigation of available resources relevant to the area will be undertaken. This research will include a study of zoning and code requirements, of impact on the nearby community, of available government resources and existing or proposed projects similar in scope. The goals of the project will then be redefined as necessary. Site analysis including climatic conditions, slope, view, vegetation, soils, and utilities will be the next step, followed by the schematic design phase, and finally design development.
PERSONAL GOALS: My personal concern with this project is to establish a link between the neighborhood of Highland and the central business district of Denver. Within this site I am interested in providing the physical resources for a vibrant authentic community, encompassing mixed income residential units conveniently located near shops offering essentials such as groceries with offices above. In the process of meeting these goals, I intend to apply skills developed and concepts studied in the architectural program.
PRODUCT: the products of the project will include: a written report containing research and preliminary design concepts, design drawings, and a model.
THESIS ADVISORY BOARD:" ~
Gary Long, Architect, Systems Professor Davis Holder, Engineer, Structures Professor
SCHEDULE OF DEVELOPMENT:
Problem Identification: October
Research Data Collection and Analysis: October-December Programming: November Objectives: November
Development of Design Criteria: November -Docombe-r-Site Analysis: December-January Schematic Design: January- March
Design Developement: March-April, Presentation: May
1. 16th Street Transitway,Mall
2. Northwest Terminal and Future R TO Headquarters
3. Southeast Terminal and Joint Development
4. Lincoln Court Building
5. Amoco Tower At Columbia Plaza 5. Cosmopolitan Place
7. Great West Life Towers
8. 1641 California Building
9. 410 Building
10. Anaconda Tower At Denver Square
11. Fairmont Hotel At Denver Square
12. Energy Canter One
13. Mountain Bell Service Center
14. One Denver Place
15. Bus Terminal
16. Barcel Plaza (208 condominiums plus o/lice and retail)
17. Energy Plaza Building
18. Realty Investment Inc. Project
19. VOA Residence (100 condominiums)
20. aiaxe street uatn & riacquet Ctub
21. Union Station
22. Market Center
23. Tho Windsor (164 condominiums)
24. Larimer Towers (244 condominiums)
25. Larimer Place (168 condominiums)
26. Writer Square (42 condominiums plus office and retail)
27. Larimer Square
28. Dravo Plaza 29 0 & F Tower '
30. Champa Center
31. Denver Center For The Performing Arts
32. Cherry Creek Park
33. Aurana Higher Education Center
34. Denver Athletic Club Expansion
35. Paramount Theater Rehabilitation
36. International Athletic Club
RECENT ANO PROF DEVELOPMENT IN
As indicated by the following material, the site is definitely suited to low-rise medium density mixed use development. In developing such a complex, my concerns as stated in the foreword can be met. The development will enhance the city,the units can be multi-functional, and reuse is possible for the historic structures.
The rehabilitation work on Fifteenth Street should take into consideration the rhythm of the street. Careful design of the openings, materials, and setback for the infill problem on this street will be necessary to ensure that continuity is achieved. The interior of the structure should be completely renovated to provide retail space on the first floor, and office space with stair and elevator facilities on upper floors. The new residential structures should enhance this commercial strip by their form, size, and materials. Equally important, the residential units need open space and privacy. These should be achieved without sacrificing views, energy conservation,or solar exposure. These diverse uses could be tied together with brick paved walks and landscaping. Within the 40' height limit changes in level of structures and paving can add interest and define areas. Parking must be provided for residents and guests, and those using the commercial area.
The intensity and diversity of the complex, with special attention to street level amenities, should ensure the success of the concept. The quality of the site could reflect the sense of town in an old European city where places to live are over, beside, or behind places of business. This is a natural combination of uses and gives a sense of reality, of humanity.
This, then, is the problem I have set to solve in a thesis design: the renovation of three historic commercial structures of two and three stories totalling 58,335 square feet; an infill commercial structure of approximately 24,000 square feet, the design of 20Q(max-imum) residential units providing one, two, and three bedroom apartments with amenities, and anrunderground parking facility for residential and commerci a 1 use. The
complete design must stay below 40' in height and will
be based on a Planned Unit Development form of zoning.
It is necessary to achieve an environment open to and responsive to the immediate neighborhood and at the same time ensure privacy and security for residents.
The arrangement of the complex will be dependent upon exterior and interior access and circulation, solar, and view considerations. A complex combination of problems is posed but it is this very complexity which offers the poss i bi 1 i ty.. for a vibrant, real environment, a pleasant place to be.
The Highland area can be geographically defined by
the Valley Highway, Speer Boulevard, Federal Boulevard,
and Thirty-eighth Avenue. Its unique feature is its
topography. It is a hill rising above the Platte River
providing long views of the center city of Denver.
The early records of Highland are lost, but it is
known that its name was chosen by the Russell party, a
group of gold seekers that settled there in the fall of 1
1859. Highland was incorporated in 1375 as a wealthy bedroom community whose occupants were employed in Denver.
It was felt the high hill provided relief from air pollution found in the river valley. Although attractive topographically, its development was slow. The Platte River constituted a barrier to settlement and communication. The riverbanks were connected by rope ferry in 1859 ($1.00
a ride) and by a single bridge at Fifteenth Street in 1 850 The residents of Highland were also served by cable, horse, and electric car lines which crossed the bottoms at Sixteenth and Larimer Streets on wooden trestles not open to
private conveyance. Annexation to Denver, and a viaduct over the river and railyards, did not occur until 1895. Highland was a blue-law town with a proud population not eager to join with Denver, a city famous for saloons, gambling, and prostitution.
Today Highland continues to be primarily single family residential in nature and access to the center of Denver is still essential to it. The neighborhood can be divided into five different sections which vary in character (See Map A which follows). These are:
Section A: Predominately single family units
- Includes elderly housing development
- Low-rise structures
- Residences in good repair
- Local traffic streets within sector
- Lots with mature trees and interior open spaces
Section B: Single and multi-family units
- Low-rise structures
- Some deterioration in structures
- Pleasant small scale with neighborhood park
- Local traffic streets within sector except Pecos and Osage
Section C: Most of land is public school property
- Dense section of small old resid. units
- Curving streets unique in Highland
Section D: Section is in transition from low-rise single family to mid-rise multi-family units
- Commercial concentration on 32nd and on Zuni
- Local traffic streets within sector
Section E: Section is in transition from low-rise residential and commercial to mid-rise residential and commercial
- Noise a problem from street and 1-25
- Long views a valuable asset
- Designated historic landmark buildings located in middle of section
- Across 1-25 from Platte River Greenway
Streets Dividing Sections:
- Commercial in nature
- Low-rise structures
- Both neighborhood and city oriented business
- A number of nice old commercial structures, two and three story, especially along Tejon, Zuni, and 32nd.
Within these sectors a number of public improvements have been implemented or are being planned. These include housing subsidies, public school landscaping, and street paving among others. The location of these improvements are indicated on the following pages, Map B.
Highland represents a valuable resource for Denver: it provides housing close to central Denver, the Valley Highway, and the Platte River Greenway, and it has a hilly topography which provides panoramic views. Sites on the fringes of the neighborhood are suitable for redevelopment as medium or high density housing, and commercial or office uses. Multi-family units are increasing particularly in the triangle to the south formed by Thirty-second Avenue, Speer, and 1-25. There are also a number of offices and light industrial units within this triangle. It is the section of Highland closest to the center of Denver with easy access to major arterial streets. It is an area in transition: most dwellings are rental units with low income occupants, a number of houses are used for offices, and there are several new one and two story business structures. The thesis project site is located within this triangle at the Sixteenth Street Viaduct, the point most directly connected with center city. Most of the land within this triangle is designated R-3, high density apartment district with bulk standards and open space restrictions, and B-4,
general business district allowing a mixture of business, industrial, and residential uses with floor area controls.
The function of structures in Highland and the use of land in the neighborhood are changing in direct response to what is happening in Denver's center city. The rehabilitation and development occuring in the city affects Highlands. Thoughtful change on a small scale is appropriate for the area and should be viewed as necessary for Highland
definitely reflects the "natural process of decay of a 4
city." Reasonably priced office space and middle income housing which are propped for the thesis site would serve the needs of Highland and of center city. The nature of such a development could stabilize land values in the neighborhood while retaining the scale found there, and provide services needed by downtown but not available due to greater land costs and densities.
1 ==i !L
X3HH( .133H1S ONIumiOdaiii
UJJL V J U W
tf>i .tviit*r t in *Mor
t*................t *W0 *v *u03 rt <113
^veeall ueiCHraypWQCp PLAKI PEVEUOpeP N CITY PLAWHlUCr W-'IC
The site, bounded by Boulder, Central, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Streets is approximately 156,000 square feet or 3.58 acres. The buildings now located on the site consist of turn-of-the-century commercial buildings along Fifteenth Street and residential structures of the same period and more recent along Sixteenth Street. The four commercial structures along Fifteenth Street are two and three story cast iron front buildings with shops on the first level and office spaces on the upper levels. All are in need of repair and restoration to realize their full economic potential. The residential structures along Sixteenth Street are one and two stories in height. Some are better maintained than others. They do not provide adequate density as allowed under existing zoning and will not be retained for this study.
The site slopes to the southeast. The drop across the site from the intersection of Fifteenth and Boulder Streets to the intersection of Sixteenth and Central Streets is approximately 26 feet. (See accompanying map).
Utilities are readily available on all sides of the property: gas, telephone, electrical, water, and sewer services are all buried below the Fifteenth Street right-of-way; sanitary sewer and telephone service are located in the alley between Fifteenth and Sixteenth Streets; water,
sewer, and gas lines are buried below the Sixteenth Street right-of-way; gas and water lines are buried below Boulder Street; water and storm sewer are located beneath Central Street. (See utilities map).
Zoning on the parcel is mixed, as seen in the map which follows, and consists of B-3, B-4, and R-3. The major portion of the land is zoned B-3 and is affected by a waiver which restricts structures in the zone to forty feet in height. B-3 has a bulk plane restriction of one-to-one and a five foot front setback requirement. A bulk plane is an imaginary sloped plane through which the building may not penetrate. Its effect is usually to cause the building to terminate when it reaches a certain height predetermined in the applicable zoning regulations. B-4 zoning has no bulk plane restrictions and no setback requirements, but is affected by an allowable floor area ratio of one-to-one. Floor area ratio is the allowable building area compared to the area of the site. R-3 zoning has a ten foot front setback requirement, is affected by a two-to-one bulk plane and has an allowable floor area ratio of three-to-one.
Such public improvements as noise barriers along 1-25 and pedestrian provisions on the Fifteenth Street Viaduct are necessary for full utilization of the site development. Since noise barriers have recently been
constructed along 1-25 further north and the vehicular
traffic volume is lower on the Fifteenth Street Viaduct
than the Sixteenth Street one (See movement map) it is
possible to assume these improvements are feasible.
PUD zoning for the site would allow for maximum devel-
opment of the site potential. In view of the present use of the site and the allowable densities, it is likely the land will be approved for PUD treatment. The forty foot height limit would stay in force even if a PUD is granted.
Three buildings along Fifteenth Street have been designated Denver landmarks and have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. (See appendix).
They are two and three story brick commercial buildings with cast iron fronts. (See photographs). They are to be renovated for retail use on the first floor and for offices on the second. Their rhythm and scale enhance the street even in their present condition and are certainly an asset to the site. Between the structures ^j*Â£^an empty lot, the infill of which is vital to the retention of the established pattern, and a snail one story structure completely out of character which is to be demolished.
Since the mixed use development of the site suits the needs of the Highland neighborhood and the CBD, and land is presently underutilized, the major problem
in developing the site is the displacement of the twenty families now living there. It would be best if these families could be given the opportunity to live in the new residential complex. It would be necessary to use private funds for rent subsidy, however, as the site is too close to a major highway to meet HUD's requirements. With the large return on investment expected from the project, funds adequate for twenty families (10% of the total 200 units) could certainly be provided.
The site's location ensures its value. The historic buildings indicate a direction for development. The immediate neighborhood around the site is a likely area for intense activity in the near future due to its location relevant to the CBD, 1-25, and the Platte River Greenway.
The Sixteenth Street viaduct already brings major city traffic along the site. It could become a pivotal block for other neighborhood regeneration.
UM0E. UUfcl 1AJ PLATTE- RVER.
|5KRIf=TCAKIT FEATUEEE |= I CO'-O'
BUILPIM NATIONALS KRPMAIOt
CltEEOrliriM -5">4IM] U
#3'CLie&CUT' FÂ£E TEUCE EAC^-lM
CITY FB3U L^nCHE
MDSEStEHT' l*= I Co'-O'
KfA-lC^ CTTY drartgp?
IAND U6E J
30L\PUME-^TKUCTIJ ^3 P9TT&P UME-(9f^N LPT
-&IXTEE NTH 'STREET
The next step will be to carry the site analysis further to determine diagramatically the character istics of the site that serve as guidelines for des i gn .
MARKET ANALYSIS RESIDENTIAL
The population of the Denver Standard .Metropolitan Statistical Perea, which includes the counties of Adams Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Gilpin, and Jefferson, has rown significantly in recent years. The 1960 census indicated a population of 937,677 for the eight county metropolitan area. By 1970 the pop-
ulation increased to 1 ,233,450 , a growth of 295,773 or
a 2.8% annual increase. Table 3 shows population growth
in the metropolitan area from 1970 to 1978. As illus-
tra ted in Table 3, the population of the Denver metro-
politan area increased from 1, 233,450 in 1970 to 1,611, 400
in 1978 representing a total growth of 377,950, and an
. annual increase of 3 .4%.
Table 3: DENVER METROPOLITAN AREA POPULATION
Jan. 1 Jan. 1 Numerical Rate of of Metro
County 1970 1978 Change Change Change
Adams 183,000 242,000 59,000 3.6% 15.6%
Arapahoe 161,000 260,600 99,600 6.2 26.4
Boulder 130,000 189,100 59,100 4.8 15.6
Clear Creek 4,800 7,100 2,300 5.5 0.6
Denver 514,000 522,500 8,500 0.2 2.2
Douglas 8,400 21,500 13,100 12.5 3.5
Gilpin 1,250 2,700 1,450 9. 1 0.4
Jefferson 231,000 365,900 134,900 5.9 35.7
Total 1,233,450 1 ,611, 400 377,950 3.4% 100.0%
Denver Regional Council of Governments.
As shown in Table 4, the population of metropolitan Denver is estimated to increase during the next decade at annual rates ranging from 47,900 to 62,100, with an average annual growth rate of 54,700.
Table 4: ESTIMATES FOR DENVER AREA POPULATION, 1979-1988
Year Jan. 1 Resident Employment Employment Participation Rate Population Annual Change
1979 774,000 .4640 1,668,100
1980 799,500 .4659 1,716,000 47,900
1981 825,700 .4678 1,765,100 49,100
1982 952,900 .4697 1 ,815,800 50,700
1983 881,000 ' .4716 1,868,100 52,300
1984 909,900 .4735 1,921,600 53,500
1985 939,900 .4754 1,977,100 55,500
1986 970,800 .4773 2,033,900 56,800
1987 1,002,900 .4792 2,092,900 59,000
1988 1,035,600 .4811 2,152,600 59,700
1989 1,069,700 .4830 2,214,700 62,100
Distribution of residential demand by tenure and type of
unit demonstrates market segmentation and is important
when determining the market potentials of a specific property. Research indicates that ownership versus rental occupancy has undergone little change with 60% of households prefering ownership units to 40% desiring rental units. Table 6 points out projected residential demand for Denver area.
Table 6: RESIDENTIAL DEMAND IN THE DENVER AREA BY TENURE AND TYPE OF UNIT, 1979-1988
Residential Mobile Single-family and Rental
Year Demand Total Homes Condominiums Units
1979 20,200 12,100 1 ,200 10,900 8,100
1980 20,800 12,500 1,200 11,300 8,300
1981 21,500 12,900 1 ,300 11,600 8,600
1982 22,300 13,400 1,300 12,100 8,900
1983 22,700 13,600 1,400 12,200 9,100
1984 23,800 14,300 1 ,400 12,900 9,500
1985 24,300 14,600 1 ,500 13,100 9,700
1986 25,300 15,200 1 ,500 13,700 10,100
1987 25,800 15,500 1,500 14,000 10,300
1988 26,700 16,000 1,600 14,400 10,700
Average 23,300 14,000 1 ,400 12,600 9,300
Annual ownership demand will range from 12,000 to 16,000
units over the next decade with single family and condo-
minium demand between 10,900 and 14,400 and averaging 12,600 units annually. Rental demand will vary annually
from 8,100 to 10,700 units and average 9,300 units during the period from 1979 to 1988. The specific performance of metropolitan Denver's ownership market was distributed as follows during the last five years.
Single Family Condominiums Total Ownership
1974 5,200 (70%) 2,217 (30%) 7,417
1975 6,125 (76%) 1,943 (24%) 8,068
1976 10,475 (90%) 1,194 (10%) 11,669
1977 18,635 (93%) 1,402 ( 7%) 20,037
1978 18,255 (90%) 1 ,919 (10%) 20,174
5 yr. Avg. 11 740 (84%) 1,733 (16%) 13,473
Residential demand by price or rent level is a function of income distribution in the community. A projection of the 1979 income distribution of Denver area households is a good indication of what the income distribution of those in the housing market will be. The following is based on 1970 census data.
Incomes Percent of Denver Area Households
$0 $12,000 20.9
$12,000 $16,000 15.9
$16,000 $20,000 16.7
$20,000 $28,000 22.0
$28,000 $36,000 11 .3
$36,000 + 13.2
Table 8 points out that approximately 30.2% of the rental demand will be for units priced below a rent level of $250 per month, this demand out of necessity will need to be subsidized by the government since very few units are provided. The demand for units priced from $250 to $310 per month will account for 28.8% of total rent demand, 25.1% will account for units renting from $310 to $350, 11.3% from $350 to $420, and the remaining 4.6% for units more than $420.
Table 8: RENTAL HOUSING DEMAND BY RENT LEVEL, DENVER METROPOLITAN AREA, 1979-1988
Year Demand 0$250 $250-310 $310-350 $350-420 $420+
1979 8,100 2,450 2,330 2,030 920 370
1980 8,300 2,510 2,390 2,080 940 380
1981 8,600 2,600 2,470 2,160 970 400
1982 8,900 2,690 2,560 2,230 1 ,010 410
1983 9,100 2,750 2,620 2,280 1 ,030 420
1984 9,500 2,870 2,740 2,380 1,070 440
1985 9,700 2,930 2,790 2,430 1,100 450
1986 10,100 3,050 2,910 2,540 1,140 460
1987 10,300 3,110 2,970 2,590 1 ,160 470
1988 10,700 3,230 3,080 2,690 1,210 490
Avg. 9,300 2,810 2,680 2,330 1,050 430
Table 10 shows the locational distribution of new construction by type of unit. During the last decade Denver County
accounted for only 9.0% of single family units construction but dominated new multi-family housing construction by annually averaging 3,542 permits, or 37.3%. During the last five years, Denver County accounted for an average of 38.5% of the area's multi-family construction. The recent resurgence in Denver's construction volume is attributable to the fact that Denver has not limited construction because of treated water shortage as has been done in other regions of the metropolitan area. Capitol Federal Savings and Loan conducted a vacancy study in December 1978 of
Table 10 HOUSING PERMITS BY LOCATION, 1909-1078
Year Adams County No. (% of Metro) Arapaboe County No. (% of Metro) Boulder County No. (% of Metro) Denver County No. (% of Metro) Douglas County No. (% of Metro) Jefferson County No. (% of Metro)
Single-family 1969 869 (11.8%) 1,305 (18.5%) 969 (13.1%) 1,472 (19.9%) 210 ( 3.0%) 2,498 (33.8%)
1970 1,565 (IS.5%) 2,035 (20.1%) 1,410 (13.9%) 1,570 (15.5%) 249 ( 2.5%) 3,293 (32.5%)
1971 1,493 ( 9.9%) 4,153 (27. S%) 1,935 (12.8%) 1,505 (10.0%) 64 ( 0.4%) 5,950 (39.4%)
1972 1 ,58 ( 8.9%) 6, 1C6 (32.9%) 2,583 (13.9*%) 1,394 ( 7.5%) 591 ( 3.2%) 6,252 (33.6%)
1973 1,520 (12.4%) 3,040 (22.3%) 1,834 (15.4%) 031 ( 7.3%) 7CQ (16.2%) 3,222 (20.4%)
1974 940 (12.7%) 2,077 (20.0%) 1,467 (i9.e%) 451 ( 6.1%) 270 ( 3.6%) 2,212 (29.8%)
197o 1,145 (14.2%) 2,461 (30.5%) 1,502 (IB.6%) 573 ( 7.1%) 337 ( 4.2%) 2.049 (25.4%)
1970 1 ,G73 (14.C%) 3,712 (31.0%) 2,023 (17.3%) 407 ( 4.3%) 505 ( 4.3%) 3,253 (27. V/.)
1*77 1,163 ( 5.0%) 7,235 (30.1%) 2,895 (14.5%) 1,197 ( 6.0%) 849 ( 4.2%) 6.677 (33.3%)
1973 1,372 ( 6.8% 7,634 (37.6%) 2.265 (11.2%) 1,296 ( 6.4%) 1,037 ( 5.4%) 6,510 (32.3%)
10 yr. ovorego 1959-1978 1.342 (11.2%) 4,072 (29.6%) 1,893 (15.1%) 1,085 ( 0.0%) 384 ( 4.7%) 4,102 (31.4%)
5 yr. average 1974-1373 1 ,203 (10.0%) 5,430 (32.8%) 2,031 (10.3%) 003 ( 0.0%) 012 ( 4.3%) 4,081 (29.7%)
1959 805 ( o.%) 1,357 (15.5%) 1,608 (11.4%) 4,623 (52.4%) 29 ( 0.2%) 985 (11.2%)
1970 1,190 (11.0)'.) 2,724 (25.0%) 050 ( 8.7%) 4,410 (40.5%) 12 ( 0.1%) 1,605 (14.7%)
1S7: 2,520 (12.5%) 4,779 (23.7%) 2,617 (13.0%) 6,780 (33.6%) ( 0 ) 3,497 (17.3%)
1972 3,773 (14.0-/.) 6,825 (25.3%) 1.877 ( 6.9%) 8,072 (29.9%) 21 ( 0.1%) 6,447 (23.9%)
1973 3,152 (20.1%) 2,730 (17.4%) 1,559 ( 9.0%) 3,652 (23.7%) 317 ( 2.0%) 4,301 (27.4%)
1374 032 (18.7%) 1,008 (22.6%) 500 (11.4%) 1,534 (34.5%) 12 ( 0.3%) 559 (12.6%)
1975 53 ( 4.0%) 215 (10.4%) 145 (11.0%) 536 (40.9%) 8 ( o.e%) 354 (27.0%)
1976 52 ( 1.7%) 687 (22.5%) 619 (20.3%) 1,103 (30.2%) - ( 0 ) 5ea (19.2%)
1977 54 ( 1.6%) 425 (12.e%) 902 (27.2%) 1,107 (35.8%) ( o ) 745 (22.5%)
58 ( 0.7%) 2,164 (27.0%) 1 ,051 (13.6%) 3,524 (45.3%) 8 ( 0.1%) 962 (12.4%)
10 yr. avorago 1369-1978 1,250 ( 9.3%) 2,292 (20.9%) 1,164 (13.3%) 3,542 (37.3%) 41 ( 0.3%) 2,003 (18.8%)
5 yr. average 1S73-1978 210 ( 5.3%) GOO (20.4%) 047 (16.7%) 1,577 (38.6%) 6 ( 0.2%) 641 (18.7%)
1969 1,675 (10.3%) 2,733 (10.9%) 1,977 (12.2%) 6,095 (37.6%) 248 ( 1-6%) 3,483 (21.5%)
1970 2,761 (13.1%) 4,759 (22.7%) 2,360 (11.2%) 5,900 (26.5%) 261 ( 1.2%) 4,884 (23.3%)
1971 4,021 (11.4%) 8,932 (25.3%) 4,552 (12.9%) 8,205 (23.5%) 64 ( 0.2%) 9,447 (26.8%)
1372 5,431 (11.9%) 12,931 (28.4%) 4,460 ( 9.8%) 9,466 (20.8%) 612 ( 1.3%) 12,699 (27.8%)
1973 4,672 (16.7%) 6,670 (23.0%) 3,443 (12.3%) 4,543 (16.3%) 1,075 ( 3.8%) 7,523 (26.9%)
1974 1,772 (14.0%) 3.095 (28.0%) 1,073 (10.0%) 1,085 (16.7%) 23 ( 2.4%) 2,771 (21.3%)
1975 1,193 (12.8%) 2,675 (20.5%) 1,647 (17.6-/.) 1,109 (11.8%) 345 ( 3.7%) 2,403 (25.6%)
1976 1,725 (11.7%) 4,399 (29.9%) 2.642 (le.o*,;) 1,600 (10.9%) 505 ( 3.4%) 3,845 (26.1%)
1377 1,237 ( 5.3%) 7,6C0 (32.6%) 3,798 (16.3%) 2,504 (10.2%) 049 ( 3.6%) 7,422 (31.8%)
1976 1,490 ( 5.1%) 9,790 (13.1%) 3,320 (11.0%) 4,020 (17.2%) 1,105 ( 4.0%) 7,472 (2C.7%)
10 yr. average 19C9-1978 2,592 (11.3%) 6,364 (27.0%) 3,018 (13.9%) 4,627 (19.4%) 535 ( 2.5%) 6, 195 (26. o:'.)
5 yr. average 10.74-1970 1,473 (10.0%) 5.523 (r.o.f.%) 2.077 (16.1%) 2,380 (11.4%) 617 ( 1.4%) 4,781
Scarce; Department of Commerce C-40 Construction Reports and Denver Metropolitan Homebuilding
central Denver in which 823 units were surveyed. They found 12 units or 1.4% vacant. This vacancy rate is very low and demonstrates that this market has an extreme shortage since a normal vacancy rate is 6%. Realizing this historical performance of the Denver housing market, it is possible to estimate future residential markets for the city of Denver. These will function as regional parameters for which the subject site will compete. Only the metropolitan market for condominiums and rentals has been distinguished because it is this for which the subject site will compete. Table 11 is based upon the projection that the city of Denver will capture 30% of new condominium construction and 40% of new rental apartment construction. Table 11 points out the city is projected to average annually a demand for 940 condominiums during the next decade along with 3,720 rental apartment units.
The bulk of condominium demand will fall within the price range of $40,000 to $79,000. The rental apartment market will average annually 3,720 during the next decade and approximately 48% of the rental apartment market will be for units priced over $310 per month.
Average Annual Average Annual
Condominium Demand Rental Apartment Demand
Price Level of Units Rent Level of Units
Under $40,000 230 $ 0 250 1,120
$40,000 49,999 150 $250 - 310 820
$50,000 67,199 190 $310 350 930
$67,200 79,199 180 $350 - 420 530
$79,200 + 190 $420 + 320
Total 940 T otal 3,720
T.ble 11: PROJECTED DEMAND FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION OF CONDOMINIUMS AND RENTAL APARTMENTS IN THE CITY OF DENVER
Condominium Demand*____ Rental Apartment Demand
Year Metro Market City of Denver Metro Market City of C
1979 2,180 650 8,100 3,240
1980 2,370 710 8,300 3,320
1981 2,550 770 8,600 3,440
1982 2,780 830 8,900 3,560
1983 2,930 880 9,100 3,640
1984 3,230 970 9,500 3,800
1985 3,410 1,020 9,700 3,880
1986 3,700 1,110 10,100 4,040
1987 3,920 1,180 10,300 4,120
1988 4,180 1 ,250 10,700 4,280
Average 3,130 940 9,300 3,720
*Estimated at 20% of ownership unit construction in 1979 increasing to 30% by 1988.
There are six proposed condominium projects in central Denver. Of the six, five are components of the Skyline Urban Renewal Project planned for lower downtown. The Skyline Project is evidence of renewed interest in residential development in the downtown area. Convenience to work, retail and cultural facilities are the primary attractors.
Only one major multi-fani1y housing project, in addition to the Skyline Project, is currently planned for the downtown area and that is to be financed by an Urban Development Action Grant. It will be located on six acres bordered by Speer, and 11th to 14th Avenues.
It is scheduled for completion in four years and will provide 790 middle to upper income rental units in one seven story building and numerous townhouse units.
At present there are no existing major condominium or apartment projects in the Highland neighborhood in which the site is located. The neighborhood is made up of predominantly single family housing witi interest in renovation growing. Some of the older tomes are being converted to small condominium or apartnent projects.
One such project within eight blocks of the subject site will offer nine condominium units
The rental apartment market in the site environs can expect considerably less competition than the condominium market. The apartment vacancy rate for downtown and midtown Denver is presently extremely low and can be expected to remain low. The major rental project currently operating in the core area of downtown, Brooks Towers, with approximately 500 units, is rumored to be considering condominium conversion which would increase the demand for rental apartments in the downtown.
It is projected that Denver will average an annual demand for 3,720 rental apartments during the next ten years.
Of this total, 1,460 units will be in the rental range $310-$420 per month, a competitive range for the site area. Assuming a "capture rate of 35% for the site, a
demand of 230 uni ts per year or 19 units per month i s
projected for the site.
Type of Unit Mix Size (Sq.Ft.) Rental Rate Sq. Ft.
1 bedroom 60% 650 $300 $0.45
2 bedroom 40% 850 $380 $0.45
The demand for office space in the Denver metropolitan area is a function of the performance of the region's economic base. The future performance of the regional economic base can be projected by analyzing trends in regional employment. It is estimated that the employment force in the Denver metropolitan area will grow at an annual rate of 3.4% during the next decade. Growth rates by specific industrial sector are shown in Table 15.
The economy of the Denver region is projected to grow from 806,700 employees in 1979 to 1,115,000 employees by 1989 or approximately 30,800 new jobs per year. This growth rate exceeds the annual average growth of 22,900 new jobs realized from 1960 to 1978. Retail trade will account for 18.7% of total new employment, followed by services at 18.3%, manufacturing at 15.2%, and government at 12.7%.
Table 16 shows projected office employment by sector through 1989. As shown in this table, total office employment in the Denver region will grow from 294,705 in 1979 to 402,745 by 1989. This represents an annual growth rate of 10,804 during the next decade, indicating that 35% of total projected new employment in^metro-politan Denver will be located in office space.
Table IBi PROJECTED EMPLOYMENT IN THE DENVER STANDARD
METROPOUTAN STATISTICAL AREA 1978-1980
Rata 1979 1900 1981 1982
Mining 6.1 16,600 16,600 17,400 16,300
Construction 3.2 45,000 47,400 40,000 50,500
Manufacturing 3.4 116,300 122,300 126,600 130,600
T ranspor tat Ion, Communication & Public Utilities 2.4 40,800 50,000 51,200 62,400
Wholesale Trade 4.0 80,600 62,600 54,900 57,100
Retail Trade 3.6 136,300 141,200 146,300 1B1.600
Finance Insurance & Real Estate 4.0 60,000 62,000 54,100 56,300
Services 3.2 154,200 159,400 164,500 169,800
Government 2.8 123,700 127,100 130,700 134,300
Agriculture o- 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000
Domestics & Others 2.9 66,100 57,700 69,400 61.000
Total Employment 3.4 806,700 633,300 060,700 009,000
1983 1964 1985 1986 1987 1980 1909
19,200 20,200 21,200 22,300 23,600 24,700 25,000
62,100 53,800 55,500 67.200 59,IOO 61,000 62,800
136,200 139,800 144,600 149,500 154,600 159,800 165,100
63,700 65,000 56,300 57,700 59,000 60,500 61,000
69,400 61,700 64,200 66,000 69,500 72,200 75,000
157,100 162,700 160,600 174,600 100,900 187,400 193,900
175,200 160,600 106,600 192,600 190,700 204,700 210,700
138,100 142,000 146,000 150,000 154,200 150,600 162,000
6,800 8,600 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,600
62,900 64,700 66,600 60,500 70,500 72,500 73,600
918,200 948,400 979,700 1,011,600 1,045,300 1 ,079,400 1.115,000
Sourcei Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and ThK Associates, Inc
Tabl 16i PROJECTED OFFICE EMPLOYMENT IN THE DENVER STANDARD
METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA, 1970-1009
Percent Office Employees 1979 1980 1081 1082 1083 1084 1985 1906 1987 1988 1089
Mining 25% 3,950 4,160 4,350 4,675 4,800 6,030 6,300 6,676 6,875 6,175 6,475
Construction 25% 11,476 11,860 12,226 12,626 13,026 13,460 13,875 14,300 14,775 16,250 15,700
Manufacturing 30% 36,490 36,690 37,960 39,240 40,660 41,040 43,380 44,850 46,380 47,940 49,530
T ransportatlon, Communication ft Public Utllltlss 95% 46,360 47,600 48,640 49,780 61,016 62,250 63,483 64,816 66,050 67,475 68,710
Whole sals 16% 7,620 7,920 8,236 8,665 8,910 9,256 9,630 10,020 10,425 10,830 11,250
Retail 16% 20,448 21,180 21,946 22,740 23,663 24,406 20,290 26,190 27,135 28,110 29,065
Finance, Insurance, 01 ft Real Estate 95% 47,600 49,400 61,396 63,486 65,670 67,855 60,133 62,610 65,075 67,640 69,920
Services 25% 38,650 39,650 41,125 42,450 43,800 45,200 46,650 48,160 49,675 61,175 52,675
Government 60% 74,220 76,260 78,420 80,680 82,860 85,200 87,600 90,000 92,520 95,160 97,680
Agriculture 10% 680 680 680 660 600 680 680 680 680 680 680
Domestlca 16% 6,416 0,655 8,010 9,160 9,435 9,706 9,990 10,276 10,675 10,876 11,040
Total Employment 294,700 304,136 313,675 323,870 334,226 344,990 356,015 367,365 379,165 391,310 402,745
Sou re* i Tt t< Associates, Inc .
Projected growth in office employment will create substantial demand for new office space. Research by the Urban Land Institute has established that the average office employee requires 200 square feet of office space. Table 17 converts projected office employment to space requirements using this factor for conversion. Also presented in the table is metropolitan Denver's demand for multi-tenant office space, since such space accounts for 70% of total office space demand.
Growth in the Denver area in regard to office
employment will generate an annual demand for between 1,320,200 square feet and 1,700,300 square feet during the next ten year period. During the next decade the
annual average demand for office space will approach
1 ,502,71 1 square Table 17: MULTI- feet. TENANT OFFICE SPACE DEMAND PROJECTED
IN THE DENVER SMSA 197S-1988
Office Demand For Demand For Annual New Multi-tenant
Employ- Office Space Multi-tenant Office Space
Year ment (200 ft./employee) Office Space Demand
1979 294,705 58,941,000 41,258,700
1980 304,135 60,827,000 42,578,900 1,320,200
1981 313,875 62,775,000 43,942,500 1,363,600
1982 323,870 64,774,000 45,341,800 1,399,300
1983 334,225 66,845,000 46,791,500 1,449,700
1984 344,990 68,998,000 48,298,600 1,507,100
1985 356,015 71,203,000 49,842,100 1,543,500
1986 367,365 73,473,000 51,431,100 1,589,000
1987 379,165 75,833,000 53,083,100 1,652,000
1988 391,310 78,262,000 54,783,400 1,700,300
Avg. 340,966 68,193,100 47,735, 1 70 1,502,711
Table 19: PROJECTED OFFICE: DEMAND, SELECTED DENVER SUB-REGIONS, 1979-1988
1 Denver Downtown Midtown
Metropolitan Denver Denver
Area (35%) (10%)
i (sq.ft.) (sq.ft.) (sq.ft.)
1 1979 1,268,000 443,700 126,800
j 1980 1,320,200 462,100 132,000
1981 1,363,600 477,300 136,400
1982 1,399,300 489,800 139,900
j 1983 1,449,700 507,400 145,000
1984 1,507,100 527,500 150,700
1985 1,543,500 540,200 154,400
j 1986 1,589,000 556,200 158,900
1987 1,652,000 578,200 165,200
1988 1,700,300 595,100 170,000
* 10 year * Average 1,479,270 517,800 147,900
THK Associates for all Market Analysis information.
Lionel Brett, Architecture in a Crowded World: Vision and Reality in Planning (New York: Schocken Books 1970) p.7.
League of Women Voters of Denver, Northwest Neighborhood Tour (Denver, June, 1976) p.4.
Denver City Planning Office Highland Neighborhood Plan (Denver, October 20, 1976) p.3.
Patric Dawe, "Philadelphia Model Cities Program Urban Design Process" 1969 HUD Design Award Submission.
Planned Unit Development is a form of development characterized by a unified site design for clustering buildings and providing common open space, density increases and a mix of building types and land uses. It permits' the planning of a project and the calculation of densities over the entire development area, rather than on an individual lot-by-lot basis. It allows unified, hence potentially more desirable and attractive, development of an area, based on a comprehensive site plan.
L. Brett, Quoting Goethe, Architecture in a Crowded World, p 1 60 .
Architecture Division, University of Colorado at Denver, The Platte Valley: An Historical Inventory (Denver, 1 977 ) p.4,.
ARTICLES AND REPORTS
Abercrombie, Stanley. "Adaptive Re-Use," Urban Design,
(Fall 1 977). 34 .
AIA Journal (April, 1 977), "A Boston Firm that has made a Specialty of Adaptive Re-Use." 64-67.
AIA Journal (May, 1 977), Renovation Projects. 41-45.
Architecture Division, University of Colorado at Denver,
The Platte Valley: An Historical Inventory. A class project. Denver, 1977.
Architectural Record, (April, 1977), "Antithetical Typres: the Drive-in and the Recycled Building."
Architectural Record, (Mid-August, 1978), 126-128. Deft aetai1ing fora concrete garage.
Brownstone Revival Committee of New York. Back to the City:
A Guide to Urban Preservation Proceedings of the Back to the City Conference. New York, 1974.
Burns, James. "Evaluation: A Classic Recycling After Eleven Years," AIA Journal, (July, 1978), 50-58.
Business Meek,(July 1 1 1 977 ), 1 00-1 04 "A Boom in Recycled Buildings."
Clay, Grady (Ed.). -"The Invisible Urban Realms: Alleys and Backlots and Outbacks," Landscape Architecture, (Sept., 1977), 440-443.
Davern, Jeanne M. "A New Kind of Development An Approach to Mixed Use," Architecture Record, (Dec., 1977), 96-
Hardy, Hugh and others. "It is Wrong to Preserve Old Buildings Academically and Scientifically...," Architectural Record, (August, 1977), 90-92.
Highland Place Association. Highland PI ace. A report prepared for marketing. Denver, 1979.
League of Women Voters of Denver. Northwest Neighborhood Tour. A report prepared to accompany a neighborhood tour.June, 1976.
Machado, Rodolfo. "Old Buildings as Palimpsest", Progressive Architecture, (November, 1976), 46-49.
Morton, David. "Looking Forward to the Past," Progres si ve Architecture, (November, 1976), 45.
McLaughlin, Herbert P. "A 'Preservation Addict' Looks at the Practical Side of Rehabilitation for Profit," Architectural Record, (March, 1976), 65-67.
Schmertz, Mildred F. "Boston's Historic Faneuil Hall
Marketplace," Architectural Record, (Dec., 1977), 116-127.
Sinisi, J. Sebastian. "Gables and Power Groups in Northwest Denver", The Denver Magazine, (February, 1978), 40-43.
Wells, H. Clarke. "New Hands at Rehab," House and Home, (February, 1977), 83-85.
Allsopp, Bruce. Towards A Humane Architecture London: Frederick Mueller, 1974.
Brett, Lionel. Architecture in a Crowded World: Vision
and Reality in Planning.New York: Schocken Books,1970.
Chermayeff, Serge and Christopher Alexander. Community
and Privacy: Towards a New Architecture of Humanism.
New York: Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1963.
Cowan, Peter (Dir.) The Office: A Facet of Urban Growth.
New York: American Elsevier Publishing Co.,Inc., 1 969.
Crosby, Theo. Architecture: City Sense. New York: Reinhold Publishing Corp., 1965.
Cullen, Gordon. The Concise Townscape. New York: Van Nostrand Re inhold Co., 1961.
Lynch, Kevin. Site Planning, Second Edition. Cambridge:
MIT Press 1971 .
Mayerovitch, Harry. Overstreet An Urban Street Development System. Montreal: Harvest House, 1973.
Webber, Melvin and others. Explorations into Urban Structure Philadelphia: University of Penna. Press, 1968.
Whiffen, Marcus (Ed.). The Architect and the City. Cambridge MIT Press, 1962.
Wingo, Lowdon (Ed.). Cities and Space: The Future Use of Urban Land. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1970.
Becker, Ron. Traffic Engineering Department, City and County of Denver. December 13, 1979 Telephone at 10:30a.m. Discussion of curb cuts and paving. Sent guidelines.
Buckley, Grace. Housing Specialist, Denver City Community Development Office. September 14, 1979 Telephone at 4:30p.m. Discussion of government subsidies for housing.
Castro, Rudy. Planner for Highland, Denver City Planning Office. October 30,1979, 2:00p.m. Planning Office. Collecting information on area. Provided publications.
Dawe, Patric. Architect, Urban Design instructor. September
17.1979, 12:00 noon, design studio. Discussion of approach to information analysis.
Graphics Department, Denver Planning Office. Numerous visits to collect maps .
Landmark Preservation Commission. City of Denver. November
19.1979, 2:00p.m. at Planning Office. Commercial buildings on Fifteenth Street designated Denver Landmarks at meeting.
Metcalf, Sheila, and others. EIS Study Group. November 19, 1979, 6:30p.m.; November 26, 1979, at 6:00p.m.; and December 3, 1979, at 6:30, at Metcalf's. Drafting of EIS report on site.
Trwe, Diane. Commercial Financing, Denver City Community Development Office. September 14, 1979 telephone at 4:45p.m. Discussion of federal assistance to small business .
Wicks, David. Planner, Denver City.PIanning Office.
November 26, 1979 Telephone 2:00p.m. Sent application for historic designation of Fifteenth Street commercial buildings.
Thesis: Highland Flace Student: Janie Knepper Addendum to Proposal:
iCy intention in this project is to create a mixed use environment of commercial, office, and residential spaces. This will be accomplished through development of new and old structures. Along Fifteenth Street, the historic buildings will provide commercial and office space as indicated in the developer's proposal. Between these buildings and the alley new construction will provide residential spaces for singles and couples.
The relationship of new to old construction will be considers This will be addressed through circulation, massing, external finish, and architectural detail.
Parking for the full'block development will be underground on the remaining half of the site from the alley to Sixteenth Street as proposed in the developer's PUB request.
The solution will be presented in plan, elevation, and section, with a model of the site.
" An environment that has absorbed a variety of historical periods and social directions becomes an exciting experience. Moreover, the scale and character of past happenings often inspire future innovations, so that a continual reseeding connects past to future and future to past." World of Variation, by M.C. Stevens. .........'
1'-20 NORTH ^
ALLEY-COURT SJ06 1/T6-r-0
(I |!|! ||||
r i i i i i i i i 4 n i i i i i i i i i r 1 L 1 |
1 1 1 l 1 l l 1 u. 1 i i i i i Li
1 H j [ l i i i i i i i
iii l 4-
I v'-r ! roo*
i w-r o*
FLOOR FRAMING PLAN
nL + ^ M *%! l-* . 'nc
fe3te tsM >:'*Â£2Sfll A!
rSfi^nR J My 1 1 ''A s /J M p ^-^ss
IHHH i i taft M \P IPE P ^ **i 'i Â§ ~~~-
4 jlj&s3&-Xj3 -L^mro4~^ ^ 11^^
rui V *~
JL c%^ ?e* =
r.-*v III rrM A-P
'Bui K 0^h^j\Y\O..C
%2. t t-i^*n. 1. DioiB'Cr
15UL B 5t Aw D, f. o ft; )V- '> 15/\ ce
12>-4 "BO'S. DKWF-I^r
\'i,A, '2. x 5iirc A^VV M'**
C^A. n^vj l <,
PROJECT DESCRIPTION ALTERNATIVES AND CONCLUSION
SECTION I NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS, AND UTILITIES
SECTION II ECONOMICS, ZONING AND LAND USE
SECTION III TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERATIONS
SECTION IV NOISE CONSIDERATIONS
SECTION V AIR POLLUTION CONSIDERATIONS
SECTION VI SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
The project, Highland Place is proposed to be a multi-use residential and commercial development encompassing 79,000 leasable square feet of office/commercial space, and 200 residential dwelling units. The site is located in the City of Denver, just outside the Central Business District and is bounded by Boulder, Central, Umatilla and Sixteenth Streets as shown on the site plan. It is directly east of the extremely heavily travelled Interstate 25.
The site presently has existing turn of the century two and three story structures which have been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places which are proposed for office/commercial use. Architecture and Engineering consultants have analyzed from an architectural, structural and mechanical standpoint, the viability of rehabilitating these buildings and conclude that they would indeed become landmark properties financially well suited to development and rehabilitation. The remainder of the site, approximately 120,000 square feet, has been reserved for the 200 dwelling units which would include one and two bedroom rental apartments initially and later be converted to condominiums. There is existing low density housing, some of which is in a deteriorating nature, some of which is in extremely good condition, on the site.
The complex is planned to provide amenities including swimming pools, lounge areas, health club, racket sports and clubhouse facilities.
Landscape promenades and underground parking will be provided.
One must assume that people will continue to move into the Denver metro area and it is just a matter of where they will live, work and shop, and not jf they will live, work and shop in the area.
The conclusion of this environmental impact statement is based on that assumption. With automobile travel concern being of paramount importance, and the need for in-town office space, the developer feels there is sufficient rationale to establish this development which could avail itself of close-in job situations and independence from commuter travel requirements.
050 25 50 r
ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT
1. The one major alternative to this development is to do nothing to the site, to the housing, and to the commercial buildings. Let the area stay in a rundown condition that is providing jobs for a few business that could not afford to locate elsewhere, leaving the existing 20 or so housing>units for families that could not afford to relocate. This, of course, is not really
an alternative, as the area is blighted, thereby providing little excess income for the owners and prohibiting needed repairs. Left in its current conditions, the area can only become more of an eyesore and bring the rest of the neighborhood down with it, eventually reaching the stage of abandonment.
2. Only a portion of the area could be redeveloped, leaving the rest as is. For example, the commercial buildings could be redeveloped. However, this presents exactly the same problems as alternative 1 above. It fails to consider the area as a whole, which leaves the same situation. Another variation of this would be a redevelopment at a lower density than the proposed development, which fails to look at the problems of the Denver region as a whole.
3. It appears that the most feasible alternative to the proposed project would be one that responds to specifically identified problem areas, such as the climate, noise, and air quality, social needs, businesses, and the needs
of people already in the project area. Such an alternative must further respond to the needs of the Denver region by providing a variety of units, both living and commercial, that would allow a diversity of people to live and work in the area of the project.
The impact of this project on the area is considerably less than the impact of the area on the project. However, lack of this development would result in a long-term impact on the Denver region. People are going to continue to
migrate to the region, creating a need for places to live, to work, to play. Do we continue to provide for them as we have for the past 30 years, with a continuation of the sickening effects on our environment? Or do we look for alternatives that will lessen the impact of these people? It would be a great loss to the Denver region if this chance to make a positive step in terms of providing for needs is missed. This project, even with all its failings, is a positive step toward solution of our problems. One can only hope that it is part of an ever-increasing wave of such positive steps.
The impact of this project on the area is considerably less than the impact of the area on the project. However, lack of this development would result in a long-term impact on the Denver region. People are going to continue to migrate to the region, creating a need for places to live, to work, to play. We believe every effort should be made to revitalize the Urban area including encouraging a large portion of newcomers and suburbanites to live in the Urban core. The benefits are not only renewed life to the city, but great energy savings, and economic benefits to the city. These benefits result in the well being of the new residents and the old residents.
We feel that any opportunity to take care of residents who might be displaced by new development should be considered. It is also our opinion that housing for low income families, as well as for middle income families, should be provided on the site.
We see the tax savings, due to the Tax Reform Act of 1976 and the Revenue Act of 1978, as a viable source of monies with which to accomplish these two goals. We suggest, then, that 10% of the units (20 units) can justifiably be designated by the developers as being specifically for low income residents. They should be similar to,but cost the resident less,than the other units. The residents now on the site should have priority over others in obtaining these units.
We favor alternative 3 as the proper method for developing this site.
The present development plan for PUD housing and mixed-use Commercial is decidedly in the right spirit. However, more attention to specifically identified problem areas,and consideration for present and low income residents is needed.
It would, in fact, be a great loss to the Denver region if this chance to make a positive step in terms of providing for needs is missed. This project, even with its failings, is a positive step toward solution of our problems. One can only hope that it is part of an ever-increasing wave of such positive moves.
PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
With the Assistance of
On Matters Relating to
NATURAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
The Physical Setting
The project is located just west of the core of the Denver metropolitan region, a one-block area between 15th and 16th streets, east of Boulder Street and adjacent to Interstate 25. It is slightly upslope from the South Platte river.
The City of Denver lies along the eastern edge of the foothills of the Front Range of the Rockies, at a latitude of approximately 40 North. The mean elevation is 5280 feet, with mountains rising to the Continental Divide (12,000-14,000') 20+ air miles west of the city. The mountains, alluvium-capped mesas, and rolling alluvial plains provide the massive geological features surrounding the city, which is built primarily on the plains, with the South Platte river flowing through the city. A series of fault lines, all inactive in recent centuries, lie along the western edge of the region.
The scenic mountain backdrop and the South Platte river valley work together to the basically arid, evenly pleasant climate for which the Denver region is noted. They also help to increase the air pollution problems of the city. The mountains act as a shelter to the urbanized area, creating a rainshadow over the eastward plains. This rainshadow effect minimizes precipitation, keeping the humidity low enough to make even temperature extremes tolerable to the human senses. This dry air is collected in the South Platte basin, flowing downhill like water because of its natural weight. In the collection area of the South Platte basin, the air is relatively still and free from winds, which are blocked by the mountains to the west and the mesas surrounding the area, a feature that adds to the enjoyable temperature sense, but which adds to air pollution. Lack of precipitation and lack of air movement rob the atmosphere of its natural cleansing mechanisms. These combine with the naturally high altitude of the area to create severe air pollution problems.
The climate is basically arid, with an average year seeing about 14 inches of moisture, approximately 1/3 to 1/2 in the form of snow, which may fall any time from September through May, but'which rarely stays on the ground for more than a few days. Temperatures are moderate, rarely reaching 0F in the winter and occasionally going into the 90F range in the summer. The winter highs may be in the 50-60F range, with occasional days even going into the 70s, while summer lows occasionally dip into the 40s. Sunshine predominates, accompanying rather dry, high-pressure air masses that stall over the mountains. Convection-caused afternoon thundershowers are common during the summer months.
The winds usually are under 10 m.'pjhl, ranging from northwest to southwest. However, high winds do occur, most often in the winter months.
These are from the west, with gusts in excess of 75 m.p. h. in the western foothills. The terrain west of the area, combined with regional meteorological factors, causes the high-altitude west winds to drop in altitude, producing these gusts. Locally high winds also accompany the summer thundershowers, with the winds coming from any direction. There is relatively little damage from such high winds, as the area's building codes take high-wind factors into account.
Project's Climate Response |
In this region, with the almost-always-shining warm sun, places and rooms that are provided with sunshine and protection from the wind in the winter months, and that are accessible to slight breezes and shade during the summer, can be used year-round. Where these simple factors are not taken into account, there is a loss to the human spirit, a loss to pleasure and enjoyment of a naturally temperate climate.
By making use of the existing commercial buildings (a very commendable act), there is some limitation of ability to adapt to the regional climate in this project. However, there is no reason why design for climactic factors cannot be used in the residentail part of the project, as it is all new construction. The architect is trying to respond to some of these factors with the south-facing decks in the standard stepped unit that he designed. However, there was no change in the unit when it was faced another direction, negating the usefulness of this nice gesture. Also, there seems to be a lack of summer shading, with the central court seeming to receive sun at all the wrong times.
It appears that this project would better serve the needs of the users and the Denver region if it were to respond better to the local climatic conditions, such as making better use of the sun in the winter and providing shade in the summer. These changes would contribute to providing heat in the winter and cooling in the summer, as well as providing useable outside space. The existing commercial structures could be adapted to active solar heating without destroying their appearance. Better response to the climate in this project could lessen the long-term impact on the region that is likely through the increase in population that can be facilitated by such a project. Any architectural response that reduces dependence on limited fuel supplies tends to contribute to improvement of the air quality in the region.
The natural vegetation of the Denver metro area was quite different from the lush grasses, trees, and flowering gardens seen today. As the first settlers ventured into the area, they found a semi-arid steppe (a natural short-grass land). The perennial grasses were sparse and interspersed with
scattered sage and cacti, blending into an occasional ponderosa pine toward the mountains. The only break from this was the cottonwood, boxelder, and willow trees clustering along the stream banks. This vegetation reflected the existing climactic and edaphic conditions.
Intermitent droughts and unpredictable rainfall did not provide enough moisture to support the verdant growth that the settlers had been used to in the east. The new residents developed irrigation methods and started the change in vegetation toward what we see today. There is a feeling that the areas would best have been left as it was, but one cannot deny the aesthetic appeal of the new trees, grasses, and flowers. Few are anxious to reduce the number of trees, no matter how strong their environmental concerns.
The trees contribute much more than their significant aesthetic appeal many species are known to be resistant to the effects of air pollution and in fact absorb pollutants as well as serving as sound and wind screens.
In addition to the shade they provide, trees also cool the air around them, making them a welcome addition in the heat of summer, but in the winter deciduous trees allow the sun and heat to penetrate, thus buffering the climate in just the right way. Trees also are useful to reduce reflection and glare, to screen unavoidable unslightly land uses, and certainly have a time-honored use as playgrounds for children as well as attracting birds and squirrels to entertain human intruders. In general, then, trees are a positive contribution to our cities' environmental quality.
Major vegetation on the site consists of assorted shrubs, elms, honey locust, birch, cottonwoods, hackberry, pinon pine, maple, sumac, and flowers, grasses, and weeds. Animal life on the site, aside from people, dogs, and cats, consists of squirrels and other rodents and typical Denver area birds, such as the English sparrow, the house finch, and the starling. Apt observation would probably increase the listing of species present.
There is nothing unusual about the vegetation on the site. Human activities have already modified the ecosystems and further development will result in further changes.
The proposed plan does not show that any of the landscaping is to be retained the site, therefore one must assume that, should the development be implemented as proposed, all plant materials will be removed.
Althere there are no exotic flora or fauna, many trees should be saved as shown on the Vegetation Overlay. In most cases, the proposed development need not change to accommodate this recommendation. The street trees shown on the Vegetation Overlay are healthv, mature trees. Some of these trees are as much as 70 years old and are virtually irreplaceable. Preservation and use of the trees on the site as shown on the overlay are desirable from an aesthetic standpoint and will result in significant economic benefits.
In general, any healthy plant, such as sumacs, should be retained where possible. The conservation area shown on the overlay is one area where preservation of existing fauna is especially important. The specimen plant materials, as well as the existing structures, should be retained. This area could fit in well with the remainder of the proposed development.
Although the proposed plan shows street trees to be planted along 15th Street, there is very little space for this type of planting. To protect against root damage, it is recommended that every effort be made to keep vehicles and excavation from modifying the soil around the trees. Where vehicle travel is probable, it is recommended that materials such as boards be spread to distribute the weight of vehicles, thus minimizing soil compaction.
Information in this section was gathered on several site inspections and from the Department of the Interior's reports and maps of the area. It should be noted that this is a general summary of the site conditions and does not replace the required soil report from a competent soils engineer, as required for foundation design.
The overburden soils are Colluvium (Holocene to Pleistocene in age).
These soils are dark gray, brown to light brown sandy silt and clay, and usually are 5 to 10 fefet thick.
The base formations are .the Denver (Paleocene and Upper Cretaceous in age) and the Arapahoe (Upper Cretaceous in age). This is a brown, yellow-brown, gray, and blue gray interbedded sandstone, clavstone, siltstone, shale, and conglomerate. Cross-bedding and lenticular cells are common throughout the formations. The shale and clays tone components of these formations generally swell markedly when wetted. These formation were visible in the road cut for 1-25 to the southeast of the site. This is a thick formation, with a 781-foot thickness measured in a well in nearby Westminster.
Engineering Properties of the Soils
In the overburden soil, Colluvium, permeability is variable, tending to be low. Compaction and excavation are moderately easy with power equipment. Foundation stability is fair to poor. Earthquake stability ranges from poor to fair. Cut slopes may stand vertically when dry, but tend to collapse or flow when wet. Resistance to erosion by water is poor on bare slopes but is fair to good where vegetation cover is heavy.
The base formations, the Denver and Arapahoe, range even more greatly in permeabilityfrom moderately high to very low. Excavation and compaction with power equipment are moderately difficult. Foundation stability generally is good in the sandstones and shale-siltstones, but the shale-claystones require engineered foundations using concrete piers or othermethods where these materials are of the swelling type. Earthquake stability is good to very good. Slope stability is good to excellent, with the shales, claystones, and siltstones weathering to a 1:1 or 2: 1 slope.
The existing buildings were investigated to determine if there were any indications of unstable soil conditions. Even though some of the buildings date from the turn of the century, there was no evidence of unstable soil conditions.
The site has a moderate slope to the southeast, with a total drop of 28 feet. The only slope in the area that could cause problems is across Central Street. It is a 1:1 sloped road cut for 1-25. This appears to be stable and even if it were to fail, there would be no damage to this site, only some inconvenience because of damage to Central Street.
Recoverable Minerals and Gravels
There is no indication of recoverable minerals and gravels in the formations underlying the site of this project.
A check with the Health Department indicates they have no records of use of this area as a dump for radioactive materials; however it is recommended that the area be checked by a qualified testing laboratory before any
conclusion is drawn.
This project is not in any drainage way, flood plain, or other area of possible flooding, and is not subject to damage by flooding. It also is away from any fast-flowing flood ways. There is no possibility of damage by flooding. However, there should be normal flood retention ponds on the site to restrict its storm runoff flow to a pre-development state and thus to help keep downstream properties from flooding.
Summary of Geological Considerations
After reviewing the geological reports and performing site inspections (looking at the general conditions, the soundness of existing buildings, the slopes, etc.), there appears to be no reason why this area should not easily support the proposed project, with proper attention to the recommendations of a soils engineer.
Public Service Company was contacted to determine how this project proposal would effect the energy supplies in the area. They seemed to indicate that there would be no long-term problems. The existing lines could easily cary the increased load. However, due to their system of gass allotment, there could be a one to two-year wait before any increase in gas consumption would be allowed.
This project, as designed, will increase the load on the limited energy supplies in the area. However, this is mitigated "by two factors: (1) people are going to live somewhere and use energy, making it merely a question of where the energy is going to be used, not whether it is going to be used; and (2) given the state of the art of solar and energy-conserving designs, this project could be constructed in such a way that it would provide a great increase in density without a corresponding increase in energy demand.
It would be a great long-term loss to our energy supplies if this chance to increase the efficiency of energy use in the Denver area is missed.
Water and Sewer Services
The Denver Waste Water Department was contacted to determine the capacity of the area sewer lines and of the sewage treatment plant in relation to this project. (See the site map for location of the existing sewer lines in this area.'
The local sewer line from the site to the trunk line will be at less than 10 percent of capacity with this project completed. Just downstream from this site the trunk line splits into two lines, which go to different seweage treatment plants. There is excess capacity in the sewage treatment plants and in the trunk line to handle this project.
However, the State of Colorado is trying to change the status of the South Platte river to that of Warm Water Fisheries. If this comes about, the
sewage treatment plants that are servicing the area of this project will not be up to standard, and therefore will have to be modified. There could be a moritorium on new developments until the plants are brought up to standard.
This does not seem to be a great problem as far as the sewer service to the site of this project except that there could be s short delay in the schedule of the project is the South Platte status were to be changed.
The Denver Water Board was contacted to determine the impact of this project. There are existing water mains adjacent the site. The flow and pressure in thise mains is sufficient to serve both the daily demand and the required fire flow. The .availability of water is also: sufficient. The Water Board's position is that all projects that are in the city will be served before ones that are outside the city. This project will put an increased demand on the already short water supplies along the Front Range, but much less water will be used by this type of project than would be used by the normal single-family development that normally would serve people who are migrating to this area. Water conservations devices designed into this project would serve to enhance this positive effect.
Summary of Services
All necessary services for this project already exist and are of sufficient capacity for the project. They are paid for. The project does not require expenditure of city funds to extend services to a new site, a positive factor in these days of limited funds. (See Financial Impact.) In addition, the city benefits from an increased tax base.
Avg. Max. Min.
Station Elevation ft. m.s.l. Pd. of Record (yra. ) Annual Preclp. (In.) Annual Preclp. Ti^r Annual Preclp. (in.)
High Plains 5221 97 13.69 22.96 6.27
Foothills 5*95 70 17.35 25.95 7.52
6000 30 16.83 2U. 36 7.8*4
Front Range 7300 27 17.06 25.59 9.59
Mountain Valley 7555 77 15.62 2*4.79 5.82
Pd. of Avg. Annual Pd. of Avg. Annual
Record Snowfall Record Temp.
(yrs.) (in".)"" (yrs.) (F.)
87 55 97 51
67 70 55 52
60 77 61 *43
"HIGHLAND PLACE" Impact on Economic Environment
Sheila Metcalf EIS
Three components of economic impact on the study area within the Highlands neighborhood are analyzed for both the existing and the proposed development and then compared when a comparison seems relevant. The three areas are: Employment, Revenues to the City, and Governmental Expenditures.
In developing this study of the potential economic impact of Highland Place Development, a number of assumptions were necessary. The data on which the analysis was based was gathered from various city and county offices, business research studies and reports and from the two brochures published by the developers. Following are some data base figures and assumptions:
EXISTING CONDITIONS S ASSUMPTIONS*
Present land uses include:
16 families living in 4 duplexes and 8 single family dwellings. The 2545-59 15th street building ground level shops are:
A kite shop Triple Agency Coffee Shop Book Store Theater Mexican 'foods
The 2535 15th Street building is vacant.
The 2501 15th Street building has:
Creative rentals downstairs Casket storage up
The 15th and Umatallia building includes:
Artistic Glass _ ^ _ - down
Room rental up
Corner of Boulder and 16th
B-3 40' height limit, bulk plane 1:1, 5' front setback B-4 no bulk plane restriction, no setback, FAR = 2:1 R 3 10' front setback, bulk plane 2:1, FAR = 3:1 see zoning map
Assume approximately 2 employees per business
Assume residents earn $9,714 a year (an average of census figures for the area).
Assume no office or commercial space in the upper stories of buildings is being used except 2501 15th St.
Present and future resident population calculated at 2.27 people per family and 0.53 children per family. (From Denver Planning Office and Office of Policy Analysis).
* For important numerical data, see the Land Use Conditions (existing and projected) chart on page 10.