East Cheesman Neighbors


Rocky Mountain News, Daniel J. Chacón

High-rise plan would include either 7-story or 16-story building

East Cheesman Park residents peppered a developer with questions Wednesday night over his plan to build a high-density high-rise in their neighborhood.

After a two-hour meeting, neighbors expressed gratitude for being invited to offer their opinions.

"We are extremely pleased that you folks have engaged us this early in the process," said Steve Lang, a member of the East Cheesman Neighbors Association.

Trammell Crow Residential, a multifamily real estate developer, plans to scrap four existing buildings on the southwest corner of East 11th Avenue and Gaylord Street.

The 35,000-square-foot property is just north of the Botanic Gardens and next door to another high-rise, the Manchester Apartments.

Scott McFadden, the company's senior managing director, and Denver architect Christopher Shears presented two proposals to the nearly 24 people at the meeting.

The first, allowed under current zoning, calls for a single, massive 7- to 7 1/2-story building along East 11th.

"Given the zoning on the property, it does have use-by-right," McFadden said.

The second proposal, which would require the Denver City Council to transfer ownership of an alley in the middle in the property to the developer, would shift the density away from East 11th, which is lined with single-family homes. If the alley is vacated, the developer would build 11 or 12 townhomes along East 11th and Gaylord and a tower up to 16 stories high adjacent to the Botanic Gardens property.

Either project would generate between 60 and 70 units, but McFadden and Shears said the second proposal is better because the density is moved away from existing homes.

"Any good developer wants to be a good neighbor," Shears said.

Councilwoman Jeanne Robb, whose district includes Cheesman Park, said the neighborhood has a historic identity that residents want to maintain.

"I think what you're hearing from (the neighbors) is that (the project) has to fit in," she said.

The developer is under contract to buy the property, which neighbors said is listed at $10 million.

McFadden and Shears said they plan to hold a series of stakeholders meetings to solicit additional comments from neighbors.

"You learn from neighbors and they often give you very good ideas and help direct the process," Shears said after the meeting. "Generally, it's very important to sincerely listen because it is their neighborhood. This is where they live everyday. They should be interested. They should be concerned, and it's our obligation to work with them."

McFadden said a site plan could be submitted to the city for approval next year. He said construction could begin in mid-2007 and that it would take between 12 and 18 months to complete the project.
chacond@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-892-5099 Copyright 2005, Rocky Mountain News.
All Rights Reserved.

Posted by eacn on 01/09/2008
Last updated by dbachner on 09/26/2009
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