After plans fell flat with a trio of previous master developers – Fuqua Development most recently and Sembler Company and Shea Properties before that – Lionstone Group, the company now involved with redevelopment of the old Gates Rubber Company property east of Broadway, looked like they would step in and take over the show.
Last month, the University of Colorado completed sale of a meager 6.74 acre parcel (the full redevelopment site is in the 28-acre range) to Lionstone Group for a cool $9.215 million. Jacque Montgomery, CU spokeswoman, explained, “We will now be reaching out to talk to the developers who have contacted us about an interest in the remainder of the campus.”
Lionstone’s Doug McKinnon said that his group is under contract with Alliance Residential to build a 325-unit apartment complex – Broadstone at Ninth – on their parcel. “More accurately, the parcel we purchased is at 8th Ave. and Clermont St. We’re about to commence demolition of the existing structures on the property,” said McKinnon. “Realistically, we’ll commence new construction in the first quarter of 2014, with first tenants moving in the spring of 2015.”
McKinnon said Lionstone maintains interest in a further presence on the site. “We continue to have dialogues with CU,” he stated. “But it’s a challenging piece of property. There are nuances. We felt like we had a clear path to a straightforward project on the parcel we just purchased and we took it.”
District 10 City Councilwoman Jeanne Robb told The Profile, “I think we’re in a sweet spot in the economy right now, where there’s lots of interest (in the redevelopment) and that’s good. But CU is not interested in patchwork for many reasons. It’s so much more difficult to get the needed infrastructure done, etc. I think the idea is still to find one developer for the rest of the site.”
The current plan is for Lionstone’s development of their residential project to be stage one, “and everything else on the site to be stage two,” said Robb. “We provide a built-in customer base for whatever comes in the commercial phase, and we start taking in tax money right away.”