New Apartment Complex in Denver's River North Art District Could See Construction Launch Next Year
Plans are underway for the construction of a new apartment complex in the always-popular River North Art District of Denver.
The project, as proposed by the multifamily development company Carmel Partners of San Francisco, will go up on a 2.4-acre site encompassing two city blocks.
Carmel recently purchased the property from several parties for a total of $27.5 million.
As proposed, a portion of the complex will rise to 12 stories in height with other parts of the complex topping out at 7 stories.
The new development is also expected to house commercial space.
The northeast edge of the site is at the corner of 34th Street and Walnut Street, while the southwest edge is bordered by the corner of 33rd Street and Blake Street.
The area is currently populated with a number of older warehouses, all of which will be demolished to make way for the apartment complex.
While plans for the project are in the early stages and have not yet been submitted to the City of Denver, it is thought that if all goes well actual construction could begin sometime in the spring of 2022.
One of the oldest sections of Denver, the River North Art District, otherwise known as RiNo, is not only the home to any number of art galleries and brew pubs, but has seen a good deal of new apartment construction in the last decade.
One-bedroom units in new structures or repurposed warehouse buildings in the district typically go for around $2,000 a month.
By Garry Boulard
University of New Mexico to See Construction of Long-Planned Athletic Training Center
Work may begin later this year on the building of a $4.3 million training center for student athletes on the University of New Mexico’s main Albuquerque campus.
Plans for what is being called the New Mexico Mutual Champions Training Center have now won the approval of the school’s Board of Regents. Those plans detail the construction of a two-story structure measuring just over 11,300 square feet and housing weight room, exercise and training space.
The new structure will go up on the south campus adjacent to the Tow Diehm Athletic Facility, and just to the east of University Boulevard SE.
As planned, the facility will provide a training destination for the university’s Olympic sports endeavors which include any number of cross-country, track and field, men’s baseball and men and women’s tennis and golf teams.
The new training center, designed by the Albuquerque-based McClain + Yu architectural firm, will additionally be designed to allow for the possible future construction of a 3,600 square foot roof deck.
According to UNM documents, the facility will also house two offices, two universal restrooms, an equipment storage room, and mechanical, electrical and internet rooms.
Funding for the project is coming from a variety of sources, including capital outlay appropriations and private donations.
By Garry Boulard
As members of the U.S. House are reviewing President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure, a new report has been issued evaluating the jobs potential of the legislation.
According to the New York-based financial analysis firm S&P Global, the legislation, if passed, could spur the creation of nearly 884,000 new jobs within the next decade.
Those jobs, according to the analysis, would primarily be in the construction and engineering industries.
The analysis, How U.S. Infrastructure Investment Would Boost Jobs, Productivity and the Economy, also indicates that the legislation, officially called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, would increase per capita personal incomes by around 10.5%.
“This will likely help offset the impact of Covid-19 on the jobs market,” the analysis contends, “providing a lifeline to the millions of unemployed workers, including many long-term unemployed, who were displaced by it.”
Updating earlier projections made by the firm on the infrastructure bill, the S&P Global analysis now contends that “in real dollar terms,” the legislation will “create more in economic activity than it would in cost. In particular, we estimate that a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure would add $1.4 trillion to the economy over an eight-year period.”
As approved in the Senate, the infrastructure bill includes $110 billion for new road construction and existing road upgrades; $73 billion for power infrastructure; $66 billion for freight and passenger rail projects; and $65 billion for the building of new broadband access.
The legislation is expected to be finally voted on in the House during the last week of September.
By Garry Boulard
Demolition of Historic Colorado Coal Plant to Pave Way for New Gas Generation Facility
A process is now underway in Colorado Springs designed to see the eventual demolition of a long-standing coal-powered plant and subsequent building of a natural gas-fired replacement.
The nearly 100-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant, operated by the Colorado Springs Utilities company and the primary source of energy for the city, is expected to be officially retired by the end of 2022.
Just days ago the facility received its last coal train delivery.
Last summer the board of Colorado Springs Utilities voted in favor of closing down the facility, one of the last such coal plants in the country operating in a metro area.
In announcing that vote, Jill Gaebler, chairwoman of the board, said the decision was made “for the future of our utility and this city.”
According to reports, the end of Drake’s coal generation is expected to significantly bolster Colorado Springs Utilities’ goal of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by the end of the decade.
The demolition of the old plant is expected to begin this fall, with the company planning to spend upwards of $100 million building half a dozen new natural gas generators that will go up on the same site.
Colorado Springs Utilities’ modernization plans also include the construction of a roughly 6-mile transmission line from the site of the Drake plant to the Kelker substation, which itself will be undergoing a restructuring beginning next fall.
By Garry Boulard
Federal Aviation Administration Announces Funding for Southwest Airport Projects
More than $50.5 million in federal funding has been approved for seven airport upgrade projects in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.
The funding is part of a significantly larger $766 million in grants just approved by the Federal Aviation Administration through the agency’s Airport Improvement Program.
Altogether, the FAA is providing new funding for projects at nearly 300 airports in 44 states.
The grants, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement, “will improve safety, sustainability, and accessibility at airports across our country.”
The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona is receiving just under $12 million for the construction of a long-planned tower, which will be some 65 feet taller than the facility’s existing tower, built in 1970.
In Colorado, the always-busy Denver International Airport is in line to receive $10.9 million for the construction of a new taxiway; while the Montrose Regional Airport is getting $11.9 million for the ongoing expansion and general upgrading of its current terminal building.
The Montrose airport’s terminal expansion has been in the planning stages for roughly a decade and is partly based on studies commissioned by the airport forecasting a significant rise in peak-hour passenger traffic.
In New Mexico, the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington is receiving just over $8 million for the rehabilitation of an existing runway; while the Gallup Municipal Airport has been awarded $5.2 million to reconstruct a taxiway.
Just over $114,000 is going to the Taos Regional Airport for the reconstruction of a runway; with the Tucumcari Municipal Airport getting $521,000 in funding for a runway rehabilitation project.
By Garry Boulard
Exactly 1,042 acres on the northeast side of El Paso could be rezoned for future manufacturing plant development.
The City of El Paso, which owns the land in question, has asked the City Plan Commission to rezone the land, which is currently designated as R-F, meaning Ranch and Farm, to M-2, which would allow for the building of manufacturing and processing facilities.
Located at 7000 Stan Roberts Drive just to the east of U.S. Route 54, the land is also near the Texas/New Mexico state line.
City documents indicate that before any building permits would be issued for the site, which is currently vacant, a masonry wall some 3 feet in height “shall be constructed and maintained along the property line abutting the Stan Roberts right of way.”
Plans also call for the creation of an irrigated landscape buffer, again, prior to the issuance of building permits, with two rows, spaced 15 feet apart, of native or naturalized trees.
Those same documents say that “any manufacturing, processing or storage uses” at the site, “shall maintain a one-hundred-foot setback from the property line.”
If approved for manufacturing purposes, the site would also see the building of multiple driveways connecting it with Stan Roberts Drive.
The entire acreage, because it is both surrounded by properties that are vacant, but also has direct access to a rail line, “is considered suitable for heavy manufacturing development.”
The rezoning request has met with opposition from at least one developer who maintains that a proposed housing project called Vista del Norte lies within 300 feet of the site’s boundary, rendering any manufacturing on the property incompatible with the surrounding land use.
The Plan Commission is expected to take up the rezoning of the property in a future meeting, most likely next month.
By Garry Boulard
Plans continue to advance for the construction of a new middle school in Windsor, Colorado.
The school, which will be a part of the growing Weld RE-4 School District, will go up on some 140 acres off Weld County Road 15, just to the north of the Windshire Park neighborhood.
District officials had previously contemplated upgrading the existing more than century-old Windsor Middle School, which is located at 900 Main Street. That upgrade carried an estimated price tag of $61 million.
While the cost to build a new middle school is higher at $63 million, it is thought to be a better deal economically because it will go up on a 140-acre site with more room for future expansion.
The existing Windsor Middle School was opened in 1919 and underwent facility expansions in the 1950s, 60s, and mid-1980s.
Funding to build the new school will come out of a $179 million bond package that will most likely be presented to Weld RE-4 School District voters in November.
Based in the city of Windsor, the school district comprises 10 schools and has a current total enrollment of more than 5,700 students.
By Garry Boulard
Overall construction starts were up by just under 20% in July compared with last year at the same time, indicating a strong builder response to the early summer lessening of the pandemic.
According to the Cincinnati-based data firm Construct Connect, the year-to-date numbers, looking at January to July of this year, were up by just over 6%, from the same six-month period in 2020.
Those starts, notes the survey, make up the “total estimated dollar value and square footage of all projects on which ground is broken in any given month.”
The survey also shows residential starts accelerating with a historic 26% increase between July of last year and this past July. In this segment, single-family starts were up by 36%.
Also on the increase: road and highway starts, posting a 4.5% gain, and water and sewage project starts, with an 11% increase. Power project starts showed a 7.6% increase.
Other segments indicated a more bearish scenario, with non-residential starts off by 11%. In this category, commercial starts had the steepest decline, with an 14% decline over last July; and institutional starts were down by 12%.
Industrial and manufacturing starts, meanwhile, were only marginally in decline from last summer, posting a 1.3% decrease.
The Construct Connect survey also documents what it calls a “lukewarm construction jobs creation,” noting that new construction jobs in July were up, but only by 11,000 over July 2020.
The year-to-year percentage, continues the survey, shows an increase in all construction employment of 3.1%. That number, says the survey, “trails the economy-wide ‘all jobs’ climb of 5.2.%.”
By Garry Boulard
Bidding in a public auction may determine the possible future commercial use of nearly 19 acres of land on the north side of Rio Rancho.
The New Mexico State Land office has announced that it is seeking public comments on whether it should sell at auction the property, located at the northwest corner of Paseo del Volcan and Westphalia Road, for retail development purposes.
The land in question in question is currently zoned C-1 (Commercial) by the City of Rio Rancho, which allows for, among other things, the construction of a shopping center.
According to the Land Office, whoever eventually buys the site would be “expected to facilitate commercial use of the land that until now has not existed in the near vicinity.”
If the Land Office determines to sell the land, it would be put up for a formal public auction, with any proceeds going to a fund for the state’s elementary schools.
The land in question is situated to the south of the V. Sue Cleveland High School, located at 4800 Cleveland Heights NE, and is currently vacant.
The land is additionally near the Cleveland Heights subdivision, a neighborhood of nearly 220 residences, where homes are generally priced in the $325,000 to $400,000 range.
City officials have earlier said that they expect Cleveland Heights to eventually see the construction of more than 2,000 homes.
Comments on the possible auctioning of the land at Paseo del Volcan and Wesphalia will be accepted by the New Mexico State Land Office until September 17.
By Garry Boulard
Preliminary Design for Very Large and Unique Fort Collins Residential Project Submitted to City
A massive project that will see the building of roughly 4,000 homes on the northeast side of Fort Collins is undergoing review by city officials.
What is being called Montava, to be built out in phases, has been defined as a “complete, connected community” that will include a town center, library, community park, trails, and working farm.
Altogether, the project will comprise more than 1,000 acres and will include at least 600 residential units designated as affordable housing, as well as up to 750,000 square feet of commercial development.
The project belongs to the HF2M real estate and development company based in Austin.
Long in the talking and planning stage, it is thought that it may take several decades to completely build out the project, which will be located to the west of an Anheuser-Busch plant in what is known as Fort Collins’ Mountain Vista area.
Regarded as the largest such residential development in the history of metro Fort Collins, the project will be visually singular with cobblestone streets and a number of different housing designs.
One design will see homes built to resemble the 17th century mews homes, which entailed residential spaces built above horse stables.
If all goes well with the city review, Montava could see first-phase work beginning next spring.
By Garry Boulard
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