Denver–After months of collaboration, national affordable housing developer Mercy Housing, the City of Denver, Colo., and KTGY, Mercy Housing have set the groundbreaking date for the Bluff Lake Apartment Homes, a new, eco-friendly residential community for families earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of the area median income.
Designed by KTGY, Mercy Housing’s Bluff Lake Apartment Homes will offer 92 apartment units ranging in size from 402 square feet to 1,261 square feet. The apartments include 36 one-, 46 two- and 10 three-bedroom homes. Fifty percent of the apartments will be dedicated to assisting families in transition as part of the Denver’s Road Home initiative to end homelessness. Rent is expected to range from $400 to $950 per month, based on family size and income level.
Located on 2.33 acres, northeast of the planned Eastbridge Town Center in Forest City’s master-planned community of Stapleton at the intersection of E. 31st Avenue Street and Hanover Street, the $11.5 million, four-story apartment community will feature a spacious community room for larger resident meetings and after-school programming and daycare services, a computer lab, a fully-equipped kitchen, smaller group meeting spaces, landscaped courtyard areas, a 3,000-square-foot playground, and convenient laundry facilities. An additional 3,000-square-foot building will be used for community functions for the surrounding neighborhood.
Convenient to employment, public transportation, shopping, services, parks and recreation, Bluff Lake Apartment Homes is approximately 10 minutes from downtown Denver. There is also a new light rail line planned along the I-70 corridor. Within walking distance from the site is a new community center, the Sandcreek Regional Greenway, and Bluff Lake with its system of walking trails.
“Recognizing that shelter alone is not sufficient for residents’ success and well-being, Mercy Housing offers Resident Services programs at our properties,” says Christopher Auxier, Mercy Housing Colorado regional vice president of development. “Mercy Housing is committed to developing affordable, program-enriched housing for low-income families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities. Every property is built with an unwavering commitment to quality and value.”
According to KTGY’s Principal Michael Ohara, AIA, Bluff Lake Apartment Homes’ design is modern contemporary and the location’s urban context provides easy access to the greater Stapleton community with the single-family neighborhood to the west. The apartment community’s surface parking on the east side of the site provides a buffer from a busy north/south arterial street.
“We wanted the apartment community to fit in to the greater context of Stapleton,” says Ohara. “The massing and the use of environmentally friendly materials has been well received by the Stapleton community, and we look forward to helping provide this much needed resource in one of the regions’ premier master-planned neighborhoods.”
Bluff Lake Apartment Homes’ attractive, sustainable design, cohesive layout and high quality residential living encourage healthy living and a sense of community among the residents. “The placement of shared spaces such as the community center, lobby, and courtyard elevate the importance of onsite resident services and social interaction and increase resident satisfaction,” says Ohara.
Some of the eco-friendly design features include ENERGY STAR rated appliances and energy-efficient lighting; water-saving fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms; dual flush toilets; tankless water heaters; the use of low-VOC paints, adhesives and finishes, and low dust stucco; building materials that contain recycled content and do not emit harmful chemicals; and low water landscaping. A high percentage of the construction waste will be recycled.
Bluff Lake Apartment Homes was recently awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.