Multifamily property developer Wood Partners has broken ground on Alta City House, a five-story, 281-unit luxury apartment community in the heart of the bustling Union Station neighborhood, one of the most ambitious and closely watched urban redevelopment projects in the nation.
Wood Partners and East West Partners, developer of Riverfront Park and the Union Station district, obtained financing for the $62-million project from USAA Real Estate Co. Alta City House will be located at 1801 Chestnut St., just west of the historic train station at 17th and Wynkoop streets. Union Station, which opened in 1881, is the centerpiece of a 12-block redevelopment initiative, anchoring an ultramodern transit hub, surrounded by public plazas and gardens, restaurants and residential and retail space.
“Alta City House is going up in one of the most exciting urban living-working-entertainment centers in the country,” said Tim McEntee, Wood Partners director. “With over six modes of transportation – from light rail to bike paths – and access to three pro sports venues, 1,200 restaurants and bars, and one of the largest arts complexes in the nation, Alta City House could hardly be better positioned.”
Alta City House will occupy a full block between 18th and 19th streets and Chestnut. The apartment community will be at the base of the Millennium pedestrian bridge on 18th Street, within 100 ft of the new regional light rail station and just blocks from the train to Denver International Airport, projected for completion in 2016.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is nearby, and residents of Alta City House also can walk or bike to the Platte River Greenway, a network of more than 120 miles of bike trails. The five-story apartment building, with a garage, will occupy slightly less than three acres and will offer 183 one-bedroom units ranging from 645 to 825 sq ft; 90 two-bedroom units from 991 to 1,227 sq ft and 8 three-bedroom, 1,300-sq-ft units. The residences are expected to rent from more than $2 per sq ft, and the developer is planning approximately 1.7 parking spaces per unit.
Amenities will include a rooftop deck with a year-round outdoor kitchen, fireplace, televisions, swimming pool and striking view of Coors Field; a dog wash; a bicycle repair shop; a two-story fitness center; two-story club room; cyber café; wine room with lockers; game room; outdoor courtyards and a plaza opening to the 18th Street pedestrian bridge.
Alta City House will attract single young professionals and couples as well as empty nesters and retirees who are downsizing or seeking second homes in vibrant, highly walkable, neighborhoods, McEntee said.
Chris Frampton, managing partner of East West Partners - Denver, calls the revitalization of Union Station one of the most intense development projects in the country. “Over two million sq ft of office space has been built over the last 10 years, including headquarters for companies as diverse as Chipotle and DaVita. Ongoing development continues as more than one million sq ft is on the boards, over 400 hotel rooms are in various stages of construction and 100,000 sq ft of new retail is under way at the base of each of those buildings. Union Station is by far the most active development area of any other region in the United States.”
Alta City House is the second collaboration for Wood Partners, East West Partners and USAA Real Estate in the redeveloping sections of downtown Denver. The three companies partnered on the highly successful Glass House high-rise condominium project in Riverfront Park in 2007. Wood Partners long envisioned the new Alta City House as a complementary development and purchased the land in 2006. Alta City increases the total cost of projects for which USAA is the capital partner to more than $200 million.
Construction is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months. Besides its two Riverfront/Union Station projects, Wood Partners recently completed construction on Alta Aspen Grove, a 280-unit garden style multifamily community, located in Littleton. In addition, two other Colorado projects are currently under construction:
Alta Alameda Station, a 338-unit transit-oriented community located in the historic Baker district west of South Broadway in Denver, and Alta Harvest Station, a 297-unit apartment community located in Broomfield. Wood Partners will lead construction on the Alta City House development. Paul T. Bergner Associates is the architect, Harris Kocher Smith is the civil engineer and Norris Design is the landscape architect and land planner.