A proposal to develop eight luxury townhome-style units on the third floor of the Larimer Place high-rise, provides a rare opportunity not only for residents of the tower, but a chance to spruce up an important intersection in downtown Denver, the president of the homeowner association said on Friday.
“This is a unique opportunity,” said David Stafford Johnson, president of the HOA for the building at 1551 Larimer St.
“We view ourselves as a centerpiece of Lower Downtown,” Johnson said. “Just look at everything that is going on at Union Station and our proximity to Larimer Square and Writer Square and the 16th Street Mall. Larimer Place is a wonderful building and has a wonderful location, but it is quite dated. It is 30 years old. It was built during a different era, when Lower Downtown wasn’t what it is today.”
The proposal for the new units was reported publicly for the first time by InsideRealEstateNews.com on Thursday, is to create the new townhomes where tennis courts are now on the third-floor deck of the 31-story building. The tennis courts would be moved, under the current proposal, but the existing swimming pool on the deck would remain.
Davis Partnership Architects has presented a detailed preliminary proposal for the units, which are estimated to sell for $560 per square foot. Two of the new units would have 2,000 square feet each, while the other six units would have about 1,677 square feet each, for a total of 14,060 square feet of new residential units.
Existing units in the tower are selling in the neighborhood of about $300 per square foot, but are larger than the units being proposed under the current plan, Johnson said. He said it is likely the new units, if built, would increase the value of existing units.
“I know if I were looking at buying one of the new townhome units, I would look to see what is available in the tower,” he said.
The idea is that there would be no net cost to the homeowners in the 168-unit building constructed in 1981.
There are no living units on the third floor, but some condo owners on the fourth and fifth floors might have some of their views of Larimer Square obstructed by the new, 2-story townhome-style units, he said. The views of the vast majority of the residences would not be impacted, he said.
“Personally, I am quite excited about it,” Johnson said. “We are just now going through the process of informing all of our homeowners about it. It will take a super majority of the homeowners to approve it.”
He said that David Partnership and its construction parter, BuildMark, are being incredibly open about the process.
“Yes, they would make a profit,” Johnson said. “They should make a profit, because they are taking all of the development risk. If the HOA wanted to make the profit, it would need to take the development risk. I don’t know if that is appropriate for the HOA.”
Johnson said he is not aware of any HOA of any condo tower ever having tackled a similarly structured development.
“This is a one-of-a-kind project,” Johnson said. “It is totally unique. We were able to do this because of our great location and because we have this huge, under-utilized deck. I think it is 40,000 square feet in size.”
Think now is a good time to be buying at Larimer Place? Please visit COhomefinder.com.
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Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.
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