ULI Colorado Blog

Southmoor Advisory Panel Impacts Station Area Development

This article originally appeared in Denverite, from Andrew Kenney

ULI’s Technical Advisory Panel Report on the Southmoor Station area recently garnered some attention as the city plans a Visioning Workshop for February 20, from 6-7:30pm at Thomas Jefferson High School, 3950 S Holly St, Denver, CO 80237.

In face of fierce neighborhood opposition over past decades, development has stagnated and the station area has floundered, remaining a car-centric shopping area and resisting transition to a Transit Oriented Development.

ULI Technical Advisory Panelists in June 2017. From left to right, clockwise: Councilwoman Kendra Black; Chris Coble, Black Label Real Estate; Chris Fasching, Felsburg Holt & Ullevig; Brian Levitt, NAVA Real Estate, David Larson, Legend Partners; Mark De La Torre, MIG; Amy Hansen, Polsinelli, and Chris Nevitt, City and County of Denver

From Denverite:

“But experts convened by the nonprofit ULI argued that the status quo wasn’t an option. “Since auto-oriented communities have been going out of fashion over the last few decades,status quo Southmoor will fall behind market trends and fail to meet market demands,” a report on the area states.

“… Economic and physical decline will ultimately have safety implications for the neighborhood and its current residents.” (We detailed that retail decline at the end of last week’s story.)

Still, locals say there’s room for compromise.

“We need to be involved with what development is going to happen down here, or it’s going to be crammed down our throat,” Rohs said.

Residents want to see a coffee shop, a craft brewery, perhaps some new trails, according to the ULI report. They’re amenable to “high-quality residential and office,” the report states — but “they did not want low-income housing or high-density development.”

In interviews with ULI, neighbors expressed some very typical concerns about density: Would more people mean more crime? More cars?

These are the kinds of questions that have shot down countless development projects in suburbia. They’re a large part of the reason that we’ve seen nearly no new development in the “suburban interior” of the largest American cities.”

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