By Jeff Todd
ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– The controversial $30 land deal in Arvada for a large apartment complex has finally passed the Arvada City Council.
On Monday, the Olde Town Residences project was back in front of the City Council after being rejected in late January. This time the council voted six to one to pass the 252-unit apartment complex on the corner of Wadswroth Bypass and 56th Place.
“The whole purpose here is to compliment the transit center and compliment Olde Town and bring residents within walking distance of the transit center,” said Bill Mosher, a Senior Managing Director at Trammell Crow said.
The project has been controversial because of a $30 sale price from the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority for nine acres of land and millions in tax incentives. In turn, Trammell Crow has agreed to construct expensive retaining walls and improve a sewage line that runs through the property.
Citizens have also been against the massive project that will rise 34 feet above Grandview Avenue to the south, blocking views.
The project is transit oriented and will be built next to the Olde Town Station for the RTD G-Line, which began testing but doesn’t have an opening date.
“This building clearly doesn’t fit in, it’s not compatible and that’s one of the reasons why. Six stories isn’t compatible in Olde Town,” said Dave Chandler who started the grass-roots group Arvada For All People and has been against the project since the beginning.
In January, City Councilors voted against the project because of a lack of parking and concerns about the view being blocked from Grandview Avenue.
The council meeting started Monday night and ended early Tuesday morning with many councilors saying they supported the changes Trammell Crow made to the project, especially with the additional parking.
“What we have done is taken off one row of units, on the top floor that faces Grandview,” Mosher said.
The project eliminated 30 bedrooms, many on the north side of the project to allow a wider set back from the road and railroad tracks and allowing for more views.
“We’re set back in some cases 200 feet from Grandview and so we feel like it won’t appear it’s on the street,” Mosher said about the building.
“People understand that urban renewal in this town is trying to railroad this through tonight and people don’t appreciate it,” said Chandler.
The public comment period lasted several hours Monday with many people supporting the project, but a slight majority against the Olde Town Residences.
“I think it makes sense, and I think we’ve listened. I think it’s a quality project,” Mosher said.
The project will likely break ground in 2019. Construction is expected to take several years.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.