- West Lake Flats breaks ground today in Lakewood.
- West Lakes Flats a transit-oriented development.
- West Lakes Flat to be “Certified Healthy” building.
Ground will be broken today on West Line Flats, a 155-unit apartment building next to a light rail station in Lakewood.
The West Line Flats will be a transit-oriented development about 400 feet from the Lamar Station on the W line.
West Line Flats also will be one of the first apartment communities in the Denver-area to be “Certified Healthy” under the Urban Land Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” said Fred Temple, a principal of Boulder-based Momentum Development LLC. Momentum is developing West Line Flat on four acres at 6500 W. 13th Ave. with Inland National Development Corp., based in Oak Brook, Illinois.
“We have been building sustainable, energy-efficient buildings, basically forever, and Certified Healthy is the next step,” Temple said.
He said he doesn’t know how much more it will cost to build a Certified Healthy building.but said he said some will be small changes.
“For example, we will put up signs, nice-looking signs, encouraging people to take the stairs,” Temple said.
The signs might tell residents how many calories they will burn by climbing the stairs in the 5-story building.
They also will filter all the water in the drinking fountains.
“That is something we wouldn’t have done,” Temple said.
“We’ll do that even though we are on Denver Water, which provides great water,” he said.
The building also will meet LEED standards, although it won’t be LEED-certified, he said.
“With buildings codes today, it is pretty easy to meet LEED standards,” Temple said.
The architect for West Line Flat is Denver-based 359 Design.
Colorado Structures, based in Colorado Springs, is the general contractor.
Colorado State Bank and Trust is providing the financing.
West Line Flats is scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.
Amenities at West Line Flats will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga room, cyber café, rooftop deck with hot tub, fire pits, grilling areas, community gardens and a bike and ski repair shop.
It also will have on site offices for use by residents and separate storage units and garages.
Although several other luxury apartment communities either have been recently built or are underway in Lakewood, Temple said he isn’t worried about the market becoming overbuilt.
“Our 1-bedroom units will rent for around $1,350 a month, while similar units downtown cost $2,000 or more,” Temple said. “I think that gives us quite a bit of cushion.”
He said he expects West Line Flats will appeal to Millennials who work in Lakewood and downtown.
“Downtown is only a 14 or 18-minute ride away on the light rail,” Temple said.
He also expects to lease units to students at the Colorado School of Mines, Red Rocks Community College and the Rocky Mountain Colorado of Art + Design.
Given that Lakewood was the first community in the Denver area to reform construction defect litigation, Denver Real Estate Watch asked him if he considered developing condos instead of apartment on the site?
He said there is a market for luxury apartments in Lakewood and everyone they spoke to “strongly believes” that was the best use for the property.
In fact, all the builders they interviewed required them to sign a document guaranteeing the units would not be converted to condos for at least seven years, he said.
The Lakewood ordinance, he noted, “hasn’t been tested at the state level yet.”
However, he said it is a step in the right direction.
“I certainly applaud the Lakewood City Council and Mayor (Bob) Murphy,” for dealing with construction defect reform, Temple said.
He said if construction defect litigation were reformed at the state level, his company would look at developing condos.
“That is a housing type that is critically needed in the marketplace,” Temple said.
Interested in buying a home in Lakewood? Please visit COhomefinder.com.
Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. DenverRealEstateWatch.com is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.