29 Zen, luxury townhomes in West Highland.
29 Zen, by Sagebrush, replaces Lambourn House.
29 Zen units priced from $700,000 to $1 million
A Denver developer plans a 14-unit, luxury townhome development on a Northwest Denver site that will replace the former Lambourn House, which neighbors unsuccessfully tried to save about a year ago.
Denver-based Sagebrush Cos. has unveiled plans for 29 Zen, townhomes priced from about $700,000 to $1 million on the site at West 29th Avenue and Zenobia Street in West Highland.
“We just recently scraped it,” said Don Caster, a principal of Sagebrush.
On Nov. 30, 2015, the Denver City Council voted 8-4 to reject a hostile historic designation for the white Lambourn House on top of a hill.
The developer at that time, which opposed the historic designation, planned about 38 rental apartment units on the site.
Sagebrush, one of the most active infill developers in the Denver area, changed course with plans for-sale townhomes.
The 3-story townhomes will range in size from about 1,800 square feet to about 2,500 square feet. Units at 29 Zen will be the most expensive ever built by Sagebrush, although it has sold other units it has developed for about $900,000.
Units in the $7 million development are expected to sell between $375 to $415 per square foot. Two of the most expensive units already are under contract, he said. Construction will begin early next year.
“The neat thing about this is there is about a 15-foot drop from the site to the sidewalk,” Caster said.
“There will be walk-out basements and from the rooftop decks, people will be able to see downtown, Sloans Lake and the mountains,” Caster said.
Records show that Sagebrush paid $1.282 million for the 15,400-square-foot site. That equates to about $83.25 per square foot.
Caster was generally aware of the earlier efforts to save the home, but didn’t know a lot of the details. Some neighbors contended the home, built in 1918, was Northwest Denver’s equivalent of the Molly Brown House. Others, including the majority of the council, did not think the house merited a historic designation.
Caster said it didn’t make economic sense to save it.
“We walked it after looked at it after we bought it and it was falling apart. It was very badly damaged,” Caster said.
He also said that renovating existing buildings is not something that Sagebrush specializes in.
“And we paid close to, but not quite, $100 per square foot,” for the dirt, Caster said.
“When you have that much into the land, a renovation wouldn’t make sense,” he explained.
Sanzpont Arquitecura, with offices in Barcelona, Spain, Cancun, Mexico and Glencoe, Illinois, is designing 29 Zen.
Caster realizes that many observers have been critical of new townhomes being built, claiming they all tend to look the same.
That will not be the case with 29 Zen.
“We consciously decided to spend more money on the architecture and design,” Caster said.
“We didn’t want it to look like everything else on the market. We think it has a really great design and will be something that will be a really nice addition to West Highland. We wanted this to be a great project and we think it will be.
The site lends itself to townhomes, he said.
“What is really unique about this is that the site is 45-feet long, which lends itself to a great layout,” Caster said.
“You need 20 feet for a garage and what is happening is that a lot of developers are jamming a lot of units in 30-foot wide sites,” he said.
“These will really have great floorplans,” Caster said.
Caster has not heard from any neighbors about 29 Zen.
City Councilman Rafael Espinoza, who represents the district and led the charge to save the Lambourn House last year, on late Thursday afternoon, had not yet seen the rendering of Zen 29, so he had no comment on its aesthetics.
“It would be nice to have replace it with something that…would last 100 years and was well-regarded,” said Espinoza, who is an architect by training.
He said one benefit is that with fewer units, the hill can remain. If 35 or so units had been built on the site, the hill would have needed to have been brought down to the sidewalk level, he said.
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