On June 1, David Elowe and his developing company, Urban West Group, celebrated the initial demolition of old apartment buildings on the corner of East Evans Avenue and South University Boulevard.
Four months later, the $56 million construction project, titled the Shops and Apartments at Observatory Park, is now in full swing and moving according to Elowe’s plan.
The project is expected to be completed in 2013.
“The demolition party went great,” said Elowe. “The corner apartment building pushed back our demolition date by a few weeks, but the project has been on schedule so far,” said Elowe.
The 11-story apartment complex will boast 213 residential units and 25,000 square feet of street-level retail space.
Elowe is confident that construction will continue steadily in October and hopes that in four to six weeks the project will break ground.
“We want to be out of the hole before the first snow,” said Elowe. “We want to go vertical before weather gets real bad. It’s going to be a race.”
Although there hasn’t been any negative feedback from the neighboring University of Denver community, Elowe said it is important that the project does not interfere with traffic on the corner.
“The biggest issue for us at this phase is traffic control,” said Elowe. “Our goal is to stay out of the way with the amount of trucks we have. There’s not much we can do about that, but Shaw construction is doing a really good job so far. We’ve had no negative feedback so far and the entire community has been cooperative.”
Elowe said that there has been much interest in the retail space, but the spaces are still actively being leased.
He said that the local businesses are excited about the project’s future despite competing new stores entering the area.
“Local businesses are excited,” said Elowe. “And it makes sense, because there will be hundreds of new residents to this corner, which means there is an expected rise in sales.”
One local business, Pete’s University Café, shares the opposite corner on the intersection, but didn’t respond to interview requests regarding the new building’s future in the community.
“I eat at Pete’s all the time; I know they view this thing as a positive,” Elowe said. “We are not trying to duplicate what there is already on that corner, especially food-wise with the retailers we’re bringing in. Our goal is to give the corner more options, which will, of course, attract others from further away.”
In addition to the 25,000 square feet of retail space, Elowe said the building will differentiate itself from other apartment complexes through its unique parking area, which will include 103 reserved parking spots for retail and 254 spots for residents.
“The parking lot will be another attraction,” said Elowe, who officially relocated to Boulder this past summer with his family. “Everything has gone great so far; the relocation went well and I can’t ask for much more.”