About 25 people turned out at the Ken Caryl Ranch House on May 8 to view the latest proposal for development on 14 acres at Shaffer Parkway and West Ken Caryl Avenue, south of the Homewood Suites in the Ken Caryl Business Center.
The land is currently zoned commercial/office/retail plus multifamily for a combination of retail, restaurant, office and residential development, on 10 acres east of Shaffer Parkway and 4 acres west of it.
Dennis Carruth, president of Carruth Properties, part-owner of the property, is seeking to amend the existing plan to include a largely residential complex with up to 280 apartments on the east side of Shaffer Parkway, and an office building (14,500 square feet) and up to 68 residential units on the west side (no more than 320 units total).
The owners are seeking to change the existing mixed-use development plan, known as Ken Caryl Towne Center, from 120 residential units to a rental apartment complex with up to 320 residential units.
"It just hasn't worked well to put residential over commercial in suburban locations. The population just isn't there to support the retail, and it's hard to get lenders excited about the project," Carruth said.
The landowner believes that the best market opportunity lies in building rental units as opposed to mixed-use commercial, which was approved by the county commissioners in January 2010.
"We are in dialogue with several large multifamily developers," Carruth said. “There are about half a dozen that are doing due diligence. The important thing is we gain approval (for the revised concept) before they want to do something."
"There's an active market for multifamily, but the rest of the market hasn't changed much for three or four years," Carruth said.
The 300-acre Ken Caryl Business Center is about 90 percent built out.
A traffic study commissioned by the landowner states the proposed new plan will result in 2,350 trips on the average weekday, down from 3,332.
A number of those in attendance were residents of Sunset Ridge, an established townhome complex just east of the vacant 10-acre parcel on Shaffer Parkway.
Thomas Smith has lived in Sunset Ridge for 14 years and led the successful fight against a proposed Home Depot on the site.
"I learned tonight there are no rental units within a mile of the location,” Smith said. “I think it might be attractive to a high-end apartment builder. I think it might be better than retail.”
Bill Goodwin, also of Sunset Ridge, said he was neither opposed to or in favor of the proposal. "I'm kind of a wait-and-see person," he said. "You hope it will be a worthy development."
Contact Vicky Gits at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22.
The market for apartments and multifamily dwellings is heating up in South Jeffco. According to an analysis by the Jeffco Planning and Zoning Division, there are two other sites in Jeffco where commercially zoned land is being considered for possible multifamily uses. A third site has potential as a single-family and townhome complex.
• C-470/Alameda southwest: 26 acres. Currently zoned retail, office and light industrial; proposed zoning is for 390 apartment units in addition to current uses.
• Kipling Commons: Southeast corner of Kipling Parkway and West Quincy Avenue, 11 acres, currently zoned for up to 100,000 square feet commercial/office retail. Proposed zoning for up to 250 multifamily units in addition to current uses.
• South Simms and South Ward streets: Seventeenacres proposed for rezoning for currently vacant land owned by the Foothills Park & Recreation District. Proposed zoning for 67 houses and 48 townhomes (Century Communities).