By Eric Heinz
The project at 4995 Washington is starting to take shape, but there is still no word as to whether a library will also come with it.
Chicago-based John Ronan Architects gave a presentation recently on what the building could look like. Much of the exterior design is intended to be corrugated metals, whether a metallic silver color or a material that will intentionally change to an earthy copper.
Two U-shaped buildings would make up the campus, and there would be ample room for other amenities. The project is being developed by Chicago-based Evergreen Real Estate Services, Denver-based Rocky Mountain Communities and The G.E.S. Coalition.
The city of Denver owns the land where the building would be placed. Community members want a small grocery store as well as a library within the development. The development team has hosted meetings since last summer with community members about adding a library to the development, but library officials have not made a determination yet.
There is also a courtyard that would be adjacent to the section for a library or something else. According to an email obtained by The G.E.S. Gazette, City Librarian Michelle Jeske said the city is still going through the process of determining where the library should be placed.
“The city’s Real Estate Department is currently leading the negotiations and the process includes agreeing to the terms set by both the city and Evergreen Partners and approval from City Council,” Jeske wrote. “Until then, this is not final. We currently do not have a timeline of when this will be completed but we plan to provide updates as we learn more.”
Nola Miguel, director of the G.E.S. Coalition, said she’s hoping that because the project’s residential units are completely income- restricted, they might be processed by the city faster to get construction going.
“We really want to build on a vision of what people in this community really want to see and want to develop,” Miguel said. “Even though we can’t do everything in this project we would like, everything that the community has always needed and desired and deserves … as Tierra Colectiva, we will continue to work for other things in the community.”
Tierra Colectiva is the land trust branch of the G.E.S. Coalition.
“If there’s something that if we can’t do everything at this project, we can work on it in other spaces as well throughout Globeville,” Miguel said. The development team recently submitted a concept plan and project master plan that are still under review. Some of the things residents said the building must have is a way to reduce any smells from industrial sites, and John Ronan, president of the architecture firm, said there will be mechanisms installed to help with that.
“We’re looking at different kinds of mechanical systems for the units and the windows,” Ronan said. “We’re leaning toward operable windows. There’s not much in the way of keeping the smells out, but one option is fixed glass and filtered ventilation, but what you lose there is the ability to open your windows.”
Several different designs were also provided for how large the windows could be and what kind of shine the building would give off during sunny days in the summer, so as to not overheat the nearby walking areas.
Javonni Butler, a project manager with Evergreen, said the development team will apply for low-income housing tax credits in order to finance the majority of the project, which are distributed through the state by way of federal funding each year.
The project is expected, if all goes according to plan, to complete construction by 2026. More renderings of the building can be found by clicking the links in this article at gesgazette.com.