Senior Living Planned as Part of Newly Purchased Elyria Properties

By Eric Heinz

Following the opening of the Viña Apartments last year, Columbia Ventures is making progress on the rest of its master plan along 48th Avenue and Race Street in Elyria after purchasing properties right across from the Viña Apartments.

Denver Clerk and Recorder documents show the conservancy purchased two properties in June for $2.86 million and another parcel for $4.83 million for a total of four acres at 4800 Race St. and a nearby parcel that will have a new address.

Dillon Baynes, co-founder and managing partner of Columbia Ventures, told The G.E.S. Gazette the company is not yet ready to release its master plan of the latest project, but that it will include senior living residences.

The building at 4800 Race St., left, was acquired by Columbia Ventures recently, and the company plans to build another apartment complex near its Viña Apartments, right, with some units restricted for senior citizens. Photo by Eric Heinz

Iván Anaya, president of the mountain west division of Columbia Ventures, said the company hasn’t decided what the new facilities will look like or whether they’ll be divided among one or two buildings.

“The max number (of residential units) would be 180, but we have not gotten down to our full building plan with financing and everything else to figure out,” Anaya said. “I think the minimum amount will be 150, so somewhere in between.”

The site is two blocks from the 48th & Brighton/National Western Center RTD station and is part of Columbia Ventures’ multiphase development there. The acquisition follows the first phase of Columbia’s projects, with the latest being across the street from the Viña Apartments.

For the acquisition, Columbia partnered with the Urban Land Conservancy and as well as Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., with assistance from the city of Denver’s Transit-Oriented Development Fund. Columbia Ventures’ plans for the remaining phases will primarily feature multifamily residential, including service-enriched affordable senior housing, and the company expects to break ground in 2025.

“We’ve got a lot of information and great data around what the community would like,” Anaya said. “On top of that, we’ve done a market study. We’re doing a deeper market study to understand some of the biggest needs in the community specifically from an affordable housing perspective. One of the biggest needs that we’re seeing in the community is that there’s a lack of affordable senior housing for people 55 and older.”

Anaya said it’s also the goal of Columbia to provide “service — it’s important to us that we … are curating communities that are service enriched and … not just housing, and so our intention and our goal is to provide a service-enriched senior community.”

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