Another apartment project is coming to downtown Colorado Springs, offering features and amenities for renters who want an urban lifestyle and the ability to be near restaurants, bars and the like.
Construction will begin in January on the four-story, 27-unit Casa Mundi Lofts, which will go up on the west side of Tejon Street, between Costilla and Cimarron streets on downtown's south edge. The project, targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2019, will be constructed on the site of a paved parking lot, immediately north of the building that houses the Old Town Bike Shop.
Darsey Nicklasson of DHN Planning & Development, who co-developed the Blue Dot Place apartments on South Nevada Avenue, also is developing Casa Mundi Lofts. Her Blue Dot partner, businesswoman Kathy Loo, isn't part of Casa Mundi; instead, Nicklasson is partnering with landowners Sam Cameron and Kevin Butcher of Cameron Butcher Commercial Real Estate and general contractor Tony Gordon of Gordon Construction Co.
Like the 33-unit Blue Dot Place, Casa Mundi will appeal to residents who value the close-knit feel of a smaller project, Nicklasson said.
Elsewhere in downtown, the 333 ECO apartments, being developed at Colorado and Wahsatch avenues by Nor'wood Development Group and Griffis/Blessing Inc., will have 171 units when it opens in 2018. Another Nor'wood and Griffis/Blessing project, planned for Cascade Avenue and Rio Grande Street, will have 184 units.
"Our residents say they love the sense of community," Nicklasson said. "We feel there's room in the market for more options than just the larger buildings that Nor'wood is building. They're great, but options are a good thing to have."
Nicklasson launched Casa Mundi because of what she called a continuing demand for downtown living. Renters want to be able to walk or bike to downtown jobs or to the area's museums, stores, restaurants and other amenities.
Casa Mundi will have bike storage, covered parking and balconies. A mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom units will occupy the building's second, third and fourth floors. Rents will be comparable to those at Blue Dot Place, Nicklasson said; studios will go for about $1,200 a month and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit on the fourth floor with west-facing views will rent for $2,000 a month.
The building's first floor will have about 6,000 square feet to accommodate three retail spaces for restaurants and stores, Nicklasson said. She's fielded interest from potential users, but declined to identify them.
The project has a $7 million price tag, although it's qualified for a still-to-be-determined amount of tax increment financing from the Downtown Development Authority, Nicklasson said. The DDA, approved by downtown property owners and business people in 2006, was created to encourage development in the area; the authority levies a special property tax on land and buildings within its downtown boundaries.
Casa Mundi is the latest project that promises to pump life into the tired South Tejon corridor. A Marriott-branded hotel has been proposed immediately north of the Casa Mundi site, where a development group is seeking an urban renewal designation for the project.
One block south, the building that formerly housed Southside Johnny's is being remodeled to accommodate a trio of Denver-area restaurant and bar concepts - Atomic Cowboy, Fat Sully's Pizza and the Denver Biscuit Co. Portions of that block also are being targeted for a makeover.
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