An out-of-state developer plans to build its second upscale apartment complex in Colorado Springs, adding a project just off Powers Boulevard on the northeast side and near a busy intersection where retail, hotel and medical uses are taking shape.
Crowne Partners, which has offices in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala., has proposed a 285-unit complex on nearly 18 acres along Rio Vista Drive, southwest of Powers and Barnes Road, according to documents submitted to Springs city planners. The project would be called the Crowne at Rio Vista.
The company also developed the 276-unit Crowne at Briargate complex, east of Powers and north of Research Parkway in the Springs. Two of four buildings at that project are completed; a third will open Nov. 1 and a fourth will launch in early 2020, said Alan Levow, a Crowne principal.
Crowne also built an apartment complex in Fort Collins and plans to open a second project there after the first of the year. The company has developed 15 apartment communities in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and three more are planned in the Carolinas, according to its website.
“We like the market,” Levow said of Colorado Springs. “We think it’s growing. It’s got a great job base. Our first deal, to date, has been well accepted. It’s just the kind of market we like, and it’s responded well to our (Briargate) project.”
About 90 percent of the Crowne at Rio Vista complex would be composed of one- and two-bedroom apartments, with the remainder being three-bedroom units, documents submitted to city planners show. The complex would have four buildings of three to four stories each.
Amenities would include a clubhouse and fitness center, a pool, dog park and courtyards. Nearly 80 garage parking spaces and 450 surface lot spaces would be provided for renters.
The project’s market-rate rents would be comparable to the Crowne at Briargate, Levow said. Those rents start at $1,275 for a one-bedroom apartment and run as high as $2,155 for a three-bedroom unit, according to the Crowne at Briargate website.
The Crowne at Rio Vista location, which Crowne views as a suburban, infill site, was appealing partly because it’s adjacent to the Powers Pointe shopping center, Levow said.
That center is home to Sprouts Farmers Market, a Burlington department store and restaurants such as LongHorn Steakhouse, Tokyo Joe’s and the soon-to-open Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.
UCHealth Memorial Hospital, meanwhile, has proposed a 125,000-square-foot medical center to the southeast of the Crowne at Rio Vista site.
North of the apartment project site and across Barnes Road, the 15,500-square-foot Plaza at Barnes West retail center is under construction and a 95-room Hampton Inn is planned.
A Costco Wholesale Club has been open for several years southeast of Powers at Barnes, while the Hobby Lobby-anchored Barnes Marketplace operates on the intersection’s northeast corner.
Crowne Partners has contracted to buy the Rio Vista site and continues to research the property, Levow said. The company is scheduled to complete the land purchase in early 2020, he said.
In a best-case scenario, the project’s construction would begin by fall 2020, and the first units would open in early 2022, Levow said.
Coming out of the Great Recession, Colorado’s Front Range has rebounded more than some areas of the nation, Levow said. Its booming economy, quality of life and appealing climate have helped attract millennials and others.
Young people and empty nesters, meanwhile, have helped drive demand for apartments, and Springs-area rents have risen to record highs — averaging more than $1,200 a month in the second quarter, according to the Colorado Division of Housing.
As a result, Colorado Springs, like other cities, has drawn scores of apartment developers and multifamily investors.
“The interesting thing about Colorado Springs, 15 or so years ago, it may not have been a market that caught our attention,” Levow said. “But the job generation, the diversity that’s occurred in the market in terms of job generation has really caught our eye. That’s similar to Fort Collins, too.”