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Koelbel, partners complete Westminster affordable housing project

Eaton Street residents will enjoy a lively, walkable community. Koelbel, partners complete Westminster affordable housing project.

Koelbel and Co., in partnership with Mile High Development and Longs Peak Advisors, recently completed 8877 Eaton St., 118 affordable housing units in the Downtown Westminster redevelopment of the old Westminster Mall. OZ Architecture designed the project, which Milender White began building in January 2018.

“The completion of affordable housing at Eaton Street is an integral step in creating a vibrant downtown community in Westminster,” said Koelbel and Co. Vice President Carl Koelbel. “These residents will enjoy a lively, walkable community in the midst of new retail, commercial and residential development right between Denver and Boulder.”

Eaton Street will provide an amenity-rich community complete with a rooftop patio, community room and fitness center.

These affordable units in Eaton are exclusively available to residents earning 50% to 60% of area median income – and some residents earning 30% AMI, thanks to a partnership with Family Tree.

Asked if an affordable project differs from a market-rate project, Milender White’s Darren Hinton said there is very little difference.

“Through preconstruction, every project has a budget that allows the project to move forward,” said Hinton, Milender White construction executive and senior vice president. “Our role is to work with the owner and architect to maximize the design to produce the highest-quality building for the target budget. If there were any difference, it would be helping the owners on affordable projects with the reporting, documenting and submittals required for affordable project financing.”

For Eaton Street, Milender White worked closely with Koelbel, Mile High Development, OZ Architecture and the city of Westminster to create a project that is of equal quality to market rate while maintaining the project budget, according to Hinton.

The project wrapped an existing parking garage that was open to the public through construction, according to Hinton. The parking garage also was attached to the JCPenney that also was open during construction.

“The entire team – owner, designer and contractor – all worked closely with the city of Westminster to make sure the public was always safe and to minimize any disruption to JCPenney’s business,” Hinton said.

The $24 million construction project is a five-story, wood-over-podium, elevator-served building totaling 150,530 square feet. Milender White’s prefabrication facility provided the wood panels for Eaton Street, delivering 31,000 linear feet of wall panel.

Published in the Aug. 21-Sept. 3, 2019, issue of CREJ.

Kris Oppermann Stern is publisher and editor of Building Dialogue, a Colorado Real Estate Journal publication, and editor of CREJ's construction, design, and engineering section, including news and bylined articles. Building Dialogue is a quarterly, four-color magazine that caters specifically to the AEC industry, including features on projects and people, as well as covering trends…