MPC breaks ground on AvalonBay Communities’ AVA RiNo multifamily project

Vistas of downtown Denver and the mountains can be seen from AVA RiNo’s rooftop deck.

Martines Palmeiro Construction began construction in December on AvalonBay Communities Inc.’s first ground-up apartment community in the greater Denver area, this one in the River North Art District. With a portfolio of over 290 properties located in 12 states, AvalonBay entered the Denver market in 2017 and since then has secured land for development and acquired four communities, representing 1,086 apartment homes in Aurora, Castle Rock, Lakewood and Littleton.

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“We’re excited to be breaking ground on our first new ground-up apartment community in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood and bringing AvalonBay’s 25-year track record of building, acquiring and operating best-in-class rental housing to the greater Denver market,” said Brian Fritz, senior vice president of development. “Denver shares many of the best characteristics of our established core markets and has become an attractive region for well-educated workers in knowledge-based industries that are driving the 21st century economy. We are actively pursuing new development and acquisition opportunities to enhance our presence in the greater Denver area and look forward to contributing to this vibrant and growing community for years to come.”

AVA RiNo will include 246 apartment homes with a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans. The community features a swimming pool, fitness center, two courtyards, resident lounge, rooftop pet park, pet spa, bike room and underground parking. Vistas of downtown Denver and the mountains can be seen from the rooftop deck. Additionally, a coffee shop integrated with the leasing office will be accessible to both residents and the general public.

“This project is located in one of Denver’s most dynamic neighborhoods, with residential, retail and restaurants all just steps away,” said Bin Lu, MPC’s vice president of preconstruction. “Our team, in coordination with AvalonBay, have created a comprehensive site logistics plan to minimize the impact of this project throughout the development process. Ultimately, our goal is to be good neighbors to all of the various stakeholders in the community.”

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AVA RiNo will include one level of cast-in-place concrete parking below grade, with a podium concrete slab and three levels of wood-framed structure above.

“AvalonBay is different from our peers because we have three uniquely positioned consumer brands,” commented Todd Nicotra, AvalonBay’s senior director of development. “Our AVA brand is all about personal expression, socialization and embracing the local neighborhood. From AVA RiNo’s flexible floor plans, to incorporating work from local artists throughout the property, to our in-house coffee shop, we are excited to offer a unique living experience that complements the active and connected lifestyle of RiNo residents.”

The groundbreaking for this project follows a one-year preconstruction effort with the AvalonBay team, which included evaluating a variety of options regarding construction type, parking alternatives and maximizing efficiency of the project design, according to Lu. In addition to this project, MPC is working with AvalonBay on a few of its upcoming projects in the Denver market.

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The construction of AVA RiNo is anticipated to take approximately 24 months. Studio PBA designed the project.

Published in the Feb. 5-19, 2020, 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…