Taylor Kohrs will build Capitol Hill low-income housing tax credit project

Emerson Flats, a $6.5 million project designed by Studio 646 Architecture, will consist of 26,022 square feet in a five-story wood-frame building.

Taylor Kohrs, a Colorado-based general contractor for more than 36 years, will build Emerson Flats, a low-income housing tax credit project in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The $6.5 million project was designed by Studio 646 Architecture and will consist of 26,022 square feet in a five-story wood frame building. Its 21 units will be a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans with secure parking.

The project, developed by Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corp., is on a zero-lot line and directly across the street from a middle school. Residents were relocated and Del Norte demolished the existing Emerson Street Apartments in order to provide a new, modern home for its residents.

According to architect Eric Blase, three goals were imperative to meet the design of the project: Design a building that fits within the surrounding neighborhood both in scale and materiality; design a building that is custom fit for families; and the intent is for the building to be welcomed by surrounding neighbors, and for residents easily feel like they are home.

“This was accomplished with large multi-bedroom units, exterior materials complimentary to the neighborhood and warm wood tones highlighted throughout the building,” Blase said.

In terms of designing for affordable vs. market-rate housing, one thing to consider is longevity.

“The design is tailored for the resident,” Blase said. “Oftentimes, LIHTC-designed buildings are designed with a better environmental conscience, and a more durable and lasting structure, as these buildings are not simply sold off to the highest bidder. The owner has to live with the design decisions made, and maintain the building over its life.”

Materials incorporated include brick, to complement the existing neighborhood, and wood, which is meant to bring warm tones the the residents, according to Blase.

“We look forward to moving these residents safely and quickly into their new homes,” said Scott Heasty, vice president of operations at Taylor Kohrs. “In addition, because this is a zero-lot line project in a neighborhood bustling with foot and vehicle traffic, we’ve strategically staged our material and instructed our team to follow the Taylor Kohrs Good Neighbor policy to mitigate noise and construction debris in the area.”

This family friendly project includes full kitchens with pantries in each unit, EnergyStar appliances with dishwashers and microwaves, dining areas and ample storage. Family style on-site amenities include a large laundry room, as well as a community room with kitchen and a secured bike/stroller area.

The project also focuses on reduction of asthma-inducing allergens by utilizing cleanable hard surfaces throughout the facility and construction with low- and no-VOC glues, compounds and materials. There is also a no smoking policy throughout the property.

Published in the Dec. 18-31, 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…