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Zocalo completes Vita in downtown Littleton

zocalo's vita
Vita’s location at the eastern edge of downtown Littleton offers proximity to transit as well as trails, galleries, retail and restaurants.

Zocalo Community Development’s Vita, a LEED Gold-targeted 55-plus mixed-use residential rental apartment community in the Denver metro area, is complete. The sustainable 159-unit apartment community is the latest development by Zocalo. KTGY designed the project.

“Littleton is one of the most underserved and fastest growing 55-plus communities in the state, and we are very excited about the opening of Vita in this market,” said Susan Maxwell, CAPS, chief operating officer and principal of Zocalo. “Our focus for Vita has always been residences, amenities and services to meet the way this demographic lives. By combining sustainability with hospitality inspired operations, our hope is that Vita will deliver a great living experience for its residents.”

Vita provides quick access to walking/biking trails, art galleries, antique shops, specialty shops, clothing boutiques, and trendy and quaint restaurants and bars in historic downtown Littleton.

Located on the eastern edge of downtown Littleton at 2100 W. Littleton Blvd. and steps from the RTD downtown Littleton light-rail station on South Prince Street, the development’s location is a key benefit.

“In addition to all of the great amenities that downtown Littleton has to offer, Vita’s proximity to transit further serves the active empty-nesters, allowing them an easier commute to work or shopping and entertainment locations throughout the metropolitan area, without the need of a private vehicle,” said Terry Willis, principal at KTGY’s Denver office.

Vita is a combination of nearly 11,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and restaurant space as well as luxury apartments, including one guest unit and live/work units on the ground floor.

“The ground-floor retail activates the street and there are also several distinct and elegant interior and exterior gathering spaces where residents can engage and connect while enjoying the panoramic mountain views,” Willis said.

Residents will enjoy Vita’s community amenities, including a saltwater pool, a year-round hot tub, community garden, pet spa and pet-friendly play park, bike and walking trails, fitness and yoga studios, community and craft rooms, a bicycle maintenance and repair shop, community kitchens, and weekly programmed events. Other outdoor amenities include a fireside lounge, outdoor kitchen and dining area, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Currently pursuing U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification, Zocalo and KTGY incorporated a number of green features designed to ensure Vita’s long-term efficiency and sustainability.

“It was always the plan to seek LEED Gold certification as a differentiator for this particular client who prides itself on its sustainability record,” Willis said.

LEED informed the design in the following ways, according to Willis: The site location was a natural for helping achieve LEED Gold. The relationship of the site to both the Littleton Downtown light-rail station, and the proximity of downtown Littleton itself were considered in how to connect Vita to the community at large.

A solar photovoltaic array was installed on the roof, not so much to achieve LEED points, but to signal to the community that sustainability is an important attribute of this development.

Improved air quality was achieved through dedicated ventilation ducts.

Energy and water conservation through low-flow fixtures and efficient appliances and mechanical equipment.

Large windows providing ample natural light and access to panoramic views were also fundamental to the design, even though ultimately not needed or required to achieve LEED Gold.

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…