After the developer stepped back nearly a year on the drawing board, a large mixed-use project in Broomfield that was previously deemed too controversial has been approved.
Broomfield City Council blessed by 7-2 this week a development in Palisade Park that will add 240 rental units and 462,672 square feet of industrial and warehouse space between Huron Street and US Interstate 25.
The residential part, which will be developed by Urban Frontier LLC, will be spread over 21 buildings and will complement the Brownstones at Palisades Park community located near the builder.
The commercial part of the project will be supervised by SunCap Property Group. The four-building campus will consist of two 65,000 square foot structures, one 141,000 square foot structure and one 191,000 square foot structure.
Partner developers presented a plan for the site in January that only included commercial construction.
This proposal met with strong opposition. Critics have focused on the aesthetics of the large square buildings; traffic jams and safety concerns for children playing in an area that could soon see hundreds of large trucks entering and exiting; neighborhood compatibility; and negative impacts on property values.
At that time, residents and city council members speculated that SunCap was targeting FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), which SunCap has worked with in the past, for a fulfillment center.
Representatives for SunCap have denied having had any discussions with the shipping giant and no mention of specific tenants was made during the unit development review scheduled for this week.
However, during a discussion of sustainability efforts, SunCap senior vice president Mike Orr said, “We are building buildings for big companies – Amazon, FedEx – all the time.”
The revised plan approved this week added the residential element to act as a buffer between the existing neighborhoods and the industrial site.
“We are delighted,” said Garrett Baum, Managing Partner of Urban Frontier. “We started the process a few years ago and turned around about a year ago. “
Part of the developers’ plan appeared to derail city council approval. The builders agreed to pay $ 575,000 instead of building inclusive housing on site. That’s almost a million dollars less than the city code requires for a project of this magnitude.
“It’s really hard for me when a developer isn’t going to build the affordable housing or pay the fees,” said city councilor William Lindstedt.
“Is this the best you can do?” ” he said.
The developers’ response was: Yes, that was the best they were willing to do.
It briefly emerged that the council was tilted to postpone a vote on the development plan to give staff more time to negotiate more affordable housing funds, but Councilor Elizabeth Law-Evans – who earlier that night suggested that builders are expected to sue the city if the project is not approved – called for a vote.
In the end, only City Councilor Jean Lim and City Councilor Deven Shaff voted against the proposal.
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