Developer gives up on apartment plan at Moreno & Lower Gold Camp
A for-sale sign recently was posted on the property (which technically consists of two parcels). Bishop's group, C&A Properties LLC, had bought it in January 2014 from Pueblo Bank and Trust after the bank had acquired it through a foreclosure.
“It's [the Entrada plan] not going to work for us,” Bishop summarized in an interview. “It takes a lot of money to do these apartments. For small guys like us, that's a pretty big hurdle.”
He still likes the Moreno/Lower Gold Camp site and believes there's a community- wide demand for rental housing, but at this point “we see a quicker opportunity
He's learned that because of greater regulations on apartment construction, townhomes and single family are less expensive to get into the ground. They're also in demand, and “they don't take nearly the investment,” said Bishop, pointing out that his current building focus is a townhome property in Manitou.
Another problem for Entrada was the lack of broad support from the surrounding neighborhoods. Bishop held three neighborhood meetings between September 2014 and March 2015, but kept getting pushback from some neighbors who were not sold on his intent to develop “high end” apartments with extensive environmental amenities. Their main concerns at the meetings were about the metal exterior (different from the existing stucco homes), height (taller at 45 feet) and a belief that apartments on the site would harm property values (in contrast to townhomes or single family).
The for-sale sign includes the word “residential”; however, the property also has an M1 zone, which would allow light industrial. In 2008, an office/warehouse proposal using the M1 zone was presented by Crown Hill Mesa developer Chuck Helenberg, but it was opposed by neighbors and he did not pursue the plan.
Bishop said if he had moved forward with Entrada, he would have sought a zone change to planned unit development (PUD), which is often used on residential projects where the builder wants more flexibility. He added that he thinks anyone who decides to build there will also want to change the zoning.
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