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Groundbreaking: TOD Development in Denver’s Sunnyside Neighborhood

DENVER – Construction has begun on a $123 million project called Zia Sunnyside, an affordably-priced residential and retail development planned for Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood.

A collaboration between Confluence Companies and Craine Architecture will provide 434 residential units, with 314 for-rent apartments and 120 for-sale condos, on 2.3 acres, next to the 41st and Fox light rail station along the RTD’s yet to open G-Line.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place today, Wednesday, September 12 at 2:00 p.m, at 4001 Inca Street, Denver. Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Councilman Rafael Espinoza are both scheduled to attend.

“Zia will be a catalytic project for the neighborhood and provide more affordably priced housing to people who want to live and work near downtown Denver,” said Tim Walsh, CEO/founder of Confluence Companies.  “There will be 66 apartments reserved for those making 80 percent of the average median income (AMI).  In regards to the condos, 25 units will be restricted to those earning between 80 percent to 95 percent of AMI. We want to create a development that meets the housing needs of many, with an authentic sense of place purposely woven into the fabric of an established historic community.”

Zia Clubroom

Zia, which means “sun” in a variety of languages, will draw its design from Sunnyside’s industrial and railyard character with brick, steel, metal and glass and feature garage-style storefronts.

“We understand that a project of this scale, in this location, must present itself in a way that is compatible with the various edge conditions in the neighborhood,” said Dan Craine, president of Craine Architecture and a Board member of Historic Denver.  “These include the industrial character along the eastern edge, and the residential fabric to the south and west, both as it exists, and as it is envisioned.  We have spent a great deal of time studying and understanding what makes Sunnyside unique, and how Zia can become an appropriate addition to the neighborhood.”

Development goals for this TOD project, as they relate to the neighborhood vision, include the following:

  • Improve pedestrian experience along the corridors, connecting neighborhoods to the station
  • Provide variety of program, and housing types, serving various income levels
  • Inclusive approach to the streetscape, inviting the public to experience the project
  • Capitalize on the site’s proximity to downtown and immediate access to public transit

“Mixed-income housing located along mass transit is a huge win for our community, current residents, and our future generations,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We’re proud to play a role in supporting Zia, and in ensuring affordable housing and home ownership opportunities for hard-working residents.”

Partnering with the City of Denver’s Office of Economic Development, who provided a $3 million land acquisition investment, Confluence Companies was able to leverage the investment into delivering 91 work-force housing units (21 percent of the project total) valued at $28 million. The development will also include 8,500 square feet of retail space and two levels of below-grade parking.

The site of the developments is bordered by Inca and Jason Streets to the east and west, and 40th and 41st Avenues to the south and north. Shoring and excavation work have begun on site and Confluence Companies expects to start delivering the for-sale units in the spring of 2020.

Renderings courtesy of Craine Architecture 

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