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THORNTON, CO-A Denver developer is off and running on a $40.4 million, 480-unit apartment complex in a bedroom community of Denver, promising to deliver the metro region’s 10th largest multifamily project in 2001.

The 30-acre Champions Park is being steered by Dermot Development Co. LLC, an affiliate of Dermot Co. Inc., a Del Mar, CA-based multifamily developer that owns and manages more than 1,350 units in CO. The project is situated at the intersection of W. 104th Ave. and Colorado Boulevard.

“This project is going to do really well,” says Jeff Hawks, the apartment specialist with Grubb & Ellis who sold the land to Dermot Development. The Denver International Airport, east of the development site, is an easy 16-mile “straight shot” commute while the same holds true for Interlocken Business Park situated 12 miles to the west and Downtown Denver, which lies 10 miles to the south. And perhaps most importantly, Champion Parks’ tenants who work at Interlocken-based companies, such as Level 3 and Sun Microsystems Inc., can commute by bypassing the congested US 36, Hawks says.

“All of this growth is going on up here, from Boulder to DIA, and at the same time, cities are not allowing you to build,” says Randy C. Bryant, Dermot Development president. “All of the communities have some kind of restraint on growth–Thornton, Broomfield, Lafayette and Superior. So where are all of these people who are going to work at Level 3 going to live? We think we will be providing much needed housing.” The Champions Parks site is one of the few exemptions from Thornton’s Growth Pacing Ordinance, he says.

Units range in size from 721 sf to 1,358 sf, boasting monthly rents ranging from $750 to $1,250. Hawks says the lower-than-usual cost is possible due to new, efficient floorplans without a rear breezeway, designed by the Houston architectural firm Kaufman Meeks + Partners. It reportedly is the first of its kind in the region. The design change makes the complex smaller, but units the same size due to the elimination of one exterior wall–a move that also defrays cost for insulation and siding.

“I’ve seen an apartment like this in Houston, but it’s new to Denver,” Hawks says. “Across the country, developers are trying to find ways they can save money on construction to make units more affordable.”

Amenities call for a gazebo overlooking a lake with soaring 45-foot fountains, year-round swimming pool with more fountains and a complementary waterfalls plus a clubhouse with stadium-seating in a theater/media center and digital surround sound. The project also features a state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor recreation component and entertainment room with billiards, shuffleboard and an electronic dart board. A 24-hour executive business center–with computers, copier, fax machines and high-speed Internet access–also is being planned. High-speed Internet services and digital cable TV hookups are being installed in each apartment.Other amenities include high ceilings, crown molding, remote-controlled garages, built-in computer desks and fireplaces in many of the units.

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