AURORA, CO-A $45-million, 345-unit multifamily development gets a green light from city council despite community pressure to nix the project.

Monterey Pointe holds the distinction of being the first luxury apartment complex that will be built near the former Fitzsimmons Army Base. The complex is being undertaken by Sandy Metzel of the Denver-based SKM Development Co. on a 28.4-acre tract at E. Colfax Avenue and Sable Street. Construction is now clear to begin in March.

Metzel had been seeking a rezoning in order to advance his development. Many area property owners clearly didn’t want any development while others expressed concern the requested rezoning would lead to heightened traffic. One council member had argued that the rezoning would result in 8,000 vehicles per day, or a 75% increase. The B-4 zoning allows 75-foot high buildings, nightclubs and mortuaries, Metzel says.

Despite the complaints, Metzel says he thinks neighbors eventually will appreciate the complex, which he believes will increase nearby real estate values and bring better stores and restaurants to the area. “Change is hard for everybody,” Metzel says. “But, this is a class-A project that is as nice as (other upscale apartment communities) the Breakers or the Jefferson developments. It’s a gated community that will cater to people who have discretionary income and want the kind of lifestyle where they don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.”

Metzel plans to charge $1.10 per sf, which means a typical 1,110-sf unit would command a monthly rent of $1,217. He expects the first building to take about a year to construct. The project also will include 40,000 sf of retail space.

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