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DENVER-A co-housing project is being undertaken in Denver, where Boulder-based Wonderland Hill Development Co. has broken ground for the metro’s first such project.

Cohousing projects feature separate dwellings complemented by a large “common building” that includes an expansive dining room, kitchen, lounges, meeting space, recreation area, library, workshops and child-care facility. The 33-unit, $7-million Hearthstone complex is being built in Highlands’ Garden Village on the site of the old Elitch Gardens amusement park in the city’s Northwest sector.

Colorado has more co-housing communities than any place in the nation and Boulder’s Wonderland Hills reportedly is the most active builder for the concept. There are 45 such projects in the US and six in Canada. “We’re the only developer who has done multiple projects,” says Jim Leach, head of Wonderland Hills.

Leach had spent two years lobbying Highlands’ Garden Village developer, Chuck Perry, on the project. Wonderland Custom Homes is the single-family homebuilder for Garden Village, where dwellings range in price from $250,000 to $370,000. Co-housing units cost between $150,000 and $250,000 and range in size from about 750 sf to almost 1,700 sf. To date, more than 20 units have been sold, Leach says.

“It’s one of our key components,” Perry says of the latest project at Garden Village. The Hearthstone is Leach’s ninth co-housing project, consisting of about 300 units.

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