DENVER-Developer Pat Barron, head of locally based Barron Investment, recently broke ground on the long-awaited University Lofts at DU. The development, with 35 rental units and 8,800 sf of retail, will provide much needed rental housing for DU students. The DU campus is across the street from Barron’s development at South University and East Evans Avenue. It opens in the spring of 2007.

“The whole project is 80,000 sf,” Barron tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re replacing all of the retail in the existing building that we tore down. It also includes 71 parking spaces,” most of which are underground. Barron, in the past, has developed a number of mixed-use renovations in Downtown Denver, including the Ice House.

“These units will be very loft-like,” Barron tells GlobeSt.com. “They’ll have high-ceilings and big windows. I think the kids will really like them.” They also will have the “latest and best as far as high-tech wiring,” he says. “But it won’t have amenities like a health club. Their amenity is really the DU campus across the street.”

Rosemary Stoffel, president of the University Park Community Council, the neighborhood group that represents the area, says that the plan received unanimous approval from her group. “Our board voted unanimously to support the project for several different reasons,” she tells GlobeSt.com. “We saw a need for real need for a quality project with really good architecture on this corner, and Pat Barron is delivering that.”

Stoffel goes on to say that Barron, who lives in the neighborhood, made a lot of concessions to mitigate traffic and other wishes of the neighborhood. For example, he could have built a 140-foot-tall building, but agreed that its maximum height would be 65 feet, she says.

The building is being designed by Christopher Carvell Architects and Shears Adkins Architects. Swinerton Builders in the general contractor.

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