Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Neighbors line up behind 10-story Lux at DU apartment project

Rezoning approval crucial to developers’ plans for a 10-story apartment building at Evans Avenue and University Boulevard was unanimously passed Oct. 20 by Denver City Council.

The vote gives developers David Eloe and Phillip Caplan the green light to build Lux at DU, a high-rise rental apartment with ground-floor retail on the southwest corner from the intersection to the parking lot of United Methodist Church.

“It’s a prominent corner, a gateway to the University Park neighborhood,” Caplan told the council prior to the vote.

There was no opposition. Rather, there was solid support from University Park Community Council representatives, who have worked with the developers for 10 months in a bid to influence the project. The talks resulted in an agreement to limit the height of the building to 120 feet, about two stories lower than is allowed under the new RMU-30 zoning, and a pledge to enclose parking.

“There’s been a pretty good spreading of information about this project, and the neighborhood is supporting it,” Patrick Cashen, president of University Park Community Council, told the Denver council.

The agreement, however, was unable to preserve University Manor at 2142 S. University Blvd., an art-Deco style four-family flat constructed in 1931 and occupied for a time by former DU Chancellor David Shaw Duncan and his wife, Laura. To make room for the new complex, University Manor will be razed along with other buildings from 2100 to 2156 S. University.

Construction won’t begin until at least June 15, Eloe said, because of existing leases at some of the properties. He added that efforts to land a grocery for the building’s ground-floor retail space are being ramping up and so far have included discussions with Sprouts, an Arizona-based organic food and vitamin chain, Whole Foods, Tony’s Market and other retailers.

“We know that restaurants want to be in the building, but we want a market,” Eloe said.

Also on Monday, the city council introduced a separate rezoning proposal requested by DU for property the University owns in the 2000 block of South High and Race streets and East Evans Avenue. The rezoning would clear the way for construction of Ruffatto Hall, centerpiece of the Morgridge College of Education.

A public hearing on the proposed rezoning is Nov. 17, after which council will vote on the plan.

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