The Idaho Springs City Council has unanimously approved the final development plan and final plat for the forthcoming development on the former Digger Field and bus barn properties.
The plan approved at the council’s April 11 meeting entails:
- Three buildings with a total of 119 residential units, which will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartments;
- About 2,500 square feet of commercial space;
- 182 parking spots on the site with others anticipated along Miner Street; and
- A park on the current bus barn property and other open spaces.
Applicant Four Points Development is currently estimating rents for one-bedroom units around $1,600-$1,700; two-bedrooms around $2,000; and four-bedroom units at $3,600.
With the final plat approved, Four Points representatives said demolition and prep-work will start this August or September. Vertical construction likely won’t start until spring 2023, to give developers adequate time to acquire all the necessary materials amid supply-chain issues.
The project is already fully funded, so Four Points doesn’t anticipate any delays once work begins.
Both staff and the Planning Commission recommended approval with seven conditions, including installing more lighting on the south end of the property and having a privacy fence along the western edge. Four Points agreed to all these, including working with stakeholders to offer apartments to locals first before putting them on the open market.
The final development plan and final plat was the second part of a two-step process. The first was rezoning the field and bus barn from parks and commercial-2, respectively, to planned development. City Council approved the rezoning 5-1 last fall.
Some version of this plan has been in the works for years, as the Clear Creek School District has contemplated selling unused properties that would solve multiple problems, including housing for the local workforce, school board member Kelly Flenniken said.
CCSD and Four Points have agreed to dedicate four four-bedroom units for district staff members.
All public comments during the April 11 meeting were generally positive toward the applicant and overall plan. The Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District and other entities supported the development, which Four Points is calling the Fieldhouse, as an opportunity to house local workers.
CCMRD General Manager Cameron Marlin hoped the new development would increase the rec district’s user base and provide housing for staff members, while the new park would allow for additional programming.
Two Idaho Springs business owners described how middle-income or workforce housing was desperately needed. Some of their employees currently live in low-income housing, but could afford units at the Fieldhouse. If so, that would free up their current low-income units for others who need them.
Flenniken emphasized how teachers’ rents are averaging $2,500-$3,000 for one- or two-bedroom apartments. Thus, many can’t afford to live in the county and sometimes drive through two or three other school districts to reach Clear Creek.
Mayor Chuck Harmon and Council Members Lisa Manifold, John Curtis, Arthur Caccavale and Kate Collier all voted to approve the application with the outlined seven conditions.
Council Member Jim Clark was absent, and Council Member Scott Pennell recused himself for potential conflict-of-interest because he owns property near the former football field.