Last Tuesday night, after a year and a half of contentious debate and hard work, Boulder’s Planning Board approved a proposal to build homeless young adult housing with supportive services at 1440 Pine St.
As many of you know, STUDIO Architecture has been working with Shannon Cox Baker, Ryan Hibbard Jones, Attention Homes, Deneuve Construction and Gardner Capital on this much-needed project. And all of us couldn’t be more pleased with the planning board’s decision.
“The decisive vote by the planning board shows they understood how hard the team worked to address the board’s concept review comments and the issues identified by the neighborhood,” says Jeff Dawson, STUDIO founder and managing partner. “Ultimately, I think it proves that the entire development team was committed to working with the city to create the best project possible given the sensitivity of the site’s location and the tight time frame presented by the project’s 9% low income housing tax credit award by CHFA last year.”
The development team met with the neighborhood frequently – even before the design process began – to hear feedback on the direction of the project. From those meetings, STUDIO Architecture’s team developed the conceptual design direction. However, the Planning Board recommended significant changes to reduce the mass and scale of the building along 15th and Pine Streets, as well as modifications to the architectural character to be more compatible with the existing homes in the Whittier neighborhood. Additionally, the development team brought in three transportation and parking consultants to evaluate the parking reduction request and guide the associated transportation demand management strategy to offset any parking impacts. The design team even toured a number of existing permanent supportive housing projects in the Midwest and spoke to operators of similar projects across the country to confirm the building program.
But, STUDIO Architecture was clearly guided by the vision of Attention Homes. This vote is a positive step toward greater inclusivity in Boulder and most certainly helps to create a cycle of possibility for transition age youth in crisis.
“STUDIO Architecture will continue to work with Attention Homes and Gardner Capital to make a difference in the lives of homeless young adults in Boulder,” said Dawson, “by taking so many vulnerable young men and women off the streets, I’m convinced we will make Boulder a better place to live for decades to come.”