ARVADA, Colo. — A local developer has been working on a project to turn two homes in Olde Town Arvada into a 14-unit condo and retail development.
The three-story project, called Grandview Station, has been in the works for years, according to Keane Palmer, a manager with the developer Brick Investments. It was finally nearing approval in August, but backlash from the community has stopped the development in its tracks.
"It’s overpowering, it’s out of scale, it’s three stories high and it totally obliterates the business next door," said Jerry Kannapin, a retired designer and architect in Arvada.
"With 50 years in the architectural profession, this just doesn’t fit," Kannapin told 9NEWS Wednesday. "It’s a wonderful piece of architecture. I mean, I love it. I know the guys that did it. It’s a great piece."
The biggest problem for Kannapin is that Grandview Station would require two 1900s homes on Grandview Avenue to be demolished.
Keane Palmer first presented a mixed-use concept to the city's Design Review Committee in February of 2015. Palmer said he's worked hard to keep the development in line with the character of Olde Town. But the project would require demolition of the existing structures.
The neighboring property is owned by Lori Drienka. She operates Carly's Boutique and has been in business for 14 years. She has been clashing with Palmer on this development since the very beginning.
"I feel like I’m just the town crier," Drienka said. "I don’t mean to be, it’s just come out this way."
The passion to preserve the "character of Olde Town" is what brought Jerry Kannapin and Lori Drienka together.
"She’s got the ideas and I’m doing the drawings," said Kannapin. "She’s gotten a lot of input from other merchants."
Kannapin and Drienka have been working together to present their own version of a development using the existing homes. She said she's gotten a lot of input from other local merchants in Olde Town to help guide the direction of their proposals for the property.
"We always wanted to try to preserve as much of the old as possible or keep something in character with Olde Town," Drienka said. So she and Kannapin have come up with plans of their own that would reinvent the homes and the property by renovating and turning them into retail spaces.
It would take a lot of money, and someone willing to do that kind of development. But Drienka believes there is a lot of interest.
The deadline to appeal the condo development was August 30. Drienka put in an appeal with the city at the end of the month. Her appeal now sends the debate about this property to the city's planning commission in October.
"My best-case scenario is that somebody comes in that will follow the rules," Drienka said. "Two stories, 32-feet, nothing more."
Arvada city ordinance places a two-story standard on buildings in the historic Olde Town district. The city's board of adjustments approved a variance in February to allow the project to have three stories.
Even with Drienka's appeal, the city could approve Grandview Station in October. Until then, the condo project is at a standstill.
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