Anyone who’s driven up Broadway in far-north Boulder notices the ghost-like, 8.5-acre Armory property just before Lee Hill Road. There’s a high barbed wire-topped fence around the property and stern, stark signs warning that trespassing is strictly prohibited.
The scrubby, open property, dominated by the 9,500-square-foot former Armory Mess Hall, with the warning signs gave the property an ominous, forlorn feel.
The forlorn vibe of the 8.5-acre Armory site features the 9,500-square-foot former mess hall. Photo: Paul Hagey
Located at the southwest corner of Broadway and Lee Hill Ave, at 4750 Broadway, the property has stood in development limbo as local lawyer Bruce Dierking and local developer Jim Loftus, under the Armory Community LLC investment group, worked to develop a workable plan for over a decade.
The U.S. Army National Guard built the site in 1949 and moved to it in 1956. Loftus had proposed redevelopment plans for the site to the city back in 2005, and Loftus and Dierking submitted a purchase contract for it in 2014, but that fell through.
Some of the sticking points involved issues around relocating the armory and city sign-off on proposed development plans.
Enter Atlanta-based Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, taking over the project with Loftus and Dierking’s Armory Community as a minority partner; it is not clear whether the group has completed purchase of the property (we will confirm that, but it appears so since construction is planned to start this fall!), but it has a website and a plan.
The tiny-home village vision
Pollack Shores says the plan’s initial phase — 201 units — will break ground this fall and be ready for residents by 2021.
The overall vision for the site includes a village of 23 buildings: a mix of two-story apartment buildings, 18 three-story townhomes, two parks and 8,400-square-feet of retail along its Broadway frontage.
It appears the plan includes no designated affordable housing; Pollack Shores notes that all homes will be market-rate. But, it says, since the homes will be a mix of townhomes and apartments, they lower cost relative to the broader housing market.
In fact, many will be tiny — 70 percent of the units will be studios or one-bedroom apartments averaging 627 square feet.
Blossoming North Boulder
After years of planning, North Boulder continues to mature from rural outskirts to an increasingly urban area.
The city is finalizing a compelling design for the new 1,100-square-foot North Boulder public library branch just a few blocks south on Broadway.
And the city’s best-named taqueria — Tierra y Fuego — will open its first brick-and-mortar location in October.