Plans set for neighborhood in North Boulder

BOULDER – Allison Management LLC owner Andy Allison said that a groundbreaking in March is on tap if things go as planned for a new North Boulder neighborhood of 31 single-family homes at the former site of the Boulder County’s fire-training center.

Allison Management is partnering with Boulder nonprofit Thistle Communities on the neighborhood, which Allison said at this point is dubbed 820 Lee Hill for the address of the site.

The neighborhood will sit on 6.2 acres tucked between Lee Hill Drive on the north and Yellow Pine Avenue to the south. Eighth Street borders the area to the west, while an extension of 10th Street is planned to border the neighborhood on the east.

Allison Management and Thistle are under contract to buy the county-owned land for $3 million, and Allison said the sale could close in December or January. The county built a new fire training facility near Boulder Reservoir in 2010, with the Lee Hill property being used as a transportation maintenance facility since then.

The neighborhood passed site review with the planning board in October and was not called up for review by city council. Developers still need to go through the technical document review and permitting processes.

“It’s a great site,” Allison said. “There’s just not a lot of these parcels left in Boulder. It’s a unique opportunity west of Broadway to bring some different styles up there.”

The 820 Lee Hill homes will range in size from 1,200 to 2,360 square feet above grade plus unfinished basements, with Coburn Development doing the design. A pathway would run east-west through the neighborhood, connecting to a park in the central area and some more open space at the southeast corner of the development. Allison said prices will generally range from $400,000 to $600,000 for market rate homes.

Allison said the developers are leaning toward making six of the homes comply with Boulder’s affordable-housing program rather than building other affordable units offsite or paying cash in lieu. The permanently-affordable homes, Allison said, would likely range in price from roughly $200,000 for smaller models to $300,000 for larger models if those were included.

Allison said he anticipates build-out of the neighborhood to take 15 to 18 months.

“I don’t think sales will be an issue,” Allison said. “It’s a strong market for $400,000 to $700,000 homes.”

The neighborhood is the fourth development in which Allison Management has partnered with Thistle, a nonprofit geared toward providing permanently affordable homes for families, seniors and people with disabilities.

Both companies, Allison said, have had a common focus on mid-range housing in Boulder somewhere between rentals on the lower end and the higher-end single-family homes.

“It’s just been a good fit for our two companies,” Allison said.

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