Economy & Economic Development  January 25, 2016

Boulder planning board to consider approval of Rêve mixed-use development

BOULDER – Developers for Rêve, a mixed-use project planned for the southeast corner of 30th and Pearl streets, will go before the Boulder planning board Thursday night seeking approval of a proposal that was first submitted to the city for concept review in 2014.

If approved, officials for Tennessee-based Southern Land Co., are hoping to break ground on the site by fall, with construction expected to take roughly two and a half years to complete.

Rêve is slated to include roughly 114,000 square feet of office space, 24,000 square feet for retail and restaurants, and 244 for-rent housing units ranging from efficiency and studio units to townhomes. The project, which would include four buildings of four and five stories each, would sit on six acres encompassing the properties at 3000 Pearl St., 2100 and 2170 30th St., and 2120 32nd St. Southern Land is under contract to purchase all of the properties.

Rêve would add to the already major transformation taking place at 30th and Pearl. Near the southwest corner of the intersection, developers are constructing a 300,000-square-foot campus for Google. The Solana apartments, meanwhile, opened in recent years on the south side of 30th, just east of where Rêve is planned. And Depot Square — a mixed-use development that includes a Hyatt Place hotel, bus station and affordable housing —opened last year not far east of 30th on the north side of Pearl Parkway.

Southern Land Co. went through a pair of informal concept reviews with the planning board when the project was first conceived, as well as a concept review before city council early last year. The company has since filed multiple versions of the more formal site review application as it worked with city staff on revisions and tweaks to the plans.

“It’s taken awhile, but we kind of knew that going in,” Southern Land senior vice president Michael McNally said in a phone interview Monday.

The amount of office space has decreased by a few thousand square feet, but no wholesale changes have been made from the original plans. Most of the discussions with city staff have centered around shifting certain parts of the project around, adjusting massing and refining building designs and open space features.

The developers are requesting rezoning of the 3000 30th St. property from Business-Regional 1 to Mixed Use 4, as well as a change for the 2120 32nd site from Industrial-General to Business-Regional 1. Both of those changes are in line with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.

Southern Land is also seeking a height exception up to 55 feet. Boulder’s city council last year imposed a moratorium on allowing developers to apply for height exceptions, though grandfathered in a few projects, including Rêve, that had either already begun the development review process or were located in a select few parts of the city where officials felt such higher density was appropriate.

City staff has recommended that the planning board approve the project, with planner Elaine McLaughlin saying Monday that Rêve, from a staff standpoint, meets design criteria and guidelines.

If approved by planning board, city council would have a month to call the project up for public hearing, though the project was generally well-received by council members during last year’s concept review.

“It’s a better project than it was a year or two ago when we first started,” McNally said. City staff and the concept reviews, he said, “have all added a lot of value to what we’ve got today. We’ll see Thursday if we’ve hit the mark. It’s definitely been a collaborative effort with the city with their various departments.”

The project’s housing component will provide a wide range of product and price points. Rental rates are still being hashed out by Southern Land, but McNally said some of the smallest units could land in the range of $850 per month, while the largest townhomes — there are a couple planned at more than 2,100 square feet each — could go for more than $4,000 per month.

McNally said Southern Land, which has one mixed-use project under construction in Denver and another there in planning stages, is still figuring out how to comply with Boulder’s affordable-housing requirements. He said it’s unclear yet whether the company will pay cash in lieu, provide the required affordable units onsite, construct affordable units elsewhere in town, or some combination of those options.

BOULDER – Developers for Rêve, a mixed-use project planned for the southeast corner of 30th and Pearl streets, will go before the Boulder planning board Thursday night seeking approval of a proposal that was first submitted to the city for concept review in 2014.

If approved, officials for Tennessee-based Southern Land Co., are hoping to break ground on the site by fall, with construction expected to take roughly two and a half years to complete.

Rêve is slated to include roughly 114,000 square feet of office space, 24,000 square feet for retail and restaurants, and 244 for-rent housing units ranging from efficiency…

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