Tennyson 7 coming to Berkeley
The townhome community is called Tennyson 7, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to call it the Magnificent 7 – but unlike that fabled Western, all of the units will be standing strong long after they open late next summer.
“Everything in this building is fully engineered,” from the high-efficiency ductwork to the concrete sidewalks, said Jeff Plous, a top ONE Realty broker, who is wearing a developer hat on this development, with two partners. Each of the seven units will have more than 1,500 square feet and will be priced in the mid-$300,000s.
Plous attributed the quality of the seven-unit development under construction at 4539 Tennyson St., to one of his partners, veteran developer Paul Stann. Stann has been involved in a number of the most successful and high-profile developments in Denver, including the Four Seasons Hotel Denver and its Private Residences condominiums, Clayton Lane in Cherry Creek, Waterside Lofts, Flour Mill Lofts, Hotel Teatro, 16 Market and 1899 Wynkoop. His other partner is Billy Wang, who has been involved in real estate since the mid-1990s.
“Paul is my mentor,” Plous said. “He was my first choice when I wanted to tackle, what is really my first development. Working with Paul is so refreshing. For example, when we put in the caissons, it typically is a one-day job, but because we hired a third-party firm to inspect them, it took 2.5 days, which didn’t make the workers very happy. It costs more, but this way we make sure our buyers won’t have any future problems. This is a minuscule project for Paul. He is bringing high-rise construction quality to an infill development.”
Meeting the market
Stann, for his part, said it is “fun to do these little infill projects from time to time.” Plus, he said that is where the market is, during this time of the real estate cycle. “This is not the time for a 300-unit,
high-rise for-sale project,” he said. “During times like this, I search around the city to find areas that are in transition, that are up-and-coming and would appeal to young professionals, that are family oriented, are close to nice restaurants and bars, and parks and such.”
Tennyson Street in Berkeley, fits that definition and is more affordable than Lower Highland, a couple of miles to the east, Plous said. The units will each have 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, attached garages, and energy efficient furnaces and air conditioning systems.
“We’re close to everything,” Plous said. “Berkeley Park, where the city is spending millions improving it, is a half-blcok away. You’re walking distance from all of these great restaurants and coffee shops, 10 minutes from downtown and five minutes from I-70.”
He expects them to primarily to appeal “to people like me. Professionals in their late 20s and early 30s.”
Prospective buyers, he said, will find more value than they do in Lower Highland, or LoHi.
“These will have the type of finishes you typically don’t find at these price points,” Plous said. “In Lower Highland, there are units about the same size that are selling for about $460,000. Plus, Berkeley is much quieter than Lower Highland.”
The units will each have 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, attached garages, and energy efficient furnaces and air conditioning systems. Anchen Wang is designing them.
The first level of each unit is the garage, the second is the living room and dining area, and the third is a bedroom, and there is a rooftop deck.
“Basically, it is a three-story development with a rooftop deck,” Plous said. “There are very few areas left where you can still go to three stories.We were able to do it, because on Tennyson there is U-MX-3 zoning, which allows three-story buildings up to 40-feet tall.” Although it is a big building, Plous said, because of setbacks and the way the building is scaled – it can only be 27-feet tall where it faces a residential district, for example – it will not be “casting too much of a shadow on neighbors.”
Plous said that not only did his team recently break ground on the project, but it is breaking new ground for the city.
“This is a direct reflection of the new zoning code,” approved by the City Council in June 2010, Plous said. “It is creating the kind of urban density that the city wants for Tennyson.”
Stann agreed. “The city wanted more density on Tennyson to really animate the street.”
Plous said he thinks Tennyson 7 will escape the kind of criticism that RedPeak Properties is facing from vocal neighbors for its proposal of five-story apartment buildings near West 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard in nearby West Highland.
“There used to be an extremely dilapidated house on this site,” Plous said. “All of the neighbors were really happy to see that house go down. It was horrible. And this building is going to be spectacular.”
Although Tennyson 7 is one building, each unit is a townhome, not a condominium.
“Townhomes are a lot easier to finance than condominiums,” Plous said. “You can do FHA loans on townhomes all day long.”
Although they plan to officially kick off the marketing in earnest early next year, Plous said
prospective buyers have already shown interest in two of the units.
Stann likes the idea of Tennyson 7 riding on the coattails of that classic gunslinger tale starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Eli Wallach and others.
“You should write an article calling it the Magnificent 7. ”
Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com
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