Locals will have an opportunity to chime in on plans to redevelop the Liquor Mart property as the Boulder Planning Board has a public hearing and site review scheduled for the project Thursday.
Plans for the store, which closed early this year after more than five decades in business on 15th Street, call for the construction of a three-story, nearly 150,000-square-foot, mixed-use development with more than 14,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground flood and 147 apartments on the upper floors.
Core Spaces LLC, a Chicago-based real estate developer, bought the 1.7-acre parcel, which includes the Robb’s Music site at 1580 Canyon Blvd., from W.W. Reynolds Cos. for $16.6 million in 2018. Core has dubbed the new development, which has gone through several design and branding iterations over the past two years, OLIV at Boulder.
“The current proposal is for restaurants/brewpubs/taverns, offices, or retail sales space on the ground floor,” planning documents show.
Core Spaces, which began as a student housing developer, has built projects tailored for this demographic in a number of cities — many of them, such as Boulder, are home to major universities — including Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Tempe, Ariz.
In response to concerns from nearby residents about the potential for hundreds of college students living in the new apartments, Core leaders have repeatedly insisted that OLIV at Boulder will not be marketed as housing specifically for University of Colorado Boulder students.
“There seems to be a little bit of confusion about our target demographic,” Core Spaces executive vice president of development Chad Matesi told planning officials last year.. “Core does have a student-housing platform and the company was born out of the student housing realm … but we also have a market-rate platform. This [development] is being proposed through our market-rate platform, not our student-housing platform.”
Matesi added, “I’m not going to guarantee that there won’t be a single student in that building because it is still proximate to a university … but our main focus will be on the market rate [occupant].”
During a concept review for the project held last year, Boulder Planning Board members also bemoaned Core’s decision not to include affordable housing in its plans for OLIV at Boulder. Instead, the developer proposed to pay the city cash-in-lieu of on-site affordable units.
Thursday’s virtual planning board meeting is set for 6 p.m.
Once the site review process is complete, Core plans to immediately begin the building permitting process followed by groundbreaking, planning documents show.
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