Last Updated: Sept. 10, 2019

About The Jones District

What is The Jones District?

A:   The Jones District is a 42-acre area west of I-25 between IKEA and the Dry Creek light rail station. It is zoned Urban Center (UC) and envisioned to be a dynamic, mixed-use area, similar to The Streets at SouthGlenn, featuring a network of walkable blocks, active streets, and public gathering spaces. Currently, The Jones District has one new building, a 306-unit luxury apartment building named The Glenn, while the remaining 36 acres is vacant, undeveloped land. The Jones International University building was demolished in 2017 and The Glenn apartments opened phase I in early 2018. No other development other than the Glenn has occurred on the site.

Who owns the Jones District?

A:   Brue-Baukol Capital Partners purchased the Jones District in 2018.

Why is the name Jones still being used? 

A:    The Jones District name pays tribute to the history of the site as the Jones Intercable Headquarters and to the legacy of its founder Glenn Jones. At this time there are no plans to change the name although that could be a consideration in the future.

Process & Timeline

What is a Regulating Plan?

A:  Regulating Plans are required for development in the Urban Center zone district. They establish the network and types of streets in the development, the building types, frontage types, and maximum building heights on each block; the number, general location, and types of residential units; and the minimum and maximum gross floor area for each of the three subdistricts: Center Subdistrict, General Subdistrict, and Edge Subdistrict. The Regulating Plan is the basis for approval of subsequent site plans, which are required prior to the issuance of building permits. The City approved the first Jones District Regulating Plan in 2013 (LU-13-00047). A first amendment was approved in 2015 to increase the residential density; introduce an alternative residential typology; reconfigure the public space; revise sidewalk width; revise parcels sizes; and change frontage types and façade step-backs.

What changes is the Applicant proposing?

A:  Brue-Baukol Capital Partners, along with their design team, Tryba Architects (collectively, the “Applicant”), is proposing to amend the existing Jones District Regulating Plan to enable additional development within the Jones District. The changes they are seeking include: 

Increase to the total developable gross square footage.

Slight modifications to the boundaries of the General and Center subdistricts.

Increase residential density to include up to 1,500 more residential units in addition to the existing 306 units within The Glenn.

The reconfiguration of public and private space, including a new public pedestrian plaza.

What is the review process and timeline for the proposed changes to the Regulating Plan?

A:    Proposed amendments to the Regulating Plan must go to City Council for a decision after recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Please see the detailed Review Process and Timeline here.

What are the criteria used by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council to make a decision?

A:    Planning and Zoning Commission may make a recommendation to City Council who may approve an amendment to the Regulating Plan upon a finding that the following criteria are met: 

Section 12-14-902(C)(1) – The development will comply with the standards of Division 4-3, Form Standards for UC District, and the other applicable standards of this LDC (e.g., parking and loading).

Section 12-14-902(C)(2) – How the proposed development will implement the applicable Sub-Area Plan (if the parcel proposed for development is located within the boundaries of a Sub-Area Plan).

How does City staff review the application?

A:    Section 12-14-902 of the LDC outlines the requirements for Regulating Plans. The Applicant is required to provide information on how the specific criteria will be met, including information about traffic impacts, parking, public/private outdoor space, water/sewer/stormwater, impacts to schools, and height and visual impacts.

What is prompting the proposed changes?

A:    Brue-Baukol Capital Partners believes the current Regulating Plan is not meeting the needs of the market because it lacks the ability to enable additional mixed use development in order to attract office tenants who are seeking dynamic environments, close to transit in order to attract and retain employees.  

Residents and office tenants are looking for mixed-use communities where people can easily walk to work, grab lunch, or a drink after work without getting in their car. Office tenants are better able to attract and retain employees if they can offer an inclusive, mixed-use community that is appealing to work in. Sprawling office parks are less appealing to today’s office tenants, which is why other southeast metro transit-oriented design projects with a mix of uses have been so successful in recent years. 

How can I be involved? How is my input used?

A:    The Process Map shows opportunities for public input. Written public comments become part of the permanent public record and are attached to the Staff report submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council prior to them making a recommendation or decision about the project. City Staff and decision makers will take all comments received into account and work in good faith with the owner-developers to reasonably mitigate anticipated impacts. Legally, the decision of whether to approve or deny the requested amendments to the Regulating Plan must be based upon the criteria listed in the Land Development Code.

What is the build out timeline?

A:    Proposed build-out is 10-20 years.

How can the City ensure that what is in the Regulating Plan gets built?

A:    The City cannot guarantee that what is shown in the Regulating Plan will be built because development is driven by the market; however, the City can ensure that what does get built complies with what is shown in the Regulating Plan. To ensure a mixed-use development, the City is allowing certain amounts of non-residential uses are built before all the entitled residential uses are built out, as now required within the Urban Center Zone District Standards.

View Impacts to the Neighborhoods

What will the view of The Jones District look like from the neighborhoods to the east?

A:    The Applicant has provided an analysis to the City of what the views of the possible Jones District buildings could be from certain vantage points along S Yosemite St and from within the surrounding residential neighborhoods, most notably Willow Creek.  The views from these places show little to no sight impact. It is important to note the Applicant is not proposing to increase the height of the development beyond the maximum allowed under the current Regulating Plan and Code (15 stories).

Connectivity

Will there be pedestrian and bicycle access to/from Jones District?

A:    The Applicant would like to see the Jones District be a walkable and bikeable community, both within its boundaries and with respect to connections to the surrounding community. As such, there will be dedicated bike lanes within the development and the Applicant is evaluating the connections from the development to the nearby trails. The Applicant would like to ensure that its residents can easily connect to nearby bike corridors for their travel to/from work (reducing traffic impact on roads) and would also like the surrounding residential neighborhoods to be able to walk or bike into the Jones District to access its restaurants and amenities.

 

What opportunities are there for connections across the highway to Inverness?

A:    There is an existing pedestrian bridge across I-25 at the Dry Creek Light Rail station which sits on the northern edge of the Jones District.

Open Space/Amenities

Will there be sufficient public space and amenities for Jones District residents so that they are not solely reliant upon surrounding residential neighborhood amenities (parks, trails, open space, playgrounds, etc.), including amenities for children on the site?

A:    The amount and type of public space within the development will meet requirements in Division 4-3 Form Standards for UC District in the Land Development Code for size and composition, to ensure ample outdoor recreation opportunities for residents of the development. The specific amenities within the onsite private space, such as playground equipment, will be evaluated and determined in part by the residential unit mixes and product types developed.

Design

Building heights – what is allowed and what is proposed?

A:    The Urban Center zone district currently allows for heights up to 15 stories within the Center sub-district and eight (8) stories in the General sub-district. The proposed Regulating Plan amendment does not increase the maximum heights.

What are the density limits?

A:    Previously, residential within the Urban Center Zone District was limited to 20 percent of the gross floor area, but was recently amended to 50 percent of the gross floor area of any development. The Applicant is proposing 1,500 additional units (50 percent of the gross floor area) which will be specified within the Regulating Plan. 

Why is there such a large increase in residential density?

A:    As mentioned above, the Applicant believes the current Regulating Plan is not meeting the needs of the market because it lacks the ability to enable additional mixed use development in order to attract office tenants who are seeking dynamic environments, close to transit in order to attract and retain employees, which includes additional residential. The Applicant believes the scarcity of transit stops, and the transportation benefits provided by them, warrant a higher residential count. The Applicant has examined what the appropriate amount of residential density around a transit stop should be, and there are numerous studies centered around transit stops that recommend residential density similar or higher than what is being proposed.  Example Study 1   Example Study 2

Is there an alternative to the street grid layout on order to capitalize on mountain views?

A:    The City would prefer to see the street grid remain as it is in the current Regulating Plan. The Applicant also believes the street grid is important to creating walkable blocks and is also supportive of the street grid. The Applicant plans to utilize the change in topography from east to west to design the development so most levels of all buildings in the development have significant mountain views. 

Are there opportunities for a pedestrian mall along Centennial Promenade (like Pearl St in Boulder or Larimer St in Denver)?

A:    The Applicant envisions closing the promenade to vehicular traffic on special occasions, similar to what Larimer Square does on occasion in downtown Denver. Closing the promenade full-time (like Pearl Street in Boulder) is not be feasible from a traffic and movement standpoint, but they do believe there are periodic opportunities to have unique and memorable events by closing down the planned promenade through this development.

Is there an opportunity for seasonal programming?

A:    The Applicant believes that unique programming could and should be one of the major differentiators of this development, setting it apart from other residential or commercial developments in southeast Denver.

Will there be solar power?

A:    While there is no requirement for solar or other clean technologies to be used within Centennial, the Applicant is exploring different opportunities to utilize smart grid technologies within The Jones District. This may include the use of solar technology, but the density of the project (and thus limited vast tracts of roof space) is expected to constrain the amount of solar opportunities. Further, the Applicant is contemplating some of the roofs in the project as being “green” roofs, possibly used for park/outdoor space. 

Transportation

What are the traffic impacts, both within the project area and regionally?

A:    A Traffic Impact Study will be completed as part of the application. Those findings will be reviewed by the City’s Traffic Engineer.

Link to full TIS (see attached)

Link to TIS Executive Summary (see attached)

What parking ratios are required in the Regulating Plan?

A:    Parking ratios are not included within the current Regulating Plan; however, the City requires minimum parking depending on each use. See Land Development Code Section 12-5-201, Calculation of Required Parking Spaces.

Will the parking lot for the Dry Creek station be expanded?

A:    No, RTD does not expect to expand the Dry Creek Station Garage. The garage is currently 90% utilized, but there is no room to expand horizontally and technically infeasible to expand the garage vertically. However, RTD’s 2019 Q1 utilization count notes that the garage at Arapahoe at Village Center Station is only 61% utilized over the past 12 months. In general, both light-rail ridership and parking utilization are decreasing across the region. So, while trains and parking facilities may have been overcrowded in the past, there may be more room today or in the near future.

Will more train cars be available as many of them are already full?

A:    There is no plan to add additional rail trips to that corridor at this time. With trains running every 3 minutes through I-25 & Broadway during the peak, our tracks are at capacity, so no additional trips could be added without eliminating others or without additional infrastructure between I-25 & Broadway and Downtown Denver. RTD’s new master planning process should kick off in late July, and it should provide an opportunity to assess opportunities for expanded train or feeder-bus services and parking. RTD expects to have a community stakeholder event in August or September 2019.

What will be done for u-turns to cut into Dry Creek light rail station?

A:    The proposed Regulating Plan amendment does not address the existing light rail station. If u-turns are an illegal traffic movement, signs would be placed on the roadway. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office would be responsible for enforcing those signs on drivers.

Schools

How specifically will CCSD accommodate future enrollment without negatively impacting existing residents?

A:    CCSD has many tools at its disposal to manage shifting enrollment across the district.  Choice and non-resident enrollment are all based on space available and can be adjusted to accommodate growth within particular attendance areas.  Further, specific areas can be placed on “overflow enrollment” to other schools as a management tool.  Overflow enrollment leaves existing families in place, but directs newly enrolling families to a neighboring school that has space available.  Finally, the district can formally adopt new boundaries. 

How does CCSD address transient populations?

A:    Students residing within a specific attendance area are entitled to school enrollment (per state law), regardless of dwelling type or residential status.

Proposed Uses

What types of uses will be targeted for this development?

A:    The Applicant envisions a mix of residential, office, retail (primarily restaurants), and hotel. The Centennial Land Development Code determines the types of allowed uses within the Urban Center zoning district.   

What types of retail and/or entertainment is envisioned?

A:    The Applicant envisions a unique offering of restaurant and entertainment uses within the development, but it is still very early in the process and no definitive concepts have been finalized. 

Economic Development

What is happening with existing vacant retail/commercial space in the City?

A:    While there are some noticeable empty storefronts in Centennial from recent retail store closures, Centennial’s vacancy rates for office, retail and industrial space is consistent with metro Denver averages which are historically low due to consistent economic growth.

Why are we adding new when the current is not being used?

A:    Metro Denver companies are seeking new office space with walkable amenities like restaurants and retail that are near light rail in order to attract and retain employees at a time when unemployment is at record low levels.  Centennial has limited new office space that meets the current and future needs of these companies and their employees.

Reasoning for mix of residential vs. retail

A:    In order to create vibrant, walkable business parks we need to include residential in addition to office. Residential brings activity to an area on the weekends and before and after work hours which creates an opportunity to support retail, restaurants, and services that cannot survive from the business of the daytime workers in the area alone. Further, the success of new mixed-use development like that proposed for The Jones District also requires customers from around the area, not just the new residents and businesses within the project.

Housing

What opportunities are there for more affordable housing?  Will there be any additional considerations given to our senior citizens? Special housing?

A:    There is no requirement in the Land Development Code for a new residential development to provide a specific affordable or senior housing component. The Applicant anticipates the residential uses in the development will include a mix of for-sale and for-rent with varying price points. This will ultimately be driven by market conditions. 

Surrounding Uses

What are plans for the vacant parcel adjacent to The Jones District? What could be built there?

A:    The vacant parcel is under separate ownership and is currently zoned Business Park 100 (BP100) with conditions. Uses allowed specifically on this parcel include office, institutional uses, commercial, and mixed-use residential, See Land Development Code Tables 12-2-302, 12-2-303, and 12-2-304.

 

You may submit additional questions or comments to jones@centennialco.gov.

Quick Contact Info:

City of Centennial
13133 East Arapahoe Road
Centennial, CO  80112

(303) 325-8000 - 24-Hour Citizen Response Center
(720) 488-0933 - Fax Number

 

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