BY FREDA MIKLIN
On December 13, the City of Greenwood Village hosted a public input meeting for Alberta Development to get resident feedback and answer questions about a proposal to build 54 for-sale townhomes, attached in groups of three to seven units, along with a potential grocery store and other retail shops, at 8081 E. Orchard Road in Greenwood Village. Alberta 8081 East Orchard LLC purchased the property from Marilyn Hickey Ministries for $14,813,876 on February 17, 2017.
The project, named “The Orchard,” is planned for the 9.59-acre site that has been vacant since approximately 2018. The attached townhomes are called out as luxury brownstone single family residences on the plan that also expects to include a 40,000-square-foot grocery store on the southwest corner of the property and 10,000 square feet of other retail on the southeast end with surface parking in-between. The residences are planned for the northern half of the property. The existing building and parking structure on the property will be demolished.
At the meeting, we asked Alberta’s representative if the grocery store planned for The Orchard was Whole Foods, since photos were shown that depicted that store. She told us that Whole Foods was interested in the project but was waiting to see if it’s approved by Greenwood Village before commiting to it.
Another Alberta representative told The Villager he expects the brownstones to be 2,200 to 2,400 square feet and have three to four levels, including rooftop decks but not basements, along with two attached parking spaces, priced at around $1.2 million. He also told us that Alberta, which has built mostly shopping centers, plans to partner with an experienced homebuilder for the residences.
The Orchard, as planned, meets the requirements of the Greenwood Village Zoning Code, although residential development in the Town Center zone district where it is located is considered a special use thus must be specifically approved by the city council.
The proposal does not appear to conform to the GV Comprehensive Plan (Plan), which was revised in 2018 following a controversy over development in the area. The Plan states that residential development is discouraged in the area other than single family residences that are on at least one-fourth acre, but the Plan is not law. It is a policy document thus the city council is free to make exceptions to it if it determines it is in the city’s best interests to do so.
GV City Council Member Anne Ingebretsen, who represents district two where the property is located, was at the public input meeting and spoke with many of the residents who attended. Also present were Council Members Tom Stahl and Paul Wiesner, along with City Manager John Jackson and community development staff members Derek Stertz, planning manager, and David French, senior planner.
Alberta hopes to submit the project to the city’s community development department for official review by February 1 after making final adjustments. Once community development staff completes its review, it will forward the proposal to GV’s planning and zoning commission, who will hold a public hearing on the project. After P & Z’s process is completed, the project will move on to the city council with P & Z’s recommendation for approval or denial. The city council will then hold another public hearing on it, followed by an official vote to approve or disapprove the proposal.
Questions about The Orchard can be submitted to Dustin Anderson of Alberta Development at 303-771-4004 or email@example.com. Questions for the city should be sent to David French, senior planner, at 303-486-5748 or firstname.lastname@example.org.