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Efficiency apartments planned at Boulder commercial site

BOULDER — Stok Investment Group, a real estate development firm that specializes in green residential projects aimed at middle-income earners, plans to raze a pair of commercial buildings at 2206 Pearl St.  in Boulder and replace them with efficiency apartments.

The project, which proposes 45 units on just under a half-acre, also calls for 2,100 square feet of commercial space.

The market-rate units would be about 300 square feet, and would meet a community need for housing targeting those who earn too much to qualify for subsidized housing and too little to afford the luxury options that abound in Boulder, Ross Holbrook, Stok managing partner and University of Colorado alum, told members of Boulder’s Planning Board on Tuesday. 

Documents submitted to the city by the developer indicate that rental rates could range from $1,700 to $2,600 per month. 

Although that range matches the cost of similarly sized units in Boulder, Planning Board member Sarah Silver said, “I don’t think there’s anyone who would argue that $2,000 a month for 300 square feet is affordable.”

Sustainability was an important part of Stok’s pitch to city officials. “Our goal is zero carbon,” Holbrook said.

The developer has requested a reduction in its required parking to encourage residents to use alternative modes of transportation. Holbrook said he is in talks with a car-sharing company on a partnership that would make it easier for dwellers of Pearl Street apartment complex to access wheels should they need them for errands or emergencies. 

In a memo to city planners, Stok wrote that it also plans to take advantage of “on-site renewable energy resources, zero-[volatile organic compounds] materials [and] carbon offsets,” to achieve its sustainability ambitions. 

“There’s a lot of aspiration talk here,” Planning Board member John Gerstle said, and it will be the job of city officials to ensure that the developer brings forth deliverables to back up that talk.

Source: BizWest