Nearly 500 apartments, cottages, townhouses proposed for City

Charlotte Lang

Housing projects and proposals are nothing new to the Fort Collins area. What is new, however, is a developer the City hasn’t seen before, and it hopes to make some long-term investments in the community.

Goodwin Knight is a developing company with a vision of “Making Life Better.” Currently, it has proposed two new housing plans to the City, with hopes of future proposals to come.

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Bryan Kniep, vice president of planning and community development with Goodwin Knight, said the two proposals focus on College/Skyway and College/Triangle.

“Skyway is proposed for 90 apartments in two three-story buildings with a clubhouse,” Kniep wrote in an email to The Collegian. “Triangle is a combination of housing types with an additional 200 apartment units (similar design to Skyway) and 118 for-rent cottages (side-by-side duplexes).”

An additional 65 townhouses are also proposed and would be for sale, Kniep wrote. The site would also include a clubhouse.

Kniep wrote that the likelihood of Skyway’s acceptance is fairly high.

“We have made a submittal and are working through the first round of comments, and none seem to be overly onerous,” Kniep wrote. 

Goodwin Knight expects to make a submittal for Triangle in the next week and has worked out many of the issues ahead of time. Due to this, Kniep wrote that he would deem it to be fairly likely as well.

“Both sites were previously zoned for the uses we are proposing,” Kniep wrote.

Kniep wrote that these are the company’s first projects in Fort Collins and that working with the City has been a positive experience.

We understand the importance of what we deliver to the market and how it can impact lives in general, and we don’t take that lightly.” -Bryan Kniep, vice president of planning and community development

“We have done developments in a lot of areas outside our home base in Colorado Springs, so it is always interesting to see how processes are different and what expectations are for developers,” Kniep wrote. “To date, the staff in Fort Collins has been very good to work with, and we haven’t experienced anything we didn’t expect.”

The primary goal for the developer is to make life better for the community, trade partners, employees, residents and neighbors, Kniep wrote.

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“We realize that change is something everyone hates, and the developer is always the villain,” Kniep wrote. “But, ultimately, many people live in communities that people just like us built. We understand the importance of what we deliver to the market and how it can impact lives in general, and we don’t take that lightly.”

Variety and change in housing stock is always a good thing for a community, Kniep wrote.

“The people who rent in our apartments and cottages are the people who buy the existing homes next when those current residents move to new homes,” Kniep wrote. “It also gives a variety of options for people when it comes to choosing housing; competition is always a good thing for the consumer.”

Strong economic indicators, including a large University presence, a good manufacturing base, a lot of downtown charm and access to the outdoors and recreation were factors that made Northern Colorado appealing for these projects, Kniep wrote.

Goodwin Knight has no intention of being a one-and-done type of developer.

“Once we get a feel for a particular city or town, we tend to make long-term investments in the community,” Kniep wrote. “There is a lot of time and effort that goes into understanding on-the-ground politics, the general needs and desires of the community and how products are accepted by the end-user, and we don’t want to waste those efforts.”

Kniep wrote that Goodwin Knight thinks there is a lot of potential in the long-term for Fort Collins, and they want to be part of that. 

Travis Ackerman, managing director for real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, said the good aspect of the current proposals, particularly the one for Triangle, is that the developers are trying to keep rents and prices as low as they can.

“I think this will help some of those residents that are trying to move into their own apartment or the family looking to buy their first home,” Ackerman said.

The greatest benefits from the proposals are the affordability aspect and the range of housing types in one area, Ackerman said. There should be something for everyone that chooses to live here.

“Our largest complaint from all industries is the lack of employees,” Ackerman said. “Because of this great need in Northern Colorado, I think there will be more and more people moving to this region. The trick will be keeping it affordable enough for them to live here.”

Charlotte Lang can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chartrickwrites.