Developer proposes luxury apartments at 29th & Dupont

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December 26, 2013 // UPDATED 2:34 pm - January 1, 2014
By: Michelle Bruch
Michelle Bruch
Six stories would rise on the Buzza Lofts' surface parking lot.

With the affordable Buzza Lofts at a 600-person waiting list, Dominium Development is proposing a new luxury apartment project on the surface parking lot next door.

The remaining portion of the Buzza site at 29th & Dupont could become home to a six-story, 130-unit building with two decks of underground parking.

"The new building would line up at about the fourth story of Buzza," said Chris Barnes, Dominium vice president.

Dominium considered building another affordably-priced project on the site, but Barnes said it was "tough to get it to pencil out."

Despite the large influx of apartments in Uptown this year, Dominium is optimistic about future leasing.

"It's a lot of product for that small neighborhood," Barnes said. "But we're a year behind all these other projects. I'd be a lot more nervous if we were coming into that right now. ... People want to be there, it's an awesome neighborhood."

Based on feedback from neighborhood groups, Barnes said Dominium is working to address parking concerns and shade the greenway less than other nearby projects.

Linda McHale, a member of the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association (LHENA) Zoning Committee, said she is skeptical about the demand for more apartments in Uptown.

"Has anybody figured out where all the cars are going to go around here?" she said.

McHale also said she's disappointed the new project would mask part of the historic Buzza building. She noted that Dominium received tax credits for historic preservation of the Buzza Lofts.

"The only thing you'll see is the tower," she said.

Will Bornstein, president of the LHENA Board, said some residents are supportive of the plans.

"In general, people are favorable to the idea of filling in surface parking with a more viable use like higher-density residential," he said. "The surface lot doesn't look so great."

One additional concern, however, relates to an old tunnel, 20 feet wide and 13 feet high, that connects the Midtown Greenway to the Buzza parking lot underneath 29th Street. The tunnel was built in 1913, and it's cordoned off with a chain-link fence.

"It was used for historic purposes associated with the rail industry," Bornstein said.

As it stand now, the new development would seal off the tunnel, he said. The neighborhood is requesting more information about the tunnel ownership and how it may have played a role in the Buzza Lofts' historic tax credits.

"It's unique because it's the only existing direct connection from the greenway to the south side of 29th," Bornstein said.