304 apartments at city’s Harmony gateway get the go-ahead

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Fort Collins developer J.D. Padilla won approval from the city’s planning and zoning board Thursday for 304 apartments southeast of the intersection of Harmony and Strauss Cabin roads, just west of the Interstate 25 interchange. 

The project, H-25 for now, is just to the east of The Wyatt apartments, 368 units also developed by Padilla. Both are part of Padilla’s larger overall development of 264 acres at I-25 and Harmony Road.

Thursday’s hearing was a continuance of a Nov. 19 public hearing, when the board raised concerns about the project’s entrances and varying building types. 

Under the city’s land use code, any development with more than five buildings must have three different building types, and no similar buildings should be next to each other. The code also requires distinct entrances. 

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Architects from VFLA in Fort Collins redesigned some of the elements of five 24-unit buildings and entry features to satisfy the city’s concerns.

The 12 two- and three-story buildings, including clubhouse, are scattered throughout the 16-acre site and range from four units to 36 units. 

The new design won over some critics who have objected to the plan. 

“We have always felt that a design similar to the previous H-23/Wyatt Apartments would not reflect well on our city in a location as important as the Gateway,” resident Mike Feldhousen wrote. The proposed entryway and 24-plex changes “are clearly a step in the right direction.”

Rendering of the clubhouse proposed at H25, 304 apartments at Harmony Road and Strauss Cabin Road.

The site has had a lengthy and sometimes controversial history in Fort Collins as different plans have come and gone. It falls within the Harmony Corridor zone and the city’s plan for the Harmony gateway, both of which restrict certain land uses. 

The Harmony Gateway Plan sets the tone for future developments, bans drive-thru restaurants and big-box stores larger than 50,000 square feet — common up and down the I-25 corridor — restricts building heights to three to five stories and “provides a degree of community separation” from Timnath.

Rendering of H25 apartments at Harmony Road and Strauss Cabin Road.

Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at patferrier@coloradoan.com. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.