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A New Mexico real estate development company wants to build apartments on Colorado Springs’ northwest side, where residents’ opposition recently led to the city’s rejection of another multifamily project.

Titan Development of Albuquerque plans a 251-unit complex on 13.2 acres southwest of Centennial Boulevard and Van Buren Street, according to a proposal the company recently submitted to city officials.

The complex would be composed of four, three-story buildings, which would house 151 one-bedroom, 89 two-bedroom and 11 three-bedroom units, the company’s proposal shows. Amenities would include a clubhouse and public and private open space.

Titan’s proposal says the site is close to commercial, business and recreational facilities, including employers along Garden of the Gods Road and Fillmore Street.

“The site is adjacent to a concentration of commercial uses at Fillmore and Centennial, including a convenience store and several restaurants,” Titan’s proposal says. “The nearest grocery store (a King Soopers) is at Grandview Market Place at the northwest corner of Fillmore and Centennial, which also includes multiple other commercial and service uses.”

Titan’s proposal, which indicates the company is targeting a fall construction date, didn’t say what rents might be.

Apartments, however, typically are developed as market-rate projects unless developers identify them as affordable housing. The average Springs apartment rent rose to a record high of nearly $1,430 a month in the second quarter, according to a recent University of Denver report.

Colorado Springs’ population growth, strong economy, a demand for apartment living and soaring rents have made the city attractive to several out-of-town developers, who are building hundreds of apartments around the area or have submitted plans for such projects.

Last month, however, the Colorado Springs City Council denied a developer’s rezoning request that would have allowed construction of 420 apartments and commercial space at 2424 Garden of Gods Road, in the parking lot of a 750,000-square-foot office building along 30th Street.

Among other concerns, residents near the proposed Garden of the Gods Road project objected to more housing for fear that additional vehicles on the road could slow evacuations in the event of a wildfire similar to the Waldo Canyon fire in 2012.

That blaze devastated nearby neighborhoods, destroyed nearly 350 homes, killed two people and led to chaotic scenes of vehicles streaming out of the area as the fire raged.

A Titan spokesman said company officials won’t discuss their project at this time or potential concerns by nearby residents. The company is seeking city approval of a development plan that spells out details of its project.

Titan’s project at Centennial and Van Buren would be built farther south and east from the 2424 Garden of the Gods Road site, which sits closer to the foothills. 

The Titan site would run along Centennial, which connects to Fillmore to the north. The city also is extending Centennial to the south to link up with the Interstate 25 interchange at Fontanero Street; that extension is targeted for a fall 2022 completion.

Titan’s proposal to the city says there would be one point of access to the apartment project site via a future westerly extension of Van Buren. An emergency access also is proposed on the project’s south end that would connect to the future Centennial extension.

Still, some residents say they will scrutinize the Titan Development project, as they plan to do with other apartment complexes being proposed for the west and northwest sides. Concerns about new apartments and other projects have led to the creation of Westside Watch, a group that seeks to bring together neighborhoods to advocate for safe development west of Interstate 25.

Bill Wysong, Mountain Shadows Community Association president, helped lead opposition to the 2424 Garden of the Gods Road apartments and said he has immediate concerns about the location of the proposed Titan Development project.

Though it’s farther south and east, 251 apartments at Centennial and Van Buren potentially could stack more vehicles on Centennial during an evacuation, he said. Even after Centennial is extended to Fontanero, additional vehicles could create hazardous “choke points” and bottlenecks along the road in an emergency.

“It doesn’t change whether it’s at 30th and Garden of the Gods or now Centennial and Van Buren,” Wysong said.

“You’re creating choke points that (are) going to back everything up,” he said. “As your evacuation specialists specify, when you hit gridlock, then it backs up and issues happen.”

This content was originally published here.