Highpointe development a low point for besieged neighborhood
On paper, the redevelopment of the old Marriott at Hampden and I-25 looks like a dream deal for southeast Denver, complete with luxury apartments boasting "curated amenities" and a "lazy river" winding through the place. But Holly Ridge residents say that the project has been a nightmare for the neighborhood, involving months of traffic, debris and disruption, repeated violations of noise and safety codes, sewer backups, street and property damage -- and an anemic response from city officials to their complaints.
"I live right across the street from it," says Greta Durr, president of the Holly Ridge Neighborhood Organization. "Laws aren't being enforced, and the properties are being developed in a high-density way that's having a lot of impact on this neighborhood."
Highpointe consists of three separate construction projects, slated for completion sometime next year. They include Veranda Highpointe, a 362-unit luxury apartment complex with spa, pool, bocce ball court, rooftop lounge and studios starting at $1,000 a month; Highpointe Assisted Living and Memory Care, a four-story retirement home; and the Shoppes at Highpointe, ye olde (but brande newe) strip of restaurants and retail.
Neighbors say they were prepared for some construction-related hassles. But they didn't expect the blocks around the development to become a de facto staging area, apparently because of a lack of parking for trucks and equipment on the intensely developed site. The most common complaints have to do with trucks failing to take the designated route into the site, rumbling through residential streets at odd hours, blocking driveways and sidewalks, or damaging landscaping and sprinklers as they attempt to turn around.
Truck running over a sprinkler system.
Residents have also complained of sagging or broken fences, trash blowing into their yards, mud-clogged storm drains and unpleasant encounters with trespassing construction workers using their yards as cafeterias and lavatories. Durr says when she went to the construction company rep about workers leaving trash in her yard, "I was told, 'They're not hurting anything. Why don't you give them a trash can?' Well, I've found human feces on my property, so I don't think they're going to use a trash can."
The neighborhood may be getting dumped on in more ways than one. According to the city's assessment, the property value of Durr's house, which she moved into in 2010, has declined significantly in the last year -- in part, she suspects, because of infrastructure problems caused by the construction. The site was flooded last November after a fire hydrant was broken, and some residents believe the area is still suffering a lack of water pressure and other issues as a result. Two of Durr's neighbors experienced sewer backups in May after heavy truck traffic on South Holly Place caused a break in the line; the street was closed briefly, and one of the construction companies paid for repairs to one sewer line.
Nieghbors say broken fences have allowed trash to migrate offsite.
Continue for more about the Highpointe development, including photos.