Olsson Associates


Award-winning project in Louisville, Colorado, brings new approach to affordable housing

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Edie Adams, Marketing

Colorado is becoming well-known for its heightening cost of living. Near the Denver metro area, rent for one-bedroom apartments can be as high as $1,400 a month. In Boulder County, less than a quarter of the county’s available apartments are considered “affordable,” and local economists say by 2020, individuals making under $30,000 a year will not be able to rent without housing assistance. In 2013, Boulder County took a step to address high housing costs. The county bought land to develop the Kestrel Affordable Housing development (at the time called the Alkonis property).

Olsson Associates was retained by Milender White on behalf of the Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) to provide civil engineering design services for the 13-acre, 200-unit multifamily development in Louisville.

“Due to the shortage of affordable  housing in the Louisville area, Kestrel became a critical project for BCHA in terms of timing,” said Josh Erramouspe, project manager. “Olsson was able to accelerate the design and approval schedule, working closely with the city
and Milender White. We are honored to
be part of a team that was able to deliver the project ahead of schedule and within budget.”

As a part of the project team of
architects, engineers, and contractors, Olsson provided building layout assistance, grading/drainage design, public and private roadway design, stormwater detention design, wet and dry utility infrastructure design, assistance during the entitlements phase, and construction administration services.

The development includes 71 units for people 55 or older and 129 units for families. Priority consideration is being given to community members displaced by flooding in 2013, which hit Louisville particularly hard. Olsson has been active in the area to help with flood repairs, including the award-winning Louisville A-2 Drainageway project, performed through the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District.

Last year, the Denver Regional Council of Governments honored this project with a Metro Vision Award for Kestrel’s forward-looking approach to incorporating safe, affordable, and beautiful homes with free transportation, environmental sustainability, active lifestyle opportunities, and other on-site services residents may need.

“Kestrel incorporates so many of the supports that help people live happier and healthier lives—safe, affordable, and beautiful homes; free transportation; environmental sustainability; active lifestyle opportunities; and on-site access to many other services they may need,” said Norrie Boyd, housing division director for the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services. “Today’s affordable housing in Boulder County recognizes that by offering people the full range of supports they need, we are going far beyond helping them avoid crisis; we are, instead, helping give them a much better chance to thrive for many years to come.”

In addition to design services, Olsson has completed geotechnical engineering, pavement design, and construction observation and testing on this high-profile project for Boulder County. Olsson has completed testing services for the new roadways, Colorado Department of Transportation acceleration lane, major utility infrastructure including storm, water and electrical services, and the 18 residential and commercial structures for this mixed-use affordable housing project.

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