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2320 Colfax Perspective

2316 and 2320 Colfax Avenue South

Project Description:The project sits on two parcels, 2316 and 2320 Colfax. Two 2-3 story single family houses exist currently. Both have been converted into single room boarding houses.  Fire has dramatically affected both buildings, and deferred maintenance has also had an impact on both buildings.  These two buildings would be removed for the new structure.

Current Proposal:
The current plan is a 45 unit apartment building.  The building has a mix of two 9 two bedroom units and 36 one bedroom units. The units are intended to attract a mix of residents ranging in size from 496 sq.ft. to  940 sq. ft. The units will be geared to more affordable budgets with the smaller sizing, and real transportation options.

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The current building design is broken into parts with a three story brick, portion facing 24th Avenue.  This portion is intended to approximate the historical pattern of three-story apartments in the neighborhood, and matches the scale of the apartment directly to the west.  The Colfax side of the street has three similar two story brick bays with individual front entrances, porches and stoops. This sizing approximates the pattern of the large single family homes along the Colfax.  The Colfax and 24th frontages are 100% brick facing the public street. The north and west are composed of cement board and the upper level is metal panel. 

Preferred Proposal:  The ‘Eco-Flats – promoting ‘Green-Living’.  
The building concept promotes ‘green’ living – close to and providing a variety of transportation options, services, recreation, and green space. The preferred proposal is the same number of units, and the same massing and look as the current proposal.  The top level of the building steps back from the street to minimize the presence of the fourth level.  The parking is located on grade, not underground, with 23 in secure garage and 11 in surface spaces. The cost savings by building parking at grade and less parking overall, is being used to provide more bike amenities, a shared vehicle and transit support, and better construction techniques and systems to reduce energy use.

Transit management, parking, and the buildings construction are the two major differences. 


The project will be promoting alternative transportation choices:

  • The project will include a variety of bike storage options, and places to work on and clean bikes. The common areas will be developed to accommodate tenants bringing bikes into their units. The project concept puts bikes ‘front and center’ to promote biking among residents.  
  • Transit passes are provided to Tenants and transit information will be readily available. 
  • A shared vehicle will be located on site for resident and potentially neighborhood use.
  • Car stalls will be designed to flex into bike use, and when built, to be multi-functional as car use diminishes.


  • Small units with open floor plan and solar heating all contribute to a less energy use and lower costs.
  • The building envelope will be super-insulated with high efficiency windows
  • Upgraded mechanical system (presumed to be a California Heat-Pump at this time).
  • LED lighting.
  • Solar heated hot-water.
  • Maximize solar field to create energy.
  • ‘Healthy’ building materials
  • Reduced and ‘at grade’ parking creates savings put to finance green features.


  • The tight envelope, high efficiency systems, and solar production all reduce operating expenses to provide a greater level of affordability.
  • Unit size will allow for new construction rents under $1,000/mo. While still maintaining quality construction and finishes.
  • Transit options will reduce transportation costs and provide renters greater options and flexibility


  • Reading as a three story building with one story porch elements fits the scale of the neighborhood
  • Ground floor units create attractive building face and ‘eyes on the street’ for security.
  • Single story porches create a public face and reflect the pattern in the neighborhood.
  • Parking is completely screened behind the building.
  • High quality landscape enhances the pedestrian experience

The City Council has voted 11 to 2 in favor of allowing the development to proceed. We thank the individuals who have respect and passion for good development and worked tirelessly with us through this process. We look forward to creating a new landmark property at this wonderful location.

Construction is planned to start in early 2015.

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Site design and development by Darren Leet Inc.