LAKEWOOD, Colo. — At 68 years old, the Lakewood Masonic Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in the historic Eiber neighborhood. Although the lodge has sat vacant for many years, it’s getting a new lease on life.
The lodge will serve as the focal point of Indy Street Flats, a new development on a 2.9-acre site that will provide 115 affordable apartments for individuals and families that earn 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income. The flats, located at 1440 Independence St., will be ready for move-in by late 2019.
This week, Metro West Housing Solutions (MWHS), the owner and developer, broke ground on transforming the lodge into a 19-micro-unit building. Next to the lodge, MWHS will construct a new building to hold 84 multi-bedroom units. The adjacent Belmont Manor property will be renovated into 12 two-bedroom units.
“These apartments will help ease the burden of rising rents in Lakewood,” said Tami Fischer, Executive Director/CEO. “We’re grateful for the support from the Eiber Neighborhood Association and the City of Lakewood to bring safe, high-quality affordable housing to Lakewood residents. We will work diligently to ensure that Indy Street Flats is an effort that the community can be proud of.”
According to a Zumper report, Lakewood experienced the third fastest median rent increase in the state in 2017, up 14.5 percent over the previous year. Seniors and critical members of the workforce are spending 40 percent or more of their income on rent.
Amenities at Indy Street Flats will include community gardens, a fitness room, play areas, a business center, energy-efficient appliances, parking, free Wi-Fi, on-site property management, and resident services. Honeybee-friendly landscaping—a request from the Eiber Neighborhood Association—will be integrated into outdoor features.
The project’s architecture incorporates mid-century modern reflections to complement the character of the lodge and to pay homage to the era of Colfax Avenue that many residents grew up in. It was designed by Shopworks Architecture and construction is contracted through Taylor Kohrs.
“The Masonic Lodge is an architectural gem. We’re so pleased that the structure can now live on for generations to come and will be enjoyed in a new way,” said Brendalee Connors, Director of Development for MWHS.
The $37 million development is supported by more than $18 million in state and federal tax credit equity.