A mixed-use residential apartment community for residents 55 and older designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning is nearing completion in historic downtown Littleton, Colo.

Developed by Denver-based Zocalo Community Development, the LEED Gold-designed, 159-unit apartment community called Vita will feature 11,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and restaurant space. It is situated one block from an RTD light rail station on South Prince Street offering transportation to downtown Denver and Denver International Airport. Its location on the eastern edge of downtown Littleton puts future residents close to walking and biking trails, shopping, dining and nightlife in the Denver suburb.

“The 55-plus demographic doesn’t want to feel isolated,” Terry Willis, managing principal of KTGY’s Denver office, told MHN. “It is quite the opposite. Baby boomers may not want to be in the center of all the action, like the millennials, but want to still be in the game.

“Boomers want access to shopping, entertainment, services, events, recreation and transportation. In addition to the design-inspired amenities offered by a 55-plus apartment community, positioning a 55-plus community in a downtown area allows the residents convenient access to all of the amenities located outside of the apartment community. Furthermore, many of today’s empty nesters are still working, so living near employers and/or transit allows the residents to continue to work or volunteer.”

Green features

Vita’s one- and two-bedroom floor plans range from 701 to 1,520 square feet. They feature Energy Star stainless steel appliances, high-end kitchens with gas ranges and private balconies or patios. Green features include low-VOC paints, adhesives, sealants and carpets as well as high-performance sink faucets, showerheads and dual-flush toilets using 34 percent less water. Vita is also a 100-percent smoke-free environment. KTGY is pursuing U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification for Vita.

“By incorporating sustainable design and construction practices early in the planning process, issues like air leakage, acoustics, indoor air quality and the composition of building construction are never an afterthought,” Willis reported.

Community amenities will include a saltwater pool, year-round hot tub, community garden, fireside lounge, outdoor kitchen and dining area, outdoor amphitheater, pet spa, pet-friendly play park, bike and walking trails, fitness and yoga studios, community and craft rooms, bike maintenance and repair shop, community kitchens and weekly programmed events.

Celebrating pedestrian friendliness

Colors, geometric forms and roof lines facing the train tracks convey a sense of movement and help break up the structure’s massing. “The ground-floor retail activates the street, and there are also several distinct and elegant interior and exterior gathering spaces where residents can engage and connect while enjoying the panoramic mountain views,” Willis said.

“This new sustainable community celebrates a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle, unparalleled amenities, an on-site neighborhood eatery, and historic Main Street―all steps from the RTD light rail station with easy access to the greater Denver area.”

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