The controversial history and why I absolutely love the new plan

201 Garfield Street, former site of Denver florist legend Newberry Brothers, has a new proposed luxury home development that Cherry Creek North residents might finally be able to get behind. I, for one, think the new design — from the new developer — is amazing and is a clear win for the neighborhood.

Ever since Newberry Brothers moved operations from the rare six-lot, 0.86-acre site — which they grew a bunch of their flowers on in six large greenhouses since just after World War II — a few years ago, Cherry Creek North residents’ pulses have quickened at the site’s potential development.

201 Garfield Street is deeper in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood than other recent developments.

Across 2nd Ave. from the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, the site is deeper in the Cherry Creek North than others that have been developed recently. This, of course, causes some anxiety, as a new development, done wrong, can change a neighborhood’s character and feel in one fell swoop.

In 2016, Newberry Brothers owner Paula Newberry-Arnold had plans to develop the site into 30 “garden court” apartments, whose density raised the objections of Cherry Creek residents — approximately 500 signed a petition against the development, primarily because they felt the proposed 36 parking spaces would not be sufficient and would clog the surrounding neighborhood with parked cars.

This effort effectively scuttled this development.

Denver pool house designed by Alvarez Morris. Credit: Alvarez Morris.

This July, Paula sold the site for $7.65 million to Garfield Development, controlled by Michael Fancher who runs Denver-based Iconic Investments. He has been involved in building high-end student housing for CU Boulder and with getting acreage for Google’s Boulder headquarters.

Michael Fancher visited the Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Association meeting on Nov. 27 and presented a new concept for the site from Alvarez Morris Architectural Studio. I absolutely love the concept, will continue to evolve the neighborhood and, overall, raises the real estate, and living, bar here.

I think it’s the best possible solution for the site.

The new proposed plan and why I love it

As Fancher explained at the Nov. 27 CCNNA meeting, the current development plan calls for 10 to 13 luxury townhomes built on the site. The sleek, modern designs will include concepts from world-class cities but will have touches that blend into Cherry Creek North, such as organic natural materials for the exteriors.

Each home will measure about 4,600 square feet, stand three stories high with a rooftop deck of approximately 700 to 750 square feet.

The homes, which won’t be ready for a couple of years, will go for from $2.5 to $3 million — no doubt pricey. The development represents a continued Cherry Creek North evolution into a modern, upscale, vibrant style.

To address parking concerns during construction, developers will strongly encourage workers to park onsite for phase one of construction. Phase two will likely require some neighborhood parking, but the Fancher is aware of the concerns and wants to minimize the impact. It felt sincere. He will set up a phone and email hotline for residents to call in and log concerns.

While not specified, I’m betting the homes will feature huge windows and abundant natural sunlight.

We expect first architectural drawings in first quarter of 2019.

I will be following this story closely. Stay tuned for updates.