What is the Academy at Mapleton Hill?

A care facility, primarily geared toward seniors with independent living apartments and memory care units and a rehabilitation facility with a warm water therapy pool open to the public.

  1. Community Engagement

  2. Plan

  3. Design

  4. Build

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Current Phase

Project Overview

The site, located at 311 Mapleton, will have 93 independent living units, 12 units without kitchens.

Several historic sites on the property will be landmarked, including: the 1930s nurses’ dormitory, the 1920s white duplex cottage, the 1940s stone duplex cottage, the 1920s stone retaining wall along Mapleton Avenue, and the 1920s smokestack.

Existing trails will be maintained including a portion of the Dakota Ridge Trail that crosses the northwest corner of the site, as well as an existing maintenance and social trail adjacent to the Silver Lake Ditch on the western edge of the property.

Other aspects of the project plan can be found in the staff memo to City Council.

This is a not a City of Boulder led project. For information on building progress and project status, visit the developer's website.

Project Approval

City Council approved the project on July 17, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

There will be 91 independent living residential units and 12 memory care units, along with a 42-bed subacute rehabilitation center (short term skilled nursing) per Minor Modifications dated March 7, 2021 and July 28, 2021. This is two fewer units from the original site review approval on July 17, 2018.

The project meets the parking requirements identified in the code and through the parking management plan approved by City Council on July 17, 2018, and subsequent minor modifications. 322 total parking stalls will be provided on-site as of July 28, 2022.

As indicated in the written statement, the owner/operator anticipates 80 daytime and 49 nighttime employees. In addition, they will support alternative transportation methods by providing employees secure bike parking, locker rooms with showers and shuttle services to the transit station.

The approved site review plans from July 17, 2018 include four underground parking structures. This remains consistent through the approved Minor Modifications. Three structures are nearing completion or are completed.

For additional information on the City Council past meeting materials for this project please, go here (parking structures are shown in Attachment B Part 2).

Site development includes residential occupants ranging from independent living in multifamily and single-family style buildings to assisted living and skilled nursing buildings, and the owner/operator is responsible for submitting evacuation plans to the city’s Fire-Rescue Department addressing these different facilities and the type of resident evacuation needs throughout the site.

Depending on the situation and in the event of wildfire, options for some residents could be to shelter-in-place, while independent living residents may elect to evacuate and would do so as any other resident in the neighborhood. As the site construction progresses, we will review and approve the emergency evacuation plans submitted by the owner/operator. This will take place prior to Certificate of Occupancy. In addition, the city’s Fire-Rescue has launched Zonehaven, a new web-based emergency mapping tool that will provide community members direct access to real-time evacuation and emergency information. City of Boulder Launches New Emergency Mapping Tool

The site was designed to allow access and staging areas for the Fire-Rescue services at different locations throughout the property. The buildings were designed to meet the city’s Fire and Building Code requirements for the wildland-urban interface. This includes interior building sprinklers and fire-resistant building materials that help to create protected, hardened structures. To aid in wildfire mitigation, a water cistern and sprinkler system for the vegetation in the conservation area will be operational and can be manually engaged by the firefighters when needed.

Fire-Rescue services provided to this property will be comparative to services rendered to other properties within the city. Please see the 2023 Budget in Brief for an accounting of the city funding sources and expenditures by department, including Fire-Rescue.

The Housing and Human Services Department oversees the City of Boulder’s Inclusionary Housing (IH) Program. Rental developments, like the Academy at Mapleton Hill, may satisfy the city’s IH requirements with any of the following options:

  • Provide affordable units off-site;
  • Make a cash-in lieu (CIL) contribution; or
  • Donate land.

Applicants are allowed flexibility in choosing which approach to meeting IH requirements up until the time of applying for the building permits, as such meeting the IH off-site at Fruehauf’s was not a condition of approval for the Academy at Mapleton Hill project.

At the time of the approval for the Academy at Mapleton Hill, the applicant intended to satisfy the IH requirement by providing eight affordable units on-site at the Academy at Mapleton Hill and 105 off-site at the Fruehauf’s site (1665 33rd Street) development. This would have vastly exceeded the IH requirement of 19 units for the Academy at Mapleton Hill. The owners proceeded with the Fruehauf’s site review application process and received an approval. As they finalized the financing for the Academy at Mapleton Hill, they found they could not fulfill these intentions. The Fruehauf site review approval has since expired, and the applicant has defaulted to the option of paying CIL fees to the IH Program.

Early in an entitlement process affordable units may be intended, but for a variety of reasons cannot be realized. Options to fulfilling the IH requirement allow for project to proceed. Reasons for choosing a CIL versus on-site affordable units include the inability to get financing for the project if affordable deed restrictions are placed on the property, complications with insurance and/or increased risk selling the project once development is completed. Typically, a developer needs to become entitled (site review approval) before they finalize the financial package for the project. In addition, for rental developments there is a state statute that does not allow a municipality to require rent controlled units unless other options are allowed to meet the requirement, e.g., CIL.

The City of Boulder has a goal for 15% of all homes to be affordable for low-, moderate- and middle-income households by 2035. The IH Program CIL fees benefits are numerous and include being able to house more people by expanding the range of eligible households to include 30-60% of the area median income (AMI). Using CIL fees helps to create more affordable units through our housing authority by using state/federal fund matching. To read more about the city’s efforts and how we as a city benefit from the IH program see the city’s Affordable Housing in Boulder website.

The CIL fees for the Academy at Mapleton Hill have a total projected fee of $3,862,188.14. The Academy at Mapleton Hill applicant have yet to pull all the permits for the project, thus some CIL is still pending. To date the applicant has paid $3,135,452.60 with a pending balance of $726,735.54.

The property owner identified approximately 1.7 acres along the western edge of the site as part of a conservation area. This area is to protect the vegetated slope from any future development (see green area of the Exhibit A). The maintenance of the conservation area is the responsibility of the property owner.

311 Mapleton

In April 2020, the applicant dedicated a public trail easement (Exhibit B) over western areas of the site that contain a portion of the Dakota Ridge Trail that crosses the northwest corner of the site, as well as for the existing maintenance and social trail that is located adjacent to the Silver Lake Ditch on the western edge of the site. The city may have maintenance and management of this limited area of .5 acres as portions of this easement are located within the conservation area.

311 Mapleton Exhibit B

The construction follows the approvals to date, including the council directed changes recommended by the Design Advisory Board on Oct. 24, 2018 and the administrative approvals for Minor Modifications through July 28, 2021. After the meeting on July 18, 2018, City Council requested the Design Advisory Board (DAB) review the council approved site review from July 17, 2018 with specific direction to reduce the apparent mass, bulk and structure of Building A (as viewed from Mapleton Avenue); Building B (as viewed from the “Village Green”); and the H/J Cottages (as viewed from adjacent Trailhead Subdivision).

On Oct. 24, 2018, DAB met to review the project and made recommendations adjusting the building design. The DAB recommended changes were approved with the Technical Documents and are accounted for in the construction of Buildings A and B, and the drawings for the H and J Cottages under construction. There were no changes to the overall unit count for the R Cottages along 4th Street. The unit count remains at seven with no anticipated increase in units.

The owner has applied for Minor Modifications, with the most recent approved on March 7, 2021 and July 28, 2021. With the Minor Modifications there is a limit of 10% total cumulative floor area increase permitted compared to the original approved floor area. Currently, the complete accounting for all the Minor Modifications to date are the following:

  1. An overall floor area increase from Site Review of 2.73%
  2. A decrease in overall number of units from 93 to 91
  3. An increase in overall parking from 310 to 322

The most recent Minor Modification includes revisions to residential unit sizes across several buildings including façade refinements on Buildings A-C, merge four units into two units, adding 250 square feet to the R Cottage Buildings by adding second floor space where there originally were two-story vaulted ceilings, revising the parking structure access for better circulation, eliminating a stand-alone chapel (Building P) and adding the function to Building A, adding parking spaces within the parking structures, adjusting decks/balconies/patios sizes, locations and entries, revising common or shared spaces to improve functionality, access and circulation and addressing code-related requirements like egress. These changes do not result in substantial revisions to the building design.