Planning—Aurora, Colorado

Buckingham Gardens

In 2003 the Aurora Housing Authority retained a team lead by Perry Rose LLC to prepare a feasibility study and revitalization plan for the Buckingham Gardens Senior Public Housing Project. Buckingham Gardens is a ten-acre campus owned by the Aurora Housing Authority that provides affordable housing to both seniors living independently and 10 families. Built it 1970, the non-ADA compliant, two-story walk-ups are functionally obsolete for the senior residents. The buildings have high operational costs, particularly with regard to energy efficiency. Their existing site layout is incongruous, with the family housing facing away from the adjacent senior housing, creating an uncomfortable spatial relationship with both the senior housing and the surrounding single-family neighborhood. Perry Rose LLC formed a team including Wolff Lyon Architects as site planners, and the Enterprise Foundation, as supportive service program consultants to assess the seniors' and families' needs and to make programming recommendations. This team brought key stakeholders together in a series of charettes and public meetings to reach consensus on a revitalization plan. The stakeholders included: Buckingham Gardens' senior and family residents, neighbors and adjacent property owners, City Council members, planning staff, and Housing Authority Board members and staff. Ultimately, consensus was reached on a revitalization plan, and a pre-application package to change the zoning was submitted and approved by the Aurora Zoning Department.

The final site plan increased the diversity, functionality and density of the site, recommended narrower streets and small parking lots to both calm traffic and serve the seniors' needs, and envisioned a central plaza to create a sense of community. A community clubhouse was also proposed to offer common space and enriched services to seniors and families. In depth financial feasibility analysis was performed to test alternative plans and a preliminary financing plan was prepared for submittal to HUD.

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Project Profile

Affordable residential multi-unit; single-family and senior housing

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Project Status

Completion: 2013

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