The Lakewood Masonic Lodge has sat in the historic Eiber neighborhood since it was first constructed in 1950. The building served as a home to the freemasonry fraternity, a fraternity that …
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The Lakewood Masonic Lodge has sat in the historic Eiber neighborhood since it was first constructed in 1950. The building served as a home to the freemasonry fraternity, a fraternity that “requires a belief in God, but is not any kind of religion” and one that looks to “make good men better,” according to Scot Autry of the Colorado Free Masons. Located at 1440 Independence St., the Lakewood Masonic Lodge is two stories tall with a brick exterior. In the building's 58 years, it has never had any substantial alterations throughout its history.
Its role of “fraternal societies and service organizations” was seen as something that “should be recognized as vital to the growth and development of Lakewood,” according to the West Colfax Cultural Resource Survey done for the 40 West Arts District. The Eiber Neighborhood Association wanted the building to be persevered because of those reasons, and that is why it worked alongside Metro West Housing Solutions to help turn it into affordable housing units.
The Lakewood Masonic Lodge will be part of a 2.9-acre affordable housing complex called Indy Street Flats. Metro West Housing Solutions, a nonprofit affordable housing agency that operates communities in Lakewood and Denver, expects the building to be ready for move-in by late 2019.
“We were very happy that (Metro West Housing Solutions) was able to preserve the old lodge and incorporate it into a project in a sensitive way. I think this will be a good addition to the housing supply in the neighborhood, and it will fit right in with the historic context,” Paul Ditson said. Ditson is the president of the Eiber Neighborhood Association.
Lakewood's median rent rapidly increased last year, according to a Zumper report. The city had the third fastest median rent increase in Colorado last year when prices increased by 14.5 percent over 2016. Seniors alone spend 40 percent or more of their income on rent.
“Lakewood, and all of the metro area needs more affordable housing. A lot of people are priced out of the housing market,” Brendalee Connors, director of development for Metro West Housing Solutions said.
The Lakewood Masonic Lodge itself will be turned into a 19 micro-unit building. Indy Street Flats will also include a new 84-unit building next to the lodge along with the Belmont Manor property, which will be converted into two-bedroom units. Amenities like free Wi-Fi, a fitness room, play areas and community gardens will be available for future residents.
Indy Street Flats is expected to cost $37 million, and it will be funded through a mixture of public and private sources, including federal and state low-income housing tax credit equity, tax exempt bond financing and state and local grants, according to Metro West Housing Solutions executive assistant Stephanie Littleton.
“These apartments will help ease the burden of rising rents in Lakewood,” Tami Fisher, executive director and CEO of Metro West Housing Solutions said in a statement. “We will work diligently to ensure that Indy Street Flats is an effort that the community can be proud of.”
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