Lipe unveils plans for The Maduro at University Village

Lipe Property Company is breathing new life into an old cigar factory by converting it into 108 timber lofts.

Developer Steve Lipe also plans to construct a contemporary condo building on the 1.8-acre parcel at 1435 W 15th St, marketing the development as The Maduro at University Village. (Maduro, by the way, is Spanish for “ripe,” or “mellow” and dictionaries variously describe it as a dark cigar, or cigar wrapper, sometimes fermented.)

To better expose lofts in the older building to sunlight, Lipe plans to cut two square light wells into the center of the building and position the lofts horizontally, facing the courtyard of the building’s exterior.

“These older buildings are often very deep, and it’s difficult to get light into them,” he said. “So instead of long, narrow units, you’ll have wider units with more exposure to sunlight.”

The lofts will have exposed brick, timber columns and beams, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and balconies. The one- and two-bedroom units, some of which have dens, are priced from the $190s to the $450s. The developer will begin converting the loft building in spring 2007, and first occupancy is slated for winter 2008.

The converted factory and the new condo building will be linked by an amenities building containing a lobby and club room, Lipe said. Both residential buildings will have fitness rooms.

The new condo building, designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, will have a modern steel and concrete frame with a glass skin. The first two floors will be brick to, “tie it in with the older building,” Lipe said. Details of the 92 units in the new building haven’t been finalized, but Lipe said construction would begin in the spring of 2008.

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