Vita Gives Residents a Green Lease on Life

A LEED Gold Registered community, Vita, offers incredible amenities in an optimal location to anyone who is 55 years young

By Brianna Fries

Imagine enjoying early retirement or pre-retirement in a beautiful and energy-efficient home that places you directly next to a smooth and quiet light rail transit system, giving you access to suburban Littleton and urban Denver. Imagine spending your golden years in a sustainable home that simultaneously meets your needs and ensures the Earth is left a healthier and cleaner home for your children and grandchildren.

For the residents of Vita, all of this isn’t an imagined dream, it is an everyday reality.

Vita is the creation of Zocalo Community Development, a company that creates eco-friendly and sustainable homes that meet the needs of different key demographics. Our prime example, Vita, was built to meet the demands of a rapidly growing active adult population.

Beautifully designed community spaces provide residents with creative seating, a community kitchen, a craft room, a presentation area, and more.

“In 2010 Zocalo recognized the increasing need for housing options that allow the Boomer Generation the freedom to socialize, stay active and live a carefree lifestyle,” said Susan Maxwell, Principal and Chief Operating Officer at Zocalo Community Development. Littleton proved to be ideal for meeting the needs of this demographic.

And so, Zocalo created Vita, a multi-family, mixed-use development built at the crest of the historic main street in downtown Littleton, Colorado. Its location puts residents in close proximity to the heartbeat of the city, with a community theatre, local boutiques, restaurants, and beautiful walking trails, all within walking distance. The community is also only a short distance from alternative transit options, like buses and light rail, connecting them to the Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport.

Each Vita residence provides LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, and other water saving amenities.

Vita is the product of the combined efforts of Zocalo and KTGY Architecture and Planning, with interior design by Stantec and landscaping by Norris Design. Zocalo handled pre-development through construction of Vita and will also be handling its property management. Predevelopment of Vita began in 2013 with construction starting in 2016, and the development was completed with its first residents moving in during May of 2018.

When building Vita, Zocalo was faced with a complication: the land the community sits on is actually zoned as commercial, meaning it had to meet a significant parking requirement. Developing 28 Live-Work units and three commercial spaces to accommodate customers and residents in need of parking accomplished this goal. Zocalo even created a unique precast parking structure with 345 spaces that provides parking for residents at the top and customer parking at the bottom, with a secondary garage door dividing the structure. Vita meets the needs of residents who desire social connections, interdependence, and active community gathering spaces. “Vita is a housing choice for those over 55 years young,” said Maxwell. “The current and future residents chose Vita because they are looking for affordable luxury living which enables them to lock and leave, travel more, socialize with friends and family, and live a generally carefree lifestyle that a rental community provides.”

Apartments include plenty of windows, ceiling fans, carpeted bedrooms, stainless steel appliances, and quartz countertops.

Potential residents can choose from one or two bedroom units ranging between 700 and 1,500 square feet. Apartments at Vita offer hallway and bathroom night-lights, USB plugs in strategic locations, and easy-to-access washers and dryers. Vita’s residential hallways are well lit and are even designed with unique colors and art for subtle directional assistance.

Vita provides a resort-inspired pool and spa area with views of the Rocky Mountains, beautiful landscaping, multi-level dining, and a sunning bed that incorporates an outdoor kitchen and fire table.

There are several raised garden beds available for residents to cultivate. There is also an amphitheater space for outdoor activities and events like yoga, Tai Chi, musical performances, and community theater productions. Other activity encouraging amenities include bike storage, a bicycle and ski/snowboard maintenance shop, a fitness center, and more. Vita even provides a craft and presentation area equipped with a presentation screen and craft supplies. On top of all this, Vita is a pet-friendly community, offering residents and their furry friends a dog park and a pet spa.

Vita residents can relax knowing their home is energy efficient, sustainable, and only a short distance from convenient transportation options.

Vita is LEED Gold Registered, thanks to its sustainable and energy-efficient design and appliances. The development features recycled content in many of the finishes and focuses on natural light. Apartments are made with plenty of windows, ceiling fans, carpeted bedrooms, stainless steel appliances, and quartz countertops.

Residents can rest easy knowing that water and energy will never be wasted where they live. This is because Vita features multiple Energy Star appliances, including plumbing fixtures that reduce water use by 33 percent, dual flush toilets, LED lighting, and occupancy sensors. Vita’s non-smoking designation and low VOC paints and adhesives also ensure higher indoor air quality.

Additional amenities include a resort-inspired pool and spa area, multi-level dining, a dog park and spa, a garden, gym, sunning bed, yoga room, and more.

Maxwell stated, “As a leader in sustainable design, Zocalo was the first multi-family developer in the Rocky Mountain Region to develop a LEED-Certified building, LEEDSilver Certified River Clay Condominiums. Each of the five developments has since achieved LEED-Gold certification.” Vita provides leasing options starting at 12 months and going up to 18 or 36 months.

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Brianna Fries is an Assistant Editor for Green Home Builder Magazine. She can be reached at