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Denver Real Estate News Recap: August 2021

Here’s a quick digest of what happened in Denver real estate last month:

+ Downtown Denver has been starving for new condos over the last decade. Its hunger pains will begin to subside when the the largest condo project since 2009 breaks ground soon at 18th & Glenarm.

+ Median home prices fell for a second month in August. Buyers, don’t be relieved yet — inventory is tightening again, as active listings fell 11.7% between July and August.

+ Relief for Denver renters has dissipated in the Denver metro area. Front Range rents increased 14.4% year-over-year in August and are up 12.8% since March 2020.

+ A San Francisco-based developer has purchased an entire block of RiNo for $27.5M. Plans are still in the early stages, but may include a 500-unit apartment project, stretching 12-stories.

 


 

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A look back at 2019: Big multifamily sales, “opportunity zones,” and lots of development

Source: Andrew Dodson of the Denver Business Journal

A lot happened in 2019 for the Denver real estate market. Here are a few highlights.

Opportunity Zone Projects

Investors and developers invested around $1 billion in opportunity zones, a plan known as a “once in a lifetime federal economic development program” that allows investors to defer and possibly eliminate capital gain taxes by investing in underdeveloped neighborhoods.

iBuyers Came to Denver

Zillow and Open-door bought hundreds of homes, allowing sellers to close in as little as week. Although we saw more of this is 2019, it actually represented only 1% of the housing market. As convenient as it may sound, ask one of us to tell you about the downfalls (hello 8-10% fees!)

Apartment-community Sales Galore

What happens when you mix low interest rates with increased rental rates? Apartment deals. New construction and old apartment buildings were traded frequently in 2019, including trading Union Denver to Daydream Apartments (with plans to utilize Airbnb ahead) and the iconic Poets Row on Cap Hill to a buyer that made contemporary updates to the vintage sites.

Broadway, Alameda Station Development

South Broadway is about to get a major addition. This 10-acre development will have 887 residential units, 380,000 square feet of office space and 180,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space across the five building layout! As for Alameda Station, 75 acres of land with 1.25 million square feet of retail/residential space will get an addition 8+ million square feet of development. Talk about big changes.

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Rezoning deal could make way for new skyscrapers on Denver’s Sherman Street if developers agree to build affordable housing

Source: Joe Rubino of the Denver Post

Three lots on Sherman Street, east of downtown, may be getting a makeover soon! The Dikeous family, who owns the lots, is lobbying the city to rezone to allow building over 155 feet, the current view plane restriction. The Dikeous family would agree to more than half a million dollars in sidewalk and street repairs, as well as including 211 affordable housing in their projects. The buildings could be as tall as 45 stories. So far the Dikeous family has put 18 months of work and over 75 neighborhood meetings into the proposed deal.

Reporter Joe Rubino dives into the details of the proposed project, community reaction, and history of the view plane restrictions in the full article below.

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“There’s speculators buying up houses:” Denver’s East Colfax braces for transit, density and displacement

Source: Andrew Kenney of the Denver Post

East Colfax Development

Denver government and development reporter Andrew Kenney believes, “East Colfax is the next frontier.” From small-scale home-flippers, to development firms, to the City of Denver, investors have big plans for this neighborhood. The danger, as it always is with development, is displacement. Can the City of Denver and its housing market players revive this area’s businesses and public transportation? And, can they do it without destroying one of Denver’s last pockets of affordable housing? Read the full article below to learn more!

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Curious what’s for sale in this neighborhood? Find out here:

East Colfax Homes for Sale

Denver’s Cole, RiNo neighborhoods set for dramatic redevelopment

Source: Matt Mauro of Fox 31 Denver

New projects, like the in-progress Denver Rock Drill renovation, are reshaping the city’s Northeast corridor. RiNo residents Kerry and Jay, interviewed by Fox 31, are excited for the change, but don’t love the construction. Cole and RiNo locals who tough out the noise and debris of redevelopment will be rewarded with more green space and exciting new neighborhood restaurants and bars. Watch and read the full story below.

Article and Video

Nearly two years in the making, Brighton Boulevard makeover expected to supercharge RiNo growth

Source: Joe Rubino of the Denver Post
Photo credit: Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

In the late 1940’s, Harold Hill opened his farm machinery business at 3100 Brighton Boulevard. At this time, the street was a dusty two-lane strip with warehouses and a foundry. The business is now Do-It-Ur-Self Plumbing & Heating Supply, owned by Harold’s grandson, Rick Hill. Over that time, Rick has seen the neighborhood transform from an industrial park to a vibrant hub of business, culture, and art. 

On Brighton between 30th and 38th streets more than $55.8 million in commercial construction has been permitted. Hill calls Brighton: “one huge craps table.” While the city boasts the public infrastructure investment as kickstarting the surge of private investment, local developers Mickey and Kyle Zeppelin mention it was actually the private investment and the formation of the RiNo Arts District that attracted visitors to the district. Eventually, backing from the City of Denver followed. Overall, this largely collaborative effort between the City and local business owners has created a corridor that is easily accessible while holding true to it’s uniquely industrial roots.

A brief timeline:

Late 1940’s: Harold Hill opened farm machinery business at 3100 Brighton Boulevard

2000: Zeppelin Development company buys the former cab company hub just off Brighton and begins to lobby the city for Brighton Boulevard improvements. The Taxi Community has been growing constantly since

2003: The City of Denver creates its River North Plan, a vision for the RiNo Art District

2013: The Source market hall, the first business of its kind, opens at 3550 Brighton Blvd. in the aforementioned foundry 

2016: Brighton Boulevard is still a two lane street with no curbs, drainage, limited sidewalks

October 2016: Brighton Boulevard construction begins

Spring 2018: Phase 1 of construction, between 29th and 40th Street to be completed. The cost of the redevelopment is $41 million. The RiNo Art District neighborhood advocacy organization estimates at least $85 million in private projects have gone up in the surrounding area

The three years of road construction have come with several challenges. The largest of which being reduced accessibility due to construction, which has driven traffic away from RiNo. Rebel Restaurant, a block from Brighton and 38th Street has announced it will close. Comida, a beloved tenant of The Source and Love Your Hood, has seen its business fall by $800,000 from October 2016-2017.

Josh Peebles, President of RiNo branch of Collegiate Peaks Bank, believes the public improvements will open the door to larger entities bringing their business to the neighborhood. Collegiate Peaks has financed more than $100 million in RiNo projects.

With the combination of local government and business support, Hill’s “craps table” has become one of the most promising of Denver’s many growing neighborhoods.

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Colorado Rockies to redevelop a ‘critical connection point’ in LoDo

Source: Caitlin Hendee at the Denver Business Journal
Colorado Rockies to redevelop a 'critical connection point' in LoDo
Photo by Stantec

Real estate development is seeing a parking lot and turning it into a district, which is exactly what The Rockies are doing. The west parking lot at 19th and Wazee will be transformed into what will be known as “the Stadium District,” an impressive and dynamic mixed-used development that will connect LoDo to Union Station and RiNo. This block will have an outdoor plaza, the Rockies Hall of Fame facility, a hotel, retail, entertainment, residential, offices, and food and beverage spaces.

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