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$24M Affordable Housing Development Fund Expands into Denver Metro Area

19 Dec 2014, 3:36 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

As home prices and rental rates in Denver continue to grow, an affordable housing shortage is driving buyers away from the city’s urban core. In a joint effort to reverse this trend, Denver city officials, together with Enterprise Community Partners recently announced a $24 million fund meant to facilitate the development of affordable homes along transit corridors across the entire Denver metro area.

The Denver Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Fund was launched in 2010 and has helped create 570 affordable homes near transit hubs like Yale Station, Evans Station, Blake Station and Colorado Station. According to a news release, the fund is now expanding its reach across all seven counties in the Denver metro area, and will provide $24 million for property acquisitions and pre-development loans for the construction of affordable housing units along transit corridors.

“Affordable housing is a critical issue not just for the city, but for our entire metro area,” says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “The Denver TOD Fund has proven itself to be a successful tool in ensuring that low- and moderate-income families benefit from the build-out of our mass transit system.”

A joint partnership among Denver city officials, surrounding municipalities and development companies, the TOD fund will be used to create 2,000 affordable housing units near transit over the next ten years. The $24 million expansion was made possible through critical investment and support from the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC), the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), the Colorado Division of Housing, Enterprise Community Partners, and the Enterprise Community Loan Fund.

“Enterprise is extremely proud to be able to announce the Denver Regional TOD Fund,” says Brad Weinig of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “We cannot express enough gratitude to our investors and partners who have trusted us to lead this work, and to ULC for proving that this model can work.”


Google Plans New Boulder Campus to House 1,500 Employees

11 Dec 2014, 4:59 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Pearl Place development

Tech giant Google Inc. plans to triple its office space in Boulder by basing its new campus on a 4.29-acre redevelopment site at the southwest corner of 30th and Pearl streets. The Boulder Planning Board has conditionally approved the proposed Pearl Place development project, which consists of three four-story office buildings of 110,000 square feet each, the Denver Post reports. Google’s plan is now in the hands of the Boulder City Council, which is expected to deliver its decision in the following week.

Google plans to triple its current office space in Boulder and house a total of 1,500 employees at its new campus, pending approval from the City Council. The company is proposing the construction of three four-story buildings, outdoor and indoor event space and 620 underground parking spaces. Additionally, the project includes a public area with and integrated bike path, and the conversion of a ditch into a flood-control zone. The $100 million first phase of the Pearl Place development project could begin in the summer of 2015, if approved by the City Council, with employees moving into the new offices in the first half of 2017, according to the Denver Post. A date has not yet been set for the second phase of the construction.

The Boulder Planning Board approved Google’s proposed plan Dec. 5 after many hours of discussion, but not without conditions. According to The Daily Camera, board members requested that Google set back one of its four-story buildings by 60 feet on one side and 30 feet on another, although the company had planned for three uniform 55-feet office buildings. Officials were also concerned about the lack of retail and commercial space on the ground level, given that the site chosen by the tech company is located in the heart of Boulder’s commercial district.  Other concerns revolved around the traffic congestion and rise in housing prices that could result from the expansion of a large, high-ranking company such as Google in a city where small businesses and startups make up the tech core. When the 4.29-acre site was acquired by Pearl Associates LLC in 2013, several small businesses were forced to find new locations.

Google currently occupies three office buildings at Pearl and 26th Street in the city, and recently leased a fourth building to accommodate 100 employees, according to the Denver Post. Google Boulder employees focus their work on Google Now, Google Drive, and Google Geo. If completed, the company’s new campus would become one of Google’s largest in the country.

Rendering courtesy of Google via the Denver Post


Denver’s Road Home to Open New Homeless Solutions Center in Commerce City

3 Dec 2014, 5:03 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Denver’s Road Home, a city program to end homelessness created by the Mayor’s Denver Commission to End Homelessness in 2005 recently revealed plans to open a new Solutions Center in Commerce City, Colorado. The center would provide short-term behavioral and mental health services, as well as temporary housing for individuals in crisis, overnight detox or as an alternative to jail. According to a news release, the new facility would be a referral-only resource for police and behavioral health professionals, and would also connect patients to longer-term treatment programs.

“The Solutions Center would provide a location where mental health and chemical dependency assessment and treatment services could be provided in a secure and therapeutic environment,” says Bennie Milliner, executive director of Denver’s Road Home. “More importantly, the Solutions Center will work to connect people to longer-term housing and the treatment services they need to live independently.”

Denver’s Road Home has selected a vacant building in the Athmar Park neighborhood to house the new Solutions Center, and is expecting approval for the project from the Denver City Council. The city is also looking for an outside party to manage and operate the center. If approved, construction work on the project will begin in late December and would be completed in late 2015 at the earliest.

The new Solutions Center will occupy a vacant, 25,000-square-foot building at 405 South Platte River Drive in Commerce City. According to The Denver Post, the city of Denver has purchased the building for roughly $2 million.

Denver’s Road Home’s new center will feature a 16-bed clinic for crisis stabilization, where individuals will be offered screening and assessment, triage, stabilization, medication, and treatment. Additionally, the Solutions Center will offer space for up to 46 individuals who are homeless or in crisis, referred to the center directly from the stabilization clinic. According to a news release, the new facility will coordinate with the city and other crisis and health services in the area.

Griffis Residential Pays $40M for Strathmore Apartments in Lafayette, CO

26 Nov 2014, 4:57 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Griffis Lafayette Station

Griffis Residential, a Denver-based multifamily investment and management company recently announced the purchase of the 208-unit Strathmore Apartments community in the metro Denver area of Lafayette, Colorado. Griffis acquired the Class A property for $39.9 million, according to a news release, and has rebranded it Griffis Lafayette Station.

The Lafayette Station apartment community was built in 1999 and is located at 440 Strathmore Lane, adjacent to the Lafayette Park-n-Ride. Residents of the community benefit from an excellent location surrounded by popular outdoor leisure destinations such as Coal Creek Trail and Waneka Lake Park. Additionally, the property offers easy access to public transportation and major employment centers along the I-36 corridor to Boulder.

The seven-story, garden-style Lafayette Station consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 701 to 1,359 square feet. Amenities include a clubhouse, business center, 24-hour fitness center and yoga room, pool and spa, Starbucks coffee bar, basketball courts, playground and picnic areas, private park, and detached parking garages. The pet-friendly residential units feature 9-foot ceilings, ample closet space, private balconies or patios, washer and dryer, internet access and central heat and air. Griffis Residential plans to further enhance the property by investing nearly $3 million in community and apartment upgrades.

“Amid Denver’s falling vacancy rates, we anticipate apartment unit absorption to remain above long-term historical averages into the foreseeable future,” says David Birnbaum, CEO of Griffis Residential. “These positive market forces will keep the pursuit of investment opportunities within the Denver metro area on our radar for some time to come.”

Job growth, rising rents and high demand are drawing more and more investors to the Denver area. Recent data gathered by Marcus & Millichap shows that net multifamily absorption spiked to 6,300 units in 2014, compared to 4,200 units in the previous year, while the multifamily transaction volume increased 25 percent over the same period last year.

Image courtesy of Griffis Residential

Lowe Enterprises Acquires 360-Unit St. Moritz Apartment Community in the Denver Area

20 Nov 2014, 4:29 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

St. Moritz Apartments

Lowe Enterprises Investors (LEI), a Los-Angeles based provider of real estate investment services and a subsidiary of Lowe Enterprises recently announced it has purchased the St. Moritz apartment community in the North Lakewood area of Denver, in joint venture with an investment client. Doug Andrews and Jeff Hawks of ARA Real Estate Investment Services represented the seller in the transaction, an affiliate of DiNapoli Capital Partners, according to a news release.

Located at 1724 Robb St. in Lakewood, the St. Moritz garden-style apartment community features 360 one- and two-bedroom units across 15 buildings, and is currently 98 percent occupied. The property also includes a clubhouse with a 24-hour fitness center, basketball and tennis courts, pool and spa, barbeque areas and a business center. Lowe Enterprises plans to further enhance the property’s appeal with multiple upgrades, including the addition of washers and dryers to all apartment units.

“The St. Moritz apartment community combines a peaceful park-like setting with the advantage of easy access to local amenities, downtown Denver and major thoroughfares,” says Andy Sands, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises Investors. “The physical and operational improvements we intend to make at the St. Moritz will position it to be a leader in the market.”

The St. Moritz community, managed by Greystar, is conveniently located in close proximity to retail and entertainment destinations such as the new Belmar Shopping District, Denver West’s Colorado Mills shopping center, Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, Coors Field and the Pepsi Center. Additionally, the property provides easy access to Highway 6 and Colfax Road, and is just one mile south of the Oak Station on the West Light Rail Line.

Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises, founded in 1972 by Robert J. Lowe, Sr., operates through three separate business units: Lowe Enterprises Investors, Lowe Hospitality Group, and Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group. The company currently oversees roughly $4 billion of investments on behalf of its partners and clients. The Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group currently operates about one million square feet of commercial space in the Denver area.

Image courtesy of www.stmoritzapts.com

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