Union Station District Apartments Under Way

Work has started on Alta City House, a 281-unit apartment property in the Union Station neighborhood of Denver.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Denver—Work has started on Alta City House, a 281-unit apartment property in the Union Station neighborhood of Denver. The development is at 1801 Chestnut St., just west of Denver’s iconic train station, which originally opened in 1881 and is now the centerpiece of a 12-block redevelopment initiative, anchoring a transit hub that combines RTD light rail, commuter rail, bus and Amtrak terminals. Public plazas and gardens, restaurants, and residential and retail space also surround the station.

The five-story apartment building, with garage, will occupy slightly less than three acres and will offer 183 one-bedroom units, 90 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units. The property will be about 1.7 parking spaces per unit, and according to the developers, the residences are expected to rent at over $2 per square foot.

Alta City House is a collaboration of Wood Partners and East West Partners, the developers of Riverfront Park and the Union Station district. They obtained financing for the new apartment project from USAA Real Estate Co.

The apartments decidedly count as transit-oriented development. Besides being in close proximity to Union Station, the property will be at the base of the Millennium pedestrian bridge on 18th Street, near one of the area’s light rail stations, as well as the train to Denver International Airport, which will be completed in 2016. Residents of Alta City House will also be able to walk or bike to the Platte River Greenway, a network of more than 120 miles of bike trails.

Denver is still a relatively strong apartment market. According to the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, overall vacancy rates have trended downward over the last two years, coming in at 4.8 percent at the end of the second quarter, compared with 8.1 percent in mid-2008, the most recent high point for multifamily vacancies. Moreover, demand for apartments is reasonably strong, since employment in metro Denver has nearly returned to pre-recessionary rates.

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