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Denver housing inventory hits record low

The number of homes on the market in metro Denver dropped 6.47 percent to 3,989 in January -- an all-time low for any January on record, according to a recent report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR).

"Low housing inventory has been a key driver for over two years now, and I don't see that changing any time soon," says Denver real estate agent Steve Danyliw, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee. "Historically, inventory follows a seasonal pattern. We see the bottom in January to February, then peaking in late August to September. The second driver is mortgage interest rates. All predictions indicate a steady rise in interest rates throughout 2017. This could compel buyers that are sitting on the sideline to get into the big game."

The number of homes sold declined by 33.21 percent in January, compared to the previous month, but the average sold price increased 3.86 percent to $448,373. The median sale price remained relatively unchanged at $380,000. Year-over-year housing prices have increased 9.25 and 9.99 percent in the average and median sale prices, respectively.

"Sellers are thrilled by the price appreciation and buyers are frustrated by the low inventory," Danyliw says. "If you're a real estate agent working with a homebuyer under the$400,000 price point, you have a front-row seat to a real estate feeding frenzy."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Closetbox awards scholarship to student entrepreneur

College student Josh Doering was selected from 120 applicants to receive the $5,000 Closetbox Entrepreneur Scholarship, an award that recognizes the importance of those starting a business to stay in school through the end.

Denver-based Closetbox selected Doering, a student at Morningside College Sioux City, Iowa, for his ability to take an idea and turn it into something real and functioning. Doering saw the need to increase safety and efficiency on the farm where he grew up and created Seed Slide, a remote box opener that is useful for adding safety and convenience into any bulk seed tote operation. 

"In various startup communities, a negative view of college education has taken hold, and we take issue with this," says Marcus Mollmann, Closetbox founder and CEO. "We believe in keeping bright young people in school through the end, as these minds are starting the businesses of tomorrow."

Closetbox, a full-service storage company, has grown to more than 60 locations in two years. The company provides free pickup and handles the heavy lifting to move customers' belongings from their homes to secure storage facilities. the company inventories a customer's items, then provides them with a personalized dashboard so they can view their items online. From the dashboard, customers can request any or all items to be returned on demand.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Regus opening new coworking concept in Ballpark

The largest provider of flexible workspace globally is bringing its new coworking space concept to Denver. 

Regus plans to open SPACES Denver-Ballpark Feb. 27 in a historic building at 2301 Blake St., featuring 40 dedicated desks, a 5,000-square-foot business club, three meeting rooms for members and community residents and concierge-level hospitality services. Coworking memberships start at $199 a month. SPACES will also offer 140 private offices starting at $650 a month.

"The Millennial customer is going to be attracted to the building and the neighborhood," says Michael Berretta, vice president of network development for the Americas at Regus. "It will also be attractive to a whole host of companies, whether it's corporations, law firms or media companies. What we're seeing is increased demand for that type of location close to restaurants and evolving residential growth areas."

Regus is opening SPACES locations across the country and around the world.  Locations that are already up and running include Amsterdam, The Netherlands; London and Liverpool in the United Kingdom; Long Island City, N.Y.; and Menlo Park, Calif. It has plans to open locations in France, Norway, Italy and Switzerland later this year.

"Our strength is a global network," Berretta says. "When a company looks to us for this type of environment, they're getting more than a single location."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

DIA celebrates Colorado's Western lifestyle with exhibit

Travelers at Denver International Airport can experience the history of Colorado's Western lifestyle through the Arts and Culture Program's latest exhibit: "True Colorado: Western Heritage, Then & Now."

The exhibit, located at the Ansbacher Hall in the Jeppesen Terminal on Level 6 before A Bridge Security, is on display through March. It celebrates the western cultural history of the state and features past and present artifacts and information.

The Mayor's Office of the National Western Center, an initiative of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, plus four significant Colorado establishments are featured for their contributions as tourist destinations, educators and beacons for important cultural and Western traditions. The exhibit explores the history, future vision and creativity of each operation as they forge into the future while still embracing their long-running Colorado legacy.

In addition to the Mayor's Office, participating exhibitors include the National Western Stock Show, Colorado State University Extension's 4-H, Rockmount Western Wear Manufacturing Co. and The Colorado Saddlery Co.

DIA's Art and Culture program administers the City and County of Denver's 1 percent for art ordinance, which enhances public places and features nearly 34 site-specific works, including sculptures, murals and other installations. Pieces are displayed in outdoor landscapes, inside Jeppesen Terminal and on airport concoures, as well as in the train tunnels and on the train itself.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Healthcare crowdfunding platform joins Catalyst HTI

A healthcare-focused crowdfunding platform is the latest tenant to sign on with Catalyst Health Tech Innovation, an industry integrator that’s bringing together relevant stakeholders in health-tech innovation.

Seattle-based angelMD is will lease space in the 300,000-square-foot building under construction on the west side of Brighton Boulevard between 35th and 36th streets.

"We are looking forward to working with Catalyst HTI to accelerate digital health innovation in Denver and across the country," says Tobin Arthur, founder and CEO of angelMD. "Our partnership will be a valuable asset to drive change in how individuals, especially medical professionals, invest in the innovation taking place throughout the healthcare industry."

As one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the United States, Denver is becoming a favored location for many startups from across the country, including those in health IT. Denver has attracted a new and innovative culture that combines favorable cost of living, availability of talent and a great quality of life.  AngelMD’s goal is to tap into the innovation culture and add to the growing tech economy in the city.

"AngelMD will find the Denver community welcoming and engaging," says Mike Biselli, president of Catalyst HTI. "This is the perfect environment for them to thrive, and we are excited to embed their innovative investment marketplace operations within the Catalyst HTI community."

AngelMD connects medical startups, physicians, investors and industry through a digital platform that leverages the strength of its growing network of experts. It enables startups to create profiles in the site and develop exposure to potential investors, customers and acquirers.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Pre-sales for Vine Rowhomes begin

Koelbel Urban Homes has started pre-sales of The Vine Rowhomes in central Denver's Wyman Historic District.

Located at Vine Street and 14th Avenue, Vine's 14 row homes will be in three separate buildings and stand three stories tall, with the top-floor lofts opening onto rooftop decks. Each building will feature a brick exterior, decorative cornices and a front porch for watching the city go by. 

"This project is truly at the epicenter of the best of everything Denver has to offer, as it is situated between two of the city's most famous parks -- Cheesman and Congress Park," says Carl Koelbel, vice president of Koelbel and Company, the parent company of Koelbel Urban Homes. "The homes offer a modern design aesthetic while maintaining the historical integrity of the Wyman Historic District."

Flowing floor plans on the main level allow for generous living rooms, dining space and gourmet kitchens punctuated by central islands. The second floor houses at least two bedroom suites and a laundry room. Full, unfinished basements are standard and ideal for a family rec room and additional bedroom suite. Intimate courtyards connect homes to detached garages with alley access.

"We are always looking for urban infill projects that are going to improve upon Denver's already great neighborhoods and embrace their individual history and identity," says Peter Benson, senior vice president Koelbel and Company. "With its modern interpretation of 1880s architecture, Vine slips right into the classic feel of the Wyman Historic District, one of central Denver's oldest neighborhoods."

Prices for Vine start in the $600,000s. Three floor plans, ranging from about 2,000 to 2,400 square feet, are available.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Riverfront Park available for events

Beginning April 1, Riverfront Park can be reserved for various events and programming, including art installations, public gatherings, outdoor movies and concerts.

Located between Lower Downtown and the Highland neighborhood, Riverfront Park is a high-foot traffic area that’s in a great location to attract a large and diverse group of passersby to various events.

"We are thrilled to offer Riverfront Park to the community as a place to bring people together," says Don Cohen, president of Riverfront Park Neighborhood Association. "We are looking forward to seeing how the park will be transformed and hope that it will provide the Denver community a space for engagement, enjoyment and collaboration."

The goal is to activate the space in a creative and thoughtful way without disrupting park-goers or harming the natural riparian environment and green space. All events in the park must comply with the Denver Parks and Recreation requirements and guidelines.

Programming and event inquiries can be made by contacting Jordan Kincaid of East West Urban Management at (720) 904-6904. For additional information please visit www.riverfrontparkassociation.com.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Commuters: Transit pass more valuable than parking space

Workers in downtown Denver placed a higher value on a transit pass than they did on a parking space in the Downtown Denver Partnership's annual commuter survey.

The 2016 Downtown Denver Commuter Survey revealed that 87 percent of employees rate a transit pass as a very valuable or valuable employer-provided benefit, which is also the most common employer-provided transit benefit with 68 percent of employees receiving a fully or partially subsidized transit pass.

"It's clear that employers play a big role in impacting commuting habits," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Specifically, when employers offer employees a transit pass as part of their employee benefits, they are 67 percent more likely to use transit and 28 percent less likely to drive alone. It's imperative we work closely with employers and transportation providers to encourage employees to consider alternative modes of transportation in order to achieve our goal to create a truly multi-modal center city."

Also notable is that for the first time in five years, the number of people driving alone (40.3 percent, up from 38.5 percent in 2015) exceeds the number of people who regularly use transit (39.6 percent, down from 40.6 percent in 2015). Seventy-four percent of those who regularly drive to work alone are open to considering other modes.

"Our goal is to increase the number of people choosing to bike, walk and take transit while reducing the number of people who drive alone to under 35 percent by 2021," Door says. 

It's not just new options that impact commuting decisions. Factors like age and gender and commute length, which averages 13 miles among all commuters, have an impact as well. For example:
  • Younger male commuters are more likely to bike and walk
  • Females in their thirties and forties are more likely to drive alone
  • Transit use increases in older commuters
  • 30 percent of commuters who have a commute length of five miles or less drive alone, despite having more options than those with longer-distance commutes. These short-distance commuters are also more likely to walk and bike to work
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Rosemark wins Senior Housing News award

Rosemark at Mayfair Park won the 2016 Architecture and Design Award for Best Assisted Living Community from Senior Housing News

The 88-apartment assisted living and memory support community at East Eighth Avenue and Jersey Street was selected from the largest field of entries in the award's history.

"We're pleased to have this amenity in the Mayfair neighborhood," says Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman. "Rosemark attracts many residents from within a few blocks, assuring they stay connected to friends, family, healthcare facilities and cultural venues integral to central Denver."

Designed by Denver's Studio Completiva, Rosemark at Mayfair Park is the first senior living community developed by Rosemark Development Group. It reflects themes that are increasingly important to older adults and their children, such as a balanced lifestyle, locally sourced menus, environmentally friendly surroundings and social connectivity. 

A total of 33,000 square feet of interior community spaces are light-filled, varied and plentiful. Private apartments come in a variety of configurations and feature large windows, kitchenettes and private baths. the 72,000-square-foot community offers a range of amenities and programming, along with highly trained staff who deliver personalized care and services. 

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Solis Townhomes breaks ground

Work has started on the Solis Townhomes, the latest for-sale affordable housing to be developed in Denver. 

Located at 3390 Humboldt St. in the Cole neighborhood, the 11 townhomes will be available to moderate-income households later this year. The project features two- and three-bedroom units with prices set at $147,000 and $167,000, respectively. The two-story townhomes range from 1,268 to 1,954 square feet and each includes an unfinished basement. Amenities include solar panel energy savings and off-street parking.

Households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (up to $44,900 for a one-person household or $57,700 for a family of three) are eligible to purchase the homes.

"In today's challenging real estate market we're proud to celebrate each and every new affordable home ownership opportunity that we're able to bring forward," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "The Solis Townhomes illustrates our ability as a city to leverage additional income-restricted units for Denver's hard-working families."

Cecil Development is developing the Craine Architecture-designed project for the Colorado Community Land Trust, which will own the land beneath the townhomes and ensure long-term affordability.

The project is one of the final developments under way that is the result of the city's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, which changed this month with the implementation of Denver's new dedicated fund for affordable housing. The IHO required developers of projects with 30 or more units to invest in Denver's affordable housing, either by providing 10 percent of the projects units as affordable, by providing a cash-in-lieu payment or by negotiating an alternative satisfaction with the city.

The Solis project fulfills an alternative satisfaction agreement with The Pauls Corp. for the development of a 71-unit condominium project at 155 Steele St.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

RiNo mural encourages unity

A new mural recently installed in the RiNo Art District is designed to encourage people to reflect on our similarities, instead of our differences.

Internationally renowned mural artist Kelsey Montague created #WhatUnitesUs on the corner of 26th and Larimer streets to create an interactive dialogue about unity and the shared human experience through art. The RiNo Art District plans to expand on the mural and campaign in the coming months to engage the diverse communities of Denver in further conversation, programs and projects to better connect with and support them.

"Our country and city are feeling the stress of dividing forces now more than ever," says Jaimie Licko, president of the RiNo Art District. "It is our home that this project ignites a conversation within RiNo and across Denver about meaningful ways we can work together, support each other and raise each other up. RiNo is currently benefitting from strong economic growth, and we feel it is our duty and responsibility to ensure that the diverse communities that surround us are not isolated from that but instead are part of it."

Montague previously gained notoriety for her mural series #WhatLiftsYou, a mural project that encouraged people to snap photos in front of a set of muraled wings and share them online, providing everyone the opportunity to share more about what inspires them in life. 

"Kelsey is a major player in the mural scene," says Tracy Weil, co-founder and creative director of the RiNo Art District. "We are so excited to welcome her back to her hometown to create such an impactful piece. We are committed to utilizing our platform as an art district to advocate for social impact through art."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Edgy arcade opens at Pavilions

An edgy arcade just opened next to Lucky Strike in the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall.

FTW  (For The Win), interconnected with the existing Lucky Strike, is about 15,000 square feet and features more than 100 arcade games ranging from classics such as Skeeball and pinball to the modern and highly popular games Showdown and Outrun Super Deluxe. There's also the World's Largest Pac-Man, four-person air hockey and a photo booth that uploads pictures directly to  social media accounts.

"My wife and I like to create places that people can go and have something to do other than just eat and drink," says Steven Foster, CEO of Lucky Strike Entertainment, which operates both venues.

The arcade's high-tech swiping system lets you track balances and winnings, giving gamers the freedom to come and go at any time without having to cash out or take home tokens or tickets. An 850-square-foot retail store dubbed The Payoff has more than 250 prizes, including boardgames, XBOXes, Surface Pros and the Apple Watches.

Denver is Lucky Strike Entertainment's third FTW venue nationally. 

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Car wash project earns Baratta CREW award

Entrepreneur Emilie Baratta has received CREW Denver's Step Up award, an honor recognizing her entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to the environment and efforts to make a difference with her real estate projects.

Gleam Car Wash at West 38th Avenue and Wolff Street is the latest project for Baratta, founding principal of Turnbuckle Development. Gleam is the greenest car wash in Colorado thanks to state-of-the-art water recycling programs and other energy efficiency investments, as well as a commitment to biodegradable chemicals. 

Gleam also practices socially aware employment strategies, seeking to hire cognitively impaired people and recent non-English-speaking refugees for up to 50 percent of its staff, giving them career development opportunities and not just a transient job.

"Emilie embodies everything the Step Up awards stand for," says Kim Duty, the 2017 president of CREW Denver. "As founding principal of her own real estate development firm, she's a role model to other women in commercial real estate. She's also making a real difference in the community by investing in the lives of her employees and our environment."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Hotel Indigo opening near Union Station

Denver's newest hotel will open its doors Jan. 20 at 1801 Wewatta St. in the thriving Union Station neighborhood.

Hotel Indigo Denver will offer 180 guestrooms and 1,388 square feet of meeting and event space, which can accommodate up to 200 people in a variety of layouts. These include the Hickenlooper Boardroom, as well as the Green Room and the Russell Room, which can be combined into a larger Green Russell room. All are equipped with the latest amenities, including high-speed wireless Internet access and digital projectors.

"The Hotel Indigo Denver is a perfect complement to our growing portfolio of third-party managed hotels in top urban markets with high barriers to new entry," says Robert Cole, president and CEO of Hospitality Ventures Management Group, an Atlanta-based, private hotel ownership and management company. 

The LEED-certified hotel, part of InterContinental Hotels Group, was co-developed by Portman Holdings and Hensel Phelps.

Rooms feature hardwood floors; polished concrete ceilings; interior sliding barn doors; oversized beds with throw pillows and a plush duvet; spa-inspired showers with complimentary Aveda products; and murals depicting Denver, the Rocky Mountains and Colorado's Front Range. A complimentary 24-hour fitness studio is equipped with Lifestyle cardiovascular machines, free weights, televisions, showers and locker rooms.

The hotel is pet-friendly and will offer treats, canine cocktail hours and dog-walking services to guests' furry friends, who will receive a warm welcome from the hotel's resident dog ambassador, Barkly.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

New Discover Denver website encourages public participation

Discover Denver, a project to identify historic and architecturally significant structures across the city, has launched a new website that invites the public to share stories about Denver's buildings.

The website offers an interactive map that lets users post stories and background about specific buildings, including photos and documents. The map will feature photos and histories of some of the buildings Discover Denver has surveyed, along with stories users have shared. The site's Discoveries section features findings and reports compiled from past survey areas, including Mid-Century Modern buildings in Harvey Park, prewar residences in Park Hill and Berkeley and streetcar commercial districts in Globeville and Cole.

"We invite anyone with a story to tell to share it at DiscoverDenver.co," says Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver. "Maybe a building was owned by your family for generations or was an important gathering place for your community. We want to capture and catalog its role in Denver's history, no matter how big or small."

Denver joins other cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tulsa, that are conducting building surveys. The benefits of building surveys include uncovering buildings of historic and architectural significance; providing property owners and real estate agents up-front information about buildings to inform reinvestment and sale decisions; equipping city planners with information about historic resources when creating neighborhood plans; bolstering civic pride and heritage tourism.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
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