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Five Points To Get Affordable Housing Apartments
Many of Denver's new apartment buildings claim to target the young adults flocking to the city in large numbers, but their high rents tell a different story.Century Development, patiently and with some financial maneuvering, is proving an exception. Its project at the entryway to Five Points will build 223 apartments affordable to those making incomes in the low $30,000s."It is a big deal for us to continue to add affordable housing," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, whose administration is backing the development.The larger of the two buildings, at 2300 Welton St., will rise four stories and hold 195 units above a 205-space parking garage.
A smaller three-story building at 515 Park Avenue West will hold 28 units.Based on 2015 affordability guidelines, a studio there would rent for $840; one-bedrooms, about half the total mix, would go for $900 a month; and two-bedrooms for $1,080.By comparison, apartment listing service Zumper put the median rent for a one-bedroom in Five Points at $1,525 a month in April.Future tenants at 2300 Welton, however, must make 60 percent or less of the area median income for Denver, which stood at $33,600 as of March, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.Eleven units will be made available to those earning 30 percent or less of the area median income or $16,800 a year.
A studio at that range will go for $420 a month.Amenities at 2300 Welton will be basic compared to some other apartment developments coming online, but the below-market rents cover parking and all utilities and the apartments are one block from a light-rail stop and across the street from a refurbished park.The project is expected to bring about 350 new residents to the Five Points neighborhood once it wraps up in the fall of 2016.
The project will support the continued transformation of Welton Street, the historic heart of Denver's African-American community."It is allowing our millennials and service workers to be able to come in and live down in this area," said Tracy Winchester, executive director of the Five Points Business District.Five Points has homeless shelters at one extreme and is getting new high-end homes starting at $300,000 to $400,000 and points higher.What the area has lacked are housing options affordable to middle-income residents, Winchester said.
Brent Snyder, president of Century Real Estate Advisors, assembled the land parcels for the project nearly a decade ago with plans to build 101 market-rate units. But when pre-sales started in 2006, the real estate market was already chilling and the project stalled.Now he sees an opportunity in filling the gap between where young adults want to live and where they can afford to live."Young people want to be in the urban core," Snyder said.Financing an affordable apartment project is complex, one reason Snyder said more developers aren't trying affordable developments despite the strong demand and oversupply on the high-end.
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