Tight rental market spurs apartments

BOULDER – About 2,700 apartments are getting built or are in the planning stages in the Boulder Valley, according to statistics from ARA Colorado, an investment firm.

There’s been a pent-up demand for rentals in Boulder County for years and a limited supply – something that could change with the new multi-family projects coming online, said Terrance Hunt, a principal at ARA’s Denver office, a division of Atlanta-based ARA, an investment firm that focuses exclusively on multifamily housing.

But while new apartment complexes opening in the next several months may slow rent rate increases in Boulder, they won’t stop them, Hunt said.

Boulder “is one of the most popular places to live on the Front Range, so demand is expected to absorb this pretty quickly,” Hunt said. “You’ll always have people who want to live in Boulder because of the lifestyle.”

New luxury apartment projects include 319 apartments being built at 3100 Pearl St. in the new Boulder Junction development, Hunt said.

Renters who are priced out of Boulder will be happy to see some of the potentially more affordable options being built in the U.S. Highway 36 corridor, Hunt said. That includes the 272 apartments being built as part of the Arista Uptown project near the southeast corner of U.S. 36 and Wadsworth Parkway. More recently, the Camden Flatirons apartment complex was started at 120 Edgeview Drive. It will have 424 units when completed.

Many of the apartments, including those at Arista, are being built in areas originally planned for condominiums, Hunt said. More apartments are being built as the condo market lags, not only in the Boulder Valley but around the nation, he said.

“The single-family (home market) is now really starting to recover, and condos will follow that as pricing gets higher and higher,” Hunt said.

What that means for investors is even more apartment projects proposed for the future, said Cary Breutig, principal at Apartment Insights, a consulting firm that works with ARA in Denver.

The Boulder South submarket has the second lowest vacancy rate in the metro area at 2.35 percent, according to Apartment Insights, followed by Longmont, with a 2.94 percent vacancy rate.

In Longmont, the most visible multifamily project on the horizon is the $21 million Roosevelt Park Apartments at the northwest corner of Longs Peak Avenue and Main Street. The mixed-use development with 115 apartments is slated to open late this year, said Cotton Burden, the developer, who heads Burden Inc. in Niwot.

The four-story development is billed as the first high-end complex built along Longmont’s Main Street corridor. Burden said he has been busy talking to potential commercial tenants for planned restaurant and retail space in the development.

Other apartment complexes in the works:

• Alta Harvest Station: 297 apartments near the southeast corner of Wadsworth and 118th Avenue in Broomfield. Wood Partners’ Greenwood Village office is the developer

• AMLI at Interlocken: 343 apartments in the Arista neighborhood near the 1stBank Center arena in the Interlocken business park in Broomfield. Chicago-based AMLI Residential is the developer.

• Carmel Flatirons: 220 apartments at 200 Summit Blvd. in Broomfield. Carmel Partners, based in San Francisco, is the developer.

• Retreat at the Flatirons: 374 apartments near the Northwest Parkway in the Via Varra neighborhood. Denver-based Etkin Johnson Group is the developer.

• North Main at Steel Ranch: 225 apartments at the northwest corner of South Boulder Road and Colorado Highway 52. Confluence Partners LLC in Denver is the developer.

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