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Cherry Creek East responds to rental demand

Two major projects underway in Denver’s Cherry Creek East neighborhood will add more than 350 rental units to the upscale area – and there’s more on the way.

Broadstone Gardens at Cherry Creek, a 108-unit project located on Alameda Avenue and a block west of Colorado Boulevard, is slated for completion in early 2014 but is already leasing three completed floors. The developer, Alliance Residential Co., acquired the parcel from Zeppelin Development and began executing on plans previously presented by Zeppelin and agreed upon by various stakeholders.

Meanwhile, demolition has begun on the southeast corner of East First Avenue and Steele Street to make way for a 12-story, 250-unit apartment complex across the street from the Cherry Creek Mall. BMC Investments bought the high-demand parcel last year from Denver developer Eric Bush.

“We actually worked with both of those (previous) developers for over two years to develop an agreement,” said Brooks Waldman, chairman of the Cherry Creek East Neighborhood Association. “It’s a good thing we had the agreement in place because clearly there was really no re-thinking it; it just continued on from the original concept, which is a good thing.”

The only difference: Bush’s plans had called for a 12-story luxury hotel. Instead the project will exclusively offer apartments.

Waldman, an architect and city planner who’s also vice chairman of the Cherry Creek Steering Committee, says that all told more than 1,200 rental units are planned for Cherry Creek. He attributes the building of rentals to demand and financing.

“It was very difficult to get financing for for-sale units, and the market hasn’t been there for them,” Waldman says. “People are renting more. I can’t tell you why … maybe it’s job security, maybe they got burned in the market before. Who knows what’s caused that. But the demand for rental units has been incredible.”

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Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz magazine. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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