Office Depot makes room for apartment, office building

With Office Depot’s move three blocks down the 16th Street Mall to Wynkoop Street slated for September, Sage Hospitality’s plan for an office and residential project appears closer to reality.

Plans for the building include office space on the second through sixth floors and 47 apartments on the seventh through 10th floors. There also will be space for an upscale restaurant and a fast-casual restaurant.

Office Depot is holding a moving sale to prepare for its relocation from 16th and Market streets to a new space at 1595 Wynkoop St. The existing location closes Sept. 8 and the new store opens the following day.






Colorado Springs apartment rents on the rise

As the Colorado Springs apartment market gets tighter, rents are rising.

The average rent in the Colorado Springs metro area rose year-over-year for the 10th consecutive quarter, climbing 2.3 percent during the second quarter to $776, according to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado.

Meanwhile, the second-quarter vacancy rate declined to 6 percent, falling from 6.4 percent from the same period a year ago.

The average rent increased year-over-year in all submarkets measured except the southeast area, where average rent fell 5.1 percent to $638.

“The rent growth in the metro area continues, but the rate of increase has fallen off recently,” said Ron Throupe, a professor of real estate at the University of Denver’s Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management. “The weak employment situation in the region is not ideal for pushing rents, so we’re seeing some moderation there.”




Metro Denver apartment rents rising

Renting an apartment in metro Denver is getting pricey.

The average rent rose 7.1 percent to $979 during the second quarter, compared to the same period a year ago, according to a report released today by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing.

The average rent increased in all counties, with Denver and Boulder/Broomfield showing year-over-year increases of $75 and $87, respectively.

The highest rents were in Douglas County, where the average rose to $1,131 during the second quarter. The lowest rent was in Adams County, where the average rose to $906.

Average rents for all counties were Arapahoe, $956; Boulder/Broomfield, $1,091; Denver, $1,005; and Jefferson, $919.

Meanwhile, the vacancy rate in metro Denver fell to 4.8 percent, unchanged from the same period last year and tied for the lowest vacancy rate seen in any quarter since 2001.

“You have to go back to the days of the dot-com boom to see lower vacancy rates than what we’re seeing right now,” said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the division of housing. “The demographics point toward growing demand, and even though developers are looking to build new units, not that many units have been delivered yet.”





Find your dream home and help an animal

Treva Fulton has a two-fold mission: Finding her clients their dream homes while helping the Colorado Humane Society find perfect homes for pets in their care.

Fulton, who operates under the brand ezstreetliving.com, is donating a portion of each home sale to the humane society, which works to prevent cruelty and neglect of animals throughout the state.

“I just have a love for animals — particularly companion animals — and I wanted to be able to give back and thought this is how I can do that,” said Fulton, who rescued her own border collie, Blue, from a tough life in Kansas.

Since she started the project two months ago, Fulton has raised $500 for the cause. The donation is based on the home’s sale price. For example, she’ll donate $100 from the sale of a $100,000 condo.

“It goes up in increments,” she said. “It will be significantly more if it’s a $1 million home in Bonnie Brae.”

Clients also have the option of donating the money to a charity of their choice.






New home construction picks up the pace

New home construction in June hit its fastest pace since October 2008.

The number of new homes built last month rose by 6.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 units, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“What’s especially encouraging is that, as consumers realize the advantages of purchasing a newly built home while prices and interest rates are so favorable, builders are able to put more crews back to work on construction sites across the country,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

Single-family housing starts rose for a fourth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000 units in June, their fastest pace since April 2010. Multifamily starts rose 12.8 percent to 221,000 units. Combined single- and multifamily housing starts rose 36.9 percent in the West.






Kentwood City broker Hanne Lichtenfels at Natalie Merchant botanic garden concert



Kentwood City owners Dee Chirafisi and Jim Theye enjoy Natalie Merchant and Colorado Symphony at Denver Botanic Garden




Home builders’ confidence in market grows

Home builders are increasingly optimistic about the market for new single-family homes, according to a report released today by the National Association of Home Builders.

You can download the raw numbers here.

Builder confidence this month rose six points to 35 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index — the largest one-month gain recorded in nearly a decade. The increase brings the index to its highest point since March 2007.

“Combined with the upward movement we’ve seen in other key housing indicators over the past six months, this report adds to the growing acknowledgment that housing — though still in a fragile stage of recovery — is returning to its more traditional role of leading the economy out of recession,” said David Crowe, chief economist of the home builders’ association.

The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and asks them to rate traffic of prospective buyers.





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