New housing project in Santa Fe Arts District taps into Denver’s micro-apartment trend

Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District will be residence to a new housing task of furnished micro-studio apartments in 2024. The project’s developer would like it to be part of the answer to affordable-housing woes faced in the metro region and nationally.

“Our metropolitan areas are definitely just finding far more and far more unaffordable as time goes by,” claimed Alfonso Medina, cofounder and CEO of housing corporation Madelon Team, in a phone interview. “Denver is the excellent illustration. Up until finally previous calendar year, it was the town with the best lease increases for the previous 10 a long time.”

He is not alone in his concept. Micro-flats, or smaller units considered the “tiny homes” of apartment residing, have cropped up close to the nation in latest decades. New York Town, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle and extra have jumped on the craze, typically focusing on one, younger renters. Nevertheless, micro-residing isn’t a strictly American phenomenon – other international locations with packed metropolises, this sort of as China, Japan and South Korea, give similar accommodations, like cubicle flats and “three-mat residences.”

“We are generating critical methods ahead in our effort and hard work to carry far more high quality dwelling areas to significant metropolitan regions and other superior-barrier-to-entry markets across the U.S.,” Medina claimed.

In Denver, his new housing venture would join several other micro-apartment developments.

The Economist, in Uptown at 1570 and 1578 Humboldt St., opened its doors in 2018, presenting 97 models with flooring ideas from 253 sq. feet to 547 square ft. That was the exact same year that Ride at RiNo began welcoming residents to its 84 residences at 3609 Wynkoop St. In 2020, Barry Hirschfeld and developer Pando Holdings completed developing Studio 135, a 37-condominium building in the Cherry Creek North community at 135 Adams St.

A rendering of Madelon Team and Blue Area Investing’s planned micro-studio residences in the Santa Fe Arts District. The complicated is scheduled to open up in 2024. (Rendering supplied by Madelon Group and Blue Home Investing)

A person argument from micro-apartment properties is that they “may violate density controls and building codes in some areas of the country,” according to LP Setting up Answers, a developing products company. “Some critics nevertheless believe that the pattern is the result of builders exploiting an out-of-manage current market.”

Issues induced by the shortage of value-effective housing are dealt with across the U.S., with a scarcity of additional than seven million inexpensive residences for all around 10.8 million “extremely low-money family members,” according to the Countrywide Very low Income Housing Coalition.

That dilemma is felt profoundly in Colorado. The countrywide ordinary hire for a one particular-bedroom is $1,684, according to’s hire report for March 2022. Meanwhile, that regular in Colorado is $1,895 for 2021, soaring from $1,634 in 2020.

Medina is aiming to offer you a reduce month to month hire of about $900 to $950 for the new micro-studios. Conserving funds on the venture via diminished construction or financing charges interprets to advantages for his foreseeable future tenants, he claimed.

The undertaking is intended to assist deal with Denver’s difficulty with “shadow homelessness,” which involves people today who are housing insecure, said Minyoung Sohn, founder and director of Blue Place, a startup non-public financial investment company partnering with Madelon Team on the project.

Sharon Schneider, president of Blue Room’s housing initiative, pointed to a “huge number” of homeless faculty learners in the city. Her workforce observed “a significant hole in the market” for cost-effective housing choices, she explained, adding that rentals stated in Denver for $1,000 monthly or considerably less often elicit “one-star evaluations on Google,” with troubles like mildew and inadequate maintenance.