'Scrape-offs' surging again in Denver

DENVER - Scrapes — love them or hate them — have made a comeback in Denver, driven by people wanting suburban-sized homes in older, urban settings.

"You see the highest concentrations in our most popular neighborhoods," said Caryn Champine, director of planning services in Denver, where scrapes are most frequent.

Scrapes involve the purchase and demolition of an older home to make way for larger structures, and the practice has tracked the overall housing market.

Demolition permits rose from slightly more than 100 a year in the mid-1990s in Denver to just shy of 400 at the peak in 2007, according to Denver's Office of Community Planning and Development.

They fell off a cliff during the housing downturn — reaching a low of 92 in 2011. But last year, they hit 373.

Learn more about the scrape off comeback in The Denver Post.