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Micro-apartments: The solution to high rents?

Posted: 11:19 PM, Mar 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-04 02:33:39-05

A new residential trend is hitting the Mile High City that promises to be care-free, but most importantly, car-free living. 

They're called micro-apartments, and for a fraction of the cost, you could be living in a hip area of town. The catch? They won't offer parking spaces. Developers said the concept was born in response to the Metro area's sky-high rent prices.

“The micro-unit apartment complex concept was something we felt was needed in the downtown Denver area,” said Doug Gaddis with Downing Street Apartments. “Our hope is to give the residents of Denver an affordable option for car-free living in the downtown area.”

Think studios. No frills, no thrills, no on-site pool, no workout facilities and no parking.

Gaddis’ company is proposing the Curtis Park micro-apartments in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. The complex would be built on a lot near 31st and Stout, currently an old, vacant tire shop. 

It would include 56 units, at 320-square feet each -- renting for about $900/month. 

"I was very concerned with the parking space that would be available," said Shaunee Padmore-Green, who lives just a few houses down from the proposed complex. “But after attending a meeting, they put my mind at ease. I might be one the few, but yes – I’m willing to see how it goes.”

Padmore-Green said parking is at a premium on some weekdays. "Some days I have to park a block away," she said.

The development is just a block from a light rail and bus station.

And it’s not the only car-free micro complex proposed. A similar project is in the works for a very busy triangle property at 14th and Court in downtown. It’s currently home to a day care and the lot is just one-acre.

Properties like this are exempt from offering parking under the city’s small-lot exemption ordinance.         

These projects still need to hurdle several permitting reviews, but the Curtis Park development could be complete by late 2017 if all goes well with the city.

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