DENVER — Not all travel to Denver recently has been for relaxation or relocation.
For Zulmarie Padin and Nancy Goldstein, the trip to Denver from their homes in Miami was strictly business.
"In May, they sent us a letter ... saying 'you have to leave the premises in 60 days,' and that day is July 16th," Padin told Denver7.
Padin is referring to a Denver-based real estate investment company called Aimco that owns the Hamilton of the Bay Apartment building in Miami, who also owns several high-end apartments in the Denver Metro area.
On Wednesday morning, Padin, Goldstein and a few members of both local and Miami housing affordability organizations demonstrated outside of Aimco's headquarters near the Denver Tech Center, calling for "housing justice."
Aimco confirmed with Denver7 that the company sent a notice to more than 140 renters in May, informing them that their lease will be terminated by July 16 and that they needed to find another place to live.
Padin said she went hunting for a new apartment as soon as she got the letter, but ran into hurdles.
"I stopped everything that I was doing and went to find apartments to learn that there is no inventory in Miami and that even if there's an inventory, it's two times, three times, the rent I'm paying," Padin said.
After several hours of pleading their case in-person with Aimco officials Wednesday, Padin and Goldstein said no resolution was found.
Aimco provided a statement to Denver7, stating that they are diligently working with residents to help them relocate and that the only reason tenants are being asked to relocate is because of the construction "that will require shutting down the water and sanitary sewer removal systems for several months."
The statement also said "the building, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2005, has been undergoing construction work for several years. Nearly 50 percent of the units were vacant due to hurricane damage ... Due to the poor conditions of the building, rents have been kept artificially low."
Once the company renovates and repairs the tower, rents will rise to market levels.
For Padin, the 2,000-mile trip was meant to make a difference. Instead, she will have just two weeks to move out when she returns.