Aug 12, 2023 - Real Estate

The office-to-apartment boom is bubbling in Denver

Illustration of a hand holding a key surrounded by abstract shapes.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Converting empty Denver buildings into apartments is one way the city is hoping to bring people back to our urban core.

Why it matters: Cities across the nation are scrambling to revitalize downtowns in a post-pandemic world by turning office and hotel buildings into apartments.

Driving the news: The city hired global design and architecture firm Gensler to take a look at 30 buildings downtown to see if they're a good fit for an office-to-apartment pivot, says Alexandra Foster with Denver Community Planning and Development.

What they're saying: "There have been office to residential conversions — 1600 Glenarm is one example — but they were not constructed in the current economic and regulatory climate," Foster says.

Zoom in: Art Studios apartments is another example. The apartment building, formerly the Art Institute of Colorado in Capitol Hill, has units available starting Aug 15.

  • Rent starts at $1,335 for a 245-square-foot studio.

The intrigue: Denver's time is coming. We rank No. 9 out of 10 cities for the most future office conversions, according to figures shared by RentCafe.

What's next: Results from the Gensler study are expected to be ready in late August. The city will talk with building owners and developers about potential conversion based on its findings.


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