Luxury Apartment

How to Rent out a Luxury Apartment?

there are many intricacies involved in the task which should be considered by novice investors before going through. Apartments in Denver have been considered to be prime luxury real estate in the past years and there has been a large increase in the number of people who are looking to rent luxury apartments in the area. Therefore, with this demand driving the market, there are many people who are investing in the luxury real estate business. Given here are simple details of how a luxury apartment should be rented. The increasing value of denver luxury real estate has driven up sales.

Denver Art Galleries’ Digital Dance With Going Online

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Even though Denver boasts more than 70 art galleries in brick-and-mortar settings, the current trend sees many of them moving the majority of their sales to the digital world. It might seem counterintuitive to purchase original and high-quality art online — how many of us can count times that online purchases have arrived at our home looking only remotely like the image on our screens? But the truth is that, much like any other industry, the art world is adjusting to a global demand, realized through our digital connections.

What this means for Denver is complicated. On one hand, Denver artists who are represented by local galleries are seeing an increase in national and even international collecting of their artwork. And we have enough interest in our art scene to garner enough business to keep nearly 100 art galleries operating. On the other hand, Denver art is largely leaving the city to find homes with those out-of-state or country collectors.


Though there is a steady and well-represented trend to move art sales online, there are varying opinions about what this will do to the art scene and market. In order to explain these views in more detail, we’ve split up the discussion into three sections: entirely online sales, a mixture of online and in-gallery sales and galleries that only exist as a physical place to purchase or peruse art. The opinion that survives in Denver, regardless of how a gallerist chooses to sell art, is that physical art galleries won’t be going away any time soon, even if their in-person sales diminish.

Photo courtesy of Pirate Contemporary Art on Facebook

Selling art exclusively in-house is undeniably the traditional way to do this line of work. Gallerists, curators and even daytime employees or volunteers are knowledgeable about the artists and their techniques, or in some cases, all of those jobs are done by the artist themselves. There can be a personal touch with these galleries, though some would also argue that art galleries overwhelmingly lack personability, and therefore may be leading the charge for online art purchasing.

Regardless of how one might feel about walking into an art gallery, these establishments are instrumental in moving the conversation about art forward, as well as supporting local artists. Depending on their extracurricular work, many art galleries become a staple within a specific neighborhood, providing a gathering place for creatives of all types.

One such gallery that achieved that kind of reputation in its old location and now in its new one is Pirate Contemporary Art. Pirate used to rent a space in Denver’s Navajo Art District — for 35 years — before rising rent prices forced the gallery to move to a more affordable place, Lakewood. Even though the gallery still survives and thrives in today’s digital climate, they do not sell art online.


Craig Robb, one of the full-time artist members at Pirate, commented about their decision to sell only in-gallery, “our website is geared towards promoting Pirate and the events we hold. We do have a section [online] showcasing our artists and provide links to their sites. We have talked about having an online store but the logistics of maintaining one are problematic for an artists run co-op. I believe that all galleries need to have an online presence whether it is purely promotional or it is for sales. Galleries should promote their artist by any means available.”

The Forum Stories at Leon Gallery. Photo by Amanda Tipton

Other galleries in Denver that don’t have direct online sales often focus more on increasing visibility for artists or producing artistic events. Leon, for instance, uses its limited resources to host events that feature all kinds of artistic mediums — poetry, performance, comedy and music, to name a few.

Laura Krudener, the founder of the relatively new ATC DEN in RiNo commented about her decision to stay out of the virtual marketplace for now, “as a new gallery, we do not yet sell online but are currently looking into expanding into this market. We have heard some great success stories with Artsy and look forward to joining their community of galleries.” Much like Leon, however, ATC DEN emphasizes their space as an event venue as well as a visual art gallery.

This kind of response is characteristic of the overall trend of art galleries, not only in Denver but worldwide — to promote their artists online.

“In Dubious Battle” by Shelley Reed. Photo courtesy of Visions West Contemporary

This hybrid version populates the art market most heavily. Without needing to analyze it too much, it makes sense that most galleries choose to have their hands in both baskets — not only does it foster a local market, it allows gallery owners and artists to tap into a national and even international market.


One of the interesting points to note about this category is when brick-and-mortar galleries sell the majority of their stock online. The majority sometimes approaching or surpassing 70 percent of total art sales. This can open up galleries to having more cutting-edge work or other nontraditional gallery events without the worry of selling all the art during the reception or exhibition viewing. Instead, viewers appreciate installations, exhibits and events and then go home and contemplate whether they want to purchase something from that artist.

In the case of Visions West Contemporary — with four different locations in Denver, Bozeman, Livingston and Jackson Hole — having an online marketplace for their artists gives collectors a complete selection without having to travel to each gallery separately. Previous visitors to one of their galleries are often future clients online and social media platforms like Instagram direct traffic to them as well. But without their physical displays, the online referrals may not exist for serious collectors.

Nathan Larramendy of Visions West in Denver and Jackson Hole commented, “I do not think the traditional ‘white box’ gallery will change because artists, gallerists, and collectors love seeing a comprehensive body of well-curated work. The exhibitions in the ‘traditional art gallery’ fuel the online sales. Despite the fact that Visions West Contemporary collectors do not get to see all of our exhibitions in person, they do want to know that the artists are conceptualizing and producing well thought out bodies of work.”

K Contemporary displays art by Suchitra Mattai. This space is shared with Abend and Gallery 1261, on a rotating schedule. Photo by Kyle Cooper

Another example of galleries fusing online and in-person sales is Abend Gallery — who recently relocated to a shared space in downtown with two other galleries, Gallery 1261 and K Contemporary. When Abend Gallery opened in 1990, they were only selling to local collectors. Though they obviously sold enough to stick around for more than a decade, relying solely on a local audience, their move to the online marketplace may have saved them from shutting down during the recession in 2008 and helps them thrive today.

“We’ve been around for many years and promoted ourselves heavily in national magazines, as well as on social media, which has created a large following for us, and thus, been an integral part of our sales increasing online,” Dave Etheridge, co-curator at Abend explained. “My background, while in art, is also in IT and I was always a believer that online shopping would be an integral part of the shopping experience moving forward. Even in the art industry, which had, and still has its skeptics about the viability of selling art online.”

From the looks of it, Abend made a smart business decision to heed Etheridge’s hunch — not only did it kept them afloat during a time when many other galleries couldn’t hold on, it now accounts for 75 percent of their total sales. Because each artist the gallery represents can be inquired about online at any time, the gallery enjoys a more flexible and innovative approach to displaying exhibitions in their brick-and-mortar space.

Etheridge also commented, “I cannot say if Denver lags behind other cities in terms of local sales, but I would say that, from my anecdotal conversations with other galleries, online sales have increased for many galleries across the country, which leads me to believe that this is a global shift in how collectors purchase art, not just something that is occurring in Denver.”

A screenshot of the Tempestuous online art gallery homepage

They might represent the minority, but online art galleries are not going away any time soon. Much like the more general retail world, art galleries started moving online in the early 2000’s. According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, online art market sales reached an estimated $4.22 billion in 2017, up 12 percent from the year before. However, the growth rate slowed from previous years, and the number of new online art purchasers dropped. But, existing online art purchasers overwhelmingly made more than one online art purchase last year, widening the scope of design, style and type of art bought digitally.

In the international art world, online marketplaces are not new. Big sites like Artsy and 1stDibs already provide user-friendly platforms for browsing all kinds of art and they connect collectors and buyers to art galleries around the globe. Even more DIY marketplaces — like Etsy — are pioneering the digital art dimension because the demand for handmade items seems to only increase each year.

What all of this means is that people are losing the fear that buying art online is not as safe, reliable or interactive as buying it in person. However, based on the very few galleries that are exclusively online, these statistics impact the galleries in the previous category more — the hybrids. Currently, in Denver, there is only one (that we can find) online art gallery — Tempestuous. Founded by a lawyer and artist, Tempestuous’ platform offers originals and prints with a variety of framing or mounting options. Organized into three categories — urban, nature and ‘splat series’ — and all created by the same artist, Tempestuous’ stock is limited compared to other galleries in Denver. But, the backbones are there and it’s easy to see how easy buying art online can be.

One thing that Tempestuous also exemplifies is the synchronized evolution of digital art sales and transparent art prices and valuation. When perusing Tempestuous’ store, not only are the prices easily accessible (meaning you don’t have to email someone or submit an “inquiry”) — they are customizable. Purchasers can choose one of a few select sizes, as well as how to mount or frame it. Some might argue that this kind of tinkering on the buyers’ side creates a stifling creative atmosphere — that buyers shouldn’t have any say in how the art is made, they should like what the artist created or leave it. Others might argue that this kind of pricing system and way of creating art is a survival mechanism in a world where “starving artist” is a common turn of phrase.


Etheridge, of Abend, explained, “I don’t think we will ever have a situation where all art galleries will be online only. I do, however, feel that art galleries moving to online only isn’t just a fad, but a trend, i.e. we will continue to see a change in the art gallery business model and online galleries will become more common moving forward.”

While the overall consensus leads toward an understanding that brick-and-mortar art galleries aren’t disappearing, it also exposes an interesting change of pace for them. Instead of gallerists and curators searching for artists who will attract buyers and collectors locally, the entire world is opening as a potential market, leading to more representation of offbeat, emerging and experimental artists. For Denver, this might mean more contemporary or new age art is represented by galleries — something that will attract in-person viewers locally and out-of-town sales digitally.

And though at first, we were more than skeptical about purchasing art online, it’s hard to argue with a system that is allowing almost 100 galleries to operate within city limits. If that’s what the rise of digital art sales supports, we say “Denver, bring on the digital revolution.”

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Downtown Denver’s big boom continues, but report shows people living in prosperous area overwhelmingly white, single and well off

Whole Foods on Union Station welcomed its first official shoppers on Nov. 15, 2017 downtown Denver. The new store is located at 1701 Wewatta St on the north side of Union Station.

If you’ve looked east from Sloan’s Lake Park and played a game of count the cranes, you’ve seen it. If you’ve taken the MallRide from Civic Center Station down to Blake Street for a Rockies game, you’ve felt it.

But the eye-popping numbers in a new report put a fine point on it: Downtown Denver is bigger, denser and more economically alive than it has ever been, and the growth shows no sign of abating.

One thing the area is not, however, is diverse.

Here are some facts: There are 133,478 people now working downtown, an all-time high. Twenty-three thousand people live in the six-neighborhood downtown area, three times as many as called it home in 2000. More than $1.35 billion in new development was completed in 2017 and the first part of 2018 and another $2.26 billion worth is in the works. Those pipeline projects are expected to bring 4,525 more residential units to Ballpark, LoDo, Central Platte Valley, Auraria, Golden Triangle and Central Business District neighborhoods.

Those numbers are just part of the data encapsulated in State of Downtown Denver 2018 report, released Wednesday by the Downtown Denver Partnership.

“Downtown really is the heart of the community, and the heart of the local economy. It’s important for us understand our overall health,” Randy Thelen, the partnership’s vice president of economic development, said this week. “This year, we are pleased to be able to report that downtown is performing exceptionally well.”

The economic indicators — retail vacancy, hotel occupancy, etc. — are overwhelmingly positive. But the report paints a clear picture that not everyone living in Denver is enjoying its prosperity equally. The downtown population is overwhelmingly white, single and well paid.

The report shows that the media age of a downtown Denver resident is 34 and 81 percent of them live alone. Just 4 percent live with kids.

About 76 percent of downtown residents are white. Hispanics are the largest minority group at 8 percent. People of Asian descent make up 5 percent of the population, and black people 4 percent. Denver County as a whole was 54 percent white, 30 percent Latino or Hispanic and 10 percent black or African American as of the 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

About seven out of every 10 downtown residents has an bachelor’s degree or better. The average household income is $120,099, nearly double Denver’s area median income of $63,000.

At the Downtown Denver Partnership’s State of Downtown breakfast Wednesday morning, the issue of lack of diversity and economic inclusiveness came up more than once, with some painting it as a serious issue that could drag down continued growth.

“Denver needs to be a place that is inclusive,” Amy Cara, a managing partner with development firm East West Partners said at the event. East West announced this week that 33 income-restricted condos are now available for purchase by qualified buyers at its Coloradan building near Union Station. The one- and two-bedroom condos, priced between $230,751 and $285,936, are some of the last affordable units created under the city’s now-defunct inclusionary housing ordinance.

“In order to have that breadth and depth of experiences, we need to have all of the people who work in Denver be able to call downtown Denver their home,” Cara said. “It’s a big issue but we need to solve it or we won’t continue to move forward.”

The report details strong growth in downtown’s tech sector. Over the last three years, 265 ctech startups have sprouted downtown contributing to a 74 percent spike in tech jobs since 2010. But Lee Mayer, CEO of online interior design firm Havenly, pointed to a lack of diversity in the business community as stumbling block.

“Look around the demographics of this room. If this is representative of the business community here in Denver how do we build national and global companies that sell to the varying populations of companies and people across the world if we’re not even a little representative of the diversity that we see in this amazing nation?” Mayer said. ” We’ve got some work to do.”

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CBS4 Investigates What Critics Call ‘Predatory Towing’ From Apartment Parking Lots

DENVER (CBS4)– Bill Chamberlin, 87, walks with a limp and is tethered to an oxygen tank. A veteran of the Korean War and the recipient of two Purple Hearts, Chamberlin has seen plenty in his life and his military career.

(credit: CBS)

“I was very glad to have the opportunity to do what I did,” he said of his time in Korea.

Bill Chamberlin (credit: CBS)

But for all he has seen and experienced, he said what truly baffled him was having his car towed from his southeast Denver apartment complex, City Square Apartments, last month for having an expired registration tag on his license plate.

(credit: CBS)

He had parked in his usual handicapped spot in the apartment parking lot with his disabled hang tag clearly visible and his Purple Heart license plate affixed to his car. But when he came out to run an errand on April 6, his car was gone.

(credit: CBS)

“I came out but there was another car parked there.”

(credit: CBS)

Chamberlin soon learned that the towing company contracted by his apartment complex, Wyatts Towing, had towed his car because his Colorado registration tag had expired at the end of February.

(credit: CBS)

“If I was going to get charged,” said Chamberlin, “I should get charged by the police because it’s a state law. It’s their responsibility.”

(credit: CBS)

It cost him $37.85 for a taxi to travel to Wyatts and retrieve his car, which cost him another $257.16, not easy for an elderly veteran who survives on his pensions.

(credit: CBS)

“The one thing I would really like is for apartments not to have the ability to manage state laws and I think that’s exactly what they’re doing,” said Chamberlin.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass interviews Bill Chamberlin (credit: CBS)

He contends if he has an expired tag, it should be police who pull him over and cite him, not his apartment complex and their towing company.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass interviews Shanna Martinez, manager of City Square Apartments (credit: CBS)

But what the apartment complex and towing company did is perfectly legal according to both the law and Chamberlin’s lease. In the 35-page lease he signed, under “Community Policies,” the lease reads “cars with expired licenses… will be towed at owners expense.” Under the lease “Parking Addendum,” it reads, “unlicensed vehicles… will be towed away without notice and at the vehicle owner’s sole expense.”

(credit: CBS)

Shanna Martinez, manager of City Square Apartments, told CBS4 ,”The laws of the road are all the same whether in a private lot or on the street.”

(credit: CBS)

She said it is normal for towing companies to haul away residents’ cars with expired tags.

Tom Nellesen (credit: CBS)

Tom Nellesen, a Denver-based attorney, said apartment complexes can legally set rules like this, which are typically aimed at preventing abandoned cars from being dumped in their lots.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s legitimate, it’s legal, but I do think it’s predatory,” said Nellesen.

He said most apartment residents don’t read the fine print in their leases which allows for their vehicle to be towed if their plates have expired. After CBS4 contacted Wyatts towing, they decided to refund $257.16 back to Chamberlin.

(credit: CBS)

“Wyatts Towing is happy to provide Mr. Chamberlin with a full refund in light of his sacrifices for our country. More than 10% of our employees are veterans, including myself, and we have a great appreciation for Mr. Chamberlin’s service to our nation,” wrote Trevor Forbes, the company president.

(credit: CBS)

CBS4 kicked in the other $37.85 that Chamberlin paid for the taxi to retrieve his car.

He said he appreciated the assistance but said what he really wanted was for apartment complexes to stop enforcing state laws that he believes are not their responsibility.

Immediately after retrieving his vehicle, Chamberlin got updated tags for his car.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

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Apartment Investment Management: 1Q Earnings Snapshot

DENVER (AP) _ Apartment Investment and Management Co. (AIV) on Monday reported a key measure of profitability in its first quarter. The results matched Wall Street expectations.

The Denver-based real estate investment trust said it had funds from operations of $94 million, or 60 cents per share, in the period.

The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for funds from operations of 60 cents per share.

Funds from operations is a closely watched measure in the REIT industry. It takes net income and adds back items such as depreciation and amortization.

The company said it had net income of $81.5 million, or 52 cents per share.

The real estate investment trust posted revenue of $247.7 million in the period, which beat Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $243.7 million.

For the current quarter ending in July, Apartment Investment Management expects its per-share funds from operations to range from 57 cents to 61 cents.

The company expects full-year funds from operations in the range of $2.39 to $2.49 per share.

The company’s shares have declined nearly 6 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has stayed nearly flat. In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $41.20, a fall of slightly more than 6 percent in the last 12 months.

_____

This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on AIV at https://www.zacks.com/ap/AIV

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Apartment rents up again in Colorado Springs, report says

COLORADO SPRINGS — A recent report says apartment rents in the Colorado Springs area rose again in the first quarter of this year.

The Gazette reports a study by the Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado says renters spent an average of $1,130.25 a month during the January-March period, up $13.57 from the fourth quarter and a nearly $70 spike from the first quarter of 2017.

The report says first-quarter rents in the area remained $11.15 below the record of $1,141.40 a month set in the second quarter of 2017. And rents have leveled off somewhat over the last three quarters after nine straight quarters in which rents have reached record highs.

Apartment Association of Southern Colorado Executive Director Laura Nelson says it will take a few more quarters to know whether rents have plateaued.

Information from: The Gazette

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Real Estate Guide 2018: DIY Projects That Are Easy on the Wallet

Courtesy of Proven Winners

Given the down payment you just dropped, it might be awhile before your bank account recovers enough to take on the full remodel your fixer upper so desperately needs. In the meantime, these relatively easy-on-the-wallet projects can turn your ho-hum house into a 10—or at least a solid seven.

Courtesy of Anthropology
Funk in the Tub

Embrace that oh-so-’50s pastel pink/green/blue tile in your bathroom by painting the walls a clean white and picking up funky accessories. “Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are always great resources for shower curtains that make it look like the bohemian vibe was intentional,” says designer Megan Kane of Denver’s Megan Kane Interiors.

Green Living

Annie Huston—owner of both the garden store Birdsall & Co. and Columbine Design, a landscaping company—advises starting outside with a thorough cleanup (remove weeds, rake debris, prune shrubs and trees). Then add large pots planted with hardy, low-maintenance perennials, such as coral bells, lavender, or hostas, that can overwinter in Colorado.

Courtesy of iStock
Let There Be (Better) Light

Replace discolored, gunk-encrusted plastic outlet covers and light switches with decorative metal versions. Or go even further by swapping out tired light fixtures for inexpensive pendants or chandeliers, suggests Cassy Kicklighter Poole, owner of Denver’s Kaleidoscope Design, whose go-to ceiling-bling shop is Baker’s Fusion Light and Design.

Courtesy of HGTV
Holding Pattern

Until you have the budget to refinish beat-up wood floors, Jennifer DesJardin, principal of Motif Design Solutions in Denver, recommends this temporary design fix: Remove any finish; apply an oil-based primer; draw a pattern (think: chevrons or a checkerboard); and alternate paint colors in the shapes you have created.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

The truly handy should consider washing existing kitchen cabinets with degreaser before giving them a light sand and a fresh coat of paint. Another easy upgrade for the canteen? Replace existing knobs and drawer pulls with on-trend hardware (hello, brass!) from Lowes or Home Depot.

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Aimco buys Philadelphia apartment portfolio for $445M – Denver Business Journal

Apartment Investment and Management Co. has picked up six apartment buildings in the Philadelphia market from Dranoff Properties Inc. for $445 million.

The properties include: Locust on the Park in the Fitler Square neighborhood; 777 South Broad St., Southstar Lofts on South Broad Street, the Left Bank in University City, the Victor in Camden, N.J., and One Ardmore Place, a 110-unit apartment complex under construction in Ardmore.

In all, the portfolio comprises 1,006 units, the 110 units under development in Ardmore and 185,000 square feet of office and retail space. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter but for One Ardmore Place, which is expected to close during the first quarter of next year once completely constructed.

Denver-based Aimco (NYSE: AIV) has had a presence in Philadelphia for years. It owns six properties in the city including Park Towne Place and the Sterling. In all, it owns 2,863 apartments in Philadelphia and the Dranoff acquisition brings that number up to 4,005. Aimco has been looking for opportunities to expand its footprint in Philadelphia.

“We knew of Carl’s work and in the fall a mutual connection put us in touch,” said Wes Powell, executive vice president at AIMCO who led the acquisition team on this transaction. “The timing seemed right for them and the timing was right for us.”

Carl Dranoff started Dranoff Properties in 1997 and his first project was Locust on the Park, a $24 million conversion of the old National Book Publishing Co. building at 25th and Locust streets into 152 apartments. It opened in 1999 and was among the first projects to take advantage of the 10-year real estate tax abatement that initially focused on conversions but was later expanded to include new construction.

From that conversion, Dranoff moved onto University City, where few developers dared to venture, and spent $60 million converting the former 700,000-square-foot General Electric Building at 32nd and Walnut streets into the neighborhood’s first luxury apartment complex and called it the Left Bank. It has 282 apartments. Dranoff had entered into a long-term lease on the property with the University of Pennsylvania.

Dranoff was again pioneering when he turned to Camden’s Delaware River waterfront for a project called the Victor, which involved spending $60 million converting the old RCA Victor factory, a six-story, 550,000-square-foot building, into 340 apartments. He then turned his attention to South Broad Street, where he developed Symphony House, a condominium building, as well as 777 South Broad and Southstar Lofts. Most recently, Dranoff completed One Riverside, a high-end condominium building.

"My blood and brain is in all of these buildings," Dranoff told the Philadelphia Business Journal. "I think I’m one of the few developers who have maintained ownership with pride. I’m the builder, owner and manager. I’m probably a dinosaur."

Dranoff said he visited the properties today to inform his employees about the transaction. "I felt very personal about it," he said.

Dranoff said the properties weren’t up for sale though over the years he has had offers to sell part of the portfolio. He never wanted to break it up.

"This company came to me from left field and they made a compelling argument they would be good stewards for these properties," Dranoff said. "When Aimco came around they said they were seeking this portfolio out because of what it was, because of the high quality and high customer service. The company already has a portfolio in Philadelphia and wanted to have a larger market share for the long run."

That appealed to Dranoff. The transaction, however, doesn’t mean the developer is retiring, which he said is a word not in his vocabulary. He is full-speed ahead on two projects along South Broad Street, is completing the first residential high-rise in Newark, N.J., in 60 years and looking for other opportunities.

"I’ve never been more excited," he said. "I’m giddy with excitement."

Though Aimco has had a presence in Philadelphia for some time, it is encouraged by inroads made in job creation particularly with the city’s concentration of eds and meds, the improvement in the core of the city, its walkability and its general resurgence both in Center City and University City, Powell said. While Ardmore isn’t in Philadelphia, it fits into the company’s strategy of buying in markets that have high barriers to entry and located near transportation.

“We’re always on the look in all of our target markets and sometimes an opportunity arises that is a good fit,” he said.

The acquisition bring Aimco’s Philadelphia apartment holdings up to 4,005 units.

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Co-working company spreads far and wide across US – Denver Business Journal

A Boulder-based company is celebrating its 15th birthday and opening more than 29 new franchises this year.

Mark Hemmeter founded Office Evolution before co-working was a widespread trend.

"Back then, I had to explain to people what we do," Hemmeter said of the beginnings of mainstream co-working. "They didn’t get it."

Hemmeter said that in the beginning, there was a limited demand for those kind of spaces, but the recession changed that. Rising unemployment, fewer traditional job opportunities and companies reducing office space led to demand for more alternatives to classic office space.

He also attributed the rise in popularity of co-working to the expansion of the sharing economy, with examples like the Cloud, AirBnb, and Uber.

"After the recession, people were willing to change for flexibility and the ability to change quickly," he said.

The shared office space industry started picking up between 2011 and 2012, Hemmeter said.

Office Evolution started franchising a year later in 2013.

The company announced Monday it would be opening its thirteenth Colorado location in Longmonth, at 1079 South Hover Road.

Not the typical co-working office

Though many imagine co-working spaces as millennials in sweatshirts sitting on beanbags and writing code, Hemmeter’s company is different.

"Our target market is a little different than what you’re thinking- our client base is 40, 45-years-old and older local business owners," he said.

They’re mostly lawyers, accountants, business owners and consultants, he added.

With those professions, come the desire for more privacy and space they can meet with their clients.

"They don’t want big open spaces," he said.

Hemmeter said he likes the fact the vast majority of Office Evolution’s clients are small business owners, because he gets to surround himself with independent, smart, successful people.

His clients are owners of their own businesses too, which in turn makes for a large network of business owners, he said.

"It’s a super dynamic industry — it’s exploding," Hemmeter said of his small business clients. "It’s really fun."

The power of franchising

Franchising has been a huge factor in expanding Office Evolution across the country.

"If you think about it, you’re partnering with a local entrepreneur — we were really lucky to attract some local business leaders," he said.

Having local owners in charge of each franchise is a "humungous differentiator," Hemmeter said, because it helps to have someone who lives there and understands the market.

Office Evolution franchises focus on smaller towns, rather than going urban.

"We have one in Denver, but we don’t do RiNo or LoDo, he said.

Office Evolution has 42 open locations now and Hemmeter predicts it will be between 60 and 65 by the end of the year.

Three opened in just last month, in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C.

Franchising is driven by where Office Evolution finds "great franchisees," Hemmeter said.

Because there is a "huge market" of these professionals looking for space to meet clients and work outside of their homes, Hemmeter said focusing exclusively in smaller towns and suburban areas has been a great success for the company.

When someone reaches out to Office Evolution about opening a franchise, Hemmeter said a mutual interview process takes places before they decide to partner up. Then, they work with Office Evolution’s internal real estate team to select and design space, and Cushman & Wakefield to secure leases.

Most of the time, the franchise leases space in an office building, though some are actually looking at buying space.

Because Office Evolution is a brand, there are similarities in all the locations — furniture, amenities and colors.

Though the spaces feature what typical co-working would — cool kitchen area and lounges — there are private areas in all of the locations.

Office Evolution has 13 Colorado locations in:

Aurora – SouthlandsBoulderBroomfield – InterlockenDenverDenver – Cherry CreekFort CollinsGoldenGreenwood Village – DTCLakewood – BelmarLittletonLone Tree – Park MeadowsLongmont – South HoverLouisville

(Across the United States, it has locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennesee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.)

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Zocalo’s CO Community Nears Completion

A mixed-use residential apartment community for residents 55 and older designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning is nearing completion in historic downtown Littleton, Colo.

Developed by Denver-based Zocalo Community Development, the LEED Gold-designed, 159-unit apartment community called Vita will feature 11,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and restaurant space. It is situated one block from an RTD light rail station on South Prince Street offering transportation to downtown Denver and Denver International Airport. Its location on the eastern edge of downtown Littleton puts future residents close to walking and biking trails, shopping, dining and nightlife in the Denver suburb.

“The 55-plus demographic doesn’t want to feel isolated,” Terry Willis, managing principal of KTGY’s Denver office, told MHN. “It is quite the opposite. Baby boomers may not want to be in the center of all the action, like the millennials, but want to still be in the game.

“Boomers want access to shopping, entertainment, services, events, recreation and transportation. In addition to the design-inspired amenities offered by a 55-plus apartment community, positioning a 55-plus community in a downtown area allows the residents convenient access to all of the amenities located outside of the apartment community. Furthermore, many of today’s empty nesters are still working, so living near employers and/or transit allows the residents to continue to work or volunteer.”

Green features

Vita’s one- and two-bedroom floor plans range from 701 to 1,520 square feet. They feature Energy Star stainless steel appliances, high-end kitchens with gas ranges and private balconies or patios. Green features include low-VOC paints, adhesives, sealants and carpets as well as high-performance sink faucets, showerheads and dual-flush toilets using 34 percent less water. Vita is also a 100-percent smoke-free environment. KTGY is pursuing U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification for Vita.

“By incorporating sustainable design and construction practices early in the planning process, issues like air leakage, acoustics, indoor air quality and the composition of building construction are never an afterthought,” Willis reported.

Community amenities will include a saltwater pool, year-round hot tub, community garden, fireside lounge, outdoor kitchen and dining area, outdoor amphitheater, pet spa, pet-friendly play park, bike and walking trails, fitness and yoga studios, community and craft rooms, bike maintenance and repair shop, community kitchens and weekly programmed events.

Celebrating pedestrian friendliness

Colors, geometric forms and roof lines facing the train tracks convey a sense of movement and help break up the structure’s massing. “The ground-floor retail activates the street, and there are also several distinct and elegant interior and exterior gathering spaces where residents can engage and connect while enjoying the panoramic mountain views,” Willis said.

“This new sustainable community celebrates a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle, unparalleled amenities, an on-site neighborhood eatery, and historic Main Street―all steps from the RTD light rail station with easy access to the greater Denver area.”

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The Denver Democratic Party Platform Now Has an Anti-Capitalist Plank, Thanks to Socialists

Members of the Denver DSA passed an amendment calling for democratic ownership and control over the economy. (Denver DSA / Facebook)

In a sign of how far left the political axis has shifted since Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, on Saturday the Democratic Party of Denver officially ratified an anti-capitalist plank in its platform.

The move was spurred by members of the Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) who petitioned Denver County Democratic Assembly delegates to vote for an amendment to the official party platform. The language states:

“We believe the economy should be democratically owned and controlled in order to serve the needs of the many, not to make profits for the few.

On March 24, the amendment passed with overwhelming support, and it will now be listed in the Democratic Party of Denver’s platform preamble. Denver DSA chair Kristofer Dubbels tells In These Times that there was initially some open opposition to the proposal, including a number of delegates who told him it “would never pass.” When the vote came up, however, of the nearly 1,000 delegates present, roughly 90 percent raised their cards in approval.

Earlier in the month, 15 members of Denver DSA were elected as delegates during the Democratic Party of Denver caucus, running on a pledge to bring new enthusiasm to the party and help spark more engagement from youth (nearly all of the newly elected delegates are under 30). They say they were surprised by how little resistance they faced, and how open the local party was to the empowering of a slate of socialists.

Once elected, the DSA delegates turned to amending the party platform to reflect a more radical political vision. Dubbels says that members discussed various planks on issues ranging from municipal WiFi to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Ultimately, explains Dubbels, they decided on “something along the lines of the original Clause IV of the British Labour Party’s constitution, which explicitly advocated for common ownership of the means of production.”

That clause, originally drafted in 1917 by British socialist and co-founder of the London School of Economics Sidney Webb, read: “To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.”

The clause was adopted by the Labour Party in its 1918 official constitution, in what commentators and media outlets reported was the first time the party had affirmed “definitely socialistic” principles.

The clause remained in Labour’s constitution until Tony Blair and his centrist New Labour coalition oversaw its removal in 1995, in order to make the party more appealing to “middle England.”

During this same period in the United States, Bill Clinton and the New Democrats sought to realign the Democratic Party toward the center-right, enacting welfare “reform” and deregulating the financial industry.

Today, with Jeremy Corbyn as Labour’s leader, a campaign is mounting to bring back Clause IV, and Corbyn has signaled an openness to adding in language promoting public investment in and control over certain industries. The party’s 2017 manifesto, meanwhile, includes calls for public ownership of railways, energy companies and the mail system, along with a slew of redistributive programs from housing to social care.

Across the pond, organizers from California to Massachusetts have over the past two years amended local Democratic Party platforms to include calls for such progressive policies as a guaranteed federal jobs program, single-payer healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, an end to for-profit prisons and taxing carbon emissions. On a national level, in 2016, Sanders supporters successfully helped pass the most progressive platform in the Democratic Party’s history.

The inclusion of democratic control over the economy in the Democratic Party of Denver platform stands out as the most radical development yet in the growing efforts to move the stated positions of local Democratic parties to the left. And the milestone reflects the growing power of open socialists in charting the direction of these parties.

Maria Svart, National Director of DSA—the largest socialist organization in the country—says: “What Denver DSA has done is show that democratic socialism is not a fringe perspective. Rather, an overwhelming majority of Denver County Democratic Assembly delegates affirmed that the economy should serve everyone, not the rich and powerful.” (Full disclosure: The author is a member of DSA.)

A recent paper from Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, found that the strategy of transforming the Democratic Party through shifting platforms to the left is “actually a winning electoral strategy that can help bring back disenfranchised working-class voters and less educated voters who currently may not vote at all or identify with right-wing populism,” as Keith A. Spencer writes in Salon.

While the platform in Denver isn’t binding, and Dubbels acknowledges that the amendment is “far to the left of every single elected Democrat currently in office” in the city, he also says that it has planted a flag for the party’s left flank and proves that socialist ideas “already have a built-in popularity among the party’s grassroots.”

Kaitlin Peterson, a member of Denver DSA and new Denver County Democratic Assembly delegate, says the passage of the socialist amendment "shows that the success of Bernie Sanders and his message wasn’t a fluke. People sincerely want a more democratically controlled economy and they are aware that many of the social injustices we see today are because of the power that is given to corporations under our current political system. The Democratic Party establishment needs to sit up and pay attention to this if they want to survive."

After the March 24 vote, all 15 Denver DSA members signed up as delegates to the Colorado Democratic Party’s State Assembly where, at an upcoming meeting on April 14, they hope to add the amendment to the state’s Democratic Party platform.

And, according to Dubbels, the group will “continue our efforts both to bring radicals into the Democratic Party and to radicalize everyone who is already there. A lot of people agree with us already and just need to be told they aren’t alone.”

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