Special Features

Cheaper than renting? 'Absolutely,' says David Weekley at Midtown, 10 minutes from downtown Denver, Highlands

By Mark Samuelson

David Weekley s Michelle Wood (left), Allison Glover and Ashley Hargrove show off their model, across from Midtown s newly completed retail center and community garden.
A year ago it took a little imagination to see what was coming to Midtown, the new-urban master planned community where David Weekley Homes has sold 80 new single-family homes, ten minutes from Highlands, LoDo, and downtown. Today and tomorrow you can not only tour David Weekley's fast selling models, but see some attractions that were only on the drawing board before: a 12,000-square-foot retail space, amphitheater/pavilion, and a community garden that's already brimming with produce planted by Midtown residents.

"This is not Highlands Ranch," says David Weekley's Michelle Wood, who'll join Allison Glover and Ashley Hargrove in showing you a new home neighborhood that has much better access to downtown attractions than typical suburban areas. More diverse, too, she says; and definitely less expensive.

So much so, adds Glover, that many of David Weekley's sales are going to newlyweds, about-to-be-marrieds and other buyers that were renting before - who have been effectively priced out of the market by rising prices around downtown Denver. Those buyers like the low-maintenance yard size, as do many of the older 'downsizing' buyers that have been purchasing at Midtown from David Weekley.

"We see people who were paying preposterous amounts to rent downtown," Glover says. Their purchase choices are limited to smaller, older homes, or condos and townhomes that have high HOA fees; as opposed to single-family homes they're seeing here - more space, a 2-car garage, a basement (more than 50% of David Weekley buyers are choosing to order even more finished space in the basement up front), and new features and energy performance. The monthly metro district fee, for community upkeep, trash and snow removal, is only $65 a month.

Meanwhile, this is ten minutes from Highlands, ten minutes from downtown. "Many of our residents are going to the same places to hang out; while it cuts their commuting time into downtown," notes Glover. More than a few have one spouse headed for work downtown via I-76 just south, and a second headed up U.S. 36, just north, to Boulder. All of them, she says, like the quick getaway to the mountains from this site.

You can also see some homes headed for early completion, three in September - one a 'Bisque' 3-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath plan, 1,511 square feet plus basement at $350,000; also a 'Magenta' with main-floor master, $390,360. Each comes with a 3-year energy performance guarantee by Environments for Living, front landscape with irrigation and rear fence, and a security system that includes a year of monitoring. If you're a Realtor, you can take a 4% co-op on the full price of any home that closes by Sept. 30. David Weekley has refreshments out today; open Labor Day, too. To reach from downtown, take I-25 north to I-76, then west a mile to Pecos, and north to W. 67th.

WHERE: David Weekley Homes at Midtown, master-planned community 10 min. from downtown; 2-to-4-bed single-family homes with full basement, 2-car attached garage; amenities; 2 homes for early move-in; 4% co-op on any sale that closes by Sept. 30; RTD Gold Rail opens 2016; refreshments today. Pecos St. at W. 68th, Denver; from U.S. 36 Tnpk take Pecos south ¾-mi. to W. 68th; or from I-25 take I-76 west 1 mi., exit Pecos, north to 68th

PRICE: From $322,990, early move-in from $350s

PHONE: 720-838-2206

WEB: DavidWeekleyHomes.com

Mark Samuelson writes on real estate and business; you can email him atmark@samuelsonassoc.com. You can see all of Mark Samuelson's columns online atDenverPostHomes.com

  • Development opportunities emerge around Northglenn RTD rail station

    The acres of empty fields that now surround the construction of a commuter rail line station platform at East 112th Avenue in Northglenn may soon be full of housing and commercial development options.
    The Northglenn station is the penultimate stop on the Regional Transportation District’s currently funded section of the North Metro Rail line — the N line — from Denver’s  Union Station to Eastlake at East 124th Avenue — eventually ending at Colorado 7, depending on funds. The stop itself is just north of East 112th Avenue, off York Street.
    “The market is saying that there are more opportunities for housing there than for some of the other uses that we’ve looked at,” said Becky Smith, a city planner and project manager for Northglenn.  “So commercial areas have been identified, but they’re mostly optional and encouraged.”
    She said the city’s preliminary development guide so far foresees a mix of medium- and high-density residential closer to the station, transitioning to medium and lower single-family homes west of the site, toward existing residential.
    The vacant corner of York Street and East 112th Avenue could provide commercial opportunities, but that’s entirely up to three private landholders whom the city is continuing to meet with to discuss development options.
    Thornton city planners are working with Northglenn on the development guide, because two of those landowners control property in Thornton, directly east of the station across York Street.
    “The landowners are definitely excited,” said Karen Widomski, senior planner in Thornton. “We’re hoping that it will be more of a unique residential type that we haven’t seen in other parts of the city.”
    At the Northglenn stop, there are more than 100 acres of open land that could be transformed into new neighborhoods. Today, the station platform is surrounded by hundreds of homes to the west and southeast, mostly vacant fields directly north and east and a small industrial business park to the southwest.
    Anya Semenoff, The Denver Post)Construction continues at the North Metro Rail line station at 112th Avenue and York Street in Northglenn, Colorado.
    “Our working vision is to create a station that serves the surrounding neighborhoods as a vital and vibrant community hub, that provides enhanced connectivity to the station and surrounding neighborhoods and that strengthens and sustains the diverse industrial uses to the south,” Smith said.
    Among the city’s plans for the arrival of the commuter line in 2018 are new pedestrian connections such as bike lanes and crosswalks around the neighborhoods and into the adjacent industrial business park.
    Vance Sabbe, co-owner of Northglenn’s only craft brewery, Beer By Design at 2100 E. 112th Ave., said that access from the station, across 112th Avenue would be ideal.
    “It would be great if they could help people get to us since we’re still a couple blocks away from the stop,” Sabbe said. “I’ve thought about maybe doing advertising in the car itself to make sure people know we’re at the stop, and we’ve talked about starting a shuttle service to maybe attract more customers over.”
    This first phase of the planned 18.5-mile electric commuter rail line is supposed to be finished and through with testing  at the end of 2017, opening early 2018. The Northglenn station includes an open parking lot with 316 spaces.
    “What’s good about this station is the walkability that people are going to have from the neighborhoods and the commercial district nearby,” said Hadley Trent, spokeswoman for Regional Rail Partners, the company building out the line. “During peak travel times (from 6-9 a.m. and about 4-6 p.m.) the trains will be at this station approximately every 20 minutes.”
    Construction on the Northglenn station is moving quickly. Workers will create a raised platform that commuters can access with walk-up ramps and stairs from the parking lot and install the canopies over the platform in the coming months, just before the track is installed.
    The total cost of the project, from Denver Union Station to 124th Avenue, is $764 million. That includes design and construction, purchase of all necessary properties and purchase of the commuter rail vehicles.
    “We’re really excited about that station coming in,” Smith said. “We see it as a great opportunity for the city and that area. Most of the new development opportunity is on the Thornton side, but we do believe there are great opportunities to create vibrancy in that area.”

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  • Inventory shortage drives U.S. home sales down

    WASHINGTON — US homebuyers pulled back in July, as sales declined amid a shortage of available properties and steadily rising prices.
    Sales of existing homes fell 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The decline marks a reversal from rising demand that pushed sales in June to their highest level since February 2007.
    Fewer homes are coming onto the market, putting a cap on the sales growth enjoyed earlier this year thanks in part to a low mortgage rate and brightening job market. Rising demand for homes is a positive. But the dwindling supply of listings has pushed up prices, which suggests a market not yet at full health.
    This mismatch between supply and demand creates an environment of limited sales growth and escalating home values.
    Related ArticlesAugust 24, 2016

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  • Inventory shortage drives U.S. home sales down — except in the West

    WASHINGTON — US homebuyers pulled back in July, as sales declined amid a shortage of available properties and steadily rising prices.
    Sales of existing homes fell 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The decline marks a reversal from rising demand that pushed sales in June to their highest level since February 2007.
    Fewer homes are coming onto the market, putting a cap on the sales growth enjoyed earlier this year thanks in part to a low mortgage rate and brightening job market. Rising demand for homes is a positive. But the dwindling supply of listings has pushed up prices, which suggests a market not yet at full health.
    This mismatch between supply and demand creates an environment of limited sales growth and escalating home values.
    Related ArticlesAugust 21, 2016

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  • Denver City Council OKs moratoriums on small-lot parking exemption, some garden-court row homes

    RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostConstruction continues on row homes in West Colfax neighborhood in Denver, August 16, 2016.
    The Denver City Council on Monday approved two narrowly targeted moratoriums aimed at preventing recurrences of some projects seen as development scourges.
    Voting 12-0, the council approved a moratorium for about seven months that will prevent developers of larger projects from taking advantage of the city’s small-lot parking exemption, although it won’t apply to many that are under city review. That rule exempts lots of 6,250 square feet or less in mixed-use zoning districts from having to provide off-street parking.
    The other moratorium, approved 11-0 later in the night, will stop developers for at least the next year from filing new plans for modern sideways row homes with “garden courts” between the buildings that are too narrow. That is one form taken by “slot homes” that developers build perpendicular to the street in older neighborhoods — often replacing a single-family home with a dozen or more townhomes in what some critics consider a perversion of traditional garden courts.
    Related ArticlesAugust 15, 2016

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