Originally Posted by Fritzdude
it still leaves me dumbfounded, especially considering the doom and gloom perspective I had at the end of 2010 - basically a full year into the financial crises aka "The Great Recession". Back then, I felt like it would be years before we saw anything substantial and I had resigned myself to the fact that we were entering a long duration of minimal developmental activity.
As long as people are still moving here (plus natural increase), we were always going to have to build something eventually. Humans need shelter, and there's only so much you can pack into the existing building stock.
You still see almost no for-sale housing being built. You see a negligible amount of commercial office space being built. Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows...mostly because nobody is borrowing any money. And you see Denver apartment vacancy rates pushing below 5%. So really, it all fits. Of course we were going to see a rental boom.
The nice thing is the huge percentage of new rental construction that is being captured by Denver proper. Suburban multifamily (rental) just can't compete (today). In a sense, it's almost natural that the city center would benefit most from a difficult time.
Long-term, though, I would still prefer we build for-sale condo housing. A decade of rental boom is great; it fills a much-needed housing niche, and one where the city has a great competitive advantage. And it adds immediate vitality to areas that need it, making future development of other product types more competitive, theoretically. But I don't want us to become unbalanced with too many apartments, and too little of everything else, either. Too many concentrated rental units presents its own problem. Which is why I am very
happy to see the wide geographic distribution of the projects being proposed - from Highland, to Union Station, Ballpark, Arapahoe Square, to RiNo, to the CBD core, to Uptown, to South Broadway, all the way out to Cherry Creek and the Colorado corridor. That's very important, I think, that almost every central neighborhood in the city has something on the table.