Johnston names 11 sites around Denver that could house homeless
The properties are spread around the city, although two of them are in the Golden Triangle neighborhood just south of downtown. Two of the properties named are no surprise. They have hotels on them that were purchased in recent weeks by the city in one case, and the Denver Housing Authority in the other.
The remainder of the properties are intended for “micro-communities,” where individuals could be housed in pallet shelters or other basic structures. The concept is similar to the handful of tiny home villages and sanctioned campsites in Denver operated by the nonprofit Colorado Village Collaborative.
How a mobile-home park saved its community from a corporate buyout
After months of fundraising and working with the Denver-based nonprofit Elevation Community Land Trust, Westside made a successful offer and formed a housing co-operative. Now owned jointly by its residents and Elevation, the park operates as a community land trust, which removes land from the real estate market and transforms it into community-owned property.
The US Housing Drought Is Ending. What Does It Mean for Prices?
Let’s start with new homes. Builders braced for a challenging 2023 only to find that they were in some ways the only game in town in a supply-constrained market. Resilient prices have given the industry more confidence to increase production. A gauge of the market for new houses from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, which measures sentiment on a scale from 0 to 100, surged from 31 in December — representing deep negativity — to 56, suggesting moderate optimism. Single-family housing starts have risen. Healing supply chains have shortened the time to build homes, meaning the ramp up in construction that’s underway should put more completed homes on the market by the first half of 2024.
Economists Support Nationwide Rent Control in Letter to Biden Admin
Economists have historically been the strongest critics of rent control, other than landlords, frequently arguing that it causes housing prices in non-regulated units to increase. They argue that this is because there are less eviction-caused vacancies and because landlords raise rents elsewhere to recoup their losses. But things are slowly changing: a surge of tenant-led movements for rent control have nevertheless emerged across the country in response to the housing crisis. In 2019, New York state enabled its cities to opt-in to rent control and a 2024 ballot initiative in California will allow the state’s residents to repeal a restriction on rent control. Along with this shift in the acceptance of rent control among tenants and legislators, some economists believe the orthodoxy on the topic has been contradicted by research and real-world examples. The letter compares economists’ opposition to rent control to historical opposition to a minimum wage, which evolved after predictions—like wide-scale job losses—did not come to pass after it was raised.
Could that office be apartments? Study scores 29 downtown Denver buildings
Denver released a study evaluating the compatibility of underutilized office buildings for potential conversion to residential uses. Some of the factors used to determine whether conversion is feasible included walkability, proximity to transit, natural light, the shape of the building, existing window to wall ratio and ease of window replacement. The study looked at about 70 buildings, and ultimately calculated a conversion “compatibility” score for 29 of them — including Republic Plaza, Denver’s tallest building — based on factors such as the shape of the building, floor plate size and area walkability. Twenty-two buildings were classified as “good candidates” for conversion, with a score of 80 percent or above. The top score of 91 percent was awarded to four buildings: 910 16th St., 899 Logan St., 1875 Lawrence St. and 1775 Sherman St.
How Alexandria Has Become A National Leader In Office-To-Residential Conversions
Alexandria has been ahead of the curve on conversions, which picked up steam after EYA delivered the Oronoco in 2014, a 60-unit waterfront conversion of the office building that formerly housed the Sheet Metal Workers International Association. The city then conducted a study in 2017 looking at possibilities for obsolete office space. It’s not certain how many more Alexandria office-to-residential conversions could be in the pipeline, and developers and economic leaders say that given rising interest rates and construction costs, the trajectory will probably slow down. But Contreras is confident that the opportunity is still there.
‘Zombie’ offices could turn into 400,000 new apartments for families. That’s almost double the number of new US units in a typical year.
A new working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research by Arpit Gupta, Candy Martinez, and Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh finds that more than 2,000 office buildings in American downtowns could be converted into eco-friendly apartment buildings. Those conversions could yield up to 400,000 new apartment units, and, at minimum, over 170,000 new units — a major boon in cities simultaneously inflicted with housing crises and empty office towers. The authors found that about 11% of office buildings in the commercial centers of the 105 most populous US cities would be suitable for conversion to residential homes. Those “zombie” properties — unrentable office buildings that are sitting empty, just accruing costs — could be made into 200-unit apartment buildings using conversion processes that would take less time than a new build.
Did big expectations doom the tiny house movement?
But for all the hubbub, tiny houses never really entered the mainstream realm of homeownership. Instead, they entered the province of tourists seeking a brief decampment to a smaller-scale, climate-friendly lifestyle. You’re more likely to encounter one while scrolling through $300-a-night Airbnb listings than browsing Zillow. This is not to say that the tiny-house movement failed. Rather, the expectations placed upon it were too high: that it could take on all the sins of a bloated, profit-driven housing industry, and deliver us as a nation to a humbler, happier way of living. “The movement is still strong,” said Shafer. “It just seemed like a lot of parasites were attaching themselves to it. You have the movement, and then a lot of people that were trying to make money off it.”
REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
United Airlines Buys More Than 100 Acres To Fuel Denver Airport Expansion
The Chicago-based global airline confirmed its $33 million purchase of a 113-acre swath where it plans to develop a satellite to the company’s only pilot training facility. The deal comes as carriers across the country scramble to keep up with an unprecedented tourism boom triggered by the end of pandemic-related lockdowns and pent-up travel plans. For United, the land near the Denver airport — the airline’s second-busiest hub behind Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport — is expected to leave plenty of room for future growth in the area since the training facility will only occupy a small portion of the site at 17671 E. 64th Ave. “This property gives us a lot of options,” United spokesperson Russell Carlton said in a statement to CoStar News. “We’ve already begun work on plans to use part of this land as the site for the expansion of our world-class Denver pilot training facility and we’ll evaluate additional opportunities in the future as [our plan] unfolds.”
Parking spots are turned into people space as a Lakeview garage becomes an apartment complex
It’s frustrating when prime real estate near Chicago’s rail stations and lakefront is largely squandered on storing automobiles. So I was (cautiously) pleased this morning to see an article by Urbanize Chicago’s Lukas Kugler about a nearly century-old, six story parking garage in East Lakeview that was recently converted into a 72-unit apartment building, now open for leasing. As it stands, The Medallion still has 52 car spaces for its 70 apartments, according to Christine Carr from Luxury Living Chicago, which is managing leasing. You have to pay another $300 a month if you want a car spot. Carr said the building also has two electric vehicle chargers and eight-to-ten bike parking spaces per floor.
9 European Cities That Are Car-Free
Ever since one German by the name of Karl Benz decided to make a carriage that would be powered not by horses but by a fossil-fuel engine, the world hasn’t been the same. People have yielded the streets to cars and the cities have become much dustier and noisier as a result. The following municipalities, however, have shown that it is possible to reverse a trend that now seems so ingrained in our modern psyche. Visit these towns to not only imagine but also experience what life without a car in sight looks and feels like.
RTD Zero Fare for Youth
Zero Fare for Youth is a one-year pilot program that aims to enhance the lives of RTD customers and communities by reducing transportation costs for families. By inviting youth ages 19 and under to ride the bus and train at no cost, we also remove barriers to education and employment, while creating access to destinations across the metro Denver region.
Transit agencies scramble to piece together funding as ‘fiscal cliff’ looms
Both California and New York state lawmakers tried to help their transit agencies avoid a fiscal cliff, but the response in Albany was more comprehensive. Lawmakers there agreed to dedicate $1.1 billion a year from payroll taxes to help fund the MTA. They also promised a share of the licensing fees from an anticipated casino in the city, and added a one-time payment of $300 million. It was a different story in Sacramento, where transit advocates had to fight to avoid cuts in state support that Newsom originally proposed. The governor and lawmakers had to make up for a $32 billion anticipated deficit, about a 10th of the size of the state’s annual budget.
The surprising rise of electric golf carts as ‘second cars’ in the US
Modern electric golf carts now offer smooth and silent rides with ranges sufficient to cover daily short commutes comfortably. There’s no gasoline engine to require regular maintenance. There’s no little red gas can to keep around the garage. And there’s not even the old problem of the cart dying in the middle of the street because the old-school lead acid batteries went kaput. Today’s electric golf carts are a significant step up with quality lithium batteries and high-power motors. That convenience, combined with the increasing popularity of ordinances that scores of towns have passed to make golf carts legal on smaller public roads, has helped many families replace the need for a second car.
Rethinking the One-Way Street
Accordingly, in recent years, more urban planners have begun arguing against one-way streets. Research suggests that converting streets back to two-way traffic can make cities safer, fairer, and more economically robust. Just as one-way streets make traffic faster, two-way streets can slow it down — improving safety, accommodating multimodal travel, increasing livability and property values, and helping customers more easily reach businesses. Two-way street networks create safer and more pleasant environments for those who walk, bike, use micromobility, or take transit.