When his son was living in Japan, Denver developer Barry Hirschfeld was intrigued on visits to see small, efficient homes.
Now Hirschfeld and Lance Gutsch and Kiely Wilson of Pando Holdings have built two complexes featuring micro apartments in Denver, the latest of which was just completed near the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
“People in Europe and Asia, they live this way,” said Hirschfeld, who also studied examples in Portland, Ore., Seattle, San Francisco and New York as he made plans for the new 37-unit Studio 135 at 135 Adams Street in Cherry Creek and the 97-unit Economist that was completed last year in Uptown.
The studios, the smallest at about 200 square feet, manage to feel spacious with 11-foot ceiling, large windows and storage lofts tucked above the bathrooms. Studio 135 has 32 studios, the largest at 500 or so square feet, as well as two one-bedroom and three two-bedroom units. Monthly rents range from about $1,200 to more than $4,000 in a town where Apartment List calculated the median for a two-bedroom at $1,580 in September.
Studio 135 replaced a parking lot and itself only has a handful of parking spaces, but plenty of bike storage — the building at 135 Adams Street is four blocks from the Cherry Creek cycling and pedestrian path. Hirschfeld expected residents to walk to work, perhaps to offices at Cherry Creek’s finance and banking companies, and to shop and to eat nearby.
“If you’ve got a couple of cars, and you use them all the time, this may not be the place for you,” Hirschfeld said. “I think this customer is a mature young person that works in this area.”
A coffee bar is planned for the lobby, which has been laid out as a series of living rooms where people might work and socialize. A deck on the roof of the five-story building clad in striking rusted steel has views of Cheesman Park and, on clear days, the mountains. Beyond that, Studio 135 doesn’t have much in the way of the amenities that many new Denver buildings boast. Not even a gym.
After all, “you’ve got a gym right across the street,” Hirschfeld said. “Everything’s within walking distance.”