Studio apartments planned for an old car dealership lot on West Colfax

The project by a Texas developer is expected to be ready for tenants in early 2023

A developer plans to replace this car dealership at 4190 West Colfax Avenue, pictured Oct. 22, 2020,  with an apartment building consisting mostly of studios. (Donna Bryson/Denverite)

A developer plans to replace this car dealership at 4190 West Colfax Avenue, pictured Oct. 22, 2020,  with an apartment building consisting mostly of studios. (Donna Bryson/Denverite)

Donna Bryson. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A Texas-based developer who believes in going light on the parking is planning a five-story building with up to 80 small rental apartments on what is now a parking lot on West Colfax.

The project by the developer StoryBuilt is expected to be ready for tenants in early 2023, said Chris Auxier of StoryBuilt’s Denver office. Auxier said the five-story building located kitty-corner from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Sloan’s Lake will consist for the most part of studios, with a few one-bedroom apartments. The ground floor will include a small retail space and parking, though not a space for every apartment. Auxier said the development team was still determining how much parking to include but that it could be less than half a space per unit. He noted that the lot was within cycling distance of downtown and the Auraria campus.

The No. 16 bus stops at the lot, which is a 10 minute walk to the Perry station on RTD’s light rail W Line. A used car dealership was once located on the lot of less than half an acre at 4190 West Colfax Avenue. StoryBuilt does not need a zoning change to build housing at the site, which is now being used by a car dealership for overflow parking.

StoryBuilt started building for-rent and for-sale homes in walkable, transit-rich, near-downtown areas of Austin 15 years ago. It went on to build in Dallas, San Antonio and Seattle. The West Colfax building is expected to be the first completed by StoryBuilt in Denver, where it opened an office two years ago.

While StoryBuilt is new to Denver, Auxier has long been involved in housing here, including working for the Denver-based national nonprofit developer Mercy Housing. Auxier said he has watched developments in Sloan’s Lake on the north side of Colfax.

“We’re basically piggy-backing off that,” Auxier said.

Activity near Sloan’s Lake includes another plan for homes to replace a parking lot — Zocalo Community Development’s 320-unit project at 17th and Newton that will include 160 below market-rate homes.

The StoryBuilt apartments on the south side of Colfax will be market rate. Auxier said the studios would average 475 square feet and cost $1,300 to $1,350 a month. In its latest report, the online real estate company Apartment List calculated the median rent for a one-bedroom in Denver at $1,289.

Auxier envisions young professionals, students and recent transplants to Denver among his tenants.

Corrects that StoryBuilt site is on the south side of Colfax, opposite the Sloan’s Lake side on the north.

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