O ne of the many great things about Denver’s neighbor- hoods is the diversity of historic housing. Acting as a living museum showcasing the architecture of the city’s early decades, some areas have proper- ties dating back a 100 years or more. Areas like Park Hill, Cheesman Park and Capitol Hill are home to smaller multifamily complexes endowed with stately, unique archi- tecture that sets these buildings apart from modern construction. With many of today’s renters seek- ing a living experience that offers more character, these historic properties can provide a competi- tive edge, but only if they also offer updated interiors with modernized appliances, fix- tures and ameni- ties. As general con- tractors, we’re seeing a signifi- cant uptick in the number of owners of these smaller historic multifamily complexes seeking to upgrade their dated properties to appeal to new resi- dents – and investors – who continue to flock to the Denver area. The prospect of updating an older property can be daunting – espe- cially given the recent fluctuations in materials availability and labor shortages – but with a few key con- siderations, a successful, cost-effec- tive renovation is well within reach, promising improved returns and higher occupancy. n Right-size your renovation. It can be tempting to swing for the fences with improvements, especially if you want to keep up with the masses of brand-new apartment complexes with state-of-the-art amenities pop- ping up all over Denver. Instead of risking over-improve- ment, we recommend looking for ways to update your property within its own context, capitalizing on its strengths and making upgrades that align with current market norms. The easiest route is to determine the average rental rate where your property is located and decide which improvements will allow you to rent the unit for slightly above that mar- ket rate. In metro Denver, the median monthly rental rate for a one-bed- room apartment is approximately $1,387, according to Apartment List’s July rent report, but submarkets can vary, particularly between urban and suburban locations. Strat Ventures, owner of a 23-unit boutique apartment community in Capital Hill, is in the process of mak- ing much-needed updates to bring the property in line with modern resident expectations while still hon- oring its vintage character. Taurus Please see Market Trends, Page 32 INSIDE Reports about development, rent growth and general activity across Colorado submarkets Market updates The growing population of work-from-any- where employees is shifting design standards Design changes PAGE 27 Examining if the timing of a buy really matters and a new appetite for single-family rentals Investment trends PAGES 23-26 November 2021 PAGES 4-12 Dave Ellena Principal, Taurus Builders Renovate the right way: Tips for asset upgrades in this market Taurus Builders The Elaine, a 23-unit boutique apartment community in Capitol Hill, is undergoing upgrades to its kitchens and bathrooms as well as having the original hardwood floors refinished.