East Colfax’s Detroit Terraces are efficiency units without extra amenities

Detroit Terraces, 1530 Detroit St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Detroit Terraces, 1530 Detroit St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; colfax; development; residential real estate;
Detroit Terraces, 1530 Detroit St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Most of the time, when you hear about smaller units in Denver, they seem to be downtown. But in East Colfax, the 50 units of Detroit Terraces have an average 540 square feet each.

Developer Brian Toerber, president of Inspire Investment Group, says with an already small building, he knew the finished product would have to draw on the neighborhood’s charm. 

“Those that want to live there, I think that they would give up space for rents that are more affordable, attainable,” he said. “East Colfax itself has a certain nightlife, which maybe plays into a certain demographic, which plays into a certain affordability. So I think smaller studios is what works for the people that want to be there.”

There’s another way that the Detroit Terraces are a bit different from other new efficiency apartments: no overabundance of extravagant amenities.

Don’t get it twisted, there are features such as a community room, fitness center and rooftop deck, but there’s no game room or pool, for example. But in a Denver Design Week panel, Westfield Company’s Jonathan Alpert noted heavy amenities as a way to balance smaller units.

Toerber says again, the number of amenities came down to space. But there’s other benefits to not maxing out the other apartment building perks:

“The more amenities that you’re putting in, the more space you’re using in your development and the more density you’re giving up and the more rents you’ve got to achieve,” he said. “If we were over-amenitizing it, that’s just square footage that I’m giving up in the building. I’d rather give it to the tenant. I think East Colfax is an amenity.”

And so far, it seems Toerber was right. Leasing at the Detroit Terraces started in August 2016, and the building is currently fully occupied. Rents range from $1,100 for the smallest studios to about $1,700 for two bedroom apartments.