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Goat yoga, lazy rivers, in-house chefs: Denver apartment complexes pull out all the stops to lure well-to-do millennials

Luxury apartment developers look to set their properties apart in bid to attract young renters

Denver, CO

Hannah Lewellyn, manager of business development at a posh apartment complex in Denver’s Speer neighborhood, is tasked with ensuring the compound’s goat yoga goes over smoothly, all is flowing as it should at the building’s bar and that everything’s panning out with the in-house chef.

“I handle the abnormal amenities here,” said Lewellyn, who lives and works at the Country Club Towers II and III.

As it looks to attract residents, the luxury apartment complex at South Downing Street and East Bayaud Avenue — Broe Real Estate Group CEO Doug Wells likes to call it a “campus” — is trying to set itself apart from the surge in downtown luxury units. More than 55 percent of its residents are between ages 24 and 35, according to Lewellyn.

To best tailor apartments to the most populous generation, Denver developers are zeroing in on millennials, who make up the biggest generation in the state and are a large portion of those moving into Colorado. In fact, nearly 52 percent of total in-migration to metro Denver in 2014 was millennials, according to a study from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

“Colorado is growing twice as fast as the U.S. as a whole,” said Laura Bloomquist Rodriguez, senior manager of strategy and analytics for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Many of the real estate moguls racing to supply housing during a notable cool-down in the market have focused on apartments with deluxe amenities to command higher rents and return amid steep construction costs, a limited supply of urban lots and continued demand for rentals.

In south Denver, the Veranda Highpointe apartments advertise themselves as having “dazzling, over-the-top amenities,” boasting “Denver’s only lazy river,” which is heated year-round, along with a rooftop lounge, community garden, outdoor fire pit, free yoga classes and more.

The Quincy apartments in downtown Denver offer cold storage for inevitable food delivery, an outdoor theater, and a glass-sided pool and spa with skyline views, among other amenities.

The push to lure young renters is evident in the complementary photo booth in the Country Club Towers’ hallway and the savory smells emanating from the public kitchen as the in-house chef prepares free omelettes for 200 residents who’d rather not cook on a Saturday morning.

Electric scooters parked outside the door await a zip downtown — the buildings are a scooter hub, meaning the dockless transportation devices are dropped off there every morning. If things get too hectic, meditation instruction is on the fitness calendar and the spa and masseuse are just down the hall.

“Resort-style living is important to us,” Wells said. “Everything you can think of or want is here. You don’t have to leave, and we keep wondering how we can pleasantly surprise you.”

For Country Club Towers resident Collin Soto, it was the baby goats that did it. Soto heard that his building was hosting a goat yoga event last Saturday, and he couldn’t resist joining in.

“There’s something about little, tiny goats running around on your back that you can’t be mad about,” Soto said.

The 26-year-old went to take a tour of the Country Club Towers on a whim earlier in the year. Capitol Hill living was getting loud and crowded for Soto, who works from home as a paralegal. Soto put down a deposit on the $3,200-a-month apartment he splits with a roommate the same day as his tour, and he moved in this past February.

“It was the best decision I ever made,” Soto said.

Soto was pleased to cancel his gym membership in exchange for using the building’s facilities. He does his job in the towers’ sprawling co-working space, complete with views of the city.

The lowest rent price among all the 880 units is $1,010 and the highest reaches $3,800, according to Broe Real Estate Group.

Average household income for residents of the Country Club Towers? $165,000. Forty-four percent of household incomes on the property are between $71,000 and $125,000, according to Lewellyn.

Wells noted that Lewellyn’s entire position was proof enough of the property’s strategy to retain the residents it already has and lure new ones in, away from the plethora of options that exist in Denver’s housing market.

“We’re always trying to reinvent and differentiate ourselves,” Lewellyn said. “My job is to figure out what is going to make us different and figure out what people want.”

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