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Will they fill? Apartment boom in Pikes Peak Region

New apartment complexes are everywhere you look in Colorado Springs
Posted at 11:47 AM, Sep 07, 2023

EL PASO COUNTY — “Welcome to Mosaica.” Darcy Nicklasson is more than happy to offer a tour and show all the unique features of her new and nearly completed apartment community called Mosaica.

She is also very aware her new development is opening amongst a seeming mass amount of other new apartment units being built in the Pikes Peak Region.

“There are a lot of apartments coming on the market all at once, right now, we've all seen it, we see construction everywhere, right?” said Nicklasson.

Data from the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department shows that in the last five years, there has been a noticeable rise in apartment building permits.

In terms of units associated with the permits, there were nearly 3,900 units in 2021. Then in 2022, the number was just under 5,000.

Permitting for the first half of 2023 has slowed by about half compared to the same time period from a year ago, but the smaller number adds to a large number of permits still in process.

In-process means permits that have been issued but not yet cleared with final inspection by Regional Building for occupancy.

The number of apartment units in the works is just over 9,500.

“The developers do their own market studies. They're looking at the market and they're saying, ‘Oh, if I put up a building that's got 100 Something apartments in it at this price, I have confidence that I'm going to be able to rent those apartments,” said City of Colorado Springs, Chief Housing Officer, Steve Posey.

Posey and his staff in the Colorado Spring Office of Housing and Community Vitalitytrack trends and offer information, but when it comes to investing in building projects it is up to developers.

It is clear by the amount of current construction that many apartment developers see Colorado Springs as a good investment.

Posey said there are many factors contributing to the building boom. “There's no simple narrative.”

Some renters are people choosing to move to the Pikes Peak Region to work remotely. Others find it more affordable to live here and commute to Denver. And, there is a trend of young adults who want the Colorado Springs combination of metro meets mountains.

Posey said, “I mean, our median age here in Colorado Springs is now in the mid-30s. We are attracting younger individuals and people coming here to start families. And that's a great thing.”

With all the apartments being built there will be a lot of rental options for people moving to the area.

Nicklasson said the competition can be good. Her strategy is to offer uniquely designed, price-conscious apartments.

Mosaica for example has rare four-bedroom apartments. The buildings look more like homes than apartments stacked on top of one another.

And there is some whimsy with things like brightly painted door colors that change from building to building.

“Do it our own way, based on not what everybody else is doing. But really more based on what do we think that our residents, our customers need. How can we benefit their life?” said Nicklasson.

A few months of apartment saturation are likely ahead as all the new apartment units are completed. Nicklasson said her research indicates plenty of people still moving to Colorado Springs.

She also sees investment happening on the southeast side of Colorado Springs where Mosaica is located. She is confident her apartments will fill.

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