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WESTMINSTER, CO-A Houston developer has broken ground on a $40-million, luxury apartment complex in Westminster, situated between Denver and Boulder.

Allied Realty Services Inc., which also has a Denver regional office, is constructing the 372-unit, 370,000-sf Retreat at Westcliff near US 36 at Church Ranch Road. “There’s a real lack of available sites along that corridor, so anytime a developer has a site to build on, it’s a big deal,” says Jeff Hawks, an apartment broker with Grubb & Ellis.

Dan Lipnick, managing director of Houston-based Transworld Properties Inc., which is providing $7.2 million in equity for the project, agrees. “The Denver market has significant barriers to entry which, when combined with strong job growth and housing demand, have made this a challenging but attractive deal,” says Lipnick. About five years ago, Transworld teamed with Allied about to develop the Lodge at Willow Creek multifamily complex near the Park Meadows mall.

Jarett Minton, vice president of Transworld, says the complex’s location–midway between downtown Denver and the Interlocken Business Center–”was a major factor in our investment decision” because it provides ready access to employment centers and recreational offerings. Chase Bank is providing the construction financing for the project, which will be comprised of apartments with an average 1,241 sf and a rental range of $830 to $1,950 per month.

Lauren Brockman, who heads Allied’s CO office and is president of the Apartment Association of Metropolitan Denver, says the location is the project’s biggest selling point. The development company, she says, particularly likes Westminster because there are growth controls in place that limit competing projects. And, she emphasizes, it’s just a 10-minute drive to Interlocken Business Park, which has Level 3 and Sun Microsystems and the FlatIron Mall.

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