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DENVER-Gart Properties topped out the first phase of its $50-million WaterTower Lofts in the fledgling Prospect Park neighborhood in the shadow of Coors Field. The project is being developed by the well-known Gart family of Denver, in a joint venture with Denver-based Buchanan Yonushewski Group.

Buchanan Yonushewski also is designing and building the project. So far, more than 60% of the 94 units have been sold. They’re priced from about $225,900 to $695,000.

”People are just now discovering that they can buy a penthouse with spectacular views, 23-foot high ceilings, and fabulous terraces in a Downtown location without spending a million dollars or more,” says Mark Sidell, president of Gart Properties. ”Our penthouses are unique to Denver because of the value we can offer by being within walking distance to LoDo versus being in the heart of it. We’ve intentionally set our prices below the market average.”

He says the drop in interest rates, however, hasn’t boosted sales.

”I think when interest rates drop, it impacts people more who buy suburban homes, who need to save $25 or $30 or $100 a month in their mortgage payments,” Sidell says. ”Few of our buyers are first-time homebuyers. They look at it more as getting 15% or 20% annual appreciation, rather than as what their monthly payment would be with lower rates.”

When the stock market still looked like it would recover, sales surged, and then settled down, he says. Now, sales are steady and stable, he says.

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