Durango’s tight rental market is about to get some relief with the gradual opening of 194 new apartments as construction finishes at Rocket Pointe apartments.
Rocket Pointe, 1255 Escalante Drive, will offer one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom, two-bath units with rents starting at $1,225 for one-bedrooms units and $1,640 for two-bedroom apartments. Ten different floor plans ranging from 676 square feet to 1,199 square feet are available.
Utilities are not included in the rents, but NE Property Management, the apartment owner, is offering an internet, cable and Wi-Fi package for $65 a month.
Lynda Dorko, Rocket Pointe property manager, said 26 units are available in the first two residential buildings to open, and preleasing is underway for five additional buildings under construction.
The additional residential buildings should open, about one a month, through June, when construction is expected to be complete on all 194 units, which will include stainless-steel appliances and a washer and dryer.
Charlie Moussa, a member of the development team with NE Property Management, said the firm conducted a market study of Durango’s housing and looked at comparable projects. The firm saw a need for rentals – especially for young adults just out of college who are attracted to Southwest Colorado with its wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities.
NE Management, which has properties on the Front Range, Texas and Oklahoma, also had conversations with city officials who, Moussa said, also expressed a need in Durango for additional rental units.
“We love Durango, and we had a comfort level with Durango officials, and we also saw a need for apartment rentals for people who are just getting started and can’t yet afford a house,” Moussa said.
Donna Graves of Information Services, who completed the “La Plata County Housing Demand Forecast” in June 2015, said the report found some 110 to 200 new rental units needed to be added to the housing stock annually for Durango to keep up with increased population.
According to the report:
If La Plata County’s population grew at 1.6 percent annually, the county would need to add 110 new multifamily and condominium units annually.If it grew at 2.1 percent annually, it would have to add 160 new units.If it grew at 2.6 percent, it would have to add 200 units.Graves said rental costs at Rocket Pointe are probably higher than the current average rents for La Plata County. But she added, “They certainly will make more units available, and they should put pressure on other rentals.”
“If you’re living in a leaky old home with single-pane windows and paying hundreds of dollars a month for heat, I think you would consider moving,” she said.
Bob Allen, owner of Allen & Associates, a real estate appraisal, consulting and market analysis firm, said he anticipates Rocket Pointe’s 194 units will be quickly digested.
“To a certain extent, population growth in Durango has been choked by a lack of places for people to live. Recent history suggests new apartment rental units are absorbed in relatively short order,” he said in an email.
Rocket Pointe will be Durango’s third apartment complex with more than 100 units.
Hillcrest Apartments, 1000 Goeglein Gulch Road, built in 2001, has 112 studio to three-bedroom units with rents ranging from $1,110 to $1,750. Rents don’t include utilities.
The Confluence at Three Springs, 150 Confluence Ave., built in 2017 and 2018, has 171 units with 15 different floor plans for one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. One-bedroom units rent from $1,069 to $1,100 per month. The two-bedroom units rent from $1,425 to $1,515 per month. Rents do not include utilities.
Rocket Pointe also includes a clubhouse with a fitness center, a business center, a conference room, a resident lounge, a bicycle/ski maintenance shop and a recreation area with a pool table and shuffleboard. Another unique feature, at least for Durango, the units will have air conditioning.
With a fitness center and a bicycle/ski shop, Rocket Pointe aims to cater to young adults who are not yet ready to buy a home, Doroko said. She noted the Animas River Trail is adjacent to the complex and a Durango Transit stop is located at the complex.
Dorko said a grand opening will be scheduled when the outdoor features, including a pool a hot tub and fire pits, are completed.
Ninety-two garages are available attached to individual units and will add $100 to the rent. Rocket Pointe also has storage units available from $20 to $50.
“The demand has been insane,” Dorko said. “Young people want to live in Durango, but they can’t afford to,” she said. “We’ll have 194 units, so maybe we can help ease the housing shortage.”