This month, Infinity Home Collection expects the rental occupancy at Moda Lofts to be at or near capacity. And the success of this project, after a fitful start, is an unusual example of what the builder’s owner, Paul Schmergel, calls “turning lemons into lemonade.” Moda Lofts is a 64-unit building located in the town center of the sprawling Stapleton master planned community, about 15 minutes outside of downtown Denver, where Infinity is also based. Infinity initially marketed the lofts as for-sale condos. But by the time it had completed the building in July 2007, half of the presales had backed out of their contracts.
So Schmergel took an unconventional route to salvaging the project. Infinity kept 30 of the 64 units under its ownership and sold the rest to investors with which it had done business in Denver previously. Simultaneously, Infinity offered all of the units at Moda Lofts for rent. (Investors bought packages of five or six leased units.) The average selling price for the units to investors, which range from 827 to 1,146 square feet and are mostly one-bedrooms with dens, has been $278,403. The units are being rented for an average of $1,331 per month. Schmergel says Stapleton’s developer, Forest City Enterprises, allowed Infinity to set up on-site signage to promote the rentals.
Schmergel, though, doesn’t expect that Moda Lofts will become an alternative business model for his company. Infinity, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, isn’t giving up its day job building around 100 luxury detached houses per year, which sell for $700,000 and up. It is one of three builders at Solterra, the master planned community in Lakewood, Colo., where Infinity has 10 presales at an average price of $800,000. So far, at least, rentals aren’t being offered there.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Denver, CO.