Have you checked out Observatory Park lately? In my opinion, itâ€™s one of the neighborhoods that make Denver so appealing. This gem of an area started itâ€™s rebirth in the late 1990s, when Denverites rediscovered its wide streets, mature trees, larger lots, great location, and oh yes, the magnificent observatory that is the parkâ€™s namesake. About the same time, the University of Denver ramped up campus development, which triggered more excitement about the neighborhood.
Since then â€œOâ€ Park has seen plenty of people scraping the 1920s and 30s homes for modern mini-castles. According to local developers Tre Behr and Steffen Kaufman, builders have taken notice, buying from 7,000 to 14,000 square foot lots in hopes of capitalizing on two different markets, those moving up and those moving down.
Those moving up are families from Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree that left homes worth $400K and are now looking to upgrade to a million plus. The moving down folks are empty nesters from Cherry Hills that no longer want to maintain 10,000 square feet, but do want high-end finishes.
Behr and Kaufman are meeting both needs through their home on South Madison, with construction set for a March 1 completion. Itâ€™s just a little over 5,000 square feet with four bedrooms, four baths and incredible, high-quality finishes that both of these hot demographics have come to expect. Their builder, Jon Crabtree from Frontgate Development, built the home as spec and had zero reservations about doing it, even in this market. Crabtree says he doesnâ€™t worry about his homes selling because his plan is â€œto get away from the average.â€
If youâ€™re thinking Observatory Park maybe a good place for you, consider two things. First, the price range for new builds is between $800, 000 and $2.5 million. Second, the quality of homes varies widely, so steer clear of square box homes with no architectural panache.