A 250- to 300-unit apartment complex will be built at the InterQuest Marketplace retail and entertainment complex on Colorado Springs' far north side, as developers continue to show they're bullish on the Pikes Peak region's multi-family market.

Nor'wood Development Group of Colorado Springs and Western National Group of Irvine, Calif., which already have partnered on three local multi-family projects, are developing the new complex east of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway.

The $35 million project - to be called InterQuest Apartments - would be built on 12 acres on the east side of the 131-acre InterQuest Marketplace property, southwest of New Life Drive and Voyager Parkway, said Steve Sharkey, a Nor'wood vice president.

Construction won't begin until the second half of 2014, as Nor'wood and Western wait for apartments to be absorbed at their other projects, Sharkey said. The first units at InterQuest will open 10 months after construction begins.

A strong demand for apartments and rising rents have encouraged several developers to undertake multi-family projects over the last few years.

The Springs-area apartment vacancy rate stood at 5.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, a 12-year low, according to the Colorado Division of Housing. Monthly rents averaged nearly $788 in the first quarter, near the area's record high of $790.95.

InterQuest Apartments will be developed as a luxury complex, with one-, two- and three-bedroom units renting from $900 to $1,500 a month, Sharkey said. Amenities will include a clubhouse, fitness and business centers, a large-screen theater in the clubhouse, an outdoor pool and year-round spa, barbecue area and playground.

As with the three other Nor'wood-Western projects, the InterQuest Apartments are being built so that residents can enjoy nearby amenities, such as restaurants, theaters and shopping, Sharkey said.

In addition, the InterQuest Apartments will be located near major employers - such as FedEx, Spectranetics and Progressive Insurance - and have quick access to major roadways, including I-25 and Powers Boulevard.

Nor'wood, one the Springs' largest and most successful real estate companies, envisioned 900,000 square feet of retail and commercial space for its InterQuest Marketplace.

The development currently includes a 14-screen Regal movie theatre complex, a Brunswick Zone XL entertainment center, Cheddar's Casual Cafe, Colorado Mountain Brewery and a Kum & Go convenience store.

Western National is one of the nation's largest owners and developers of multi-family properties; its five divisions build, acquire and manage apartments in several Western states.

In a statement, Rex DeLong, president of Western National Realty Advisors, a Western National Group affiliate, said the Springs "has a growing population that is dynamic and highly educated."

Western and Nor'wood have attempted to select project sites that offer apartment residents convenient access to transportation, amenities and employment, DeLong said.

"Together, we believe that the existing and proposed dining and entertainment offerings at InterQuest Marketplace make this new apartment community a natural fit," he said.

Western and Nor'wood are developing a 315-unit apartment project east of Nor'wood's First & Main Town Center retail complex along Powers Boulevard, near North Carefree Circle and Tutt Boulevard on the Springs' east side. The first apartments will open in 60 days, Sharkey said.

The two companies also are developing a 260-unit complex northeast of Rockrimmon Boulevard and Delmonico Drive on the city's northwest side, whose first units will be available in October.

Another 260-unit Nor'wood-Western complex is being built southwest of Powers Boulevard and Woodmen Road on the northeast side; its first buildings will open in March 2014.


Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter @richladen

Facebook Rich Laden