Boston firm buys Alta Aspen Grove

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Alta Aspen Grove has been sold by Wood Partners LLC to Berkshire Partners, a private equity and property-management firm based in Boston. Its Colorado operations are managed out of Texas, according to the company’s website.

Berkshire is the third owner of the 17-acre site west of Aspen Grove shopping center since March 2007. That’s when Quadrant Properties applied to rezone it from office use to residential. The company planned to work with development company McStain to create River’s Edge, which would have incorporated condos to the south and single-family homes on the north.

City council approved the rezone after considering arguments of the sort still heard today — such as traffic, density, lack of revenue to the city from residential property and the instability of renters. Classic arguments came from those in favor, as well, with young people and empty nesters clamoring for housing suitable for a childless lifestyle. Aspen Grove management was excited for the new customers, and light-rail riders were happy to have a nearby residential development.

But in December 2007, McStain backed out of the deal, citing “the continued decline of Colorado’s residential market, tightening of the banking and lending industry and other longstanding commitments by McStain,” as the reasons for changing course. The company later went out of business in the midst of the housing-bubble burst.

Quadrant sold the property to Wood Partners, a multifamily real-estate firm, for $47 million. Wood opened Alta Aspen Grove, a 280-unit apartment complex, in June 2011.

“The site is flush with the types of features renters-by-choice want in this market,” Wood’s director, Tim McEntee, said at the time.”We wanted to make sure it fit well with our goals of being environmentally friendly, while giving residents the best in what this special area of Denver has to offer as well as unique perks they won’t easily find elsewhere.”