El Paso sees strong apartment development

Developers are pushing to build more apartment complexes in El Paso County, thanks to increased military presence and a lack of development in the past 10 years.

El Paso County had 230 building permits for new multifamily housing through May of this year. That puts the county ahead of Larimer County’s 126 permits, but behind Denver County’s 633 permits, according to figures from the Colorado Division of Housing.

“El Paso County has had very, very little permitting activity in multifamily in the last 10 years,” said the division’s Ryan McMaken.  “Vacancies there were so high for so long, no one wanted to build anything.”

The three counties represent 94 percent of all multi-family building permits issues in the state during the first five months of the year.

Since the beginning of the housing crisis, fewer apartment complexes have vacancies, and rental prices are rising rapidly. The problem is greater in Colorado Springs – as returning military personnel top the surge of renters coming from foreclosed properties.

“There seems to be a large demand for new apartments in the Pikes Peak region,” McMaken said. “People are probably seeing that there has been no new production there for a long time and they could make some money if they can build some new multifamily housing.”