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Night Window is now open for artists.
Night Window is now open for artists.
Kyle Harris

Reader: If I'm Paying $800, I Expect an Actual Stove

Last week, Kyle Harris put the spotlight on Night Window, a new effort to provide affordable housing for Colorado's creative community in a former motel at 8400 East Colfax Avenue, just blocks from Aurora. Developers Kyle Zeppelin and Neil Adam — co-owners of GRACe, the Globeville Riverfront Art Center — purchased the run-down property and decided to open an artist-housing project there.

They’ve spent the past year renovating the motel rooms into single-occupancy housing for creatives, and hired artist Nikki Dechent as the property manager. Tapped to run day-to-day operations, Dechent prides herself on offering rentals to any people who can prove they’re artists — and her definition is wide open, as long as the would-be tenant has a portfolio. Bad credit? No worries. No credit? That's fine.

But is it the answer for artists? Readers were quick to weigh in. Says Claire: 

I toured these and decided not to live there. You get a hotplate, no oven, plywood floors. But the units feel clean inside considering it used to be a creepy motel, and they did a pretty good job with the renovations. It's good that they have an artist managing the space. Nikki genuinely seems like someone who cares about local artists. It's good that there's at least a bad/no credit month-to-month option for artists near Denver. I still think "affordable" is a stretch for what you get there. It's more like flexible market-rate-ish housing.

Adds Katie:

 If I’m paying $800 a month, I’d hope I was getting an actual stove and not just a hot plate.

Replies Mike:

 $800 is super affordable. If you can’t afford that, you shouldn’t live in a metro area. Move to Pueblo. ya plebs

Adds Ed: 

Denver artists need to find roommates or move to Aurora like the rest of us.

Comments Angie:

 It sounds like a temporary solution to an ongoing problem. I live right down the street, and I hope they don't let the crime and the drugs take over like they did the last motel and plenty of other properties around the area. It's very sketchy at night, and I hope to see it thrive despite all of the crazy elements around it.

Concludes Bear: 

It sounds like a good way to get gentrification going in your neighborhood. Next, they will link up with the city to do murals, and they are already shutting down and tearing down some of the buildings there.

Denver officials have done a lot of talking about creating affordable housing and keeping artists in the city. But so far, few options have emerged.

In fact, these 25 tiny units in a ramshackle Colfax motel represent the only new attempt to stop Denver's exodus of artists who can't afford to live here anymore. “There needs to be more than this,” manager Nikki Dechent says. “This can’t be the only one.”

What do you think about the options for artists in Denver? The Night Window project? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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