Zakhem building five-story project along light rail in Lakewood

A rendering of the project. While this shows six stories, it has since been reduced to five. (Zakhem Real Estate Group)

Residential developer Zakhem Real Estate Group has jumped city limits.

The Denver-based firm, which generally specializes in residential projects in the 20- to 70-unit range, has started construction on a five-story apartment building at 1205 Benton St. in Lakewood.

The 58-unit project is in an opportunity zone, along a bike path and a short walk from RTD’s Sheridan Station transit stop.

“That light-rail station is starting to see a lot of action,” said John Zakhem, who runs the firm with his brother. “We think it’s a great up-and-coming area.”

Zakhem said his firm lucked out by getting permits for the project before Lakewood’s growth restrictions kicked in. Voters in the state’s fifth-largest city last year approved a measure limiting the annual construction of new homes and apartments to no more than 1 percent of the city’s existing housing stock. One developer has since filed suit.

“There’s not going to be a lot of that density in Lakewood,” Zakhem said, adding the company expects to complete the project next February.

Zakhem Real Estate also is building a project near RiNo’s 38th and Blake station, consisting of 48 apartments and six townhomes. That is expected to be completed in October.

“After right now, we’re kind of in a holding pattern after those two,” Zakhem said, citing the uncertainty prompted by the coronavirus.

The Zakhems also sold a redevelopment site even closer to the 38th and Blake station last year for $7.19 million to an entity involving a former Forest City Realty Trust entity. The company maintained a small stake in the new ownership group.

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