Denver’s Cherry Creek North shopping district isn’t a place often associated with minimalism, but a new development aims to change that by adding 37 micro-apartments to the neighborhood’s housing inventory.

Developed by Barry Hirschfeld and Pando Holdings—the team behind Uptown’s 97-unit Economist micro-apartment building, which debuted in 2018—and designed by project architect Saiber Saiber, Studio 135 (at 135 Adams Street) is leasing 32 studios, two one-bedroom/one-bath units and three two-bedroom/two-bath units that range in size from 300 to 900 square feet. Though small, the contemporary residences live large thanks to tall windows with low sills, nearly 12-foot-high ceilings, full kitchens, and at least three vertical feet of storage space above the bathrooms. There’s also room for many of the extras one would expect from a Cherry Creek North address, from top-of-the-line Bosch appliances to engineered hardwood floors.

An ultra-efficient 326-square-foot studio apartment is one of the property’s smallest, but still offers a functional kitchen filled with full-size Bosch appliances, plus a full private bath. Image courtesy of Studio 135

To help residents maximize their homes’ small footprints, Studio 135 partnered with the pros at Room & Board, who furnished the model units with clever, space-saving furniture options, from beds with hidden storage drawers to full-length mirrors that double as clothing racks. “Residents can purchase any Room & Board furniture individually or as a grouping upon leasing a unit,” Hirschfeld explains, “or simply walk down to Room & Board a few blocks away to view individual floor plans with their floor-planning tool.”

The micro-apartment concept is most successful when residents have easy access to shared living spaces outside of their private homes, which Studio 135 is uniquely positioned to provide. In addition to a spacious first-floor lobby—complete with several TV lounge areas, a coffee bar, a 16-foot-long communal workstation, and an adjacent bicycle storage room—and a sunny rooftop terrace with places to lounge, grill, and dine, the five-story building offers an ideal location in the heart of Cherry Creek North. “Even with the pandemic and social distancing, it’s still vibrant and the place to be,” Hirschfeld says. “You’re just across the street from restaurants with heated patios and a myriad of takeout opportunities, and the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and the shops of Cherry Creek North provide a destination for walking, biking, dining, and shopping.”

How well do small homes and communal living spaces jibe with a pandemic lifestyle? In this case, Studio 135’s design and development team had time to build in a variety of health and safety precautions prior to the property’s debut. Each residence has individual heating and cooling units, and most units have their own washer and dryer. Common areas have been furnished with social distancing in mind, and the property has hired two live-in co-directors of security, health, and safety, whose jobs, Hirschfeld says, “are to conduct comprehensive, daily cleanings in the common areas and to be on deck to satisfy the needs of residents.”

All this comes at a cost, of course, and though micro-apartments are typically “a more accessible option for those who want to work and live in more expensive neighborhoods,” Hirschfeld says, rents still start at $1,255—“which is generally less expensive than other options in Cherry Creek, especially any of the other new construction buildings,” he adds. And in this case, if you’re willing to trade a bit of private space for instant access to some of Denver’s best amenities, less really might be more.