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Exclusive Q&A: SteelWave's Barry DiRaimondo On Multifamily

SteelWave, formerly Legacy Partners Commercial, recently branched into multifamily development from an extensive background in commercial properties. We chatted with SteelWave CEO Barry DiRaimondo about the move, and one of its new projects, an apartment development in Aurora.


Bisnow: What's the reason for branching into multifamily?

Barry DiRaimondo: We wanted to broaden our scope. The confluence of live/work/play means that putting residential alongside commercial in a single project is compelling. That creates value by adding multi-use capabilities to projects that used to stand alone.

Bisnow: Where are you looking to develop multifamily?

Barry DiRaimondo: On the whole, our existing markets in Southern and Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Denver and Austin. All of them are still growth markets. Our first two developments will be on sites in Aurora, here in Colorado, and Westchester, CA. We've partnered with the Cavallari Group out of Los Angeles to develop them.


Bisnow: Why's Aurora a good market for new apartments?

Barry DiRaimondo: It's good for what we're building, a transit-oriented multifamily development with 424 units that fills a need that isn't being met in the Denver market—namely market-rate housing that doesn't cost the moon.

The apartments will be geared, for example, toward workers at Fitzsimons Medical Center, the Denver Tech Center or Buckley Air Force base, all of which are relatively close. It'll be basic suburban product, with bigger average unit sizes than in LoDo, a little more than 900 SF on average, with a strong suite of amenities and access to the Iliff Station.

Bisnow: Demand's strong for suburban product?

Barry DiRaimondo: Definitely. A lot of people want to live in the suburbs, including Millennials. A lot of attention is being paid to the urban environment, and certainly that's a popular place to live, but the suburbs are still attractive, especially those connected to transit.