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  • Paul Vranas

Denver Post: Featuring Colfax And Halsted

Updated: Mar 8

Denver - February 2, 2024

"A new development group and investment firm are making their debuts on Tennyson Street.

The two businesses are partnering to construct an infill multifamily development at 4114 N. Tennyson St. in Berkeley. The apartment building, which will be three stories plus a mezzanine, includes 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space with 27 apartments upstairs.

“We are center ice,” said Brian Funk, principal at Osage Properties Group, the main developer of the project. “I love what they’re doing with The Lantern across the street. The vision is to bring a local-type business into the fold.”

Funk’s group purchased the 12,000-square-foot lot for $1.8 million in January 2021. His current plans call for studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, averaging about 700 square feet. The top floor will feature two-level living spaces thanks to the planned mezzanine.

There will be a roof deck for tenants up top and most units will come with their own private balcony.

“The neighborhood and the location is the amenity,” Funk said.

It will be Funk’s, and Osage’s, first ground-up development, expected to be completed in early 2025. The 40-year-old moved to Colorado from New York City in 2018 after spending nearly 15 years working in investment banking. He’s made some real estate investments himself, but nothing like the scale of this Tennyson project.

His partner, Kirk Scott, has a more focused background in the industry, previously having served as chief financial officer for a real estate investment fund, Funk said.

Denver-based Alpine Investments is a development partner in the project. Schneider Building Co. is the general contractor, and NEOstudio is the project architect. Elevations Credit Union provided the construction debt, amounting to $8.2 million, public records show.

The project is also the launch investment for Colfax & Halsted, a new firm.

“This is my first passive capital raising and placing investment. I’ve invested for 20-plus years on my own as a small investor,” said Paul Vranas, the founder and sole member of the new company.

Vranas plans to invest in three other projects this year, targeting “neighborhoods where young professionals gravitate towards” such as Five Points, Congress Park and Cheesman Park, he said.

“We try not to be market timers, but we try to pick up a couple of investments a year so we have some diversification,” he said.

Colfax & Halsted derives its name from the East-West Colfax Avenue in Denver and the North-South Halsted Street in Chicago. Both streets historically played host to the city’s respective Greek community. Vranas, a third-generation real estate investor, said the name plays homage to his Chicago, Denver and Greek roots. His grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from the nation.

(They) hustled for the American dream and picked up an apartment building along the way,” he said.

His father and uncles ran a commercial real estate firm in Chicago for over 30 years, specializing in multifamily properties. Vranas’ followed in the footsteps of his older relatives, buying his first condo at 21. He moved to Colorado in 2011 after running his own residential brokerage. Now 45, Vranas feels like he is ready to hop back into the real estate world full time.

“It’s very much a relationship-driven business. A lot of it is through word of mouth and referrals. Because of where interest rates are and the lack of financing that’s coming from typical sources, I found that a lot of developers in Denver are open to new investment sources,” he said."



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