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Golden renters forced out, developers planning duplexes

golden family forced out.jpg
Posted at 7:55 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 21:55:46-04

GOLDEN, Colo. — Contact Denver7 is hearing from Golden neighbors as they say developers are swooping in and longtime renters are forced out.

One family's story is indicative of the change and the people being uprooted from the place they call home. Finding those roots brought Heather Klenske and her husband, Jeff, to Golden.

"We've really rooted in this community. We have a lot of close friends who are like family," Klenske said.

For the last five years, they have raised their boys in a little rent house they have made a home.

"We moved here when Lennon was 5 months old," Klenske said. "So, they've had every birthday party here. We've had all of our Christmases here."

On May 6, when their landlord offered to sell the house to them, they jumped at the chance to own.

"We got pre-approved for the loan," Klenske said. "I know that's a dream that people want, but we were living it. And we were told that we were going to be able to keep living it, and then he just ripped it out from under us."

Just nine days after reaching the agreement, Klenske received an email stating the landlord had changed his mind and accepted an unexpected offer from a developer, who is likely planning to build duplexes or multi-family units on the land.

"Devastated," Klenske said. "Lots of tears. Husband and I were both very upset."

Neighbors told Contact Denver7 what is happening to the Klenske's is happening all over the neighborhood.

"In this neighborhood, the dirt is now worth more than the structures that sit on top of it," said one neighbor, who did not wish to be identified. "Developers can come in with large cash on hand and outbid almost anybody. Little by little, they're forcing people out and building these people — it looks like it belongs in LoDo."

We reached out to the Klenske's landlord, who declined to comment, but Redfin lists Golden as a "most competitive housing market," with most homes getting multiple offers and waiving contingencies.

Meanwhile, Klenske and her husband hope they can compete. They are now house hunting in Golden and hopeful that they can stay in the place they have already put down roots.

"We're heavily invested in the community," Klenske said. "We want our kids to go to school here. This is our home."

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