20th & Chestnut Design Update

It seems everyone is anticipating the groundbreaking of the proposed 20th & Chestnut project by the Nichols Partnership in Downtown Denver’s booming Union Station district, which will not only give Downtown its first full-service grocery store, but also put that store within two blocks of the region’s largest multi-modal transit hub. Here’s a quick progress report on the project and two slightly updated renderings, courtesy of Nichols Partnership project manager Dan Schuetz.

The first image is a view of the project’s 20th and Chestnut corner; the second image, the 19th and Chestnut corner:

The development’s groundbreaking was rescheduled from March to June, due to some final tweaks to the building design. Now, the project’s entire ground floor will have 28-foot ceiling heights. The consequence of this is quite exciting. The interior ground-floor parking area reserved for grocery store customers will now feel much more spacious with a ceiling that high. Also—and this is the really cool part—with a 28-foot floor-to-ceiling height, this has allowed the Nichols Partnership to add an L-shaped mezzanine level to the grocery store, increasing the store’s overall size. Sweet!

By | 2016-12-21T20:53:45+00:00 April 26, 2012|Categories: Infill, Residential, Retail, Union Station, Urban Design|Tags: |9 Comments


  1. django April 26, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Great news ! Of all the many projects planned for the DT area this is probably the best.

  2. Jesse April 27, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I find these new building very boring. Crap 1/2 modern buildings with little character and f*&# all appeal just like the uptown square. I guess it’s better than parking lots but seriously something unique please. Something that makes you want to live there more than the 1st year you graduate from College.

  3. JamesW April 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    This is an exciting project.

    What are the plans for the electric Substation across the tracks from Manhattan, are they planning on keeping that there or consolidating it in someway?

  4. Kyle April 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I agree with Jesse. I am so sick of all these cookie cutter apartment building popping up all over prime downtown real estate. I am glad to see development happening, especially at this booming pace, and parking lots disappearing. However, it seems like the new norm now is to have very uncreative box architecture quickly designed in SketchUp with faux materials. I have a feeling that in a relatively short time, we will be looking back wishing there was “more” done with these parcels. I understand that not every building needs to be iconic but the bar is being set pretty low for such high profile areas.

    Anyways, at least this will add more people downtown and help drive up the value of other parcels where they hopefully will spend a little more time, thought, and money.

    I am excited to have a grocer downtown and it is even better news that they are doing a mezzanine. Any news on who it will be yet?

    • Ken Schroeppel April 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Kyle, I believe they are still negotiating with several grocers, but I understand it will be a national chain.

  5. Ted April 28, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Every city in the world consists of “cookie cutter” buildings. It’s just that once those cookie-cutter buildings become historic, nobody complains about them anymore.

    • Vern April 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Agree, but with the quality of most of the new apartment buildings downtown, I can’t imagine they will ever become historic. I lived in the Metro for one year (the year after college)and that place was a joke. I could hear my neighbors having a regular conversation through the wall, so God forbid they played loud music or…got intimate. Denver needs to have some better standards regarding the quality of new buildings. Given, I have no clue what the current standards are, but I have been in at least 10-12 new apartment buildings downtown in the last 10 years, and almost all of them were the same crappy quality. They look decent so they can charge renters crazy high prices, but the quality is super cheap. Now i live in an old Lodo converted warehouse, and this place is solid. Guess they just don’t build em like they used to.

      • Aaron May 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        Cheaply-built construction is unfortunately just a way of the times, I think. I have lived in VERY few newer complexes either in Denver, Houston, Bakersfield, or now Pittsburgh, that were built well. I love my rental townhouse in Pittsburgh, I especially love the view, but without a doubt, it’s built like crap! Modern buildings are just built cheap. Be thankful we’re not in one of the REAL “boom cities” like Dubai, where probably half of those towers will all but completely collapse in a decade or two from horrific construction quality!

  6. Vern April 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

    But don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy about new development around Union Station and I can’t wait to have a grocery store downtown, just wish they would build some buildings that Denver can still be proud of in 100 years.

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