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New Lower Highland Project: 1736 Boulder Street

Lower Highland continues to sizzle as the Downtown area’s hot-spot for new residential development. As evidence, a new rental apartment project recently broke ground at 1736 Boulder Street, located at the corner of Boulder and Central Court, between 17th and 18th streets. Here’s a GoogleEarth view where I’ve outlined the site:

1736 Boulder is a 5-story, 73-unit building featuring a clubhouse, a rooftop deck with fireplace, and a fitness room, along with 75 vehicle parking spaces and a bike parking area. The project is being developed by Paul Books, principal of Palisade Partners, LLC. My thanks to Paul and his project architect, Craine Architecture, for this rendering:

Construction started on the site in early June. Here’s a site photo I recently took showing that site excavation is underway:

1736 Boulder is aiming for LEED-Silver certification and should be completed by Summer 2013.

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27 Comments

  1. Corey says:

    Looks nice!

  2. Adam says:

    Are there viewplane restrictions in the zoning? I feel like this will be at the same height as the tallest buildings on central.

    • Ken Schroeppel says:

      From a quick glance at a map, I think it’s off to the northeast from the Union Station view plane.

  3. Corey says:

    Ken, off topic, but are the new mall shuttles going to be the same buses as the downtown circulator buses I saw a photo of in Skyscraperpage.com transportation thread?

  4. The Dirt says:

    Very cool! I used to walk down this block frequently when I lived on 33rd. I wouldn’t have expected something of this size here, with the renovated single family home on the corner and 3 story town homes across the street. It’s nice to see this area densifying beyond my expectations!

  5. Django says:

    With all the projects going up in Lower Highland does anyone know if anything is brewing with the big vacant lot at16th and Boulder? That has to be the most desirable development parcel left in that area.

    • Ken Schroeppel says:

      That is the last great parcel to be developed, and I suspect we’ll see a proposal for that site sometime within the next year or two. It’s inevitable, and I can’t wait!

      • Ted says:

        Ken, I hope you know something that we don’t, but a very good friend of mine who works in the local mortgage industry (and frequents Vita a bit too much we might say) continues to tell me that the landlord who owns the lot at 16th and Boulder has absolutely ZERO interest in developing the property. I suppose it is always possible that he could sell it when the price is right, but word from the restaurants across the street is that he fully intends to keep it as designated parking for them for at least the foreseeable future.

        • Ken Schroeppel says:

          Ted, I agree with Dave below: the owner of that site is a realtor/developer and believes strongly in building a great community. He’s not the type to be happy with a gravel lot in the heart of a neighborhood. He’s waiting for the right time and project. He just finished the renovation of the main Olingers building.

    • dave says:

      That parcel is owned by the same guy that owns the commercial development across the street. In fact, Little Man Ice Cream is named for is grandfather. I know the owner is interested in development but is not a fan of apartments and would like to do for sale units but the market needs to improve.

  6. JSS says:

    Seriously, why are all of the apartments buildings a good thing. In the lower highland 489 units are completing or breaking ground. All within a .5 mile of each other. I understand that this is a “all development is a good thing” website but it seems we have a plethora of big box 5 story apartment buildings.

    • Ken Schroeppel says:

      All of these apartments are a good thing because they provide the density of people necessary to create a great urban place. They provide the needed density for great retail, and public spaces, and transit, and all sorts of other things that rely on residential density. Lower Highland is adjacent to Downtown Denver so this is a perfect area for this type of residential density. In fact, I believe the 5-story-scale residential density is preferable to a skyscraper-canyon type density. Just look at Paris, or Amsterdam, or Barcelona, or any of a hundred great cities in the world that people look to as great examples of urban environments, and they are almost always comprised of a relatively homogeneous field of mid-rise buildings with ground-floor retail along key streets. What’s happening in Lower Highland, and Ballpark, and Uptown is exactly what we want to happen: intensive pedestrian-scaled residential density adjacent to the Downtown core.

      • JSS says:

        That is just the fear that the lower highlands will become more like the Ballpark and Uptown. Uninteresting big box builds. What about single family homes? Are they just bought up for yet another apartment building. Or do they just get lost in the shadows of the 5 story city block buildings? What about family’s, most of these apartment buildings are not suitable for raising a family. The character of Paris, Amsterdam, or Barcelona have been developed over hundreds of years and isn’t a good comparison to the lower highlands. Unless your saying just wait everything will be great in 100 years. Don’t get me wrong I understand that this site is 100% pro-development but NO it is not exactly what all of want to happen to the lower highlands.

        • Andy P. says:

          JSS, I’m a little late to this party, but hopefully I can still offer relevant comment. The problem here is that arguments over apartment buildings in LoHi typically involve posing a false dilemma, which is essentially “apartments vs. single family homes/original character of the neighborhood.” Fundamentally, though, LoHi is becoming a a more desirable place, which means every square foot of land is becoming more valuable, irrespective of what sits on top of it. A LoHi without apartment buildings will instead become a LoHi with exceptionally expensive single family homes. That changes the character of the neighborhood, too, since it’s unlikely that folks looking to start new families can afford to pay several hundred dollars/square foot, or more. If that’s preferable, then by all means, fight for it, but just be sure to recognize that the “character” of the neighborhood will evolve even if the built environment stays the same.

        • Ken Schroeppel says:

          What about single-family homes? The vast majority of Denver, overwhelmingly, is single-family residential. The logical place for multi-family is closest to downtown and transit, and that’s what is happening.

          Having said that, it is important to recognize that when I’m talking about apartments in Lower Highland, I’m generally talking about the triangle piece of the downtown grid southeast of 32nd & Tejon, and specifically, the zoning allows 5-story apartment buildings only along the tier of blocks between Central and Boulder, as well as along key major streets like Zuni, W. 29th, etc.

          Regarding “uninteresting big box builds” please note that about 95% of all buildings in virtually every major city are relatively plain boxy structures. That’s the nature of buildings. It is an efficient design and most buildings achieve only a modest architectural flair as otherwise, the building would cost too much and only the rich could live there. Five-story buildings are also a great scale for pedestrians. Not too tall, but tall enough to provide a meaningful street wall that frames the street as a public place.

          It is absolutely appropriate and desirable for Lower Highland to develop as a denser neighborhood with multi-family buildings similar to Ballpark, Uptown, etc. It is an Area of Change in Blueprint Denver, it’s what the zoning allows, and it makes complete sense from basically every urban planning and city-building perspective.

          • Corey says:

            Now we desperately need good public schools in the Highlands so people will stay in the neighborhood once their kids are school age. I have never been a fan of private schools. We have to drive our 10 year old son quite a ways to attend an excellent school. It is really better to go to the neighborhood school.

  7. Django says:

    The vast,vast majority of Denver is single family and probably always will be.Park Hill,Wash Park,Hill Top,University Park,Stapleton,etc are in no danger of becoming high density areas.Even Lower Highlands will probably always have a certain amount of single family homes.And there is plenty of single family housing in other areas near downtown if that is what some people are looking for or can afford.As others more articulate than myself have pointed out housing density downtown and near downtown is vital to creating a healthy downtown ! And a funner downtown. I hope this spiel wasn’t to incoherent.

  8. Rob C says:

    JSS you have to keep in mind that once the real estate market improves, apartments can easily be turned into for sale units. It’s been done all over town. Furthermore, a single family home is not the only place where a family can be raised. That’s a ridiculous statement. Look at all the families that grew up in tenements in NYC. That’s how my parents lived back in the day. As Americans we seem to forget that the single family detached home was not the living arrangement for most of the population for centuries. As people, we need to realize that we can do more with less. I certainly do not need a 3k or 4k square foot house to be happy. I am pleased to see more apartments and I think in time we will also begin to see more for sale housing occur. Everything comes and goes in cycles.

  9. Charlie says:

    Looking forward to oppurtunity to manage the building! Great building plans and even better location.. nice work.

  10. Brad Simbric says:

    A bit off topic….

    Why not call 32nd and Lowell “Highlands” and East of Zuni “Hirshorn Park”? This way we can put the “Highlands, W Highlands, LoHi” BS to rest. Sunnyside, Berkeley, Highlands and Hirshorn Park.

    I’ve lived in Hirshorn Park for 7 years and it still amazes me how fast the ‘hood has developed! I love the apts going in, I think Ken is dead on with how the outside core of downtown Denver is being built. Love the site Ken!

    LoHi resident, ha!

    • dave says:

      the realtors will just call the neighborhood HiPa – not good.

    • Will says:

      You could try changing it to Hirshorn park or UpLoDo but I dont think it would matter because Lower Highlands aka lohi is already established in everyones eyes.

      Regardings ‘hood names i have a few other comments:

      1. Highlands. Highland. The Highlands. The Highland. Whats the concensus? It seems we can eliminate The Highland as I never hear anyone say that.

      2. Everyone remotely who lives rmeotely close to NW Denver claims to live in Highland et al. IMO If you love at 47th and Quitman, you don’t live in Highlands et al. You live at 39th and Osage, you live in Sunnyside. If you live in Sunnyside, you don’t live in Highlands. Capeesh?

      3. If you live between Speer/32 and 38th and between i-25 and Sheridan, OK you live in Highlands et al. West of Federal is West Highlands, East of Federal is a little trickier because you have Potter Highlands (PoHi!) and Lower Highlands. Is Potter a part of Lower or are they separate?

      3. Central Platte Valley. Platte Street, REI, Commons Parks, Glass House, etc. We need a new name for it and not even realtors have come up with anything yet. ideaS?

  11. Deco says:

    Hirshorn Park? Yeah, that rolls off the tongue with joyous ease. Not.

    Love this site, Ken.

  12. B Simbric says:

    Just throwing it out there… I’m all ears. I feel like everyone who lives from 29th Ave to 44th and Sheridan to I25 feels they live in the “highlands”. That said, people have the “highlands as 10-15 sq miles, when really it’s only about 4. Anyways, Hirshorn was a suggestion as its the only city park in lower highlands. Again, all ears….

    BTS