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Ballpark: Legacy 22nd Update #1

Kitty-corner from 2020 Lawrence, demolition is underway for the Legacy 22nd project. As a refresher, Legacy 22nd is a 6-story, 212-unit, half block apartment building. For some renderings head on over to Ken’s post here.

Now for a look at the site and what’s being demolished. I’m a little sad to see this building go and always wondered if its incorporation in the new development was impossible. But, on the flip side, this is taking another step in revitalizing this area of our city center and moving more people downtown. Quixotes True Blue occupied this building originally and had some funky art at street level which was always an intriguing sight when walking by. They are now relocating to 13th and Grant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

 

 

For a little nostalgia, here is what the Quixotes True Blue building looked like with all of its art. These are a little higher resolution so make sure you click to enlarge!

 

Here’s a fun little shot that shows how much density and street presence just two buildings add to a particular street. This is 2020 Lawrence and its slightly older neighbor Solera dominating this end of Lawrence Street. Legacy 22nd will soon add to this emerging street wall.

Infill is still kicking off in 2013 and at this rate, we are going to have one exciting year in Downtown Denver!

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16 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    I was just venturing through Denver’s crime maps and noticed that crimes in this neighborhood (especially violent crime) is still pretty high in the area. Do you think all of this new development will be detoured by the current situation, or will the new developments detour crime away from here?

    • BoulderPatentGuy says:

      Speaking of crime, I was looking at the pictures and remembered being offered “rock” walking along this block 5+ years ago. I’ll bet the new tenants will help to relocate this crime elsewhere (east?).

    • Ken Schroeppel says:

      I’m inclined to think that the new development will deter/relocate the crime.

  2. Rob C says:

    More eyes on the street should help. This is a tough location since its just south of the Denver Rescue Mission and the triangle park on Broadway. I noticed driving by 2020 Lawrence that they’ve changed the lighting so that the facade is bathed in one color light for a longer period of time. It might change from night to night, but don’t know for sure.

  3. SC48 says:

    The thing that spurs the crime in this area are the homeless shelters and the extreme concentration of social services in a relatively small part of the city. The drug dealers come in because this is where the addicts are – along with a healthy concentration of the mentally ill – two demographics that are not conducive to low crime statistics. It’s a shame the city thought it wise to concentrate so many services in such a small area, but I imagine it was politically expedient, given that there wasn’t much going on around here for many decades. Unfortunately, the concentration continues – the Salvation Army is currently building a facility for recovering, single, male drug addicts at 22nd and Champa. Obviously, these facilities and services – and the people they attract – aren’t going away any time soon, if ever. This are will never be the Lower Highlands.

    Hopefully, what the increased residential presence will do is increase pressure on the city to at least mitigate the effects of these facilities. I live nearby, and have dealt with numerous petty crime issues (fortunately nothing particularly serious), and I rarely, if ever see cops around. Occasionally a patrol car, and once or twice a bike cop, but never foot patrols and certainly never anything sustained or regular. Meanwhile, drug deals continue in the alleys, cars get their windows broken, cars get stolen and the neighborhood parks (particularly Sonny Lawson Park) are unusable in the warmer months, since they serve as de facto daytime homeless shelters. Hopefully, the increased residential density around here will force the city to pay closer attention, devote more resources to this area and – at the very least – make it a little harder for the bad elements here to continue their behavior.

  4. Dave says:

    Well said, SC48.

  5. Ted says:

    Well said indeed. I also hope that continued infill will mitigate the problem, but have no delusions that these social services facilities are going away any time soon (or ever). Of course having a neighborhood like that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, or all that uncommon. The Tenderloin in San Francisco comes to mind as an example, and its influence is penned in pretty well by having well developed areas with high pedestrian traffic and good eyes on the street (even though its exact boundaries can be hard to pin down and it is easy to wander into unknowingly). Of course the Tenderloin had the advantage of already being fully developed with dense structures before it took on its current character, so my biggest fear is that crime problems could keep development from happening in the first place. So far though, it doesn’t seem to be stopping anything. If it continues at this rate, I could at least envision the area from Larimer down to Blake becoming significantly safer as more businesses open up.

  6. Ryan Nee says:

    I live in Capitol Hill, and there are quite a few social services, alcohol and drug abuse recovery homes, or homeless-oriented facilities around if you look for them. They generally blend into the neighborhood, however — in my eyes it’s proof that neighborhoods can absorb some of these things, but clustering them in one place can be so problematic.

  7. WPI says:

    Is this really “infill” when you’re tearing down a perfectly good (and unique) building to build the same generic, way-overpriced downtown lofts that exist in many nearby city blocks in this neighborhood? Infill is a good example of the project and 23rd and Market (that was a massive asphalt parking lot), but the Quixotes building was incredibly unique and could have been a real treasure in the neighborhood if all the actual parking lots were filled with buildings instead of tearing historic buildings down to build other buildings.

  8. Bryan says:

    ^ well…yes, this is definitely infill – quixotes was cool, but a massive under-utilization of the land, and the building was not *technically* historic. also, 1/3 of the land was a parking lot, so good to see that go away.

    i’m not sure the city is to blame for the location of the catholic charities and the salvation army on one corner – these are private organizations.

    that said…the city is 100% to blame for investing in triangle-park and then allowing it to be promptly destroyed. they are 100% to blame for not planing two beat-cops on that corner to deter the cycle of poor / mentally ill / addict / drug-dealer situation.

    this area needs a big, big change – private money absolutely has created a “bubble” of non-development around this area – can’t say i blame them, for now.

    • Scott says:

      The Quixotes building was 100x more interesting than the cookie cutter cheaply built apartment building that’s going up on the site in its place. It’s easy to lose sight of what makes a city interesting and vibrant- it’s not just density. When you take away all the rough edges downtown will end up looking like Epcot. All stucco faux-modern facades slapped up over 2×4 stick built crap built to attract exactly the same people.

      Than again, Denver has always been a get-rich-quick boomtown since literally the day it was founded, so I guess this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  9. Rob C says:

    From what I’ve read in various neighborhood papers is that the Denver Rescue Mission is on everyone’s radar and there are hopes that they can be relocated. Will it happen? I don’t know. I don’t think we can blame the city either for where these places decided to relocate. There was probably thought that having all of these services in one area would make them more efficient in helping the needy. Who knows! I just think as more and more land is developed, we can get more and more people on the streets and that should help. Yes, it is the fault of the DPD that there aren’t beat cops patrolling, but there has been such a lack of funding in the past few years that are our police head count is not where it should be. Resources=Money…and it’s been of short supply with the Great Recession and all.

    • SC48 says:

      I guess I view this as a zoning issue. The City shouldn’t have allowed this degree of concentration of social services in such a small area. Ideally, the City – through the zoning code – should have dispersed these services over a greater area to mitigate the effects of concentrating these services in one area. However, I doubt there was/is political will to do that.

  10. Julio says:

    I don’t understand where the Denver Rescue Mission would go if those rumors are true. I mean..Denver has homeless people and in a compassionate society, we need to have social services for them. So much of Denver is getting revitalized and redeveloped, so moving this population somewhere else is just going to make it somewhere else’s problem. That’s not a viable longterm solution.

    • SC48 says:

      I don’t disagree that Denver should care for its homeless. And cities historically are where social services are far more abundant. However, I don’t think I am completely off base in observing that Denver is a regional draw for this population (if not beyond the immediate region) based on the availability of free meals, social services, drugs, etc. It certainly doesn’t help matters any that we’re surrounded by low-tax red states. Gee Kansas, must be nice to eliminate that income tax. It just seems that Denver is bearing a disproportionate burden of what is, to some degree, “somewhere else’s problem,” and that our compassion as a City gets taken advantage of, to the detriment of our own residents.

      That’s just how it seems to me… if anyone has statistics/hard facts to refute this, I would love to hear about it. Guess I would just be pretty shocked if what I see around Triangle Park really is a result of just Denver and its surrounding communities.

  11. Mike says:

    Sad. Why not incorporate the old structure into the new design? I’m glad to see the neighborhood growing
    but another ballpark lofts/premier lofts/pigly wiggly/ 2020 lawerence building to house a bunch of 21 year old
    drunks? Its getting to where you can’t walk down the sidewalk without stepping in vomit. I would rather have
    the homeless then more drunkin frat boys, they are the cause of more of the crimes and vandalism in my opinion.