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Central Platte Valley: Balfour at Riverfront Park Update #2

It’s been a little while since we’ve taken a look at the Balfour project over in the Central Platte Valley. Since our last update in May, we are now able to see some things start to take shape. Let’s take a look!

First, let’s start out with my favorite view of the project. Given the size of the site and this project, I am quite surprised there is no crane on site but even without a crane, it looks like this project is moving forward quickly. On the east side of the project, concrete columns have been poured for the underground parking garage. On the west side, both the elevator cores and timber structure have started to rise.

Here is a closer look at the west side of the project. This building will have great street presence along both Little Raven and 15th Street and with ‘The Station at Riverfront Park’ across the street, there will be a great street wall along 15th Street heading into Downtown Denver.

 

Here is the answer to one of the logistical questions we had about this project: How are cars going to travel under the building to use Bassett Circle and what will the structure look like? Here you go! There will be a two story concrete structure with concrete supports separating the lanes of Bassett Circle.

This project will fill in a lonely gap in the Central Platte Valley. Here are a couple additional shots from further out just to give you an idea how this building will fit. The elevator cores are essentially topped out so the building itself will rise roughly as high as the cores.

 

The 204-unit building will have a combination of both 5-story and 3-story buildings with completion around the summer of next year. If you need a refresher on this project including renderings, head on over to our announcement post.

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16 Comments

  1. Ellis McFadden says:

    I am glad Balfour incorporates the Moffat Rail Road station in their plans. The building was an important part of Denver rail road history.

  2. Ballpark resident says:

    This will be a welcome addition. However, instead of 3 and 5 stories, I wish they could have made it 5 and 8 stories.

    • The Dirt says:

      Blame the NIMBYs that didn’t want to lose their views of the mountains or some other nonsense. It’s always a shame when a developer can’t build to the maximum height in downtown. It’s still a nice development.

      • Chris says:

        Do you have a link to substantiate your flimsy statement? Didn’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of the NIMBY mindset, but most of the time when people throw it out there, it’s not the problem at all. We need to put more pressure on the developers and city to fully utilize lots like this, city house, 20th & chestnut, etc…….5 stories is such a waste of space.

        • Jim Nash says:

          Chris, The Dirt is right — it was the NIMBYS — “opposition from neighbor groups” — as Ken explained in his Announcement Post, in March. Totally agree with you about maximizing these Downtown lots, for height and density.

          Alta City House is Exhibit A of under-use of a site, but you can’t blame the NIMBYS in this case, but rather the developer, East-West Partnership — and the city, for approving the project’s 5-story design, and then issuing a building permit. The blame for City House is totally on the Denver Planning Office and the Mayor’s Office, for not demanding a lot more from this developer, who’s being given a very sweet deal from the taxpayers.

        • JerryG says:

          Chris, what the ‘The Dirt’ said is true in this case. If you follow the ‘announcement’ link back to the earlier posting, the project was originally envisioned to be 7 stories. It was altered after the developers received pressure from the neighbors to the northeast to decrease the project’s scale. It is very unfortunate that the developer could not build to the allowable density due to some misguided views, imo. However, it is even worse when a developer voluntarily builds well below the allowable density in a location where the density should be maximized reasonably.

          • Chris says:

            Dirt, Jim, Jerry-

            Sorry, I wasn’t very clear in my first post about the NIMBY situation…..from my understanding there was no lawsuit or no rezoning forbidding the developer from going higher, correct? So I guess what my point was is that NIMBY’s are always going to whine and make noise, but do the developers have to cave to this? Seems to basically set the course for other neighborhoods that want to limit growth. I know this building was planned, well underway, etc before the west highland NIMBY group lost it’s lawsuit, but I hope that suit emboldens developers to build what they legally can / want in the city.

  3. Rob says:

    A few really nice glimpses at the stations history:

    http://www.historic-structures.com/co/denver/moffat_station.php

    And a shot from just after the turn of the 20th century, facing 15th st: http://www.silogic.com/genealogy/thumbs/Moffat%20Road%20Terminals,%20Denver-%20MCC-1104.jpg

    It adds a really nice sense of perspective to how much the area has changed even within just the last 20 years.

  4. Paul Brown says:

    Text of this post mentions enhanced street wall, “with ‘The Station at Riverfront Park’ across the street,” but I’m not able to locate a project by that name in the archives.

  5. Django says:

    The Station at Riverfront Park is directly across 15th Street from the Balfour project.It was built roughly 10 or so years ago.If you go to their web site you might find some renderings of it.

  6. Paul Brown says:

    Thanks, Django. I’ve driven by the building a number of times but never knew its name. Apparently its construction predates this blog.

  7. Bryan says:

    I’m all for encouraging developers to maximize the us of their land – as a developer, I certainly have. However, property rights trump the concerns raised above – combined with market demand and construction cost triggers, is it anybody’s right to tell how tall / intense a developer must build?

    • Jim Nash says:

      Bryan, when public money’s being spent to buy the land, and build in all the service infrastructure for a project, you bet it’s the city’s right — and responsibility — to see that a developer delivers the maximum height and density on a project. Especially when the whole purpose of a Planned Unit Development like Union Station is to bring maximum residential/retail/office together with the city’s transportation center.

      I totally respect the private property rights of developers, but the Union Station PUD is Denver’s keystone “public-private” project. For the privilege to build anything on taxpayer-enhanced land, a developer’s reasonably required to deliver. What if contractors working on the CU Denver Center campus didn’t construct buildings up to expectations? They’d be sued, and denied opportunities to profit from projects like DUS.

      But again, Bryan, the Planning Office and Mayor’s office totally failed taxpayers and the city, when they approved the drastically-scaled-down Alta City House plans, and issued the building permit. They didn’t have to.

      • Bryan says:

        when was the public’s money used to buy this land? land was owned by trillium forever (they paid for the brownfield clean up), then east west, then balfour – am I missing something here? service infrastructure is mostly paid by the developer through big-time fees and 100% for connection work to the system – or are you referring to the lines running in the street? that’s just part of being able to collect taxes, the city provides BASIC services but the bulk of the cost is on the developer.

        you say that you respect the property rights of developers…but you want to dictate minimum heights? I just don’t see how you can have it both ways. I believe that’s because i’m not convinced that this land is publicly enhanced. DUS land? absolutely enhanced. just because this is CLOSE shouldn’t mean it falls under the arm of height edicts.

        it’s slippery slope as there is no place to set the threshold that really makes sense (without creating ungodly rules and regs and inspections…market demand just works better). even if I bought land that benefitted from public monies, can I sit on it until the market is ready, or must I build one story immediately?

        city’s (and planners in particular) are much better at saying “here are you limits / allowances” and “here is our vision for the area”…but they cannot artificially create market absorption by demanding greater supply as you propose – that’s a recipe for precipitous drops in values.

        all of this said..i am also disappointed in the lack of height of this project (there was no reason to bow down to the residents in RFP) as well as the lack of height at Alta…I love Denver too, so I want more, bigger and better…but we can’t have it every time – especially if it’s not our money on the line.

        the best solution? organize a deal, put in capital, buy land and build as you see fit.

        • Jim Nash says:

          Bryan, two projects:

          Balfour, a private development, no public money, downsized because of NIMBY opposition. Agree with you, developer’s risk, developer’s choice.

          Alta City House, a public-private development, lots of public money, part of DUS, downsized by the developer — who’s apparently short of money. The city had the power to demand a much bigger project — or not approve the plans, and not issue the building permit.

          Alta City House, a lost opportunity, and a lack of leadership by planners and politicians. On that site, a 50-story building, with 600 apartments, would quickly rent out, across the street from a King Soopers, a block from Light Rail Central and two blocks from Union Station. City officials, thinking small, ended up with small.

          • Bryan says:

            It’s very nice to see people wanting more, taller and denser in Denver – but I just don’t believe that’s just not something you can legislate sensibly.