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New Golden Triangle Project: 8th and Broadway

There’s a new multi-family residential development coming to Downtown Denver’s Golden Triangle district near the corner of 8th and Broadway.

The Pauls Corporation is planning a 200-unit, 7-story apartment project on an L-shaped parcel that wraps around the Compass Bank located at the 8th and Broadway corner. The development site spans across the alley to Lincoln Street, and includes the recently closed 7-11 building at the corner of 8th and Lincoln which will be demolished to make way for the project. Below is a GoogleEarth aerial where I’ve outlined the project site:

The new project’s 200 rental apartments includes 40% studio units, 43% one-bedroom units, and 17% two-bedroom units. The development includes two levels of structured parking offering 240 parking spaces, for a 1.2 spaces/unit ratio. Also included in the project is 4,420-square feet of street-level retail, plus a rooftop deck and a 3,373-square foot clubhouse  for residents.

Here are two renderings of the 8th and Broadway development, thanks to KEPHART the project’s architect. The first rendering shows the Broadway side of the project, with the Compass Bank on the right side of the image. The second rendering shows the Lincoln Street side of the complex:

The development’s building permit application has been under review with the city since July and is nearing approval. The Pauls Corporation hopes to break ground before the end of 2013.

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41 Comments

  1. Ian says:

    Argh…a large departure from the original rendering that I saw :(

    • Ken Schroeppel says:

      I learned that they explored a variety of different concepts in terms of height, design, etc. You probably saw renderings of some of the other concepts. This is the concept they settled on.

      • Ian says:

        Ah well, those are some particularly blighted parking lots, so I’m happy for anything to go there. I’m just bummed that it looks like every other apt project currently being built in Denver and not the mini-spire type rendering that I originally saw.

        • Gabe says:

          Agreed… I saw the fences go up and was really crossing my fingers that it was going to be the 17 story building that I saw renderings of a while back.

      • Jason says:

        Still, what a dissapointment from the baby Spire.

  2. Bryan says:

    for a 7 story building this is really sharp – sure it could have been taller, but this relates to the sidewalk and corners nicely. in terms of filler-buildings, this is a win for sure.

  3. Richard says:

    I liked the tall glass tower proposal better. But this is pretty good, and looks like it has a decent amount of streetfront retail on Broadway and Lincoln. Any news on other neaby projects like the 6th & Grant apartment tower or 1000 Speer?

  4. Jerry G says:

    I am more disappointed that the project is 25% smaller than that it is shorter. Yes, a mid-rise tower would have been real nice (Golden Triangle neighborhood is perfect them), I like that this building looks less ‘California’ than the previous iterations.

  5. Haggai Vardi says:

    Regardless of anything, I’m super glad to see a really ugly parking lot in an urban neighborhood getting finally infilled.
    We need some more residency in the LaLi neighborhood, its kind of creepy with all the art galleries and no people to visit them. I work in one :)

    • T says:

      LaLi…Really? What neighborhood is LaLi? Is it that hard to write out/say the real name of the neighborhood?

      • Ryan says:

        I couldn’t figure out what neighborhood that was either? Lincoln? Enough of the 4 letter neighborhood nicknames.

  6. michael says:

    WHAT?!?!? oh mannn another square box… when will it end… well its the end of a parking lot, so thats good, but mannn is this the most creative Denver developers can get? square, square, square… boring…

  7. D says:

    Sorry, but it’s time somebody puts an end to disposable architecture. This is such a disappointment and I really wish that the urban fabric of Denver wasn’t being filled in with some construction paper-looking forgettable crap. I just don’t see where people get off charging a grand for a studio in something that looks like section 8 housing. Sorry, but I’m not impressed with the developers that are looking for instant gratification and not concerned with the long term build-out and physical culture of the city of Denver.

    • Ian says:

      You know, despite my initial disappointment, I don’t think this building looks bad at all. But you have a point about the section 8 housing. DHA has really stepped up their game and phase III of the Lincoln park redevelopment in particular looks fantastic! Other developers should step up their game in turn less risk affluent renters wondering why their “luxury” rental unit looks so similar ;)

      • Jerry G says:

        I agree. Another story or two would have been nice, but looking at the buildings that will be next to this on Broadway (not necessarily the bank), I think that this structure will fit in well. Those building are renovated, brick structures and this building, in this iteration, provides a more consistent street wall. Not so much for the buildings on Lincoln, but those just provide another opportunity for building a 15+ story tower.

  8. Chad Reischl says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if 7-11 opened a shop on the ground floor of this building? I’d laugh anyway.

  9. Joey F says:

    The rendering shows a tenant sign for a 7-11 right on the corner of 8th and Lincoln. Land use endures. Also, I like the apparent building name.

  10. Jim Nash says:

    Ken, this goes right to your basic premise that almost ANYTHING being built on old parking lots is better than nothing, rather than waiting FOREVER for that big tall building that never materializes. Kind of agree with you. It’s still 200 more units, even if it’s low-end medium density. Looks a lot like the apartment building at 5th and Lincoln — same color pattern and low profile. In the long run, it’ll be surrounded with more and more mid-rises, 10-20 stories, as the Golden Triangle and Capitol Hill continue to develop. This location is just a one-mile walk to Downtown. It’ll rent out quickly.

    You say it all depends on the market. It also depends on how much money a developer can raise for a project.

  11. Kyle says:

    Glad to see this development. That part of downtown really needs it. Too bad it looks like crap but I doubt these developers care as long as it rents out quickly; which it will due only to its location.

  12. Bob Baker says:

    It seems that every new building in downtown Denver has the archtectural theme of stacked boxes. Thank goodness for Union Station to break the monotony.

  13. Philip says:

    I am also disappointed that the old tower didn’t materialize. However, since I am opening a brewpub across the street at 800 Lincoln with a huge patio out back, I’m glad that this building won’t block quite as much sun :)

  14. Cos says:

    Wasn’t there a taller building that was supossed to be constructed there in a original post about 5 months ago? What happened to that one? Funding fall through?

  15. Mark B. says:

    While we can (and will) bemoan the boxy, cheap, seen-it-before-and-am-sick-of-it quality of lots of these new projects, I think they reflect not something that is unique to Denver and Denver developers, but rather the state of our American life right now. Disposable architecture is being built in downtowns all over the country. Sad state of affairs, to be sure, but we are not alone.

    • Mark B. says:

      And: looking at the renderings again I’m reminded again of how awful Craig Nassi’s 1990s projects were–I’ll take this sort of background building any time over the likes of The Beauvallon (visible in the background of the lower rendering), a building so badly built that they had to completely re-do the outside stucco, and so over-the-top kitschy as to make a person yearn for the more tasteful (and probably better constructed) casino towers of the Las Vegas Strip.

      • Jim Nash says:

        Yes Mark B. and all, this is a cheap job. Up to 7 stories you can probably build wood-frame, if it’s on a concrete first-floor and underground-parking pedestal. At 8 stories and higher, it’s got to be re-bar reinforced concrete columns and floors. High rise materials — concrete and steel — cost a lot more, and so do crane rentals. But the mid-rise units still rent out for about the same price per square foot as in this cheaper job.

        In this case, the developer can’t be blamed for wanting to maximize his profit, which this cheaper building will yield, quicker and better than a high-rise. Maybe in the long run it’s a good thing if this builder prospers, so he can put up another, better building, next.

        • Jim Nash says:

          Just want the developers who follow Infill to understand, I’m not necessarily trashing a project by calling it a “cheap job.” In terms of materials and labor, the cost-per-square-foot can be HALF of what it costs to build with high-rise concrete and steel. These 5-to-7-floor projects truly are Cheap Jobs.

          Any builder will tell you the costs of materials — concrete, steel, glass, lumber — worldwide commodities — keep going up. There are explosions of construction all over the world, driving up prices.

          And if you build tall, it’s a lot more labor, and time. If this project can be put up in a year from groundbreak — as opposed to 2 years or more for a tall building — you’ve got to wait a lot longer for cash flow from the job, because you can’t rent out units until the job’s done.

          That said, once the building’s there, it’s there. Part of the built environment, speaking as urban streetwall. And Mark B, this cheap construction is — as you call it, Disposable Architecture — seen across every American city.

          Ken, you describe the Background Buildings in any urban scene. That’s what a lot of these cheap housing projects are, in the Infill donut around Downtown. The same big, low-rise wood-frame boxes, 5 to 7 stories of apartments, are filling up dozens of square blocks, all around Downtown LA. Thousands of units.

          Same disposable architecture in European cities, same everywhere. Ornate is out. Cheap is in.

          This will be another one of many, many background buildings. Just a pixel on a screen.

          I like that this website gives people who want more iconic buildings a dialogue with developers.

          Let’s remember that builders like Red Peak are doing beautiful jobs, in this rental sweet spot: Cheap jobs, for more affordable rents, to the young urbans moving into Downtown. It’s the market now, and it’s mostly mundane.

  16. Dan says:

    Rode my bike by yesterday – the current construction covers only the east side of the alley facing Lincoln. The original project we all saw on Denver Cityscapes crossed the alley from Lincoln to Broadway. Wonder what the plans are for the Broadway side of the alley. It also occurred to me that this development solution is not a very good fit for this extremely busy intersection of Lincoln/Broadway/8th Avenue. I think the high-rise solution was better given the setbacks and ground level design (parking garage and rec center?). It also appears this project is targeting a lower end of the rental market (especially with the high percentage of studios) – probably due to the shaky location.

  17. Jack says:

    8th avenue is going to be east bound now eh?? No worries, most drivers don’t know the right direction either.

  18. Susan Barnes-Gelt says:

    Once again the faster, cheaper, bigger option defines our city’s direction. Kinda like fool’s gold for this Instant City, born of an entrepreurial Eureka!

  19. Bryan says:

    For all those bemoaning this as a “cheap” building I am guessing that none of you have priced out, financed or built a project. Ornate and height are out because is it exorbitantly expensive and rental projects need to balance out the revenue that will come in. You cannot build a gold palace if nobody can afford to rent it out (there is a cap in what people will pay). Ornate has been replaced by the cost required for elevators, off-street parking and fire code compliance – very big ticket items to build, and zero additional rental SF created. Those are important necessities, but my point is that it’s rather invalid to compare buildings from before those requirements (and that had access to cheap labor) to today’s standards.

    I see a fine building – brick, lots of glass, good articulation and a flat roofline – none of which were required by the zoning (except maybe the glazing on the ground floor).

  20. Mikey J says:

    Bryan, I couldn’t agree more. I would say that most people that are commenting on this site have no concept of what it takes to actually develop a buidling. A 17 story high rise in this site, are you smoking crack? A 17 story high rise would require average rents of around $2,000 a month for an 800 sf apartment. Then all we’ll here about is the developer is overcharging and who would actually pay that much to live in this marginal, at best, location. If I’m paying $2,000 a month I’m living at Union Station. Construction costs are very close to what they were at the peak of the market, especially since there is so much development going on around town there are bidding wars for all subcontractor work. I’m just tired of every building that posts to this site everyone complains “it’s not cool enough.” Cool costs money, until we see actual wage growth in conjuction with job growth we aren’t going to see a lot of cool projects being built because the average citizen can’t afford them and wealth isn’t extremely deep in this market. We aren’t close yet to the major submarkets of LA, Seattle, Boston, NYC etc where rent is 2 to 3 times what it is here in Denver. Developers and Investors will not develop high cost buildings for no return, your expectation of a 17 story glass high rise in this location is quite frankly ridiculous and if you knew anything about real estate and development you’d know that.

    • Jim Nash says:

      Except, Mickey J, you fail to acknowledge that it was the developer, Pauls Corp, that first put out the 17-story rendering. Obviously, they couldn’t make the numbers work — or couldn’t get the money. Totally agree with you and Bryan that this developer is building for the market, which is still pretty low-rent in Denver, especially in locations like this.

      Appreciate that builders like you want to dialogue with urbanist bloggers — and we get that costs of construction are very high, which is my point, in support of you. But we’re not so dumb we don’t know the difference between a cheap wood-frame low-rise, and a much more expensive mid-to-high rise.

      In simple terms of labor and materials, cheap is still cheap.

  21. Jerry G says:

    It may be a small consolation but according to the Golden Triangle Association’s Fall newsletter, 1000 Speer (16 stories) will break ground before the end of the year and O2xygen (19 stories by last count) is still in the works (construction starting early next year). http://www.goldentriangleofdenver.com/index.php?s=14386