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Uptown: One City Block Final Update

The time has come to wrap up One City Block over in the Uptown neighborhood. The project is now complete and residents are living in all four buildings. One City Block had very extensive coverage here on DenverInfill so I encourage you to look back at the previous posts below and follow this great project from proposal to completion!

New Infill Project Planned for Full Block in Uptown

Uptown District Project Update: One City Block

Goodbye Empty Lots, You Will Not Be Missed

Uptown: One City Block Update #1

Uptown: One City Block Update #2

Uptown: One City Block Update #3

Uptown: One City Block Update #4

Uptown: One City Block Update #5

Uptown: One City Block Update #6

Uptown: One City Block Update #7 (Inside the Infill Edition)

Uptown: One City Block Update #8

Now for a look at the finished product. Prepare yourself, this is a very large tour with a lot of photos! First off, we are going to walk around One City Block looking at each corner of the project. Here is ‘The Congress’ and ‘The Benedict’ along 19th Avenue between Logan and Pennsylvania Street. We have already seen these complete buildings in our previous update.

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The two buildings we have not seen complete are ‘The Commons’ (left) and ‘The Washington’ (right). They are situated along 18th Avenue between Logan and Pennsylvania Street. Right now, there are a lack of trees in this view but they are being planted around the whole block.

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Next, we are going to walk around One City Block again but look at the street presence along each block. Here is the view down 19th Avenue. These buildings fit the scale of Uptown very well and continue the urban fabric Uptown Square has provided for over a decade.

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Moving around One City Block counter-clockwise, this is the street view looking south down Logan Street towards 18th Avenue (left) and looking east down 18th Avenue towards Pennsylvania Street (right).

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And finally the street view looking north down Pennsylvania Street towards 19th Avenue. Also worth a mention, there is ample signage and seating around the entire project on all four streets. This continues the same trend of Uptown Square.

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There are two entrances we have not yet seen: the entrance to both ‘The Commons’ and ‘The Washington’ are clearly marked and inviting on the street level.

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Speaking of entrances, there will be two ground floor retail pads along 19th Avenue; one in ‘The Congress’ and one in ‘The Benedict’. Recently, RedPeak announced their first retail tenant: D-Bar which will be located in ‘The Congress’.

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The parking for One City Block is pretty inconspicuous and is located along both Pennsylvania and Logan Street.

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Retail parking is provided and resident parking is through a private entrance on both sides.

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One City Block features a single central courtyard that is accessible to residents from each block. Each entrance is gated at the top of the stairs and requires a key to get in.

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Here is a peek inside the central courtyard. The courtyard has numerous amounts of meeting space and seating with a pool in the center.

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In the two and a half years DenverInfill has been following One City Block, I have personally seen it slowly transform the Uptown neighborhood on a daily basis. This project is adding 350-units to Uptown, more retail, and is greatly contributing to help repair the urban fabric of this neighborhood. The fact we were able to get a project that took up an entire block of surface parking is great. Having the project split up into four unique buildings with different styles of brick and architecture is absolutely phenomenal. One City Block, in no way, has an overbearing presence and has near perfect urban form. Welcome to Downtown Denver and Uptown, One City Block!

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38 Comments

  1. Ken Schroeppel says:

    Great post, Ryan!

  2. Eric says:

    Love this project and agree that it represents ‘near perfect urban form!’ Would like to see as many projects as possible take inspiration from this one!

  3. Kyle says:

    I agree, this is a great project! I hope the Union Station developers study this project. Please don’t read that as “copy and paste” this building into the Union Station neighborhood. It is the sound ideas and principles that make this project great.

    This will look even better once all the landscaping is in.

    Note: we all applaud this wonderful project and how much it adds to uptown. But then turn around and say gentrification is bad. This is exactly what gentrification is. I would take this any day.

    • Kyle says:

      Compare the wasted potential of Alta City House to this project’s fulfilled potential and it is a slam dunk.

    • Erik says:

      Discussing the problems associated with gentrification doesn’t mean it is entirely bad, or even not mostly good. I’ve read no one argue that gentrification is strictly bad here.

  4. Freddie says:

    Normally if I were considering renting an apartment in a “complex” with this kind of layout, I would want to avoid renting a unit that faces the courtyard, but in this case I wouldn’t mind a courtyard-facing unit at all, and in fact (especially considering some of the unattractive buildings neighboring this project), I might actually prefer it. What a beautiful project!

    The fact that this development was broken up into four unique buildings definitely makes it special. It doesn’t just fill in a gap in the urban fabric; it actually adds character to the neighborhood. Imagine if some of those 5-10 story monoliths in and around the Ballpark neighborhood were broken up into separate, unique, aesthetically-pleasing buildings. Character.

  5. Rob says:

    One day… You’ll look into installing Lightbox, and I (we) won’t have to open each image in a new window to see the full size.

  6. Andrew says:

    Great final wrap of One City Block designed by RedPeak and Davis Partnership Architects, the images for this project look awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Cyclehead says:

    Love the project, but the rental prices are ludicrous. $1,400 for a 460 sf studio? Who pays that? I paid literally half that for a 550 sf studio across the street at the Post less than 7 years ago, and even then I felt gauged. Who in their right mind would pay that much for such a tiny space?

  8. Dan says:

    The best project in the city in the past 10 years – best design, best developer. (Eat you heart out West Highlands!) The only objection I have to this project is the landscaping or lack thereof. There is very little green – no lawn, few trees – in either the courtyards or along the street scape. This makes the project uninviting from the street. It will also make it hot and cold. Hardscape is not landscape in my opinion, nor is crushed rock. These are all cop outs and definitely not green. These treatments do nothing to combat the ‘heat island’ effect of urban and in fact contribute to it. Aside from that, I think the project is great.

    • Randy says:

      From the article, “Right now, there are a lack of trees in this view but they are being planted around the whole block.”

      If you look at the timing of the completion of this project, it wasn’t really the ideal time to complete the landscaping.

    • SPR8364 says:

      I agree with everything you said about the project. Great project, and great photos Ryan!

      I can’t help but wonder if the landscaping is still coming. I saw a few plants in some of the rock mulch, but most of it is so sterile to the point of seeming like something is wrong. I especially noted the rock mulch in the planter at one of the entrances to the courtyards (left photo row, second from bottom). They really need to have an ornamental tree in that planter.

      The other thing I really hate about this project is Xcel’s fault. Why does the sidewalk have to go around that monster transformer (left photo row, fourth from top). Couldn’t Xcel at least pretend to be in a City. I have dealt with them before and had to really raise a lot of cain to get them to locate a gas meter in a place that was out of sight.

      Anyway, nice project overall.

  9. Nathanael says:

    “The Congress” — assuming that’s the rounded corner with the round-topped windows — is PRETTY.

    I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t just go with that design all the way ’round all four sides of the block. (OK, maybe even a few stories taller.)

    The fad for boxy structures with indentations is getting tiring. The smooth curves of “The Congress” are NICE and we could use more like that.

    There are actually studies showing that humans find curves relaxing. So I think I’m not alone.

  10. Ryan says:

    *Information for a different topic*

    Hi, I wanted to share that I’ve had a first-hand view of a parking lot eradication in the lower downtown area. On the same block as the 16M building you have been covering, is another building going up at 1500 Market St. After some internet investigation, I revealed this plan for 4700+ sq. ft. of retail space.

    http://looplink.denver.colliers.com/xNet/Looplink/Profile/Profile.aspx?stid=colliers/denver&LID=17561745&LL=true&PinProfile=true&UOMListing=&UOMMoneyCurrency=&RentPer=PY&SRID=4281947893

    Parking lot demolished, foundations drilled, and they look to be prepping the ground for a concrete pour soon.

    Enjoy.

    • Ken Schroeppel says:

      They’re putting in one level of underground parking. As for the retail space, that’s one concept they’ve been shopping around but it may not be exactly that. FWIU, the only thing they’ve been permitted for so far is the underground parking. Thanks.

  11. Dogpatch says:

    Congress wins.

  12. Julio says:

    I don’t think this is gentrification at as I never considered uptown to be a neighborhood with a lot of working-class people of color. Gentrification is what is happening in places like Baker and Villa Park where working class residents are being driven out by (mostly) white and wealthy residents.

    In the long run, I like projects like One City Block because they add so many units to Denver at the high end. It provides competition to apartment buildings built 10 years ago. If enough new apartments are built, I do think there will be some downward rent pressures.

    What I think Denver needs are either modular housing or “apodments” like they have in Seattle (www.apodment.com/). We really need to have for-profit housing developers in the game being able to build cheaper apartments with more affordable rents.

    • Kyle says:

      Are you implying that only people of color are working class or matter? Most working class white people can’t afford to live there but I am sure an affluent person of color certainly can. The issue is affordability and not race. We live in a country where real estate investment is driven by adding value to a property. When a neighborhood becomes attractive to investment, affluent people move in. I am happy to see this happening in urban areas because I understand the importance of having a great urban center. I would much rather see investors spend their money on downtown than the suburbs.

      I agree that there should be some apartments or condos designed toward cheaper rents while still being profitable for developers and investors. This can be tricky but there are ways, such as financial help and allocating a percentage of the units as affordable. However, there needs to be healthy amount of high end homes to help keep the money in the neighborhood and be desirability up.

  13. Dan says:

    I know that these developments are good for the city but I do wish they could design these three-to-four story condo megablocks with some sort of remedial sense of taste and basic aesthetic worth. These buildings are hideous. You might disagree with that, but you’d be wrong.

    These are the visual urban equivalent of the post-modern gas chambers and McMansions that have made american suburbs into infinite square miles of pure ocular cancer. It’s as though the architect sat down at their drafting desk and said, “You know where I’ve always wanted to live? McDonald’s.” Truly horrendous.

    • Jeffrey says:

      Really? Compared to other developments in this area, I think this one is very nice!

    • Jeffrey says:

      Dan, really?

    • Andy says:

      You may have your opinion, but you would be wrong.

      • Dan says:

        I hope it’s obvious that I was going for hyperbole there, but, yes, really. These buildings are hideous and that seems to be the norm for medium to high density developments in Denver these days. They are the contemporary urban equivalent to the enormous condo complexes I grew up in in Littleton, Aurora, and Broomfield and they detract from the aesthetic qualities of Denver’s older neighborhoods.

        I don’t expect or desire new construction to ape the art deco style found in the older apartment blocks on capital hill and I don’t think a condo complex needs to be a work of art. But I do wish that Denver could attract some better designs than these brown and tan postmodern barracks. Uptown has been filling up with these monstrosities (I use this word loosely because I can’t think of a proper adjective for something that produces so little feeling and visual effect: monolithically boring?) for a decade now and as a result the neighborhood has no visual character. It’s like somebody stole Belmar and plopped it down next to the business district.

        Take a look at this: http://grist.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/mcmansion-dean-terry-flickr-500.jpg
        That house looks to me like the little brother of One City Block and a dozen other recent and future developments around Denver. Is that what you want your city to look like? Livability is critical and I will take these bland yuppie pre-retirement homes over acres of parking lot any day, but these buildings are just f***ing depressing.

        Infill is great. Density is great. Thoughtfully planned living space is great. But we’re building for the future here, and if this is the best we can do then the future will judge us philistines and bores.

    • Ryan says:

      Thank you, Dan, for bestowing upon us little people even just a sliver of your architectural genius. We are forever benefitted by your knowledge and insight in aesthetic design, of which you are the foremost authority.

      Please forgive us for being wrong.

      • Dan says:

        Oh, please. Take a walk around any neighborhood in any half respectable city in the world and then come back and tell me that this is a beautiful, worthwhile design.

      • Dan says:

        And thank you in return for your withering repartee and conversational genius.