New Project: Denver Rock Drill

A $250 million mixed-use project, Denver Rock Drill, is proposed for the northwestern part of the Cole neighborhood near the 38th and Blake transit station. To be developed by the Weiss Family and Saunders Development, the project takes its name from the historic Denver Rock Drill Manufacturing Company building at the site. The property covers two city blocks south of East 40th Avenue between Franklin and Williams with an additional parcel one block to the east on High Street. The Google Earth image below shows the project site outlined, while the second image is a bird’s-eye aerial of the existing conditions, courtesy of the development team:

Denver Rock Drill will consist of 150,000 square feet of office space, 180 residential units, a 175-room hotel managed by Sage Hospitality, and 65,000 square feet of retail. The development will add 550,000 square feet of new construction to 150,000 square feet of existing buildings that will be restored and adapted to new uses. The site’s alleys, rail spurs, and other spaces between buildings will serve as passages, courtyards, drives, and other public places.

Below is a rendering of Denver Rock Drill at build-out, followed by two additional exhibits. The first is a 3D diagram showing the location and massing of the new buildings and the restored historic structures, and the other is a site plan showing the existing buildings and historic uses with the new functions indicated by color. These images are courtesy of Tryba Architects, the project architect.

Here are some additional renderings showing proposed interior spaces of some of the historic buildings and outdoor public passageways.

The photograph below from the development team shows part the existing outdoor spaces between the historic buildings. For additional images, renderings, aerial views, and information about the rich industrial heritage of the site, please check out this excellent video by Tryba Architects:

The project is currently in the pre-leasing stage and construction on Phase 1, which consists of the new hotel and the renovation of the existing buildings, should begin in the first quarter of 2018.

What a beautiful example of integrating new construction with historic preservation and bringing together a wide range of uses into a walkable, transit-accessible site!

By | 2017-09-18T19:26:58+00:00 April 3, 2017|Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Cole, Lodging, Office, Residential|Tags: |25 Comments


  1. Tristan April 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    The machine shops remind me so much of the LA farmers market for some reason and I’m all about the LA farmers market. Also that parking garage looks really small (I’m not complaining though), could this be a developer moving away from building for cars or is this just an anomaly?

  2. Jim Nash April 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Beautiful project!

  3. Ryan April 3, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Looks very similar to the Pearl Brewery development in San Antonio which is quite nice…without the riverwalk

  4. Ballpark Resident April 3, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Home Run

  5. MDH April 4, 2017 at 7:48 am

    HUGE if this happens…I just can’t help but think of the smell coming from the Purina plant, though. Love that this is within a few blocks of the 38th & Blake station – if this takes off, the proposed WTC has a much greater chance of building out to its plans. I hope Forest City watches this closely and doesn’t mail it in for their development at Central Park station.

    • Jordan April 4, 2017 at 9:37 am

      The Purina smell isn’t all that bad. It is a good indication of snow or other weather sweeping in, however! The real burden is the sound of the trains – which hopefully is coming to an end soon once the quiet zone is able to be enacted. Source: I live in “the Lofts” building on site!

    • COtoOC April 4, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Totally agree on the Central Park station TOD. I know it’ll all be new construction, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    • Randy May 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      I think some of it was mailed in by RTD with that very suburban-esque parking lot for CP Station.

  6. RevClay April 4, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Wow, if they can pull that off this will be a great project.They’ll need to figure out what to do on the 40th St side to make it more pedestrian friendly but other than that this looks very promising.

  7. ddvmke April 4, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Loving the interesting interior lanes and spaces in this development. Along with Market Street Station, these two are setting great examples of what whole block developments should represent to maintain an interesting pedestrian experience in stark comparison to the “landscrapers” that have been plaguing most of the other whole block developments in the city. Hopefully they can dress up 40th into Blake to make the connection to the station more friendly as well.

  8. COtoOC April 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I love this!

  9. Andrew April 4, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I love this development. One of my favorite proposed projects by far.

    To the comment above about smells coming over from Purina – it’s not really an issue. I work ~2 blocks from this site.

  10. Jeffrey April 4, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Love it. Come on economy hang in there!

  11. KyleM April 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I live a few blocks up from this project in Cole. The neighborhood is changing so quickly and this looks a like a great project. We are in need of some good retail around that area.

  12. Cherry Creek April 4, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Greatness, really. What ambition!

  13. BC April 4, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    I always thought that factory was really neat. I’m glad that it will live on.

    • JMiller April 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      I always wondered when someone would get around to seeing the huge upside to this block. Very cool.

  14. Observant April 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    For those watching the “Park-to-Platte” storm water project, 39th Avenue (which is just south of this project) is in the final recommendation as the site of an “open air” drainage channel (to include park-like amenities, including a trail). For more information, go to and search for “Park-to-Platte storm water project.”

  15. D.C. April 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Are there any plans to redevelop the two large bottling plants in the area?

  16. Jeffrey April 6, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    With the interior to block paths it reminds me a bit of the Helms Bakery District in LA. This has the potential of being really cool when built out. Go. go go!

  17. Gash22 April 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    This is fantastic!

  18. Charles Carpenter April 8, 2017 at 7:58 am


  19. Joe April 8, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I love all of it! It has such “relief” (as in low and higher, older and new), intricate shapes, patterns and directions.

  20. Tobin May 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Bummer. I will probably get priced out of my neighborhood of 12 years. It has real consequences, but it does look great.

Comments are closed.