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Archive of posts filed under the Denver Neighborhoods category.

Speer: Country Club Towers Update #5

The twin 30-story towers in the Speer neighborhood are making great progress. Not only are the towers quickly going vertical, the glass facade is starting to go up on the west tower as well!

First, let’s start out with a different perspective of the project. I recently had a photo shoot at 250 Columbine and was able to get this great perspective from the roof. The west tower, the tallest portion, is now up 16-stories with 14 more to go. The east tower is up eight-stories with 22 more to go.

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It was stormy and rainy but I had my trusty smartphone to document the first three floors of glass going in. The facade will be comprised of glass with thin strips of beige and dark colored masonry running up the length of the tower. Check out this rendering for a refresher.

 

As a bonus, let’s head back to 250 Columbine. If you were ever wondering what Downtown Denver looks like from a Cherry Creek rooftop, here you go. It’s a great view and will showcase 1144 Fifteenth Street as it starts to climb onto Denver’s skyline.

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At approximately a floor a week, the west tower should be topping out around Thanksgiving.


Sun Valley: CDOT Headquarters Update #1

It was just a couple of days ago we published our first post on the new CDOT Headquarters building proposed next to the Decatur-Federal transit station. Today, we have a quick update due to having received a few new renderings that more clearly show the proposed structure. Thank you to everyone at CDOT and RNL Design for providing the new images!

Landscaped plaza and rain garden at the southeast corner of the project:

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Overhead view looking northwest:

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We can see clearly from these new renderings that the main pedestrian entry to the building is at the southeast corner, putting it in a good location for access to the light rail station across the street. However, let’s take a closer look at the site and the issue of pedestrian access to the train station:

The nearest crosswalks over W. Howard Place are at Federal and at Decatur. No one leaving the CDOT building, and I mean no one, is going to walk over to either Federal or Decatur to cross the street via the crosswalk to get to the transit station. They will either cut through the tree lawn immediately south of the building entry and cross the street there, or follow the diagonal sidewalk to the corner of the property next to the access drive and then cross the street. Neither of these situations is considered safe and both would be technically jaywalking, right? With increased automobile traffic along W. Howard Place after the building opens, and with RTD buses using the street to access the station’s bus gates, providing a safe way for CDOT employees and guests to cross the street conveniently from the building entry is critical.

Here’s where CDOT, RTD, and the City can prove their commitment to prioritizing pedestrians over vehicles, encouraging transit ridership, and working towards Vision Zero: 1. Add a sidewalk across the tree lawn immediately south of the building entry to connect to the sidewalk along the north side of W. Howard Place; and 2. Add a mid-block crosswalk directly at that point to provide pedestrians with convenient and safe access between the building entry and the transit station. You know, something like this:

Is that messy from a traffic engineering perspective? Probably. Will it cost a little extra money? Most likely. Is it the right thing to do? Definitely.


New Sun Valley Project: CDOT Headquarters

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is planning a new five-story 175,000 square foot office building immediately adjacent to the Decatur-Federal station on RTD’s W line.

The new building in the Sun Valley neighborhood just southwest of Downtown Denver will house both CDOT’s statewide Headquarters as well as its Region 1 office (the Denver metro area is CDOT Region 1). Currently, both the Headquarters and Region 1 offices are located in southeast Denver in separate old, inefficient buildings that are in serious need of upgrades. By constructing one modern, efficient facility for both offices, CDOT will realize significant savings on building operations and maintenance and provide a better working environment for its employees. The new facility will be financed through the use of Certificates of Participation—the same process used by the state to finance the History Colorado Center and Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center projects—which does not involve funds budgeted for highway construction. Here’s a site plan, courtesy of CDOT:

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CDOT is acquiring the land for their new Headquarters from the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, the owners of Mile High Stadium. Currently, the site is used as surface parking for stadium events. The new CDOT facility will include a parking garage with around 500 spaces that will be available to the public for evening and weekend stadium events.

Here are a few early conceptual models of the new building, courtesy of CDOT. The project architect is RNL Design and JE Dunn will be the general contractor.

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From an urbanist perspective, this is a good move by CDOT. Their current Headquarters and Region 1 buildings are not particularly convenient to public transit. The new location will allow visitors and the 700-plus CDOT employees who will work in the new building direct access to light rail and several major bus lines along Federal and Colfax that stop at the Decatur-Federal station. The site is also adjacent to the Lakewood Gulch and Platte River trail systems.

Construction is expected to begin in November 2016 with completion slated for early 2018.


Westwood: Westwood Crossing Update #2

By José Esparza

If you have driven by the corner of West Alameda Avenue and Irving Street in West Denver, you probably have seen very large piles of dirt being moved around. Behind those dirt piles, contractors have been very busy since breaking ground a few months ago on constructing Westwood Crossing, a project that will include 98 affordable apartments and about 5,000 square feet of ground-floor office or retail space within a four-story building.

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View of Westwood Crossing under construction looking northwest, July 2016.

The asbestos in the four houses on the site was abated and houses demolished. The residents moved into new homes under McDermott Properties’ relocation program.

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View of Westwood Crossing under construction looking northeast, July 2016.

Earth work is now completed. The rains of April and May slowed this phase of the project down, but concrete is being poured and the walls built for the podium.

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Concrete wall for the building podium under construction at Westwood Crossing, July 2016.

On the east side of the property, along South Irving Street, you can see the first floor being constructed which is where the leasing offices will be located. Due to the slope of the site, the podium is at street level with Alameda Avenue and one-story high looking north from West Nevada Place.

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José Esparza came to Denver in 2011 to study urban planning. He attained a BS in Architecture from the University of Michigan and a MURP from the University of Colorado Denver. Currently, José is Executive Director of West Community Economic Development Corporation, a 501c3 non-profit in west Denver, and serves on the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee.


Cherry Creek: Civica Cherry Creek Update #3

Back in May, we reported that demolition of the existing buildings for Civica Cherry Creek, a five / seven story, 112,000 square foot office project, was about to begin. Now, the site has been cleared and excavation is now underway.

First, let’s start with an overview of the site looking west. As you can see, the existing buildings have been completely demolished.

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Here are two photos looking at the front of the project from Fillmore Street.

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Construction should be fairly quick as Schnitzer West LLC, the developer, is expecting the project to be complete by next summer.


Cherry Creek: Alexan Cherry Creek Update #3

It’s always exciting when a project starts to rise above the street level. Usually after this point, given there is no above ground parking, the structure rises at a quicker pace and progress is easy to follow. Alexan Cherry Creek is now at this stage of construction!

With the three levels of underground parking now complete, the eight-story building is starting to make its way up. The site was bustling with activity so here are two photos of the project from the street.

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As a refresher, the 8-story Alexan Cherry Creek will add 164 apartment units to the Cherry Creek neighborhood.


Visualizing the Cherry Creek Boom From an Aerial Perspective

As we all know, Cherry Creek is currently going through a very large boom adding hotels, retail, apartments, condos and offices. Since the neighborhood is fairly small, in regards to land size, it is easy to map out from a low elevation aerial perspective. This is where my drone comes in handy!

Let’s begin with some numbers. From when we started reporting on the boom back in 2013, there are 626 Apartments, 80 Condos, 524 Hotel Rooms, 351,000 square feet of office space, and 194,600 square feet of retail getting added to the neighborhood. This does not include proposed projects. That’s a lot of development for Cherry Creek!

Now to the aerial. Each colored dot represents a project that is either under construction or complete; this visual does not include proposed projects. RED is retail, BLUE is office, GREEN is hotel, and YELLOW is residential.

Obviously, click to embiggen.

Here is the same aerial with the project labels removed.

Finally, for those who like a clean aerial, here is the original panorama.

With the compact size of this neighborhood, it will be fun to explore various aerial perspectives in the future as the boom rolls on. Stay tuned for a lot of infill coming your way this week!


New Cherry Creek Project: 210 Saint Paul

Back in October 2015, we announced that another wave of development was coming to Cherry Creek North with BMC Investments taking charge. One of the sites we mentioned is 210 Saint Paul which is going to be used for “condo-quality” apartments.

Today, we have some information on 210 Saint Paul. An 8-story, 76-unit apartment building will replace a 25,000 square foot mixed-use retail and office building which BMC Investments recently acquired . Here is a Google Earth aerial with the project site outlined.

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As you can see in the aerial above, there is an existing building on site. Moving down to the street level, here is what currently sits at East 2nd Avenue and Saint Paul Street.

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Designed by 4240 Architecture, here is what is going to replace the old office and retail building. This new 8-story building complies with Cherry Creek’s new zoning code, and will also feature around 11,500 square feet of retail space and two floors of underground parking.

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The construction time-frame is currently unknown however, Saunders Construction will be the general contractor for 210 Saint Paul.


Cherry Creek: 245 Columbine Update #3 (Inside the Infill Edition)

Happy Friday! Today, we have a special post for 245 Columbine, now known as the Halcyon Hotel Cherry Creek. Thanks to Zach Porter and Nancy Kristof of Mortenson Construction, DenverInfill was able to get a peek inside the project just before completion.

As a refresher, the Halcyon Hotel is the first hotel to go up in Cherry Creek in this current boom. It features 154 rooms in an eight-story building. For this tour, let’s start out with the rooftop and work our way down through the building.

Cherry Creek always offers nice perspectives of the Denver skyline with a great mountain backdrop. It was a little hazy on our tour but there was still a great view. As you can see, the rooftop pool features this spectacular view.

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This rooftop is utilized to its fullest extent. The east side of the roof features a bar with ample seating.

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Even with the haze, the unobstructed view from this rooftop is great! Here’s a panorama; make sure you click to embiggen!

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This project has many unique features. One of them is the cutout in the middle. This is to provide natural light to the interior rooms and hallways of the hotel.

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Moving inside, the first stop is the presidential suite. This room offers great views, two stories of living and sleep space, as well as a very large private terrace. This room is still under construction but is going to shape up nicely.

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Here is an average guest suite, which is everything you would expect in a hotel room. The finishes in the rooms have an antique feel with a modern spin.

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And the bathrooms are really nice.

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Some of the rooms also feature balconies that will be separated by large planters upon completion of this project. The second photo shows the unique facade that is used throughout the project. The metal cutouts make the project stand out in Cherry Creek.

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Moving right along, the Hotel Halcyon will have large conference spaces along with a fitness center.

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In addition to the rooftop bar, there are two more restaurants/bars. The Departure Lounge features an aviation-themed fiberglass centerpiece over the bar and a ground-floor retail pad outside of the hotel will be occupied by an Italian restaurant.

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Here is the progress of the front desk lobby.

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The Halcyon Hotel doesn’t feature any parking ramps. They connected the new garage to an already existing parking garage and installed a firewall to close in case of fire. This is some awesome engineering right here.

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This project is shaping up nicely on the outside!

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The hotel is expected to open in mid-August. Once it’s open, we will visit it for a final update. Stay tuned!