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Archive of posts filed under the Denver Neighborhoods category.

West Colfax: April 2014 Construction Update

If you happen to take a walk between Sloans Lake Park and Federal Boulevard, you’re going to see and hear a ton of construction going on. I’ve previously reported on three projects in the area, but thought I’d give you a mini tour of everything that’s going on in the neighborhood while updating you on those three projects. First the map:

Aerial with buildings

All of the parcels I’ve highlighted here are in some state of construction. The parcels outlined in red are mixed use developments that are underway: The St Anthony’s Hospital Redevelopment (#1) and Mile-High Vista (#5). The orange parcels are all townhome developments; thirteen projects averaging 6-8 units with. I’ll update you on the Framework project (#2) that I wrote about in an earlier post and show some pictures of the radical changes happening on 17th Ave (#3). Finally, there’s a bit of an unknown, the site at Federal and 16th avenue (#4) has recently been scraped in preparation for sale.

Project #1 – St Anthony’s Redevelopment (see my orignial post)

There currently isn’t much in the way of building happening at the old hospital site, but there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation going on. All the buildings that are to be taken down have been demolished (minus an old maintenance building on 17th Avenue being used for a construction office) and the site is currently being regraded. Cameron Bertram of EFG, the owner’s representative, says that by mid-summer we should see utility work well underway and by fall the new city streets will be put in place. EFG currently has four of seven blocks under contract and is nearly ready to close on another. The Kuhlman Block Alliance will be developing the northeastern-most corner with a boutique hotel in the existing Kuhlman Building, restaurants, retail and apartments. Trammell Crow Residential will be developing two interior blocks with nearly 370 apartments. Finally, Littleton Capital Partners will be developing a retail anchor on the southern-most block facing Colfax. This block will contain a renovated 4-story office building, a retail pad, and a 12-screen Alamo Drafthouse Cinema as the anchor tenant. Here’s a rendering of the cinema block from Colfax and Raleigh Street taken from EFG’s website www.sloansdenver.com.

2014-04-10_Alamo Drafthouse

Project #2 - Framework at Sloans Lake (see my original post)

Over at Framework, there is much work underway. The first phase is mostly framed and the developer has informed me that he will be breaking ground the second phase very soon as the first phase is already completely pre-sold. Here’s a shot of the first building (along 18th avenue).

2014-04-10_Framework

The three-story buildings are strikingly noticeable among the primarily 1- and 2-story single family homes in the area, and given their location at the top of a small hill, can be seen rising up from the neighborhood from Sloans Lake Park two blocks away. This project was the first townhome development in the area, and has since spawned a flurry of construction on neighboring blocks; thirteen townhome projects are now underway in the immediate vicinity.

Project #3 - 17th Avenue

A radical change is occurring on the north side of 17th Avenue where five adjacent lots are in varying stages of construction by five different developers. What was once a 1- and 2-story single family street is rapidly getting an urban makeover.

2014-04-10_17th St Projects 2014-04-10_17thSt

Project #4 – A high profile site gets scraped.

On the triangular site overlooking the Federal Boulevard/Colfax interchange once stood a small institutional building. Recently, the owner scraped the building in order to better sell the property. The remainder of this 2+ acre site is covered with an asphalt parking lot, with spectacular views of Mile High Stadium, Downtown and Southeast Denver (not that the asphalt cares much). I personally hope someone snatched up this gem of a property and turns it into something worthy of this extremely prominent site. Here’s a panorama of the site taken from Grove Street.

2014-04-10_Federal Site

Project #5 - Mile High Vista (see my original post)

Last, but not least, is the Mile High Vista Project.  As you can see in the pictures below, the 7 story workforce housing component of the development has topped out and is being skinned and finished. Five stories of housing sit atop a two story podium of parking, resident amenities, and office space. The building is slated to receive a LEED Platinum rating, which is highly commendable for an affordable housing project.

2014-04-10_Mile High Vista 2 2014-04-10_Mile High Vista

In front of the apartment building (anchoring the corner of Colfax and Irving) is a two-story steel frame building that is to become a brand new 25,000 sq.ft. Denver Public Library branch. Construction of the branch had been delayed for some time due to some soil issues, but after a redesign of the foundation they are now making significant progress and hope to open next year.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the neighborhood; as you can see, it’s rife with construction activity, redevelopment and densification. Check it out and stay tuned.


New Cherry Creek Project: 360 South Monroe

The infill boom keeps on rolling in Cherry Creek! With over 350 residential units already under construction, another new infill project has broken ground on the eastern side of Cherry Creek in the Alameda Triangle.

The project will sit at 360 South Monroe; at the intersection of Cherry Creek Drive North and Monroe Street. The building will take up two thirds of the block and will run along the diagonal portion of Cherry Creek Drive North. Here is a map with the site outlined.

I stopped by the site this weekend to check in on the progress of this project. Right now, excavation, drilling, and foundation work has begun. I suspect in the next few months we will see one or two tower cranes installed on site due to the large scale of this building.

 

Now for the good stuff, renderings! We have three perspectives to share with you today. Here is the building viewed from Cherry Creek Drive North looking northwest. As you can see, 360 South Monroe will rise a total of 8-stories.

Here is the view from Dakota Street.

And here is the view from South Monroe Street.

360 South Monroe will provide the Cherry Creek Neighborhood with 297 rental units with structured parking underground. Completion is expected around mid 2015.


New Cherry Creek Project: The Residences at Fillmore Plaza

The next stop on our Cherry Creek infill tour is a project named The Residences at Fillmore Plaza that has already been under construction for a couple of months. This is a unique project as it is being built on top of an already-existing parking structure. Here are some photos of the project from a couple weeks ago:

 

A tower crane has been put up on the parking garage, and the new structure is already about halfway up.

 

The Residences at Fillmore Plaza will be along East 2nd Avenue between Fillmore and Milwaukee streets. Here is a map with the project site outlined:

Last but not least, here is a rendering of the building. The 3-story structure on top of the parking garage will feature 27 apartment units with 6,700 square feet of ground floor retail. Judging by this rendering, it also looks like the garage will be receiving a face-lift.

The Residences at Fillmore Plaza is being developed by Realty Management Group and will cost a total of $12 million. Completion is expected for this summer.


Cherry Creek: 100 Saint Paul Update #1

Back in June, we announced a new office project in Cherry Creek that is going to change the face of E. 1st Avenue: 100 Saint Paul. This building will contain 149,000 rentable square feet in an 8-story structure. Over the past couple of months, the Burger King and 1-story 1stBank building have been demolished to make way for this project!

Here is an overview of the site. Right now, excavation and drilling has commenced. The main entrance for the building will be at the intersection of E. 1st Avenue and Saint Paul with the ground floor retail running along Saint Paul towards E. 2nd Avenue.

Taking a closer look at the site, as mentioned above, excavation and drilling are currently taking place. All 450 parking spaces for this building will be underground, so it will be a while before we see this building go vertical.

 

The LEED-Gold building will cost a total of $60 million and has an 18-month construction time-frame.


Gates Redevelopment: A Refresher

If you’ve driven by I-25 and Broadway lately, you might have noticed that the old Gates Rubber Factory is finally coming down. This demolition has been over a decade in the making and sadly does not give us any reassurance that the site will be redeveloped anytime soon. Over at DenverUrbanism, Ian Harwick has offered his perspective on what the redevelopment could become, but if you’re new to the project, or just can’t remember the details of this lengthy process, here’s a timeline, map of the project and some photos of the redevelopment. (But first, here’s a picture of the demolition)

Timeline for Redevelopment

1995 – Gates Rubber Factory Closes

2001 – Cherokee Denver purchases the heavily contaminated, 62-acre site between Broadway and Santa Fe Drive from the Gates Corporation (Gates later sells 30 acres of property east of Broadway to the Lionstone Group; this property is currently in various stages of redevelopment)

2003 – City approves Urban Renewal Area for the project

2005 – General Development Plan (GDP approved)

2007 – Trammell Crow Residential purchases uncontaminated land south of Mississippi for construction of a new mixed-use residential apartment building with street front retail. Thanks to a community benefits agreement drafted early in the planning process, this building has a sizable affordable housing component.

2008 – Economy tanks. Amidst financial troubles, Gates takes the property back from Cherokee Denver

2009 – Trammell Crow’s building opens with 418 market rate units, 50 affordable units, and 12,000 square feet of retail space.

2013 – Gates tries to pull permits to demolish the buildings (so it can finish soil remediation under the buildings and remarket the land to a new developer). Permits were delayed by a last-minute attempt by a University of Colorado student to get the building listed as historic. When the historic preservation committee turned down his request, demolition permits were granted.

2014 – Demolition begins and should continue for the next 12 months or so.

At this time, the Gates Corporation is committed to cleaning up the property and finding a new development partner for the 62-acre site. As a formal GDP has already been filed, any developer looking to make major changes to the plan will have to go through a public process. Doing so would only push vertical development further out. Given the high demand for transit-oriented development (the property is adjacent to the Broadway Light Rail Station) in Denver, however, there is hope that one day this property will become a thriving, mixed-use, dense, urban development as anticipated over a decade ago. For now, we get to watch as this old factory slowly succumbs to the bulldozers and backhoes.

Map of the Project:  

At over 90 acres, this is a huge infill development project. In the map above, I’ve divided the land into its various development components:

The green area was purchased by Trammell Crow and has been redeveloped into the Broadway Station Apartments.

The blue area was the area originally purchased by Cherokee Denver, now owned by the Gates Corporation, the current demolition is outlined in cyan. The GDP for the project only covers this site as it is in the greatest need of infrastructure.

The purple area was purchased by Lionstone Group and is now in various stages of redevelopment. First, there is a new office complex housed in two former Gates buildings. This was redeveloped several years ago along with a new parking garage. Second, there is the (currently under construction) 1000 S Broadway Apartments. This is a massive block-long four-story apartment building that has been architecturally divided into smaller chunks so its not so imposing. Parking for the building is provided in a four-level parking structure in the center of the project and wrapped by apartment units. Behind the office complex and apartments, there is some land that is just now being prepped for townhome development as well as some additional vacant land that does not appear to have any set plans at this time.

Now for a few photos:

Here is Broadway Station by Trammell Crow

Here is the soon to be completed 1000 S. Broadway apartment complex.

I especially like this red component at the north end of the project.  Very striking against our blue Colorado Sky.

And here’s one last picture of the demolition. This is a huge building, and I couldn’t get a really good panorama, but the building extends down another full block from the left side of the picture. Demolition will continue for a long time and should be interesting to watch.

DenverInfill will continue to cover the redevelopment of Gates as new information becomes available.


Cherry Creek: Steele Creek Apartments Update #1

Continuing on our Cherry Creek infill tour, let’s head across the Cherry Creek neighborhood to East First Avenue and Steele Street. At this intersection, there will be a 12-story building featuring 250 apartment units with ground floor retail. Since our announcement post in May, the two buildings on site have been demolished, the foundation has started to go in and a new shiny red tower crane has been erected.

Out of the entire block, the Steele Creek Apartments only takes up about a third resulting in a thinner building that won’t be too overbearing on the streetscape. However, given the height of 12-stories, this building will still have a significant impact around this intersection!

Let’s go in a little closer and look over the fence. As stated before, the foundation work is well underway. Parking for this project will be above ground on floors 2-5 with apartments on floors 6-12. Because minimal underground work is needed, we should start to see this rise above the street level pretty quick!

 

 

Today I have a bonus photo for you! While I was running around taking pictures of all the Cherry Creek development, I found an exceptional view of Downtown Denver from the West parking deck at the Cherry Creek Mall. Make sure you click to embiggen!

The Steele Creek Apartments are only the beginning for high-rise development in the Cherry Creek neighborhood! Stay tuned for more updates!


Cherry Creek: 250 Columbine Update #1

Over the next few updates, we are going to check out all of the infill going up in the Cherry Creek neighborhood! At the moment, Cherry Creek is experiencing a huge infill boom that’s very close to what we are seeing in the Union Station neighborhood! The first project we are going to stop by is 250 Columbine. As a refresher, this is a mixed-use project with 70,000 square feet of office space, 80 for-sale residential units, and 38,000 square feet of retail and patio space.

In our project announcement post, we reported that three buildings had to be demolished for the half block development to get underway. Since then, the buildings have been demolished, ground excavation has begun, and two tower cranes are up on site.

 

Here is a closer look at what’s going on in the construction pit. Excavation is nearly complete and pouring for the foundation has begun. There will be two-levels of underground parking with an 8-story structure above. If you look closely, you can also see the sign for the 245 Columbine development across the street!

 

250 Columbine is well underway and we should see this break street level around late spring. Out of the 80 for-sale units in this development, around 25% of them have already been purchased and this project just started. This is always a great sign for Denver’s for-sale market!


City Approves Redevelopment Plan for Former St. Anthony’s Hospital Site

On Wednesday, December 18, 2014, the City of Denver Planning Board approved the general development plan (GDP) for the redevelopment of the former St. Anthony’s Hospital site on the south shore of Sloan’s Lake in the West Colfax neighborhood of Denver (the GDP was officially signed on Tuesday, January 14). The GDP will transform the old hospital site into a mixed-use urban town center across from one of Denver’s largest parks and minutes away from the new Perry Street light rail station on the new West Line. With passage of the GDP, EnviroFinance Group (EFG), the owners and horizontal developers of the property, (i.e. they don’t build buildings) now have the go ahead to build new streets, install infrastructure, and sell parcels to vertical developers (i.e. those who DO build buildings). The following diagram (courtesy of RNL, the site planners of the project) shows how this project intends to link to the park and the existing transit stop.

The plan for the site reintegrates the Denver street grid, by extending Raleigh and Quitman Streets as well as West 16th Avenue into the site, creating six new Denver-standard blocks. Raleigh Street is to become a new main street through the development complete with ground floor retail, restaurants, office space and an exciting new anchor development (similar to the Lowenstein project on East Colfax) where it meets West Colfax (the circle labeled “identity” in the above diagram). The right-of-way along the new Raleigh Street will be wider than Denver’s minimum requirements in order to accommodate additional pedestrian amenities, street trees, and sidewalk cafes as shown in the following conceptual rendering:

In 2006, a task force of local residents set forth a vision for the site that included the reintroduction of the street grid, a dense mix of uses for the site, and preservation of some of the existing buildings. The developer has followed their instruction and is retaining four buildings on the site: The 1940’s Kuhlman building (a former nurses dormitory which is slated to become a new boutique hotel), the existing 4-story parking garage, a 4 story-office building on the block near Colfax (which will be re-skinned), and a historic chapel on the site. The historic chapel happens to fall within what would have become the West 16th Avenue right-of-way, but the developer has chosen to stop the street short of the chapel and create a 1-acre public plaza in front of the chapel as part of the project’s open space requirement set forth by the city. West 16th Avenue will be designed in such a way that it could be closed down to extend the plaza for festivals, farmers markets, and other events in the neighborhood. As part of EFG’s efforts to achieve LEED-ND Platinum certification for the project, they are planning on installing natural storm water management features along West 16th Avenue as well. The following is a conceptual site plan of the project:

As of now, EFG has almost completely demolished the hospital and is currently grinding up all the old concrete to be reused as road base for the new streets. Early this year, they’ll start re-grading the site, installing utilities, and creating the new streets. The photo below is  a panorama of the site taken from the top of the Metro Village Apartment tower at Colfax and Quitman Street. The photo shows the breadth of the site and some of the great views that will be had by the new residents. You can also see the Kuhlman building (on the upper right) the parking garage (on the left) and the little chapel (behind the parking garage) that are being saved as part of the development.

When the project is complete, the seven city blocks under redevelopment will likely contain 800-1,200 new residential units and 75,000 – 150,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving office/retail space in buildings that range in height from two to twenty stories (although anything over 5 stories will have to go through a re-zoning process). According to the developer, “the redevelopment of the former St. Anthony Hospital campus will create a new sustainable urban neighborhood that has a unique identity, informed in large part by its engagement with Sloan’s Lake Park.” The mixed-use project certainly capitalizes on its proximity to multiple modes of transit, and brings neighborhood-serving retail to a currently under-served neighborhood. The St. Anthony’s project should be a very exciting infill development in Denver and will hopefully be a catalyst for significant reinvestment along West Colfax Avenue.

For more info on the Plan for this development, go to: www.sloansdenver.com. EFG currently has three developers on contract to develop Phase 1 of the development. Each developer will be unveiling the plans for their buildings at an open house on January 22, 2014 from 5:30-7:30 PM at 1400 Quitman Street (just south of the project site). After the unveiling, EFG will post the developers’ plans and renderings to their website, so stay tuned. St. Anthony’s should be an exciting urban infill project!