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Archive of posts filed under the Brownfield category.

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.

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: 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!

La Alma / Lincoln Park: South Lincoln Redevelopment Update

Today we are heading over to the La Alma / Lincoln Park neighborhood to check in on the South Lincoln Redevelopment. Back in May of 2011, the Denver Housing Authority gained funding for this redevelopment project and since then, there hasn’t been a break in construction.

First stop on our South Lincoln Redevelopment tour, I am going to give you a quick refresher on the completed 1099 Osage project; an 8-story senior housing building. I highlighted it on our handy map so you can get a feel for its location in entire redevelopment.

Back in 2011 and 2012, I did a bunch of updates on just 1099 Osage. Since then, multiple phases have kicked off hence why I am now covering this redevelopment as a whole. Here is a current picture of 1099 Osage. If you want a more in depth look at the building, it can be found here.

Next, we will be looking at Phase II which includes the 81-unit ‘Mariposa Apartments’ (highlighted on our map).

Wood framing is nearly complete on these buildings and installation of the glass has begun. These two buildings alone are a drastic improvement over the existing structures on site. We’ll check back in a couple months to see what the facade is going to be comprised of.



Last but not least, construction for Phase III has commenced and staging for Phase IV has begun.

As you can see, the elevator core with a little bit of wood framing is all the progress seen so far with this phase. Still, this is a great sign of progress!

The South Lincoln redevelopment is a huge and very exciting project for the La Alma / Lincoln Park neighborhood. I was very surprised when I saw how much was actually under construction. I also had the opportunity to talk to a couple insiders. It looks like the redevelopment going to keep trekking forward through all six phases!

Re-Envisioning the Denver Coliseum

DenverInfill had the privilege to partner this year with NAIOP-Colorado to promote the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, the annual high-profile competition between the real estate programs at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. This year’s challenge, as discussed in my post of April 20, involved a re-envisioning of the Denver Coliseum property near I-70 and Brighton Boulevard in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood.

The challenge focused on a 46-acre site that included the Coliseum and its parking lots to the southwest toward Globeville Landing Park. The site sits at the crossroads of the redeveloping area north of Downtown that features nearby the RiNo arts district, future FasTracks transit stations, South Platte River amenities, and excellent highway access. One of the competition’s main assumptions was that the Coliseum had to remain the property of the city and continue as an entertainment venue. For all of the program’s rules and requirements, review the document included with the April 20 post.

Last night, over 600 people packed the ballroom at the Downtown Marriott to hear the two teams’ presentations and the selection of the winner. The result: the University of Colorado was victorious and snapped a four-year DU winning streak. Congratulations CU!  Both teams, however, put forth excellent presentations that offered innovative, yet different potential futures for the Coliseum area. I’m happy that DenverInfill is able to present both teams’ proposals from last night.

CU envisioned the site as the Denver Center for Creating Art, with the Coliseum reconfigured as a performance and rehearsal venue and new development providing space for the Art Institute of Colorado and other arts-related businesses. Below is CU’s proposed site plan and here are links to PDFs of CU’s executive summary (1.6 MB) and full presentation (14.7 MB).

2010 RMREC - CU Team Site Plan

DU, on the other hand, envisioned the site as the Frontier Center at the Denver Coliseum, a complex focused on “agri-tech” and alternative energy education and business development, with a conference center and incubator space for entrepreneurial businesses focused on these evolving industries. A site plan from the DU presentation is below, and here are links to PDFs of DU’s executive summary (0.6 MB) and full presentation (6.1 MB).

2010 RMREC - DU Team Site Plan

While both plans represent academic exercises only and do not necessarily reflect what will eventually be planned for the Coliseum, the potential for the site as described by both teams is exciting and gives Denver citizens and its leaders plenty to consider as the Coliseum area transforms into a vibrant extension of our urban core. Congratulations to the students from both schools, and many thanks to everyone at NAIOP and the City involved in organizing this year’s Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge and for their efforts to enhance the quality of both universities’ real estate programs and to promote excellence in Denver’s urban environment.

Lumberyards Project Proposed for South Denver

Real estate investor Jon Cook recently announced plans to build a major urban redevelopment project called The Lumberyards near South Broadway and West Jewell Avenue in Denver’s Overland neighborhood. The site is across South Santa Fe Avenue from Overland Golf Course and includes the former Shattuck Chemical property. The project would potentially begin in 2011 with an 8-story building and would be developed over a number of years as the market allows.  At full build-out, the Lumberyards project would include approximately 1,000 residential units, about 250,000 square feet of office space, and 150,000 square feet of retail. For more details on the project including a site map and conceptual renderings, please read this article from the Denver Post.

Here’s a bird’s eye view of the site from Bing maps:


The southwestern corner of the project area is a quarter-mile from the Evans light rail station on the Southwest line; a bit far to be considered a true Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), but close enough for it to be considered “transit proximate”, and certainly a selling point for the project overall.

The Lumberyards will have to compete with the other big TODs that didn’t get very far along during the last boom, like the Gates project just up the road at Broadway and I-25 and Continuum’s project at I-25 and Belleview. When the next boom finally arrives, TOD may be king of Denver development, with Downtown Denver serving as the biggest Transit-Oriented Development site around.

Overall, this is a good project and one that will hopefully succeed in offering additional housing opportunities for people who may want to live in a denser, urban environment, outside of the Downtown area.

Major Infill Project Planned for Denargo Market

In yesterday’s Rocky Mountain News, John Rebchook reported that Cypress Real Estate Advisors of Austin, TX has acquired the 29-acre Denargo Market site north of Downtown Denver, with plans to redevelop the site into as many as 2,200 residential units in buildings as tall as 22 stories. The Denargo Market area is an industrial enclave in the River North district with a land-that-time-forgot feel to it, yet it is only three-quarters of a mile from Union Station. The Denargo Market area represents the last significant area on the perimeter of Downtown Denver that hasn’t yet undergone a revitalization or transformation of some kind. Its redevelopment will essentially give Downtown a 360-degree ring of renovated, reinvented, or reenergized urban districts. Here’s the article from the News: Redevelopment Taking Shape. Here are a couple of preliminary renderings from the CB Richard Ellis website:

Site Plan:

Massing Image:

Another Massing Image (with what appears to be taller buildings than the image above):

What’s interesting about the middle image is that it shows in the background the massing of the full buildout of the Prospect district across the Park Avenue West viaduct and the Central Platte Valley/Riverfront Park/Union Station developments beyond that.

Finally, do you know where the word Denargo comes from? North of Downtown near the I-25/I-70 interchange of today was the little industrial neighborhood of Argo. The market’s founders took the first half of Denver and combined it with Argo—Denargo—in an effort to describe the market’s location half way between the two locations.