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Downtown Denver Non-Residential Projects: June 2016 Update

Yesterday we posted our Downtown Denver Residential Projects June 2016 Update, a semi-annual summary of new housing in the city’s urban core since the start of 2010. Today we take a look at all non-residential projects—office, hotel, civic, and other uses—that are completed, under construction, or proposed. Like our housing analysis, we use a 1.5-mile radius of the historic D&F tower at 16th and Arapahoe as our Downtown survey area for this summary. For our previous assessment, see our December 2015 Non-Residential Projects Update post.

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New 1144 Fifteenth office tower under construction in Downtown Denver, June 2016.

Click on the image to view our June 2016 Downtown Denver Non-Residential Projects exhibit or view/download a high-resolution PDF version (6 MB) formatted for printing at 11″ x 17″.

Office: The only office building completed during the past six months within our Downtown survey area was the 40,000 sf Industry Phase 3 project in River North, bringing the total square footage of office space completed since the start of 2010 to 1,933,000. However, two big projects started construction since our last update: the 430,000 sf 16 Chestnut building and the 210,000 sf Riverview at 1700 Platte project. With the other projects already in progress, that puts the total amount of new office space currently under construction in Downtown Denver at 2,053,000 sf. After all office projects currently underway are completed, about 4 million square feet of space—a significant amount in any real estate cycle—will be added to the Downtown market since 2010. In looking at the office projects still in the Proposed category, it’s likely that four of them totaling around 200,000 sf (1510 Market, 1615 Platte, Market Station, and SugarSquare) will break ground before the end of 2016.

Hotel: Downtown Denver’s hotel market continues to thrive in light of record-setting attendance at the Colorado Convention Center and the Mile High City’s emergence as an urban tourism destination in its own right. The number of new hotel rooms added to the Downtown market since 2010 stands at 1,776 and the completion of the 1,128 rooms currently under construction will put the number of hotel rooms in Downtown Denver over the 10,000 mark. Since our last update, three more hotel projects were announced (1701 Blake, 1600 Market, and 2525 16th Street) bringing the number of proposed new hotel rooms in the city center to 908.

Civic/Other: Compared to the office, hotel, and multi-family residential markets, the number of new projects falling under our Civic/Other category (uses such as cultural, educational, governmental, etc.) is fairly minimal. Currently, only two projects (Kirkland Museum and MSU Aerospace Engineering) are under construction, and only one project (CU Denver Wellness Center) is proposed and is scheduled to get underway this fall. But the few new entries in this category reflect not a lack of investment in this area but more the fact that we just finished a massive civic-projects building boom; just look at the Completed list.

Like our Multi-family Residential analysis, we added a Floor column to our exhibit this time. Here’s a bar chart showing the distribution of projects by the number of above-grade floors:

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Interestingly, the results are almost identical to our multi-family residential assessment. Half (33 of 66) of the projects are buildings 5 stories or less, about one quarter (16 projects) are in the 6-10 floor range, and around one quarter (17 projects) are buildings 11 floors or taller. Huh.

Just for fun, let’s look at all projects together—multi-family residential, office, hotel, and civic/other—to get an overall sense of the scale of new developments in the Downtown area since the start of the decade. The figures below are not just the merger of the data used to produce the bar chart above and in yesterday’s residential update. In order to avoid double-counting several mixed-use projects such as 16M, which includes both residential and office uses in one structure, I had to filter out the duplicates to come up with a list of unique buildings/projects. Also, as we did yesterday, townhome projects were eliminated from the residential data set. Anyway, here’s the frequency distribution table followed by a bar chart:

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So far, 117 different projects have been completed or are under construction within the Downtown area in the past few years. That’s a lot of “urban fabric repair” going on! Of those, 23 are buildings greater than 10 stories high. And while our baseline for tracking these project is January 2010, in reality, the overwhelming majority of these projects have occurred since 2012 when the Denver economy came roaring out of the recession.

That’s it for our June 2016 summaries! You can access all of our semi-annual summaries on one page using the “Development Summary” graphic link on the right sidebar.


Downtown Denver Residential Projects: June 2016 Update

Every six months we provide a comprehensive summary of the infill development activity within the Downtown Denver area. In today’s post, we focus on multi-family residential projects, and tomorrow we will look at non-residential (office, hotel, civic, etc.) projects.

You can check out our previous multi-family residential update from December 2015 here. As before, this analysis covers the area within a 1.5-mile radius of the historic D&F clock tower at the corner of 16th and Arapahoe, a good landmark to serve as the geographic center of Downtown Denver. We use a 1.5-mile radius because it covers the traditional downtown core area plus the closer-in parts of the downtown-adjacent districts like Uptown, Five Points, River North, and Highland. Our semi-annual DenverInfill development summaries are a nice complement to the Downtown Denver Partnership’s development reports, which use the DDP’s official downtown and center city neighborhoods boundaries rather than a distance-radius approach.

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Many of Downtown Denver’s new residential developments are clustered near Denver Union Station.

From January 2010 through June 2016, 8,175 multi-family residential units have been completed within our 1.5-mile radius area, an increase of 426 from December 2015. The number of units under construction is currently 5,577, or 538 more than in December 2015. After all projects currently under construction are completed, 13,752 new multi-family residential units will be added to Downtown Denver since 2010, up from 12,788 six months ago. That keeps us on pace for around 17,000 new residential units in Downtown by the end of decade, with perhaps a little less than that if population growth and/or the economy significantly slows, or maybe more than that if the economy stays strong and meaningful construction defects liability reform is passed by the State Legislature to allow the market to respond to pent-up demand for condominiums. Note: we’ve mostly stopped tracking townhome projects, so there are probably a couple hundred more units in the survey area not included in our totals.

Click on the image below to view in full size our June 2016 Downtown Denver Multifamily Residential Projects exhibit, or use this link to view/download a high-resolution PDF version (6 MB) formatted for printing at 11″ x 17″.

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Quantifying proposed projects is a challenge, as “proposed” could mean anything from projects very early in the concept development stage to those just about ready to break ground. Our Proposed category (which we limit to developments already profiled on the DenverInfill Blog) now includes projects totaling 3,143 units. All other planned projects that we are aware of that haven’t yet been covered on DenverInfill total about 4,000 units (labeled as “In the Pipeline”).

You’ll see we added a “Floors” column to our table, representing the number of above-grade floors for each project. For multi-building projects, we used the floor count for the tallest building. Here’s a bar chart showing the distribution of new multi-family residential projects by floor count since the start of 2010, with Completed, Under Construction, and Proposed combined but excluding all 3-story townhome projects:

About half, or 41 of the 81 non-townhome projects, are 4- and 5-story buildings, about a quarter (21 projects) are in the 6-10 story range, and the remaining quarter (19 projects) are developments with buildings 11 or more floors. Generally, the projects have been getting taller as the boom has progressed.

To see the multi-family residential projects displayed by type and status (Completed, Under Construction, Proposed), visit our DenverInfill Project Map—link always available near the top of the right sidebar.

Up next… our June 2016 Non-Residential Projects summary.


Cherry Creek: The Rollnick Hotel Update #1

Another hotel kicks off in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood! Replacing an old office building, the Rollnick Hotel is going to contain 200 rooms in an eight story building. This is the third hotel in Cherry Creek that is under construction.

As with all new projects, drilling and foundation work are the first steps. Excavation will go down two stories for the underground parking structure.

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Once these hotel projects are complete, Cherry Creek will have an additional 525 new rooms; assuming no more hotels are announced in the next year or so.


Lower Downtown: 1510 Market Update #1

A few months ago, we reported on a new infill project—1510 Market— coming to the corner of 15th and Market next to the historic Rocky Mountain Seed Company building. The project has been working its way through the design review process at the Lower Downtown Design Review Board and will be back for another review in July. The project has already received the LDDRB’s approval for mass, form, and context, and now the final approvals remaining have to do with details such as ground-floor railings.

This rendering, courtesy of Tryba Architects, is brand new and is what will be submitted to the LDDRB in July:

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One interesting aspect of 1510 Market is that the building has virtually no brick as an exterior facade material. This reflects an enlightened interpretation of the design principles found within the LoDo district’s design standards and guidelines, which require traditional brick masonry for a new building’s street facade but does allow for the “constrained” use of other materials, such as steel and cast iron. In this case, 1510 Market’s facade will be primarily structural and ornamental steel, with brick used only on the small stairwell tower adjacent to the project’s historic neighbor on 15th Street. Yet, despite the lack of a masonry facade, the proposed building appears to fit nicely into its context and meets the other standards set forth in the LoDo design standards and guidelines: the building has a base, middle, and top, and the articulated patterns and rhythms of the facade are drawn upon and consistent with those of neighboring structures. In my opinion, this is a nice example of contemporary architecture existing harmoniously within a historic district.

1510 Market is technically an addition to the historic Seed Building at 1520 Market, and one of the Seed Building’s tenants, GoSpotCheck, will expand into and fill the entire addition, including the ground floor. Because it is common and often desirable for a restaurant to occupy the street level, the new structure has been designed to easily allow for that to occur in the future, with a grease trap and other restaurant infrastructure integrated into the ground-floor design. The patio along the Market Street sidewalk will be used by GoSpotCheck as an outdoor working and social space.

If all goes as planned, preliminary construction activities may be evident at the site in September.


Speer: Country Club Towers Update #4

Over in the Speer neighborhood, the County Club Towers are trekking along. When we first announced the project, there was a lot of uncertainty with the massing and materials, but we finally have a good idea of what’s going up.

To start, here is a unique vantage point I have been using for this project. The west tower is poking out just above the trees and will be very prominent when it approaches its final height.

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Going down to the ground level, we can see that the west tower is up eight stories; 26% of its final height. Here are three things that have already exceeded my expectations with this project. Number one: the towers will not be a flat. Each unit will be facing at an angle making the tower look jagged.

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Number two: The podium facade has the same brickwork, color, and patterns, as the surrounding historic Country Club Gardens.

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Number three (this one is very important): The east and west towers will be significantly set back from the podium making these more point towers than large 30-story walls.

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The eastern portion of the podium is close to topping out with one more floor to go. It should only be a few weeks until the east tower starts to go up.

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As a bonus, here is a mock-up of the facade minus the concrete wall to the left; that’s the foundation for another building.

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Like The Confluence, the Country Club Towers are going to make a significant impact on the Central Denver skyline. From what we are seeing, these will be slender towers, and feature a very unique look when complete.


Union Station: 16 Chestnut Update #4

Just a few days ago we reported that construction had begun on the 19-story 16 Chestnut project in Downtown Denver’s Union Station district. Monday, East West Partners and Starwood Capital Group announced they have sold the project to Invesco Real Estate. Despite the sale to Invesco, East West Partners will continue to guide the project as developer through the completion of construction.

Thanks to Chris at East West Partners and Alana from VOCA Public Relations, we’re happy to share this very high-resolution new rendering of the tower showing the DaVita logo on the side of the building. This is the view from approximately 16th and Little Raven looking southeast at the Millennium Bridge. The new tower under construction is on the left and DaVita’s existing headquarters building is on the right:

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By the way, while construction has been underway for only a few days, there’s already a sizable hole in the ground at the site!

2016-06-21 Edit: Here’s an additional high-resolution rendering courtesy of East West Partners. Thanks, Chris!

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Summer 2016: Central Denver Tower Crane Census

Happy first day of Summer readers! Back by popular demand, we are going to start the week and season off with a tower crane census. There was a lot of crane action going on over the weekend so this will be a fun census. All of the tower crane photos, with the exception of one, were taken on Saturday for an accurate count; even though the count is going to be tricky.

This census is for tower cranes only. The self erecting cranes (cranes without a ladder mast or cab) on smaller builds are not counted.

Why tricky? Let’s start out with tower crane number zero. As I got down to the Union Station neighborhood, workers were taking down the crane at Union Tower West. As much as I would love to count this, this crane has been completely taken down.

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Let’s move the count in a positive direction. One and Two belong to Pivot.

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Three and Four are for 1709 Chestnut. The second tower crane for this project wasn’t up on Saturday but it should be complete today.

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Tower crane number Five belongs to the 16th and Wewatta Hotel and Office Complex.

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The Confluence offers tower cranes Six and Seven. As a bonus, they were jumping the south tower crane over the weekend.

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Number Eight belongs to 28th and Vallejo and, since this is a Central Denver census, Alexan West Highlands brings number Nine to the table.

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I forgot the memory card for my other camera before I went up to take this photo so here is number Ten, belonging to Modera River North, in cell-phone-picture fashion.

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I said out loud, “No! What are you doing? I have a census to do…” as I saw what was going on at Dairy Block. A tower crane taking down another tower crane is not a sight we see everyday. Unfortunately, I can only count one for Dairy Block bringing the total up to Eleven.

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Twelve and Thirteen, belonging to 999 17th Street, are nicely tucked away in Central Downtown.

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1144 Fifteenth claims number Fifteen with Le Meridien / AC bringing the number up to Sixteen. If you look closely in the first photo, you can see the south tower crane for The Confluence continuing to jump itself.

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Seventeen belongs to the rare luffing jib over at SkyHouse. I’m sure number Eighteen, at Alexan Uptown, will be taken down very soon.

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Number Nineteen is working hard at Eviva Cherokee with Twenty and Twenty-One helping build the twin 30-story Country Club Towers.

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Last but not least, Twenty-Two stands tall above the Alexan Cherry Creek site. After a five hour tower-crane-spotting hike, I forgot to take a current picture of this one but trust me, it’s still there.

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As I was editing these photos last night, my wife nicely told me that she spotted one for Tennyson Place in Berkeley last month. After reviewing her phone picture footage, that brings our final total to Twenty-Three. Sorry, I don’t have a current photo of this one.

That’s a lot of tower cranes and about the peak number we are going to see this year. Our previous census, back in 2013, featured ten tower cranes with around three up in Cherry Creek at the time. 2016 has significantly more construction activity as the boom keeps on rolling!


Union Station: 1709 Chestnut Update #4

To wrap up the week, we have a quick post on 1709 Chestnut as a new tower crane is starting to go up! As of last night, the mast was built with the first part of the jib up on the top.

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Looking down into the pit we can see the crawler crane, used to erect the tower crane, and another tower crane base. The second tower crane will go up this weekend.

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As a bonus, here are four pictures, with fountains, of the historic Union Station building decked out in pride colors.

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Have a great weekend DenverInfill readers!


Capitol Hill: 701 Sherman Final Update

Given there is no pattern in location with our posts this week it tells us one thing: there is infill still going on all over Downtown Denver and its surrounding neighborhoods! Heading to Capitol Hill, we are going to take a look at the seven-story, 105-unit apartment building at 7th Avenue and Sherman Street.

Now named ‘7/S Denver Haus’, RedPeak’s new property is now complete and open for leasing.

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Here are all of our previous posts for this project:

Capitol Hill: 701 Sherman Update #3

Capitol Hill: 701 Sherman Update #2

Capitol Hill: 701 Sherman Update #1

New Capitol Hill Project: 701 Sherman

Designed by Craine Architecture, this project adds a fairly new color scheme to Capitol Hill; dark brick.

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7/S Denver Haus also features blonde brick on three sides of the building.

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The west facing side, along Lincoln Street, has a setback and houses a rooftop deck along with an outdoor amenity area for residents.

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While there is no ground floor retail, the ground level is incredibly pleasant to the pedestrian passerby. The east side contains ground level unit entrances with the main building entrance on the south side.

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This project adds a significant amount of density to this area of Capitol Hill where surface parking lots are aplenty. Welcome to the neighborhood!