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Archive of posts filed under the Downtown Districts category.

Union Station: The Coloradan Project Update #1

Back in November, we announced a new 342-unit condo project proposed in the Union Station neighborhood. Recently, the project, named The Coloradan, showed up on the Denver Planning Board and is going to go under review with a staff recommendation of ‘Approval with Conditions’.

But, that’s not the only great news for this great project. We also have some new, super high resolution renderings thanks to Chris Frampton of East West Partners!

First, let’s start out with the street level. As a disclaimer, these renderings, especially at the street level, are not final. There will still be minor tweaks as the project goes through the review process.

Make sure you click to embiggen as each rendering is at a very high resolution.

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Next up, the view from the Commuter Rail canopy. The Coloradan has a large setback which breaks up the mass, making it more friendly and visually appealing at the street level.

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Here is the view from 18th and Wewatta Street. The transparent building in the foreground is the 13-story Pivot project.

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And finally, the 19-story project rendered into a real life aerial photo.

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The last rendering is very special to me because I flew the aerials for GBD Architects, the project’s architect, back in January. It’s really neat to see what came out of it. Here is the original photo, without The Coloradan, for reference.

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Since this project is still under review, we don’t have a construction timeline just yet. However, we are going to have a neat post coming up in regards to The Coloradan on DenverUrbanism. Stay tuned!


Golden Triangle: Eviva Cherokee Update #4

Eviva Cherokee in the Golden Triangle neighborhood is starting to make quick vertical progress. Rising up 18 stories with mostly a glass facade, Eviva Cherokee will have a huge impact on the neighborhood from both a height and materials perspective.

Here is the view of the project from Cherokee Street. The concrete structure is now up five stories with the enclosure on the parking garage underway.

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Eviva Cherokee doesn’t take up the entire half block of Cherokee between 12th and 13th Avenue as Dozen’s restaurant sits on the corner. This keeps the footprint of this project slightly smaller than what we have seen elsewhere in Downtown Denver.

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Most of you are probably looking at the parking garage enclosure gritting your teeth but let me put your mind at ease. We saw the same thing over at the Steele Creek Apartments in Cherry Creek. It looked exactly like what you see above but it was treated upon completion.

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The glass facade will be the next major milestone with this project. We will swing back around when the first glass goes up!


New Jefferson Park Project: Decatur Point

A new apartment project known as Decatur Point is under construction in the booming Jefferson Park neighborhood west of Downtown.

Located at the northeast corner of Decatur and W. 27th Avenue and reaching north to W. 28th, the 5-story complex will include 203 apartment units. The project site is outlined on this Google Earth aerial:

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Construction started in 2015 and is being developed by Riverpoint Partners. The following renderings, provided by Craine Architecture, illustrate the new development’s design. This first image shows the proposed view from the corner of W. 27th and Decatur looking northeast:

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A pool and outdoor deck area on the second floor span over a vehicle access drive:

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The development includes 218 automobile parking spaces (1.07 parking space/unit ratio) located on one underground level and on the ground floor. Eleven 2-story townhome units, the leasing office, a coffee bar, and the residential lobby wrap the ground-level parking on all but the alley side of the building. Decatur Point will also include 132 bicycle parking spaces.

Levels 2-5 contain the apartment units with the pool and an outdoor courtyard located on the second floor and a “sky lounge” on the fifth floor.

Construction is expected to be completed in Fall 2016.


1401 Lawrence Tops Out!

Yesterday was an exciting day for the teams over at 1401 Lawrence; the project has officially topped out! What exactly does that mean? The project has reached its final height, at 22-stories or 304 feet, with the last beam lifted to the top yesterday. I was very fortunate to be the event photographer thanks to the great folks at First Gulf, the developer of 1401 Lawrence.

The topping out ceremony consisted of four speeches made by (left to right) John Macneil, President of First Gulf, Steven Bangert, CEO of CoBiz Financial, Amy Hansen, Real Estate Department Partner at Polsinelli, and Albus Brooks of City Council, District 9. Polsinelli is the anchor tenant, and CoBiz will have a branch on the ground floor, as well as corporate offices on two other floors.

After the speeches, these four were the first to sign the beam which will be kept on the building for its lifetime.

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Everybody at the topping out event had a chance to sign the beams, including myself. The team for the Beck Group, who have worked around the clock building 1401 Lawrence, posed for a photo right before the beams were hoisted up.

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Once the crane hook came down, the beams were hooked on and lifted to the top.

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Up they go!

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1401 Lawrence is turning out to be a really great project. The most notable feature, the glass facade, acts like a mirror, reflecting Colorado’s brilliant blue skies.

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In a sea of masonry and earth tones, the all glass building brings such a great change around this area of Downtown Denver.

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The aluminum and glass paneling is also making quick progress on the northeast side. Since this project is now topped out, what you see here is the final height of 1401 Lawrence.

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With fourteen updates, it is almost time to bring 1401 Lawrence to a close. The next time we visit it will be when it is completed; around this fall. What a fantastic project!


Union Station: 16th & Wewatta Hotel/Office Complex Update #5

Talk about quick progress! The 16th and Wewatta Hotel and Office Complex is rapidly rising. As I was in the area, I decided to take a few photos of the progress. Another update never hurts, right?

The hotel structure is now over halfway up, at seven stories. It will eventually top out at a total of 12 stories and feature a dark brick and glass facade.

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For the sake of comparison, the 12-story Hotel Born will be roughly as tall as the Triangle Building, and the grey blank wall of The Platform.

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The office portion is currently up four stories and will top out at five stories. You can also now clearly see the opening between the two buildings which will be used by pedestrians to access the commuter rail platforms.

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To wrap up, here are four shots of the project from the commuter rail canopy. This project is just starting to close in the space between the canopy and the 16th Street Mall. Ground floor retail will be featured along the inside of the commuter rail canopy.

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We should see this project topped off by mid-summer with the facade following behind. Tomorrow, we have an exciting post coming up. Stay tuned!


Central Downtown: Le Meridien/AC Hotel Update #4

Another significant project in Central Downtown Denver is now out of the ground and going vertical! The Le Meridien/AC Hotel eradicates part of a half-block-long surface lot fronting 15th Street and will make a great presence in this area.

The concrete build is going up quickly and is already up to the second floor. Now that it is out of the ground, we should see the structure rise a floor around every week to week and a half.

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Here are two photos from the ground level. The Le Meridien/AC Hotel will rise a total of 21 stories, slightly taller than its direct neighbor, the Embassy Suites, but shorter than the Hyatt Regency across the street.

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This 480-room project has made some great progress over the past couple of months. We are excited to see it rise!


New DenverInfill Feature: Denver’s Future Skyline in 3D!

We are excited to launch a new feature here at DenverInfill: Denver’s future skyline in 3D!

Thanks to Google Earth and the new way they’re rendering buildings in three dimensions, and thanks in particular to the newest member of the DenverInfill team, Ryan Keeney—starting today we will periodically feature a collection of views of the Downtown Denver and Cherry Creek skylines with the massing of buildings, proposed or under construction, added in.

The buildings have been color coded to match our DenverInfill Project Map, where yellow is residential, orange is office, red is hotel, and blue is civic/other. We will add a new “3D Future Skyline” link on the right sidebar below the Project Map box so that you’ll be able to quickly access the current and previous versions of our 3D Future Skyline images. We plan to issue a new collection of 3D Future Skyline images on a quarterly basis or perhaps more frequently, as needed.

A few important caveats to note about the buildings modeled in 3D in these images:

  • Each 3D object represents a simple massing of the building that has been extruded to the planned height of the structure. In most cases, buildings have step-backs and other architectural treatments that reduce the mass and scale of the building, particularly on the upper floors. Therefore, the three-dimensional space these buildings occupy in model form is going to be greater than they will in reality—an “objects will appear larger than they really are” situation.
  • Similarly, building footprints typically have small setbacks here and there from the property line, as opposed to the simple rectangular footprint used in most of our models.
  • The 3D model-making tools in Google Earth are fairly crude, so the purpose of our new 3D Future Skyline images is to convey a general sense of how Denver’s urban core is growing and densifying, not necessarily to show a specific building in three-dimensions. If you want to see what a particular building will look like, read the blog posts for that project.
  • Uses within a mixed-use building are colored with a very “broad brush” you might say, with ground floors and other parts of buildings that are planned to have other uses, like retail or parking, colored as one of the primary uses found in the building.
  • Google updates their imagery on a fairly regular basis (annually, it seems of late), so at some point in the future, when Google next updates their 3D imagery and a project has been completed, we will remove the 3D model of the building from our database because its physical representation will appear within the Google aerial background.
  • Buildings shown in 3D are only those planned or under construction for which we have published a DenverInfill blog post. There are many projects “in the pipeline” or recently announced that we haven’t yet profiled on DenverInfill, so those project aren’t in our 3D model yet.

OK, let’s get to the images! Each is presented in 2400-pixel HD glory, so click, zoom, and enjoy!

Downtown Denver looking north:

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Downtown Denver looking south:

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Downtown Denver looking east:

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Downtown Denver looking west:

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LoDo and Union Station districts up close:

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Central Business District up close:

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Downtown Denver high-level overview:

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Cherry Creek district looking northeast:

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Cherry Creek district looking southeast:

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That’s a lot of urban fabric-repairing going on!

As I mentioned, the credit for our 3D models goes to our new DenverInfill team member, Ryan Keeney. Ryan is a masters student at the University of Denver studying Geographic Information Science, urban form, and multi-modal transportation. When Ryan moved here from Indianapolis in 2015, he was amazed by the magnitude of infill occurring in Downtown Denver and was excited to witness its impact on the vibrancy of the city, so modeling urban development for DenverInfill allows Ryan to engage his technical skills while also contributing to the energy of Denver’s growth and revitalization. In addition to keeping our 3D Future Skyline files up-to-date, Ryan may also start reporting on new infill projects in the DU/South Denver areas on the blog. After graduation, Ryan’s goal is to start a GIS career in urban or transit planning. Thank you, Ryan Keeney, for your excellent contribution to DenverInfill!

I hope you enjoy DenverInfill’s 3D Future Skyline images as yet another way of experiencing the profound way in which the Mile High City is urbanizing and creating a more walkable, compact, and thriving urban core.


New Lower Downtown Project: 1510 Market

A small but exciting project is on the drawing boards for the corner of 15th and Market streets in Lower Downtown Denver.

1510 Market Street is a proposed restaurant/office addition to the Rocky Mountain Seed Building at 1520 Market that will fill the vacant corner lot currently used for motor vehicle parking. Here are Google Earth aerial and street view images of the site:

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In 2014, the Rocky Mountain Seed Building underwent a thorough restoration and conversion to office space, while an underground parking level was added to the undeveloped parcel at the corner. The underground parking was then topped with the current surface lot—an interim use until plans were finalized for vertical development on the site. This photo from March 2014 shows the Rocky Mountain Seed Building under renovation. On the left, 16M was under construction.

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1510 Market is currently under design review with the Lower Downtown Design Review Board. Information about 1510 Market, including the following rendering, were obtained from the project’s application materials submitted to the LDDRB for their April 7 meeting and published on the city’s website. Because this project is still under review by the city, the standard caveat applies: project details and designs presented below are preliminary and subject to further modification, refinement, and approvals (rendering prepared by Tryba Architects).

The proposal calls for an addition of approximately 16,000 square feet of space on four floors. The ground level will feature a restaurant, while Floors 2 and 3 will each contain approximately 5,000 square feet of office space with interior connections to the adjacent floors of the Rocky Mountain Seed Building next door. The top level will feature a small indoor dining area and L-shaped outdoor deck. Here’s the proposed view from across the 15th and Market intersection:

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This is a great addition to Lower Downtown! Not only does it replace a surface parking lot (yay!), but it also fills in a corner site—critical in an urban setting for establishing a consistent street wall along two streets and providing a great sidewalk experience for the pedestrian. We look forward to following this project as it moves through the design and approval process.


Union Station: 1709 Chestnut Update #2

It’s official! The project at 17th and Chestnut Street is underway. Right on the edge of the Union Station light-rail station, a 12 and 24-story tower will start rising over the next year or so. As a refresher, here are some preliminary renderings from our announcement post. This development will feature approximately 500 apartment units.

Edit 04/04/16 – 1:20PM – Here are some slightly refined renderings of 1709 Chestnut thanks to our friends at Shears Adkins Rockmore.

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Here is what the site looks like as of this weekend. Excavation and drilling is now underway, with heavy construction equipment starting to move onto the site.

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To show how large of a site this is, and how much impact this building is going to have on the neighborhood, here is a very high resolution aerial I took back in February. Make sure you click to embiggen!

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The project site is directly across the street from Pivot.

The empty parcels in the Union Station neighborhood are filling up fast!