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Archive of posts filed under the Central Downtown category.

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!


Central Downtown: 1144 Fifteenth Update #12

1144 Fifteenth Street, the largest and tallest project going up in Denver, is steadily rising as the core and parking structure start to make their way onto Downtown Denver’s skyline.

Here are two street level perspectives of the project. The two-story lobby is now prominent and the parking structure is currently up three stories. Once the garage tops out at 12-stories, the steel structure will start to go up ultimately topping out at 40-stories.

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I recently found a new perch to really capture how much of an impact 1144 Fifteenth is going to have. The Four Seasons (the building with the spire) is a great height reference as the 40-story office project will rise 37-feet higher than its neighbor.

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To wrap up, here is a bonus top down view of the project thanks to reader S. Autrey!

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The parking structure still has a bit to go and will take a significant amount of time. Hopefully by years end we will start to see the steel structure rise!


Central Downtown: Le Meridien/AC Hotel Update #5

It’s been about seven weeks since our Update #4 on the 488-room, 20-story Le Méridien/AC Hotel project at the corner of 15th and California, so let’s take a look at the construction progress. The tower is in the midst of its climb into the sky, so change comes fairly quickly—about one floor every week or so.

The view from California Street between 15th and 16th, showing the project’s contribution to the California street wall:

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Straight-on corner shot at 15th and California:

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The 15th and California sides of the tower have been the only perspectives available from the rendering provided by the developer, White Lodging:

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Now that the building is going vertical, we can gain a better understanding of the tower’s footprint, and the final plans approved by the city also clarify the facade materials we’ll see on all sides. This angle from 15th Street looking towards California shows that the tower consists of two narrow wings in an L-shape configuration, rising up from a three-story base:

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This is the alley side of the tower from near 15th and Stout Street:

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And this is the view from 14th Street looking above the side of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company building:

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As the above rendering shows, the California side will be almost entirely a glass and aluminum window wall system with a vertical band of red brick near the corner, while the 15th Street side will be mostly red brick with punched windows. According to documents on file with the city, the stub end of the wing facing the alley will be mostly EIFS with a few vertical bands of windows. The stub end of the wing adjoining the Bubba Gump building will be solid EIFS. The two facades on the inside of the “L” will be a mix of EIFS and aluminum and glass punched windows. Overall, the effect will be similar to what I discussed under “Option 1” in our Update #1 post, using the recently completed Hyatt Place/Hyatt House (by the same developer) as an example. Fortunately, there will be virtually no EIFS on either the California or 15th Street elevations, so those two sides with their glass and brick should look pretty good.

There will be two short drop-off lanes, one each on 15th and California, for passenger loading and valet. No parking (automobile or bicycle) is provided within the project. There are no minimum parking requirements within the Downtown Core (D-C) zone. A 30-foot high glass wall will frame the lobby at the corner of 15th and California:

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The 20th floor will contain guest amenities including a fitness center and an outdoor bar and lounge along the California Street side.

The dual-branded Le Méridien/AC Hotel property is scheduled to open in October 2017.


Central Downtown: 999 17th Street Update #5

999 17th Street is moving right along. With hardly any underground work, the apartment structure, 1776 Curtis, is already up three stories in a mere two months. This includes the parking structure, which takes longer to build.

Before we begin, we finally have some final renderings of the 27-story apartment building, courtesy of Davis Partnership Architects, the project’s architect. As we can see from the renderings, there will be a shared six story parking deck with ground floor retail and an amenity deck on top. Final designs for the office building have not yet been released.

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The apartment building is built right to the corner of 18th and Curtis Street taking away a huge hole in Central Downtown.

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Let’s check in on the progress. In the first photo we can clearly see 999 17th Street’s neighbor, 1001 17th Street. So what does a 1970’s era building have to do with this project? The apartment tower (315-feet) and 1001 17th Street (330-feet) will be roughly the same height. This gives us a great idea of how much impact this building will have at both a street level and skyline perspective.

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The apartment building will be a single structure between the residential units and parking deck. Right now, it is indistinguishable between the two uses.

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The office building, which will be just taller than the Hotel Monaco next door, has not yet started but will be completed in the same time-frame as everything else. This will also fill in a gap and help complete the street wall along 17th Street.

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999 17th Street is going to be a fun project to watch due to the fact it is going up in the densest part of Downtown Denver and filling in one of the largest holes in the Central Downtown urban fabric.


Central Downtown: 1401 Lawrence Update #15

Both 14th Street and Lawrence Street are closed today to allow for the disassembly of the tower crane at 1401 Lawrence, the 22-story office building that recently topped out. A new crawler crane doing the disassembling has been placed in the middle of the intersection:

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An additional smaller crane is situated about mid-block on Lawrence to assist:

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High above the streets of the Mile High City, brave workers disconnect the first piece of the boom:

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Almost detached…

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Done!

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To see what happened next, watch our video:

Back in February 2015, we covered this same tower crane being assembled. Goodbye, tower crane. Hello, new high-rise!


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!


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!


Central Downtown: 999 17th Street Update #4

One and a half months ago, we observed a new tower crane going up at the 999 17th Street site in the heart of Downtown Denver. Now, construction is in full swing with a second tower crane up and foundation rapidly going in.

Before we get to the pictures, let’s clarify something about the name of this project. You may have seen it referred to as 1776 Curtis Street elsewhere, which is, in fact, the address of the 28-story apartment tower. However, both the city, and Shea Properties refer to it as 999 17th Street. Because both the office and residential component are finishing at the same time, and to remain consistent with official sources, we will refer to this project as 999 17th Street until its completion.

Now on to the photos. Many years have passed since we have seen any tower crane activity in this part of Downtown Denver. Seeing two red tower cranes here is a refreshing sight!

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Looking in on the project site, we can see that foundation work is underway along with ramps for the parking garage, which will be shared between the office and residential buildings.

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Looking at the site from slightly higher vantage point, it’s very clear that 999 17th Street is filling in a huge void in the densest part of Downtown Denver.

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Here is a closer view of the parking ramps and one of the cores that will service the parking garage. The garage will rise a total of six-stories.

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What an exciting project to watch go up in Central Downtown!


Central Downtown: 1144 Fifteenth Update #11

1144 Fifteenth is in a very exciting stage right now with the core starting to quickly go vertical. When we last visited this site, we noted that the core was out of the ground and starting to climb. To kick off the week, we are going to check out the progress of 1144 Fifteenth from both above and street-level vantage points.

The lobby level and ramps for the above ground parking deck are currently underway along Arapahoe Street. It doesn’t appear that a precast system will be used which means each parking level will have concrete pours like what we saw with 1401 Lawrence back in June.

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Here is the core from the Lawrence Street side.

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On our tour of 1401 Lawrence, we were able to get some great above views of this project. Currently, the core is up three-stories with 39 more to go.

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To wrap up this post, here is one last photo from the Four Seasons thanks to reader S. Autrey!

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New skyscraper construction is incredibly fascinating to watch, and it’s only going to more exciting with 1144 Fifteenth!