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Archive of posts filed under the Central Downtown category.

New Central Downtown Project: Le Meridien/AC Hotels

Downtown Denver’s appeal as a business, convention, and leisure travel destination continues to grow, as a new hotel development planned for the corner of 15th and California will introduce both Starwood’s Le Meridien and Marriott’s AC hotel brands to the Denver market.

White Lodging, the Indiana-based hotel developer that completed the 17-story Convention Center Embassy Suites hotel in December 2010 and that is currently under construction with the 21-story dual-brand Hyatt Place/Hyatt House project at 14th and Glenarm, is planning another hotel project near the Colorado Convention Center. Here’s a Google Earth aerial where I’ve outlined the project location at 15th and California, followed by a Google Earth street view photo of the site:

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Not only does this development bring two new prominent international/urban-oriented hotel brands to Downtown Denver, but it also represents the first example in the area of a single project that mixes brands from two different hotel flags. The dual-brand hotel concept is a cost-effective way to add new hotel properties to the downtown market. It eliminates the expense of constructing a separate tower for each brand and it allows for the sharing of amenities like fitness centers, pools, and meeting rooms. Separate registration areas and signage help maintain the brand distinctions within the building. In addition to White Lodging’s dual Hyatt at 14th and Glenarm, Downtown Denver’s other dual-brand hotel is the Homewood Suites/Hampton Inn adaptive reuse project at 15th and Welton.

The new hotel tower will rise 20 stories, with the Le Meridien lobby facing California Street and the AC lobby facing 15th Street. Here are two renderings, courtesy of White Lodging and their project designer, HKS Architects. The second image shows the tower’s lower levels from virtually the same perspective as the Google street view image above:

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According to White Lodging, the tower will contain a total of 480 rooms, with 272 rooms for Le Meridien and 208 rooms for AC. The project also includes 12,500 square feet of meeting rooms. The preliminary schedule shows a July 1, 2017 grand opening.

A big win for Downtown Denver’s convention and tourism industries, this project is also a big deal from an urban form and pedestrian perspective as well. It replaces an ugly, soul-sucking surface parking lot with a solid building form with good ground-floor transparency. That is worth celebrating!


Central Downtown: 1401 Lawrence Update #5

Construction work on First Gulf Corporation’s 1401 Lawrence tower is moving along steadily. Here’s a photo from a few days ago:

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Also, here’s a ground-floor plan (courtesy of First Gulf Corporation and the Beck Group) showing the location of the main lobby, parking entry, and the project’s two restaurant/retail spaces:

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With such a high percentage of the building’s sidewalk frontage consisting of transparent restaurant/retail space, this project should be a nice addition to the pedestrian experience.


Central Downtown: 1401 Lawrence Update #4

Excavation work has begun on 1401 Lawrence, a new 22-story office tower in Central Downtown Denver!

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Central Downtown: 1401 Lawrence Update #3

There was good news on September 25th when we announced the groundbreaking of 1401 Lawrence. The 22-story, 298,000 square foot office tower will eventually make its mark on the Denver skyline but, as with all new projects, there is a long journey ahead.

Demolishing the old sales center, used for the original 1401 Lawrence condo tower proposal, was the first thing on the to-do list. The building has already been torn down and as of today, the asphalt for the parking lot has also been taken out. Here are some pictures of the site from a week ago.

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All of the parking for 1401 Lawrence is above ground meaning this project will quickly rise above the street level! We will check back in a few weeks when this project is in the hole-in-the-ground phase.


Downtown Denver: Aloft Denver City Center Update #4 (Inside the Infill Edition)

At the intersection of 15th and Stout Street sat an old abandoned fast food restaurant that destroyed the pedestrian experience on a street already riddled with parking lots and not-so-pedestrian-friendly buildings. But, over the past year, that intersection has dramatically changed, featuring a six-story hotel that is nearing completion.

Before we go take a look on the interior of the building, here is a recent shot of the exterior. On our next and final update of this project, we will go down to the street level and look at the building in more detail.

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Thanks to Damon Balcerak of Martines Palmeiro Construction (MPC), I was able to get an exclusive inside look at the progress being made! Everything is starting to shape up from the flooring to the walls.

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The rooms are even more complete with all of the essential furniture pieces in place. Room accessories and mattresses will start to get installed over the next couple of weeks.

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The aLoft Hotel features a basement, which houses the main amenities and back of the house operations. Here are some pictures of the soon to be complete pool and fitness room. The common areas of the hotel will all share an industrial look, with exposed beams and pipes throughout the building.

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Given the small plot of land the aLoft sits on, the main lobby has a surprisingly open feel to it. There will be a porte-cochère entrance, mid block on Stout Street, and another entrance along 15th Street. The lobby will also include a state of the art bar, which we will cover more in depth with our final update. Here it is under construction.

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The aLoft Denver City Center has an expected opening date of November 20th. We will check back in around then for our final update. Stay tuned!


Central Downtown: 1401 Lawrence Update #2

Good news! DenverInfill has learned from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the brokerage firm handling leasing for the proposed 1401 Lawrence office tower, that the official groundbreaking for the project will take place on October 1, 2014. For more about this project, visit our last update here.

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By the way, the tower has gained a floor since our last report. It now will be 22 stories tall and contain 298,000 square feet of office space and 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Toronto-based First Gulf Corporation is the developer. For more information including a downloadable PDF with additional building details, visit the First Gulf’s project website.

 


New Central Downtown Project: 1144 15th Street

A major new office tower is proposed for Downtown Denver: 1144 15th Street.

To be developed by Hines, 1144 15th will provide 640,000 square feet of office space in a 40-story glass tower rising up from 15th Street between Arapahoe and Lawrence Streets, sharing the block with the Four Seasons. Here’s a Google Earth aerial with the site outlined:

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Here are a few renderings from the project’s website. Pickard Chilton is the project architect.

View looking west from a few blocks to the east:

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Skyline panorama also looking west:

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Nighttime view looking east from Auraria Parkway:

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Wide skyline panorama looking east:

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According to the Denver Business Journal, Hines is planning to build the tower as a 100% speculative project based on the strength of the Downtown market. Construction is scheduled to begin May 2015 with completion in mid-2017.

This isn’t the first time Hines has proposed this project. Twice since the early 2000s, Hines had marketed a tower at this location, but with a pre-leasing requirement that never materialized. From our DenverInfill archives, here is an image of the proposed tower (then known as 1100 15th) from 2001:

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What an exciting project! We will keep you posted as more details about the project become available over the coming months.  


Downtown Denver: Aloft Denver City Center Update #3

Let’s head on over to Central Downtown Denver and check in at the aLoft project going up on 15th and Stout Street. As a refresher, the aLoft hotel will rise six stories and provide Downtown Denver with 140 new hotel rooms.

As of this weekend, the structure has gone up two stories; which is already twice as tall as the building that used to stand on this site! The parcel, of 12,500 square feet, has quite a small footprint but the aLoft will feature all of the standard amenities, including a fitness pool / spa.

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The building will be comprised of a one-story podium with five-stories of timber structure above. Here are some pictures of the project from a neighboring parking garage. There are currently three surface parking lots that are around this project. The aLoft is a great step in the right direction, but wouldn’t it be great if these other lots got developed as well?

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This project is already having a very positive impact on the 15th Street corridor. We should see this project complete later this year.