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Archive of posts filed under the Central Platte Valley category.

Central Platte Valley: The Confluence Update #5

It was only three weeks ago when we reported that the old industrial building at the corner of 15th and Little Raven had been demolished to make way for The Confluence, a proposed 34-story apartment tower in Downtown Denver’s Central Platte Valley district.

Clearing a property of an existing building or other site improvements is not the same thing as a new project being under construction, at least not by DenverInfill standards. There are several examples of sites that were cleared in the pre-recession era whose projects never made it out of the ground.

That won’t be the case for The Confluence, however, as excavation for the tower’s foundation appears to have begun:

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It will be fun to watch this tower climb and take its place in the downtown skyline, but some patience will be required before that happens: work putting in the tower’s three levels of underground parking will probably take a good part of 2015. The project is slated to open in early 2017.


Central Platte Valley: The Confluence Update #4

The old warehouse at the corner of 15th and Little Raven was demolished this morning:

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This clears the site for the construction of the 34-story Confluence tower to begin. Our last update (#3) on the project was just a few weeks ago. Here are two updated renderings of the proposed tower via the project architect (Gromatzky Dupree & Associates) website:

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We’ll post our next update when full excavation for the tower’s three levels of underground parking is underway.


Central Platte Valley: The Confluence Update #3

It’s been almost a year since our Update #2 on The Confluence, the proposed 34-story apartment tower at 15th and Little Raven. In that post, we provided the latest renderings of The Confluence and a detailed explanation behind the project’s site design concept. Since then, the project has been working its way through the development review process with the city while the development team has been finalizing the design.

We’re happy to report that there’s evidence at the site that construction on the tower may be getting underway soon!

In addition to a chain-link fence around the property and some other site prep work, this sign was just installed:

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The rendering on the sign appears to be very similar to the rendering in our Update #2 post, with only subtle tweaks apparent to some of the facade elements. We’re waiting to hear back from the developer, so hopefully we’ll have some official news to share with you soon about an upcoming groundbreaking.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this spectacular aerial image by our photo-taking guru Ryan Dravitz. The Confluence site is in the dead center of the photograph where an old one-story warehouse and gravel lot sit at the corner of 15th and Little Raven surrounded by the Central Platte Valley’s natural and urban landscapes.

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Central Platte Valley: AMLI Riverfront Final Update

Let’s head over to the Central Platte Valley to take a final look at AMLI Riverfront, a 242-unit apartment project that is a great step in the right direction for completing the Riverfront Park master plan. Here are all of the previous updates for this project:

New Apartments Proposed for 19th and Little Raven

Goodbye Empty Lots, You Will Not Be Missed

AMLI Riverfront Update #1

AMLI Riverfront Update #1 – Addendum

AMLI Riverfront Update #2

Inside the Infill: AMLI Riverfront Park

Central Platte Valley: AMLI Riverfront Update #3

Today, we will be looking at the project from the outside as well as taking a peek inside, thanks to Emily Flynn of AMLI! Like what we have been seeing with a lot of the new infill around Downtown Denver, AMLI Riverfront is mostly comprised of a brick facade which looks great along every side.

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The building curves with the sidewalk along Little Raven which adds some complexity to the building’s design; a neat feature of the project. The existing trees were also preserved, and there is ample new landscaping around the entire building. A single parking ramp on 19th Street leads to the garage towards the north.

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Time to go inside! In the center, you are greeted with a courtyard and swimming pool, wrapped around by apartment units. AMLI was adding the finishing touches to the pool while I was on this tour.

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The community space is two stories, with a community kitchen and space for entertainment and games such as billiards. There are also conference and community computer rooms on the second floor.

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Here is a sampling of the units. The finishes are what we have been seeing across the board: hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter-tops. The studio units have a partial diving wall and also come with racks for hanging your bike and/or snow gear.

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Speaking of bikes, there is ample bike storage in the parking garage as well as a bike room, which is maintained by Salvagetti.

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Last but not least, there is a rooftop deck that looks over Central Platte Valley. You can see Elitch Gardens, Mile High Stadium, the Front Range, and many other buildings and landmarks.

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That’s a wrap on AMLI Riverfront! This project adds 242-units and well over 300 people to the Central Platte Valley neighborhood. As of now, the building is over 50% leased and has been open for only a couple of months. Welcome to Central Platte Valley and Downtown Denver, AMLI Riverfront!


Central Platte Valley: Balfour at Riverfront Park Update #3

Let’s head over to Downtown Denver’s Central Platte Valley district and check in on the Balfour at Riverfront Park project. When we last covered this project in October, the west side of the project was built up to three stories and the east side was a hole in the ground.

The west side of the project has since topped out at five stories. Here is a view of it from Commons Park.

 

Going in for a closer look, it appears Balfour at Riverfront Park will feature both rectangular and arched floor-to-ceiling windows as well as a rooftop patio looking over Commons Park. The passage through the building for Bassett Circle has now been fully built with three stories of apartments above.

 

Back to my favorite spot to follow this project: The east side of the development is now up to two stories with one more floor to go. I bumped up the resolution of this image so you can see more detail on the project site from above! Make sure you click to enlarge!

The Balfour at Riverfront Park is shaping up nicely and should be done by this summer. We will visit this project again for its final update when it is complete!


Central Platte Valley: The Confluence Update #2

The Confluence, a proposed 34-story apartment tower at 15th and Little Raven in Downtown Denver’s Central Platte Valley district, appears to be moving towards the start of construction. The project’s development review application was submitted to the city on September 17 and is working its way through the approval process. This project’s genesis goes back before the 2008 recession, so this post gives some historical perspective and, in August 2013, we offered our latest post on the project’s status.

Today, we have an additional rendering and some further explanation about the project’s design concept.

Here is a larger version of the rendering from our previous post (project architect is Dallas-based Gromatzky Dupree & Associates). This is the view along Little Raven looking northeast toward 15th Street:

Here is an additional rendering looking northwest, with 15th Street on the right and Little Raven on the left.

As I mentioned in our August post, I had the opportunity to chair the Urban Land Institute’s Technical Assistance Panel that recommended this concept. The additional rendering above helps illustrate some of the urban design ideas behind our concept.

The prior zoning on this site would have required a building covering the entire parcel with a footprint about the size of a football field and six to nine stories in height. Very few people in the neighborhood, or on our panel, were excited about that form of development. Thus, our challenge as a panel was to come up with a concept that maintained the same amount of development potential as the prior zoning, while reshaping that square footage into a form that would be more responsive to the site’s context.

The key was to shift the density upwards into a thin tower with a greatly reduced footprint, resulting in a site plan with open space that could become an extension of Confluence Park Plaza. However, there were choices as to where on the site the tower should go.

On one hand, we wanted to have some type of substantive building form to anchor the 15th/Little Raven corner. Corners are very important elements in the urban fabric, and not having any kind of building mass at that corner would be a missed opportunity. On the other hand, putting a 34-story tower right up against the sidewalks at 15th/Little Raven seemed too much for the corner to handle. Additionally, our panel also wanted to make sure that the design concept created a street wall along Little Raven, provided a strong pedestrian connection from the corner diagonally to Confluence Park Plaza, and offered places for ground-floor retail/restaurant uses to help activate the Plaza.

The solution can be seen in the image above. The tower is shifted down Little Raven towards the creek, and a low-rise, pedestrian-scaled building segment defines a street edge along Little Raven. At the 15th/Little Raven corner, a mixed-use building with active ground-floor uses and a scale compatible with structures nearby anchors the corner. A passageway near the corner penetrates the building to provide an important visual and pedestrian connection to Confluence Park Plaza.

I’m really happy with the way this project’s design turned out. The Confluence is a fantastic project to celebrate the Central Platte Valley’s remarkable transformation into a dense urban neighborhood. If all goes as planned, the project should break ground within the next few months.


Central Platte Valley: Balfour at Riverfront Park Update #2

It’s been a little while since we’ve taken a look at the Balfour project over in the Central Platte Valley. Since our last update in May, we are now able to see some things start to take shape. Let’s take a look!

First, let’s start out with my favorite view of the project. Given the size of the site and this project, I am quite surprised there is no crane on site but even without a crane, it looks like this project is moving forward quickly. On the east side of the project, concrete columns have been poured for the underground parking garage. On the west side, both the elevator cores and timber structure have started to rise.

Here is a closer look at the west side of the project. This building will have great street presence along both Little Raven and 15th Street and with ‘The Station at Riverfront Park’ across the street, there will be a great street wall along 15th Street heading into Downtown Denver.

 

Here is the answer to one of the logistical questions we had about this project: How are cars going to travel under the building to use Bassett Circle and what will the structure look like? Here you go! There will be a two story concrete structure with concrete supports separating the lanes of Bassett Circle.

This project will fill in a lonely gap in the Central Platte Valley. Here are a couple additional shots from further out just to give you an idea how this building will fit. The elevator cores are essentially topped out so the building itself will rise roughly as high as the cores.

 

The 204-unit building will have a combination of both 5-story and 3-story buildings with completion around the summer of next year. If you need a refresher on this project including renderings, head on over to our announcement post.


Central Platte Valley: AMLI Riverfront Update #3

Since our Inside the Infill update in May, a lot of progress has been made and the AMLI Riverfront project is starting to come together. As a refresher, this 5-story apartment building will be providing 242 rental units to the Central Platte Valley.

The main structure along 20th Street and Little Raven has since topped out and is wrapped for the brick facade; which we should start to see go up very soon. Since this building is occupying where the old Riverfront Park sign used to be, a new sign now sits right on the intersection of 20th and Little Raven.

 

Here is the building looking down Little Raven. We can clearly see there will be a very wide sidewalk leading right into the park and neighborhood. Excellent!

Here we are finally seeing the true elements that will be used on AMLI Riverfront Park. Just like what we have been seeing in all of the other low-rise apartment projects, Brick! Lots of brick. Not to mention, there is now a great street wall on the east side of Little Raven!

 

The timber structure is still going up on the south facing side, where the driveway and courtyard is going to be, with one more floor to go. The parking structure has been wrapped with brick colored paneling and looks much better than an exposed concrete structure. This is the garage from the Railyard Dog Park.

 

AMLI Riverfront is expected to open for occupancy this Fall so our next update of this project will be the final product!