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Archive of posts filed under the Highland 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.


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.


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.


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!

New Lower Highland Project: Platte Fifteen

Lower Highland’s booming Platte Street is set to receive another new infill development to add to its pedestrian-oriented mix of historic and contemporary buildings.

Platte Fifteen is a proposed five-story, 160,000 square foot project planned for the corner of 15th and Platte Street. Currently, about three-quarters of the one-acre site is covered by a surface parking lot, with the balance occupied by a 20,000 square foot building holding Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers on the ground floor and Confluence Kayaks in the basement. Below is a Google Earth aerial showing the site location:


The Platte Fifteen project is being developed by Crescent Real Estate and MDC Property Services with Legend Partners handling the retail leasing and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank managing the leasing of the office space. Denver-based OZ Architecture is designing the project. Thank you to everyone at OZ for providing the excellent images and assistance!

Platte Fifteen includes approximately 14,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and around 135,000 square feet of office space on the upper four levels. Courtesy of OZ Architecture, let’s start with this overview rendering of the project showing the Platte Street (left) and 15th Street (right) corner:


The ground-floor retail spaces and building entry along 15th Street at the corner are set back by almost 20 feet with a covered paseo to provide extra room for pedestrians:



As this ground-floor diagram shows, the project features retail spaces facing both 15th and Platte streets. The development includes a few ground-level parking spaces plus two underground parking levels with a total of 236 automobile and 74 bicycle parking spaces. The vehicle entry is along Platte Street approximately where the current parking lot driveway is located:


View of the building lobby:


The four office levels will include about 10,000 square feet of outdoor space including terraces along Platte Street and a rooftop deck along 15th Street with great views of Downtown Denver:



Here is a building stacking diagram for the 15th Street elevation:


One very cool aspect of this project will be its use of Cross Laminated Timber. Platte Fifteen will be the first large-scale office building in Denver to be built using this construction technique that brings the warmth and aesthetics of large timber beams common in historic buildings into a modern open floor plan environment in a high-tech, sustainable way.


Here’s one more overview rendering with Platte Street in the foreground and 15th Street on the right:


Through a contextually scaled building with a modern glass and brick design and pedestrian-friendly ground-floor uses, Platte Fifteen will nicely anchor an important corner in Lower Highland and increase the vitality of what is already one of Downtown Denver’s most appealing and walkable mixed-use districts.

Construction should begin in 2017 with completion scheduled for late 2018.

2016-06-10 Edit: Gross building square footage revised to 160,000 SF per new information received from the developer.

New Lower Highland Project: 1615 Platte

A new office development is planned for Lower Highland’s historic Platte Street next to the Highland Bridge.

Seattle-based Unico Properties, whose Denver office has been very active in the past few years acquiring properties throughout the Denver-Boulder area, has submitted plans to the city for a new office/retail development at 1615 Platte Street. The development site is comprised of four parcels totaling 29,304 square feet of land area. Currently, two surface parking lots and two small structures occupy the site. The Google Earth image below shows the approximately outline of the property:


According to city records and a recent article in the Denver Business Journal, the new development will consist of a 4-story building containing 80,000 of office space, 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and parking for approximately 200 automobiles. The property is zoned C-MX-5 (C = Urban Center Neighborhood Context, MX = Mixed-Use, 5 = Five stories maximum). Unico’s proposed 16th and Platte project will be consistent in height with the nearby historic properties to the south and the several new office developments along Platte Street that include The Lab on Platte, Galvanize 2.0 and Riverview at 1700 Platte.

Developing the 16th and Platte parcel is part of an assemblage by Unico of properties along Platte Street. Recently, the firm acquired the historic properties to the south, including the Root Building at 15th and Platte (which is on the National Register of Historic Places), the Big Chief Bottling Company Building in center of the block, and the Zang Building at 16th and Platte.

The following renderings are courtesy of the project architect, Open Studio Architecture. Bird’s-eye view of the 16th and Platte corner looking north:


Platte Street view looking west:


View from the Highland Bridge looking east:


The project is still under review with the Denver planning office, so these renderings may not be the final version.

Here’s a photo I took this morning from across the highway of the project site:


Unico plans to begin construction on the development later this summer.

Lower Highland: 28th and Vallejo Apartments Update #2

On the Highland bluff overlooking downtown Denver, construction continues on Richman Ascension Development’s multifamily residential project at 28th and Vallejo. Our last post on this project was in October 2015, so it’s time for an update.

As discussed in our first post, this 273-unit apartment community consists of three buildings located along West 28th Avenue between Wyandot and Vallejo. To the northwest is Building A at 28th and Wyandot, which is separated by the alley from Building B, located to the northeast at 28th and Vallejo. Both of these buildings will be three stories high. On the south half of the site is Building C, which will be five stories tall. Here’s a Google Earth image from October 2015 after excavation for this project had begun:


According to Richman Ascension Development, the project now has a name (Infinity LoHi), a website, and what looks to be an updated rendering too. This would be the view from the corner of W. 27th and Vallejo looking northwest:


On to the construction photos! First up, here’s an image from my friend Jeff that provides a nice overview of all three building sites. We’re looking south here, so Buildings A and B are in the foreground, and Building C is just past the tower crane, which has been installed in the middle of 28th Avenue.


Down at the street level, this next photo was taken from the corner of 28th and Vallejo looking west, with Building C on the left and Buildings A and B on the right. Not only is 28th Avenue closed due to this project’s construction, but 27th Avenue and the stretch of Vallejo south of 28th were also closed to traffic the day I took these photos. This view shows the intersection of 27th and Vallejo and the southeastern corner of Building C:


Here from the intersection of 27th and Wyandot, we can see the southwestern stairway/elevator core for Building C starting to go vertical:


From 28th and Wyandot looking northwest, we can see the underground parking levels for Building A under construction:


Here’s Building A once again but from the northwest corner looking southeast:


We also have some new information about the automobile and bicycle parking for this project. The zoning at this location requires a minimum of 0.75 automobile parking spaces and 0.5 bicycle parking spaces per residential unit. That calculates out to a minimum of 206 automobile and 137 bicycle parking spaces. According to project documents on file with the city, Richman Ascension Development is providing a total of 321 automobile parking spaces (1.18 space/unit ratio, or 56% more than the minimum required) and 182 bicycle parking spaces (0.67 space/unit ratio, or 33% more than the minimum required).

Let’s conclude this post with one final photo (thanks, Jeff!) that gives us a panorama of the downtown skyline from near the project site:


Lower Highland: 18th and Central Apartments Update #2

It’s been a little over six months since our last update on Southern Land Company’s new apartment development at 18th and Central Streets in Lower Highland, so let’s take a look at how this project is shaping up. First, however, the project now has an official name and website: Centric LoHi.

As we described in our first post, the L-shaped development consists of a building that spans the northeast side of 18th Street between Central and Boulder, plus a second building at Boulder and 19th Street (which no longer exists as a street but its right-of-way is now occupied by Highland Gateway Park). This Google Earth image from October 2015 clearly shows the property under construction:


Here are some photos from this weekend.

Left: the corner of 18th and Central. Right: the corner of Central and the alley separating the project from Prost Brewing Company (off image to the right):

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This would be a good spot to show you the first of two new renderings of the project (courtesy EVstudio). This one shows the corner of 18th and Central where a Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern will occupy the largest of three ground-floor retail spaces:


Left: the 18th Street side just above Central Street. Right: the view along 18th farther up the hill toward Boulder Street:

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Left: the corner of 18th and Boulder. Right: a courtyard facing Boulder Street:

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Here’s the other new rendering—the view at the corner of 18th and Boulder:


Left: from Boulder Street looking down the alley that separates the project’s two buildings. Right: the project’s building at 19th and Boulder (foreground) is still at the foundation stage:

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Finally, the view from 19th and Boulder with the back of Prost Brewing Company on the left:


This project is slated for completion in early 2017.

New Lower Highland Project: Alexan LoHi

A new five-story apartment community, Alexan LoHi, is planned for the corner of West 32nd Avenue and Tejon Street by Trammell Crow Residential.

The site is currently occupied by Dickinson Plaza, a pair of attached neighborhood commercial buildings owned by the Dickinson family since 1900. Henry Dickinson sold the property to Trammell Crow Residential in January 2016 for $6.85 million. In addition to the two commercial buildings, a duplex and a couple of other small structures are also situated on the parcel, which measures approximately 35,500 square feet in area. About half of the parcel is vacant land or surface parking. The parcel is zoned C-MX-5 (C = Urban Center Neighborhood Context, MX = Mixed-Use, 5 = five stories maximum), which is described in the Denver Zoning Code as applicable to “areas or intersections served primarily by collector or arterial streets where a building scale of 1 to 5 stories is desired.”

Below is an aerial image with the site outlined, followed by several photos of the existing structures:


On the left, view looking northwest at the Dickinson Plaza property; on the right, underutilized center part of the Tejon side of the parcel:

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On the left, view of the corner looking north along Tejon; on the right, close up of the two-story section of the plaza at the far western edge of the property along 32nd:

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According to city records and Trammell Crow Residential, the new Alexan LoHi will have 106 units and 133 parking spaces in a five-story structure, with the average unit size coming in around 787 square feet. The ground floor will include approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space. The following high-resolution renderings are courtesy of the project architect, Denver-based Johnson Nathan Strohe.

Corner view:


Tejon side of the project with parking garage entry:


Trammell Crow Residential plans to begin construction in July 2016 with completion expected in December 2017.

New Lower Highland Project: Riverview at 1700 Platte

The Trammell Crow Company, developer of the Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center, History Colorado Center, 1900 Sixteenth Street, DaVita World Headquarters, and owner representative for the Denver Union Station Project Authority on the Denver Union Station project, will be begin work soon on their latest Downtown Denver project: Riverview at 1700 Platte Street.

The proposed Riverview at 1700 Platte Street development is a 210,000 square foot office building with 9,300 square feet of ground-floor retail, situated on Platte Street at the foot of 17th Street. Neighbors include Galvanize 2.0 to the southwest and The Lab on Platte across the street. Here’s a Google Earth aerial photo with the site for 1700 Platte outlined:


The project consists of two main components, a 4-story wing on the southwestern half of the site next to Galvanize and a 5-story wing on the northeastern half, connected by a small “link” building along the street and an outdoor terrace and courtyard along the river.

The following renderings are courtesy of Trammell Crow and Tryba Architects, the project designer. This first image shows the Platte Street side of the project, which features a red brick facade to respect the architectural context of its historic Platte Street neighbors:


On the river side, the building will feature a dramatic glass curtain wall to take advantage of exceptional views of the Platte River and Denver skyline:


The small link building functions as an airy two-story lobby that connects the two main wings, with leasable office space on the upper levels. Here’s a rendering of the lobby interior:


Behind the little link building, an outdoor terrace stretches to the Platte River and connects to a riverside trail and terrace.


This site plan shows the building footprint, with Platte Street at the top of the image.


The project will also feature a fitness center and five balconies that face the river and downtown skyline. Vehicle parking and bicycle storage will be provided in two underground levels. The development’s location adjacent to the Platte River/Cherry Creek trail systems and the 16th Street pedestrian corridor makes it very accessible by bike or on foot, and is a 10-minute walk from Denver Union Station.

Construction is planned to begin in April 2016 with the demolition of the former Empire Staple building. Recently, Trammell Crow completed a new facility for Empire Staple in the Globeville neighborhood, freeing up the Platte Street site for redevelopment. The project will be seeking LEED certification, with completion targeted for late 2017.

New Lower Highland Project: 2525 16th Street Hotel

A new five-story, 165-room hotel is proposed for a mid-block site along 16th Street between Central and Boulder streets in Lower Highland. Denver-based St. Charles Town Company is the developer. The Google Earth image below shows the approximate outline of the site.


The new hotel will be operated by Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and branded as a Tribute Portfolio property, Starwood’s newest hotel line that features independent boutique hotels in unique urban settings. The official name of the hotel will be released later in 2016.

Currently on the site are three small houses, two surface parking lots, and a 1970s building now used as offices but originally built as a sales center for mountain ski resort condominiums. One of the houses is vacant, another is occupied by Higdon’s Hair Studio (which will move to a new space around the block) and the third has been used by Amato’s Ale House. The entire site is zoned C-MX-5 (commercial mixed use, five-stories). The project’s 16th Street neighbors include a three-story 1920s-era apartment building at the Boulder Street corner and Amato’s at the Central Street corner. Here’s a view of the site:


The new hotel building has not yet been designed, but a concept rendering of the development’s preliminary scale and form was prepared by the project architect, Semple Brown Design, for Starwood’s project announcement two weeks ago:


This concept image shows a five-story building stepping down as it approaches Amato’s to provide a terrace offering great views of the downtown skyline, and a partial setback along 16th Street to create a forecourt for the main pedestrian entry, patio seating, and an engaging sidewalk presence. The project’s several underground parking levels will offer 117 vehicle parking spaces (more may be added as the building’s design evolves) accessed via an entry on 16th Street. As shown on the aerial photo above, the parcel is slightly L-shaped with a small section fronting Kensing Court. Due to the Hirshorn Park View Plane, the building will step down to about one-story high on the Kensing Court side. The hotel will feature a pool and rooftop lounge, as well as an event space, a restaurant, and a neighborhood market.

St. Charles Town Company hopes to break ground in late 2016 or early 2017 with an opening targeted for summer 2018.

Lower Highland: Fairfield Inn and Suites Update #1

Back in June we announced that construction had begun on a new Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel at the corner of W. 27th Avenue and Wyandot Street in Lower Highland. Recently, we stopped by to take a couple of construction update photos:

View from W. 27th Avenue:


View from across Speer Boulevard from near 26th and Zuni:


It looks like this project is on pace to open next spring.