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Archive of posts filed under the Highland category.

Lower Highland: 1615 Platte Update #1

In May 2016 we announced that Unico Properties had proposed a new mixed-use development, 1615 Platte Street, next to the Highland Bridge. 1615 Platte Street is a 90,000 square foot, four-story project with about 80,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The new building will wrap around the Highland Bridge’s circular ramp to help enclose the space within and around the ramp and make it feel more like an outdoor room, and to serve as the counterpart to the historic Zang Building (also owned by Unico) to frame the bridge’s plaza at Platte Street. Here’s a rendering from Open Studio Architecture we presented in May:


Since May, the site has been cleared and construction has begun. Let’s take a look!

In July, the site was fenced off in preparation for the demolition of the two surface parking lots and two small commercial structures that occupied the site:


In August, the property was fully cleared:


In September, site excavation began:

Now in October, excavation at the site continues…

while shoring walls for the project’s underground parking levels are going in next to the recently completed Lab on Platte…


as well as along the site’s I-25 frontage.


To wrap up this post, here’s a big panorama of the site as of this weekend:


If you zoom in on the panorama at full resolution and look between the Lab on Platte and the Nichols/Galvanize 2.0 Building, you can see the Riverview at 1700 Platte project under construction.

Lower Highland: Alexan LoHi Update #2

Today, we have a quick update on the Alexan LoHi project going in at West 32nd Avenue and Tejon Street. As a refresher, this project will contain 106 apartment units with 10,000 square feet of retail.

We mentioned back in August that demolition was complete, and the site was ready for construction. As of this weekend, crews were working on installing the tower crane, which should now be fully erected. Here is a picture of the crane going up.

Alexan LoHi will be built over the next 15 months, with completion in December 2017.

Lower Highland: Riverview at 1700 Platte Update #3

Good progress is being made at the Riverview at 1700 Platte Street project site in Denver’s Lower Highland district. Platte Street is a lively, walkable, urban corridor that features late-19th-century brick commercial structures, late-20th-century apartment buildings, and new 21st-century office buildings, all with ground-floor restaurants and shops. The new Riverfront development will add 210,000 square feet of offices and 9,300 square feet of street-level retail to the mix.


In our Update #2 in July, excavation was just getting started. Now, shoring walls support a large hole in the ground where the project’s two levels of underground parking will go. We have a big panorama to share with you today, so click/zoom/scroll to enjoy at full size!


The Nichols/Galvanize 2.0 building was directly behind me as I took this shot looking northeast, with Platte Street on the left and the South Platte River on the right.

Two Lower Highland Sites Cleared and Ready for Construction

As I was in the area this afternoon, I noticed that two sites in Lower Highland were cleared and are now ready for vertical construction.

The first site is 1615 Platte which will feature 80,000 square feet of office along with 10,000 square feet of retail.

The small grey building is still pending demolition but should be cleared out shortly.


Over on 32nd and Tejon, Dickinson Plaza has been fully demolished to make way for Alexan LoHi; a 106-unit apartment project with 10,000 square feet of retail.

That’s it for today, have a great weekend!

Lower Highland: Riverview at 1700 Platte Update #2

In our May 2016 Update #1 on this project, the old Empire Staples building on the site was being demolished. Two months later, excavation for the project’s two underground parking levels is underway. Here are a couple of photos from this past weekend:


The building in the photo is the side of the recently completed Nichols Building.

Riverview at 1700 Platte will bring additional office space and ground-floor retail to booming Platte Street. As a reminder, here’s what the new building will look like, courtesy of Tryba Architects:


Riverview at 1700 Platte is slated for completion in late 2017.

Lower Highland: Alexan LoHi Update #1

Construction activities are underway at the Alexan LoHi site at the corner of 32nd and Tejon in Lower Highland.

A fence surrounds the existing building on the site and the surface parking lot that covered the back half of the parcel has been removed.

Alexan LoHi will add 106 homes to the neighborhood plus 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail/restaurant space.

We’ve updated our Project Map to reflect the project’s new status as Under Construction.

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.