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Archive of posts filed under the Lower Downtown category.

New Lower Downtown Project: 1600 Market Hotel

The undeveloped parcel at the east corner of 16th and Market streets in Lower Downtown Denver may soon be developed as a hotel.

T2 Hospitality of Newport Beach, California, has submitted an application to the Lower Downtown Design Review Board for an 11-story, 222-room hotel at 1600 Market Street. The property was acquired by T2 in November 2015 from Integrated Properties, the firm that developed the 16M project across the street. The property sits at a key corner along Downtown Denver’s 16th Street Mall, across the street from Continuum Partners’ proposed Market Station redevelopment of RTD’s former bus facility. Here are aerial and street view photos of the site from Google Earth:



The Lower Downtown Design Review Board will have their first look at the proposed building on February 11, where they will review the project for mass, scale, and context. Several rounds of review and approval are required by the LDDRB, along with additional approvals by the city before a project can begin. The following images are from the project’s February 11 application to the LDDRB and are very preliminary and conceptual in nature and are subject to further modification and refinement. The project architect is DLR Group.

Massing diagram, Market Street view:


Massing diagram, 16th Street view:


One level of underground parking is planned for the project, containing 37 parking spaces and room for an additional 17 valet-parked vehicles. The porte cochere and underground parking will be accessed via Market Street near the common wall with the historic building next door. The ground-floor uses also include 7,500 square feet of leasable restaurant/retail space fronting the 16th Street Mall, with the hotel entry facing Market Street. Hotel patrons will head up one level to the second floor, where the hotel’s main lobby, lounge, and meeting rooms will be located. Here’s a ground-floor diagram:


Hotel rooms will occupy floors three through eleven. The building will rise 130 feet, the maximum allowed for this parcel.

While this project is very early in the approval process, the prospect of another vacant corner lot being developed in Downtown Denver is exciting. Corners are so important to good urban design as they define and help activate the public realm (the streets and sidewalks) for not just one street, but for two. And certainly, we celebrate the removal of another surface parking lot, those soul-sucking black holes in the urban fabric!

The proposed 1600 Market Hotel joins the recently announced 1701 Blake Hotel and the Market Station and Dairy Block projects as significant infill developments in the heart of Denver’s most beloved and walkable districts, Lower Downtown, where an intact urban form and an exceptional pedestrian experience are so important.

Hi everyone. Ryan here. I’m hijacking Ken’s post to share two photos of this site taken from a couple hundred feet up. In these photos, you can clearly see how much of an eyesore the surface lot is.

This project will bring a huge improvement to this corner of Lower Downtown Denver!

Lower Downtown: Dairy Block Update #6

The aerials are going to keep rolling in as we head on over to Lower Downtown to check in on Dairy Block: a 170-room hotel and 6-story office project.

Back in the initial announcement posts, we talked about the unique T-shape this project is going to have. Looking at the project from the sky, we can see exactly that! The steel portion, for the office building along Blake Street, has topped out at six stories. Behind it, the hotel has made it out of the ground and is up one story. It will also top out at six stories.

2016-01-30_DairyBlock-Aerial 2016-01-30_DairyBlock-Aerial-02

Dairy Block is a huge win for Lower Downtown Denver and I am very excited to see this take form!

New Lower Downtown Project: 1701 Blake Hotel

Denver-based hotel developer Stonebridge Companies is planning a seven-story, 202-room hotel for the corner of 17th and Blake street. The project includes a small addition to the rear of the adjacent historic building at 1725 Blake and functionally incorporates that structure with the new hotel while maintain the historic building’s integrity and its Blake Street facade. Stonebridge’s recent hotel projects in Downtown Denver include the conversion of the historic Colorado National Bank building into a Marriott Renaissance and the adaptive reuse of an old Xcel Energy building into a dual-branded Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites.

Here’s a Google Earth aerial showing the project location at 1701 Blake:


The project was first reviewed by the Lower Downtown Design Review Board in November and received approval, with conditions, for mass and scale. The next round before the LDDRB—design detail review—is planned for February 4. All of the following images are from the project’s application materials submitted to the LDDRB for the February 4 meeting. Consequently, these images do not necessarily represent the project’s final design and are subject to further modification and refinement, with additional development review and approvals by the city planning office still to come. The project designer is Newman Architects.

View looking north at the corner, with 17th Street on the left and Blake Street on the right:



Here’s the same angle from Google Street View, showing the site’s current condition as a gaping hole in LoDo’s urban fabric:


The hotel’s porte cochere will be located where the new structure and the historic building meet, with vehicles entering from Blake and exiting via the alley. The development includes two levels of underground parking for approximately 75 vehicles. This next image, the ground floor plan, shows the porte cochere location and other ground-floor uses such as the hotel lobby/lounge and leased space for restaurant/retail in both the new and historic structures:


The upper floors of the new hotel building include a light well that allows the placement of hotel rooms around all four sides of the site. The second and third floors of the adjacent historic building will contain the hotel’s ballroom and meeting rooms. The small addition behind the historic building adds space for a fitness center on the second level and a conference room on the third. Here’s the plan for the second floor:


This view of the Blake Street side shows how the new structure’s urban form thoughtfully responds to its historic neighbor through the use of step downs from the corner and a step back on the upper levels. Vertical glass curtain wall elements above both the 17th Street and Blake Street pedestrian entries help break up the building’s massing, while the separate use of tan and gray brick on the Blake Street side also contributes to the appearance of smaller connected buildings similar in width to the historic 1725 Blake structure.


Overall, this is an exciting project for Denver! It eradicates an ugly surface parking lot and fills a void in LoDo’s urban fabric. Along with two other major infill projects in the heart of Lower Downtown—Market Station and the Dairy Block—the new 1701 Blake hotel will bring significant new pedestrian activity and vitality to the heart of LoDo.

New Lower Downtown Project: Market Station

The redevelopment of Downtown Denver’s Market Street Station took a major step forward today with the announcement of Market Station, a $150 million mixed-use project on the site of RTD’s former bus terminal.

Denver-based Continuum Partners has purchased the Market Street Station property from the City and County of Denver for $14.5 million, which had acquired the site from RTD in 2008 as part of the financing mechanism for the Union Station transit project. Continuum teamed with East West Partners to form the Union Station Neighborhood Company to lead the redevelopment efforts at Denver Union Station, where Continuum is currently working on the “Block A” Hotel/Office project next to the commuter rail/Amtrak platforms. Continuum’s other notable urban projects include Belmar in Lakewood, the redevelopment of the former CU Hospital at 9th and Colorado, and 16 Market Square, located directly across the street from Market Street Station.

For some context and orientation, we have a Google Earth aerial showing the site outlined in yellow, followed by a spectacular drone shot from DenverInfill’s own Ryan Dravitz. The historic RTD headquarters building on the block is not part of the project.



Market Station will be comprised of three buildings ranging from 5 to 10 stories.

Building A will face the 16th Street Mall and most of the Market Street side of the block in an L-shaped configuration and will have three main sections: 10-story buildings at the 16th/Blake and 16th/Market corners, and a 5-story building occupying the middle of the Market Street frontage. Building B, at 5 stories, will anchor the 17th and Market Street corner; Building C will also have 5 floors and will occupy the corner of 17th and Blake. Together, the three buildings will include about 370,000 square feet of development, featuring 90,000 square feet of office space, 85,000 square feet of retail/restaurant, and the balance as 225 apartment units. Two underground parking levels will include 350 vehicle spaces for tenants and the public.

Some of the following diagrams are from the project’s development application to the Lower Downtown Design Review Board, which approved the project’s mass and scale at its December 10, 2015 meeting. Several more rounds of review and approval by the LDDRB are still to come, as well as other approvals by the Denver planning office. Consequently, these images represent conceptual designs only and are subject to further modifications and refinement. In addition to Continuum, the project team also includes architectural firms El Dorado and BOKA Powell, and Dig Studio for urban design and planning. The renderings and other exhibits are courtesy of Roger Pecsok at Continuum Partners and Alana Watkins at VOCA Public Relations. Thank you Roger and Alana!

Site massing (16th and Market corner in foreground):


Building program (office=purple, retail=pink, restaurant=red, residential=blue):



Architectural rendering (view of 16th and Market corner):


One of the exciting aspects of the project is the amount of retail. Too often in Downtown Denver, ground-floor retail ends up as ground-floor restaurant. Restaurants are great, but we could really use more quality retail in Downtown and this project offers plenty, featuring over 20 retail spaces facing the 16th Street Mall, Market Street, an interior paseo along the alleyway, and an arcade off of Market Street. The project’s primary restaurant spaces front 17th Street. Here’s the ground-floor plan, followed by a rendering of the arcade from the interior paseo looking toward Market Street:



Next, we have the four elevations:

16th Street Mall:


Market Street:


17th Street:


Blake Street:


Finally, here’s a diagram showing how the proposed underground parking levels will incorporate the volume of the existing RTD underground space (yellow):


Again, these are all preliminary designs that are subject to change over the coming months, but it is great to see the redevelopment of Market Street Station getting started. If all goes as planned, Continuum will break ground on the project in the fall of 2016 with completion in late 2018.

Lower Downtown: Dairy Block Update #5

Just a few blocks away from Union Station, work is progressing on a very prominent Lower Downtown project: Dairy Block, formally known as Z-Block. This project is taking up a large amount of surface parking while keeping to the true historic form of Lower Downtown.

First let’s take a look at the hole in the ground. The last time we visited this project, the two tower cranes were just going in. Now, construction is in full swing as the three levels of underground parking are beginning to rise. It looks like they have one more level before going above street level.

2015-11-17_DairyBlock-02 2015-11-17_DairyBlock-01

Keeping up with the aerial theme, I noticed Dairy Block was in the set of photos I took this last weekend! You can’t see it yet, but this project will fill in another gap of Lower Downtown’s already established urban fabric.

Stay tuned for many more aerials throughout the week!

Lower Downtown: Z Block Update #4

The infill tracker in me never sleeps and now with cameras always accessible, it is much easier to document it all. As my fiancee and I were at the Rockies game last night, I noticed that the second crane for the Z-Block project is now up.

Using the top deck of Coors Field to my advantage, I was able to get a great vantage point of the Z-Block and its new crane. When we covered the new tower crane at 1144 Fifteenth Street, I posted a chart with every tower crane around Central Denver. This second Z-Block crane was included in the count giving Central Denver a total of 17 tower cranes.


Looking towards Denver Union Station, you can now see six tower cranes!


There you have it, 17 tower cranes over Central Denver. Currently, we are not expecting any more to go up but I’m sure, as new projects take off, we will go crane spotting again!

Lower Downtown: Z Block Update #3

Just as you thought I was done with all of the crane coverage, more tower cranes are still popping up around Downtown Denver! This time, we are heading over to Z Block in the Lower Downtown neighborhood to check out tower crane number one of two going up on the site.

It was a quiet afternoon around Lower Downtown as the storms were rolling in, but workers were busy to get a tower crane erected. In this photo, the counterjib (back part of the crane) was just put into place.


The jib was staged along Wazee Street. Here are a couple more photos of the crane with just the counterjib installed.

2015-08-11_ZBlockCrane-04 2015-08-11_ZBlockCrane-02c

Up go the main winch and motors!

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After a quick lunch, and relocation to a different vantage point, work on installing the jib commenced.


Here is the rest of the jib getting put into place.


There you have it: an almost complete crane with just the counterweights missing.


Stay tuned for coverage on tower crane number two at Z Block!

Lower Downtown: Z Block Update #2

There’s more good news for Z Block, the office/hotel project slated for Wazee Street between 18th and 19th Street.

In our Update #1, we reported on how the development was reconfigured to include a hotel component and we presented several new renderings. Today, we’ve got two more exciting things to share with you about Z Block, but first, here’s a reminder of how nicely this development by McWhinney, Sage Hospitality, and Grand American fits in with its historic neighbors (image courtesy of Shears Adkins Rockmore):


The big news is that Z Block has scored an anchor tenant for the project: Prologis will be moving is Operational Headquarters from northeast Denver to Z Block, taking the top two floors of the office portion. Prologis is a global leader in industrial development and the company’s decision to move to LoDo is another huge win for Downtown Denver. There have been a number of high-profile corporate relocations to Downtown announced recently (like Liberty Global’s HQ move from Douglas County to the Triangle Building); let’s hope this trend continues!

With all the positive momentum this project has, it’s not surprising to see that the site is being readied for construction. This photo from today shows the small 1930s-era building on the property being removed; it’s a non-contributing structure to the LoDo historic district.


Even better, how about this photo showing that we officially have one fewer surface parking lots in Downtown Denver!


Finally, how about an extra-big, whole-block panorama bonus photo:


Z Block should be completed by late 2016.