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Archive of posts filed under the Lower Downtown category.

New Lower Downtown Project: 1510 Market

A small but exciting project is on the drawing boards for the corner of 15th and Market streets in Lower Downtown Denver.

1510 Market Street is a proposed restaurant/office addition to the Rocky Mountain Seed Building at 1520 Market that will fill the vacant corner lot currently used for motor vehicle parking. Here are Google Earth aerial and street view images of the site:



In 2014, the Rocky Mountain Seed Building underwent a thorough restoration and conversion to office space, while an underground parking level was added to the undeveloped parcel at the corner. The underground parking was then topped with the current surface lot—an interim use until plans were finalized for vertical development on the site. This photo from March 2014 shows the Rocky Mountain Seed Building under renovation. On the left, 16M was under construction.


1510 Market is currently under design review with the Lower Downtown Design Review Board. Information about 1510 Market, including the following rendering, were obtained from the project’s application materials submitted to the LDDRB for their April 7 meeting and published on the city’s website. Because this project is still under review by the city, the standard caveat applies: project details and designs presented below are preliminary and subject to further modification, refinement, and approvals (rendering prepared by Tryba Architects).

The proposal calls for an addition of approximately 16,000 square feet of space on four floors. The ground level will feature a restaurant, while Floors 2 and 3 will each contain approximately 5,000 square feet of office space with interior connections to the adjacent floors of the Rocky Mountain Seed Building next door. The top level will feature a small indoor dining area and L-shaped outdoor deck. Here’s the proposed view from across the 15th and Market intersection:


This is a great addition to Lower Downtown! Not only does it replace a surface parking lot (yay!), but it also fills in a corner site—critical in an urban setting for establishing a consistent street wall along two streets and providing a great sidewalk experience for the pedestrian. We look forward to following this project as it moves through the design and approval process.

New Lower Downtown Project: SugarSquare Addendum

As I was out and about taking photos for DenverInfill this weekend, I had to stop by to check out the SugarSquare site. To follow up with Ken’s announcement yesterday, I had to take some current photos. Needless to say, I was wowed by how skinny and tight this project is going to be. Here are two photos showing just that.

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It appears that there is work going on in the historic Sugar Building; perhaps to prepare for SugarSquare! I can’t wait to see this little project rise!

New Lower Downtown Project: SugarSquare

Denver-based Urban Villages, developer of SugarCube, is moving forward with a companion building, SugarSquare, on a small site on Wazee Street adjacent to the historic Sugar Building in Lower Downtown Denver.

To long-time DenverInfill readers, this project may sound familiar as something similar was proposed by Urban Villages back in 2006 when SugarCube was getting ready to break ground. But because that was almost 10 years ago and since the design has changed as well, we’re presenting this as a “new” LoDo project.

The site in question is the narrow undeveloped lot (currently functioning as a valet parking area) on Wazee next to the historic Sugar Building. Here’s a Google Earth aerial showing the project site:


Before we get to SugarSquare, let’s review very briefly the history of the handsome historic Sugar Building. According to the Sugar Building’s application to the National Register of Historic Places, the original tan-brick structure facing 16th Street was built in 1906 by the Great Western Sugar Company and was originally four stories tall. In 1912, an additional two floors were added to the top to bring the building to its current 6-story height. Along the Wazee side of the building, the red-brick section was the “warehouse” part of the building and it too was originally only four floors tall. It received a 2-story addition in 1916 to bring it up to six stories as well.

SugarSquare will be an extension of the historic building (as opposed to a stand-alone building) with internal connections between the original Sugar Building’s and SugarSquare’s floors. The addition totals 10,800 square feet of office space on four above-grade levels, plus a basement. A green roof/amenity deck will top the building. Here are several renderings, courtesy of Urban Villages and their project architect, Semple Brown Design:




An interesting aspect of SugarSquare is that the exterior facade will consist entirely of glass and blackened stainless steel—no brick whatsoever, which will be a first for LoDo. However, despite the building’s contemporary design and materials, it continues the rhythm and massing of Wazee Street’s historic architectural context and provides a nice transition from the 6-story Sugar Building down to its 2-story historic neighbor to the southwest.

SugarSquare is 100% pre-leased and a building permit is under review with the city. If all goes as planned, the project will break ground this summer.

What a great addition to Lower Downtown! Not only is SugarSquare a cool-looking building, but a (very skinny) surface parking lot will be eradicated as well!

Lower Downtown: Dairy Block Update #7

Dairy Block, over in Lower Downtown, is rising quickly! When we visited this project from a bird’s eye view in February, the first floor was complete on the Wazee Street side, with work beginning on the second.

Present day, the office portion, framed with steel, is up two-stories and the hotel portion, framed with concrete, is up five-stories. As with most steel builds, the two cores that will service the office building are up higher than the main structure.

The hotel will top out at seven-stories with the office topping out at five. Because of the different floor to ceiling heights, the two buildings will be close to the same height.

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I think we can all agree that this is already a better view down Wazee Street than what used to be there; a single story parking structure and surface parking. If you look down the alley between Wazee and Blake Street, in the second picture, a bridge connects both sides of the project.

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We never really visited the Blake Street side of this project since it started which is a huge oversight because there is a significant structure now fronting the street! The five-story office building has topped out with the brick facade starting to go in.

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Here is one more photo looking directly at the office building along Blake Street.


Heading back over to the Wazee Street side, we were able to get a slightly higher view of Dairy block. Here you can see the significant difference of the floor to ceiling heights between the hotel and office portions.

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This is one of the last views I will see of Central Downtown from my trusty Dairy Block viewing perch. However, it will be a great, urban scene once this project is complete.


Dairy Block adds some significant density to this area of Lower Downtown Denver. A great step forward to eradicating the surface lots scattered throughout Downtown Denver.

Lower Downtown: Market Station Update #1

The proposed Market Station redevelopment of RTD’s former bus station moves forward, as Continuum Partners and their development team make progress on refining the Market Station design to meet the criteria outlined in the Lower Downtown Design Guidelines. The Continuum team recently presented their revised plans to the Lower Downtown Design Review Board on February 4. The following images are from the packet of materials submitted that day. As before, the designs presented in the images below are still subject to further modification and refinement and additional review by the city. The design team producing these images include architectural firms El Dorado and BOKA Powell, and Dig Studio for urban design and planning

Bird’s-eye view with 16th and Market in the center foreground:


16th and Market:


17th and Market:


17th and Blake:


16th and Blake:


We’ll keep you updates as Market Station moves through the approval process an on to construction.

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.

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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.