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Archive of posts filed under the Lower Downtown category.

Lower Downtown: 16M Final Update

Since the announcement of 16M back in April 2012, everyone rejoiced that the old Office Depot building at 1350 16th Street was going to be demolished and something much better was going to stand in its place. Now that the fences are down, and 16M has been mixed into Downtown Denver’s urban fabric, the intersection of the 16th Street Mall and Market Street has a new breath of life. Before we get to the pictures, make sure you visit our previous updates of 16M.

New Lower Downtown Project: 1350 16th Street

Demolition Begins for 16th & Market Project

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #1

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #2

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #3

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #4

Summer 2013: Downtown Denver Hole-in-the-Ground Census

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #5

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #6

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #7

Time to take a look at the completed building. Designed by Gensler, 16M rises a total of 10 stories and provides the Lower Downtown District with 115,000 square feet of office space, 13,000 square feet of retail, and 47 residential apartment units. Here are two views of the building looking down the 16th Street Mall towards Union Station.

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16M shares a similar design with its neighbor down the block, SugarCube. The first six floors are dedicated to retail and office space and floors seven through ten, set back from the office portion, are dedicated to the residential units.

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The street level, where the pedestrians interact with the city, is the most important part of any project. 16M hit it out of the park, with a tucked away garage ramp, attractive office entrance, and ample ground-floor retail.


If you ask for my opinion about the ground-floor treatment, I would say this is infinitely better than walking along the blank wall of an Office Depot with a single entrance on the 16th Street Mall!

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The presence, look, and feel of 16M is outstanding. It’s a very attractive building with brick and glass throughout the entire facade and it has the most important feature every urban building should have: an amazing street presence. Welcome to Lower Downtown, 16M! We are glad to have you!

Lower Downtown: Z Block Update #1

In January 2014, we reported on Z Block, a new mixed-use development in Lower Downtown that would remove nearly a half block of ugly surface parking from the historic Windsor Dairy block. Z Block was proposed by McWhinney in cooperation with the brokerage team at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and property owner Grand American.

The original Z Block concept included a new office building along the entire Wazee Street side of the block, and multifamily residential in a new building fronting a portion of the Blake Street side, with the two components connected by spanning over the alley and forming a T-shaped project site.

With this update, there are two major changes to the project. First, Denver-based Sage Hospitality, operators of the historic Oxford Hotel and the newly opened Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station, have joined the development team. Consequently, the second major change: the residential component of the project has been dropped, a hotel component added, and the uses rearranged on the block.

The new eight-story Z Block Hotel will occupy the corner of 19th and Wazee and offer 170 rooms. The 6-story office component will now have an L-shaped footprint, fronting most of the Wazee side of the block and spanning across the alley to the Blake Street side.

We have a bunch of brand-new renderings to share with you, courtesy of the nice people at McWhinney, Dovetail Solutions, Shears Adkins Rockmore (designers of the office component) and JG Johnson Architects (designers of the hotel component):

The corner of 18th and Wazee showing the office component that extends for about two-thirds along the Wazee Street frontage:


A close-up of the center part of the Wazee side showing the main office entry:


The Z Block Hotel anchoring the corner of 19th and Wazee:


Closer view of the hotel at 19th and Wazee:


From the corner of 19th and Blake, the view of the hotel on the right and, on the left, the portion of the office space that spans across the alley to the Blake Street side:


View from 18th and Blake showing the office component in the center of the block and the alley side of the Wazee building:


Finally, a close-up of the offices facing Blake Street:


The project also includes 400 underground parking spaces and 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

In my opinion, this is a wise move by Sage Hospitality and McWhinney. With Sage already operating what are arguably two of Downtown Denver’s most prestigious boutique hotels in amazing historic structures with the Oxford and the Crawford, the addition of the Z Block Hotel gives Sage a third property—in this case a modern facility in a sleek new building—and over 360 rooms within three blocks of each other all between Union Station and Coors Field in the heart of Lower Downtown. Smart.

Z Block is scheduled to be completed by September 2016.

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #7

Let’s head up the street and check in over at 16M. This project, just like The Platform, is in an exciting phase of construction: the facade has started to go up! Because 16M is in Lower Downtown, there were very specific design guidelines this project needed to meet. One very clear feature of the facade is copious amounts of brick are being used.

Here is the building from both 16th Street Mall and 15th Street along Market Street. The building is now up to nine stories which means it will top out when the next floor is poured. Can you spot the brick behind the scaffolding?


Here is a closer look at the brickwork. 16M will feature both red and dark brown brick on the facade with plenty of glass mixed in!


Next time you are on the 16th Street Mall and you pass by 16M, stop and take a second look at it and think back to 2012 when the single story Office Depot stood on this site. I’m confident you will all agree with me when I say, what a fantastic improvement 16M brings to this previously underutilized intersection!

New Lower Downtown Project: Z Block

A major mixed-use infill development is coming to Lower Downtown Denver, and a big gap in LoDo’s urban fabric will be healed in the process.

Colorado-based McWhinney, along with partner Grand American, is planning an office, residential, and retail project on the block bounded by Wazee, 19th, Blake, and 18th streets. Named “Z Block” to highlight the project’s location along LoDo’s fun-sounding Wazee Street, the mixed-use development will bring a substantial infusion of activity to the heart of Lower Downtown and replace nearly a half-block of surface parking with buildings that reinforce the historic district’s traditional urban form. Here’s a GoogleEarth aerial photo where I’ve outlined the project site in yellow:

The image above shows Z Block’s key location between Denver Union Station and Coors Field, as well as its T-shaped footprint that covers not only the full half-block along Wazee, but a portion of the block’s Blake Street frontage as well. The white-roofed building in the image above on the Wazee side of the block is an old one-story warehouse (used for parking cars!) and adjacent to it at 18th and the alley is a small three-story office building. Both of these buildings are non-contributing structures to the Lower Downtown Denver Historic District and will be removed. Here’s a Google Street View image showing these two structures.

Additionally, two one-story buildings in the center of the Blake Street side of the block are also non-contributing structures to the historic district and will be replaced by new construction. Here’s a Google Street View photo of these two buildings:

On the Wazee side, Z Block will feature a 6-story, 260,000 square foot office building with office space on floors 2 through 6, and a mix of office, restaurant/retail, and lobby spaces on the ground-floor. On the Blake Street side, the project will include 70 apartment units in a 6-story structure with residential and retail spaces on the ground floor. Z Block also includes three levels of underground parking with a total of 425 spaces, allocated as follows: 260 spaces for office users, 70 spaces for residential users, 83 spaces for existing tenants on the block, and 12 additional spaces. Here’s a ground-floor site plan (all the following images are courtesy of McWhinney and their project architect, Shears Adkins Rockmore):

The image below shows how the project will span across the alley, connecting the office and residential portions. The “invisible” building in the center foreground is the historic building where the Celtic Tavern is at 18th and Blake (18th Street is on the left and Blake Street is on the right). The new structure on the right side of the image is the residential component facing Blake Street, and behind and to the left is the block-long office building facing Wazee. The top five floors of the office building on the 18th Street side has been cut away to illustrate the project’s mid-block connections, ground-floor uses and street-level passageways.

Z Block viewed from 19th and Wazee looking south:

Z Block viewed from 18th and Wazee looking east:

The residential part of Z Block on Blake Street:

According to McWhinney, Z Block is scheduled to break ground in October or November 2014 with an 18-month construction time frame.

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #6

Last year, our first post of 2013 was on the exciting 16M project. At that time, the old Office Depot building was demolished and leaving behind a pile of rubble. Now, a year and a few days later, progress on 16M has made leaps and strides. The building has started to make a huge impact on both Market Street and the 16th Street Mall. Let’s take a look!

As of today, 16M has risen 6-stories out of a total of ten. Further down Market Street, towards 15th Street, the 5-story portion of the building has topped out and the second tower crane has been removed. 16M will not be the only building making a huge impact on this side of Market Street. The historic Rocky Mountain Seed building is going under restorations which will also include ground floor retail with offices above. As soon as both of these projects are complete, the pedestrian experience will greatly improve compared to what was there before.


Here are two more unique angles of the 16M project. The first picture shows how well 16M contributes to the street wall of Market Street. In the second picture, you may not see the 10-story building quite yet, but once it tops out, there will also be a great street wall down the 16th Street Mall!


The 10-story building will have ground floor retail along both 16th Street Mall and Market street, and will provide Lower Downtown with 130,000 square feet of office space and 47 apartment units. 16M will be complete later this year and we are very excited to see this project when it’s complete!

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #5

Today we are going to take a quick peek at 16M, the mixed-use (office, retail, residential) project situated on Market Street and 16th Street Mall. We haven’t visited this site in a while because there were 3 levels of underground parking that had to be completed and there wasn’t much to look at.

Today is a different story though. The three levels of parking are finally complete and we are finally able to see this structure above ground level! Here are some pictures of 16M from this afternoon. One floor down, nine to go!


We should now start to see 16M rise very quickly and see completion about a year from now.

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #4

Earlier this month a new tower crane was installed at 16M. This last weekend a second tower crane was installed on the project site at 16th and Market.

With two cranes up we should see 16M go vertical very quickly! As far as construction progress is concerned, there isn’t much going on in the giant hole right now but as soon as the structure starts to go up we will visit this project again.

It’s always nice to see yet another tower crane around Downtown Denver!

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #3

It’s not very often we see two tower cranes go up on two different project sites all in less than a week’s time span. 16M now has a tower crane on site and we should start seeing vertical construction very soon! Exciting!

As always, I have some pictures of the new crane for you! Nothing like fresh rain and a deep blue sky on this gorgeous spring day!



For a little high resolution bonus shot, here is the view off of the Millennium Bridge. Notice 16M’s new crane? Also, this is the last year you will be able to see the skyline from this bridge, so get all your pictures taken!

Construction just keeps on trekking along around Downtown Denver. What an exciting year so far!