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Archive of posts filed under the Union Station category.

Union Station: 1975 18th Street Update #2 & Union Tower West Update #5

It’s not very often we update two projects in one post. However, when the same parcel has two different projects, and we’re looking at it from the sky, both can be featured in a single photo.

In the foreground, foundation for 1975 18th Street is underway. Behind it, Union Tower West is halfway up with a little bit of the glass facade showing on the northwest corner of the building.


Here is one more aerial peeking just above Alta City House.


That’s all for the aerial coverage this week but I guarantee there will be more coming soon!

Union Station: Pivot Update #6

Over the last four months, since our last update, construction for Pivot has started to take off with the structure quickly going vertical. For today’s update, I have a special treat for you: aerial photos of the project.

I recently got a new flying platform where I have full control of the photos I am taking versus guessing and hoping to get the framing right. That being said, these aerials may look a little more refined than the ones we have used in the past. Starting off, here are two different elevations of Pivot. The dirt lot across the street is for 1709 Chestnut, which is currently in the pre-development phase.

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Coming down a little more level with the cranes, we can see that Pivot is up nine stories with four more to go. The photo on the right is a fun, vertigo-inducing shot looking straight down on the 17th Street Gardens, light-rail plaza, and two of the last remaining dirt parcels along Chestnut Place.

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I have three more project updates this week that will contain aerial footage. Stay tuned!

Union Station: 16th & Wewatta Hotel/Office Complex Update #3

Let’s end the week by visiting another project that has finally made it out of the ground: The 16th & Wewatta Hotel / Office Complex. This project consists of a 12-story, 200-room hotel and a 5-story, 53,000 square foot office building. Originally, the hotel was branded as a Kimpton but that has changed to Hotel Born.

Work has commenced on the first level above ground! Here is a site photo and a street level view.

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Looking straight down the commuter rail canopy is a view that will never get old. As this project climbs, this view will be forever changed.


Now that this project is above ground, we will start to see how the hotel and office building interact with each other at the end of the commuter rail canopy. Have a great weekend DenverInfill readers!

Union Station: 1709 Chestnut Update #1

Back in October, we, here at DenverInfill, announced  a very exciting project going up in the Union Station neighborhood: 1709 Chestnut. It’s a development that will provide over 500 residential units, contained in 12 and 24-story buildings, on a parcel just steps away from Denver’s light-rail system.

This past weekend, I observed what could possibly be pre-construction activity over at the site. The street lamps along 18th Street have been taken down and an excavator is now on site.  Here are a couple of photos from Sunday.

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Empty parcels are filling up quickly around Union Station!

New Union Station Project: Ascent Union Station

Greystar, the Charleston, SC-based multifamily developer that recently wrapped up construction on the King Soopers-anchored Elan Union Station apartments at 20th and Chestnut, has submitted plans to the city for a second apartment project on the same block. Known as Ascent Union Station, the project will feature 142 apartments in a 14-story building. Here is the site outlined on a Google Earth aerial:


Please note: the images below (courtesy of the Mulhern Group, the project architect) were included in the project’s development application to the city and are preliminary design concepts that are subject to further modification and refinement.

Ground-floor plan:


View of the northeast side of the tower facing southwest, with Wewatta Street on the left and Elan Union Station on the right:


View of the southeast side looking northwest with Wewatta Street in the foreground and 19th Street on the left:


View of the southwest side facing northeast with 19th Street in the foreground and Elan Union Station on the left:


According to plans submitted to the city, parking will be accommodated on two full levels underground, about half of the ground floor, and the entire second floor. A total of 278 vehicle parking spaces will be provided—8 for the retail and 270 for the residential—resulting in a parking space/residential unit ratio of 1.90 (270/142). Does that sound high to you? It should, because it is.

For comparison purposes, let’s take a look at the parking ratios of some of the other residential developments in the Union Station area. Please note: parking spaces dedicated specifically to retail uses have not been included in the totals below.

  • Platform: 243 parking spaces, 287 residential units, ratio = 0.85
  • Cadence: 216 parking spaces, 220 residential units, ratio = 0.98
  • 1709 Chestnut: 537 parking spaces, 510 residential units, ratio = 1.05
  • Pivot (17W): 670 parking spaces, 580 residential units, ratio = 1.16
  • Elan Union Station: 469 parking spaces, 314 residential units, ratio = 1.49
  • Alta City House: 452 parking spaces, 280 residential units, ratio = 1.61
  • Ascent Union Station: 270 parking spaces, 142 residential units, ratio = 1.90

Not only is Ascent Union Station’s proposed parking ratio significantly higher than any of its neighbors, including its sister property Elan Union Station, but it is significantly higher than other downtown apartment projects that don’t have the benefit of being located directly across the street from the region’s largest transit hub. For example, the parking ratio for One City Block = 1.23, Broadstone RiNo = 1.35, and SkyHouse Denver = 1.36.

In fact, Greystar could completely eliminate the 68 parking spaces planned for the entire second floor of Ascent Union Station making the new parking space count 202, replace them with 13 additional residential units—the same number of units as on the third floor—making the new unit count 155, and end up with a new parking ratio of 1.30, which would still be higher than Platform, Cadence, 1709 Chestnut, and Pivot. Eliminating the parking on the second floor would also make what is already a pretty good-looking building look even better.

The three primary defining characteristics of great urban spaces and downtowns in particular are density, mixed uses, and a pedestrian-prioritized public realm. Incorporating such a high number of vehicle parking spaces into a project located in what is arguably the most pedestrian/transit-focused place in the entire region is bad urbanism. I hope Greystar will reconsider their parking plans for Ascent Union Station.

2015-12-21 EDIT at 3:45 PM:

There’s been discussion in the Comments section about the unit-type mix within the various projects listed above (as in the number of one-bedroom versus two-bedroom units, for example) and the impact of that mix on the number of parking spaces provided. Doing some quick research on this question, I’ve come up with the following (numbers for 1709 Chestnut and Elan Union Station were not readily available):

  • Platform: 216 studio/1-br units, 71 2-br units, 358 total br, spaces/br ratio = 0.67
  • Cadence: 181 studio/1-br units, 39 2-br units, 259 total br, spaces/br ratio = 0.83
  • Pivot (17W): 445 studio/1-br units, 135 2-br units, 715 total br, spaces/br ratio = 0.94
  • Alta City House: 185 studio/1-br units, 90 2-br units, 6 3-br units, 383 total br, spaces/br ratio = 1.18
  • Ascent Union Station: 41 studio/1-br units, 87 2-br units, 14 3-br units, 257 total br, spaces/br ratio = 1.05

Looking at the parking space/bedroom ratio, Ascent Union Station fairs a little better since it has the lowest percentage of 1-bedroom units and the highest percentage of 2- or 3-bedroom units compared to the other projects. Alta City House has the highest parking ratio under this analysis with 1.18 parking spaces per bedroom. Still, the proposed Ascent Union Station will have more than one parking space per bedroom which, given its location next to the city’s biggest transit hub, doesn’t make much sense to this urbanist.

Union Station: The Platform Final Update

The Platform at Union Station was always a special project to me. At the time of its announcement, The Platform, developed by Holland Partner Group, was the tallest project I would be following for the next couple of years, along with being the largest new project in the neighborhood. Nowadays, projects like The Confluence, 1144 Fifteenth, and SkyHouse Denver are quite taller, but The Platform will always be the first 20+ story project I followed extensively for DenverInfill.

We had quite a bit of coverage on the 21-story, 240 foot, 288-unit apartment project. Since this started right as Union Station was booming, it’s a great journey to see it go up alongside the evolving neighborhood.

Check out our previous posts:

New Union Station Project: 1650 Wewatta [Announcement]

Union Station: 1650 Wewatta Update #1 [Excavation Commenced]

Union Station: 1650 Wewatta Update #2 [Tower Crane Installed]

Union Station: The Platform Update #3 [Structure at Street-level]

Union Station: The Platform Update #4 [6-stories]

Union Station: The Platform Update #5 [11-stories & New Facade]

Union Station: The Platform Update #6 [New On the Skyline]

Union Station: The Platform Update #7 [18-stories & New Glass]

Union Station: The Platform Update #8 [Topped Out]

This final update is going to be a little bit different than our others. Instead of running out and photographing the project in a single day, I have a collection of photos, taken over the past year, where The Platform has made its mark. Not only do these photos feature the finished product, it also shows how positively it impacts our everyday views.

If you’re taking a stroll down the 17th Street Gardens, it’s very hard to miss the white facade and blue glass featured on The Platform.

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At eye level, the Union Station neighborhood has some great dense urban qualities.


Cleverly named, The Platform sits right next to the Commuter Rail canopy. It will feature ground floor retail along 17th Avenue and has a mountain themed work of art tucked away against the platform itself.

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From the Lower Highlands, it stands out on Denver’s skyline. Thank you Ken for access to the great view in the second picture!

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There are two components to this project: a 13-story and 21-story structure. You can see the step up from the front of Union Station.


The 18th Street pedestrian bridge has always given us great views of The Platform. Here is one last look before it gets covered up by its neighbor, Pivot.


Let’s wrap up this post with some aerials. As these were not shot specifically for The Platform, you can get a sense that this project has great scale and massing while making a very positive impact in the Union Station neighborhood.


Can you spot it in these last two aerials?


Welcome to the Denver Union Station neighborhood!

Union Station: Union Tower West Update #4

Today I have a special update for Union Tower West. Not only are we going to look at it from the ground, but we also got a great aerial advantage of this project. As a refresher, Union Tower West is a 12-story, 180-room hotel, 100,000 square foot office building. From a height prospective, this project will join the Cadence, Triangle Building, 1601 Wewatta class.

Over the last couple of weeks, the elevator and stairwell cores have started to go vertical, with the parking structure tagging along. There will be three stories of above-ground parking, which is almost complete.

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How about some aerials? It was a great, clear weekend to get some high visibility drone photos. There is some serious crane action going on in the Union Station neighborhood!

A few more projects still need a final update in the Union Station neighborhood, making those our focus this week. Stay tuned for those updates and some more aerials!

New Union Station Project: The Coloradan

The last remaining undeveloped parcel adjacent to Denver Union Station will be developed as a 19-story, 342-unit (for sale!) condominium tower known as The Coloradan.

East West Partners, along with Amstar Advisors, will be developing The Coloradan on the “B block” as it is known on Union Station planning maps. The “B block” is located between the rail platforms and Wewatta Street, north of Wewatta Pavilion. The site for The Coloradan is outlined in yellow on the Google Earth aerial below.

The “B block” is one of five development parcels on the original 19.5-acre Union Station property. The other four, outlined in green, are the “north wing” and “south wing” parcels (developed into IMA Financial Plaza and One Union Station), the “triangle parcel” (developed, appropriately, into the Triangle Building), and the L-shaped “A block” (developed into the completed Platform apartment tower and the under-construction Kimpton Hotel/1881 16th Street projects).


View of The Coloradan site from the top of the recently completed 1601 Wewatta:


The Coloradan will feature a mix of unit sizes and include 10% income-restricted affordable units under the city’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. The development also includes 19,000 square feet of retail. Following are images from the project’s development review application to the city; the first one below showing the view of the proposed tower from under the commuter rail canopy. The project architect is GBD Architects.


The development program for the building stacks up like this: Two levels of underground parking, a double-height ground floor with lobby/retail uses and a mezzanine, three levels of parking, and 15 floors of residential units. The building tops off around 200 feet in height with the corner of the building next to the transit canopy stepping down twice—at the 140-foot level and again at about the 50-foot level—to frame views of the canopy and to reduce building mass near the station, canopy, and pavilion. Here are four building elevations:

West elevation (facing Wewatta Street):


North elevation (facing 20th Street):


East elevation (facing the canopy and Denver Union Station):


South elevation (facing Wewatta Pavilion and the Platform apartment tower):


The project will include approximately 450 parking spaces (for both residents and retail customers), 348 bicycle parking stalls for residents, and over 30 bicycle parking stalls for retail customers and visitors. The vehicle entry will be at the north end of the tower where a short driveway will align with 18th Street at Wewatta.


Another interesting feature is that the pedestrian bridge that spans over the rail platforms will connect to the building’s second level, allowing pedestrians to directly access the building’s retail/lobby level from the bridge. Residential amenities include a fitness center and concierge on the mezzanine level, outdoor garden decks on the fourth and fifth floors, and a pool and club room on the 18th floor.

Here’s one more rendering, looking at the 18th and Wewatta corner:


Construction is expected to begin summer 2016 with completion due in 2018.