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Archive of posts filed under the Union Station category.

Union Station: 17W Update #2

Two weeks ago in our Update #1 on Holland Partner Group‘s 17W development, we shared with you a new rendering of the project.

Not only are we happy to report that the project’s sleek updated design is the work of Denver-based Davis Partnership, but the good folks at Davis have also provided us with two additional renderings to enjoy.

Here is a view of the project from the corner of 17th and Wewatta, next to RTD’s Wewatta Pavilion:

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The development features three 10-story towers rising above a 3-level base. As shown in the image above, two of the towers are parallel to Chestnut and Wewatta, with the third tower spanning the width of the block facing 18th Street. Here is the view from the corner of 18th and Wewatta, with 18th on the right and Wewatta on the left:

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Whole Foods is planning a 56,000 square foot flagship store on the ground level facing the 17th Street Promenade. 17W is expected to break ground Spring 2015.


Union Station: 17W Update #1

Yesterday, we announced that a flagship Whole Foods was coming to Union Station on the ground floor of 17W, a new development by Holland Partner Group. To continue on the good news trend, we have an updated rendering of 17W, courtesy of Inside Real Estate News.

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The design of 17W is now sleek and glassy! We, here at DenverInfill, are very excited for this project to break ground!


Flagship Whole Foods Coming to Union Station

Good news for the Denver Union Station neighborhood! According to the Denver Business Journal, Whole Foods will be opening a new 56,000 square foot flagship store at 17th and Wewatta Street. So how is this infill news? If you remember back in June, we announced a new project, 17W, that had an unknown grocery anchor tenant on the ground floor. With the announcement of Whole Foods, this project is coming closer to reality.

As a refresher, here are some preliminary renderings of the project from our announcement post. Developed by Holland Partners, 17W will provide Union Station with 640 apartment units contained in three 13-story buildings which will rise over a retail and parking podium.

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According to the article, the Whole Foods is expected to open sometime in 2017 which means we should hopefully see a groundbreaking within the next few months.


New Union Station Project: Union Tower West

Atlanta-based Portman Holdings is planning a $100 million mixed-use project in Downtown Denver’s Union Station district.

Portman’s proposed hotel and office development at the corner of 18th and Wewatta was announced this summer, but details and renderings of the project at that time were very limited, so DenverInfill waited until more information was available. Fortunately, that time has come.

Let’s begin by getting you oriented geographically. The project—known as Union Tower West—will share the block bounded by 18th, Wewatta, 19th, and Chestnut with the proposed 1975 18th Street housing project and Xcel Energy’s Denver Steam Plant. Below is a GoogleEarth aerial with the site outlined in yellow:

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For a bird’s-eye view of the site, this drone-tastic image by Ryan Dravitz will do the trick:

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The Union Tower West development includes a 180-room hotel and approximately 100,000 square feet of office space. The project also includes 216 parking spaces and a pedestrian plaza facing the 18th and Wewatta corner. All of the following images are courtesy of John Portman & Associates architects:

Here’s a preliminary concept rendering of project showing the main entry at the corner of 18th and Wewatta and the tower rising above:

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The project’s different components are stacked vertically. The ground floor contains the office and hotel lobbies and meeting/dining spaces. Floors 2 through 4 are the parking levels (including bicycle parking and electric-car charging stations). Floors 5 through 8 feature the hotel rooms, and Floors 9 through 12 contain the office space. Here are two images that help illustrate the building program. The first shows a cutaway slice through the building parallel with 18th Street, and the second in a stacking diagram that shows the project’s four major components vertically:

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According to a recent press release, Portman is hoping to break ground on Union Tower West by the end of 2014.

Special Bonus: Did you know that Xcel Energy’s downtown Denver steam system is the oldest continuously operated commercial district heating system in the world? It’s true!

The original steam plant at the corner of 19th and Wewatta (official address is 1875 Delgany Street) was built by the Denver City Steam Heating Company and began providing steam heat through underground pipes to downtown customers in 1880 (Denver was just 22 years old at the time!). The plant was entirely rebuilt in 1972, which is the gold-colored building you see there today. The Denver Steam Plant is the hub for a network of over 16 miles of underground steam pipes that service over 130 customers in the downtown Denver area including many of downtown’s largest office buildings and major cultural, government, and civic facilities. Needless to say, Xcel has no plans to relocate the Denver Steam Plant, and its continued presence in the booming Union Station area gives us a small but important reminder of the Central Platte Valley’s industrial heritage. For more information about the Denver Steam Plant, below are links to two documents I stumbled across on the internet from which I gleaned the above information:

Denver’s 128-Year-Old Steam System: The Best is Yet to Come, by the International District Energy Association, District Energy, Fourth Quarter 2008 (a general news article about the downtown Denver steam system).

Engineering Assessment – Denver District Steam System, by Public Service Company of Colorado Engineering and Construction, March 2013 (a technical report that includes a variety of historical, engineering, and financial information about the steam system).


Union Station: The Platform Update #8

The tallest tower under-construction in the Union Station neighborhood has recently topped out at 21-stories and is making quite the statement in both the neighborhood and on the Denver skyline.

Over the past few weeks, workers have been busy installing the panels making quick and steady progress. After seeing these photos you might be wondering why there is a 13-story blank wall facing an open lot. Fear not, it will soon be covered up by the 16th and Wewatta Hotel / Office Complex! The 12-story, 200-room Kimpton Hotel will rise to the exact height of The Platform’s blank wall.

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At 240-feet, The Platform may only be 33.6% the height of Denver’s tallest building but it still makes a very large impact. Visually, this tower brings a unique color palette to the Denver building scene: white and grey paneling, a mix of colors we have yet to see elsewhere around the city.

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Here is one last view of The Platform with the commuter rail tracks front and center.

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The Platform has an expected delivery of early 2015 making this the last construction update before we wrap it up in a final update. See you then!


Union Station: The Triangle Building Update #5

Steel builds are, personally, one of the most exciting to watch. Instead of the core and structure going up together, the core rises first and the steel structure follows. These kind of builds also give us great insight to the height of the building early on in the construction process.

The Triangle Building is a steel build where the core is almost topped out at 10-stories with the steel structure starting to climb. With this, we now have a decent idea on the height of this project.

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Due to the larger floor-to-ceiling heights in office buildings, the 10-story Triangle Building will be roughly the same height as Cadence, which is 13-stories or 140 feet tall.

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The Union Station Neighborhood is starting to sport a skyline of its own and The Triangle Building will be a significant part of it!

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Given the quick nature of steel construction, the structure will only take a couple months to top out. By then, we will truly be able to see the triangular shape of this building. Stay tuned!


Denver Union Station: Final Update – After Dark

This is it. The last ‘final update’ of the incredible Denver Union Station project. Today, we will be looking at each element of this project at night. Denver Union Station is great to see during the daytime, but it’s even better when the sun is down and the lights are on! So whether you are…

A kid (or adult) playing in the fountains at Wynkoop Plaza…

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An observer watching the fountains from above…

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A passenger catching the California Zephyr headed for Chicago…

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Or a passenger getting off the California Zephyr in Denver …

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And are having your first drink at the Terminal Bar….

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Or a late night commuter taking the light rail home, or to work…

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Or a pedestrian, talking a night stroll through the city…

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This is what you see. Brilliant lights, illuminating a grand project. As I’ve said many times in the past: Union Station, you look absolutely incredible. I and many others are very happy with the outcome and are looking forward to the many great decades ahead!


Denver Union Station: Final Update – A Look Back

I didn’t start posting on Denver Union Station until Update 103, when construction of the project was in full swing. Before that, Rick Anstey was the Denver Union Station guru and avid poster. At the time Update 103 came out, the underground bus facility was capped from Chestnut to Wewatta, the old light rail station was long gone, the parking lots were torn up along Wynkoop Street, and construction for the North Wing Building had just started. It was still a whole different story than it is today; there was still a lot of dirt and not much vertical construction, as everything was still underground. In this post every ‘before’ picture will be accompanied by a present day photo. Let’s begin!

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Update 103 was also the last time we had a look inside the historic station. Remember Ken’s Union Station tours? That particular day attracted a large crowd as he and Dana Crawford discussed the future of the historic station.

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Fast forward to Update 105 and 106. I had my first hard hat tour of the project, which was very exciting for both DenverInfill readers and me personally. The foundation for the canopy had just started to go in and the underground bus facility was still a concrete shell.

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Then things started to get exciting above ground. My favorite piece in the whole project, the commuter rail station canopy, started to go vertical.

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As months passed, there was a lot of visible construction which made for some exciting photos. In Update 115, Ken snapped a great picture of the first fabric pieces getting installed to the commuter rail station canopy.

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Jumping to Update 121, the plazas were starting to take shape and the historic station was wrapped in scaffolding while it was undergoing a full restoration. The North Wing building had just topped out and the glass facade was peeking out from under the plastic.

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Then the most exciting aspects of the project came around: sections were starting to open to the public. It was before my time reporting on Union Station when the light-rail station opened back in May 2012 however, I did get to witness the 17th Street Gardens, commuter rail train station, underground bus facility, historic station, and Wynkoop Plaza opening!

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This project has completely transformed what was once a barren wasteland situated between two great neighborhoods. Denver Union Station is now the new hot spot in Downtown Denver and will continue thriving as the private sector developments keep rolling in. This was my personal experience from when I started covering this project to sitting here tonight typing up this post. Needless to say, it has been quite a ride. Welcome back to Downtown Denver, we are so glad you are back! I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences and stories during this project’s journey!