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Archive of posts filed under the Upper Downtown category.

Upper Downtown: Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Hotel Update #4

Great progress is being made at the intersection of 14th Street and Glenarm. Since our last update in May, the dual branded Hyatt House / Hyatt Place has started to rise quickly. As a refresher, this hotel will be providing 346-rooms to Downtown Denver and will rise a total of 21-stories.

Given these photos are a little over a week old, the structure is now up around five-stories. Even at this height, it’s already having a great and positive impact to the streetscape.

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Here are some shots of the project along the street level. As you can see in the left photo, there are no buildings 21-stories or taller along the south side of 14th Street; this is going to make a fairly prominent statement to this end of the skyline. Only 19-stories to go!

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The Hyatt House / Hyatt Place is a great project for many reasons: it allows the capacity for more visitors staying in Downtown Denver and it vastly helps repair the urban fabric of Upper Downtown. I am very excited to see this building topped out!


New Upper Downtown Project: SkyHouse Denver

Celebrating the restoration of Downtown Denver’s urban fabric—that is, replacing Downtown’s ugly surface parking lots with new buildings—is the primary focus of this blog. So, the announcement of this new infill project is particularly satisfying, as SkyHouse Denver will eliminate a big chunk of nasty asphalt that has plagued Downtown Denver’s urban landscape for decades. We’re talking the corner of Broadway and East 18th Avenue:

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On the east is Lincoln, on the north is East 18th Avenue, on the west is Broadway, and on the south is the Mile High Center. Across Broadway to the west is the Brown Palace Hotel.

SkyHouse Denver will be developed by the Novare Group along with Baston-Cook Development. The high-rise development includes a 25-story, 354-unit apartment tower with ground-floor retail situated on the west half of the site facing Broadway and a 6-story parking garage on the east side of the site facing Lincoln. If all goes as planned, the project will break ground in late 2014.

Thanks to the good folks from the Novare Group and their design partners at SRSS Architects, here’s a rendering of the project as viewed looking east:

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SkyHouse is one of several apartment communities with a similar design developed by Novare in other cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Orlando, and Austin. The development includes a pool, fitness center, lounge, and other amenities on the 25th floor.

For you long-time DenverInfill readers, you may recall this site, located on Block 003-B, was one of five nominees in our great “Downtown Denver’s Worst Parking Lot” contest of 2007. While it didn’t win—that dishonor when to the embarrassing asphalt wasteland on Block 039 in Lower Downtown (that still exists today)—Block 003-B is still a parcel in dire need of development. The site was once the home to the stately Cosmopolitan Hotel and the Hotel Metropole before they were demolished in 1984.

Let’s hope SkyHouse Denver rises from the ground as planned and contributes to the ongoing restoration of Downtown Denver’s urban fabric! We’ll keep you posted as this project works its way through the development review and preconstruction design process.


Upper Downtown: Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Hotel Update #3

To kick off the holiday weekend, we are going to take a quick peek at the Hyatt Place / Hyatt House project going up at the intersection of 14th and Glenarm. The last time we reported on this project, heavy construction equipment moved on site and excavation had begun.

There was some speculation on why the excavation process took so long and, after talking to one of the site workers, they found asbestos bricks and had to go through asbestos abatement. Now that the site is cleaned up, construction is in full swing and Downtown Denver has a new red tower crane!

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Here is a photo of the site. Because of the single underground level, we should see this building building break the street level within a month or two!

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The Hyatt House / Hyatt Place is going to be a 21-story hotel in an area of Downtown Denver that has been begging for development. It’s great to see this project moving forward in full force! For a quick refresher on the project, head on over to our announcement, and rendering posts.


Upper Downtown: Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Hotel Update #2

Before we get to the exciting infill news, I would like to thank everyone for all of your kind words, views, and shares with my ‘A Day in Denver’ photo project. It has been a fun week watching it spread around the internet and seeing everyone enjoying it in the process. Truly, thank you readers of DenverInfill. It wouldn’t have been nearly as fun of a launch week without you all!

Now for the infill! Remember in November when we provided an updated rendering of the Hyatt Place / Hyatt House project, predicting construction was to begin soon? As of last weekend, construction has already begun and heavy machinery has started to move onto the site!

The parking lot has already been torn up and a caisson drill has been moved on site. Because the hotel will have mostly above ground parking, there will be minimal excavation needed. Once the foundation and utility relocation is complete, we should see this project rise quickly. Here are a couple pictures of the site.

 

The 21-story, 361-room hotel still has a long ways to go but it is always exciting seeing another parking lot bite the dust in Upper Downtown!


Upper Downtown: Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Hotel Update #1

Here’s a quick update on the proposed dual-branded Hyatt Place/Hyatt House hotel project at the corner of 14th and Glenarm Place in Upper Downtown Denver… a rendering!

The 21-story, 361-room hotel project is being developed by White Lodging of Merrillville, Indiana. The project architect is PFVS Architecture of Atlanta, Georgia.

Construction is anticipated to begin before the end of the year.


New Downtown Denver Project: Hyatt Place/Hyatt House Hotel

Hotel developers are bullish on Downtown Denver.

White Lodging, a national hotel developer based out of Merrillville, Indiana recently announced plans to construct a 21-story hotel at the corner of 14th Street and Glenarm Place in Downtown Denver. White Lodging also developed the Embassy Suites Downtown Denver/Convention Center hotel at 14th and Stout that opened in late 2010. The new project will be located across the street from the Denver Athletic Club and next door to the small but historic Colorado Press Association and Denver Press Club buildings. Here’s a Google Earth aerial where I’ve outlined the project location:

The project will be a dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House property, with a total of 346 rooms. While an official rendering of the project is not yet available, here is a site plan the developers recently submitted to the city as part of the development review process:

What this site plan tells us is that the hotel’s main entry will be off of 14th Street, with a drop-off/valet lane to the right of the bike lane, similar to the condition at the Hotel Teatro at 14th and Arapahoe. Also, the streetscape will be upgraded in front of the tower to include the enhanced 14th Street landscaped planters, plus additional streetscaping along Glenarm and sidewalk canopies along both 14th and Glenarm, which will greatly improve the pedestrian environment.

This project is significant not only for the fact that it is a new 21-story tower in Downtown Denver, but also that its location is in a part of Downtown—sometimes referred to as the Silver Triangle—that hasn’t seen a lot of private-sector development in many decades. This project represents the expansion of developer interest into a part of Downtown ripe with development potential.

Here’s the site:

According to White Lodging, construction will begin late this year and be completed by Spring 2015.

This is great news for Downtown Denver! We will keep you posted as the project works its way through the development review process with the city and when official renderings of the tower are available.


July 2010 – Downtown Street Reconstruction

Three street reconstruction projects are underway in Downtown Denver. Here’s a quick look at these civic investments—two of which will greatly enhance the pedestrian environment in the vicinity.

First, let’s start with the one that is a straight-forward street reconstruction project. 15th Street is being rebuilt in concrete between the bridge over the South Platte River and the intersection of 15th/29th/Boulder/Umatilla (one of those fun grid-colliding Downtown intersections). As a Lower Highland resident, I can vouch for the fact that 15th Street through there, particularly around the Platte Street intersection, has been a bumpy ride for years. The street reconstruction is about 50% complete, as you can see from these photos:

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Next is Larimer Street between 15th and 17th. This project includes reconstructing the street in concrete (from the current asphalt) as well as removing one traffic lane and widening the sidewalk with the reclaimed space. The sidewalk expansion will occur on the Writer Square/Tabor Center side of the block. While the Larimer sides of those two mixed-use complexes are not all that interesting from a pedestrian perspective, they’re more interesting than the Larimer Place/Barclay condo towers on the other side of the street. Bulb-outs (or, if you prefer, bump-outs) will be installed at each intersection, shortening the crosswalk distance across Larimer even more. Currently, Larimer is four through lanes in this area, and at 15th, the left two lanes continue as through lanes into Larimer Square and the right two lanes are right-turn-only lanes onto 15th. After the reconstruction, there will be three through lanes, and at 15th Street the left lane will continue into Larimer Square, the right lane will be right-turn-only onto 15th, and the center lane will be a combo through/right-turn lane.

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Finally, there’s the Colfax/13th/Tremont intersection. Chris blogged about this project a couple of months ago. That project is now under construction. Here’s a Google Earth aerial of the existing intersection (an automobile-oriented mess) and the diagram Chris provided of the reconfigured, more-pedestrian-friendly, new intersection:

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Here’s a photo of the corner I took this morning:

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There are more infrastructure improvements planned for the Downtown area coming up… topics for future blogs.


#7: Downtown Denver Historic District

If pressed to name an historic district in Downtown Denver, I’d estimate that 98% of Denverites would cite Lower Downtown. In the 22 years since it was designated as an official Denver Historic District, LoDo has transcended from a seedy skid row of boarded-up buildings into one of the largest preserved Victorian-era commercial districts and coolest mixed-use neighborhoods in the country. Its fame is well-deserved. But less well known yet just as important is Downtown’s other historic district, the Downtown Denver Historic District, #7 in our countdown of Denver’s Top 10 Urbanism Achievements of the Aughts.

Unlike the Lower Downtown Historic District, which has relatively simple and straightforward boundaries, the Downtown Denver Historic District doesn’t really have any boundaries at all. The DDHD, designated by the city in 2000, consists of 43 buildings located on 18 different blocks throughout the Central Business District. About half of the DDHD’s buildings are also designated Denver Historic Landmark Structures, but the creation of the DDHD provides additional protection and control to ensure that these buildings will be around for a long, long time.

It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of the buildings in the DDHD to the integrity of Downtown Denver and to the soul of our city. Eleven of the buildings front the 16th Street Mall, and eleven more front 17th Street. These buildings are the core of Downtown. Their distinguished architecture, their impressive yet approachable scale, the craftsmanship and pride that went into them, gave credibility to a fledgling city back then, and give us today an understanding of our heritage as a city. Can you imagine Denver without the D&F Tower, the Brown Palace Hotel, or the Equitable Building? The fact that these buildings are scattered across a relative large area, from Tremont to Lawrence and 14th to 18th, means that you’re never more than a block or two from a building that serves as an historic anchor amid a sea of modernism and surface parking lots.

We lost a lot of great buildings during the second half of the 20th century, but the formation of the Downtown Denver Historic District in 2000 was a partial redemption and an important achievement in Denver’s evolving urbanism.