A new apartment tower rising upwards of 14 stories may soon occupy a small 10,620 square foot site at 14th Street and Court Place in Upper Downtown Denver.
Block 233 is the tiny triangle-shaped block bounded by 14th Street, West Colfax Avenue, and Court Place where the downtown and metro grids meet. The site currently is home to the Denver Warm Welcome Court Childcare building, constructed in 1977. Below are Google Earth aerial and street view images with the location outlined in yellow:
Recently, the Denver Post reported that Urban Villages, developer of Sugar Cube in LoDo, and Jeff Hermanson, CEO of Larimer Associates, are under contract to purchase the site from the City and County of Denver. The daycare center currently on the site will relocate to the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse at the Denver Justice Center.
The tower will feature ground-floor retail and restaurant uses, with the majority of the residential units as micro-apartments in the 300-350 square foot range. Given the small size and triangular shape of the parcel, accommodating structured or underground parking within the project is not practical and no parking will be provided on site except for possibly a few car-share spaces. The property is zoned D-C (Downtown Core). There are no parking requirements for any uses in the D-C zone.
The property is subject to the Civic Center View Plane that restricts building heights in the Civic Center area to preserve mountain views from the state capitol. For this parcel, the height of a building may not exceed 5,391 feet above sea level in elevation. According to Google Earth, the ground elevation of the site is approximately 5,239 feet above sea level, resulting in a building with a maximum building height of about 152 feet. The map below, courtesy of the City and County of Denver, shows the Civic Center View Plane height restrictions:
As the Denver Post article notes, the proposed tower could be between 12 and 14 stories tall depending on the ultimate design of the tower and its floor-to-ceiling heights. Typically for multi-family residential buildings, each story is approximately 10 feet in height except for the ground-floor, which usually is in the 15-20 foot range. With a little over 150 feet to work with, that comes out to about a 12-14 story building. Given the preliminary status of the tower’s design, the number of units has not been reported nor is a rendering available.
This project will add a much-needed residential use to a part of Downtown that is dominated by government office uses during the day, which makes the area fairly dead at night. The proposed tower will also pair with the 192-foot high Wellington Webb Municipal Building across 14th Street to nicely anchor and frame the end of 14th Street.