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Archive of posts filed under the Land / Building Use category.

Sun Valley: CDOT Headquarters Update #1

It was just a couple of days ago we published our first post on the new CDOT Headquarters building proposed for near Mile High Stadium. Today, we have a quick update due to having received a few new renderings that more clearly show the proposed structure. Thank you to everyone at CDOT and RNL Design for providing the new images!

Landscaped plaza and rain garden at the southeast corner of the project:

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Overhead view looking northwest:

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We can see clearly that the main pedestrian entry to the building is at the southeast corner, putting it in a good location for access to the light rail station across the street. However, let’s take a closer look at the site and this question of pedestrian access:

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The nearest crosswalks over W. Holden Place are at Federal and at Decatur. No one, and I mean no one, is going to walk over to either Federal or Decatur to cross the street on the crosswalk to get to the transit station. They will either cut through the tree lawn immediately south of the building entry to cross the street, or follow the diagonal sidewalk to the corner of the property next to the access drive and then cross the street. Neither of these situations is acceptable and both would be technically jaywalking, right? With hundreds of additional vehicles moving along W. Holden Place after the building opens, and with RTD buses using the street to access the station’s bus gates, providing a safe way for CDOT employees and guests to cross the street conveniently right at the corner of the building is critical.

Here’s where CDOT, RTD, and the City can prove their commitment to prioritizing pedestrians over vehicles, encouraging transit ridership, and working towards Vision Zero: 1. Add a sidewalk across the tree lawn immediately next to the building entry to connect to the sidewalk along the north side of W. Holden Place; and 2. Add a mid-block pedestrian crossing directly at that point to provide pedestrians with direct, convenient, and safe access between the transit station and the building entry. You know, something like this:

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Is that messy from a traffic engineering perspective? Probably. Will it cost a little extra money? Most likely. Is it the right thing to do? Definitely.


River North: The Source Hotel + Market Hall Update #2

Construction has begun on the hotel and market hall components at The Source on Brighton Boulevard in Denver’s booming RiNo district.

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With the huge success of The Source, the 25,000 SF marketplace forged out of a former 1880s iron foundry, Zeppelin Development envisioned an expansion of the concept onto the gravelly lot next door to include a new 19,000 square foot market hall, a 100-room hotel, and a 300-space structured parking garage.

With the parking garage now complete, work is underway on the market hall and hotel. Here are a few photos from this weekend showing the foundations for the new structures going in:

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For renderings, a site plan, and all the project details, please visit our first post on this development.

The Source Hotel and Market Hall should be open by late 2017.


River North: Industry Denver Apartments Update #2

In our Update #1 post on the Industry Denver Apartments in May, site prep had just started for the 9-story, 277-unit residential building. Now, three months later, the first couple of levels of the structured parking are going vertical. Here’s a quick look:

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For a refresher on the project’s design, amenities, and other details, check out our first post from late 2015.


River North: Broadstone RiNo Update #2

We’re a bit overdue for an update on Broadstone RiNo; our Update #1 was in October 2015, so let’s take a look at this 270-home apartment development as it nears completion. Broadstone RiNo is a large project covering about a city block in area from Brighton Boulevard to Arkins Court, northeast of 31st Street.

These first four photos show the Brighton Boulevard side of the project starting from the corner at 31st Street and moving north along Brighton.

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The Arkins Court side:

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The 31st Street side:

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We’ll check in on Broadstone RiNo one more time for the final update.


River North: Modera River North Update #1

Back in June when we did our Summer 2016 Tower Crane Census, Ryan included a photo of the crane at Modera River North, but today we have our first full update on the project. As discussed in our initial post on this development, Modera River North will feature 362 apartment homes in a 6-story building located at the corner of 29th Street and Brighton Boulevard.

Let’s take a look at the construction progress. Here’s an overview shot looking west at the corner of 29th and Brighton.

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In front of the building along Brighton is a bus stop serving RTD’s Route 48 that takes riders straight into Downtown Denver. Modera River North is also about one mile from both Denver Union Station and the 38th and Blake station on the A line.

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Below is the southwestern side of the project facing 28th Street. In the foreground is part of a 0.75-acre public space that features seating and landscaped gardens. This public space is a component of the Denargo Market General Development Plan that covers not only this site, but also The Marq (formerly The Yards at Denargo Market), The Crossing at Denargo Market, and several parcels yet to be developed.

Modera River North will be complete in 2017.


New Sun Valley Project: CDOT Headquarters

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is planning a new five-story 175,000 square foot office building immediately adjacent to the Decatur-Federal station on RTD’s W line.

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The new building in the Sun Valley neighborhood just southwest of Downtown Denver will house both CDOT’s statewide Headquarters as well as its Region 1 office (the Denver metro area is CDOT Region 1). Currently, both the Headquarters and Region 1 offices are located in southeast Denver in separate old, inefficient buildings that are in serious need of upgrades. By constructing one modern, efficient facility for both offices, CDOT will realize significant savings on building operations and maintenance and provide a better working environment for its employees. The new facility will be financed through the use of Certificates of Participation—the same process used by the state to finance the History Colorado Center and Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center projects—which does not involve funds budgeted for highway construction. Here’s a site plan, courtesy of CDOT:

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CDOT is acquiring the land for their new Headquarters from the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, the owners of Mile High Stadium. Currently, the site is used as surface parking for stadium events. The new CDOT facility will include a parking garage with around 500 spaces that will be available to the public for evening and weekend stadium events.

Here are a few early conceptual models of the new building, courtesy of CDOT. The project architect is RNL Design and JE Dunn will be the general contractor.

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From an urbanist perspective, this is a good move by CDOT. Their current Headquarters and Region 1 buildings are not particularly convenient to public transit. The new location will allow visitors and the 700-plus CDOT employees who will work in the new building direct access to light rail and several major bus lines along Federal and Colfax that stop at the Decatur-Federal station. The site is also adjacent to the Lakewood Gulch and Platte River trail systems.

Construction is expected to begin in November 2016 with completion slated for early 2018.


New River North Project: Ramble Hotel

A new independent hotel is coming to the corner of 25th and Larimer in Denver’s River North district.

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Developed by Gravitas Development Group, the Ramble Hotel will feature 50 rooms in a three-story building designed by Johnson Nathan Strohe that recalls an early 20th century industrial style with intricate metal and brick detailing.

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The ground floor lobby will have 20-foot ceilings and include a marquee cocktail bar, Death & Company Denver, which will also operate a reservations-only bar on the mezzanine level. Other hotel amenities include an intimate theater, an independent restaurant, a small retail outlet, flexible meeting space, and an outdoor courtyard. Right across 25th Street from the hotel is another Gravitas development, a mixed-use retail and office project made out of 29 reclaimed shipping containers.

Construction started about a week ago. Here are a couple of photos from today:

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The Ramble Hotel should open in late 2017.


New Lower Downtown Project: 1750 15th Street

Denver-based Nichols Partnership is planning a 12-story residential building for the corner of 15th and Wewatta that will add 91 homes within a short one-block walk from the Denver Union Station transit hub.

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The proposed development site is currently a surface parking lot, happily, an increasingly endangered species in Lower Downtown. Along 15th Street, the site is adjacent to the Nichols-owned Steelbridge Annex building—the majority of which is structured parking for the Steelbridge Lofts next door—and along Wewatta Street the project’s neighbor would be 1400 Wewatta, completed in 2008. Here’s a Google Street View image of the site, with 15th Street in the foreground and Wewatta Street on the right:

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Currently referred to by its address of 1750 15th Street, the development is in the review process with the Lower Downtown Design Review Board (LDDRB). The board will consider the project at their September 1 meeting for approval of mass and scale. The city staff recommendation is for “denial” for various reasons, but this is pretty common for a project’s first submittal. As proposed, 1750 15th would rise 130 feet, the maximum allowed, which is the same height as 1400 Wewatta next door and 1515 Wynkoop across the street.

The following images are all taken from the project’s September 1 submittal to the LDDRB, and were prepared by Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects. Of course, these are conceptual renderings and subject to further modifications and refinement over the coming months. You’ll note that what makes this project particularly interesting and challenging is the narrow lot—only 49 feet of frontage facing 15th Street.

View from about where the Triangle Building is looking southwest down Wewatta. On the left is 1515 Wynkoop and on the right, 1400 Wewatta, with the proposed project in the center:

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Opposite view from near Cherry Creek looking northeast along Wewatta Street:

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Overhead view of the corner of 15th and Wewatta and the proposed development’s surrounding context:

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Given the constrained parcel size and proximity to Union Station, no on-site automobile parking for residents is planned; however, the basement level will include significant room for bicycle parking. On the ground floor, a retail space would anchor the corner while the residential lobby would face Wewatta Street. The majority of the homes in the building would be micro-apartments in the 350 SF range, while the upper four floors would feature slightly larger units.

This is a really exciting project, as it will put even more homes within easy walking distance of transit and just about everything else anyone would need for car-free living. Plus, it removes a surface parking lot (yay!), completes the urban form of the entire block, and improves the pedestrian environment at a busy corner. We will gladly follow this project as it moves through the review and approval process.


Uptown: Colorado Health Foundation Update #3

Back in May, the Colorado Health Foundation headquarters was just a steel structure. Now, the building is starting to take shape!

This is a neat little infill project. It has a great presence along 18th Avenue, and features a unique roof-line. We can also start to see the facade go up on all sides of the building. If you need a refresher for what the final product will look like, make sure you check out the rendering.

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Here is one more photo looking straight on the project. Here we can see the glass curtain wall that will be at the entrance of the building.

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The Colorado Health Foundation headquarters should be complete later this year.