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

Curtis Park-Five Points: 2460 Welton Update #1

As of recently, the Five Points neighborhood is starting to experience a housing boom, especially along the Welton Street Corridor. Back in June, we announced a new project, going up on the intersection of 25th and Welton Street, that will provide the neighborhood with 96 new units of housing.

Over the past few weeks, the project has broken ground, fences have been put up and excavation has begun. There will be two parts to this project: 14 townhome units and 82 apartment units. According to the site plan, the townhomes will be along Welton towards 24th Street and the apartment building will sit at the intersection of 25th and Welton Street.

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Here is a closer look at 2460 Welton, just peeking over the fence.

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As I was taking photos of this site, I realized that this project has one of the greatest amenities: a rail station less than a block away. This will be great when you need to catch the D-Line into Downtown Denver! The LEED-Silver project has a long ways to go with an anticipated completion about a year out.


Central Platte Valley: The Confluence Update #3

It’s been almost a year since our Update #2 on The Confluence, the proposed 34-story apartment tower at 15th and Little Raven. In that post, we provided the latest renderings of The Confluence and a detailed explanation behind the project’s site design concept. Since then, the project has been working its way through the development review process with the city while the development team has been finalizing the design.

We’re happy to report that there’s evidence at the site that construction on the tower may be getting underway soon!

In addition to a chain-link fence around the property and some other site prep work, this sign was just installed:

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The rendering on the sign appears to be very similar to the rendering in our Update #2 post, with only subtle tweaks apparent to some of the facade elements. We’re waiting to hear back from the developer, so hopefully we’ll have some official news to share with you soon about an upcoming groundbreaking.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this spectacular aerial image by our photo-taking guru Ryan Dravitz. The Confluence site is in the dead center of the photograph where an old one-story warehouse and gravel lot sit at the corner of 15th and Little Raven surrounded by the Central Platte Valley’s natural and urban landscapes.

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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).


Speer: Speer Boulevard Apartments Update #1

As I mentioned in our previous post, a low elevation aerial point of view gives us the ability to really see how much impact a project is going to have on a particular site, in real time. For today’s update for the Speer Boulevard Apartments, we are going to take a look at the site from above.

The Speer Boulevard Apartments site has been buzzing with activity over the past few weeks. Excavation for the project is complete and a tower crane is now up at the site. Our announcement post on this project covered some very vague details and while there are no official renderings of the building, we do have some information. The Speer Boulevard Apartments will rise a total of six stories over 305 parking spaces and will provide the neighborhood with 221 apartment units. Here is an aerial with the project site outlined.

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The construction timeline is still unknown however, we suspect this project will be complete around late Fall 2015.


Golden Triangle: EnV Update #1

It’s hard to believe that we have not posted an update on EnV yet, minus featuring it in the Spring 2014: Downtown Denver Hole-in-the-Ground Census. However, I have a special post to kick off EnV’s first update.

Recently, I have expanded my horizons with photography and decided to take to the skies. Shawn Murry of CloudBase Aerial Imaging was our go-to for aerial perspectives and he has provided us some fantastic photos in the past. We will continue partnering with Shawn and look forward to many more great photos. Not to mention, Shawn has much bigger cameras in the air! Having two eyes in the sky allows us to provide aerial photos more frequently, which is never a bad thing!

Now onto EnV. Since the spring, the building has gone up eight stories and is really starting to have a presence in the Golden Triangle neighborhood. EnV will rise a total of 18-stories, meaning what you see today is just under half the total height. The structure will be concrete with a glass facade. Here are four perspectives of EnV from the air.

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As I have been out practicing and flying around for fun, it is truly amazing what you can capture from a higher prospective. Here are two bonus photos from some recent flights.

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EnV still has a long journey ahead but we will be keeping a closer eye on it as it is now rising at a quick pace.


Central Downtown: 1401 Lawrence Update #3

There was good news on September 25th when we announced the groundbreaking of 1401 Lawrence. The 22-story, 298,000 square foot office tower will eventually make its mark on the Denver skyline but, as with all new projects, there is a long journey ahead.

Demolishing the old sales center, used for the original 1401 Lawrence condo tower proposal, was the first thing on the to-do list. The building has already been torn down and as of today, the asphalt for the parking lot has also been taken out. Here are some pictures of the site from a week ago.

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All of the parking for 1401 Lawrence is above ground meaning this project will quickly rise above the street level! We will check back in a few weeks when this project is in the hole-in-the-ground phase.


Downtown Denver: Aloft Denver City Center Update #4 (Inside the Infill Edition)

At the intersection of 15th and Stout Street sat an old abandoned fast food restaurant that destroyed the pedestrian experience on a street already riddled with parking lots and not-so-pedestrian-friendly buildings. But, over the past year, that intersection has dramatically changed, featuring a six-story hotel that is nearing completion.

Before we go take a look on the interior of the building, here is a recent shot of the exterior. On our next and final update of this project, we will go down to the street level and look at the building in more detail.

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Thanks to Damon Balcerak of Martines Palmeiro Construction (MPC), I was able to get an exclusive inside look at the progress being made! Everything is starting to shape up from the flooring to the walls.

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The rooms are even more complete with all of the essential furniture pieces in place. Room accessories and mattresses will start to get installed over the next couple of weeks.

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The aLoft Hotel features a basement, which houses the main amenities and back of the house operations. Here are some pictures of the soon to be complete pool and fitness room. The common areas of the hotel will all share an industrial look, with exposed beams and pipes throughout the building.

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Given the small plot of land the aLoft sits on, the main lobby has a surprisingly open feel to it. There will be a porte-cochère entrance, mid block on Stout Street, and another entrance along 15th Street. The lobby will also include a state of the art bar, which we will cover more in depth with our final update. Here it is under construction.

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The aLoft Denver City Center has an expected opening date of November 20th. We will check back in around then for our final update. Stay tuned!


Lower Downtown: 16M Final Update

Since the announcement of 16M back in April 2012, everyone rejoiced that the old Office Depot building at 1350 16th Street was going to be demolished and something much better was going to stand in its place. Now that the fences are down, and 16M has been mixed into Downtown Denver’s urban fabric, the intersection of the 16th Street Mall and Market Street has a new breath of life. Before we get to the pictures, make sure you visit our previous updates of 16M.

New Lower Downtown Project: 1350 16th Street

Demolition Begins for 16th & Market Project

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #1

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #2

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #3

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #4

Summer 2013: Downtown Denver Hole-in-the-Ground Census

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Lower Downtown: 16M Update #6

Lower Downtown: 16M Update #7

Time to take a look at the completed building. Designed by Gensler, 16M rises a total of 10 stories and provides the Lower Downtown District with 115,000 square feet of office space, 13,000 square feet of retail, and 47 residential apartment units. Here are two views of the building looking down the 16th Street Mall towards Union Station.

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16M shares a similar design with its neighbor down the block, SugarCube. The first six floors are dedicated to retail and office space and floors seven through ten, set back from the office portion, are dedicated to the residential units.

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The street level, where the pedestrians interact with the city, is the most important part of any project. 16M hit it out of the park, with a tucked away garage ramp, attractive office entrance, and ample ground-floor retail.

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If you ask for my opinion about the ground-floor treatment, I would say this is infinitely better than walking along the blank wall of an Office Depot with a single entrance on the 16th Street Mall!

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The presence, look, and feel of 16M is outstanding. It’s a very attractive building with brick and glass throughout the entire facade and it has the most important feature every urban building should have: an amazing street presence. Welcome to Lower Downtown, 16M! We are glad to have you!