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Archive of posts filed under the Education category.

Auraria: MSU Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building Update #2

Construction of Metro State’s new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is moving along nicely. In our Update #1 in February, excavation for the structure was underway.

Below are a few photos from this past weekend. First, the view looking northwest across the MSU neighborhood green:


Gap between the new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building and the existing MSU Denver Student Success Building:


Close-up of the building’s southwest corner along 7th Street:


From across Auraria Parkway, the building’s north face:


New Auraria street wall developing along Auraria Parkway:


This project is schedule for completion in 2017.

Auraria: MSU Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building Update #1

The Metropolitan State University of Denver new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is under construction!

Excavation recently started for the 142,000, four-story facility at 7th and Auraria Parkway. Check out our first post on this project for renderings and more.

I stopped by the site the other day and snapped these photos:



It’s great to see Auraria continuing to grow! The new facility is on pace for a 2017 opening.

Downtown Denver Non-Residential Projects: December 2015 Update

Yesterday we published our December 2015 Multifamily Residential Projects summary for Downtown Denver, now let’s take a look at the scope of non-residential development, i.e. office, hotel, and civic/institutional uses, over the past six months. Like our residential analysis, we use a 1.5-mile radius of the historic D&F clock tower at 16th and Arapahoe as our Downtown survey area. Use this link to view our June 2015 Non-Residential Projects Update post.

The historic D&F clock tower at 16th and Arapahoe in among Downtown Denver's high-rises, April 2015.

The historic D&F clock tower at 16th and Arapahoe in among Downtown Denver’s high-rises, April 2015.

Click on the image below to view in full size our December 2015 Downtown Denver Non-Residential Projects exhibit or use this link (Downtown-Denver-Non-Residential-Projects-Summary-December-2015) to view/download a high-resolution PDF version (6 MB) formatted for printing at 11″ x 17″.


Office: Since our June 2015 summary, two office buildings, 1601 Wewatta and the Triangle Building, have been completed, bringing the total square footage of office space completed in our survey area since the start of the decade to nearly two million square feet (1,933,000). The amount of new office space currently under construction is 1,453,000 square feet, a decrease since June due mostly to the completion of the aforementioned projects, but two new office developments are new to the Under Construction list: 999 17th Street and the Colorado Health Foundation headquarters. Regarding 999 17th Street, as we mentioned in our post on the project a few weeks ago, preliminary site work is underway but a formal project announcement has not yet been made; however, for the purposes of this summary, we are categorizing the project as being under construction. Proposed new office space has stayed largely the same at a little over 1 million square feet (1,180,000) but with one notable difference: since June, East West Partners announced an anchor tenant (DaVita) for their 16 Chestnut project allowing that project to definitively move forward in 2016. One major new office tower is in the pipeline… more on that soon.

Hotel: Downtown Denver’s hotel market continues to thrive. Since June, an additional 346 rooms were completed (Hyatt Place/Hyatt House) bringing the total number of new hotel rooms added to the Downtown market since the start of the decade to 1,776. The number of hotel rooms under construction increased since June to 1,128. While the Hyatt project moved to the completed column, a new hotel development with more rooms, the Le Meridien/AC Hotel, started construction. The list of proposed hotel projects has now been narrowed down to two totaling 319 rooms. Several new hotels, however, are in the pipeline. More on those projects in early 2016.

Civic/Other: In the Civic/Other category, which includes cultural, educational, and other institutional projects, the numbers have mostly stayed the same since our June update. No new projects were added to the Proposed category and one small but important project, the Kirkland Museum, started construction. Overall since the start of the decade, 3,521,000 square feet of Civic/Other projects have been completed.

That’s it for our December 2015 recap. For similar assessments that use a slightly different geographic approach, please check out the excellent development summary reports at the Downtown Denver Partnership. Our next comprehensive update will be in June 2016.

Downtown Denver Non-Residential Projects: June 2015 Update

Earlier this month we took a look at the dozens of multi-family residential projects developed in Downtown Denver since 2010. Today, we are focusing on Downtown’s non-residential development projects—that is, office, hotel, civic, and institutional uses—during the same time period. We did something similar in September 2014, but that was for office projects only.

1144 15th Street (left) and 1401 Lawrence (right) office developments. Image courtesy of DenverInfill reader Elizabeth W.

1144 Fifteenth Street (left) and 1401 Lawrence (right) office developments. Image courtesy of DenverInfill reader Elizabeth W.

As with our recent residential analysis, projects included are those within a 1.5-mile radius of the historic D&F Tower at 16th and Arapahoe, which works well as a geographic center for the Downtown area. Click on the image below to view in full size our June 2015 Downtown Denver Non-Residential Projects map and table. Use this link to view/download a high-resolution PDF version (6 MB) formatted for printing at 11″ x 17″.


Please note: The gross square footage figures listed are approximate. All projects are new construction with the exception of the Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station and the Marriott Renaissance Hotel at the Colorado National Bank building. These two adaptive reuse projects were included to provide a more complete look at the Downtown hotel development market.

Office: Since 2010, approximately 3.2 million square feet of office space has been completed or is currently under construction in Downtown Denver. That represents roughly a 10% increase in the total Central Business District office inventory. The number of publicly announced Downtown office projects that have not yet broken ground is now down to just a handful. This is probably a good thing, as it makes sense to see how quickly the nearly 2 million square feet of space currently under development is absorbed. Fortunately, there are a lot of positive factors driving demand for office space in Downtown these days, such as the increasing number of firms who recognize their employees want great access to transit and an engaging, walkable work environment.

Hotel: 1,430 new hotel rooms have been added since 2010 with another 983 currently under construction. All of these, with the exception of the Fairfield Inn Lower Highland, are in the core Downtown area within easy walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center and/or RTD’s free MallRide or MetroRide. If and when the two hotels in the Proposed category are completed, they will put the number of hotel rooms in the Downtown core over 10,000 for the first time. Meanwhile, tourism numbers for Denver are setting records, business is booming at the Colorado Convention Center, and Downtown hotel occupancy rates are very strong.

Civic/Other: The public and institutional sectors have been busy investing in Downtown Denver, with over 3 million square feet of space added through numerous civic buildings, museums, and educational and health facilities.

The Proposed section for all three use categories is limited to those projects we’ve covered already on DenverInfill. Of course, there are more developments “in the pipeline” than these, but projects that haven’t been made public can be hard to quantify, so we’re not attempting to do so as part of this assessment.

In summary, Downtown Denver is firing on all cylinders. A strong office market fueled by companies moving Downtown for its desirable transit/walkable environment? Check. A strong hotel market driven by booming convention center business and Downtown urban tourism? Check. A steady stream of public and institutional projects reflecting our community’s desire to keep Downtown the civic heart of the city and region? Check. An off-the-charts Downtown multi-family residential market reflecting strong demand for an urban lifestyle? Check. Like all booms, this one will someday come to an end. Hopefully it will be a “soft landing” as they say. For now, however, the sheer magnitude of new infill development in Downtown Denver since 2010 (my rough estimate: $5 billion) is staggering; a sign that we must be doing something right.

New Auraria Project: CU Denver Wellness Center

Thanks to CU Denver students, a new building is coming to Downtown Denver’s Auraria Campus that will anchor the corner of Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway.

The new CU Denver Wellness Center will contain approximately 85,000 square feet of space and cost approximately $42 million. The facility will include weight and fitness studios, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall, wellness and information center, training and assessment rooms, social lounge, locker rooms, a multi-activity court, and a 6-lane indoor swimming pool. Here is a Google Earth aerial showing the proposed building’s location at the Speer/Auraria corner in between the new CU Student Commons Building and the MSU Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center/Springhill Suites Hotel:


This graphic, from the CU Denver video noted below, shows the building site plan and adjacent buildings:


The project was initiated by CU Denver students and will be funded primarily by student fees approved by CU Denver students in a recent election. For a complete overview of the genesis of the project and the inspiring story about how the CU Denver students convinced the CU Regents to support the project, please read this article by Chris Casey of the CU Denver University Communications office. Another great resource about the project is the project’s webpage on the CU Denver Office of Student Life website and this video from that webpage:

The following images are all screenshots I captured from the video. Please note that the building has not yet been officially designed. These renderings represent design concepts used for project scoping and cost estimating purposes, not the proposed architectural design. But they do give us a good sense of the scale and general layout of the building. It appears from the project’s webpage that credit for these design images go to Brailsford & Dunlavey and SmithGroupJJR.

12th Street elevation looking towards Downtown:


Courtyard passage below rooftop public space:


Auraria Parkway elevation:


Speer/Auraria corner:


Courtyard between the Wellness Center and the CU Denver Student Commons Building looking toward the Tivoli Student Union:


Finally, here’s a view of the Speer/Auraria corner where the building will be located. I took this shot from the CU Denver building at 14th and Larimer where I work at the College of Architecture and Planning:


According to the preliminary schedule, construction would begin in 2016 with completion set for January 2018.

Congratulations to the CU Denver students for their leadership and initiative in developing this exciting project!

New Auraria Project: MSU Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building

Downtown Denver’s steadily growing Auraria Campus is about to get another new building: the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building.

Slated for the southeast corner of Auraria Parkway and 7th Street, the new $70 million academic facility will feature 142,000 square feet in four floors. Here’s a Google Earth image with the site outlined in yellow:


Metro State’s new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is critical to help Colorado remain a national leader in the aerospace sector. According to the Metro Denver EDC, Colorado ranks third in the country behind California and Florida in the space economy, and metro Denver ranks first in the nation in total private-sector aerospace employment. The new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building consolidates the university’s aviation and aerospace-related programs into a state-of-the-art facility for training workers skilled in advanced aerospace design, manufacturing, and assembly. Here are some images of the project, courtesy of Anderson Mason Dale Architects:

North elevation along Auraria Parkway, with the recently completed MSU Student Success Center‘s cantilevered wing visible to the left:


West elevation with Auraria Parkway on the left and 7th Street in the foreground:


South elevation looking northeast:


South and east elevations looking northwest:


Construction should begin later this year, with completion set for 2017.

Auraria: CU Denver Academic Building One Update #2 (Inside the Infill Edition)

CU Denver’s new Academic Building One project has been moving along quickly since its groundbreaking in February 2013. Ryan did an update on the project in July as the building’s structure was topping out. Today, we have a special “Inside the Infill” update as I had a chance to take a hard-hat tour of the project a few days ago.

Here are some exterior shots showing that the building is well on its way to being finished. CU Denver’s new building will consolidate services for CU Denver students like financial aid, admissions, and the registrar’s office into one building (they’re currently scattered across several buildings on the campus), plus add new classrooms. First, the view from Speer Boulevard and Larimer Street looking west:

and the view from the opposite side of the building near 12th Street looking east:

Let’s head inside! The main lobby features stairs to the second floor and a big wall of glass facing Speer Boulevard:

In addition to a variety of spaces for student academic services, the ground floor also features a fast-casual restaurant space with a large outdoor patio along Larimer Street. Here’s a photo taken from the restaurant space overlooking its patio and skyline view:

The second floor on the Speer Boulevard side of the building features a huge glass wall that floods a student lounge and computing area with natural light…

… and offers stunning views of a portion of the Downtown skyline, including the Four Seasons tower and two other CU Denver buildings—the College of Architecture and Planning building at 14th and Larimer (center-left) and the Lawrence Street Center (center-right):

The building’s location at the corner of Speer and Larimer represents a continuation of Denver’s efforts to create a stronger connection between Downtown and the Auraria Campus. One of the seven transformative projects in the Downtown Area Plan is Connecting Auraria. Locating the new CU Denver building right up against the Speer and Larimer rights-of-way helps to close the gap in the urban fabric between the campus and Downtown and makes the walk across Speer Boulevard feel shorter.

The view from the west side of the building offers a nice look across the athletic fields at the historic Tivoli Student Union:

Finally, CU Denver Academic Building One includes several large lecture halls including what will be the largest lecture auditorium on the Auraria Campus capable of holding over 270 students:

CU Denver’s Academic Building One will open in August 2014 in time for the Fall semester.

New Auraria Project: CU Denver Academic Building One

New development on Downtown Denver’s Auraria campus continues with the groundbreaking this week of a new University of Colorado Denver facility, currently referred to as CU Denver Academic Building One. A permanent name will eventually be given to the $60 million building in time for its completion in August 2014.

This is the fifth new building constructed on the Auraria campus within the past few years. Despite the recent recession and decreasing funding for higher education from the state, the Auraria Higher Education Center and its three institutions: the University of Colorado Denver, the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver, have managed to find ways to partner with the private sector and/or otherwise secure funding for new facilities outside of the state’s general fund. The recent Auraria building boom has been critical in helping the campus and its institutions struggle to keep up with expanding student enrollments. Even more buildings for the campus are planned for the future.

The new CU Denver Academic Building One will include 146,000 gross square feet of space designated for student affairs, financial services, admissions, and the registrar’s office, and some new classrooms for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Once the new building is complete, space currently used for those functions in other buildings will be remodeled to accommodate new classrooms and other academic uses.

Here’s a GoogleEarth image (left) showing the building’s key location at the corner of Speer and Larimer, and a drawing (right) of the project’s site plan, courtesy of CU Denver:


The following images, courtesy of project architect Anderson Mason Dale, show various perspectives of the new building:





For more information on the project, including videos about the building and the groundbreaking ceremony, click here to go to the CU Denver Communications website.

Metropolitan State University: Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center Final Update

Today we will be covering yet another completed project over at the Auraria Campus. The Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center by Metropolitan State University is complete and open for students and visitors. Here at DenverInfill, we have covered this project very actively and even got an inside look when it was under construction. Click on the links below to follow this development start to finish!

Auraria Update: Hotel Learning Center 

Auraria Update: Hotel & Hospitality Learning Center

Auraria Projects Update

Auraria Projects Update #2

Inside the Infill: Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center

Auraria Projects Update #3

Here is an overall look of the development from the backside. For being located in Auraria, the scale of this project is larger than most of the buildings around it and, just like the Student Success center, it is architecturally unique with setbacks, different colored brick and a more modern glass design.

Now we’re going to take a walk around Auraria Parkway. This building adds a very nice street wall and since it is pushed right up to the property line, the building curves with the road maintaining the wall effect. The landscaping along the sidewalk is very appealing and the building provides a very welcoming feel with the glass walls along the road.



Just like the Student Success center, there are long hallways with glass walls. This provides great natural light and cuts down on lighting costs. Not to mention, it breaks up the facade and looks neat!


Time to walk under the hallway and into the courtyard. Here you can see a lighter color of brick being used along with a different pattern of glass. You will also be able to park or valet your car in one of the 75 structured parking spaces. The parking system is very easy with a quick in and out system. There is also a common patio area for students and guests to meet outside and enjoy our Colorado air.


This LEED-Certified project includes 150 guest rooms as well as classroom space for students perusing a hospitality major at Metropolitan State University. This development is a great start for completing the Auraria master plan and a great new building for the university. This is the first hotel at Auraria and its great for students coming out of state to stay right on the downtown campus.