Excavation work has begun on 1401 Lawrence, a new 22-story office tower in Central Downtown Denver!
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:
For a bird’s-eye view of the site, this drone-tastic image by Ryan Dravitz will do the trick:
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:
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Today I have a quick update for you on the 149,000 square foot office building going up at East First Avenue and Saint Paul Street. Since our update in May, this project has gone from a large hole in the ground to a climbing steel structure that has now risen five-stories. 100 Saint Paul will top out at a total of 8-stories.
That’s it for this round of Cherry Creek updates! Next week we will head back to Downtown Denver and look at all of the great infill going up there!
Since our last update in May, 250 Columbine has made significant progress, including the office portion of the project topping out! As a refresher, 250 Columbine is contributing 70,000 square feet of office space and 80 condo units to the Cherry Creek North neighborhood.
Topping out at 8-stories, this project is beginning to make its mark on the Cherry Creek skyline. The residential portion is still rising with two-stories to go.
250 Columbine occupies the entire eastern half of Columbine Street between Second and Third Avenue. While it looks like one long building from the corner, I was surprised to find out that the office and residential components are split with ample space between them.
Last but not least, I have a very special bonus for you. Back in early August, Shawn Murry of CloudBase Aerial Imaging gave us this spectacular aerial of Cherry Creek to use for this update. Shawn specializes in low altitude aerial photography and filming for land planning, real estate development, and other industries. For more information, please visit CloudBase at www.cloudbaseheli.com.
Not only can you see how large of an impact 250 Columbine has but also how dense the Cherry Creek neighborhood is with a great spine of density leading up to Colorado Boulevard. Seems like somewhere an enhanced transit corridor should belong!
250 Columbine, Denver’s only condo project in the works, is already very close to selling out and has an expected delivery of early next year. For pricing and more details about 250 Columbine including a webcam, head on over to the project’s website.
Good news! DenverInfill has learned from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the brokerage firm handling leasing for the proposed 1401 Lawrence office tower, that the official groundbreaking for the project will take place on October 1, 2014. For more about this project, visit our last update here.
By the way, the tower has gained a floor since our last report. It now will be 22 stories tall and contain 298,000 square feet of office space and 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Toronto-based First Gulf Corporation is the developer. For more information including a downloadable PDF with additional building details, visit the First Gulf’s project website.
Similar to our series of updates on Downtown Denver’s multifamily residential projects, let’s take a summary look at Downtown Denver’s new office projects.
Projects included in the map and table below are those that are new construction projects with an office component that have been completed, are under construction, or proposed since January 2010 and located within a 1.5-mile radius of a geographic central point (17th and Arapahoe) in Downtown Denver. Projects outside of the green circle but within the extent of the Google Earth aerial image are not shown. A project is included in the Proposed category if a development application has been filed with the city or if the project has otherwise been made public to some degree. The gross office square footage figures listed are approximate and the number of floors listed is for the entire building, not just the office portion in the case of mixed-use projects.
Here’s our Downtown Denver New Office Projects map for September 2014. Click to embiggen:
Here is a summary table to accompany the map. Click here to download both the map and table in PDF format.
Nearly 1.5 square feet of office space has been developed in Downtown Denver since the start of the decade, and almost another one million square feet is currently under development. The Proposed projects that are most likely to break ground next are 1881 16th Street and 1401 Lawrence (probably before the end of the year) and 1144 15th Street is reportedly scheduled to start in May 2015. At the end of the 2nd Quarter 2014, the Central Business District office vacancy rate was a little over 12%.
Edit 2014-09-14, 9:25 PM: Updated exhibits with corrected square footage information.