A new major infill development is proposed for what is undeniably the worst parking lot-infested hole in Lower Downtown. The 1800 block of Market is entirely undeveloped and is occupied on both sides by ugly voids of blight. That may change if Trammel Crow Residential is successful in completing their proposed 18th and Market project, an 11-story, 305-unit apartment building.
Here is the proposed development site outlined on a Google Earth aerial:
The proposed 18th and Market Apartments is scheduled to go before the Lower Downtown Design Review Board for the first time on August 11. As we explained the other day with the proposed 14 Wynkoop project, the first step in the LDDRB process is reviewing the development’s proposed mass and scale. And like 14 Wynkoop, city staff have put forward a “denial” recommendation for this first design iteration for various reasons. It usually takes several rounds of review with the LDDRB before a project receives all of the necessary approvals. Consequently, the renderings below are preliminary and subject to future modifications.
All of the following concept renderings are taken from the project’s August 11 submittal to the LDDRB and were prepared by Johnson Nathan Strohe (JNS), the project architect. JNS recently designed The Maven hotel component of the Dairy Block just a couple of blocks down 19th Street from this project.
View from 19th and Market looking toward 18th:
The proposed development, in its current form, would include about 9,500 square feet of retail at the corner of 19th and Market and the residential lobby at the corner of 18th and Market. Mid-block along Market Street are four walk-up ground-floor residential units, while on the alley side are 57 automobile parking spaces.
The 2nd level is proposed as all automobile parking—108 spaces—which is one of the items cited by city staff as not meeting the Lower Downtown Design Standards and Guidelines. The LoDo design standards discourage above ground parking and require that any parking above the street be set back from the front property line by at least 16 feet and wrapped by other uses. The design of the second level in this initial scheme does not meet either of those standards. The city’s staff report notes: “Parking above the ground floor has not been approved by the Board in any previous application since the adoption of the Design Guidelines in 2002.” I hope the LDDRB doesn’t start doing so now.
Moving up, the 3rd through 7th floors contain residential units, with a club room and outdoor pool near the center of the building facing Market Street on the 6th floor. The structure steps back along the front on the 8th through 11th floors, which contain more apartments units. A 4,200 square foot rooftop deck tops the building at the 18th and Market corner.
One and a half levels of below-grade parking include storage space for an additional 206 automobiles, bringing the building’s total parking count to 371 spaces, or a 1.22 parking space/unit ratio, with all parking accessed via the alley.
View from 18th and Market looking toward 19th:
Retail space fronting 19th Street near the corner at Market:
One of the LoDo design guideline requirements that we do see evident in these renderings is the breaking-up of the building’s massing, particularly along Market, to give the appearance of multiple buildings instead of one monolithic structure. It will be interesting to see the design of this development evolve as it goes through the LDDRB process.
Long-time DenverInfill readers may remember that this new Trammell Crow Residential development is not the first project proposed for this site. Back in the fall of 2000, Denver developer Bill Pauls proposed a two-building project on this site that included an 11-story, 50-unit condo building at 19th and Market and a 190,000 square-foot office building at 18th and Market. That project was cancelled in late 2001. Here’s a concept rendering of the office portion of that project:
A few years later, Corum Real Estate Group proposed a 13-story, 300-unit condominium building on the property. The first design of the Corum project from early 2005 looked like this…
…which morphed into this design by the end of 2005:
I liked the first design better. Anyway, this project never made it out of the ground and eventually got axed with the financial crash of 2008.
Let’s hope Trammell Crow Residential has better luck getting this site developed than its predecessors. This block’s current condition is just wretched and the prospect of it finally getting developed is cause for celebration!