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Central Platte Valley: AMLI Riverfront Final Update

Let’s head over to the Central Platte Valley to take a final look at AMLI Riverfront, a 242-unit apartment project that is a great step in the right direction for completing the Riverfront Park master plan. Here are all of the previous updates for this project:

New Apartments Proposed for 19th and Little Raven

Goodbye Empty Lots, You Will Not Be Missed

AMLI Riverfront Update #1

AMLI Riverfront Update #1 – Addendum

AMLI Riverfront Update #2

Inside the Infill: AMLI Riverfront Park

Central Platte Valley: AMLI Riverfront Update #3

Today, we will be looking at the project from the outside as well as taking a peek inside, thanks to Emily Flynn of AMLI! Like what we have been seeing with a lot of the new infill around Downtown Denver, AMLI Riverfront is mostly comprised of a brick facade which looks great along every side.

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The building curves with the sidewalk along Little Raven which adds some complexity to the building’s design; a neat feature of the project. The existing trees were also preserved, and there is ample new landscaping around the entire building. A single parking ramp on 19th Street leads to the garage towards the north.

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Time to go inside! In the center, you are greeted with a courtyard and swimming pool, wrapped around by apartment units. AMLI was adding the finishing touches to the pool while I was on this tour.

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The community space is two stories, with a community kitchen and space for entertainment and games such as billiards. There are also conference and community computer rooms on the second floor.

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Here is a sampling of the units. The finishes are what we have been seeing across the board: hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter-tops. The studio units have a partial diving wall and also come with racks for hanging your bike and/or snow gear.

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Speaking of bikes, there is ample bike storage in the parking garage as well as a bike room, which is maintained by Salvagetti.

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Last but not least, there is a rooftop deck that looks over Central Platte Valley. You can see Elitch Gardens, Mile High Stadium, the Front Range, and many other buildings and landmarks.

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That’s a wrap on AMLI Riverfront! This project adds 242-units and well over 300 people to the Central Platte Valley neighborhood. As of now, the building is over 50% leased and has been open for only a couple of months. Welcome to Central Platte Valley and Downtown Denver, AMLI Riverfront!


Denver Union Station: Final Update – After Dark

This is it. The last ‘final update’ of the incredible Denver Union Station project. Today, we will be looking at each element of this project at night. Denver Union Station is great to see during the daytime, but it’s even better when the sun is down and the lights are on! So whether you are…

A kid (or adult) playing in the fountains at Wynkoop Plaza…

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An observer watching the fountains from above…

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A passenger catching the California Zephyr headed for Chicago…

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Or a passenger getting off the California Zephyr in Denver …

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And are having your first drink at the Terminal Bar….

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Or a late night commuter taking the light rail home, or to work…

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Or a pedestrian, talking a night stroll through the city…

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This is what you see. Brilliant lights, illuminating a grand project. As I’ve said many times in the past: Union Station, you look absolutely incredible. I and many others are very happy with the outcome and are looking forward to the many great decades ahead!


Denver Union Station: Final Update – A Look Back

I didn’t start posting on Denver Union Station until Update 103, when construction of the project was in full swing. Before that, Rick Anstey was the Denver Union Station guru and avid poster. At the time Update 103 came out, the underground bus facility was capped from Chestnut to Wewatta, the old light rail station was long gone, the parking lots were torn up along Wynkoop Street, and construction for the North Wing Building had just started. It was still a whole different story than it is today; there was still a lot of dirt and not much vertical construction, as everything was still underground. In this post every ‘before’ picture will be accompanied by a present day photo. Let’s begin!

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Update 103 was also the last time we had a look inside the historic station. Remember Ken’s Union Station tours? That particular day attracted a large crowd as he and Dana Crawford discussed the future of the historic station.

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Fast forward to Update 105 and 106. I had my first hard hat tour of the project, which was very exciting for both DenverInfill readers and me personally. The foundation for the canopy had just started to go in and the underground bus facility was still a concrete shell.

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Then things started to get exciting above ground. My favorite piece in the whole project, the commuter rail station canopy, started to go vertical.

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As months passed, there was a lot of visible construction which made for some exciting photos. In Update 115, Ken snapped a great picture of the first fabric pieces getting installed to the commuter rail station canopy.

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Jumping to Update 121, the plazas were starting to take shape and the historic station was wrapped in scaffolding while it was undergoing a full restoration. The North Wing building had just topped out and the glass facade was peeking out from under the plastic.

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Then the most exciting aspects of the project came around: sections were starting to open to the public. It was before my time reporting on Union Station when the light-rail station opened back in May 2012 however, I did get to witness the 17th Street Gardens, commuter rail train station, underground bus facility, historic station, and Wynkoop Plaza opening!

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This project has completely transformed what was once a barren wasteland situated between two great neighborhoods. Denver Union Station is now the new hot spot in Downtown Denver and will continue thriving as the private sector developments keep rolling in. This was my personal experience from when I started covering this project to sitting here tonight typing up this post. Needless to say, it has been quite a ride. Welcome back to Downtown Denver, we are so glad you are back! I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences and stories during this project’s journey!


Denver Union Station: Final Update – Grand Opening

Here we are. After all these years we have finally made it to our final updates on the huge and incredible, Denver Union Station project. So how exactly do you wrap a project up of this scale? Instead of just wrapping up in a single post, we will have multiple posts throughout the week: revisiting some milestones of the project, sharing personal experiences, and of course providing ample amounts of photos in each post! To kick off the week, let’s start with the grand opening ceremonies that took place this last weekend!

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Fountains! The new fountains on Wynkoop Plaza were a huge hit on Saturday. Throughout the day, children played in the water and ran back and forth on Wynkoop Plaza as the jets shot water high and low.

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Wynkoop Street between 16th Street and 18th Street was closed allowing for tents, food trucks, and a stage. The activation of this entire space was as great as everyone would have hoped; pedestrians activating both the plaza and the street.

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Here are some above views of the opening ceremonies. Most of the attention was focused toward the south and central part of Wynkoop Plaza, asking the question, what’s going on with the north end of the plaza? There are two main reasons for the lack of activation. One, the 18th Street Pedestrian bridge is still not open and two, finishing touches are still underway such as adding movable tables and chairs. There is no set timeframe for these two things however, like all newly completed projects, things can only get better.

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Dana Crawford front and center! The short ceremony attracted a big crowd and as soon as the speeches were over, people lined up with their tickets to check out the inside of the historic station.

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As expected, there were waves of people moving throughout the station. Visitors had full access to the ground floor with all of the retail in the Great Hall open. For a complete look around the historic station, head on over to our coverage from the soft opening!

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What exactly is going on in the historic station? It’s part train station and part living room. There are benches, couches, and comfy chairs for passengers and passerby to relax, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy a refreshing drink. This is a concept that has never been done and is completely experimental. Time will tell how well this concept will work in the historic station but for the time being, it is incredibly neat!

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Here is a sampling of the retail spaces along the Great Hall. The spaces are small yet very functional with a very large variety of commodities, from food to books to boutique outlets.

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Because there are so many retail spaces around the station, there is a lot to explore! Have you found this awesome sign yet?

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That’s a wrap on our grand opening coverage! Stay tuned for many more pictures, and posts throughout the week!


Denver Union Station Update #129: Final Grand Opening Preview

Like many large, complex, redevelopment and infrastructure projects, certain elements are completed before others, providing opportunities to celebrate more than one grand opening. This is the case with Denver’s Union Station project.

Construction began in early 2010. Here’s a photo from our Denver Union Station Update #1 on March 22, 2010, when excavation was just getting started (seems like ages ago, doesn’t it?):

A year and a half later, the new (relocated) Union Station Light Rail Station was the first major component of the half-billion dollar project to be finished, resulting in Union Station’s first grand opening celebration on August 15, 2011. That was followed by 32 additional months of construction after which the project’s two largest transit components, the 22-gate underground Union Station Bus Concourse and the 8-track Union Station Commuter Rail Station opened on May 9, 2014, which we covered here at DenverInfill with six very special grand opening posts and three bonus posts at DenverUrbanism. In the interim, there was also the first Amtrak train to arrive into the new Commuter Rail Station in March 2014. Then, there was the “soft” opening of the historic station on June 12, 2014, with the Crawford Hotel and a few of the station’s new restaurant and retail spaces welcoming their first customers. 

But now, the time has finally arrived for the grand finale of Union Station’s grand opening events! This SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2014, is the public’s chance to celebrate the completion of the whole project, with tours of the restored historic station and a major party—food, drink, music and entertainment—on the new (and quite fabulous!) Wynkoop Plaza. The party begins at 10AM, the official ceremony is at NOON, and the festivities run through 3 PM. Here’s a link to the official Union Station grand opening page. PLEASE NOTE, if you want to take a tour of the historic station, you must have a ticket. Use this link which can also be found at the bottom of the official event page to reserve your tour tickets. Again, the final Union Station grand opening event is:

SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2014
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
17TH & WYNKOOP, LOWER DOWNTOWN DENVER

DenverInfill will be there to photograph the festivities so, if you can’t make it, look for a special Union Station Grand Opening blog post soon after Saturday’s party!


Downtown Denver Residential Developments: July 2014 Update

It’s been six months since our January 2014 review of the status of Downtown Denver’s many multifamily residential projects, so it’s time for an update!

First, a quick note about our tracking criteria: Projects included in the map and tables below are those that are (a.) new construction multifamily residential—rental or for-sale, (b.) ten units or more, (c.) completed, under construction, or proposed since January 2012, and (d.) 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.) a development application has been filed with the city, (b.) the specific project location is known, and (c.) the number of units is known. We have not blogged yet about several of the projects in the Proposed list as renderings and other details are not yet available. Don’t forget to check out our Project Map on the right sidebar for all the infill projects we’re tracking here at DenverInfill.

Below is our July 2014 Downtown Denver New Multifamily Residential Developments map. Click on the map image below to view in a new window at full size (2400 pixels wide), or use the following link to view and download the map as a high-resolution PDF file (about 3 MB) that you can share with your friends: July 2014 Downtown Denver New Multifamily Residential Developments Map

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Next is our table with the project details. Click on the table to view at full size or click here for a PDF version.

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Since our January 2014 update, six projects (light blue) totaling 674 units have been completed. This results in a sum of 3,656 multifamily residential units that have been completed within a 1.5-mile radius of the center of Downtown since January 2012.

Only two townhome projects (light green) totaling 32 units moved from Proposed to Under Construction within the past six months. Nevertheless, there are still 3,764 units currently under construction in Downtown, so a slowdown in the number of new projects breaking ground within the past six months may be a reasonable “wait and see” reaction by the market. Assuming all of the developments under construction are completed by mid-2015, the Downtown Denver area will have gained almost 7,500 new housing units in a 3.5-year timeframe.

Nevertheless, while the number of recent project groundbreakings has been minimal, there was no shortage of new proposed projects since January. Highlighted in light purple, twelve new multifamily developments totaling 2,203 units were either publicly announced (such as 17W and SkyHouse) and/or have been submitted to the city planning department, giving us a total of 5,113 residential units on the drawing board for Downtown Denver. Not included in this total (or in our list) are several more multifamily housing projects that have been submitted to the city for review, but for which we haven’t yet confirmed either the exact location or the unit count. That means the number of proposed units in our 1.5-mile radius area may be closer to 6,000. Of course, some of these developments are destined to never get off the drawing board. It will be interesting to observe over the next six months which of these proposed projects break ground!


Lower Highland: Galvanize 2.0 Update #3

Construction on Galvanize 2.0 on historic Platte Street is coming along nicely. In our last update in November, the building foundation was being excavated. Since then, the project has topped off at its four-story height!

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Featuring around 70,000 square feet for offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces plus a ground-floor restaurant, Galvanize 2.0 is aiming for an early 2015 opening.


Lower Highland: The Lab on Platte Update #2

In our first update on The Lab on Platte, a 73,000 square foot, four story office building being developed at 17th and Platte behind the Denver Beer Company, we noted that the old janitorial supplies building that occupied the site was under demolition.

With this short update, we can report that construction of the building’s foundation is now underway!

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As can be seen in the images above, excavation and the shoring walls are now underway. We’ll stop by The Lab on Platte in a few months when it starts to go vertical. The project is slated for opening in April 2015.