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Speer: Country Club Towers Update #3

Let’s head over to the Speer neighborhood and check in on the twin 30-story towers that will define the South Central Denver skyline. Since the tower cranes went up in September, the Country Club Towers are now starting to go vertical!

As we described in our first update, this site is incredibly hard to access. So, we are going to start with some ground level photos and finish with aerials. All of the underground and foundation work is now complete and the podium for the west tower is now up to four-stories.

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Here are two more photos of the podium for the west tower going up.

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The podium for the east tower just broke ground level and is also starting to go vertical. The shared podium should top out this summer.


Hard to follow the ground level photos? I completely agree. Queue the aerial photography. Here are four elevations looking east over the project site. Hopefully this helps you decipher what is going on from what we described above.



Now that these towers are out of the ground, we should start to see them rise fairly quickly. These will make a huge impact from both a skyline and street level point of view.

As a fun little bonus, how tall will the Country Club Towers be exactly? Just a few feet shorter than the Rocky Mountain Tower, also known as the ‘Darth Vader’ tower, that sits in Glendale. However, Denver scores two towers around the same height.


How exciting!

Doors Open Denver 2016!

It’s that time of the year again—Doors Open Denver—our city’s annual celebration of architecture, urban design, and planning!


April 23 and April 24 are the dates to remember. On that Saturday and Sunday, you will have the chance to…

As in the past, our Doors Open Denver headquarters will be at Denver Union Station, where you’ll be able to purchase tickets for the Insider Tours (if you didn’t buy them online in advance), pick up a handy Doors Open Denver site guide, buy a Doors Open Denver t-shirt, or just stop by to say hello!

Pre-Doors Open Denver Walking Tours
Once again I will be leading several special Expert Walking Tours of Lower Downtown and the Denver Union Station area to raise money for the Denver Architectural Foundation, the organization that puts on Doors Open Denver each year. I’m a Denver Architectural Foundation board member and serve on the Doors Open Denver planning committee, so I’m excited to again support the event by leading these walking tours. Tickets are $25 each (plus Eventbrite processing fees) and 100% of the proceeds go directly to support Doors Open Denver!

Here are the tour dates and links to the Eventbrite page to purchase your tickets:

  • Lower Downtown District – Saturday, April 9 – 1:00 – 3:00 PM – SOLD OUT 
  • Union Station District – Sunday, April 10 – 2:00 – 4:00 PM – SOLD OUT
  • Union Station District – Saturday, April 16 – 1:00 – 3:00 PM – SOLD OUT
  • Lower Downtown District – Sunday, April 17 – 2:00 – 4:00 PM – SOLD OUT 

I hope to see you on one of our special pre-DOD walking tours and at Doors Open Denver on April 23-24!

New Lower Downtown Project: 1510 Market

A small but exciting project is on the drawing boards for the corner of 15th and Market streets in Lower Downtown Denver.

1510 Market Street is a proposed restaurant/office addition to the Rocky Mountain Seed Building at 1520 Market that will fill the vacant corner lot currently used for motor vehicle parking. Here are Google Earth aerial and street view images of the site:



In 2014, the Rocky Mountain Seed Building underwent a thorough restoration and conversion to office space, while an underground parking level was added to the undeveloped parcel at the corner. The underground parking was then topped with the current surface lot—an interim use until plans were finalized for vertical development on the site. This photo from March 2014 shows the Rocky Mountain Seed Building under renovation. On the left, 16M was under construction.


1510 Market is currently under design review with the Lower Downtown Design Review Board. Information about 1510 Market, including the following rendering, were obtained from the project’s application materials submitted to the LDDRB for their April 7 meeting and published on the city’s website. Because this project is still under review by the city, the standard caveat applies: project details and designs presented below are preliminary and subject to further modification, refinement, and approvals (rendering prepared by Tryba Architects).

The proposal calls for an addition of approximately 16,000 square feet of space on four floors. The ground level will feature a restaurant, while Floors 2 and 3 will each contain approximately 5,000 square feet of office space with interior connections to the adjacent floors of the Rocky Mountain Seed Building next door. The top level will feature a small indoor dining area and L-shaped outdoor deck. Here’s the proposed view from across the 15th and Market intersection:


This is a great addition to Lower Downtown! Not only does it replace a surface parking lot (yay!), but it also fills in a corner site—critical in an urban setting for establishing a consistent street wall along two streets and providing a great sidewalk experience for the pedestrian. We look forward to following this project as it moves through the design and approval process.

Union Station: 1709 Chestnut Update #2

It’s official! The project at 17th and Chestnut Street is underway. Right on the edge of the Union Station light-rail station, a 12 and 24-story tower will start rising over the next year or so. As a refresher, here are some preliminary renderings from our announcement post. This development will feature approximately 500 apartment units.

Edit 04/04/16 – 1:20PM – Here are some slightly refined renderings of 1709 Chestnut thanks to our friends at Shears Adkins Rockmore.




Here is what the site looks like as of this weekend. Excavation and drilling is now underway, with heavy construction equipment starting to move onto the site.

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To show how large of a site this is, and how much impact this building is going to have on the neighborhood, here is a very high resolution aerial I took back in February. Make sure you click to embiggen!


The project site is directly across the street from Pivot.

The empty parcels in the Union Station neighborhood are filling up fast!

New Lower Downtown Project: SugarSquare Addendum

As I was out and about taking photos for DenverInfill this weekend, I had to stop by to check out the SugarSquare site. To follow up with Ken’s announcement yesterday, I had to take some current photos. Needless to say, I was wowed by how skinny and tight this project is going to be. Here are two photos showing just that.

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It appears that there is work going on in the historic Sugar Building; perhaps to prepare for SugarSquare! I can’t wait to see this little project rise!

New Lower Downtown Project: SugarSquare

Denver-based Urban Villages, developer of SugarCube, is moving forward with a companion building, SugarSquare, on a small site on Wazee Street adjacent to the historic Sugar Building in Lower Downtown Denver.

To long-time DenverInfill readers, this project may sound familiar as something similar was proposed by Urban Villages back in 2006 when SugarCube was getting ready to break ground. But because that was almost 10 years ago and since the design has changed as well, we’re presenting this as a “new” LoDo project.

The site in question is the narrow undeveloped lot (currently functioning as a valet parking area) on Wazee next to the historic Sugar Building. Here’s a Google Earth aerial showing the project site:


Before we get to SugarSquare, let’s review very briefly the history of the handsome historic Sugar Building. According to the Sugar Building’s application to the National Register of Historic Places, the original tan-brick structure facing 16th Street was built in 1906 by the Great Western Sugar Company and was originally four stories tall. In 1912, an additional two floors were added to the top to bring the building to its current 6-story height. Along the Wazee side of the building, the red-brick section was the “warehouse” part of the building and it too was originally only four floors tall. It received a 2-story addition in 1916 to bring it up to six stories as well.

SugarSquare will be an extension of the historic building (as opposed to a stand-alone building) with internal connections between the original Sugar Building’s and SugarSquare’s floors. The addition totals 10,800 square feet of office space on four above-grade levels, plus a basement. A green roof/amenity deck will top the building. Here are several renderings, courtesy of Urban Villages and their project architect, Semple Brown Design:




An interesting aspect of SugarSquare is that the exterior facade will consist entirely of glass and blackened stainless steel—no brick whatsoever, which will be a first for LoDo. However, despite the building’s contemporary design and materials, it continues the rhythm and massing of Wazee Street’s historic architectural context and provides a nice transition from the 6-story Sugar Building down to its 2-story historic neighbor to the southwest.

SugarSquare is 100% pre-leased and a building permit is under review with the city. If all goes as planned, the project will break ground this summer.

What a great addition to Lower Downtown! Not only is SugarSquare a cool-looking building, but a (very skinny) surface parking lot will be eradicated as well!

Arapahoe Square: Alexan Arapahoe Square Project Update #2

When we announced Alexan Arapahoe Square, it was in a very preliminary design phase with little detail associated with it. Back in August, we received a refined rendering of the project, thanks to the good folks at Kephart, but some details were still unclear, such as a construction timeline.Today, we are very excited to share the final renderings, along with the important details of Alexan Arapahoe Square.

Trammell Crow Residential is planning a 355-unit apartment project, contained in a 13-story building over at 22nd and Welton Street. Here are the latest renderings thanks to Trammell Crow Residential, the developer and Kephart, the architect.


So what exactly changed since the last set of renderings? Not a whole lot regarding materials, massing, and color scheme.


However, these new renderings give us new perspectives and the context around Alexan Arapahoe Square. As you can see, there isn’t a lot of high or tall density around this project, so it will definitely have a huge impact on the area.


Now for the good details. Trammell Crow Residential is planning on acquiring the land, and breaking ground in June; that’s two months away! The first of the 355-units are planned to lease in December 2017 with total completion in August 2018. The average unit size will be 780 square feet. See you in June!

Capitol Hill: MOTO Apartments Final Update

Another great looking project is now complete in Capitol Hill. MOTO (Middle of Town) apartments feature 64-units over a six-story building and two ground floor retail pads. We had a total of three posts on this project, which you can visit below:

New Capitol Hill Project: 820 Sherman

Capitol Hill: MOTO Apartments Update #1

Capitol Hill: MOTO Apartments Update #2

MOTO brings some different designs to the table. It sits on two inclines: one along 8th Avenue and the other on Sherman Street, which gives the building a unique perspective when looking at it from the intersection. Along with that, the every-other-floor setbacks and dark paneling, much like its neighbor, bring a nice contrast to the surrounding buildings.

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The four-stories of apartments sit on a two-story podium, which is used for parking and ground floor retail. Because of the sloping streets, the podium blank walls vary in elevation making them more interesting and pleasing to the eye.

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Here is a good visual of the sloping podium along 8th Avenue. Can you tell which part of the picture is truly straight?


Let’s get in closer and walk around the project. MOTO brings a design that is fairly new to Capitol Hill; industrial, which we have seen all over the River North neighborhood. It’s a refreshing change to see this design around here.

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The parking garage and ground floor retail frontage also have a very industrial look.

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MOTO, at six-stories, adds some great height and density to this area of Capitol Hill, which is dominated by surface parking lots. It also brings a refreshing design, which we have never really seen in this neighborhood, and ground floor retail to help activate this intersection. What a great win for Capitol Hill!

Capitol Hill: 701 Sherman Update #3

Let’s head on over to Capitol Hill and check on a fairly large residential project, 701 Sherman; a seven-story, 105-unit apartment building, developed by RedPeak. Since our last update in August, 701 Sherman has made a lot of progress and is nearing completion!

Designed by Craine Architecture, this project adds a different color scheme in an area consisting of mostly red and beige bricks. The dark brick and paneling, along with the significant height, make this building stand out around this slightly barren area of Capitol Hill.

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On the first four floors, on a portion of the building, there is a beige brick accent instead of a white accent, like what we saw in the initial rendering.

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Contrary to what we saw in the rendering, the dark theme is consistent throughout the project.. There is also a more defined setback along Lincoln Street.

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701 Sherman is slated for completion around May of this year. Stay tuned for a final update around then!