DenverInfill FAQs

 

 

 

 

Have a question about DenverInfill.com?  Here's the place to look for the answer. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Many of the answers to the FAQs below were impacted by DenverInfill website and blog changes that took place at the end of 2009.  Please read about those changes here and here.  The original DenverInfill FAQs remain below.

DenverInfill - Frequently Asked Questions (click on a question to jump to the answer):

What is DenverInfill.com?

Who created this website?

Why did you create this website?

Is this website a part of the City of Denver or the Downtown Denver Partnership?

Do you provide custom research or consulting services related to infill developments?

Do developers pay you to include their projects on your website?

What are the geographic criteria for including a project on your website? 

What is the date range for including projects on your website?

What is the minimum size criteria for including a project on your website?

What about "scrape offs" or building additions?

What about building renovations or conversions?

How do you differentiate between a "rumored" and a "real" project?

How do you obtain information about the infill projects?

How can I submit a project to be included on your website?

Do you guarantee the accuracy of the project information presented on your website?

May I use or copy some of the photographs found on your website?

May I link a photograph or image found on your website to another website or message board?

When were the street elevation photos in the Downtown section taken?

Where do the block numbers come from that you use throughout the main Downtown section?

Do you have a Site Map?

What are some of the technical specifications behind your website?

What is your contact email address?

 

What is DenverInfill.com?  DenverInfill is a not-for-profit website that provides information about the urban infill development projects within a defined area around Downtown Denver. 

Who created this website?  DenverInfill was conceived, designed, and produced by Ken Schroeppel, an urban planner, downtown enthusiast, and avid Denver booster who lives and works in the Mile High City.

Ken is a planner and project manager at Matrix Design Group, a Denver-based consulting firm offering services in urban planning, transportation, infrastructure engineering, and the environmental sciences. At Matrix, Ken specializes in redevelopment and urban renewal planning and leads the company’s Urban Revitalization initiative. Ken received his Master in Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Colorado – Denver and regularly lectures at the University’s College of Architecture and Planning.  Ken serves on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Denver Civic Ventures organization, as well as on the Board of Union Station Advocates.  Ken is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and is active in Urban Land Institute – Colorado and the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Why did you create this website?  I created DenverInfill.com for several reasons: 

1.  To create a one-stop resource for those interested in the many infill developments recently completed, under construction, or planned in the Downtown Denver area.  With so much going on, I was finding it difficult keeping up on all of the different infill projects, their locations, statistics, renderings, etc., without a comprehensive single point of reference focused on Downtown.  So, I figured I would create such a resource, and share it with everyone else via the internet while I was at it.

2.  To provide a means of tracking our progress in repairing Downtown Denver's built environment and restoring the urban intensity of our city center.  By documenting all the urban infill developments that have been announced, started, or completed since Spring 2000, we can quantitatively and geographically understand the scope and nature of infill development in the Downtown area since then. 

3.  To demonstrate the vast investment opportunities in Denver's urban center and to encourage developers and their investors to seize those opportunities.  Despite all our progress, one doesn't have to look too far to find an ugly surface parking lot that detracts from Downtown's visual appeal, disrupts the continuity and character of Downtown's built environment, and diminishes Downtown's pedestrian experience.  But each of those ugly parking lots also represents a great opportunity to create a new and exciting urban place.  The potential for even greater things to happen in Downtown Denver is tremendous, and I want the international development community to understand that.

4.  To promote Denver and its vibrant urban core to the world.  Denver has one of the best downtowns in the country and it's only getting better, but I felt Denver's downtown revitalization story needed additional and continuous publicity, and that the best way to do that would be to create a permanent presence on the web that focused solely on the remarkable transformation taking place in Downtown Denver.

5.  To inspire and encourage my fellow Denver citizens to envision and work toward a Downtown that achieves the pinnacle of urban excellence.  I want metro Denver residents to realize what an awesome Downtown they have and all the exciting things that are happening there, and to create a buzz about Downtown Denver that will hopefully motivate Denverites to take an active role in fostering their Downtown's revitalization.

6.  To provide a virtual tour and photographic record of Downtown Denver.  Ever wonder exactly what is located at a particular corner, or what buildings are found along a particular block in Downtown?  I wanted to create an electronic means by which a person could answer those questions and view not just the standard "postcard" scenes of Downtown Denver, but absolutely all of it -- every block, every building, in every direction -- the good and the not-so-good.

7.  To accomplish it personally.  Being somewhat of a techno-geek, I wanted the experience of creating and maintaining my own website.  I figured if I'm going to do it, I might as well focus it on my passion (Downtown Denver, urban planning, etc.) and have fun and possibly enhance my career along the way.

Is this website a part of the City of Denver or the Downtown Denver Partnership?  No.  This is a personal website.  However, because the City of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership also work to spread the good news of Downtown Denver's growth and development, I do often work cooperatively with them in developing, sharing, and providing information related to Downtown.  In fact, I conceived this website with the idea that it should serve as a complement to the resources provided by the City and the Partnership, and that this website's independent and private-citizen perspective combines nicely with their public-sector and business-organization perspectives to create a triad of advocates for Downtown's growth and revitalization.

Do you provide custom research or consulting services related to infill developments?  It depends. Send me an email with what you are looking for and we'll see.  I may be able to help you out or it may be something better suited to be handled through my work at Matrix Design Group.  If not, I may be able to refer you to someone else who can help you out.

Do developers pay you to include their projects on your website?  No.  This is a not-for-profit website that does not accept money to include projects, nor does this site contain any advertisements.  I am not associated with any developer or broker or any particular project, and I'm not trying to sell real estate.  But, I am trying to "sell" Downtown Denver and all its various infill developments in general, and so I attempt to be as objective as possible and to include every infill project that meets the minimum project criteria.  In fact, I believe it is the comprehensiveness and inclusiveness of this website and its attempt to treat all projects with equal enthusiasm that contributes to its popularity and integrity. 

What are the geographic criteria for including a project on your website?  Check out the aerial photo map on the main page of the Center City Districts section.  The core Downtown is within the red boundary, and the Center City district areas are within the blue boundaries.  All projects within these areas are covered by this website.  Projects outside these areas are not, regardless of how big or important they may be.  Keeping track of all the projects within this site's defined boundaries is a big job.  I have to draw the line somewhere, so if a project is outside of these boundaries, you won't find it here.

What is the date range for including projects on your website?  The infill projects profiled on this website are those which have completed construction, have begun construction, or have been proposed since Spring 2000.  If the infill project was completed prior to Spring 2000, it is not identified on this site as an infill project, and it is not included as such on any map or in any table. In a few cases, the completion date for a project was determined as only "early 2000."  In those situations, aerial photos from April 2000 were used to determine if a project "looked complete" or not, and was either included as a project on this site or not accordingly.

What is the minimum size criteria for including a project on your website?  The minimum size for a residential project to be included on this site is 4 units.  New triplexes, duplexes, or detached single-family homes within the Downtown area are not tracked by this website.  I made an exception early on for a couple of 3-unit "stacked flats" projects, but now I'm sticking to the "4-unit" rule to keep the workload maintaining this site somewhat manageable.  For commercial or other non-residential projects, the general minimum project size is approximately 5,000 square feet.

What about "scrape offs" or building additions?  Generally, an addition to an existing building is not included as a project on this website unless the addition consumes a relatively large area of adjacent land.  New construction projects located on a site where an existing building was "scraped" or demolished to make way for a new building generally are included as infill projects on this site.  In those cases, the new buildings usually have a greater scale and density than the building being removed, and with typically larger building footprints too, consume adjacent vacant land as well.

What about building renovations or conversions?  DenverInfill does not track or list any project consisting of the renovation or conversion of an existing building into a different or higher use.  This decision was made for two reasons: First, there are so many new construction infill projects that are tracked on this site, that to also include all renovation or conversion projects in the Downtown area as well makes this website effort just too much work.  Second, this site focuses on the fact that vacant or undeveloped parcels destroy the physical cohesiveness of an urban area, and that the construction of a new building on a previously undeveloped site helps repair a city's built environment and intensifies its urban character.  Thus, while renovation and conversion projects are certainly significant contributors to the overall vitality and physical quality of the Downtown area, they are nevertheless not included on any map or in any table on this site as an official infill project. This does not mean they are ignored entirely though.  Occasionally I will mention them in my Blog or elsewhere on this website as part of a general discussion about the character of a particular block or area.

How do you differentiate between a "rumored" and a "real" project?  Another way of asking that question is, "How much, or what kind of information do you need to have on a project before you include it as an official project on your website?"   Distinguishing between a land development project that is "legitimate" or "real" versus one that may be simply someone's grand vision or sketchy idea can be difficult, because even the "real" ones were once just a concept.  But in general, the criteria I use on this website requires knowing:  1.) the exact project location and 2.) details on at least two other attributes of the project.  Examples include: location and project name/number of units, or location and developer name/number of stories, or location and number of units/project type (rental vs. for-sale), etc.  With at least that amount of information in hand, it seems to me that a project appears to be far enough along in the planning and design process for it to be considered a relatively serious infill proposal, and therefore worthy of being placed on this website.

How do you obtain information about the infill projects?  Typically from one of two ways: I regularly research various real estate, planning, architecture, or development-related resources and obtain news about an infill project from them, or a developer or other knowledgeable party contacts me and provides me with the information.  For the projects I discover, the majority of the information comes from publicly-accessible internet sites, such as the websites maintained by architects, developers, contractors, or brokers, or public-record websites maintained by the City.  I make the assumption that information that can be found on a publicly-accessible internet site is not privileged or confidential in nature, and is fair game to be reported on or discussed in some manner on another publicly-accessible website such as this one.  However, having said that, I take the confidentiality aspect inherent in real estate development very seriously. The last thing I want to do is to post something on this site before its time and have it blow a real estate deal.  When I am given information about a project before it is ready for public consumption, or if I am unsure about the status of the information I discover, I will hold off on making the information public until I have received explicit permission to post it on this website.  Finally, if information about a project is vague or widely known to be a rumor, I may mention it in my Blog, but I will always characterize it as a rumor and nothing more.

How can I submit a project to be included on your website?  It's pretty simple... send me a email.  As long as the project meets the various criteria discussed above, send me the project details and a rendering if you have one, and I'll be happy to add it as an official project to the appropriate neighborhood or block page.

Do you guarantee the accuracy of the project information presented on your website?  No.  The accuracy of the information I present on DenverInfill is very important to me and I go to great lengths to be as precise as possible about what I'm presenting.  But, I am human and I will sometimes make mistakes, or I may receive inaccurate information believing it to be accurate.  Your use of the information on this website is at your own risk.  If you spot an error or inaccurate information on this website, please send me an email so I may correct it. 

May I use or copy some of the photographs found on your website?  All photographs, maps, and diagrams found on this site not credited to someone else are the property of Ken Schroeppel and are protected under federal copyright laws.  Photographs or images may be used or reproduced for non-commercial, educational, or personal purposes as long as credit is given.  While explicit permission is not required in these cases, I do appreciate hearing how you intend to use the images you've found on this website.  Commercial for-profit enterprises may purchase a license to use imagery from this site for a reasonable fee.  High resolution versions of all photographs found on this site are available.  Please email me with your request.

Most of the renderings and other artists' images of a proposed infill development were obtained from the website of the project's developer, architect, contractor, or broker.  In those cases, the source of the image is credited and a hyperlink to the website from which the image was obtained is provided.  If the original creator of an image could not be identified but the image was copied from some other website, a link to that site is provided instead. 

The alteration or manipulation of any copyrighted materials from DenverInfill.com is not permitted, including the cropping of the DenverInfill copyright watermark from any photo or image.

May I link a photograph or image found on your website to another website or message board?  No.  If you wish to display an image from DenverInfill on another website (for non-commercial purposes only, of course), you should copy the image file and upload it to your own web server space and use your own bandwidth, not mine.  None of the images obtained from other websites that are displayed on this site are ever linked directly from those sites, but reside on DenverInfill's server space.    

When were the street elevation photos in the Downtown section taken?  The street elevation photos for all of the Northeast Downtown subarea and for most of the blocks east of Broadway in the Upper Downtown subarea were taken in February, March, and April of 2004. The remaining street elevation photos for all other parts of Downtown were taken in January and February of 2005.  While Denver is definitely not at its prettiest during these winter months, the lack of leaves on the trees allowed for maximum viewing of the buildings and other site characteristics of each block.  Also, most of the photos were taken on a Saturday or Sunday morning. This was a convenient time for me to walk the streets of Downtown, but it also resulted in a lack of visible pedestrian activity that otherwise exists during the weekdays and later in the day on the weekends. The photos for most of the Center City Neighborhood sections were taken during the Spring and Summer of 2005, with the site photos of infill projects that have been announced since then taken at the time the project was added to this website.

Where do the block numbers come from that you use throughout the main Downtown section?  A full explanation and historical overview of the block numbers used in the Downtown section is available on the Downtown Denver Block Numbers page in the Special Features section.

Do you have a Site Map?  Yes, and it's quite nice!  Click here:  Site Map  

What are some of the technical specifications behind your website?  DenverInfill was created using Microsoft FrontPage 2002.  I don't know the first thing about HTML, yet I have created 100% of this website on my own, thanks to the simple FrontPage interface.  I found FrontPage to be a good compromise between more sophisticated web design software that requires knowledge of HTML and the simple template-driven web builder applications that, in my opinion, don't offer enough design freedom.  The other main applications that were indispensable in creating DenverInfill are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.  All photographs used on this site taken since late 2004 were captured with my 4 megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 digital camera, which features a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 12x optical, 36x digital zoom lens.  Finally, DenverInfill.com is hosted by PowWeb (www.powweb.com), which offers 20 gigabytes of web storage space and 400 gigabytes of data transfer (bandwidth) per month, for about $100 a year.  I've been happy with their service so far.

 

 

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