New Project: DHA Headquarters

A new office building, officially known as the Denver Housing Authority Collaborative Resource Center, is under construction in the La Alma-Lincoln Park neighborhood next to the 10th and Osage light rail station. The 11-story building represents the final piece of the Denver Housing Authority‘s successful Mariposa redevelopment. Below is a Google Earth aerial with the new building’s location outlined, followed by a bird’s-eye rendering, courtesy of the project architect Davis Partnership, showing the new building (just left of center) adjacent to the transit station.

Aeriel photo showing the new DHA Headquarters location

The new building will not only house DHA’s main offices, but it will also include room for non-profit organizations seeking office space at rates below market. Additionally, the ground floor will include the Mercado at Mariposa, a neighborhood market featuring fresh produce, to-go prepared food, and healthy groceries, as well as micro-spaces for local vendors to sell goods. Also included in the Collaborative Resource Center will be a community room providing space for local events and community meetings.

According to the project’s site development plan approved by the city, the ground floor will hold the lobby, mercado, community room, and building services, floors 2 through 6 will be dedicated to vehicle parking (178 spaces for automobiles, 240 spaces for bicycles), and floors 7 through 11 will hold the office space. A stepback of the top four floors leaves room for a generous outdoor terrace on the eighth floor.

The renderings below, all courtesy of Davis Partnership, show the building’s proposed completed look. The first image shows the east and north sides of the tower looking southwest along Osage Street, with 1099 Osage on the right. The second image depicts the building’s south and west sides as viewed from the light rail corridor.

DHA Headquarters north elevation viewed looking south along Osage Street
DHA Headquarters west and south sides viewed looking north from light rail

Two additional renderings from Davis Partnership: the first image is the same perspective as above but in the evening, and the second image shows a close-up of the terrace on the eighth floor.

DHA Headquarters evening view
DHA Headquarters eighth-floor terrace

Here are some recent photos of the site and the early stages of construction:

DHA Headquarters site construction

The new Denver Housing Authority headquarters building is scheduled for a Spring 2019 completion.

By | 2017-10-08T20:12:18+00:00 October 8, 2017|Categories: Infill, La Alma Lincoln Park, Office, Transit-Oriented|Tags: |15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Aaron October 8, 2017 at 11:57 am - Reply

    The predominance of parking in this “transit-oriented-development” is both surprising and appalling. This is why Denver will never get TOD right, and it is a disservice to the whole neighborhood.

  2. Ryan Keeney October 8, 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    I must agree with Aaron and say that is truly an absurd amount of parking (looks like over 40% of the structure) for a building that is literally across the street from a light rail station served by five different lines. I do like the look of it though.

  3. John R October 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    This building is literally half parking garage. That’s not just shameful, it’s infuriating.

  4. Chris K October 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    The cost of construction could have been greatly reduced if there was less or no on-site parking, making it possible for this organization to offer more below market rate space for non-profits. Instead, the employees that work here will likely be offered free or very cheap parking so they have no reason to consider using the nearby light rail.

  5. ddvmke October 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    While I think it looks more like 25%, I still think it’s crazy how much parking there is when you can get there easily from many neighborhoods their employees could/should have easy access to.

    Also recently noticed the dirt lot to the south is now being actively marketed, hopefully for something a bit more in tune with the location…

    • JerryG October 8, 2017 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Well, there is a project at 944 Osage St on Denver’s ‘Major Projects’ development report: 9-story mixed-use structure, 289 dwelling units, 5000 SF ground-floor retail

      • Richard October 9, 2017 at 8:09 am - Reply

        I’ve heard this one is targeting market-rate senior housing

  6. David October 8, 2017 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Re: parking- that’s more than 3 million dollars that the Denver Housing Authority could have actually spent on housing.

  7. James October 8, 2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Wow all anti-parking remarks made by obviously bike riders and or transit riders? You know what I find appalling is that there are no light rail lines going through the most populous parts of the city. Like EAST, NORTHEAST, SOUTHWEST of downtown. One of those would most likely break all ridership records of all the others combined. Hey since we are having a blog not a special interest blog but an open forum blog complete with opinions, it’s my opinion that parking isn’t that much of an issue as say logical public transportation combined with aesthetic. Sounds like a lot of anti-car and car hate Utopia. Anybody here ever live in San Francisco? Well tons of public transportation there BUT little to no room for parking just in case it might have to be an option it’s a pain in the arse. Is San Francisco, no parking anywhere, what you’d like Denver to become? You know the anti-car anti-parking sentiment should be directed at car manufacturing and transitioning vehicles to electric. Alternatively fueled vehicles will eventually happen by the way and become a larger percentage of the mass of single occupancy vehicles. When that happens future drivers will be punished for the current restrictive programs like the uh wolf in sheep’s clothing, (U.S. 36 program). Which created pretty ways to market restricted driving to single occupant vehicles by FORCING a single solution option to ditch their car for a bus, A BUS! The bus company and the oil companies are who came in and tore up all of Denver’s historic urban railways to begin with. Wait am I wasting my breath on people who don’t have any experience on what true democratic process is? Oh that’s right I forgot THIS is the new frontier and the redefinition of liberty.

    • Jordan October 9, 2017 at 10:21 am - Reply

      James – It seems like you consider yourself a paragon of democracy and enlightened discourse. However, others on this forum did not shape their comments as attacks on you our your beliefs. They simply expressed an opinion. You decided a holier-than-thou response was necessary against these “people who don’t have any experience on what true democratic process is”. If you think that that is a even and balanced approach to democratic debate, you need to dismount your high horse.

      You are right, oil companies and car manufacturers were responsible for the demolition of the nations rail systems. And this was a huge shame and a blemish on our history. That having been said, I think it is a bizarre stance to say ‘beware of buses as they were responsible for the downfall of transit, but lets definitely work to make sure cars stay dominant’. Seems like you are fighting a couple of different battles there. Either way, this blog probably does have a larger proportion of people who like and want to increase transit use. That doesn’t mean that they are all anti-car. In fact, a huge percentage of people that bike and take transit in Denver have a car and use it. I, for one, am not one of those people and I tend to argue in favor of both the carrot and stick approach to get people to take transit, bike, walk, carpool, or any other alternative to the SOV. Even if the cars are electric, we will have a major land use problem where far too much of the city is given over to the primacy of the car.

      As for San Francisco, I have never lived there but I have spent a lot of time there. I have lived in New York and I think that there are major similarities between the two cities as it relates to this topic. Yes, profoundly yes, I would love people to take transit to the level of either of those cities. More to the point, I would love Denver to HAVE transit like those cities. A few things stand in the way. One big one is that our land use does not support it and that can be traced directly back to the car.

      The buses along US 36 have had pretty good success actually. They ridership numbers are better than on most Denver transit lines. And no one forced you out of your car. You are just being forced to pay the cost of driving with both your time and, potentially, money. Cars cost the city and state a ton of money and they should never have been subsidized to the degree that they were. I think that it is harder and more expensive to both drive and park in Denver is important. That is the ‘stick’ in the carrot and stick method. High quality transit should be the carrot. We are not quite there yet with the carrot. I agree with you that we need to invest in better transit around under-served neighborhoods, especially in the city limits. But this will not happen as long as we put the vast majority of our mobility investment into cars and their sole-purpose infrastructure.

      I would say that the DHA is guaranteeing that their employees will drive to work. This is a shame for a site that is literally ON a transit stop. It is a bad use of space and I fully believe it will prove to be a waste as our mobility patterns change in the City.

    • Aaron October 9, 2017 at 10:46 am - Reply

      If you would like to discuss the merits of hybrid/electric vehicles, thats another argument (they are not /that/ great for the environment because our current tech doesn’t make batteries that are not toxic). Bikes are still the most energy efficient (and healthy) form of transportation for short distances, albeit currently very deadly due to a lack of investment in appropriate infrastructure.

      As for critiquing poor transit system design, I certainly think that is a topic that deserves discussion. However, with regard to my previous comment, we are talking about TOD, or building dense neighborhoods around transit stations. Failure to make it dense and actually oriented around transit just exacerbate the problem you mentioned, so you too should be appalled. It also represents a poor investment; induced demand for parking that can cost tens-of-thousands of (in this case /taxpayer/) dollars per parking space and is unlikely to recoup the initial cost is wasteful, especially if the goal of the line was to increase non-auto mobility and access through a large investment in LRT in the first place.

      If you don’t like San Francisco, I’m sure you’d prefer LA-type traffic clogging our streets and Texas-sized super-highways ripping through our neighborhoods and ensuring that–even with hybrids and electric cars–a brown cloud keeps us from a spectacular view of the mountains, you are certainly entitled to your opinions. However, I heartily disagree. Yes, I am more anti-car, but only because I have seen what highways like I-70 and I-25 have done to divide and inhibit our communities. Furthermore, driving in traffic drives me crazy (pun intended), so forethought in both local and regional transportation planning could help to effectively address congestion and limit negative externalities of transportation by limiting how much space we sacrifice for auto-use and -storage and giving every individual in the metro-area meaningful transportation options.

      As for your highway 36 comments, there was no restriction of SOV vehicles? There was an added lane in the project that did intend to increase capacity by offering congestion-priced tolls and HOV access to increase traffic flow (successfully), that also came with a (more) high-frequency bus that replaced thousands of car trips along the corridor. I know, because I took that bus regularly for a year and it was often standing-room only during rush hour, each bus coming in less that 15-minute intervals and representing ~70 commuters who could read a book instead of driving in/adding to traffic. There was no ‘force’ though, simply economics.

      In response to your mention of the democratic process and a misguided appropriation of the GM Trolley conspiracy blaming transit, the death of urban rail transit in the 1940s through the 1960s had a lot to do with government subsidies for suburbanization that have left cities poorer and less connected (and a strike in Denver that toppled the company). Additionally, of curious note is that our country’s urban housing crisis stems in some part from the FHWA green-lighting the demolition of hundreds of thousands of housing units in urban neighborhoods (overwhelmingly targeting minority communities) to build an interstate highway/interstate system responsible for much of our traffic and sprawl today. This also doesn’t seem very democratic, as it was a top-down approach that targeted folks with limited political agency to benefit a wealthier subgroup.

      While I support differences in opinion, it is important to ensure that these opinions are well-informed, understandable, and respectful. I welcome the diversity of opinion to the group and to look forward to learning more from those with a different perspective.

  8. Paul October 9, 2017 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Just out of curiosity, how many DHA properties are along the SE and SW lines. Is this location connected via transit to those that DHA serves? Also, is this garage solely for DHA employees or is it also meant to provide parking for the surrounding Mariposa community?

  9. Silky Johnson October 9, 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    ^^^ Nerd Fight!

  10. Matthew October 10, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I like the concept of light rail and a commuter friendly city with transit-nodal developments. The practical constraint with this idea is that it simply takes too long for many people to ride light rail, especially if you are coming in from outlying areas. Unless you live next to a railroad corridor or interstate (where LRT lines go) you are likely driving to a station or waiting for a bus, which could easily add another 15 minutes to an already glacial commute. Need to drop off the kids? Good luck with that on the light rail. If it makes one feel better, you could make a argument that the extra parking spaces at DHA will drive up LRT ridership…more cars on already congested roads may drive people to try the multi-modal RTD slog.

  11. The Globalizer October 11, 2017 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Let’s call this what it is – a vertical parking garage with office space on top. Denver is living in the past with this garbage. What’s worse is seeing this stuff in the Union Station neighborhood, like that abomination that is the second DaVita tower. If you don’t think your employees will commute by rail, why build right next to a rail station? It’s nonsensical. Denver is digging a hole for itself.

    PS: I commute from Union Station to Lincoln (Meridian) regularly. No car use at all. It’s very feasible to transit commute in Denver, but if you’re looking to live in cookie cutter suburbia, the rail probably isn’t even for you in the first place.

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