Block 162 Update #2

Just over two years ago, we announced a new project going up on one of Downtown Denver’s unattractive parking craters. Now, with groundbreaking hopefully around the corner, an updated design has been released for the 30-story office portion of the project. Block 162 will be split between this office tower, which we are covering today, and a future phase which is yet to be announced.

The 30-story, 595,000 square foot office building will now feature a sleek curve in the roof-line, and will sport exterior and crown lighting. The podium also appears to now be completely covered in glass. Here is a close up, and aerial rendering courtesy of the project’s website. The project’s architect is Gensler.

Next up, here is a detailed view of the lobby which will face 15th Street.

The tenants of the building will have access to an 11th floor rooftop terrace, which will be set on top of the podium.

A sign is currently up at the edge of Block 162 stating that it will be groundbreaking soon. We do not have any concrete details of when groundbreaking will happen, but we will keep you updated as soon as we find out more information. Stay tuned!

By | 2018-04-16T19:53:49+00:00 April 10, 2018|Categories: Central Downtown, Infill, Office, Urban Design|Tags: |30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Paul Gillis April 11, 2018 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Given the size of the footprint the block offers – why isn’t this new and state of the art building not 60 stories? Seems like a total waste of the available footprint.

    • Paul April 11, 2018 at 7:53 am - Reply

      While the building might not use all the available development rights, I’m betting that it come pretty close to maxing out the FAR requirement for this parcel given that it’s solely an office building. It would probably have to be mixed-use in order to reach 60-stories.

    • GC April 11, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Paul Gillis, there will eventually be a hotel tower behind the office building, using up the additional footprint. Great looking building!

  2. Jason April 11, 2018 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Only 30? Boooooo.

  3. Devin April 11, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Will this new design make it taller than the previous concept?

    • Ken Schroeppel April 11, 2018 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Don’t think so. Since the initial reveal of the project, it’s bounced around between 30 and 32 stories.

  4. darren April 11, 2018 at 11:12 am - Reply

    I don’t get why Denver is all about 13 and 30 story buildings. You’d think with all the growth the city’s seen we’d have some real skyscrapers like any other market that’s booming. When I travel to other growing cities I see 60-90 story buildings going up but here it’s always a 13 or 30 . . . . heck even 1144 15th is not that tall, coming in just over 600 ft.

    So it’s a nice building, but it’s in the CBD, so I was hoping for higher (at least 40 as initially promised). Hopefully the parking lots between Lincoln and Broadway DT will go to some real skyscrapers . . . one day.

    • Ken Schroeppel April 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      It’s all about the economics of supply and demand and the cost of land/construction and rental rates, etc. If a developer thought it made ROI sense to develop a 1 million SF 60-story office tower in downtown, they would. Maybe in the next real estate cycle…

      • Nicholas McMunn April 14, 2018 at 6:13 am - Reply

        While many other parts of the CBD allow for the development of taller structures, the zoning requirements for the block south of 16th street has height limitations determined by the structures shadow path onto the pedestrian mall (zone of influence). Couple that requirement with the FAR maximums and you are stuck with 30 to 32 story building designs on the row of blocks running along the south edge of 16th street. Purely a zoning limitation in combination with the economic drivers in development. Until the city zoning changes the same trends will continue.

  5. Anthony B. April 11, 2018 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Even though downtown has no parking requirements, 9 floors and 3 basements of this new building are planned as parking. 11 floors of parking when the building is next to several light rail stops, between multiple popular bus lines, and half a block from a major pedestrian mall. I’m glad the city planning department is starting to consider parking maximums, which would start to reduce the number of cars downtown and force people to use public transit.

    • Ken Schroeppel April 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      Parking maximum for downtown is overdue.

      • Dan April 11, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

        I wonder when demand for parking will start to decrease. Several people I know and their friends/coworkers/etc. have been steadily ditching their cars in favor of a more active (or at least non-driving commute), and have even gone so far as to switch apartments/houses in order to accomplish this.

        I don’t doubt that there is a legitimate demand for high levels of parking in new office space and residential units, however I also see a very real trend towards increased preference for walking and other alternate means of transportation and it’ll be interesting to see when new parking development downtown starts to reflect this.

  6. James April 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with you Paul
    Denver is stuck with only 30 stories
    would like to see these Local Architecture design taller office buildings and residential
    More modern Design Hire guys from Dubai

    • Citizen Kane April 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      You realize we have these kind of buildings based on the economics of these projects, right?
      It’s not like local designers can’t or don’t want to do projects like the ones you see in Dubai. Rather the economics of those projects are entirely different.
      One day, maybe in the next real estate cycle a decade from now, we will start to see 40-60 story project with regularity, but right now Denver is too spread out and land is too cheap for a developer to justify taller projects.

    • Adam April 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Denver does a great job filling in spaces with low to mid-rise development projects which is good for the overall urban fabric. The demand and push unfortunately just isn’t there for the super tall structures.
      And Denver doesn’t appear to bend over backwards for developers like you see in Dubai or, to use a domestic example, Texas. If the Six Fifty 17 project happens you and many more of us will get our wish of having a super tall “Dubai Style” building. There’s at least a solid year before that would even break ground so a lot of factors could kill that project between now and then. Fingers crossed it goes vertical and at the currently proposed height of around 1,000 ft.

      But as for this project, it’s not a bad design and takes away a horrible parking lot in the heart of downtown which is a good thing in my opinion. Taller and less boxy would be better but I’ll take this. Looking forward to seeing the project break ground.

      • Citizen Kane April 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm - Reply

        Agreed.
        I’m not arguing that this is a bad project. I like the fact it removes a terrible parking lot and it’s an attractive design.
        I was just pointing out that the economics of development in Denver are why we get 20-30 story buildings, and not 60+ story buildings.

        • James April 18, 2018 at 1:54 am - Reply

          @CK, I agree with you. And here’s the big picture. Most business progressive cities in the U.S. are jumping at the chance to poke their skylines higher if the investment is warranted and by measurable national standards that in effect keeps pushing Denver down the list. Yet Denver’s pop urban perspective, group think = “less is more” will for rising real estate prices shove the city into smaller britches. And 60 to 90 story buildings don’t fit that scheme of keeping Denver sustainable to a non-expanding infrastructure. When there is no space left to build then the prices will go up on the existing square footage and those that can’t afford it will just have to move to Aurora or Colorado Springs. Incidentally unless growth limits are not affected in those and other alternative front range cities, Denver will also fall from the most populous city on the front range. You’ve got to look at the long range vision with respect to regional mobility as much as you look at localized mobility. When the Hyperloop track plans a stop at the Denver Tech Center and not one downtown then the Tech Center will become more favorable for investment than downtown. So what is the long range vision precisely? In my opinion it’s kind of stuck in fashionable thought ideal of less is more equals community. Not enrolled in that idea. When you are talking about a central hub of a front range area as populous as Colorado’s front range it’s either a balancing act combining ALL the big city elements which includes the scope of height for instance being able to see it’s density within a farther panoramic travel distance as much as having micro, a neighborly pedestrian scale. Macro and micro. People have to ask themselves does Denver’s current, and now outdated, tallest buildings which still dominate the skyline really arouse the imagination to the best of what’s possible? No I don’t think so. I think a lot of people who have been here since the early 80’s find the skyline tired.

  7. landon April 11, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    nice to see some a new office tower on the east side of 15th. a lot of the one way north south streets in downtown could probably be pared down from 4 to 3 or even 2 lanes. maybe they’ll fix up 15th too

    • landonb April 12, 2018 at 1:14 am - Reply

      i correct myself on that, most are three lanes. Curtis, for instance, could provide a viable street to reduce traffic to 2 lanes, adding a protected bike way and other sidewalk improvements.

  8. Corey April 11, 2018 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Very nice building.

  9. Bob Clearwater April 13, 2018 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Another all glass facade. Whoppee. Won’t it be fun when our downtown will be “lookin’ back to see you lookin’ back at me, looking back to see you, lookin’ back – – – ” Architecturally, the all glass facade has seen it day about 10 years ago. When will the local design community catch up and start making Denver the distinct city it should be. The Denver architecture of the late 1800’s through the 1930’s was far more interesting and uniquely Denver.

    • Erik R. April 15, 2018 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Could you give an example of architectural styles that are unique to Denver? I agree that many early Denver elements are very interesting, but I’ve always thought the city has exhibited a patchwork of east-west American influences, but not really any true native styles. I hope I’m wrong about this!

  10. Ed M April 13, 2018 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I must be in a small minority on this forum who doesn’t wish for a Denver with 50 – 90 story buildings on all the parking lots downtown. If I wanted that I would move to Manhattan or Chicago.

  11. Jim April 13, 2018 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Denver has relatively weak bedrock, making it more expensive to go tall. Besides, it’s what happens at street level that makes a city feel like a city. I think Denver could use some taller buildings and I think it could use some small gems too. It would be awesome to actually reconstruct some of Denver’s lost treasures like the Mining Exchange and the Tabor Opera. I hope in the second phase of this project the old buildings on 16th Street survive.

  12. Chris April 14, 2018 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Given the lighting at the top of this building, I’d imagine that any future development of the remaining residential portion of the project, would not be taller than 30 stories. Maybe? I make that assumption because having 1+ floors of illumination right outside your window wouldn’t be very desirable or livable. That said, it would be unfortunate if the residential section was less that 30 stories. It may be years off, or never built, but it seems that the lighting on this structure may be an indicator of the height of the rest of the project.

    • Ken Schroeppel April 14, 2018 at 8:39 am - Reply

      The remaining part of the block is supposed to be developed as a hotel, not residential, and in a building of approximately the same height as the office tower.

    • Rob C April 16, 2018 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Dont get your hopes up on crown lighting. It never happens in Denver.

  13. Matthew April 16, 2018 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    I am with you on this all the way. Seems like an onslaught of skyscraper fanboys complain about every…single…proposal that isn’t a 1,000-foot-tall pie-in-the-sky palace for overnight jerk storage. My understanding of new urbanism in Denver (thanks to more than a decade of excellent research and posts by Ken and Co.) is that a vibrant city will require a street level experience that incorporates features for the pedestrian. Not weed-encrusted parking lots. Two 30-story buildings are better than one 60-story building. …and no 60-story buildings will actually go up until more of the parking lots are developed.

  14. Robert Clearwater April 17, 2018 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Erik, Denver was unique in the 1890-1930 for the use of brick (the brick ordinance) and the use of the red sandstone, granite and terra cotta. It is and still is a mixture of the east and west halves of the county, just like the population. I see Denver as a place where new thinking about the built environment including the buildings, urban planning, and the street scape can be tried and not frowned upon because it is different. We are a young, liberal, forward thinking community. Look at the number of downtown building that were commissioned to young creative architects before they became international icons. I.M. Pei, with the original Mile High Center, the Court House Square, and the 16th Street Mall, Minoru Yamasak with the Colorado National Bank tower, Adjaye Associates with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Gio Ponti with the DAM North Building, Allied Works Architecture with the Still Museum, Daniel Libeskin with the DAM Hamilton Building, and Michael Graves, not a young unknown, with the Denver Public Library. All of these structures had some unique feature such a the first ever concrete curtain wall, the extensive use of ceramic ties to create a patterned facade, demountable wall panels to permit ground floor display options, the use of titanium as a building skin, different forms and shapes, etc. I do not know what that Denver uniqueness is in architecture design. That is something for the young professional to try and develop. I simple know that most of the new construction downtown, particularly the high-rises are pretty dull and uninteresting after the first look.

  15. James April 18, 2018 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Yawn.

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