New Project: Block 162 Hotel

An exciting new chapter in the saga of the development of Downtown Denver’s Block 162 opens with the submittal of the Block 162 Hotel project to the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission.

We’ve covered Block 162 quite extensively here at DenverInfill, stretching back to the middle of the last decade. The first phase of the redevelopment of this key block in the heart of downtown, a 30-story office tower, is currently under construction. Ryan gave us an update a few weeks ago on the Block 162 office tower.

Back when the office phase was first announced in January 2016, the project was envisioned as a two-phase development consisting of an office tower located along 15th Street and a hotel tower situated between the office tower and the historic Sage and McClintock buildings along the 16th Street Mall. The rendering provided in our announcement post shows the two-tower arrangement, although the architectural design, massing, and positioning of the hotel tower on the block in that rendering was just conceptual at that point.

The Block 162 Hotel component is now moving forward with the submittal of the project to the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC), which will review the project for the first time at their September 18 meeting. The LPC is involved because the proposed hotel project will incorporate the McClintock building, a contributing structure to the Downtown Denver Historic District.

The proposed Block 162 Hotel would rise 38 stories and contain approximately 450 hotel rooms and around 100,000 square feet of meeting/event space.

Here’s a recent photo of the McClintock building at the corner of 16th and California. In the background is the construction of the Block 162 office tower. Also to provide some context, we’ve included a bird’s-eye Google Maps image of the block.

Historic McClintock building at the corner of 16th and California

The hotel will feature a nine-story podium situated between the historic buildings fronting 16th Street and the under-construction Block 162 office tower along 15th Street. While the Sage building at 16th and Welton will remain largely untouched by the hotel project, the McClintock building will be incorporated into the new development both structurally and in use. Below is the Site Plan and the Ground Level Plan, showing the placement of the proposed hotel tower and podium on the block. Curb cuts on California and Welton would provide vehicle entry/exit and guest drop-off/pick-up to the hotel and access to three levels of underground parking. The McClintock’s interior would be reconfigured to serve as the hotel lobby and restaurant.

Note: all of the images from here on have been taken from the project’s application submitted to the LPC and available on the LPC website. The architects and creators of these images are Gensler and Anderson Hallas Architects.

Block 162 Hotel Site Plan from LPC application

The second level of the McClintock would include dining and kitchen space with back-of-house functions in the new podium. The third (top) floor of the McClintock would provide additional amenity and administrative space, while ballrooms and pre-function space would be found in the adjacent podium structure.  Floors 4 and 5 of the podium would include additional ballroom and meeting space, while levels 6 through 8 would include a mix of hotel rooms and meeting space. The podium would be topped on the ninth level with more hotel rooms and a large outdoor terrace and rooftop bar. Levels 10 through 38 would include the remaining hotel rooms in a slender tower.

Below are three elevations (north, south, and east) that illustrate the proposed hotel’s podium and tower and their relationship to the McClintock building and the under-construction office tower.

Proposed north elevation of Block 162 hotel, courtesy Gensler/Anderson Hallas Architects
Proposed south elevation of Block 162 hotel, courtesy Gensler/Anderson Hallas Architects
Proposed east elevation of Block 162 hotel, courtesy Gensler/Anderson Hallas Architects

What’s interesting about the project architecturally is the way in which the podium and tower integrate with the historic McClintock building, and I’m sure this will be a topic of great interest to the LPC. The tower cantilevers slightly over the back of the McClintock to allow the historic building to remain intact while taking advantage of a portion of the air space above the McClintock to accommodate a larger and more efficient floor plate for the hotel tower.

This first set of street-level perspectives show the view from both directions on California Street:

Perspective along California Street of the proposed Block 162 hotel, courtesy Gensler/Anderson Hallas Architects
Perspective along California Street of the proposed Block 162 hotel, courtesy Gensler/Anderson Hallas Architects

This set of street-level perspectives shows the view along 16th Street looking north:

Perspective along 16th Street of the proposed Block 162 hotel, courtesy Gensler/Anderson Hallas Architects
Perspective along 16th Street of the proposed Block 162 hotel, courtesy Gensler/Anderson Hallas Architects

Keep in mind that this first application to the LPC is for the project’s mass, form, and context. Assuming the LPC eventually approves the project for these characteristics, subsequent reviews would then take a look at the architectural details. So in other words… this is early in the review process and design elements can and likely will change as this project moves forward.

We are looking forward to seeing what the Landmark Preservation Commission’s reaction is to this significant proposal for Downtown that incorporates both new construction and the adaptive reuse of a prominent historic structure.

By | 2018-09-13T14:22:05+00:00 September 12, 2018|Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Central Downtown, Infill, Lodging|Tags: |31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. D September 12, 2018 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    I hope their reaction is, “Give us more design appeal than a glass rectangle and we’ll talk.” Seriously….what does it take to produce inspiring architecture, Denver? This misses the bar for me.

    • Citizen Kane September 14, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      A very disappointing comment, D.

      If you take a little time to look through the images, you’ll find there’s much more subtlety and interest than just a ‘glass rectangle’.
      The way the main massing is cantilevered over the historic building, and the slender columns on which it rests are both very elegant.
      The subtle angles that the main massing has at both top and bottom are nice design moves that are interesting without resorting to arbitrary massing moves.
      Seen from the north elevation, the two articulated rectangles are slender and elegant.
      The materials appear to be top notch – glass curtain wall system.
      Designs do not need to be flashy or outlandish to be quality, inspiring architecture.

      While there are a couple of things that certainly merit criticism – vehicular traffic crossing a light rail station and the sheer amount of parking – the lack of ‘inspiring architecture’ certainly isn’t high on the list.

      • Sassen September 19, 2018 at 12:34 pm - Reply

        A stultifying and uninspired comment, Kane.

        I think the spirit of D’s comment refers to the startling lack of creativity in Denver’s development community and the associated reduction of architectural diversity to a few rectilinear silhouettes and even fewer construction methods. This structure won’t be the complete eyesore that the confluence (urban prison tower) is, but it’s certainly a stretch to call it inspired architecture. Glass curtain walls on a steel sub-frame is the primary construction technique in China when erecting rapid and intentionally disposable commercial districts. If anything, it’s considered a lazy and rather naked attempt at cost saving in the international design community. Btw, twee buzzwords (“massing”… oof) do little to validate your anodyne taste.

        Regardless, superficial design quibbles are insignificant next to the political economy of downtown space. I would argue that the last thing downtown Denver needs in the midst of a housing crisis is 28 stories of hotel rooms from a ludicrously wealthy Texas property developer. The Patrinely group doesn’t care about Colorado or its identity, there ethos is one which sees whole world as a homogeneous substrate for luxury property investments, a world completely delinked from difficult questions of inclusion and urban politics.

  2. John R September 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    I strenuously object to hotel and office parking access crossing the light rail tracks, unless we add cow-catchers to the rail vehicles so that the hundreds of cars exiting the structure daily and blocking the tracks can be pushed out of the way. The exit shoud be along 15th at the old alley entrance.

    • Paul September 13, 2018 at 8:27 am - Reply

      You’re objection is noted.

      The office component of Block 162 has vehicular traffic entering and exiting from 15th St and Welton- so your complaint there is unfounded. Note sure how many car movements from the hotel will cross the tracks daily, but given that this project has less parking that what was on Block 162 prior, it’s might just be a decrease.

      I also support adding cow catchers to the light rail cars, it will assist in moving the pedestrians who constantly block the trains at 16th & California- a mix of homeless and degenerates. A problem that will probably grow now that RTD has given in to the special interests and provided massive subsidies to this segment of the population while increasing fares for the rest.

      Hyperbole is fun.

      • John R September 13, 2018 at 5:11 pm - Reply

        Good to knoe about the office component parking access, I wasn’t aware. This still leaves the matter of potential tie ups on California right next to the rail stop, so vehicles will at times likely either be blocking the rails or the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians in a pedestrian-heavy area or blocking trains, which is unacceptable – no hyperbole beeded.

        • Paul September 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm - Reply

          I agree that vehicles blocking the trains are unacceptable. There are mitigating measures that can be implemented to reduce vehicle/train interference- electronic signage, or physical barriers to block vehicles. That the curb cut (which replaces the two that existed prior) is moving closer to mid-block will also reduce train/vehicle interactions. As for pedestrians, the 16th & California Station is almost exclusively an alighting station where the presence of the train causes a pedestrian influx. If vehicle movements are are subordinate to the train the pedstrian influx during alighting will also be protected from vehicle movements.

          As for the other pedestrians at this station, an activated street corner with hotel functions and security will be a welcome change versus the majority vagrants and degenerate population that dwells there currently.

          • Sassen September 19, 2018 at 5:50 pm

            Paul I appreciate your thoughtful and empathic response, but I have to disagree. According to the White Collar Crime Early Warning System (WCCEWS) using machine learning Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) https://tinyurl.com/l4ydjx5, the intersection at 16th and California is uniquely at risk. I suggest opening a state level FINRA branch office as well as augmenting Colorado’s Division of Real Estate. Doing so would allow for the recuperation of fraudulent profits and reinvestment in community investment and homeless relief, precluding the need for a securitized downtown environment and the subsequent blight of poverty-policing on this beautiful city.

  3. Tom C. September 12, 2018 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I like the cantilever, incorporation of the historic building and the renderings/elevations looks great. Its awkward how the cars exit on to a train station (not merely rain tracks). The Sheraton has a little roundabout on Court Place, but this parcel is mid-block, which is more difficult, and maybe too narrow? If possible, that would have allowed more retail along California.

  4. the one September 12, 2018 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    How high are the chances at this one getting built? I’m still holding out hope for El Jebel and Two Tabor, but I just don’t see any movement with those. Is this hotel going to have a higher chance than those two?

    • TFH September 12, 2018 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      In my unprofessional opinion this has a higher chance of actually being built due to the developer already proving they’re willing to take a chance with starting construction on the office component.

  5. T September 12, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Absolutely stunning

  6. Jim September 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Love this project so far. Plus I love Nan & Dave Anderson. They are two awesome human beings and will do good with this project.

  7. Mike September 12, 2018 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Already the amount of parking likely to be featured in the podium scares me, especially as it seems the only egress for vehicles could impact the LRT stop (that already sees conflict with the existing parking lot).

    This may be a question for DenverUrbanism, but how are parking garages any different from drive-thrus, the latter of which the city is considering banning near transit stops?

    • John R September 14, 2018 at 8:25 am - Reply

      I like this framing.

  8. Jim September 12, 2018 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    I like that the tower is not a rectangle but has some angles to it. I also like that it is glass and articulated as floating above the historic building at ground level. The glass tower is discreet and your attention is drawn to the fancy details of the older building.

  9. Alan September 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Big news! I’m excited to see this move forward and really like how they incorporated the modern tower into the historic building both inside and out. Hope the cantilevered element stays after all the design review this thing will ultimately have to go through. This is somewhat sooner than I was expecting. Possibly a 2019 construction start if all goes well? A total build out of the site sooner rather than later would be mighty nice.

  10. ChrisA September 12, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Y’all we need to show up and speak against any parking garage opening on California street for this project. Not just voice it hear, but show up in mass against this. It’s clear that this would be a failure for pedestrians and RTD if it was located on California.

  11. Cherry Creek September 13, 2018 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Awesome project!! Five Stars * * * * *! Love it!

  12. Jordan Denning September 13, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

    You had me at rooftop bar

  13. Andrew September 13, 2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

    If only this meant that the office component of Block 162 would actually be a brutalist monolith. If only…

    • Citizen Kane September 14, 2018 at 9:41 am - Reply

      I don’t understand this comment. None of the architecture for Block 162 that’s been shown to this point is even remotely brutalist.
      Do you even understand what brutalism is? It’s a very specific architectural style, not just a catchword you can throw out at any project you happen to not like.

      • JKS September 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm - Reply

        I think he is referring to the photos of the office tower in this post. Not the actual design.

        • Citizen Kane September 14, 2018 at 4:09 pm - Reply

          oh. i see that now. thanks.

  14. DenvertoSD September 13, 2018 at 11:37 am - Reply

    doesn’t look in compliance with the green roof ordinance…

  15. G September 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    I like it! Looks like these two structures will be the 11th and 12th tallest towers in Denver. I really hope the original lighting on some of the previous renderings make it to fruition on the office part!

  16. John September 15, 2018 at 7:20 am - Reply

    The condescending and callous comments are a turn off; one can get a point across without being so dismissive of other commentators and calling human beings degenerates et al. This is not the first time this has happened on this site.

    I’m sure this erection will get some salivating.

    • Claudia September 17, 2018 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Well, that made me blush.

  17. Joe September 17, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Perhaps a rookie question, but why is the 30-story office building depicted as the same height as the 38-story hotel?

    • Ken Schroeppel September 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Good question. Floor-to-ceiling heights is the answer. Hotel and residential buildings typically have lower floor-to-ceiling heights (usually around 10 feet), whereas with office uses, it’s typically around 14 feet or so. Therefore, you can squeeze in more floors in a hotel or residential building than you can in an office building of the same height.

  18. Matthew Faruolo September 18, 2018 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Really hope they keep the glass facade, as the best way to draw attention to a Historic Landmark is not to try to emulate its architecture, but offer a stark facade contrast that will allow the historic structure to shine on its own architectural merits.

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