DHA Headquarters Update #2

In June when we last visited DHA’s new headquarters (officially, the Denver Housing Authority Collaborative Resource Center), the skeletal structure was rising into the sky. Since then, the 11-story building has topped out and glass and other facade materials are now being installed. Let’s take a look.

From Osage Street looking south, in both these images the neighboring buildings were developed by DHA as part of their successful Mariposa project:

View of the DHA headquarters building under construction looking south on Osage Street

DHA’s new building includes a baffling amount of parking given its location immediately adjacent to a transit station. In fact, according to the project’s site development plan on file with the city, there’s 78,500 square feet of space for vehicle parking, 75,685 square feet of space for offices, and 3,305 square feet of space for retail… a staggering 50% of this transit-adjacent building is dedicated to storing cars.

The site development plan also notes that, based on the project’s office and retail square footages, the required automobile parking per the zoning code is 99 spaces, plus there are an additional 12 parking spaces being added to make up for spaces that were lost from 1099 Osage (the property next door) to make way for this development, for a total of 111 required spaces. But the new DHA Collaborative Resource Center will have a whopping 178 automobile spaces, 67 more than mandated. On a more positive note, there will be 250 bicycle parking spots; only 10 are required.

Maybe there’s a good explanation for all of this extra automobile parking that I’m not aware of? If you know, please respond in the comments.

Anyway, here are two final views of the project taken from the 10th and Osage transit station:

DHA headquarters building viewed from the 10th & Osage transit station

Our next post will be a final update when this project opens in the spring.

By | 2018-10-14T20:36:02+00:00 October 9, 2018|Categories: A Feature Post, Infill, La Alma Lincoln Park, Residential, Transit-Oriented|Tags: |19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Bruce Meyer October 9, 2018 at 8:56 am - Reply

    They are more realistic about humans coming and going in cars. The streets around there are packed with cars already.

    • Ken Schroeppel October 9, 2018 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Go to Google Maps and look at street view and explore around the 10th & Osage and Mariposa redevelopment area. Hardly any cars on the streets and long stretches of on-street parking spots that are empty.
      https://goo.gl/maps/67Cj55kzbJC2

      • Michael October 10, 2018 at 6:30 pm - Reply

        We are dealing with the same misguided mentality in the Springs; if a lot or garage are not available within one block of a destination, there is a ‘parking crisis’, regardless of the amount of unused on-street spaces within a 5 (or less) minute walk.

        Anyone who is familiar with the station as a light-rail user knows that it is a heavily used stop and would greatly benefit from better integration into the surrounding area. And anyone who drives in this area is aware of ample parking opportunities.

        I’m surprised that a parcel right next to a station required any parking at all. TOD this is not.

    • John October 10, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Right on Bruce meyer! Also some folks may drive here to board the train.as vehicles become fewer? In the future, the space can be converted.

  2. Corey Scheffler October 9, 2018 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Well at least the parking spaces are all in the podium and not taking up additional land.

  3. G October 9, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply

    There needs to be restrictions against building so much parking next to light rail stations. Half of a building for parking is just shameful.

  4. Michael Kronenberg October 9, 2018 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I have a hypothesis about the large amount of parking. Perhaps the DHA maintains a fleet of vehicles that it’s employees use to visit the DHA properties around the city. I don’t know where all the DHA properties are, but perhaps some of them of not conveniently located near transit. Employee travel time while getting paid is a consideration that I’m sure the organization would take into account.

    By having their headquarters next to a transit stop employees won’t need a personal vehicle to get to work, and they can negate the need for employees to take fleet vehicles home with them.

    • Ken Schroeppel October 9, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

      That’s a good hypothesis Michael! Perhaps that’s the reason why.

  5. John R October 9, 2018 at 11:40 am - Reply

    I thought I read somewhere that DHA surveyed the neighbors living in the area and that they all insisted that large amount of parking was necessary and DHA accommodated them against all common sense.

  6. Bobby Mucho October 9, 2018 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again; when is Denver going to get new trains. Those LRVs are like 20+ years old.

    • Kojones October 10, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

      One just got delivered yesterday to the Mariposa yard. All shiny and new with shrink wrap! They’ve been getting deliveries all summer.

    • AC October 12, 2018 at 9:59 am - Reply

      LRVs have a 30-year design life in the USA. In Hamburg, Germany two years ago, I rode on a light rail line where the LRVs had been built just after WWII and were still in use. They were kind of cool because of the wood used in the interior, and they were quite narrow. While I was in Germany, there was some discussion of replacing this part of the fleet, so they may have newer vehicles now. The New York City subway line has vehicles in use that date from the mid-1960’s, and while these are more like commuter rail vehicles than LRVs, it gives a sense that the vehicles are designed for long-term use.

      The new LRVs being delivered to Denver are intended to expand the fleet, bringing the total from about 175 vehicles to about 200 vehicles, rather than to replace existing vehicles.

  7. Steve October 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Could they eventually charge for parking? Or sub lease the spaces out to other businesses in the area? It might be a small revenue stream that flows into DHA long term to cover the buildings maintenance?

  8. Jordan October 9, 2018 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Is it possible that the parking structure will be used in tandem with RTD as a park & ride? The 10th and Osage stop is incredibly convenient for people who don’t live near transit but want to commute via light rail to the tech center.

  9. Trent October 9, 2018 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    We desperately need parking minimums in this city…. it’s getting pretty bad. More parking = more driving = more traffic.

    • Matthew October 12, 2018 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      If we had decent public transit, developers may not see the need to put in so many parking spaces. This building may have different motives for the abundance of parking (DHA fleet), but I suspect most developers in Denver make informed decisions based on market research when planning the amount of parking spaces they need. It may not be good for the greater city, but it is still good for the developer. I suspect restrictions to limit parking (without necessarily huge tax increases to improve transit) would cool development of multi family buildings. I suspect prospective residents still want somewhere to put their cars so they don’t have to wait in the snow for infrequent bus service or places not served by RTD.

  10. Paul Gillis October 9, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    I work downtown and take a bus in from East cap hill so a no brainer from my perspective, but I work with many people who simply will not use transit even if it is a one seat shot (and a bus ride is totally off the table) and will pay the road tolls and $200 a month for parking. The reality is that this is still a western city with urban sprawl and transit is in most case not convenient or involves transfers. The transit statistics bear this out as the city is experiencing major population growth, but transit growth is flat at best and RTD continues to cut more than grow. A different approach to transit is needed or the cycle continues.

  11. Andy October 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    At the time of the Design Competition for this project (mid-2016) the development team was having some discussions with RTD to use some of the parking structure as a Park and Ride as well as Buckhorn Exchange had shown interest in purchasing some parking for their customers. I am unsure if any of this went through though as the project proceeded.

  12. Zagox October 9, 2018 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Government employees, particularly higher level bureaucrats who are involved in project specs for a new building, get crummy salaries relative to what they would make in the private sector. One way they make up for this is by grabbing all the perks they can, for example free parking, larger offices, etc. This type of compensation attracts less political pressure than paying them market rate. Virtually any government / non-profit building which was designed by its occupants will tend to have more parking and bigger offices than equivalent private-sector developments.

    I’m sure DHA leadership has spun a story about how the neighbors made them do it, they need the space for fleet cars, etc., but I would look at the incentives of the decision-makers before believing these stories.

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