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Johnson Nathan Strohe designs City Park Golf clubhouse

Johnson Nathan Strohe has designed a view-oriented clubhouse to anchor the City Park Golf Course, which is being rebuilt.

The design’s stone, wood and glass materials will help to integrate the clubhouse into the new golf course. Its curvilinear form will allow for public functions with a panoramic facade that will capture course, city and mountain views.

Slated for completion in the spring of 2019, the 22,560-square-foot project includes an upper level for golf operations and entertainment, as well as a sunken lower level for golf cart storage. In addition to serving as an amenity space for golfers, the clubhouse is suited for events such as weddings, family reunions and other social gatherings.

The clubhouse also includes space for The First Tee of Denver golf program, which aims to educate and inspire youth academically, socially and physically through the game of golf. Adjacent new buildings will accommodate maintenance operations and a comfort station.

The project is part of a broader golf course redesign that will increase course yardage, create a driving range without netting, provide new sidewalks to improve connectivity and integrate storm water detention.

Johnson Nathan Strohe has previously designed public golf clubhouses for Indian Tree Golf Club, Riverdale Golf Club and The Greg Mastriona Golf Courses at Hyland Hills.

Historic Denver stops the wrecking ball aimed at the Elyria Building

Denver has agreed to postpone demolition of the Elyria Building at 4701 Brighton Blvd. to give Historic Denver a chance to conduct a Historic Structure Assessment.

The assessment will provide documentation of the building and determine whether it can be relocated and saved.

The city has slated the building for demolition to accommodate the expansion of Brighton Boulevard north of 47th Street for bike lanes and streetscape improvements. Formerly known as Fuller’s Drug Store and located on what was once Elyria’s Main Street, the prominent 1906 commercial building was used by neighbors to buy their groceries and host meetings, political rallies and social gatherings.

Historic Denver says that it’s possible the building could be incorporated into the National Western Complex site to provide a tangible reminder of the neighborhood’s history, as well as a human-scaled, authentic place-maker. The assessment, made possible by a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund, is currently under way by Form + Works with assistance from Martin/Martin Engineering.

Since 2011, Historic Denver has advocated for historic preservation as part of the plans for the reimagined National Western Stock Show site. Among its successes are the recent landmark designation of the 1909 Stadium Arena, which will be rehabilitated and reused, as well as plans to protect and reuse the Stockyard Exchange Building and Stock Show Association Building.
 

New reality: Arts organizations compete at Art Tank

Five local arts organizations will compete for $55,000 during Colorado Art Tank 2018, a creative variation of the Shark Tank concept to be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at Gates Hall in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Performing Arts.

Each group will present a concept for an innovative, artistic project with the power to inspire, educate and engage the community. A panel of judges, as well as the audience, will vote to determine the winners.

Colorado Art Tank 2018 finalists Control Group Productions, Think 360 Arts for Learning, ECDC African Community Center of Denver, Phamaly Theatre Company and the Trust for Public Land were selected from a competitive group of applicants from across metro Denver.

Now in its fourth year, Colorado Art Tank takes a “business unusual” approach to finding and funding innovative, creative programs. The event is presented by The Denver Foundation’s Arts Affinity Group in partnership with Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, Denver Arts & Venues and the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts. The 2018 grants will bring the total awarded by the Arts Affinity Group, since its inception in 2013, to $300,000. Past recipients include Arts Street, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Access Gallery and Warm Cookies of the Revolution.

Tickets to the event are free.

Social Fare opens in former Second Home space

Social Fare Denver Dining & Drinks has opened in the former Second Home space in the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek.

The new restaurant’s sunlit dining room has a 300-bottle illuminated wine wall and floor-to-ceiling retractable glass doors that open onto a year-round patio with a roaring fire pit. Social Fare’s eclectic menu starts with Social Bites that are meant to be shared, including Ancho Braised Beef Short Rib Nachos, Crispy Lobster Gnocchi, Carnitas Poutine and BBQ Rotisserie Chicken Flatbread.

Entree highlights include Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Mile High Meatloaf and Papardelles Fettuccini Bolognese with Colorado Lamb. There also are a variety of salads, including Tuscan Kale, and Grilled Scottish Salmon and PEI Mussels.

Social Fare serves a seasonal cocktail menu and a selection of Colorado craft beers. Its Social Hour specials include:
  • Whiskey & Wine Wednesday — discounted pricing on whiskey and wine starting at 4 p.m.
  • Feeling Fine Friday —  featured Social Fare cocktail starting at 4 p.m., the restaurant will donate a portion of proceeds to a local charity.
  • Brunch Booze Bar — create your own brunch cocktail with a variety of elixirs, juices and garnishes or follow the Social Fare mixology guidebook to mix up a special breakfast drink from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Social Fare hosts a special Pancake Social Brunch from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays that features a complimentary pint-sized pancake buffet for kids ages 8 and younger who will be able to create Pancake Art and enjoy supervised movies and crafts.

Social Fare is open daily starting at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends. The restaurant offers complimentary valet parking for up to three hours with dining validation.

Aria Denver is part of National Building Museum exhibit

A Denver developer’s cohousing project is featured in a National Building Museum exhibit called Making Room: Housing for a Changing America.

Located in Washington, D.C., the museum’s exhibit explores new design solutions for the nation’s evolving, 21st-century households. From tiny houses to accessory apartments, cohousing and beyond, these alternatives push past standard choices and layouts. the exhibit will run through Sept. 16.

Urban Ventures’ 28-unit Aria Cohousing Community, on the site of the former Marycrest Convent at West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard, is similar to other cohousing developments in that residents have private living spaces, as well as community-based common areas that allow them to share meals and interests. The goal is to create an intergenerational and mixed-income community that is committed to sustainability, inclusivity and intellectual growth.

“We are honored to have the Aria Cohousing Community showcased in the National Building Museum as recognition of cohousing as a successful lifestyle that promotes community engagement and social cohesion at a time when there is so much isolation in our country,” says Susan Powers, president of Urban Ventures.

The post-World War II suburbanization of America was driven by the housing needs of nuclear families, the nation’s leading demographic, according to the National Building Museum. In 1950, these families represented 43 percent of households; in 1970 it was 40 percent.

Today, nuclear families account for 20 percent of America’s households, while nearly 30 percent of people are single adults living alone, a growing phenomenon across all ages and incomes, and it’s causing developers to reimagine the way they build communities.

In addition to the Aria Cohousing Community, the Making Room exhibit features housing alternatives like micro-apartments in New York City; backyard accessory cottages in Seattle; and tiny houses that are helping the formerly homeless in Austin.
 

Denver Tennis Park under construction

Construction has started on Denver Tennis Park at 1560 S. Franklin St. adjacent to Denver Public Schools All City Stadium complex.

The project, being built by PCL Construction, is the first publicly accessible youth-centered indoor/outdoor tennis facility in the Denver region. It will feature seven indoor courts and six outdoor courts. The project is expected to be completed in October.

The Denver Tennis Park is a new non-profit organization with a mission to foster whole child development for youth of all ages and abilities. The initiative is a collaboration of the Denver Tennis Park, the University of Denver and Denver Public Schools. The project has been funded philanthropically, and DPS has provided funds for a portion of the drainage work at the site. Fundraising efforts are under way as part of a capital campaign.

“This will be a tremendous addition to the Denver tennis community, as well as to student athletes for the Denver Public Schools and Denver University,” says Kerri Block, PCL’s project manager for the Denver Tennis Park. “PCL is looking forward to delivering an outstanding tennis complex to the people supporting this effort and everyone who plays — or wants to learn to play — a great lifelong sport.”

The project also includes regrading part of the surrounding athletic fields to divert storm runoff to a new 48,000 cubic foot underground retention system. The 279-space parking lot also will be preserved to serve sporting events, as well as the tennis park.

CHFA invests $2.36 billion in affordable housing in 2017

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority invested a record $2.36 billion in affordable housing last year.

The organization helped more than 8,000 Coloradans become homeowners and supported the development or preservation of more than 6,000 units of affordable rental housing. Both figures are at the highest levels ever for CHFA, which was created in 1973.

“CHFA is a mission-based organization, so our production growth is directly aligned to the growing needs of those we serve,” says Cris White, CHFA’s executive director and CEO. “In the last three years, CHFA’s investment in affordable housing has increased 182 percent compared to 2011 through 2013, with 2017 being our most historic year yet in terms of production. This demonstrates that demand for affordable housing options in Colorado, whether purchasing or renting, is at an all-time high.”

To help Coloradans purchase homes affordably, CHFA offers 20-year fixed-rate home loan products at competitive rates, with options for down payment assistance. In addition to grants, CHFA last year launched down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage. It also offers Mortgage Credit Certificates, a tax credit that can save homeowners 20 percent of their mortgage interest each year.

CHFA also sponsors statewide home buyer education classes, which reached the highest level of enrollment to date in 2017 with 13,224 households served.

To support the development or preservation of affordable rental housing in Colorado, CHFA allocates federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and also offers financing to developers. Last year, CHFA awarded $53.2 million in credits to support 4,397 units of affordable rental housing that will be built or preserved by undergoing renovations.

CHFA also invested $363.3 million in multifamily financing, bringing the total number of units supported last year with either loans or tax credits to 6,217, setting a new benchmark for total units supported by CHFA in one year.

“CHFA will continue to work with our communities and housing partners in 2018 and the years ahead to help make Colorado a more affordable place to live,” White said. “Identifying ways to leverage and increase resources for both for-sale and rental housing is key, along with preserving existing affordable rental housing stock.”
 

Saunders named to Colorado Business Hall of Fame

Saunders Construction founder Richard “Dick” Saunders has been inducted into the 2018 Class of the Colorado Business Hall of Fame.

The honor comes after 46 years of growing Saunders Construction into one of the state’s largest and most reputable general contractors. Saunders is known for a variety of high-profile projects, including current projects such as the renovations of Denver International Airport’s Great Hall and the Denver Art Museum North Building.

“I couldn’t be more honored to receive this prestigious award alongside several longtime friends and colleagues,” Saunders says. “It has been my life’s work to create a company that considers its culture the most important aspect of the business and to offer gainful employment to over 500 people in Colorado.”

After spending 13 years in the construction industry, Saunders founded the company in 1972. As chairman and primary stockholder, Saunders has overall decision-making authority with regard to company strategies and fiscal policy. He provides leadership to the board of directors and remains active and up to date in all aspects of the company’s significant activities.

Saunders also donates much of his time and money to better the communities his company works on. He has served on as many as 14 boards at a time for most of the past 40 years, generally promoting children's, educational and civic causes.

Free beer for life? It'll cost you $1,000.

In an effort to raise money to bring a new Latino-influenced club to Denver, the founders of Miami Vibez are offering free beer for life to anyone donating $1,000 or more through their Kickstarter campaign.

Co-founder Rebecca Buch expects the 50 available free-beer-for-life awards will be gone in the early stages of the campaign.

“Beer isn’t just a pastime in Colorado,” Buch says. “It’s a way of life. We’re harnessing that way of life into an amazing fusion of art and entertainment.”

Miami Vibez also is offering a range of additional rewards to those who donate through the Kickstarter campaign or through the website using PayPal. From T-shirts and custom beer pints to equity ownership in the business, there is something for backers and investors of any level.

Located on Market Street in LoDo, Miami Vibez will cater to the trendy and artistic young working professionals in the area. Inspired by Miami’s Art Deco and Cuban influences, the 9,000-square-foot club will have three levels of dancing dancing and dining. The club will be equipped with sound and lighting systems that bring the best of the beach to Denver.

The club will be open from 11 to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Montbello gets new grocery store

Brothers Chris and John Leevers have obtained the financing they need for the $10.5 million redevelopment of the old Chambers Place shopping center in northeast Denver’s Montbello neighborhood.

The brothers received a $4.9 million bank loan commitment from Wells Fargo that covered about half of the total project cost. They searched for more than two years for the additional permanent financing for the property. Ultimately, Colorado Enterprise Fund filled the gap by assembling and coordinating three non-profit investors that are providing $3.5 million in a shared second mortgage: Colorado Enterprise Fund, $1 million; Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, $1.5 million and The Colorado Trust, $1 million.

The project will improve retail access to fresh and health foods, increase healthy eating and active living and encourage economic development in a formerly vacant retail center in a lower-income neighborhood.

“The community really needed this project to once again have access to healthy food,” says Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund. “Chambers Place is an exciting model of mission-driven lenders collaborating on an impact investment resulting in improved health and economic vitality to an under-resourced community.”

The property is a shopping center that originally was anchored by a Safeway store that abandoned it more than four years ago, with other tenants departing soon after.

The Leevers, who own the Chambers Place property, are part of a fourth-generation grocery family. Their company, Leevers Supermarkets Inc., is 100percent employee owned with nearly 200 members and about 65 percent minority ownership. the company generally operates under the name Save-A-Lot, which is the anchor tenant in the redevelopment.

The Save-A-Lot will provide healthy food at affordable prices, sometimes as much as 40 percent lower than mainline grocery stores. The entire project is expected to create more than 80 jobs. Other tenants will include a Planet Fitness and a DaVita clinic. The center also has a well-established high-quality child care center, Early Success Academy, which is owned by long-time Colorado Enterprise Fund customer Diana Gaddison and serves many families in the area.

“The project model of a grocery store that creates quality jobs and has a wide variety of fresh food optoins at affordable prices, combine with the overall health, fitness and family orientation of the tenant mix, is the gold standard of impact we want to see in a project like this.”

Improvements to JCC completed

After spending a year under construction, improvements to the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center are complete.

“We have been working hard over the last 12 months to update our main campus and some of our other facilities, including Ranch Camp and the Tennis Center, in a variety of areas that needed some attention,” says Lara Knuettel, CEO of the JCC Denver. “We are appreciative of our members and the community who has been patient with us as we made these much-needed updates. These renovations help ensure that our buildings are safe for the community and provide a better experience for members and their guests.”

The updates include:
  • Creating a new Early Childhood Center wing with five new classrooms and updating the existing wing with new paint, fixtures and lighting, as well as new landscaping on an existing playground.
  • Remodeling several areas of the Fitness & Wellness Center, including renovating the men’s and women’s locker rooms, creating a new childcare drop-off center with access to an outdoor space, adding massage rooms, purchasing new cardio equipment, creating a new group cycling room and updating the HVAC system and ventilation.
  • Opening up the lobby, including removing pillars, adding sliding doors to the entrance, enhancing security, adding energy-efficient lighting and new artwork.
  • Redoing the parking lots to add more parking spaces while making them larger.
  • Updating the exterior of the building including painting and adding new signage and landscaping.
  • Adding new artwork, paint and carpet in different areas of the building.
  • Adding new back drops, ceiling and LED lighting at the Tennis Center.
  • Updating the JCC”s Ranch Camp in Elbert by adding to new turf activity fields, updating the dining hall and adding new landscaping.

Side Stories exhibit debuts on RiNo buildings

Coming soon to a building near you: Side Stories // RiNo, a large-format outdoor film installation on the exterior of River North Art District Buildings from Feb. 21-March 2.

The immersive event will project digital works from 10 Colorado artists onto outdoor walls in east RiNo, creating a walkable art experience through the neighborhood. The Side Stories website will provide an augmented realty, allowing visitors to follow an interactive map and audio tour of the event, complete with historical RiNo highlights and block-by-block suggestions about where to stop for a warm drink and a bite to eat or to shop along the way. A printed version of the installation also will be available.

Each participating artist was matched with an exterior wall and received a $5,000 grant to create a site-specific, three- to five-minute film loop inspired by RiNo’s historic neighborhoods. Film genres include live action, documentary, historical, motion graphics, animation and experimental.

“Side Stories supports local artists, enlivens a neighborhood and small businesses during winter evenings and creates an experience to encounter art while exploring our city," says Fiona Arnold, president of Mainspring Developers, who had the initial idea for Side Stories. “Our goal is to combine all three elements together in a new way that we hope will be interesting, inspring and just plain fun.”

Side Stores // RiNo will launch as a partnership between Mainspring Developers; Mary Lester/Martin Family Foundation; RiNo Art District; the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media; and the Denver Film Society.

The installation will be located through the area between Broadway to 36th Street and Blake Street to Larimer Street. Visitors are encouraged to bring their smartphones and earphones.
 

DIA to offer tiered parking rates starting Feb. 15

Denver International Airport will begin offering tiered parking rates in its popular economy and valet lots based on length of stay.

Beginning Feb. 15, passengers using the east or west economy lots will pay $16 per day for the first three days of a visit, with that reduced to $15 a day for each additional day during the same trip. Hourly rates in the economy lots will be $4.

Valet parking rates will be $33 a day for the first three days, followed by just $10 a day for subsequent days during a consecutive stay. Hourly valet service will be $16 for the first hour and $4 for each additional hour.

In addition, some maximum daily parking rates also will change. The East and West garages will charge $25 daily and $4 an hour; short-term parking will be $5 an hour.

DIA’s price of $8 a day for the Pikes Peak and Mount Elbert shuttle lots will remain unchanged. The airport also will continue to offer guaranteed close spaces by reserving a space in either garage for an additional fee by visiting www.DIAReservedParking.com.

All of DIA’s parking options come with free vehicle services, including jump starts, tire inflation and car key retrieval if they’ve been locked in the vehicle. The airport also helps with finding lost vehicles. All of the services are available by calling (303) DIA-PARK, option 1 and at www.FlyDenver.com.
 

Jasinski opens Ultreia Union Station

Award-winning Chef Jennifer Jasinski has opened Ultreia in Denver’s historic Union Station.

Ultreia (pronounced uhl trey uh) is the second restaurant in Union Station from Crafted Concepts, which includes Jansinski’s business partners Beth Gruitch, Jorel Pierce, Adam Branz, Matthew Brooks and Jessica Richter. It joins the group’s successful seafood concept Stoic & Genuine.

The word Ultreia has its roots in Latin, loosely translates to “onward” and refers to the words of encouragement shouted to pilgrims on their Camino de Santiago — a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

“We pay respect to the classics and put our own unexpected twists onto them, but we’re not Spanish,” Jasinski says.

Ultreia embraces the Beaux Arts style of the building but injects inspiration from the Iberian peninsula to create a rich dining experience. Original plaster moldings and terrazzo floors are complemented by a new mural based on a 17th-century landscape painting by Aelberg Cuyp that covers the walls and ceilings. A new dining mezzanine above the open kitchen allows patrons to climb the stairs and dine under the clouds. A custom-built, 8-foot diameter chandelier floats below the sky.

The bar features a granite slab and a six-tier back bar that displays a large selection of wines, gin and sherries.

Open for lunch and dinner daily, the Ultreia menu reflects traditional Portuguese and Spanish methods translated into the vision of chefs Jasinski and Branz and includes Ajo Bianco, an Adalusian almond garlic soup with grapes; Pan con Tomate, ciabatta, olive oil, garlic and tomatoes; Estofado de Pulpo, a stew of octopus, pork rib, chorizo, beans; and Asado de Cordero, roasted leg of lamb, north African spices.

“Our trips to Spain and Portugal confirmed the passion for ingredients and techniques that we expected from the Iberian peninsula,” Gruitch says.
 

Civitas to lead design for 5280 Loop

The Downtown Denver Partnership has selected urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas to lead the design effort for the 5280 Loop, a project that will transform how the public right of way is used in downtown Denver.

The 5280 Loop will link neighborhoods and connect people by bringing underused streets into the downtown experience and uniting urban life with Colorado’s outdoor culture.

Denver-based Civitas’ outcome-based approach also attracted nationally known public health expert and HealthxDesign founder Rupal Sanghvi to join the team.

“Given the scale of what’s happening economically in Denver and the openness of the city to exploring how to achieve healthier outcomes, the 5280 Loop has the potential for impacting a population of some magnitude,” says Sanghvi, who was intrigued by the project’s prospects of serving as a model for “thinking more upstream” in promoting health through the physical shape of how we live, work and play.

The partnership and the project team are asking the community to help reimagine just over five miles of center city streets into a uniquely Denver amenity that prioritizes people, culture, nature and health. The 5280 Loop will promote active modes of transportation and connect many vibrant and diverse neighborhoods and civic destinations through the great urban outdoors. A conceptual design plan will be completed by September 2018.

“Cities around the world are rethinking the traditional definition of a street to go beyond just moving vehicles,” says John Desmond, the partnership’s executive vice president for urban environment. “The 5280 Loop will be Denver’s answer on how to transform a network of our streets into iconic shared spaces that will continue to move people and connect neighborhoods. At the same time, they’ll promote community and celebrate the urban experience in an authentically Denver way.”

For more on the project click here.
 
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