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Design center to offer one-stop shopping

When the IDC Building opens later this year, design professionals and homeowners will have access to one-stop-shopping for appliances, flooring, furniture, hardware, lighting, plumbing and tile.

The building at 590 Quivas St. will have 60,000 square feet of floor space and house up to 15 of the metro area’s top home design showrooms.

“The traditional design center model is outdated,” says Al Castelo, head developer of IDC. “In recent years, people have strayed from the traditional mall-style setting, particularly when shopping for their next home  design project. They prefer their shopping experience to have interactive opportunities and a chance to visualize what designs will look and feel like in their own homes.”

The IDC Building is designed to keep pace with showroom advancements and investments being made in other major U.S. cities. The functional elements of the building were refined through conversations with some of the leading designers, builders and architects in Colorado. The conversations revealed a strong need for what became the IDC concept: a convenient, centrally located building with a collection of showrooms and products, where homeowners and designers can gather, shop and be inspired.

The layout, designed by Boulder architecture firm Hartronft Associates, will include views of downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains, soaring ceilings and a grand staircase. The open-floor environment encourages visitors to speak with vendors, meet with trade professionals, organize their selections and visualize their designs.

Wiggins opens Cattivela in Stapleton

Award-winning Denver Chef Elise Wiggins has opened Cattivella, a wood-fired Italian restaurant, in the Stapleton neighborhood’s Eastbridge Town Center.

Located on the southwest corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Galena Street, Cattivella joins upcoming chef-driven restaurants from Troy Guard, Lon Symensma, and the Kitchen Next Door.

“This is my ’hood, and I can’t wait to welcome my neighbors and friends into Cattivella,” Wiggins says. “This project is a dream come true for me.”

Wiggins brings decades of experience to Cattivella, including a 12-year stint as executive chef of Panzano. Cattivella’s menu is influenced by Wiggins’ many trips to Italy.

The focus of attention is the exhibition kitchen featuring an Acunto wood-burning pizza oven and a wood-burning grill from J&R Manufacturing. There is seating at the pastificio (pasta table) section of the chef’s counter where all pastas are house-made. There also are views of the Butchers’ Corner.

The wine program lists more than a dozen Italian wines by the glass. Big Bottle Mondays will showcase magnum and larger bottles of specially selected wines poured by the glass. A Coravin dispensing system will allow guests to purchase a taste of highly rated Brunellos, Barbarescos, Super Tuscans and others that might be too pricey by the bottle.

Cattivella will be open daily for happy hour and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends.

McWhinney starts two apartment projects

Developer McWhinney has broken ground on two multi-family projects in downtown Denver.

RIDE at RiNo, at 36th and Wynkoop in Denver’s RiNo district, will have 84 micro-loft apartments. Amenities include electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop deck, a fifth-floor clubhouse and on-site management. Car 2 Go will have two vehicles on site. A partnership with neighboring Helikon Gallery will provide a rotating display of artwork throughout the project.

Sova will have 211 apartments at the corner o 19th Avenue and Grant Street in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood. The majority of the units will be studios and one-bedrooms, with a sprinkling of two-bedrooms and a row of street-level townhome-style units. Amenities for the 12-story building include a golf simulator, a 24-hour fitness facility, co-working spaces, bike and ski repair, and a dog spa and bark park. The project also includes electric vehicle charging stations and a fourth-floor deck and fitness center.

McWhinney also has two other multi-family projects under development: Pinyon Pointe, a 166-unit apartment project in Loveland and the 405-unit Cycle Apartments in Fort Collins.
 

Paleo restaurant opens near 15th and Platte streets

Just BE Kitchen, a paleo, gluten-free and grain-free kitchen has opened at 2364 15th Street between Denver’s LoDo and LoHi neighborhoods.

Chef Carrie Baird has created a menu that features items from local purveyors like Neiman Ranch, Rocky Mountain Eggs, Frontier Natural and Red Bird Chicken. Menu items include the Meatzza featuring a sausage base rather than pizza dough. Breakfast is served all day and includes grain-free breads, cookies, and pastries made in-house, as well as a breakfast burrito wrapped in a house-made almond flour tortilla and filled with scrambled eggs. Menu entrees range from $8 to $13.

Just BE Kitchen’s coffee bar features coffee from Copper Door Roasters and Method Roasters.  A liquor menu complete with grain-free spirits is in the works and will launch later this spring.

“We want everyone to feel nourished and cared for when they are here,” says Jennifer Peters, one of the restaurant’s operators. “We want our guests to be able to have a mindful moment at Just BE Kitchen and feel like they are doing something good for their minds and bodies. Food is the vessel for the experience we want to create because food is at the heart of well-being.”

Just BE Kitchen is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. 

DAC starts $3 million improvement project

The Denver Athletic Club has started a $3 million renovation that will upgrade its fitness center, entry atrium, squash courts, locker rooms, and other spaces in an effort to boost its membership.

The work includes new flooring, lighting, paint, furniture, fixtures, and fitness equipment for the club, which was founded in 1884 and is one of the longest-standing private clubs in the nation.

Denver-based architecture firm Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative is spearheading the project for the member-owned club.

“We are highly confident in the ability of OLC to deliver a club that is not only beautiful, but also more functional and enjoyable to members,” says Jeff Dykes, president of The Denver Athletic Club. “The continued support and enjoyment of our members is our first priority, and we remain dedicated to merging rich tradition with best-in-class facilities.”

The Denver Athletic Club building was constructed in 1890. It is home to the first bowling alley west of the Mississippi River and its squash program is legendary. With 300,000 square feet of fitness facilities; full-service dining and banquet services; and organized social, business and athletic events, the club is accessible to members 24 hours a day. 

“We’re excited to kick off the renovation and to continue our club’s legacy of excellence,” says General Manager Mike Hestera. “Above all, The Denver Athletic Club is home to a vibrant community where members find a sense of belonging, both personally and professionally, and we’re certain the updates will only enhance their experience.”

Levitt Pavilion debuts with first concert July 20

Denver’s newest outdoor concert venue is gearing up for its grand opening on July 20.

The Levitt Pavilion Denver in Ruby Hill Park has announced the first wave of concerts for its inaugural summer concert season:
 
  • July 20: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
  • July 23: The Stone Foxes
  • Aug. 3: The Suffers
  • Aug. 4: John Fulbright
  • Aug. 24: Gaby Moreno

“Levitt Pavilion Denver began as a dream five years ago,” says Chris Zacher, founder and executive director of the nonprofit behind the venue. “Since then, we’ve been working diligently to turn this dream into a reality. We’re incredibly excited to begin presenting free music to the community, ensuring access to high-quality performances for people of all ages and socio economic backgrounds.”

Furthering Levitt Pavilion Denver’s commitment to supporting Denver’s music scene, each concert will feature at least one Denver-based opening act, to be announced at a later date.

The public is invited to bring their picnic blankets and lawn chairs to the free concerts.

“We believe Colorado’s music scene is something special and deserves to be showcased, as well as cultivated,” Zacher says. 

Through a partnership with Emporium Presents, Levitt Pavilion Denver also will present a handful of ticketed shows, featuring artists like UB40 and 311.

Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 30 free concerts this year featuring Denver artists and award-winning regional and national talent in an array of music genres. Next year and thereafter, Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 50 free concerts annually. Additional concerts will be posted on a regular basis

Alex Seidel and other chefs launch artisan pastry company

A team of Denver chefs has launched a wholesale artisan pastry company that will stock restaurants and retailers throughout the metro area with a variety of fresh pastries.

Fudmill is the brainchild of chefs Alex Seidel and Matt Vawter of Mercantile and Fruition and Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey of D Bar. They’ve set up a working bakery Denver’s Northeast Corridor near Swansea.

Fudmill recently signed an agreement with Whole Foods Market to bring 12 varieties of fresh pastries, including chocolate croissants, seasonal muffins and Danishes, scones, morning buns and pain aux raisins to customers at select Denver locations, including Cherry Creek, Washington Park, Colorado Boulevard and Tamarac.

“We are thrilled to offer exceptional pastries from some of Denver’s best culinary visionaries to our customers,” says Lauren Motley, Whole Foods Market Bakery associate coordinator. “Brunch, business meetings and holidays will be so much more decadent with these offerings — they’re truly world class.

The team’s creation of Fudmill stems from a commitment to creating the highest quality, seasonally inspired baked goods in the region. The venture is focused on the art and craft of traditional pastry making.

“Pastry isn’t something that’s easy to do well in high-production kitchens due to space and logistics,” says Seidel. “Opening our own pastry kitchen provides the luxury of more time and space to explore the art, and we’re able to create much higher quality recipes and pastries that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Economic development in Denver strong in 2016

2016 was a good year for economic development in Denver.

There were 579 affordable housing units created throughout Denver, and two mixed-income condominium developments at separate transit-oriented development sites, according to the Denver Office of Economic Development’s (OED) annual report on job creation and capital investment.

OED also supported catalytic development in Arapahoe Square, which has been a priority for the city, by providing gap financing for the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network’s new headquarters and innovation center. 

The city’s various incentive, tax credit, loan and training assistance programs helped 85 companies expand in Denver, collectively creating 2,968 new jobs and making more than $111 million in capital investments.

“During this dynamic period of growth for Denver, we have maintained a laser focus on propelling the powerful momentum of our economy forward, supporting diverse commercial sectors, good jobs, strong neighborhoods and a fertile climate for entrepreneurship,” says Mayor Michael Hancock. 

Other highlights of the annual report include: 
 
  • Completion of a comprehensive economic analysis to support the creation of an agribusiness innovation area surrounding the National Western Center redevelopment.
  • Support of 36 separate neighborhood development projects designed to enhance neighborhood vitality.
  • Increased access to contracting opportunities by growing the city’s business certification programs, with a total of 1,278 small and minority/women-owned firms earning more than $105 million from the city’s construction, professional services and purchasing opportunities.
  • Serving more than 30,000 people with job search assistance through Denver Workforce Services.

How to get a deal at Denver's best coffee shops

If you’re a coffee junkie, the Fika Coffee Passport is your ticket to learning all about Denver’s vibrant coffee scene.

The $20 passport features 28 craft shops and roasters featuring two-for-one coffee specials per venue between April 1 and July 31. Some of the participating venues include Allegro Coffee Roasters, The Denver Bicycle Cafe, Huckleberry Roasters, Pablo’s Coffee and Pigtrain Coffee.

Why is it called Fika? Because a fika is a custom in Swedish culture that celebrates a break from work for a bit of play. The Passport Program folks liked the idea of getting out of the office to meet a friend for a chat over a cup of coffee.

The locations in the booklet were selected for both atmosphere and quality coffee and each offers a one-of-a-kind experience. You can share your coffee with a friend or enjoy both yourself. Each location has crafted a speciality beverage that best represents their shop or practices. You can also substitute any craft coffee drink for a drip coffee.

For every book sold, $1 will be donated to Colorado Public Radio.

First community announced for 2017 Parade of Homes

The first wave of home builders has committed to the 2017 Denver Parade of Homes.

Joining the Parade this year is the Whispering Pines community in southeast Aurora and a list of builders that includes Brookfield Residential, Cardel Homes, KB Home, Oakwood Homes, Shea Homes, Taylor Morrison, TRI Pointe Homes, William Lyon Homes and Wonderland Homes. 

“The Parade is a great way for potential home buyers and current home owners to tour some of the city’s best new homes and exciting new neighborhoods,” says Karna Pryor, 2017 chair of the Parade of Homes and marketing manager for TRI Pointe. “Attendees will also get amazing ideas on decorating trends and the latest in architectural design.”

The 2017 Denver Parade of Homes will be free and open to the public from Aug. 10 through Sept. 4. During this time, the Parade will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

This year, the Parade is expected to showcase more than 60 newly designed model homes, custom homes and luxury homes in neighborhoods throughout metro Denver. More new home builders, locations, price ranges and home styles will be announced in the coming months, as will more details about the 2017 Denver Parade of Homes.

RiNo Art District leases space at Zeppelin Station

The RiNo Art District will lease about 2,300 square feet of office and retail space at Zeppelin Station, the 25,000-square-foot ground-floor food and retail hall slated to open this fall at the 38th Street light-rail station in RiNo.

The new location will provide the art-centric organization with a more public face and a retail presence to support artists.

“The RiNo Art District’s primary responsibility is to ensure this neighborhood is a place that artists, creators and makers can work, live and thrive,” says Jamie Licko, president of the district. “As the neighborhood’s profile grows, so too does the cost of being here. If we are to serve the neighborhood, we must give artists the ecnomic platform to succeed. The retail store will serve as a ‘front of house’ for the RiNo offices, meaning this location will serve our organization and our neighborhood as a key entry point to exploring all of RiNo.”

Designed by architect Stephen Dynia, Zeppelin Station is characterized by its minimalist design that features a ground-floor food and retail hall and three floors of creative work spaces above, all taking advantage of views of downtown Denver and the Front Range. In addition to the RiNo Art District, the ground floor will feature six street food counters representing Vietnam, Japan and Mexico, as well as fashion and home goods retailers.

“At its core, Zeppelin Station is a place for diverse communities to engage with art and design,” says Kyle Zeppelin, principal at Zeppelin Development. “We jumped at the opportunity to showcase the RiNo Art District as a signature part of that program.”

Still growing: LoHi gets 273-unit apartment building

Richman Signature Properties is developing a 273-unit apartment building at 2298 W. 28th AVe. in LoHi.

The first residents will move into Infinity LoHi in May. The building offers one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 443 to 1,294 square feet. Amenities include a pet spa, on-demand fitness classes and a yoga/spin studio with a fully equipped fitness center, clubhouse with sports bar and billiards, fireside garden courtyards, outdoor BBQ grills and a resort-style pool with waterfall and sun deck overlooking downtown. 

“Incredible things are happening within the LoHi community, and we’re committed to bringing residents a lifestyle that both complements the local vibe and provides unexpected surprises,” says Kristin Miller, president of The Richman Group Development Corp. “Denver’s millennials and Gen Xers are renting not by force but by choice and are making savvy decisions to construct their ideal residential setting, citing factors including convenient access to business, dining and shopping districts and the ability to enjoy the beauty of their city.”

Upon move-in, all residents will receive a welcome gift curated through partnerships with like-minded lifestyle brands. The perks are designed to help residents live greener, healthier or furrier with complimentary memberships to B-Cycle rental bikes, Fitbit fitness gear or monthly deliveries of pet toys and treats.

Austin-based barber Finley opens first Denver location

An Austin-based barber shop is opening its first outpost in Denver at 1601 Wewatta St. near Denver Union Station. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to introduce Finley’s to the Denver community,” says Scott Finley, co-owner of the business. “Guys have come to appreciate the personal service … the hot towels, the scalp massage, the aromatherapy and the comaraderie. It’s a true escape for Denverites.”

Finley’s selected Denver as its first out-of-state location because of its economic vitality and energetic community that appreciates quality service and seeks to build meaningful relationships with business leaders. 

The concept is best-known for its Father and Son days weekly Sunday service special, which reflects the company’s belief that a barbershop is the perfect place to build a special relationship between father and son.

“We are excited to start this next chapter of Finley with our first out-of-state location in Denver,” says Darren Peterson, co-owner. “The expansion is a sign that our local communities still appreciate and seek out old-fashioned, service-based businesses and tells us that the tradition of barbering is alive and well in Denver.”

Finley’s Barber Shop is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

City of Cranes: A whopping 42 projects either planned or under construction downtown

Forty-two projects with an investment value of $2.8 billion are either under construction or planned in downtown Denver, according to the 2017 State of Downtown Denver Report recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

The projects will add more than 1,000 hotel rooms, 5,000 residences and 2.5 million square feet of office space. 

“Great cities do not happen by accident,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “Our thriving center city is a result of a strategic vision to build one of the most economically powerful center cities in the country, and the metrics outlined in the 2017 State of Downtown Denver signal great success. Our residential population is expanding at unprecedented rates, $2.8 billion is being invested through development projects, we’ve added 6,000 jobs and 23 new companies have relocated to or opened a new office in the center city to grow their business in the last 24 months.”

Downtown Denver’s workforce of 130,227 people has grown at a rate of 17 percent since 2010, outpacing the national rate of 11 percent. Employment is led by new and growing private-sector businesses, where employment is up 21 percent.

Nearly 80,000 people are choosing to live in downtown Denver and its center city neighborhoods. Population in the downtown core has tripled since 2000, and more than 66 percent of downtown residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.Downtown’s residential renaissance and its growing employee base is encouraging new retail development. Retail sales tax collection is anchored by restaurants, which make up 44 percent of the revenue. 

There is a diverse array of educational opportunities, from traditional universities to coding schools that is helping to build the workforce of the future and ensure downtown businesses have access to top talent. About 58,000 students are being educated in the center city at a variety of educational institutions.

Elitch's to open three new extreme water slides

New extreme speed slides will open this summer at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park.

Riders on the Mega Wedgie will plunge off a six-story tower at 40 miles per hour down a choice of three body slides. By the time they reach the bottom, the parks says, they’ll understand the attraction's name.

“At Elitch Gardens, we are driven to always provide more family fun and thrills for our guests, and this season we are adding a phenomenal wet and wild combination of rides: first the 17-story Star Flyer and now the exhilarating Mega Wedgie,” says Karl Traeger, the theme park’s director of marketing.

The 17-story Star Flyer, another new addition, accommodates 48 passengers sitting two across in open-air seats. They ascend to the top of the tower while flying around it. 

The Elitch Gardens theme park opens April 29, and the water park opens May 27.

In 2015, Denver-based Revesco Properties and Kroenke Sports Entertainment teamed up to buy Elitch Gardens. At that time, the group said it had no plans to redevelop the park, which will continue to be managed by Premier Parks. 

Other entities owned by Kroenke Sports Entertainment include Pepsi Center, Paramount Theatre, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, the Denver Nuggets basketball team, the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team and the Colorado Rapids soccer team
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