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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.
 

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.”
 

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.
 

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.
 

RiNo flips switch on art installation at underpass

The RiNo Art District has flipped the switch on a creative lighting and mural installation at the 38th Street Underpass between Blake and Wazee streets.

The installation includes an immersive light environment designed and created by Knomad Colab, as well as a new mural for the southern wall designed by Jason Graves and Pat Milbery of the So-Gnar Creative Division. The project required retrofitting nearly 100-year-old railroad infrastructure. The installation provides enhanced light, activation, color and safety to an important connector for the area.

“Two years ago, RiNo won the P.S. You Are Here Grant from Denver Arts and Venues to provide a creative solution to the sudden blindness drivers experience as they go from the bright light of 38th Street under the train bridge,” says Jamie Licko, president of the RiNo Art District. “We never anticipated the project growing into what it has become nor could we have predicted how much of a challenge this project would be, but the outcome is a spectacular utilization of art to solve a complex problem.”

The lighting installation, called Arabesque, will make one of the longest-standing connections between the east and west sides of RiNo safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike. Knomad Colab was tasked with creating an installation in an environment that was prohibitive of installations because the bridge and its walls are owned by Union Pacific Railroad and could not be touched. Ultimately, they drew inspiration from the antique railing underneath the underpass and worked closely with the City of Denver to use property fabricate a creative solution.

“Arabesque is the culmination of many individual paths woven together to create a unified fabric, a whimsical experience and a safe and inviting passageway for community members and visitors alike,” says Katy Flaccavento, half of the Knomad Colab team. “Arabesque invites all walks to travel through a fantastical portal, to weave their story into the thick fabric of what was, is and will be.”
 

Fund to help artists make spaces safe



Denver Arts & Venues has launched the Safe Creative Spaces Fund as an extension of the city’s Safe Occupancy Program in an effort to provide funding for improvements to buildings that are occupied by artists.

The program will provide $300,000 in need-based funding for creative space tenant safety and building improvements. Applications are being accepted online.

“We are committed to cultivating, sustaining and promoting our diverse artistic and creative industry, including that our artists have a safe, affordable space where they can live and work,” Mayor Michael Hancock says. “The Safe Occupancy Program and the Safe Creative Spaces Fund are designed to support our creative professionals with resources to get these live-work spaces up to code, keep them affordable and avoid further displacements.”

Funding will be administered through Jan. 17, 2020 and is available to tenant or owner applicants who own or run a creative space such as a live/work collective, a creative business or a creative assembly space in the City and County of Denver that is enrolled in the Safe Occupancy Program.

The funds will be administered through a partnership with RedLine, a nonprofit contemporary art center. RedLine also will facilitate support between artists and art businesses. Applicants are encouraged to contact Redline for free, confidential guidance before enrolling in the Safe Occupancy Program or applying for Safe Creative Spaces Funding.

“RedLine is very excited to collaborate with Denver Arts & Venues, the City of Denver and the greater arts and culture communities to help address the growing need for safe creative spaces in Denver,” says Louise Martorano, executive director of RedLine. “Both the Safe Occupancy Program and Safe Creative Space Fund represent two key initiatives that not only provide a path for security and stability for artists in creative spaces, but also the financial resources to make that path accessible.”
 

Art, event and maker space Lot Twenty Eight opens in RiNo next summer

Next summer, Denver developer Formativ will open Lot Twenty Eight, a 45,000-square-foot restaurant retail and event space in the River North neighborhood.

The project, in a former manufacturing plant at 28th and Blake streets, also includes a 20,000-square-foot outdoor urban garden designed for gathering, events and community activations. The development includes space for unique food and beverage concepts, gathering spaces, street-facing retail and an artist maker space.

Designed by Oz Architecture, Lot Twenty Eight’s artist and maker space will allow the local creative community to show their work and expand their brands. Small and mid-sized, open rooms will be available for individuals or groups to rent. The space will enable makers to be highly visible.

There also will be 2,300 square feet of event space that can be reserved for private, community or corporate events. When not in use, the space will be programmed as a rotating gallery featuring the works of local artists.

Founded by Sean Campbell and Josh Marinos, Formativ’s projects include the World Trade Center Denver adjacent to the 38th and Blake commuter rail stop and Industry, a 4-year-old collaborative workspace and residential development on Brighton Boulevard.

Colorado Enterprise Fund to participate in CO Impact Days

Colorado Enterprise Fund is among the 100 social ventures seeking “impact investments” that was chosen to meet with investors at CO Impact Days Social Venture Showcase Nov. 17.

The 100 ventures will convene at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the second year of the “shark-tank for good” statewide marketplace for impact investing. The selected social ventures will showcase their investment opportunities to offer not only a financial return on the impact investor’s investment but also to offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

“We are so thrilled to again invite more than 200 investors and philanthropists to interact with these valuable social ventures,” says Dr. Stephanie Gripne, founder of the Impact Finance Center and creator of the CO Impact Days. “When these two groups of powerful movers and shakers share a room, there is no telling the good that will come. We’ve aimed to offer a diverse array of impact investments, with a goal that every investor will leave knowing that deal flow is not a Colorado impact investing problem.”

The goal of CO Impact Days is to catalyze $100 million in impact investments into Colorado social ventures in the next three years, and it is kicking off with CO Impact Days Nov. 15-17. The initiative is possible because Colorado is home to a number of national leaders in impact investing and a thriving and collaborative community of social venture entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, as well as philanthropists and investors who are committed to growing Colorado’s economy and creating good jobs.

“Funding from these impact investors will enable us to serve more Colorado businesses, which in turn will ultimately advance economic opportunity and prosperity in our Colorado communities,” says Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund.
 

Broker's buyer bonus: Helping to send a child to school in Uganda

Denver real estate broker Tenzin Gyaltsen is helping put Ugandan children through school one home sale at a time through a partnership with the S.O.U.L Foundation.

One child will be put through school for every home sale that’s over $300,000. It costs about $1,600 to put a child through all seven years of primary school.

“That gives them all of their school books and one meal per day,” said Gyaltsen, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. “It’s an added bonus to the house. It almost personifies it in a way.”

Gyaltsen, who formerly owned an eco-friendly clothing company, met representatives from S.O.U.L (Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn) at an event and fell in love with the organization. He had a desire to do something philanthropic, so he sponsored Rita Naigaga, the first of many students.

When he turned his attention to real estate he decided to expand his efforts by sponsoring a child with proceeds from every house he lists for more than $300,000.

Gyaltsen works with investors to buy houses, fix them up and resell them. When he has an upcoming listing he contacts S.O.U.L to pledge to sponsor a student, The organization then sends a child’s photo and bio, which will be framed and displayed in the house. If the new owners wish, the address of the newly sold home stays with the sponsorship, and all the letters and updates from the student are mailed to the house.

“Lack of education is one of the biggest problems in the world,” Gyaltsen said. “In this part of the world, most children don’t get an education. It’s important to equip children with knowledge so they can go out and better the world and their communities.”

Zeppelin Station gets Korean food vendor

Chef Bill Espiricueta’s injoi Korean Kitchen is the latest concept to join Zeppelin Station’s market hall opening in December in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood.

The restaurant will feature a mix of Asian cuisine and regional favorites from the American south. Menu items will include Korean fried chicken with gluten-free options and multiple sauce choices, bibimbap with house-made kimchi and bulgogi with Korean barbecued brisket.

“I’ve been playing with the flavors of Korean fried chicken for the past year, and the timing was ideal with Zeppelin Station filling up so quickly,” Espiricueta says. “Injoi (pronounced enjoy) falls perfectly in line with my background preparing smoked meats. The menu will offer a fun take on popular Korean dishes with creative spice profiles. Basically, it’s the food I want to eat."

Diners who want a sneak preview of what’s to come at Zeppelin Station can join Chef Espiricueta and an injoi menu preview at the RiNo Yacht Club in The Source on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 from 5 p.m. until it sells out.

Espiricueta was born in Austin, Texas, and learned about regional styles of cooking early on at Kansas City’s progressive Bluestem Restaurant. Later, he worked for Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu in Dallas’ Crescent Hotel. He made his way to Boulder where he was drawn to the casual atmosphere and heavy focus on locally sourced food at Oak at Fourteenth. He recently announced the opening of his first restaurant, Sm?k BBQ at The Source Hotel, slated to start serving in early 2018.

Business loan program for veterans created

The Colorado Enterprise Fund has created a program for Colorado veterans and Gold Star family members who are interested in starting or growing a small business in the state.

Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource (VALOR) will provide discounted loan rates and extended terms for military veterans who are unable to secure financing through traditional banks.

Any honorable discharged U.S. military veteran or Gold Star family member who is a Colorado resident is eligible to apply for a VALOR loan of up to $500,000. Recipients will receive a 2 percent discount from standard Colorado Enterprise Fund rates and an origination fee of 1.5 percent. The loan term would be for up to 10 years with an interest-only period of up to six months.

The loans can be used for working capital, equipment, inventory, property improvements, business purchases and commercial real estate.

For more information, contact Senior Loan Office Mike Jensen, a U.S. Army veteran, at (720) 473-4068 or at mike@coloradoenterprisefund.org.

Founded in 1976, the Colorado Enterprise Fund is a non-profit lending institution that specializes in loans for small businesses and startups statewide that are unable to secure traditional bank financing. To date, the organization has has made more than 2,000 loans totaling $63 million to small businesses.

The Confluence apartments open in new Denver high-rise

The Confluence, a 35-story apartment building in the Central Platte Valley, has officially opened.

It’s the first venture into the Denver market for developers PMRG and National Real Estate Advisors.

“We’re very excited to contribute to the positive growth taking place in this vibrant city,” says Bryant Nail, PMRG’s executive vice president of multi-family development. “We have an outstanding track record with similar properties in other parts of the country, and we’re pleased to make The Confluence one of our most recent additions to our portfolio.”

Designed by GDA Architects, the building’s amenities include a heated outdoor pool and hot tub on a large deck overlooking Confluence Park; cabanas with individual fire pits; master grilling stations; skyline lounges with NanaWall Systems; a professional chef’s kitchen and catering facility; a fitness center; gated, underground parking; a maintenance center for bikes and skis; direct access to Confluence Park; ground-floor retail; and a 24-hour front desk attendant.

All apartments have blackout shades; hand-scraped hardwood floors; gourmet kitchens with granite countertops and full-height backsplashes; designer porcelain tile in spa-style baths; walk-in closets; private terraces; and a washer and dryer in each unit. Some apartments have adjustable bookshelves and direct elevator access.

“The Confluence is in keeping with National’s investment strategy to develop build-to-core projects in America’s most dynamic urban locations, providing vanguard amenities and distinctive design for our tenants,” says Jeffrey Kanne, National’s president and CEO.
 

Tiny homes village for homeless receives final donation

Denver’s first tiny home village has received the final donation it needs to close out funding for the project, which has been designed as an alternative solution to the problem of homelessness.

LivWell Cares, the philanthropic and community engagement arm of one of the country’s leading cannabis companies, provided $10,000 toward Beloved Community Village. The project is being developed by the Colorado Village Collaborative, a community organization founded by members of Denver Homeless Out Loud, The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Beloved Community Mennonite Church and residents of the Beloved Community Village.

“We are extremely grateful to LivWell Cares for stepping up to give us the finances to complete this much-needed project,” says Cole Chandler, organizer for Colorado Village Collaborative. “We need a solution to homelessness beyond shelters, emergency rooms and jails, and thanks to LivWell Cares, our Beloved Community Village residents can now take back their lives and their dignity.”

Designed to help address the twin crises of homelessness and an extreme housing shortage, Beloved Community Village includes 11 8-foot by 12-foot shelters, as well as a communal kitchen, bathroom and shower facilities on land leased from the Urban Land Conservancy at 38th and Walnut streets. In July, 14 previously homeless residents moved into the new village, where they have been able to rediscover talents, renew their purpose and restore their dignity.

“When I was told about this development, I immediately recognized its potential to help address a serious issue facing our communities,” says Michael Lord, LivWell Enlightened Health’s director of business development and founder of LivWell Cares. “LivWell Cares could not be prouder to be involved in such a worthy project.”
 

Dandy Lion Coffee to open at Zeppelin Station

A Vietnamese cafe will debut in Zeppelin Station in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood.

Dandy Lion Coffee, a coffee-centric cafe from Vinh Xuong Bakery owner Duc Huynh, will open in the building’s market hall later this year. Dandy Lion Coffee will offer unexpected flavors in its beverages and pastries featuring Vietnamese ingredients including chicory, lavender, coconut, chrysanthemum and pandan.

“Dandy Lion Coffee will be our take on an all-day cafe serving coffee, pastries, speciality sodas and juices with a Vietnamese influence,” Huynh says. “The walk-up coffee bar will be the go-to spot for people headed to the train, working upstairs in Zeppelin Station and anyone who comes to the market hall to meet friends, get some work done and grab a bite to eat.”

Opening later this year, Zeppelin Station will be a 100,000-square-foot creative workplace and market hall at the 38th and Blake Station commuter rail line that connects Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport. The ground-level market hall will feature retail tenants focused in design goods and fashion-forward apparel, various street-food vendors from around the country, multiple bars and a full-service anchor restaurant.

The RiNo Arts District will be headquartered at Zeppelin Station alongside a retail space showcasing local artists.


 

Studio NYL opens second office in RiNo

Studio NYL, a Boulder-based structural engineering and facade design firm, has opened its second Colorado office at 3120 Blake St. in the heart of Denver’s RiNo neighborhood.

The company says it located in the co-working space to be closer to an architecture firm and landscape design company it often works with, as well as to be a part of the vibrant neighborhood RiNo has become.

“We love the location and it’s a beautiful building,” said Chris O’Hara, co-founder and principal of Studio NYL, which designed co-working space for Galvanize and Alchemy. “It’s a nice collaborative workspace.”

Projects in the design phase in Studio NYL’s Denver office include the structure for HUB, a mixed-use transit-oriented development at 36th and Blake and the facade for DaVita Inc.’s corporate headquarters expansion at 16 Chestnut. Over the years, Studio NYL has completed projects such as the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park, the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse facade and the Denver Botanic Gardens Science Pyramid structure and facade.

“This is all about our commitment to Denver and our clients here,” O’Hara said. “Opening a Denver office has been a goal of ours for a long time, so this is a very exciting milestone for our firm. The volume of work our clients are engaged in across Denver clearly demands a greater presence on our part.”
 
161 RiNo Articles | Page: | Show All
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