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DAM work to begin in November

After five years of planning, design work and fundraising, the Denver Art Museum is preparing for the North Building renovation work on Nov. 20. 

The landmark building will be open to visitors through Sunday Nov. 19 and then will close to the public to remove collections and prepare the space for construction. Starting Monday, Nov. 20, the Hamilton Building, south of 13th Avenue, will be open to the public seven days a week to provide additional opportunities for visitor access during the renovation project.

The museum will host two free talks with the North Building project’s architecture team from Denver-based Fentress Architects and Boston-based Machado Silvetti. Curtis Fentress and Jorge Silvetti will share project design concepts and discuss the inspirations behind them at two presentations at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in the DAM’s Ponti Hall. Free tickets will be available to the public beginning Aug. 22. 

Enhancements to the Gio Ponti-designed North building will enable the museum to better serve the community by putting education at the heart of the museum campus, presenting new and expanded art gallery spaces, improving all major systems throughout the 210,000-square-foot building and creating a central point of entry with a new Welcome Center. The project is expected to be completed by the building’s 50th anniversary at the end of 2021.

The DAM has been raising funds privately for the last five years, receiving generous support from many early donors. The museum also is participating in the City of Denver’s General Obligation Fund process to help fund compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as life safety, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and outdoor-safety upgrades. The bond would help complete the DAM’s fundraising efforts by providing $35.5 million toward critical upgrades and enhancements within the North Project — about a quarter of the funds required to complete the estimated $150 million renovation. If the bond is approved, the DAM would match every public dollar with approximately three private dollars.

 

Hotel Born opens in Denver's Union Station neighborhood

The much-anticipated Kimpton Hotel Born has opened in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood.

Hotel Born’s 200 guest rooms feature dark brown and gold herringbone patterned carpet and a mix of traditional and modern furniture offset by fresh white walls. The most dramatic feature of the rooms are the knotty pine headboards, which fold into a ceiling canopy. And because the connection between the indoors and outdoors is so much a part of the Colorado experience, each room features large floor-to-ceiling windows. There are 40 suites, including two premier suites with separate living rooms, six-top dining tables, wet bars and free-standing soaking tubs.

“Denver is one of the most dynamic places in the country right now, and the opening of Hotel Born is another major milestone for the Mile High City,” says Von DeLuna, the hotel’s general manager. “We sit at the end of the Union Station platform but in the heart of the city, making Hotel Born the hub of Denver’s incredible arts, culture, dining and entertainment scenes, as well as, of course, the outdoors.”

Developed by Continuum Partners, the co-master developers of the Union Station Transit Station, and designed by Denver-based Semple Brown in collaboration with Ellen Bruss of Ellen Bruss Design, Hotel Born’s alpine-modern decor includes locally sourced natural and handcrafted materials with a balance of wood, concrete and metal to capture Denver’s sophisticated locale while referencing the pine-filled mountains visible from the hotel’s west-facing windows.

The exterior of the building reflects the brick masonry of LoDo’s original historic warehouses, while the floor-to-ceiling, randomly placed vertical windows give the hotel a striking presence distinct from any adjacent buildings. The lobby is contemporary but warm and inviting, with knotty pine paneling, custom millwork and walnut herringbone floors combined with board-formed concrete. Hand-woven rugs, textured materials, warm lighting and unique one-off custom furniture pieces make it feel like a home. 

Nursing moms have privacy at all downtown sports venues

Nursing moms now have a quiet place to breastfeed or pump at all of Denver’s downtown pro sports venues as a result of UCHealth’s partnerships with the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos. 

The new Mamava nursing suites are being installed in the main concourses at Coors Field and Sports Authority Field at Mile High. UCHealth's recent purchase and installation of the air-conditioned lactation suites makes Denver the first city in the country to offer nursing suites in all downtown professional sports venues. UCHealth also purchased and installed the lactation suite located in the concourse at Pepsi Center, home to the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets.

“UCHealth’s commitment to improving lives extends beyond the doors of our hospitals and clinics,” says Manny Rodriguez, UCHealth chief marketing and experience officer. “our investment in nursing suites with our partners at all of Denver’s downtown professional sports venues makes it easier for nursing moms attending events — from games to concerts — to live extraordinary lives doing what they love, with their loved ones.”

The sports teams collaborated with UCHealth to provide the clean comfortable spaces to nurse in private. The lactation suite is a self-contained, mobile pod with comfortable benches, a fold-down table, an electrical outlet for plugging in a breast pump and a door that can be locked for privacy. The 4-foot by 8-foot pod is intended for individual use but has plenty of room for mothers with diaper bags, babies and other children in tow.

Street artists to paint RiNo for CRUSH

Graffiti and street artists will descend on the RiNo to transform the neighborhood’s streets and alleys into an urban open-air gallery for the 7th annual CRUSH.

CRUSH celebrates the craft of graffiti and street artists who bring life to walls while maintaining the unique identity of the rapidly evolving community. It gives all ages and demographics a chance to experience graffiti and street art first hand. The event is a forum for community engagement and creative expression, inviting locals and visitors to engage in forward-thinking public art in Denver. 

Event organizers also will work with local youth artists, providing them unique opportunities to paint alongside the world’s best.

“These artists are building the creative culture right in front of our eyes,” says Amanda Kriss, program assistant at the RiNo Art District. “Besides working on walls, these artists are now gaining respect in the gallery community too, showing t heir work alongside other fine artists.”

The CRUSH event brings graffiti and street artists into the spotlight as a positive medium that unites the community through creativity and empowerment to make positive change in areas that may be disregarded.

“As a district, we’ve found that murals not only help with our graffiti issues but tend to attract people from all walks of life to enjoy free access to world-class artwork,” says Tracy Weil, the district’s creative director.

Centered on 27th and Larimer between 40th and Williams, CRUSH attracts 20,000 visitors to the district during the week of the event, scheduled for Sept. 11-17.

Oakwood Homes takes over Reunion development

Oakwood Homes has taken over as the master developer of Reunion, a 2,500-acre community in northeast Denver that is currently home to nearly 2,000 families.

Under terms of the agreement, Denver-based L.C. Fulenwider Inc. will continue to maintain ownership of the community while the master plan development transitions from Shea Homes to Oakwood.

“I am excited by the transition and know that Reunion and its residents will benefit from Oakwood Homes’ expertise in developing and implementing community-focused master plans,” says Cal Fulenwider, CEO of Fulenwider. “Shea Homes has been a tremendous partner in the initial development of Reunion, and I am confident that Oakwood Homes will be excellen stewards of the future expansion of this wonderful community.”

Oakwood’s plans for Reunion include additional residences, an active 50-plus adult community, enhancing educational opportunities for children and creating additional neighborhood amenities.

Originally established in 2001 as a Shea Homes Master Planned Community, Reunion encompasses more than 900 acres of mixed-use and commercial development within Commerce City. It houses a 21,000-square-foot recreation center, 152 acres of parks, an 18-hole golf course, 10 miles of trails, 8 acres of lakes and an adjacent grocery store and other retail amenities. Oakwood Homes is one of four home builders in the community and is currently building the 2017 St. Jude Dream Home in Reunion.

“Our mission is to create luxury homes that are accessible and customizable at every budget and stage of life,” says Pat Hamill, founder and CEO of Oakwood. “We will complement the existing personality of Reunion by creating community gathering spots for residents, expanding educational options for children and building quality homes that reflect the existing look and feel of community.”

Re-inventing the playground: Ground broken on Re-Imagine Play at Paco Sanchez Park

PCL Construction has broken ground on Denver Parks and Recreation’s Re-Imagine Play at Paco Sanchez Park. 

Re-Imagine Play is an innovative concept that goes beyond the traditional playground. It’s intended to be a multi-generational activity and play area that gives park users of all ages the opportunity to remain active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

The $9 million project could include a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course, new athletic fields and a walking loop dotted with play pods. The play equipment is designed to encourage interactive play so parents can play with their children. Structures will be large enough that kds and adults can fit in them.

The playground will be themed around music because Paco Sanchez, the namesake of the park, was a musician whose Spanish-language radio station was a central part of they city's Latino communities in post-war Denver.

Located at West 13th Avenue and Knox Court, Paco Sanchez Park was selected  because its playground equipment is in need of repair or replacement; it’s large enough for a big play area in a part of the city that’s underserved when it comes to open space; the location is accessible through multi-modal transit options; it’s near an existing recreation center; and it’s in a part of the city where childhood obesity is a growing issue.

Study will evaluate minority- and women-owned business program

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is launching a disparity study to guide future implementation of minority- and women-owned business programs in Denver. 

The study will measure whether minority- and women-owned contractors are being underutilized in city business, thereby providing a basis for the continuation of Denver’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program and related federal programs.

OED has retained BBC Research & Consulting to conduct the study to help evaluate the effectiveness of the local MWBE program and two federal programs: The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. The study will examine the city’s procurement services and products, the subcontracting participation of contractors/service providers who do business with the city and anecdotal evidence collected from a cross-section of the local business community.

“With significant public investment projects on the horizon, and by staying true to our Denver values, this city will show how economic prosperity can bring everyone along,” says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “We’re looking forward to taking a thorough, objective look at our inclusivity programs in order to bolster our approach and further level the playing field for Denver’s minority contracting community.”

To help inform the study, a series of public hearings will be held this fall: 
 
  • Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Eisenhower Recreation Center, 4300 E. Dartmouth Ave.
  • Oct. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.
  • Oct. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Police Station-District One, 1311 W. 46th Ave.
  • Oct. 13, 9-11 a.m., Denver International Airport (tentative)

Comments and information can also be submitted to denverdisparitystudy@bbcresearch.com. For more information visit denvergove.org/dsbo.
 

Scary business: 13th Floor haunted house relocates to larger space

The 13th Floor haunted house will open its doors in a new location for the season in a new location at 3400 E. 52nd Ave. 

The new space, just a mile from the haunted house’s previous location, is 10,000 square feet larger with improved parking and a larger waiting area.

“We are thrilled to move 13th Floor into our new location and take the haunted house experience to the next level,” says Chris Stafford, partner at Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group. “The layout and added space creates a more convenient flow of visitors. As far as choosing a new location, it was important to us that we stay in Denver and support the growth of the city.”

Opening for its 16th season on Sept. 22, 13th Floor is one of two haunted houses brought to the Mile High City by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, the nation’s biggest independent haunted house operator. The new location is easily accessible from Interstate 70 and Vasquez Boulevard in the rapidly expanding area of Denver just one block from the National Western Complex. The Asylum will also open on Sept. 22 in its current location at 6200 E. 39th Ave. 

13th Floor is debuting all new attractions and characters at its new location in 2017. With the expansion comes additional parking an more scares. The new attractions and ticket information for 13th Floor and The Asylum will be announced later this month.

Floyd's shows off its hipness in new video

Floyd’s 99 Barbershop is launching a new marketing campaign that blends music and style together in a video that brings life to the unique atmosphere inside the shops.

“The 99 Experience” video, featured on YouTube, showcases the diverse styles and personalities of the staff, the Floyd’s signature rock ’n’ roll poster wall plastered with music memorabilia and the custom radio station specially curated for the shop. 

“The minute you walk into one of our shops, you understand exactly what Floyd’s 99 is all about,” says co-owner Rob O’Brien. “It’s more than a haircut; it’s an experience. It’s difficult to articulate such a unique experience, so we wanted to create something to show it.”

The video features an exclusively created party version of the new single “Ghost Got Loose” from up-and-coming fold-rock artist Rocko Wheeler. Floyd’s 99 will be running a social media promotion through Facebook and Instagram encouraging people to engage with the video and share the Floyd’s 99 experience by tagging a friend in the post for a chance for both of you to win free haircuts for a year. 

“We are a the original rock ’n’ roll barbershop and music is in our blood,” O’Brien says. “It was a natural fit to bring our love of music and dedication to providing amazing service together into a brand video to demonstrate what we are all about for someone who many not have had a chance yet to visit one of our shops.”
 

E-commerce jewlery retailer goes brick-and-mortar in Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek shoppers now have a new jewelry store to browse.

Brilliant Earth, a leader in ethically sourced bridal and fine jewelry has opened a showroom at 100 Fillmore St., Suite 300. 

Brilliant Earth first emerged as an e-commerce leader with an innovative strategy rooted in ethical sourcing, personalized service, strong social media presence and an omni-channel experience that has struck a chord with millennial consumers. The company has experienced significant growth, and Denver marks the next phase of expansion for the “clicks to bricks” retailer, joining showrooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Diego and Washington, D.C.

The showroom provides a tranquil setting to explore collections of handcrafted diamond engagement rings, wedding rings, fine jewelry and vintage pieces. The company’s diamonds and gemstones go beyond the usual industry standard and originate from mines that follow strict labor and environmental syandards. In addition to fair sourcing practices, Brilliant Earth is committed to initiating change in the jewelry industry, donating 5 percent of profits to help communities impacted by the jewelry trade build a brighter future. 

The showroom is open by appointment from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Affordable housing news: Proposals sought for Five Points condo project

A new mixed-income condo project is planned for Five Points. 

The Denver Office of Economic Development and the Regional Transportation District are seeking a development partner to build a transit-oriented, mixed-income condo project on an RTD-owned parcel at the northern corner of 29th and Welton streets. A request for qualifications (RFQ) will be issued beginning Aug. 15.

A portion of the condos will be priced to be affordable for income-qualified buyers earning 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), which is $47,000 for a one-person household or $67,100 for a four-person household. the development also may include commercial space such as retail on its ground floor. 

OED has entered into an option agreement with RTD for the purchase of the site, which it intends to assign to the selected development team. The .43-acre site is located within the Five Points Historic Cultural District and the Welton Corridor Urban Redevelopment Area. The site’s zoning allows for construction of a five-story, mixed-use building. 

A pre-bid meeting will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St. The deadline to submit RFQ entries is Oct. 17.

 

Four artists selected for SkyHouse installations

The Denver Art Museum and SkyHouse Denver are teaming up to transform a downtown corner into an urban art gallery featuring the work of four local artists over the course of a year. 

After completing a request for proposals process, the DAM, in consultation with RedLine, selected four Denver-based artists — Sandra Fettingis, Collin Parson, Jodi Stuart and Suchitra Mattai — to create installations that will be on view in the street-level window boxes along 18th Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard at SkyHouse Denver, a high-rise apartment building at 1776 Broadway. Fettingis and Parson’s installations were mounted in June and will be on view through October. Stuart and Mattai will take over the space in December and occupy it for six months.

“This collaboration activates our building in a unique and engaging way, while giving the museum and Denver-based artists and opportunity to reach more people,” says Sharon O’Connell, senior regional vice president of Simpson Housing, which developed and manages SkyHouse. “One of the reasons we chose this site in particular was the proximity to many of downtown Denver’s key attractions, including the Denver Art Museum. Our residents want to live, work and play in unique urban environments. This partnership is a perfect fit.”

SkyHouse Denver opened in September last year. the 26-story, 354-unit mixed-use building offers studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as street-level retail space that currently includes Superfruit Republic and MECHA Fitness.

Zen Compound to open in old City Hall event space

One of San Francisco’s hottest concepts is coming to Denver. 

This fall, San Francisco artist-DJ-entrepreneur Paul Hemming will open his second Zen Compound, a groundbreaking facility that combines four distinct but related concepts into a single space: ECO-SYSTM, a co-working space for creative professionals, startups and freelancers; Mirus, a gallery championing new movements in contemporary art; Hive, a unique coffee and cocktail bar and restaurant; and Temple Nightclub, an innovative club known for its programming, production feats and legendary hospitality. 

“We see Denver as a sister city to San Francisco in many ways,” Hemming says. “The Mile High City is a major metropolitan hub and has an eclectic confluence of technology, music, art, entertainment and nightlife. It’s an exploding market with refined tastes, an entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Denver has a highly affluent market with appreciation for creativity and attention to detail.”

Located in the old City Hall Event Venue at 1136 N. Broadway, the 20,000-square-foot, three-story Zen Compound will open in stages, with Temple Nightclub as the first concept to go live this fall. All three remaining concepts are expected to be up and running by 2018.

The compound will bring 100 new jobs to Denver, including 80 in the nightclub.

Perry Row at Sloans model opens

Perry Row at Sloans is opening its model home this month and welcoming its first homeowners to the community. 

The model, located at 1569 N. Perry St., provides all the features and amenities found in the Perry Row at Sloans homes.

The three-bedroom home features an open floor plan, custom kitchen and baths by Caruso Kitchens of Denver, outdoor living spaces on all three floors, including a 700-square-foot rooftop patio with views of the mountains, downtown skyline and Sloans Lake Park, and a ground-floor mud room and private library.

More than half of the homes at Perry Row have already sold. The final phase of 16 homes will be released later this summer.

Prices for Perry Row townhomes, located in the Sloans district at the former St. Anthony Hospital site, range from the low $500,000s to more than $800,000. The floor plans range in size from about 1,400 to 2,200 square feet. Designed and built by Sprocket Design-Build, the residences will feature two-car garages, rooftop decks and a brownstone-style architecture.

The project is a block south of Sloans Lake Park, featuring a three-mile jogging trail, the city’s largest lake with a marina and water sport activities and plentiful open space.

Nominations for Mayor's arts awards being accepted

Nominations for the 2017 Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture are being accepted through Sept. 1. 

The awards recognize the people and organizations that make significant and lasting contributions to the artistic, cultural, and creative landscape in the City and County of Denver. The awards will be announced in November.

Categories for the awards include: 
 
  • Arts & Culture Youth Award: Presented to a person younger than 18 who has made a noteworthy difference in the community through the arts, or an organization that has significantly impacted the lives of youth in the City and County of Denver through the arts.
  • Arts & Culture Impact Award: Presented to a person or organization that has made a significant and lasting impact on arts and culture in the City and County of Denver. the category requires that the nominee have at least 10 years of history in the arts in the city. 
  • Arts & Culture Innovation Award: Presented to the person or organization that is breaking new ground in the arts and whose contribution to innovation in the arts has been significant in 2017.
  • Arts & Culture Global Award: Presented to a person or organization that has brought Denver’s arts and culture to the national or world stage. Nominees for this category have received national or international recognition through collaboration, media coverage or grant dollars received.
  • IMAGINE 2020: Presented to a person or organization that exemplifies the vision and goals of Denver’s cultural plan through their programs and initiatives, setting an example for others to aspire to as we IMAGINE 2020.

Visit the Denver Arts & Venues website to submit nominations.
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