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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.

New tenants announced for Dairy Block

Denver’s cool, new Dairy Block has revealed a lineup of tenants that will help to create a unique experience in LoDo.

Developed by McWhinney, Sage Hospitality and Grand American Inc., Dairy Block is a mixed-use redevelopment of the LoDo block that once housed Denver’s Windsor Dairy. The soul of Dairy Block will be The Alley — a lively micro-district and experience that will run from 18th and 19th between Blake and Wazee streets.

Scheduled to open later this year, the first retail tenants include:

    •    Huckleberry Roasters — a coffee and retail market that will open in the lobby.
    •    The Perfect Petal — Denver’s popular Highland Square flower and gift shop is expanding with a second LoDo location inside the lobby.
    •    Roost — A modern retail space by the founder of the popular Denver Flea marketplace opening onto The Alley, featuring a curated collection of emerging makers and brands from Colorado and across the country.
    •    Seven Grand — the first Colorado outpost of the popular whiskey bar located off of The Alley will poura comprehensive selection of premium whiskeys and crafted cocktails, while also featuring live music and pool tables.

Also now open at Dairy Block is The Maven Hotel, an independent, modern hotel with 172 industrial-chic guest rooms and an energetic lobby managed by Sage Hospitality, along with Kachina Southwestern Grill and Poka Lola Social Club.

Interactive artwork unveiled at Levitt Pavilion

The latest addition to the city of Denver’s public art collection was dedicated July 20 as part of the grand opening celebration for the newly built Levitt Pavilion Denver at Ruby Hill Park.

“Sky Song” by Colorado artists Nick Geurts and Ryan Elmendorf is a two-part interactive sculpture that blends light and sound through interaction with the viewer and even the sky above. 

Comprised of mirror-polished stainless steel, “Sky Song” invites viewers to create music by pressing any combination of 33 buttons on an eight-foot-tall sculpture on the plaza. The kiosk is linked to its companion piece 30 feet away on the building’s facade. During concerts at Levitt Pavilion, the interactive function transitions from sound to light. With 25 lights and bells, “Sky Song” is an engaging public artwork.

The Levitt Pavilion is programmed, managed and supported by Friends of Levitt Paviolion Denver, a local nonprofit dedicated to building community through music. 

Upcoming concerts include:
  • July 23: The Stone Foxes
  • Aug. 3: The Suffers
  • Aug. 4: John Fulbright
  • Aug. 5: The Reminders co-headline with Fed Rez
  • Aug. 6: Rocky Dawuni with the Bunny Gang
  • Aug. 9: Hippo Campus with Slow Caves and Corsicana
  • Aug. 10: The Dustbowl Revival with Charley Crockett
  • Aug. 13: The Band of Heathens with Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir
  • Aug. 17 The Haunted Windchimes and Edison
  • Aug. 18: My Body Sings Electric and Chemistry Club
  • Aug. 19: Smooth Hound Smith with Anthony Ruptak & The Midnight Friends
  • Aug. 24: Gaby Moreno
  • Aug. 25: Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra with Fiesta Colorado Dance Company
  • Aug. 26: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
  • Aug. 27: New Breed Brass Band with Denver Municipal Band
  • Aug. 30: Ripe with Chris Daniels & the Kings with Freddi Gowdy
  • Aug. 31: Inspector with Izcalli
The public is invited to bring their picnic blankets and lawn chairs to the free concerts. There also will be a handful of ticketed shows featuring artists like UB40 and 311.

Affordable housing opens in Hale neighborhood

Denver’s progress in addressing affordable housing challenges reached a milestone with the opening of the Ash Street Apartments in the Hale neighborhood. 

In addition to adding 112 income-restricted apartments for low- and moderate-income households, the opening marks the completion, one year early, of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s “3x5” initiative of building, rehabilitating and preserving at least 3,000 affordable housing units over five years.

“Reaching our goal a year ahead of schedule is a phenomenal achievement, and I couldn’t be prouder of how this city marshaled our collective resources to deliver more affordable options for our people,” Hancock says. “The opening of Ash Street Apartments is a major milestone, and we’re going to continue to pull on every lever we can to offer more affordable options for our residents.”

Located at 1170 Ash St., the complex offers units ranging from one to three bedrooms for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income ($35,280 for a one-person household, or $45,360 for a household of three). Developed by Koelbel and Company, Mile High Development and Longs Peak Advisors, the $24.9 million project spans an entire block within the redevelopment of the old University of Colorado Health Science Center. Amenities of the five-story building include private balconies, 92 covered parking stalls and a second-floor community garden deck.

Public finance partners include the Denver Office of Economic Development, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the Colorado Division of Housing.

Ubergrippen climbing gym opens in northeast Denver

The Ubergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag has opened at 8610 E. 21st. Ave.

The 20,733-square-foot building, designed by OLC Architecture, features 16,000 square feet of indoor climbing surfaces and 40-foot-tall climbing walls designed at build by Vertical Solutions. There’s also a 3,000-square-foot fitness area with cardiovascular and strength-training equipment. 

Ubergrippen was created by 10-year Stapleton residents Jake and Kim Crine, who quit their full-time jobs to take on the venture.

The pre-engineered metal building was provided by Varco Pruden Buildings and installed by Lefever Building Systems. The project also includes the development of 73 parking spaces, bicycle and skateboarding racks and an outdoor bouldering rock. 

Built by White Construction Group, the building is designed as a place for the surrounding community to gather for youth programs, exercise and yoga classes, and a retail space. 

Ubergrippen offers daily and monthly memberships.

Sprouts to open in Stapleton, adding a needed grocery store to a growing neighborhood

Sprouts Farmer’s Market is taking root at Stapleton’s Central Park Station on the University of Colorado A Line that links Union Station to Denver International Airport.

The 30,000-square-foot store, being developed by D.H. Friedman Properties LLC, is projected to open in fall 2018 in the 3500 block of Central Park Boulevard, just one block from the train station. The Sprouts store will be located on the block immediately south of the transit-oriented development recently announced by Forest City Stapleton Inc., master developer of the Stapleton community.

“Sprouts will be a great addition to Forest City’s visionary plans for Central Park Station further solidifying its position as an exciting new alternative to downtown, both for urban-type residential and commercial opportunities,” says David Friedman of D.H. Friedman.

Friedman also is developing about 110 mixed-income condominiums and 12,000 square feet of additional retail space in the surrounding block, bordered on the north by 36th Avenue and on the west by Uinta Street. 

Denver City Councilman Chris Herndon called the Sprouts store one of the “key building blocks” that will lead to the successful development of one of Denver’s largest transit-oriented developments.

“When we think of TOD, we want it to include a mix of amenities folks want and need to access in their daily lives,” Herndon says. “The addition of Sprouts in this location is a benefit to people utilizing the A Line, as well as to neighborhood residents.”

Amid Denver's condo drought, The Coloradan sales center opens

The sales center for the only condominium project in the Union Station neighborhood has opened.

The Coloradan will begin taking contracts in August for the 334-unit building. The sales center is located inside of  WeWork in the Triangle Building at 1550 Wewatta St. 

“WeWork is a great place for us to locate our sales center,” says Brad Arnold, vice president of sales and marketing for The Coloradan. “It’s a new kind of wors space with an energy all its own, and The Coloradan will be much the same.”

The Coloradan’s sales center will showcase all of the details of becoming a homeowner in the building, which will include:
 
  • 33 affordable homes ranging from 725 to 878 square feet and priced in the mid to high $200,000s.
  • 49 studio residences ranging from 486 to 535 square feet with prices starting at $255,000.
  • 113 one-bedroom residences ranging from 795 to 1,316 square feet with prices starting at $435,000.
  • 114 two-bedroom residences ranging from 1,147 to 1,647 square feet with prices starting at $720,000.
“East West Partners has been developing condominiums in downtown Denver since 1999,” says Chris Frampton, managing partner of East West Partners, which is developing the project. “We’ve been lucky enough to participate in some pretty great projects, including our role as co-master developer of the Union Station neighborhood, and in many ways, all of that work has led to The Coloradan. It is the culmination of almost two decades of learning. It’s the final piece of the Union Station puzzle, and we’ve designed it to be an incredible place for Coloradans to call home.”

Downtown has seen $5.3 billion investment in five years

Since January 2012, $5.3 billion of total investment in development has been completed or is under construction in downtown Denver, according to the 2017 Downtown Denver Development Map recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

That’s a total of 87 projects, 3.5 million square feet of office space; 9,126 residential units and 2,819 hotel rooms.

“The private sector is responding to increased demand for residential housing, office space and hotel rooms propelled by strong population and job growth, as well as key public sector investments,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “This investment supports our vision of an economically powerful center city by creating opportunities for companies to move to downtown Denver and space for our existing companies to grow, as well as helping to meet the increasing demand to live and visit here.”

Intended for developers, investors and brokers interested in downtown Denver, the Downtown Denver Development Map highlights key investments within the boundaries of downtown Denver. The annual map tells the story behind downtown Denver development and encourages continued investment by highlighting projects completed in the past five years, in addition to projects under construction.

MSU Denver gets $1 million grant from Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is giving a $1 million grant to Metropolitan State University in an effort to shape the workforce of the future in manufacturing affordable, innovative spacecraft.

The funds, to be distributed over four years, establish an on-campus Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Laboratory, where students can use a state-of-the-art 3-D printer to design and create aerospace components. The grant also establishes an endowed director of the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute. 

“This grant is an investment in the futures of the students at MSU Denver an d the aerospace community,” says Brian O’Connor, vice president of production and operations at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “Emerging manufacturing technologies will create possibilities we can only dream of today, like printing an entire satellite from the ground up or printing complex parts that we can’t machine using traditional methods. We’re helping students design with those new concepts in mind so the next space missions are innovative, affordable and faster to market.”

The grant was announced during the inauguration of MSU Denver’s new $60 million Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building, a 117,000-square-foot building that is designed to integrate aerospace science; industrial design; civil, mechanical and electrical engineering technology; computer science; and computer information systems. Advanced Manufacturing Sciences classes will begin this fall.

“With support from key partners like Lockheed Martin, MSU Denver can offer students education opportunities that directly address workforce needs on Colorado’s key industry clusters,” says Stephen Jordan, president of MSU Denver. “Students now have the rare opportunity to work with technology and equipment used by some of the top advanced manufacturing companies in the world.”
 

Eight acres by 38th and Blake transit stop slated for development

Six city blocks of Denver’s River North Arts District (RiNo) adjacent to the 38th and Blake transit station will be transformed into a mixed-use destination that will include residences, offices and retail space.


Denver-based Tributary Real Estate, in partnership with Charles Street Partners of Boston, has been working with Oz Architecture to develop the master plan and primary residential and retail building designs for the development, dubbed Giambrocco. Gensler is leading the concept design for the creative office building and a boutique hotel and adapting an existing building into a marketplace concept. Wenk & Associates will create design the streetscape and landscape.


“RiNo is Denver’s bustle of commerce, the vigor of production, the incubation of ideas and the freedom of artistic spirit,” says Bill Parkhill, a member of the development team. “As the developers, we’ve embraced these diverse influences to create a neighborhood where it all works together.”


The neighborhood is expected to include:
  • More than 500,000 square feet of Class A office space with parking that can be converted to offices over time
  • 350 market-rate and affordable apartments spread throughout the development
  • Live/work art studios sprinkled throughout the parcels to activate the street
  • Retail strategically located in hot spots that serve the surrounding neighborhood
  • Public art throughout the project

 

 


Out of urban ruins, a new pocket park in Westwood

The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) has transformed a dangerous, abandoned building into a pocket park in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood. 

The Thriftway Pocket Park at 4401 Morrison Road, another step in the revitalization of the neighborhood, includes a futsal court and community gardens.

“ULC is proud to see the impact of our investment in the Westwood community,” says Aaron Miripol, president and CEO of ULC. “This park would not have been possible without direct support from the neighborhood and the many partners who we have worked with in the development of this new park.”

For more than 15  years before ULC’s acquisition of the Thriftway building in 2014, the site was often the scene of violent crimes, squatting and drug activity. The 6,000-square-foot building sat in the heart of the Westwood community, and residents made it a priority to work with ULC, Trust for Public Land and the City and County of Denver to create a space that would serve as a community asset instead of a hazard.

ULC demolished Thriftway in 2014 and started the three-year process of converting the site into its interim use as a community park.  Long-term plans for the site are to create a development that meets the needs of the community. The need will be determined through a focused and inclusive community engagement process in partnership with Westwood Unidos.
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