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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

Tom Coohill to attend Plate of the Union

Chef Tom Coohill, owner of Coohills restaurant in Lower Downtown, has been tapped to represent Colorado at the 2017 Plate of the Union Farm Bill Summit on April 26-17 in Washington, D.C.

Coohill will join chefs and food industry leaders from around the country to review and discuss food policies surrounding the 2018 Farm Bill on April 26. The group, led by the agricultural advocacy organization Plate of the Union, will report its findings and recommendations to the House and Senate on April 27.

“Because of our commitment to locally sourced and farm-fresh ingredients, Coohills is a natural fit for this important outreach campaign,” Coohill says. “It’s an honor to be able to participate in this component of the democratic process, and I look forward to assisting in the promotion of healthier food for this country, which will result in healthier communities and a healthier environment.”

Every five years, Congress is tasked with passing the farm bill, which affects things such as how food is grown, what it costs the consumer, the safety of drinking water and whether all Americans have access to healthy, affordable food.

Plate of the Union is a food advocacy organization with a mission of encouraging U.S. agriculture to focus on organic and sustainable practices with positive impacts on land and water.

Economic summit to address housing, food, entrepreneurship

Housing, food access, youth opportunities and entrepreneurship are among the issues that will be discussed at the inaugural Far Northeast Denver Economic Summit, a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at the Evie Garrett Dennis E-12 campus, 4800 Telluride St. 

The collaborative, grassroots event is a joint project of the City and County of Denver and a range of stake holders from Montbello and surrounding neighborhoods. A keynote speech on economic mobility will be presented by Dr. Jared Bernstein, a former chief ecnomist in the Obama Administration. The day also will include a community resource fair. 

“Our goal for the summit is to spur a bold conversation about economic opportunity, inviting the voices and perspectives of area residents and business owners, and also provide information on available services and tools,” says Amy Edinger, interim executive director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development.

The event will include three breakout sessions and a complimentary lunch. Spanish translation will be available on site. Sign language, CART services or other disability-related accommodations may be requested at oed.milehigh@denvergov.org or (720) 913-1999.

Country Club Towers hit topping off milestone

Broe Real Estate Group has reached another milestone with the topping out of Country Club Towers II and III in West Wash Park near the intersection of South Downing and East Bayaud streets.

The twin, 32-story Country Club Towers has reached a height of 328 feet and will be available to renters in August. 

“The development of Country Club Towers II and III has been a model for team work and creative solutions between the owner, architect and the general contractor,” says Doug Wells, CEO of Broe Real Estate Group, an affiliate of The Broe Group. “We are proud to have achieved this milestone so quickly and are looking forward to delivering a best-in-class new residential community for Denver.”

Country Club Towers II and III will offer 558 sustainable, luxury high-rise apartments and 985 structured parking spaces. Each apartment has floor-to-ceiling, energy-efficient windows, granite surfaces, stainless steel appliances and washers/dryers. Amenities include a lap pool with 20,000-square-foot deck, 4,000-square-foot fitness center with yoga and massage rooms, dog spa, bike repair station, two common kitchen areas and related amenity spaces. Several acres of the development have been left in a parkl-ike open space condition to ensure the property retains its existing character.

$250 million development on tap for Cole neighborhood

Saunders Construction has teamed up with the owners of the former Denver Rock Drill building to develop a $250 million, 700,000-square-foot building with offices, retail, residences and a hotel near the 38th and Blake transit station in the historic Cole neighborhood.

The project will include 150,000 square feet of adaptive reuse of historic buildings, as well as 550,000 square feet of new construction that will have 150,000 square feet of office space, 65,000 square feet of retail, 180 residences and a 175-key hotel by Sage Hospitality. Built as machine shops, the preserved historic buildings will provide large, flexible floor plates, as well as 25-foot ceilings allowing significant flexibility for office use and mezzanines.

“I knew early on there was going to be light rail coming into the area, which at the time was a Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) program, and I knew the neighborhood would eventually undergo major changes, although I don’t think I anticipated the pace of change would be so fast,” says Byron Weiss, who with his sons Andy and Brett own the property. “I knew this property had enormous potential, both from a local perspective and from a cultural perspective with its deep Denver history.”

Located on 39th Avenue between Franklin and High streets, the property’s history dates to 1910, when it was the home of Denver Rock Drill Manufacturing Company, whose line of pneumatic rock drills were used around the world. By the 1920s, the facilities occupied more than a city block and housed a community of 600 employees.

Weiss, a Denver native and longtime resident of the Cole neighborhood, acquired the property in 1992 in one of the last big sales made during the savings and loan crisis of the 1990s. The site is now home to his company, Porta Power, a material handling and warehouse supply company. 

Just one stop from Denver Union Station and 30 minutes from Denver International Airport, the project will serve as a bridge between the River North Arts District and Col Neighborhood Historic District. Designed by Tryba Architects, the project will feature a unique character of lanes, courtyards and rail spurs intended to create opportunities for exploration and discovery. The retail environment will reflect a culture of craft, production and innovation, blending the best that Denver and Colorado has to offer with national and international brands.

“There is no other place in Denver with such untouched industrial history and the ability to completely customize and repurpose three full city blocks,” says Dorit Fischer, broker for Shames Makovsky, who is handling retail leasing for Denver Rock Drill. “We think there are numerous food and beverage operators and cutting-edge companies that will want to be part of this unique site.”

The project is pre-leasing office and retail space in Phase 1, which includes the redevelopment of the existing structures, as well as the hotel. Cushman & Wakefield is handling the office leasing.

Salt-N-Pepa to headline Urban Nights fashion show

The ’90s rap and fashion icons Salt-N-Pepa are the featured entertainment at this years Urban Nights Denver, the city’s largest outdoor urban fashion show and fundraiser that benefits at-risk youth.

Urban Nights celebrates its fifth annual fundraiser Aug. 5 at Mile HIgh Station. The event benefits Urban Peak, The Danny Dietz Foundation and La Academia at The Denver inner City Parish.

“On any given night in Denver, more than 900 youth are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless,” says Donna Crafton Montgomery, 2017 Urban Nights chair. “This year, we are thrilled to add new beneficiaries that expand our reach into this vulnerable population providing a wide range of services to the at-risk youth that each organization serves.”

This year’s fashion show, designed at produced by Jenny Baker-Strasburg and Tobie Orr, will feature works from the Art Institute of Colorado and Suit Supply. The fashion show will be anchored by “Built from Scratch,” the 2017 fall/winter line created by New York Fashion Week darling Nicholas K.

Tickets for the event, under the canopy of the Colfax Avenue viaduct at Mile High Station, are on sale now. The VIP party starts at 6 p.m., with general admission opening at 7 p.m. Salt-N-Pepa hits the stage at 9 p.m. The show will be followed by an after party until midnight.

It's official: Kimpton Hotel Born accepting reservations for August

The Kimpton Hotel Born in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood is slated to open this summer and is booking reservations for stays beginning Aug. 1.

Designed by Denver architecture firm Semple Brown, Kimpton Hotel Born’s architecture and modern alpine interior is inspired by its location and the active, energetic lifestyle of Colorado residents and visitors. Located at 1600 Wewatta St., the hotel will feature 600 original works by local artists.

“Union Station was really the catalyst for the formation of Denver as a city when it opened 150 years ago, and now it’s finally returned to its status as the heart of the city," says Von De Luna, the hotel’s general manager. "To have Hotel Born at the center of it all is incredibly exciting.”

In addition to 200 guest rooms, 40 of which are suites, Kimpton Hotel Born features nearly 14,000 square feet of meeting space, including two private terraces — one facing the mountains and the other overlooking Union Station. The hotel also will be home to two restaurants. Citizen Rail, a Kimpton restaurant concept where classic wood-fired techniques meet contemporary dining, and Tavernetta By Frasca, co-owned by master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Boulder’s famed Frasca Food & Wine.

“Everything at Hotel Born, from the architecture to the art, to the cuisine, is intended to reflect the spirit and aesthetic which distinguishes Denver and its citizens from other North American cities,” says Mark Falcone, CEO and founder of Continuum Partners, developer of the hotel and master developer of the Union Station neighborhood.

Frontiere strikes deal with HelloFresh




Denver-based Frontiere Natural Meats has struck a deal with HelloFresh, the world’s leading meal kit delivery brand.

Under terms of the agreement, Frontiere will provide HelloFresh with with about 7,000 pounds of all-natural ground beef and sweet Italian sausages made with chicken and pork on a bi-weekly basis for inclusion in its meal kits delivered on the West Coast. Beginning in April, Frontiere beef and pork will be featured in HelloFresh boxes shipping to Colorado, including the metro Denver area. 

“HelloFresh has made a name for itself with its ease of use and inclusion of locally sourced, high-quality products,” says Josh Viola, vice president and co-owner of Frontiere. “We’re quite pleased to be counted among the outstanding HelloFresh suppliers and to offer our all-natural meat products to their many customers.”

Frontiere operates its business in accordance with all-natural/organic requirements, ensuring livestock are fed a vegetarian diet of only natural grains and nutrients and never administering growth hormones or stimulants. 

“We’re thrilled to add Frontiere Natural Meats to our growing network of suppliers,” says Uwe Voss, chief operating officer of HelloFresh US. “The company’s high-quality natural products, along with their efficient and automated packing operation — which is optimal for our business model — really attracted us to the partnership. We look forward to continuing to deliver our customers the freshest and best-quality product possible every week with the addition of Frontiere Natural Meats.”

Smart-pill drug delivery firm joins Catalyst HTI

A company that’s developing a smart-pill drug delivery and monitoring system is the latest tenant to join Catalyst HTI in RiNo.

Veloce Corp. joins a community that will include national healthcare organizations like Kaiser Permanente, Anschutz Medical Campus and American Osteopathic Association, as well as health-tech startups like CirrusMD, BurstIQ and Telespine.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Catalyst HTI community,” says Robert Niichel, CEO of Veloce. “Moving our offices to the building should help us acquire funding, forge partnerships and meet clients. It will also enable healthcare providers to learn about our SmartTab drug delivery and monitoring system.”

SmartTab will deliver active ingredients to specific areas of the human body at specific times or in response to a monitored physiological condition. The system will interface with custom or current wearable monitoring technology. It has the capability to deliver a wide range of active ingredients and interact with the Internet of Medical Things to optimize patient care.

“Our SmartTab platform achieves a level of precision in drug delivery that was previously impossible,” Niichel says. “With SmartTabs, providers can monitor the efficacy of treatment regimens and ensure medical compliance, which can be a costly and often deadly problem.”

After being spun out of Nano Pharmaceutical Laboratories in 2015, Veloce was accepted into StartUp Health’s investment portfolio, which contains nearly 200 health-tech startups. Veloce received a patent for its drug delivery and monitoring system earlier this year.

Biennial of the Americas announces massive preview party for May, a week of events in September

The Biennial of the Americas returns to Denver in September, with a preview party to be held May 19 at City Hall.

The 2015 Biennial hosted more than 100 events throughout the summer, with more than 25,000 participants attending the six-day opening week program of events that brought together nearly 60 artists, speakers and international leaders representing more than 25 countries.

“This year’s Biennial creates a significant opportunity to bring together the most innovative  leaders from across the Western Hemisphere to discuss, question, accelerate and transform how we do business and live together today,” says Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “We look forward to hosting yet another year of world-class talent and through leaders from throughout the Americas in this year’s Biennial of the Americas.”

The week-long festival of ideas, arts and culture attracts innovators, artists, students, thinkers and doers from across the Americas. The Biennial curates content among collaborators in the ideas, arts and cultural spheres, leveraging partnerships that result in high-quality, in-depth programming.

This year’s event schedule is as follows:
 
  • Biennial Preview Party, 5:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., May 19, City Hall night club
  • Opening night gala, 7 p.m. Sept. 12, 
  • MCA Opening: Know-how, 6 p.m., Sept. 13, Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Americas Symposium, 7 p.m. Sept. 14,
  • Biennial Night, 7 p.m. Sept. 15, Civic Center Park

TheBigWonderful returns in May

When TheBigWonderful returns for its fourth season May 5-7, the pop-up event will feature city's best craft vendors, craft brewers and musicians will gather at the former Denver Post printing plant at 4400 Fox St. in Globeville.

TheBigWonderful's bazaar is curated to be a decidedly Denver experience. The city's best craft vendors and food trucks are brought together in one marketplace for a lively eating and shopping experience. Vendors will offer everything from fresh produce to handmade jewelry and clothing.

Hand-picked musical acts include a slew of bluegrass performers, including headliners Jeff Austin & Friends, The Drew Emmitt Band, Andy Thorn & Friends and DeadPhish Orchestra.

TheBigWonderful is partnering with Lyft for discounted ride sharing to and from the event all weekend long. TheBigWonderful's nonprofit partner this year is Re:Vision, an organization that works with people in economically marginalized areas to develop resident leaders, cultivate community food systems and create an economy owned by the community.

Tickets range from $5 for access to the day bazaar to $59 for the full weekend day and night bazaars with sampling from 20 boozy vendors and all bands.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
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