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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.

Tansey Contemporary to open in LoDo

An internationally renowned art gallery is relocating its headquarters to 1743 Wazee St. in Lower Downtown.

Tansey Contemporary is expanding its presence from Santa Fe, N.M., to Denver. Its current space on Santa Fe's famed Canyon Road will remain open, but Denver will be the headquarters from which the Tanseys hope to continue to expand the business' international reach.

"Denver is an attractive place to run an international business," says Michael Tansey, who with his wife, Jennifer, owns the gallery. "Its growing population, thriving economy, continually improving infrastructure, international accessibility and diverse, skilled workforce make it ideal for our purposes. We think it is significant that Denver's voters and leaders understand the positive contribution the arts make to the city's economic development, as demonstrated by the recent extension of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District."

Michael Tansey is involved in the national arts community as majority owner and chairman of Art Miami LLC, which runs a growing portfolio of prestigious international art fairs primarily staged in Florida and New York.

Jennifer Tansey is from the Denver area. She left her position as membership manager at Colorado Public Radio to run the gallery, which the couple acquired in 2013. She is a member of the 2017 Colorado Business Committee for the Arts' Leadership Arts class.

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

Washington leaves city post for real estate firm

Paul Washington has stepped down as executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development to join JLL as market director for the Rocky Mountain Region.

As market director, Washington will oversee day-to-day operations for the region, including managing a team of more than 265 people and ensuring integrated business development opportunities for JLL business lines, including tenant representation, corporate accounts, capital markets, project development services, public institutions and agency leasing.

"As head of the Denver Office of Economic Development, part of my mission was to provide resources to help Colorado Businesses and communities thrive, and I see this new role as a kind of extension of that mission," Washington says. "JLL has a long history of helping Denver-area businesses create value and be more efficient through real estate acquisition and management. I look forward to working with the team here to fulfill that mission and continue to execute on growth strategies across our business lines."

Washington will work on the transition with JLL's Barry Dorfman, who in addition to serving as president of the Rocky Mountain Region and broker lead has also held the market director role since 2009.

"I'm tremendously proud of the work our team has done to set our clients in the region up for success, and I believe Paul's background and experience with the city make him uniquely qualified to continue to build on the foundation we've laid," Dorfman says. "With Paul's leadership as market director, I'll be able to focus my efforts entirely on brokerage services, our broker team and our clients."

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

And now in ice cream news: Pushing the possibilities of flavor at High Point

High Point Creamery has introduced its spring flavor menu, with four new flavors,  three fan favorites returning and a reinvention of one of its most popular ice creams.

The four new flavors are Put the Lime in the Coconut Milk, Violet and Lime, Stawberry Rhubarb Crisp and a new seasonal sorbet — I’m Peach Mint. High Point Creamery will donate 10 percent of the pint sales of I’m Peach Mint to the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network.

The three returning flavors include Darkest Chocolate, Chamomile with Strawberry Swirl and Cherry Miso with Chocolate Freckles.

The reinvented Cookies & Cream is three different types of cookies, along with a classic chocolate wafer. The cookies are broken into bits and blended into a vanilla icing ice cream.

High Point Creamery now has two retail locations — one at the intersection of South Holly and Cedar in the Hilltop/Crestmoor neighborhood and one at Denver Central Market in RiNo. The company will be operating a food truck, Big Pinky, around town and plans to open a third store in west Denver later this summer.

Arts & Venues partners with Meow Wolf on art space effort

Denver Arts & Venues is teaming up with Santa Fe's Meow Wolf to help with the compliance and safety needs of the city's Do-It-Yourself and alternative spaces.

Arts & Venues will contribute $20,000 toward funding the program organized by Meow Wolf, which previously announced plans to distribute $100,000 in annual funding to support safer DIY music and arts venues across the country. Arts & Venue's money will support infrastructural improvements, rent assistance, materials, equipment and other needs identified by Denver applicants. The fund also supports additional resources for legal, zoning and building code consulting services.

"Meow Wolf was an ideal partner for addressing short-term needs while we continue to explore more long-terms opportunities to support safe, creative spaces," says Kent Rice, executive director of Arts & Venuses. "As an artist collective, Meow Wolf has emerged as a leader in the region, working closely with Denver-based artists and reacting quickly to the acute space challenges of artists nationwide with the development of its funding program."

Meow Wolf is collecting applications for Denver-based funding until March 31. 

In addition to Arts & Venues' efforts, Denver Community Planning and Development and the Denver Fire Department have taken steps to support the needs of the arts community. For those seeking to turn an existing warehouse or commercial space into a live/work space, CPD launched a guide that outlines basic steps for establishing a safe and legal live/work space in an existing building. The fire department is offering free inspections for tenants and landlords, who can apply through March 31.

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

Olive & Finch opens in Cherry Creek

The second location of Olive & Finch Eatery and Bakery has opened in Cherry Creek.

Complementing its Uptown restaurant, he new Olive & Finch at 3390 E. First Ave. cooks up food made from scratch in a casual setting. The restaurant serves breakfast all day, lunch and dinner, as well as coffee and spirits and pressed juices.

The Olive & Finch kitchen is stocked with breads baked daily, sauces made by hand and the freshest produce it can find. Its meats are cured smoked and seasoned by chefs on the premises.

The breakfast menu features a variety of hashes and sandwiches, as well as plates such as the Farmhouse Scramble, Polenta & Eggs or Shakshuka, a North African dish of stewed tomatoes, spices, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, cilantro, feta and two cage free eggs.

The lunch menu boasts 16 different sandwiches ranging from the Ankara, a house-roasted turkey, brie and apple sandwich, to the Jamal, blackened fish, citrus tartar sauce, capers, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, avocado and roasted tomato on ciabatta.

Dinner items, available after 11 a.m.,  include steak, chicken, salmon, pork and four different flatbreads.

Under the direction of its owner/chef Mary Nguyen, Olive & Finch has been a supporter of various nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado. Every month, the restaurant partners with a nonprofit organization in its "Dining for a Cause" program, which benefits local and national programs. Work Options for Women, Share Our Strength and Project Angel Heart are just of few of the organizations it supports.

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