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

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

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

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

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

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

Crush, Clyfford Still, Shakespeare Fest lead Mayor's Arts Awards

Six groups and individuals are being with the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture for their significant and lasting contributions to the arts in the City and County of Denver.

“These award recipients exemplify Denver’s vibrant and diverse cultural and artistic scene,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says. “Through the work of these dedicated and inspiring individuals and groups, the arts have become more accessible, visible, interactive and integrated into the lives of our residents and visitors.”

The winners were chosen by a panel made up of members of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, Denver Arts & Venues employees and community members involved in arts and culture in Denver.

The winners are:
  • Arts & Culture Youth Award: Denver Public Schools for the 34-year-old Shakespeare Festival, the oldest and largest student Shakespeare Festival in the Country.
  • Arts & Culture Impact Award: Mexican Cultural Center, which over the last 25 years has developed a variety of cultural and educational programs designed to increase awareness and highlight the importance of Mexican culture in the United States, particularly in Colorado.
  • Arts & Culture Global Award: Clyfford Still Museum, which in September 2016 sent nine paintings from its collection to the Royal Academy of Arts in London for a seminal exhibition on Abstract Expressionism.
  • Arts & Culture Innovation Award: Crush, Colorado’s largest independent graffiti and street art project and event.
  • IMAGINE 2020 Award: Irene Vilar, who for more than a decade has demonstrated how the arts can be an effective and impactful vehicle for raising social awareness and inspiring action.
  • Leadership in the Arts Award: Floyd Ciruli, who has worked with a variety of organizations and public officials to build a coalition of support for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

Hancock also presented the IMAGINE 2020 District Challenge Award to Denver Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore for the “Community Channels” mural, which community members and Montbello High School students and artist Pat Milbery created in the canal at 51st Avenue and Crown Boulevard.

A very 2017 promotion: Cherry Creek shop will pay for Uber, Lyft

Massive construction projects in Cherry Creek North have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to find parking, so one creative business owner is taking matters into her own hands by offering to pay for customers to use UBER or Lyft to visit her gift shop.

Katie Friedland, owner of Show of Hands, an art gallery and gift shop that’s called Cherry Creek North home for 32 years, said she’s seen sales decline this year as shoppers steer clear of the area because of construction.

Even though Show of Hands has four of its own parking spots, to help save the holidays for all the small businesses in Cherry Creek North, the shop will pay anyone that presents a receipt for an UBER or Lyft ride into the area and spends $100 at the store, $20 in cash. Customers will receive $40 in cash if they spend $200 or more.

“While many people love finding one-of-a-kind gifts at the stores in Cherry Creek, because streets are closed and they can’t find parking, they are not visiting our store,” Friedland said. “I’m a single mom and small-business owner. While we support progress, the holiday season is critical to me and many of the retail stores in the area. After hearing complaints from customers and calculating current sales numbers, I realized we needed to get creative here. I though, if parking is the issue, then let’s pay for people to take an UBER or Lyft ride into the area to shop. Problem solved.”

Eight showrooms sign on to IDC Building

When The IDC Building opens early next year, it will house up to 15 of the metro area’s top home-design showrooms in 60,000 square feet at 590 Quivas St.

The showrooms will offer a variety of products and services an a range of styles from modern to contemporary and traditional to transitional. Each showroom was chosen for its unique product selection and the value they bring to trade professionals and homeowners alike.

“Gone are the days of the traditional design center model with exclusivity only to the trade and doors and walls between every showroom,” says Al Castelo, head developer of IDC. “When creating The IDC Building concept, my team and I visited major design centers around the country and discovered the demand for a more experiential retail model. We chose to build a community at IDC and create an accessible environment that encourages partners, homeowners and the trade to collaborate.”

So far, eight showrooms have signed onto to be part of The IDC Building:
  • Aztec Carpet & Rug
  • Benjamin Moore
  • Classy Closets
  • Custom Concrete Prep & Polish
  • Inspire Kitchen Design
  • Lolo Rugs & Gifts
  • T&G Flooring
  • Ultra Design Center
The functional displays will allow visitors to experience how products will look and work in their own homes.

The building was a collective effort designed by architect Hartronft Associates and developed and owned by Tri-West Companies.
 

Del Corazon apartments open in Westwood

A $40 million affordable housing project has opened in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood.

The 197-unit Del Corazon at 4400 Morrison Road is located on 4.5 acres spanning both sides of Morrison Road. All of the apartments will be available to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income (up to $35,280 for a one-person household or up to $45,360 for a family of three.

Community amenities include a clubhouse with fitness center, lounge, kitchen, patio, playground, futsal court, community plaza and Westwood’s first-ever car-share program provided by Enterprise. The project also features a new median for safe crossing of Morrison Road.

Del Corazon, meaning “from the heart,” was developed by St. Charles Town Co. Public finance partners include the Denver Office of Economic Development, Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Last year, Denver’s Community Planning and Development Office completed a neighborhood plan for Westwood, which is bounded by Sheridan Boulevard on the west, Federal Boulevard on the east, Alameda Avenue on the north and Mississippi Avenue on the south. The plan addresses the neighborhood’s isolation and food options, while celebrating the culture of the diverse community. The plan includes a health impact assessment from the Department of Environmental Health and addresses the neighborhood’s obesity rate, density and drainage issues and lack of recreation facilities.
 

RedPeak buys two apartment buildings in two weeks

RedPeak has acquired two Denver apartment buildings within a two-week time frame, bringing the company’s portfolio of multifamily properties to 29.

The company paid $11.5 million for the 69-unit property and adjacent parking lot at 960 Grant St. in Capitol Hill. The building was built in 1937 and consists of studios and one-bedroom units.

It paid Coughlin & Co. $14.75 million for 54 one- and two-bedroom apartments at 1375 High St. in Cheesman Park. The property was built in 1963 and renovated in 2008.

“With these two recent purchases, our current portfolio stands at 29, and we’re excited to be able to provide Denver’s growing population with quality residences in great urban locations,” says Bobby Hutchinson, RedPeak’s chief investment officer. “These are two of Denver’s finest apartment buildings, with classic brick facades and provide us with the opportunity to make renovations where needed and upgrade them even more with the RedPeak brand.”

RedPeak, which is actively pursuing acquisitions throughout Denver, is a full-service apartment owner, operator and developer with a portfolio of more than 2,300 units.

Family Jones distillery opens in LoHi

The Family Jones Spirit House has opened in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood.

The distillery at 3245 Osage St. is the result of a partnership between distiller Rob Masters and entrepreneurs Jack Pottle, Denielle Nadeau and Paul Tamburello, the developer behind the Olinger complex and Little Man Ice Cream. Justin Cucci, chef and owner of Root Down, Linger, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, Vital Root and El Five is also part of the team.

Located in a 2,000-square-foot space at 3245 Osage St., The Family Jones Distillery occupies the former Mancinelli’s Market building two doors from Root Down. Designed and built by tres birds workshop, the space pairs industrial elements with rich wood details. The roof was lifted to add a second-floor mezzanine where distillery operations are perched above a sunken, curvilinear, concrete bar. Guests enter the space through a large, square, woodent door made from reclaimed, on-site materials.

“This project has been a dream for several years,” Tamburello says. “The sharing of spirits and the idea of libation are part of many celebrations in life — whether it be celebrating the life of a loved one, toasting to new parents or even part of a liturgical service. It’s with this respect and knowledge that we enter this venture, crafting with care a family of spirits that will help people mark life’s special moments together.”

The 17-foot copper CARL still is where the blending begins. The Family Jones creates everything from vodka to gin and rum, as well as Stop Gap Whiskey, a house blend of whiskeys collected from Masters’ friends that will only be available at The Family Jones Spirit House during the distillery’s first years while The Family Jones’ house-distilled whiskey comes of age.

“We are making things that push the boundaries of a traditional cocktail bar,” Masters says. “We are putting our own spin on it. This is a distiller’s dream — to create all sorts of crazy things in small batches. It’s a test kitchen: If it doesn’t work, we can try something new.”
 

Colorado Enterprise Fund to participate in CO Impact Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oskar Blues to open in LoDo

Oskar Blues will open its third Grill and Brew location this fall at 1630 Market St. in LoDo.

The 10,636-square-foot restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily in the two-story structure. The traditional restaurant and bar service will be upstairs. Downstairs, the Black Buzzard music venue occupies 5,500 square feet and boasts a stage and professional sound system, grand-and-go food kiosk and full-service bar that accommodates up to 330 guests. Patrons can expect an impressive lineup of local and national bluegrass, rock, blues, reggae and folk musicians with scheduled performances.

“We’ve been working diligently over the past 20 years to evolve and perfect our concept, and now we’re ready to bring the Grill and Brew’s signature blend of Southern-inspired Creole and Cajun dishes and entertainment to Denver,” says Jason Rogers, Oskar Blues Grill and Brew's restaurant director and partner. “It mirrors the Lyons and Colorado Springs locations, while adding a signature Denver flair. We want to deliver something special that LoDo could call its own.”

The grand opening of the restaurant and music venue is slated for late November.

Founded and headquartered in Lyons, the Oskar Blues Fooderies division is a brand of the Oskar Blues Brewery.

Zeppelin Station gets Korean food vendor

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

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

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

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

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

The Bindery opens in LoHi

Chef Linda Hampsten Fox has opened The Bindery, a culinary concept modeled after European marketplaces where diners can shop for handcrafted products, grab a gourmet lunch to go or enjoy a chic fine dining experience all in one space.

Located in the recently opened Centric LoHi apartment complex in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood, The Bindery will offer options for breakfast lunch and dinner, seven days a week, as well as catering services.

“The Bindery is a culmination of everything I’ve done and provides the perfect platform to share my passion for the craft of cooking sustainable, local food rooted in my personal history and heritage,” says Hampsten Fox.

Hampsten Fox searched for years for a space large enough to accommodate the multifaceted experience. At just over 4,000 square feet, The Bindery welcomes visitors with a mix of modern style and old-world charm.

The marketplace, which surrounds the bakery/cafe, will offer a mix of seasonal products made in-house, including house Bindery Sriracha (referred to as Bindaracha), smoked maple syrup, cardamom pear butter and habanero tomato jam.

“Our customers lead busy lives, and they want options: to stay or go, be casual or be served, to snack or feast,” Hampsten Fox says. “Our goal is to provide them with convenient, high-quality choices.”

The main dining room focuses on meats and recipes borrowed from her Polish-Czech heritage, as well as the many years she spent cooking in Italy. The menu has a blend of shared plates, salads, homemade pastas and hearty main dishes.

“We hope to serve as a neighborhood hub where fresh food, bold flavors and exceptional service are our hallmarks,” Hampsten Fox says.

Business loan program for veterans created

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Confluence apartments open in new Denver high-rise

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bindery opens in LoHi

Chef Linda Hampsten Fox has opened The Bindery, a culinary concept modeled after European marketplaces where diners can shop for handcrafted products, grab a gourmet lunch to go or enjoy a chic fine dining experience all in one space.

Located in the recently opened Centric LoHi apartment complex in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood, The Bindery will offer options for breakfast lunch and dinner, seven days a week, as well as catering services.

“The Bindery is a culmination of everything I’ve done and provides the perfect platform to share my passion for the craft of cooking sustainable, local food rooted in my personal history and heritage,” says Hampsten Fox.

Hampsten Fox searched for years for a space large enough to accommodate the multifaceted experience. At just over 4,000 square feet, The Bindery welcomes visitors with a mix of modern style and old-world charm.

The marketplace, which surrounds the bakery/cafe, will offer a mix of seasonal products made in-house, including house Bindery Sriracha (referred to as Bindaracha), smoked maple syrup, cardamom pear butter and habanero tomato jam.

“Our customers lead busy lives, and they want options: to stay or go, be casual or be served, to snack or feast,” Hampsten Fox says. “Our goal is to provide them with convenient, high-quality choices.”

The main dining room focuses on meats and recipes borrowed from her Polish-Czech heritage, as well as the many years she spent cooking in Italy. The menu has a blend of shared plates, salads, homemade pastas and hearty main dishes.

“We hope to serve as a neighborhood hub where fresh food, bold flavors and exceptional service are our hallmarks,” Hampsten Fox says.

The Confluence apartments open in new Denver high-rise

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloth + Gold pitches a new niche in entertaining

A new Denver company promises to take the hassle out of entertaining.

Cloth + Gold is an online one-stop shop for dinner party essentials. The company will deliver all the ingredients for expertly set table directly to your door and retrieve them when the party’s over — no dishwashing required.

“Far too often, we get caught up in daily living and our online lives that we forget to actually live in the moment and make memories with those we care about,” says Bridget Rogers, the company’s founder. “I’ve had some of the best nights of my life at dinner parties — totally unplugged — and want to make it as easy as possible for others to share meaningful experiences with great friends, family, food and drinks in the comfort of their own homes.”

Each Cloth + Gold table is expertly planned and delivered straight to the host’s door. The company offers six styles of tables, with frequent additions based on new trends and seasonal occasions. Each table includes complete place settings, including charger, dinner and salad plates; wine glasses; flatware; and cloth napkins. A runner and centerpiece accessories also are provided. Hosts can purchase in increments of four for up to 40 guests.

Pricing ranges from $17 to $24 per place setting and is all-inclusive with delivery, cleaning and pickup. Tablescapes have a three-day rental period and can be ordered with at least seven days’ notice.

Cloth + Gold also provides a recommended playlist; suggested menu, including recipes; entertaining tips; example photos; and a timeline to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Hosts can purchase additional party supplies such as candles, cake toppers and cocktail services from Cloth + Gold’s online shop.

“Our goal is to regain the elegance and excitement of the social gathering without the hassle, Rogers says. “We want to create beautiful, celebratory experiences, where people are inspired to put down their phones, pick up their forks and truly connect.”
 

Tiny homes village for homeless receives final donation

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

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

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

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

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

Conde Naste names the ART hotel No. 1

Conde Nast Traveler has recognized The ART, a hotel as the No.1 Top Hotel in Colorado.

Located in the heart of Denver’s museum district, the 165-room hotel showcases an expertly curated in-house art collection with more than 50 pieces of contemporary work, the FIRE restaurant and rooftop terraces. The ART also offers artistic programming to match the hotel’s aesthetic, including the ART Run, where guests can receive a curated map offering an urban public run through Denver’s prominent public art pieces, as well as the ART Ride, which allows guests to use complementary customer-designed bikes painted by local student artists to explore downtown Denver.

“We are thrilled to receive this respected travel award alongside other notable hotels in our state,” says General Manager Aaron Coburn. “We thank our loyal guests for choosing our hotel as their home base in Denver and our passionate staff for making every guest experience so memorable.”

More than 300,000 Conde Nast readers submitted millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments, voting on a record number of 7,320 hotels and resorts, 610 cities, 225 islands, 468 cruise ships, 158 airlines and 195 airports.

The Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.”

Gallery, boutique opens in Cherry Creek North

A new design gallery and women’s boutique has opened at the corner of Third and Detroit streets in Cherry Creek North.

BOLDI sells women’s apparel and art prints featuring exclusive patterns designed by founder Andrew Bermingham, as well as complementary lifestyle accessories.

“Inspired by the graphic rhythms found in nature and technology, BOLDI celebrates superlative patterns,” says Christina Sage Quigley, BOLDI’s vice president of marketing. “Andrew has always been captivated by recurring graphics in nature, science and technology. The BOLDI brand is his canvas.”

Bermingham is a Denver native and the founder and artist behind BOLDI. In addition to design, he has spent 27 years in the energy sector and currently serves as CEO of Montreux Energy.

The store is featuring the line’s spring 2018 collection inspired by the Amalfi Coast in the 1970s. The line has warm citrus shades contrasted by moody blues and sea greens.

The store at 280 Detroit St. is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.
 

Dandy Lion Coffee to open at Zeppelin Station

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

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

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

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

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


 

Riverfront plaza opens at Confluence Park



At long last, the new $9.3 million riverfront plaza at Confluence Park is finished.

The project stalled for more than a year after coal tar was discovered buried on the river’s west bank. Work restarted last December and wrapped up with the culmination of a ribbon cutting on Oct. 14.

The completion of Confluence Park marks the first project of Phase II of River Vision, the expanded plan to improve the South Platte River corridor and make it the premier outdoor recreation destination and environmental educational resource for the city and the state. Since 2012, multiple partner organizations have raised nearly $50 million toward the renovation of parks along the South Platte. Phase I of River Vision created more than 30 acres of new parkland and greenways, and Phase II will include four additional revitalization efforts north of Confluence Park.

“For our growing city, it’s never been more important to protect, preserve and grow our parks and recreational opportunities, and reclaiming the river has been vital in celebrating and cultivating new outdoor experiences for Denver residents,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “Phase I of the River Vision investment has already transformed the banks of the South Platte into a spectacular network of parks for residents to enjoy, and there are more great improvements to come.”

Phase I of River Vision broke ground in 2013 and wrapped up in the spring with the completion of Grant Frontier Park. It also included Johnson Habitat, Vanderbilt and Pasquinel’s Landing.

In addition to Shoemaker Plaza, Phase II will include:
  • Globeville Landing Park
  • Heron Pond/Northside Park Master Plan
  • River North (RiNo) Park
  • RiNo Promenade
The completely rebuilt Shoemaker Plaza is now ADA compliant and includes improved bicycle and pedestrian flow, increased river access and new gathering places meant to create a vibrant environment at Denver’s historic birthplace.
 

Frank Bonanno to open food hall at Dairy Block

Denver Chef Frank Bonanno will open Milk Market at Dairy Block, a food hall featuring 15 restaurants and bars, in 15,000 square feet of space on the ground floor of the office and hotel building.

Milk Market concepts will include Morning Jones, a pastry shop; Bao Chica Bao, serving Asian street bao buns; Lou’s Hot & Naked, serving hot fried chicken; Albina by the Sea, a fresh seafood eatery named for Bonanno’s grandmother; MoPoke, a poke bowl concept; Green Huntsman, a salad bar; S&G Salumeri, a sandwich shop; Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria; Stranded Pilgrim, a tap room pouring Colorado beers; and Cellar, a wine bar.

“Dairy Block is going to be one of downtown Denver’s hottest new destinations for eating, drinking and shopping,” says Chad McWhinney, co-founder and CEO of development firm McWhinney. “We’re looking forward to continuing to share the other exciting retailers and restaurants who will be joining the Dairy Block family soon.”

Bonanno also will be opening another restaurant at Dairy Block, Engine Room Pizza, which will serve pizza by the slice.

Other tenants planned for Dairy Block include a speakeasy and a multi-shop market hall, cafe and workshop offering a variety of clothing, accessories and home wares from local and global brands and studios.

Dairy Block has 66,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, a six-story office tower and 172-room hotel.
 

Brisk condo sales prompt end to project's first phase of sales

The Laurel Cherry Creek condominium project is selling so well that the development and sales team are ending the first phase of sales on Nov. 30, giving interested buyers a limited time to buy a residence at current pricing and the opportunity to select their own finishes.

A second phase of sales for the high-rise condos will be announced during the first quarter next year.

“The level of interest has not only been high for Laurel Cherry Creek, but so has the sales pace, which is the reason we’re going to suspend sales during the holidays and announce a re-release in 2018,” says Dawn Raymond of The Kentwood Co. and the exclusive listing broker for the project. “Interested buyers still have a few weeks to act and finalize their purchase. Otherwise, we expect to see a new rush of interest and sales when we commence our sales efforts early next year.”

Residences have private balconies or terraces with glass railings; natural gas BBQ service and hose bibs on the balconies; linear gas fireplaces; 10-foot, 8-inch ceilings throughout the living areas; porcelain tile flooring in all bathrooms and laundry; and looped-wool carpet in all bedrooms.

“We have designed and built Laurel Cherry Creek to be the preeminent residential address in Cherry Creek, where owners will enjoy upscale, maintenance-free living in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the United States,” says Paul Powers, president of Pauls Corp., which is developing the project.

Studio NYL opens second office in RiNo

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

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

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

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

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

Craft makers open up shop in North Denver

Two of Denver’s homegrown makers, Craft Boner and Moore Collection, are teaming up to open their first brick-and-mortar store in North Denver.

Yes Please has opened a 3,000-square-foot retail and production facility at 3851 Steele St.

“Craft Boner and Moore Collections are very different brands, but for years we’ve shared the dream of opening a store that’s also a community space,” says Kiwi Schloffel, owner of Craft Boner. “Our vision is to showcase the real people and work behind our products with a retail space in front and a visible production area in the back.”

Craft Boner, known for its hilariously poignant gifts and paper products, started its online business in 2012, inspired by the dilemma of purchasing a greeting card that honestly says what the giver means. Brand favorites include a mug inscribed with  “Christmas is For Carbs” greeting card.

Moore Collection, owned by Tanner Barkin and Taylor Palmie, began in 2010 as a custom screen printing business in Barkin’s parents’ garage. Today, the duo designs and hand prints its own T-shirts, each with a high level of quality. Popular styles include imagery of Aspens surrounding a campsite, as well as designs inscribed with “The Mountains Are Calling” and “Take Me To The Trees.”

“Our goal at Moore Collection is to create something tangible, inspired by our own interests, that other people can enjoy,” says Palmie. “By juxtaposing our T-shirts with Craft Boner’s playful products, we’re confident that Yes Please will offer something for everyone while supporting Colorado makers.”

Yes Please will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
 

First residents move into Centric LoHi

The first residents of Centric LoHi have started moving into the 302-unit apartment complex at 18th Street and Central Avenue in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood.

Developed by Nashville-based Southern Land Co., Centric LoHi will broaden the mix of units available in the neighborhood, offering 42 studios, 50 efficiencies, 140 one-bedroom apartments and 70 two-bedroom units. Rents start at $1,480 a month.

“We're thrilled to be in the Denver market and to be able to showcase the commitment to high-quality development our company is known for,” says Cindy DeFrancesco, senior vice president of Southern Land. “Centric LoHi is the perfect community for residents who want upgraded amenities and easy access to all Denver has to offer.”

Amenities at the complex include a resort-style saltwater pool and hot tub, 24-hour fitness center and an on-site pet grooming salon. There are also courtyards, a club room, game room and wine lounge, as well as a rooftop deck overlooking downtown Denver.

The mixed-use community includes 9,300 square feet of restaurant space, including The Bindery, a new concept from local chef Linda Hampsten Fox, and Marcella’s, an upscale Italian cafe. Both are scheduled to open this fall.

Moxy hotel to open in Cherry Creek

Moxy Hotels is poised to open the brand’s first location in Cherry Creek.

Developed and owned by BMC Investments and managed by Vision Hospitality Group, Moxy Denver at 240 Josephine St. is steps away from restaurants and shops and just 10 minutes from downtown. The brand is part of Marriott.

“With its reputation as one of the most progressive cities, Denver embodies the essence of Moxy — fund, edgy and social,” says Vicki Poulos, senior global brand director for Moxy Hotels. “Business and leisure travelers will find a willing and able accomplice in Moxy Hotels to bend the rules of conventional hotel models, without worrying about disapproving stares from the crowd.”

The 170-room hotel will feature more than 3,000 square feet of communal spaces, ranging from quieter library/plug-in zones to the hotel’s buzzing bar. The bar, which will serve local beers and crafted cocktails alongside shareable finger fare, also doubles as the hotel’s physical check-in where guests are greeted with a complimentary Got Moxy cocktail upon arrival.

Moxy’s tech-enabled rooms feature keyless entry; motion-sensor lighting; internet TV featuring Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora, and Crackle; abundant power and USB outlets; and fast and free Wi-Fi.

Moxy guests enrolled in the award-winning Marriott Rewards loyalty program will be able to check in and out in advance and earn points during their stay that can be redeemed for flights, hotel accommodations and merchandise.

The real numbers: Center city neighborhoods add housing, but is it affordable?

Denver is on track to meet a goal set in 2007 to add 18,000 housing units in the city center by 2027.

The center city has seen an increase of 10,000 residential units since 2010, and another nearly 9,000 are under construction, according to the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Center City Housing report.

Even so, the units added have not been enough to keep housing costs affordable for some residents and workers.

“The Downtown Denver Partnership has advanced a variety of solutions to stem the impact of rising housing costs, ad we are focused on addressing the need for diversity in housing type and affordability to meet the needs for downtown’s workforce,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the partnership. “While our residential and employee populations are growing at unprecedented rates, we must ensure companies can continue to attract and retain the employees they need to be successful, and affordable housing is a key part of the equation.”

The partnership has led several strategic housing initiatives, including advocating for construction defects reform, working with developers to add a variety of unit types and endorsing the creation of the first affordable housing fund in the City and County of Denver. The partnership also played a key role in moving the LIVE Denver program forward.

Other insights from the report include:
  • Denver’s center city neighborhoods are home to 79,367 residents and 130,227 employees
  • Since 2010, the center city has added 15,877 new residents and 33,065 new jobs
  • Denver is the fourth fastest growing city in the United States, and the demand to live in the center city is high, with the residential population tripling since 2000
  • Capitol Hill is the most populous center city neighborhood with a population of 17,142 residents
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood adjacent to Denver Union Station experienced the highest percentage of population growth since 2010
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood also added the most new units since 2010, totaling 5,669 units completed or under construction, more than 3,800 more units than the next busiest neighborhood for development, River North.

Red Owl apartments bring new residences to the evolving West Wash Park neighborhood

Red Owl, a 46-unit apartment project in West Wash Park, is ready to welcome tenants.

The project includes lofts and townhome style units on South Logan Street between Ellsworth and Bayaud.

“We wanted to respect the scale and rhythm of the neighborhood, so we ended up with a composition that gives every unit useable and functional outdoor space,” says Chris Fulenwider, president of CF Studio Architecture + Development, architect and co-developer of the project. “We also emphasized energy efficiency using passive elements like large windows, outdoor circulation and overhangs, which not only result in lower energy use but also become part of the character of the building.”

Red Owl was named after the old grocery store of the same name on the adjoining lot, which recently was transformed into the Alchemy Co-Working Space.

“We took one look at the old Red Owl grocery warehouse and knew we could creatively repurpose the space as opposed to demolishing the classic barrel-roofed structure, giving it a new life,” Fulenwider says.

Alchemy opened in early September and already has attracted nearly a dozen companies. As part of its emphasis on wellness, the first floor of Alchemy also houses the newest expansion location for the Endorphin fitness studio.

“Chris and I wanted to create an authentic co-working space in the neighborhood that emphasized work-life balance and matched the positive entrepreneurial spirit of the city,” says Travis McAfoos, co-developer of the project.
 

The Record Company to headline holiday concert benefitting public schools

The Grammy Award-nominated Los Angeles band The Record Company is headlining the fourth annual Sing It To Me Santa concert Dec. 9 at the Ogden Theatre.

The concert will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools through the newly formed nonprofit organization Take Note Colorado.

“I am honored and proud to announce that Sing It To Me Santa will become a signature event under Take Note Colorado,” says Karen Radman, executive director of Take Note Colorado. “And, that net proceeds from Sing It To Me Santa 2017 will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools.”

The Record Company is a Los Angeles-based rock trio whose 2016 debut album was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Tickets for the show are available at www.axs.com. General admission tickets are $25-30, and VIP tickets are $250. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. For information on sponsorships for the show, contact Karen Radman at karen@takenotecolorado.org.

Denver-based vintage rock/funk/blues powerhouse Tracksuit Wedding will open the show, performing original new tracs from its just-released second album “Now or Never” — and some holiday favorites to celebrate the season. 

Take Note Colorado, chaired by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Isaac Slade of The Fray, is a new statewide initiative with a goal to provide access to musical instruments and instruction to all of Colorado’s K-12 students. Sing It To Me Santa is a benefit concert created in 2014 by Libby Anschutz.

City and County Building gets new composition for chimes

A new composition has been installed in the 10-bell chime of the Denver City and County Building. 

“Ascent,” by artist Kevin Padworski, will be played on significant and special days for the City of Denver.

“The goal of the composition was to capture the essence of the people the music aimed to represent — the people of Denver,” Padworski says. “With a quickly growing population, full of diversity and a multitude of backgrounds, I sought to create the music that would evoke this catalytic energy. The task of composing for bells combined with a limitted set of pitches was a unique and exciting challenge and privilege.”

Padworski visited the building multiple times to play and hear the bell tower. He planted himself “on location” downtown so he was surrounded by people he could draw the music from. The composition features ascending musical lines that represent the city — its growth, the people, the topography of the state and hope in its future.

“Bells have such an iconic and timeless sound, and it is my hope that this new music can be heard in a new way to serve and inspire the people of this city,” Padworski said. 

Lash Boulevard opens in Highland

A new spa specializing in all things eyelashes has opened at 1204 W. 38th Ave.

Lash Boulevard was built with customization in mind and provides lash extensions, lash lifts, chemical peels, facials, oxygen treatments, spray tanning, waxing and acne treatment.

“We understand that every person’s skin is different, and we customize our approach based upon each client’s unique skin tone, texture and tolerance,” says Karen Martiz, owner of the spa. “We continually educate ourselves on the best products and practices in the industry to ensure we’re providing proven treatments that show noticeable improvements for each client.”

Certified as a lash extension instructor, Martiz has created her own product line to improve the lash extension application process.

In addition to basic lash and skin services, Lash Boulevard’s treatments go beyond that of a typical spa — particularly in the realm of skincare. The spa offers a glow on the go light chemical peel that doesn’t produce lasting redness, dermaplaning and microdermabrasion among others. The spa also is one of the only Denver-based providers of the Face Reality acne treatment program. Lash Boulevard also offers microblading — the art of creating realistic looking eyebrow hairs using a permanent makeup technique. 

Lash Boulevard’s new location is available for continuing education classes for lash technicians, bridal party packages and private parties. Beauty packages can be customized to fit each group’s needs.

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.

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.

Saucy Bombay opens on East Colfax

Saucy Bombay has opened its doors at 2600 E. Colfax Ave.

The restaurant, created by husband-and-wife co-owners Marshall Miranda and Rhohini Saksena, brings Denver the flavors the couple has grown to love. 

“We have taken our time looking for the new location for Saucy Bombay,” Miranda says. “When the space on Colfax, across from East High School, became available, we knew it was the perfect new home for the concept.”

At the start of the serving line, diners are given a choice of a fresh Roti Wrap, a one-entree rice, quinoa, salad or yogi bowl; or a two-entree plate for the heartier appetite.

Entree choices include chicken breast, marinated skewered then grilled in the tandoor; steak, braised and boneless; braised leg of lamb; vegetable medley, sauteed and seasoned with turmeric and cumin; or slow-cooked and mildly seasoned garbanzo beans, along with paneer cauliflower rounds.

Moving down the line, guests then choose their sauce from an array, including tikka masala, korma, vindaloo, kadai, spinach and lentils. They then choose their side, with the star being the handmade naan, featuring a crisp exterior, fluffy core and distinctive charred flavor. The naan is offered in a variety of flavors with garlic and cheese to start. Other side choices include samosas, a turnover filled with potatoes and peas, or Bombay chicken; and potato vada, a lentil flour-battered potato dumpling.

Finally, guests can top their creation with a refreshing relish: either katchumber, a medley of diced cucumber, tomato or onions with lemon; or raita, a cool sauce of yogurt and grated cucumber, carrots and onions.

Entrees range in price from $8 to $11, depending on size and choices.

McWhinney acquires Hyatt House near DIA

Colorado real estate investor and developer McWhinney has acquired the 123-room Hyatt House Denver Airport Hotel.

Denver-based Sage Hospitality will manage the property, which is located a short distance from Denver International Airport. 

The extended-stay Hyatt House features spacious guest rooms with pillow-top Hyatt Grand beds and fully equipped kitchens. Hotel amenities include more than 1,000 square feet of meeting space, a heated indoor pool and hot tub, an outdoor grilling area and patio, a 24-hour fitness center and complimentary airport shuttle service.

McWhinney has been expanding its presence in the hospitality sector with several high-profile projects, including:
 
  • The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station
  • The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block
  • Courtyard by Marriott at Centerra in Loveland
  • The AC Hotel Portland Downtown in Portland, Ore.
  • The Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins

 

Elitch's donates tickets to North H.S. for fundraising

Elitch Gardens owner Rhys Duggan is donating $600,000 worth of tickets to the theme park to North High School to help with fundraising for capital improvement projects. 

Elitch’s also will provide North students with employment and internship opportunities at the amusement park.

“Elitch Gardens and Denver North High School have both been important institutions in our community for more than a century,” says Duggan, president and CEO of Revesco Properties, an owner and the managing member of Elitch Gardens. “North is our Speer Boulevard neighbor, and we are committed to doing our part to support the school, its students and its educators in the years ahead.”

At its original location at West 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street, Elitch Gardens was one of the first zoos west of Chicago and the home of Denver’s first symphony orchestra, first botanic garden and first Children’s Museum and activity center. It also was the site of Denver’s first motion picture theater and the Trocadero Ballroom, where most of Denver danced and romanced. 

Elitch Gardens opened in its current location next to the Pepsi Center in 1995.

New chef brings new menu to The Preservery

A new chef has joined The Preservery, and with a new chef comes a new menu.

Chef Mason Bennett, who has been tapped to lead the RiNo restaurant’s kitchen, will focus on small plates and items to share. His emphaisi is on simple, healthy food that highlights local and seasonal ingredients, as well as embracing The Preservery’s love for all things preserved.

Expect to see more vegetable-focused items as well. Bennett has worked with owners Obe and Whitney Ariss to add more personal touches to the imenu, such as the Colorado Fingerling Poutine, and Burnt Eggplant Baba Ganoush — homages to Obe’s Canadian and Lebanese roots. 

Some old favorites will remain, such as the octopus with smoked tomato sauce and the Growhaus kale caesar, as well as other mainstays like the cheese charcuterie and bread boards highlighting local and house-made items. Freshly baked breads made with local, organic flour will continue to be a focus, featuring naturally fermented sourdough, a recipe and method handed down from Whitney’s father.

A Boulder native, Bennett brings 18 years of experience working in restaurants such as Arugula, Jax and Basta.

Commons on Champa launches Women on the Rise

The Commons on Champa has kicked off new programming aimed at supporting the success of women entrepreneurs. 

Though the first Women on the Rise event has passed, the program will continue every third Wednesday through October. The breakfast event, sponsored by Noble Energy, is free and open to the public. The talk starts at 8 a.m. and requires a reservation.

“Denver has the fifth-highest percentage of women-owned businesses in the U.S., but we know that women and minorities often face significant barriers, including lack of access to capital, networks and the resources necessary to lead and grow a business,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership and co-founder of The Commons. “It’s more important than ever to connect women entrepreneurs to the right resources so that we begin to see higher rates of success in building and growing successful women-owned businesses right here in our center city.”

Women on the Rise is a collaboration between The Commons and Traci Lounsbury, president and co-founder of Elements, a $66 million workplace furnishings and integrated interiors solutions company in Denver.

“Despite starting businesses at a rate five times faster than our male counterparts, less than 2 percent of women-owned firms reach the million-dollar revenue threshold,” Lounsbury says. “When I heard that statistic, as a member of that 2 percent, I felt a strong responsibility to provide whatever support I could to help other women entrepreneurs break through to the next level.”
 

JCC renamed Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center

In an effort to recognize the contributions real estate developer Michael Staenberg has made to support the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) over the last few years, the center has been renamed the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center. 

Staenberg contributions to the JCC include thousands of hours of support and millions of dollars. He has provided the JCC with guidance to create cost savings and has also offered a vision for the JCC to work toward, positioning it for a successful future in the Denver community.

“It is an honor to be included in the JCC’s new name and, particularly, to have my name alongside Bob Loup’s, who was such an integral part of the JCC’s success for the past 47 years,” Staenberg says. “It is my belief that giving money is one way to provide support for an organization, but being generous with your knowledge, time and vision, like I have been fortunate enough to provide, can make a real difference. I am proud to support the JCC in these ways.”

The JCC is currently finishing up renovations to the interior and exterior of the building at 350 Dahlia St. and in the parking lots.

Cucci's El Five restaurant opens for business

Justin Cucci’s much-anticipated El Five has finally opened on the fifth floor of the building behind his famed restaurant Linger.

El Five boasts spectacular, unobstructed views of the downtown Denver skyline, as well as a sprawling view of the Highland neighborhood and the mountains beyond.

“We found a unique challenge in trying to unify the view on all sides of the space and ultimately, we ended up finding a creative way to activate both sides for the guest,” Cucci says. “They are distinctly different. When the sun is setting, the mountainside will be stunning and the whole bar opens up, coming together as an amazing experience that marries city, nature and space.”

The restaurant is the fifth concept for Cucci, owner of Denver-based Edible Beats. In addition to Linger, El Five joins Root Down (both in LoHi and DIA), Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox and Vital Root.

The small menu is streamlined, with plates meant for sharing. Highlights include three different kinds of paella; lamb rib shawarma; tortilla espanola; and whole roasted fish. Finish off dinner with a flan or kunefe (shredded filo dough, pistachios and goat cheese ice cream.

The cocktail menu features signature cocktails like the Pineapple Mint Collins (vodka, sekanjabin, lime, pineapple, mint and soda); The Old Turk (whiskey, Turkish coffee bitters and raw sugar); and Fez Medina (Rye, amaro, Aperol, orange bitters, cedar and lemon oil). There’s also a selection of wines and beers, as well as exotic cocktails served in a traditional glass pitcher that are meant for sharing.

Milwaukee firm acquires Burkettdesign

Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) has expanded into the Rocky Mountain region with the acquisition of Denver-based architecture and interior design firm Burkettdesign.

Burkettdesign will change its name to BurkettEUA, and its entire 27-person staff will join EUA. Burkettdesign’s leadership team, including owner Rick Burkett and principals Catherine Quintero, Michele Pinicsan, Gillian Hallock Johnson and Kitty Yuen, will become shareholders in EUA. AssociatePrincipal Ben Niamthet also will join the other principals as a member of the core leadership team of BurkettEUA.

“Burkettdesign was founded in 1990 and has established itself as one of the region’s most accomplished and recognized firms by focusing on client service and delivering high-quality, personalized services,” says Burkett says. “Those core values and the team providing them will not change, but what will change is our ability to offer our clients even more specialized services with the added resources, expertise and support that comes from combining with EUA.”

EUA has more than 180 employees in three offices in Wisconsin and Iowa. Its clients include a range of private and public organizations, including GE Healthcare, Ascension, Baird, Northwestern Mutual and Johnson Controls.

Burkettdesign clients include Charter Communications, Vail Resorts, Holland & Hart, TIAA, Comcast, Janus Capital Group, Lockheed Martin, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Sierra Nevada Corp.

“I see this union with Eppstein Uhen Architects as a merger of like-minded firms,” Burkett says. “Our cultures, our high design standards and our service-first mentalities echo each other. We are now a bigger, stronger firm that still puts our clients’ needs first.”

Cherry Creek gets new event space

Venue 221, Cherry Creek North’s premier event space, is launching the 2017 event season with special hourly rates, an invitation to preview the venue and a non-profit program dubbed The Great Giveback.

Venue 221 will donate the space to a non-profit organization quarterly. For more information about applying for the space visit Venue 221’s website

Venue 221 also is offering an hourly rate of $400 that includes tables, chairs, lounge furniture, in-house audio/visual and media wall.

Designed by Denver architect Michael Knorr, the 1,500-square-foot mid-century modern event space at 221 Detroit can accommodate receptions of up to 150 guests and seated dinners of up to 120 people. 

The modern decor offers warm walnut woods, artisitic wall coverings in a neutral palette, period-inspired lighting and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. The first floor Ashlar room features a built-in club-style bar adjacent to a cozy lounge area adorned with mid-mod furniture and a stone fireplace.

Venue 221 is hosting an open house at the venue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 20.

Denver Public Art Tours are back with new sites

Denver Public Art tours are back for 2017 with new sites, additional architectural focuses and more tours offered than ever before. 

New tour sites include Union Station, Denver International Airport and the Denver Public Library/Denver Art Museum campus. 

“We are excited to have widened our scope in terms of the variety of public art tours we’re offering this season,” says Brendan Picker, administrator of the Denver Public Art Program. “Thanks to our dedicated docents, both new and returning, we have about 14 different tours this year, from the classic Cherry Creek Mural and the Downtown Denver Bicycle tours, to the newly added Union Station History and Public Art Tour. 

The DIA tours are at noon on June 2, July 7 and Aug. 4. They will highlight some of the insider secrets and behind-the-scenes stories of the airport’s art collection, one of the largest in the country.

The Union Station tours are at 10 a.m. June 10 and 24; July 8 and 22 and Aug. 12 and 26. The tour explores the art in Union Station and some of the history of the building and its surrounding area. 

The Denver Art Museum and Denver Public Library Campus Public Art and Architecture tours will be held at 10 a.m. June 11 and 25; July 9 and 23; and Aug. 13 and 27. The tours will cover a broad array of artworks near the Denver Public Library main branch and Denver Art Museum. 

Two bicycle tours also are available: Cherry Creek Trail Urban Arts Fund Bike Tour at 3 p.m. July 16, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10; and Downtown Denver Public Art Bike Tour at 10 a.m. June 4 and Sept. 10.

Additional walking tours include:

• Colorado Convention Center Public Art Tour: Sundays, June 4 and 25, and July 16, 2 p.m.
• Burns Park Public Art Tour: Wednesday, July 12, 6 p.m.
• City Park Public Art Tour: Wednesdays, June 14 and July 19, 5:30 p.m.
• Commons Park Public Art Tour: Wednesday, June 21, 5:30 p.m.
• 14th Street Public Art Tour: Tuesdays, May 23, June 27, July 18, Aug. 22 and Sept. 12, 5:30 p.m.
• Civic Center Public Art and History Tour: Wednesday, June 21 and Thursday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m.
• Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Denver Performing Arts Complex Public Art Tour: Sunday, June 4, Saturday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m., and Sundays, July 9 and Sept. 10, 11 a.m.
• RiNo – A Tour of Creative Businesses, Public Art and Murals: Wednesday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, 3
p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 19, 6 p.m.

Design center to offer one-stop shopping

When the IDC Building opens later this year, design professionals and homeowners will have access to one-stop-shopping for appliances, flooring, furniture, hardware, lighting, plumbing and tile.

The building at 590 Quivas St. will have 60,000 square feet of floor space and house up to 15 of the metro area’s top home design showrooms.

“The traditional design center model is outdated,” says Al Castelo, head developer of IDC. “In recent years, people have strayed from the traditional mall-style setting, particularly when shopping for their next home  design project. They prefer their shopping experience to have interactive opportunities and a chance to visualize what designs will look and feel like in their own homes.”

The IDC Building is designed to keep pace with showroom advancements and investments being made in other major U.S. cities. The functional elements of the building were refined through conversations with some of the leading designers, builders and architects in Colorado. The conversations revealed a strong need for what became the IDC concept: a convenient, centrally located building with a collection of showrooms and products, where homeowners and designers can gather, shop and be inspired.

The layout, designed by Boulder architecture firm Hartronft Associates, will include views of downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains, soaring ceilings and a grand staircase. The open-floor environment encourages visitors to speak with vendors, meet with trade professionals, organize their selections and visualize their designs.

Wiggins opens Cattivela in Stapleton

Award-winning Denver Chef Elise Wiggins has opened Cattivella, a wood-fired Italian restaurant, in the Stapleton neighborhood’s Eastbridge Town Center.

Located on the southwest corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Galena Street, Cattivella joins upcoming chef-driven restaurants from Troy Guard, Lon Symensma, and the Kitchen Next Door.

“This is my ’hood, and I can’t wait to welcome my neighbors and friends into Cattivella,” Wiggins says. “This project is a dream come true for me.”

Wiggins brings decades of experience to Cattivella, including a 12-year stint as executive chef of Panzano. Cattivella’s menu is influenced by Wiggins’ many trips to Italy.

The focus of attention is the exhibition kitchen featuring an Acunto wood-burning pizza oven and a wood-burning grill from J&R Manufacturing. There is seating at the pastificio (pasta table) section of the chef’s counter where all pastas are house-made. There also are views of the Butchers’ Corner.

The wine program lists more than a dozen Italian wines by the glass. Big Bottle Mondays will showcase magnum and larger bottles of specially selected wines poured by the glass. A Coravin dispensing system will allow guests to purchase a taste of highly rated Brunellos, Barbarescos, Super Tuscans and others that might be too pricey by the bottle.

Cattivella will be open daily for happy hour and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends.

McWhinney starts two apartment projects

Developer McWhinney has broken ground on two multi-family projects in downtown Denver.

RIDE at RiNo, at 36th and Wynkoop in Denver’s RiNo district, will have 84 micro-loft apartments. Amenities include electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop deck, a fifth-floor clubhouse and on-site management. Car 2 Go will have two vehicles on site. A partnership with neighboring Helikon Gallery will provide a rotating display of artwork throughout the project.

Sova will have 211 apartments at the corner o 19th Avenue and Grant Street in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood. The majority of the units will be studios and one-bedrooms, with a sprinkling of two-bedrooms and a row of street-level townhome-style units. Amenities for the 12-story building include a golf simulator, a 24-hour fitness facility, co-working spaces, bike and ski repair, and a dog spa and bark park. The project also includes electric vehicle charging stations and a fourth-floor deck and fitness center.

McWhinney also has two other multi-family projects under development: Pinyon Pointe, a 166-unit apartment project in Loveland and the 405-unit Cycle Apartments in Fort Collins.
 

Paleo restaurant opens near 15th and Platte streets

Just BE Kitchen, a paleo, gluten-free and grain-free kitchen has opened at 2364 15th Street between Denver’s LoDo and LoHi neighborhoods.

Chef Carrie Baird has created a menu that features items from local purveyors like Neiman Ranch, Rocky Mountain Eggs, Frontier Natural and Red Bird Chicken. Menu items include the Meatzza featuring a sausage base rather than pizza dough. Breakfast is served all day and includes grain-free breads, cookies, and pastries made in-house, as well as a breakfast burrito wrapped in a house-made almond flour tortilla and filled with scrambled eggs. Menu entrees range from $8 to $13.

Just BE Kitchen’s coffee bar features coffee from Copper Door Roasters and Method Roasters.  A liquor menu complete with grain-free spirits is in the works and will launch later this spring.

“We want everyone to feel nourished and cared for when they are here,” says Jennifer Peters, one of the restaurant’s operators. “We want our guests to be able to have a mindful moment at Just BE Kitchen and feel like they are doing something good for their minds and bodies. Food is the vessel for the experience we want to create because food is at the heart of well-being.”

Just BE Kitchen is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. 

DAC starts $3 million improvement project

The Denver Athletic Club has started a $3 million renovation that will upgrade its fitness center, entry atrium, squash courts, locker rooms, and other spaces in an effort to boost its membership.

The work includes new flooring, lighting, paint, furniture, fixtures, and fitness equipment for the club, which was founded in 1884 and is one of the longest-standing private clubs in the nation.

Denver-based architecture firm Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative is spearheading the project for the member-owned club.

“We are highly confident in the ability of OLC to deliver a club that is not only beautiful, but also more functional and enjoyable to members,” says Jeff Dykes, president of The Denver Athletic Club. “The continued support and enjoyment of our members is our first priority, and we remain dedicated to merging rich tradition with best-in-class facilities.”

The Denver Athletic Club building was constructed in 1890. It is home to the first bowling alley west of the Mississippi River and its squash program is legendary. With 300,000 square feet of fitness facilities; full-service dining and banquet services; and organized social, business and athletic events, the club is accessible to members 24 hours a day. 

“We’re excited to kick off the renovation and to continue our club’s legacy of excellence,” says General Manager Mike Hestera. “Above all, The Denver Athletic Club is home to a vibrant community where members find a sense of belonging, both personally and professionally, and we’re certain the updates will only enhance their experience.”

Levitt Pavilion debuts with first concert July 20

Denver’s newest outdoor concert venue is gearing up for its grand opening on July 20.

The Levitt Pavilion Denver in Ruby Hill Park has announced the first wave of concerts for its inaugural summer concert season:
 
  • July 20: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
  • July 23: The Stone Foxes
  • Aug. 3: The Suffers
  • Aug. 4: John Fulbright
  • Aug. 24: Gaby Moreno

“Levitt Pavilion Denver began as a dream five years ago,” says Chris Zacher, founder and executive director of the nonprofit behind the venue. “Since then, we’ve been working diligently to turn this dream into a reality. We’re incredibly excited to begin presenting free music to the community, ensuring access to high-quality performances for people of all ages and socio economic backgrounds.”

Furthering Levitt Pavilion Denver’s commitment to supporting Denver’s music scene, each concert will feature at least one Denver-based opening act, to be announced at a later date.

The public is invited to bring their picnic blankets and lawn chairs to the free concerts.

“We believe Colorado’s music scene is something special and deserves to be showcased, as well as cultivated,” Zacher says. 

Through a partnership with Emporium Presents, Levitt Pavilion Denver also will present a handful of ticketed shows, featuring artists like UB40 and 311.

Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 30 free concerts this year featuring Denver artists and award-winning regional and national talent in an array of music genres. Next year and thereafter, Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 50 free concerts annually. Additional concerts will be posted on a regular basis

Alex Seidel and other chefs launch artisan pastry company

A team of Denver chefs has launched a wholesale artisan pastry company that will stock restaurants and retailers throughout the metro area with a variety of fresh pastries.

Fudmill is the brainchild of chefs Alex Seidel and Matt Vawter of Mercantile and Fruition and Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey of D Bar. They’ve set up a working bakery Denver’s Northeast Corridor near Swansea.

Fudmill recently signed an agreement with Whole Foods Market to bring 12 varieties of fresh pastries, including chocolate croissants, seasonal muffins and Danishes, scones, morning buns and pain aux raisins to customers at select Denver locations, including Cherry Creek, Washington Park, Colorado Boulevard and Tamarac.

“We are thrilled to offer exceptional pastries from some of Denver’s best culinary visionaries to our customers,” says Lauren Motley, Whole Foods Market Bakery associate coordinator. “Brunch, business meetings and holidays will be so much more decadent with these offerings — they’re truly world class.

The team’s creation of Fudmill stems from a commitment to creating the highest quality, seasonally inspired baked goods in the region. The venture is focused on the art and craft of traditional pastry making.

“Pastry isn’t something that’s easy to do well in high-production kitchens due to space and logistics,” says Seidel. “Opening our own pastry kitchen provides the luxury of more time and space to explore the art, and we’re able to create much higher quality recipes and pastries that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Economic development in Denver strong in 2016

2016 was a good year for economic development in Denver.

There were 579 affordable housing units created throughout Denver, and two mixed-income condominium developments at separate transit-oriented development sites, according to the Denver Office of Economic Development’s (OED) annual report on job creation and capital investment.

OED also supported catalytic development in Arapahoe Square, which has been a priority for the city, by providing gap financing for the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network’s new headquarters and innovation center. 

The city’s various incentive, tax credit, loan and training assistance programs helped 85 companies expand in Denver, collectively creating 2,968 new jobs and making more than $111 million in capital investments.

“During this dynamic period of growth for Denver, we have maintained a laser focus on propelling the powerful momentum of our economy forward, supporting diverse commercial sectors, good jobs, strong neighborhoods and a fertile climate for entrepreneurship,” says Mayor Michael Hancock. 

Other highlights of the annual report include: 
 
  • Completion of a comprehensive economic analysis to support the creation of an agribusiness innovation area surrounding the National Western Center redevelopment.
  • Support of 36 separate neighborhood development projects designed to enhance neighborhood vitality.
  • Increased access to contracting opportunities by growing the city’s business certification programs, with a total of 1,278 small and minority/women-owned firms earning more than $105 million from the city’s construction, professional services and purchasing opportunities.
  • Serving more than 30,000 people with job search assistance through Denver Workforce Services.

How to get a deal at Denver's best coffee shops

If you’re a coffee junkie, the Fika Coffee Passport is your ticket to learning all about Denver’s vibrant coffee scene.

The $20 passport features 28 craft shops and roasters featuring two-for-one coffee specials per venue between April 1 and July 31. Some of the participating venues include Allegro Coffee Roasters, The Denver Bicycle Cafe, Huckleberry Roasters, Pablo’s Coffee and Pigtrain Coffee.

Why is it called Fika? Because a fika is a custom in Swedish culture that celebrates a break from work for a bit of play. The Passport Program folks liked the idea of getting out of the office to meet a friend for a chat over a cup of coffee.

The locations in the booklet were selected for both atmosphere and quality coffee and each offers a one-of-a-kind experience. You can share your coffee with a friend or enjoy both yourself. Each location has crafted a speciality beverage that best represents their shop or practices. You can also substitute any craft coffee drink for a drip coffee.

For every book sold, $1 will be donated to Colorado Public Radio.

First community announced for 2017 Parade of Homes

The first wave of home builders has committed to the 2017 Denver Parade of Homes.

Joining the Parade this year is the Whispering Pines community in southeast Aurora and a list of builders that includes Brookfield Residential, Cardel Homes, KB Home, Oakwood Homes, Shea Homes, Taylor Morrison, TRI Pointe Homes, William Lyon Homes and Wonderland Homes. 

“The Parade is a great way for potential home buyers and current home owners to tour some of the city’s best new homes and exciting new neighborhoods,” says Karna Pryor, 2017 chair of the Parade of Homes and marketing manager for TRI Pointe. “Attendees will also get amazing ideas on decorating trends and the latest in architectural design.”

The 2017 Denver Parade of Homes will be free and open to the public from Aug. 10 through Sept. 4. During this time, the Parade will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

This year, the Parade is expected to showcase more than 60 newly designed model homes, custom homes and luxury homes in neighborhoods throughout metro Denver. More new home builders, locations, price ranges and home styles will be announced in the coming months, as will more details about the 2017 Denver Parade of Homes.

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.

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.

RedPeak sells One City Block to RREEF

Denver-based developer RedPeak has sold the One City Block apartment complex in the city's Uptown neighborhood to RREEF America LLC.

The mixed-use LEED certified apartment buildings have 302 units and more than 400 parking spaces that are all concealed in a full block between 18th and 19th avenues and Logan and Pennsylvania.

"One City Block transformed the expansive site of a former Romanesque-style Catholic school into a LEED-certified destination within steps of the state capitol and central business district," says Terrance Hunt, vice chairman of ARA Newmark Company, which represented RedPeak in the deal. "An infill site of this size never will be available again in such a prime location, making this asset truly irreplaceable."

Clustered around a central courtyard, the residential buildings share outdoor amenities, including a 25-meter lap pool, hot tub, full-size sport court, practice putting green, fire pit and lush patio areas. Each building has its own lobby and rooftop deck. In addition, there is a demonstration kitchen, fitness center, separate yoga/TRX studio with weekly classes, lounge with billiards and ping-pong, pet spa, bike shop and business center. 

"There is a very big part of our organization's soul that went into creating, designing, building and operating this special community," says Mike Zoellner, CEO of RedPeak. "Everyone on our team is very proud of what we created here, and we wish RREEF America LLC much success with this one-of-a-kind asset in the future."

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

Legacy breaks ground on Golden Triangle apartments

Legacy Partners has broken ground on TriVista on Speer, a seven-story 322-unit apartment project near Denver's Golden Triangle.

The project, located on Speer between 13th and 14th avenues, will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units. It's expected to be completed by early 2019.

"The close proximity to Denver's Golden Triangle and downtown amenities make TriVista on Speer ideal for a luxury apartment development," says Spencer Stuart, senior managing director of Legacy Partners, which is partnering with USAA Real Estate Company on the project. "The community is being planned to be amenity rich and to accommodate a healthy work/life balance for residents that work directly from home, in the community's shared office space or elsewhere in the Denver area."

Designed by the Denver office of architecture firm KTGY, the units will feature stone countertops, stainless steel appliances and gas stoves. A business center will provide onsite office space. The project also includes an outdoor pool and lounge; roof and sun decks with mountain views; a two-level fitness center with spin room and yoga studio; demonstration kitchen and wine cellar with individual lockers; dog spa; bicycle repair shop; and storage area for bike and ski equipment.

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

Stonebridge wins Emerging Company award

Denver-based hotel developer and operator Stonebridge Companies has received the Emerging Company award from the Association for Corporate Growth as a result of its continued profitability, social responsibility and community service.

Each year, the association grants awards to two Colorado companies that demonstrate excellence in growth strategies surrounding their markets, growth, customers or products and that display social responsibility and community involvement. The companies must have annual revenue between $10 million and $100 million.

"Stonebridge rises above all entries for its excellent management and long-term strategic execution on its growth plans," says Joanne Baginski, partner at EKS&H and chair of the corporate growth awards committee. "The company truly represents the spirit of these awards through its commitment to corporate growth in Colorado."

Stonebridge also was recently awarded the Marriott Spirit to Serve award in recognition of its community involvement and global awareness.

"We feel very proud to be the recipient of such a notable local award," says Navin Dimond, president and CEO of Stonebridge. "Through our commitment to our distinguished hospitality brand, our mission is not merely about growth as a company but also to contribute to and be active members of every community we represent."

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

Old firehouse to be incorporated into hotel

Focus Property Group has broken ground on the new Hilton Garden Inn at 1999 Chestnut St. near Denver Union Station.

A 12-story L-shaped tower will wrap around the historic Denver Hose Company No. 1, which will be restored as part of the development. The hotel will have 223 guest rooms, banquet and meeting rooms, a fitness center and other hotel amenities.

"It is easy to take for granted the amount of development that is taking place in our center city," says Tami Door, president and CEO or Downtown Denver Partnership. "Yet every project has the power to transform neighborhoods and drive economic development. This is no exception. Taking into account the history of the Hose Company No. 1 building, the integration into this vibrant neighborhood and the support of our tourism industry, this project is an impactful and meaningful addition to the landscape."

Built in 1882 for Denver's Volunteer Fire Department, the 3,224-square-foot building served the neighborhood known as the Bottoms, which today is part of the Central Platte Valley. By 1922, it had been converted into a print shop and later a welding shop, a purpose it continued to serve until at least the 1980s.

The building's architecture is representative of 19th century industrial construction and has only been slightly modified. Most of its significant exterior features are intact. 

Denver architecture firm Johnson Nathan Strohe is working with BOSS Architecture to redesign Hose Company No. 1 into a restaurant, pending the approval of the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission.

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

Colorado Lending Source boasts $346 million economic impact

Colorado Lending Source injected $346 million into the state's economy last year through approving a total of 270 business loans that helped created 1,845 jobs.

The not-for-profit business lender, which shared its economic impact report at its annual meeting, approved the loans in 15 different industry categories spanning 130 unique types of businesses in 65 Colorado cities and 27 counties.

"Colorado is the best place in the world to live, work, play and start or grow a small business," says Mike O'Donnell, the organization's executive director. "Our entrepreneurs are all amazing, and we were thrilled to see so many people come out to celebrate our success and all small-business achievement in  2016."

Colorado Lending Source also presented awards to five entrepreneurs: Clear Intentions, Maria Empanada, Sample Supports, Sweet Action Ice Cream and Vortic Watch Co. Juana Gonzales from Mile High Delights received the Ice House Achievement Award for effectively implementing strategies taught in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program and for launching her business as a result of the program.

Two banks also received an award: FirstBank received the Top SBA 504 Partner Bank Award for partnering with Colorado Lending Source on 23 SBA 504 loans totaling $45.9 million; and First National Denver received the Top SBA 7(a) Partner Bank Award for its partnership on 10 loans resulting in $9.1 million in financing.

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

Regis joins Catalyst HTI

Regis University will join the health-tech innovation campus Catalyst HTI, slated to open in RiNo in 2018.

As a higher education partner, Regis' College of Computer & Information Science (CC&IS) will bring its expertise in health informatics, data science and cybersecurity to Catalyst HTI, collaborating with other health-tech industry leaders such as Hitachi Inc., the American Diabetes Association and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to transform the digital health environment.

"Regis is proud to be a partner in this new kind of health-tech venture at Catalyst HTI," says CC&IS Dean Shari Plantz-Masters. "It signals we are involved in helping solve problems within our society, which dovetails so well with the Regis mission of educating and inspiring our future leaders to have a positive effect on the world."

Catalyst HTI is an industry integrator, bringing together relevant stakeholders in health-tech innovation -- from single-person startups and Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations and healthcare providers -- to build a community in which collaboration and integration lead to accelerated innovation within the industry.

"We are thrilled to have Regis University as a member of our community," says Mike Biselli, president of Catalyst HTI. "Regis is a leader in cybersecurity and the protection of health-care information. The College of Computer & Information Science's ability to attract industry leaders to join its faculty will help us accelerate our health-care innovations."

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

Five Colorado architects receive AIA fellowships

Five AIA Colorado members have been elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in recognition of an exemplary career with a broad impact on the profession.

Those honored include:
 
  • Brian Chaffee, principal with Fentress Architects of Denver, who has led and designed projects ranging from the monument enclosure of the Iwo Jima Memorial to large and complex museums, headquarters office buildings, courthouses, convention centers and airports.
  • Charles Cunniffe, founding principal of Charles Cunniffe Architects in Aspen, who provided leadership for the Aspen Area Community Plan, Aspen's Civic Area Plan and Aspen's Municipal Facilities Master Plan.
  • Don Dethlefs, chief executive officer of Denver-based Sink Combs Dethlefs, who is known for his work on sports, event, entertainment and arena facilities.
  • Lawrence Friedberg, State Architect for Colorado, who has successfully championed the need for funding of public buildings by working with numerous governors and state legislators to refocus the state's deferred maintenance program to improve facilities throughout Colorado.
  • Mark Outman, principal with Fentress Architects, who has elevated the public experience of airport terminals and experiential civic buildings through architecture.

"The fellowship program acknowledges those architects who have made an extraordinary contribution to the profession and to society," says Cathy Rosset, executive vice president and CEO of AIA Colorado. "Each of these individuals has helped to transform the practice of architecture through community collaboration, solid management and creative problem solving."

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

Logan House Coffee to open in Catalyst HTI

Logan House Coffee Company will open its second location at Catalyst HTI in River North.

Founded by friends Andre Janusz and Brooks Gagstetter in 2013, Logan House Coffee sources its beans from around the world and brings them to Colorado green to perform the roasting locally. Initially, Logan House Coffee was available only by deliver to customers' front doors and businesses. Recently the company added a retail location and moved its RiNo-based roastery to Stanley Marketplace in the Stapleton neighborhood. 

"We love the community focus of Catalyst," Janusz says. "We know how important community is to the success of a business, and we wanted to be in an atmosphere that offers a community feel -- a space that encourages work and creativity and engaging with those around you."

Located off the lobby in Catalyst, the 1,624-square-foot space will have a center counter and bar with style and finishes that reflect the RiNo neighborhood. Five Logan House roasts will always be offered on a monthly rotating basis, as well as beer, wine and specialty food items from local chefs, including breakfast burritos, pastries and charcuterie plates. The cafe will open early next year as part of Phase One of Catalyst.

"We are thrilled to be returning to RiNo, which has become the most innovative part of town," Gagstetter says. "And we are even more excited to be part of the premier project in the area."

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

Preservery chef to appear on Food Network's "Chopped"

One of Denver's own will be appearing on Food Network's Chopped at 8 p.m. Feb. 21.

Dave Hadley, sous chef at The Preservery, will face off against three other chefs preparing a three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, entree and desert. In each round, they have to use all the ingredients the show provides them, even if they are a little strange. At the end of each course, a panel of three guest judges chops one chef sho doesn't measure up. The last chef standing takes hop $10,000.

Hadley has been cooking at The Preservery since the beginning nearly a year ago. He discovered his love for food early on after spending time in the kitchen with his grandmother. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hadley has worked for many of Colorado's esteemed restaurants and chefs, including Acorn and the first Biju's Little Curry Shop.

Hadley also loves to teach kids about cooking and has been known to give impromptu classes when young friends stop by. 

"The Preservery is very proud to call him a leader on the kitchen team and grateful to benefit from his tireless drive, his attention to detail, his creative spirit and his passion and talent for making things taste delicious," says Whitney Ariss, co-owner of the restaurant. 

The restaurant will be closed the evening the show airs for a viewing party.

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

DAM revitalization spurs exhibit on North Building's history

With the Denver Art Museum's upcoming North Building revitalization project, an exhibition on the renowned modernist building, its history and its future will open Feb. 19.

"Then, Now, Next: Evolution of an Architectural Icon" will feature historical photos, original architectural sketches, building models and project renderings to tell the story of the North Building's evolution.

The exhibition showcases architect Gio Ponti's original vision for the building and explores how the North Building has served an expanding and diversifying community since opening its doors in 1971. 

It also features the museum's future plans and outlines the guiding principles for the revitalization project: Responsibly managing and caring for buildings and collections, offering a superior visitor experience, unifying the campus and inviting the entire community to enjoy the museum and programs.

The historic Western American art galleries will close to the public after Jan. 29 for the North Building revitalization project. A selection of artworks from the DAM's collection will be on view at History Colorado in "Backstory: Western American Art in Context," opening March 18. Contemporary Western American art will remain on view on the second level of the Hamilton Building.

The North Building revitalization project is being funded, in part, by a $25 million pledge from Lanny and Sharon Martin, the largest financial gift in the museum's history. In recognition of the Martins' gift, the North Building will be renamed the J. Landis and Sharon Martin Building.

Designed by Boston's Machado Silvetti Architects and Fentress Architects of Denver, the revitalization project is estimated at $150 million. Key project elements include bringing the museum's renowned educational programs to the center of the campus, expanding gallery spaces for growing collections, including Design and Western American art, completing Ponti's original vision for visitor access to stunning seventh-floor views, exterior site improvements, a new welcome center and updating environmental and other key systems to current-generation technology.

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

Denver housing inventory hits record low

The number of homes on the market in metro Denver dropped 6.47 percent to 3,989 in January -- an all-time low for any January on record, according to a recent report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR).

"Low housing inventory has been a key driver for over two years now, and I don't see that changing any time soon," says Denver real estate agent Steve Danyliw, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee. "Historically, inventory follows a seasonal pattern. We see the bottom in January to February, then peaking in late August to September. The second driver is mortgage interest rates. All predictions indicate a steady rise in interest rates throughout 2017. This could compel buyers that are sitting on the sideline to get into the big game."

The number of homes sold declined by 33.21 percent in January, compared to the previous month, but the average sold price increased 3.86 percent to $448,373. The median sale price remained relatively unchanged at $380,000. Year-over-year housing prices have increased 9.25 and 9.99 percent in the average and median sale prices, respectively.

"Sellers are thrilled by the price appreciation and buyers are frustrated by the low inventory," Danyliw says. "If you're a real estate agent working with a homebuyer under the$400,000 price point, you have a front-row seat to a real estate feeding frenzy."

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

Closetbox awards scholarship to student entrepreneur

College student Josh Doering was selected from 120 applicants to receive the $5,000 Closetbox Entrepreneur Scholarship, an award that recognizes the importance of those starting a business to stay in school through the end.

Denver-based Closetbox selected Doering, a student at Morningside College Sioux City, Iowa, for his ability to take an idea and turn it into something real and functioning. Doering saw the need to increase safety and efficiency on the farm where he grew up and created Seed Slide, a remote box opener that is useful for adding safety and convenience into any bulk seed tote operation. 

"In various startup communities, a negative view of college education has taken hold, and we take issue with this," says Marcus Mollmann, Closetbox founder and CEO. "We believe in keeping bright young people in school through the end, as these minds are starting the businesses of tomorrow."

Closetbox, a full-service storage company, has grown to more than 60 locations in two years. The company provides free pickup and handles the heavy lifting to move customers' belongings from their homes to secure storage facilities. the company inventories a customer's items, then provides them with a personalized dashboard so they can view their items online. From the dashboard, customers can request any or all items to be returned on demand.

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

Regus opening new coworking concept in Ballpark

The largest provider of flexible workspace globally is bringing its new coworking space concept to Denver. 

Regus plans to open SPACES Denver-Ballpark Feb. 27 in a historic building at 2301 Blake St., featuring 40 dedicated desks, a 5,000-square-foot business club, three meeting rooms for members and community residents and concierge-level hospitality services. Coworking memberships start at $199 a month. SPACES will also offer 140 private offices starting at $650 a month.

"The Millennial customer is going to be attracted to the building and the neighborhood," says Michael Berretta, vice president of network development for the Americas at Regus. "It will also be attractive to a whole host of companies, whether it's corporations, law firms or media companies. What we're seeing is increased demand for that type of location close to restaurants and evolving residential growth areas."

Regus is opening SPACES locations across the country and around the world.  Locations that are already up and running include Amsterdam, The Netherlands; London and Liverpool in the United Kingdom; Long Island City, N.Y.; and Menlo Park, Calif. It has plans to open locations in France, Norway, Italy and Switzerland later this year.

"Our strength is a global network," Berretta says. "When a company looks to us for this type of environment, they're getting more than a single location."

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

DIA celebrates Colorado's Western lifestyle with exhibit

Travelers at Denver International Airport can experience the history of Colorado's Western lifestyle through the Arts and Culture Program's latest exhibit: "True Colorado: Western Heritage, Then & Now."

The exhibit, located at the Ansbacher Hall in the Jeppesen Terminal on Level 6 before A Bridge Security, is on display through March. It celebrates the western cultural history of the state and features past and present artifacts and information.

The Mayor's Office of the National Western Center, an initiative of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, plus four significant Colorado establishments are featured for their contributions as tourist destinations, educators and beacons for important cultural and Western traditions. The exhibit explores the history, future vision and creativity of each operation as they forge into the future while still embracing their long-running Colorado legacy.

In addition to the Mayor's Office, participating exhibitors include the National Western Stock Show, Colorado State University Extension's 4-H, Rockmount Western Wear Manufacturing Co. and The Colorado Saddlery Co.

DIA's Art and Culture program administers the City and County of Denver's 1 percent for art ordinance, which enhances public places and features nearly 34 site-specific works, including sculptures, murals and other installations. Pieces are displayed in outdoor landscapes, inside Jeppesen Terminal and on airport concoures, as well as in the train tunnels and on the train itself.

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

Healthcare crowdfunding platform joins Catalyst HTI

A healthcare-focused crowdfunding platform is the latest tenant to sign on with Catalyst Health Tech Innovation, an industry integrator that’s bringing together relevant stakeholders in health-tech innovation.

Seattle-based angelMD is will lease space in the 300,000-square-foot building under construction on the west side of Brighton Boulevard between 35th and 36th streets.

"We are looking forward to working with Catalyst HTI to accelerate digital health innovation in Denver and across the country," says Tobin Arthur, founder and CEO of angelMD. "Our partnership will be a valuable asset to drive change in how individuals, especially medical professionals, invest in the innovation taking place throughout the healthcare industry."

As one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the United States, Denver is becoming a favored location for many startups from across the country, including those in health IT. Denver has attracted a new and innovative culture that combines favorable cost of living, availability of talent and a great quality of life.  AngelMD’s goal is to tap into the innovation culture and add to the growing tech economy in the city.

"AngelMD will find the Denver community welcoming and engaging," says Mike Biselli, president of Catalyst HTI. "This is the perfect environment for them to thrive, and we are excited to embed their innovative investment marketplace operations within the Catalyst HTI community."

AngelMD connects medical startups, physicians, investors and industry through a digital platform that leverages the strength of its growing network of experts. It enables startups to create profiles in the site and develop exposure to potential investors, customers and acquirers.

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

Pre-sales for Vine Rowhomes begin

Koelbel Urban Homes has started pre-sales of The Vine Rowhomes in central Denver's Wyman Historic District.

Located at Vine Street and 14th Avenue, Vine's 14 row homes will be in three separate buildings and stand three stories tall, with the top-floor lofts opening onto rooftop decks. Each building will feature a brick exterior, decorative cornices and a front porch for watching the city go by. 

"This project is truly at the epicenter of the best of everything Denver has to offer, as it is situated between two of the city's most famous parks -- Cheesman and Congress Park," says Carl Koelbel, vice president of Koelbel and Company, the parent company of Koelbel Urban Homes. "The homes offer a modern design aesthetic while maintaining the historical integrity of the Wyman Historic District."

Flowing floor plans on the main level allow for generous living rooms, dining space and gourmet kitchens punctuated by central islands. The second floor houses at least two bedroom suites and a laundry room. Full, unfinished basements are standard and ideal for a family rec room and additional bedroom suite. Intimate courtyards connect homes to detached garages with alley access.

"We are always looking for urban infill projects that are going to improve upon Denver's already great neighborhoods and embrace their individual history and identity," says Peter Benson, senior vice president Koelbel and Company. "With its modern interpretation of 1880s architecture, Vine slips right into the classic feel of the Wyman Historic District, one of central Denver's oldest neighborhoods."

Prices for Vine start in the $600,000s. Three floor plans, ranging from about 2,000 to 2,400 square feet, are available.

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

Riverfront Park available for events

Beginning April 1, Riverfront Park can be reserved for various events and programming, including art installations, public gatherings, outdoor movies and concerts.

Located between Lower Downtown and the Highland neighborhood, Riverfront Park is a high-foot traffic area that’s in a great location to attract a large and diverse group of passersby to various events.

"We are thrilled to offer Riverfront Park to the community as a place to bring people together," says Don Cohen, president of Riverfront Park Neighborhood Association. "We are looking forward to seeing how the park will be transformed and hope that it will provide the Denver community a space for engagement, enjoyment and collaboration."

The goal is to activate the space in a creative and thoughtful way without disrupting park-goers or harming the natural riparian environment and green space. All events in the park must comply with the Denver Parks and Recreation requirements and guidelines.

Programming and event inquiries can be made by contacting Jordan Kincaid of East West Urban Management at (720) 904-6904. For additional information please visit www.riverfrontparkassociation.com.

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

Commuters: Transit pass more valuable than parking space

Workers in downtown Denver placed a higher value on a transit pass than they did on a parking space in the Downtown Denver Partnership's annual commuter survey.

The 2016 Downtown Denver Commuter Survey revealed that 87 percent of employees rate a transit pass as a very valuable or valuable employer-provided benefit, which is also the most common employer-provided transit benefit with 68 percent of employees receiving a fully or partially subsidized transit pass.

"It's clear that employers play a big role in impacting commuting habits," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Specifically, when employers offer employees a transit pass as part of their employee benefits, they are 67 percent more likely to use transit and 28 percent less likely to drive alone. It's imperative we work closely with employers and transportation providers to encourage employees to consider alternative modes of transportation in order to achieve our goal to create a truly multi-modal center city."

Also notable is that for the first time in five years, the number of people driving alone (40.3 percent, up from 38.5 percent in 2015) exceeds the number of people who regularly use transit (39.6 percent, down from 40.6 percent in 2015). Seventy-four percent of those who regularly drive to work alone are open to considering other modes.

"Our goal is to increase the number of people choosing to bike, walk and take transit while reducing the number of people who drive alone to under 35 percent by 2021," Door says. 

It's not just new options that impact commuting decisions. Factors like age and gender and commute length, which averages 13 miles among all commuters, have an impact as well. For example:
  • Younger male commuters are more likely to bike and walk
  • Females in their thirties and forties are more likely to drive alone
  • Transit use increases in older commuters
  • 30 percent of commuters who have a commute length of five miles or less drive alone, despite having more options than those with longer-distance commutes. These short-distance commuters are also more likely to walk and bike to work
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Rosemark wins Senior Housing News award

Rosemark at Mayfair Park won the 2016 Architecture and Design Award for Best Assisted Living Community from Senior Housing News

The 88-apartment assisted living and memory support community at East Eighth Avenue and Jersey Street was selected from the largest field of entries in the award's history.

"We're pleased to have this amenity in the Mayfair neighborhood," says Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman. "Rosemark attracts many residents from within a few blocks, assuring they stay connected to friends, family, healthcare facilities and cultural venues integral to central Denver."

Designed by Denver's Studio Completiva, Rosemark at Mayfair Park is the first senior living community developed by Rosemark Development Group. It reflects themes that are increasingly important to older adults and their children, such as a balanced lifestyle, locally sourced menus, environmentally friendly surroundings and social connectivity. 

A total of 33,000 square feet of interior community spaces are light-filled, varied and plentiful. Private apartments come in a variety of configurations and feature large windows, kitchenettes and private baths. the 72,000-square-foot community offers a range of amenities and programming, along with highly trained staff who deliver personalized care and services. 

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

Solis Townhomes breaks ground

Work has started on the Solis Townhomes, the latest for-sale affordable housing to be developed in Denver. 

Located at 3390 Humboldt St. in the Cole neighborhood, the 11 townhomes will be available to moderate-income households later this year. The project features two- and three-bedroom units with prices set at $147,000 and $167,000, respectively. The two-story townhomes range from 1,268 to 1,954 square feet and each includes an unfinished basement. Amenities include solar panel energy savings and off-street parking.

Households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (up to $44,900 for a one-person household or $57,700 for a family of three) are eligible to purchase the homes.

"In today's challenging real estate market we're proud to celebrate each and every new affordable home ownership opportunity that we're able to bring forward," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "The Solis Townhomes illustrates our ability as a city to leverage additional income-restricted units for Denver's hard-working families."

Cecil Development is developing the Craine Architecture-designed project for the Colorado Community Land Trust, which will own the land beneath the townhomes and ensure long-term affordability.

The project is one of the final developments under way that is the result of the city's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, which changed this month with the implementation of Denver's new dedicated fund for affordable housing. The IHO required developers of projects with 30 or more units to invest in Denver's affordable housing, either by providing 10 percent of the projects units as affordable, by providing a cash-in-lieu payment or by negotiating an alternative satisfaction with the city.

The Solis project fulfills an alternative satisfaction agreement with The Pauls Corp. for the development of a 71-unit condominium project at 155 Steele St.

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

RiNo mural encourages unity

A new mural recently installed in the RiNo Art District is designed to encourage people to reflect on our similarities, instead of our differences.

Internationally renowned mural artist Kelsey Montague created #WhatUnitesUs on the corner of 26th and Larimer streets to create an interactive dialogue about unity and the shared human experience through art. The RiNo Art District plans to expand on the mural and campaign in the coming months to engage the diverse communities of Denver in further conversation, programs and projects to better connect with and support them.

"Our country and city are feeling the stress of dividing forces now more than ever," says Jaimie Licko, president of the RiNo Art District. "It is our home that this project ignites a conversation within RiNo and across Denver about meaningful ways we can work together, support each other and raise each other up. RiNo is currently benefitting from strong economic growth, and we feel it is our duty and responsibility to ensure that the diverse communities that surround us are not isolated from that but instead are part of it."

Montague previously gained notoriety for her mural series #WhatLiftsYou, a mural project that encouraged people to snap photos in front of a set of muraled wings and share them online, providing everyone the opportunity to share more about what inspires them in life. 

"Kelsey is a major player in the mural scene," says Tracy Weil, co-founder and creative director of the RiNo Art District. "We are so excited to welcome her back to her hometown to create such an impactful piece. We are committed to utilizing our platform as an art district to advocate for social impact through art."

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

Edgy arcade opens at Pavilions

An edgy arcade just opened next to Lucky Strike in the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall.

FTW  (For The Win), interconnected with the existing Lucky Strike, is about 15,000 square feet and features more than 100 arcade games ranging from classics such as Skeeball and pinball to the modern and highly popular games Showdown and Outrun Super Deluxe. There's also the World's Largest Pac-Man, four-person air hockey and a photo booth that uploads pictures directly to  social media accounts.

"My wife and I like to create places that people can go and have something to do other than just eat and drink," says Steven Foster, CEO of Lucky Strike Entertainment, which operates both venues.

The arcade's high-tech swiping system lets you track balances and winnings, giving gamers the freedom to come and go at any time without having to cash out or take home tokens or tickets. An 850-square-foot retail store dubbed The Payoff has more than 250 prizes, including boardgames, XBOXes, Surface Pros and the Apple Watches.

Denver is Lucky Strike Entertainment's third FTW venue nationally. 

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

Car wash project earns Baratta CREW award

Entrepreneur Emilie Baratta has received CREW Denver's Step Up award, an honor recognizing her entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to the environment and efforts to make a difference with her real estate projects.

Gleam Car Wash at West 38th Avenue and Wolff Street is the latest project for Baratta, founding principal of Turnbuckle Development. Gleam is the greenest car wash in Colorado thanks to state-of-the-art water recycling programs and other energy efficiency investments, as well as a commitment to biodegradable chemicals. 

Gleam also practices socially aware employment strategies, seeking to hire cognitively impaired people and recent non-English-speaking refugees for up to 50 percent of its staff, giving them career development opportunities and not just a transient job.

"Emilie embodies everything the Step Up awards stand for," says Kim Duty, the 2017 president of CREW Denver. "As founding principal of her own real estate development firm, she's a role model to other women in commercial real estate. She's also making a real difference in the community by investing in the lives of her employees and our environment."

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

Hotel Indigo opening near Union Station

Denver's newest hotel will open its doors Jan. 20 at 1801 Wewatta St. in the thriving Union Station neighborhood.

Hotel Indigo Denver will offer 180 guestrooms and 1,388 square feet of meeting and event space, which can accommodate up to 200 people in a variety of layouts. These include the Hickenlooper Boardroom, as well as the Green Room and the Russell Room, which can be combined into a larger Green Russell room. All are equipped with the latest amenities, including high-speed wireless Internet access and digital projectors.

"The Hotel Indigo Denver is a perfect complement to our growing portfolio of third-party managed hotels in top urban markets with high barriers to new entry," says Robert Cole, president and CEO of Hospitality Ventures Management Group, an Atlanta-based, private hotel ownership and management company. 

The LEED-certified hotel, part of InterContinental Hotels Group, was co-developed by Portman Holdings and Hensel Phelps.

Rooms feature hardwood floors; polished concrete ceilings; interior sliding barn doors; oversized beds with throw pillows and a plush duvet; spa-inspired showers with complimentary Aveda products; and murals depicting Denver, the Rocky Mountains and Colorado's Front Range. A complimentary 24-hour fitness studio is equipped with Lifestyle cardiovascular machines, free weights, televisions, showers and locker rooms.

The hotel is pet-friendly and will offer treats, canine cocktail hours and dog-walking services to guests' furry friends, who will receive a warm welcome from the hotel's resident dog ambassador, Barkly.

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

New Discover Denver website encourages public participation

Discover Denver, a project to identify historic and architecturally significant structures across the city, has launched a new website that invites the public to share stories about Denver's buildings.

The website offers an interactive map that lets users post stories and background about specific buildings, including photos and documents. The map will feature photos and histories of some of the buildings Discover Denver has surveyed, along with stories users have shared. The site's Discoveries section features findings and reports compiled from past survey areas, including Mid-Century Modern buildings in Harvey Park, prewar residences in Park Hill and Berkeley and streetcar commercial districts in Globeville and Cole.

"We invite anyone with a story to tell to share it at DiscoverDenver.co," says Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver. "Maybe a building was owned by your family for generations or was an important gathering place for your community. We want to capture and catalog its role in Denver's history, no matter how big or small."

Denver joins other cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tulsa, that are conducting building surveys. The benefits of building surveys include uncovering buildings of historic and architectural significance; providing property owners and real estate agents up-front information about buildings to inform reinvestment and sale decisions; equipping city planners with information about historic resources when creating neighborhood plans; bolstering civic pride and heritage tourism.

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

Final phase of Sugar Block underway

Jordy Construction has broken ground on SugarSquare, a four-story, 10,800-square-foot building at 1530 16th St. in Lower Downtown.

Designed by Semple Brown Design, the building, under construction between the historic Sugar Building and Spice Building, is the final component of the three-building Sugar Block project started by Urban Villages in 2003. It will feature an exterior facade of glass and blackened stainless steel with a green roof and amenities deck on top. Each floor also will be connected to the Sugar Building. 

"We are committed to maintaining the integrity of the area and delivering the project in a way that supports our client's needs," says Sean Wardroup, president of Jordy Construction. 

Urban Villages refurbished the historic Sugar Building at 1530 16th Street in 2008. An additional two floors were added to the top of the original four-story tan-brick structure building in 1912, bringing the building to its current six-story height with 64,000 square feet of space. Urban Villages also opened the SugarCube office and apartment building in 2008, leasing five of the building's 37 high-end apartments within the first two months.

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

Ritz lobby, meeting space gets new look

The Ritz-Carlton, Denver started renovating its lobby and more than 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space on the hotel's Plaza Level this month.

The overhaul, expected to be completed in mid-March, includes a new lobby lounge with a cozy area for guests to sit and relax, new lighting, upholstery, wall coverings, modern furniture and other Colorado-inspired decor. Two ballrooms, six meeting rooms, the grand staircase and all pre-function corridors, all of which will display artwork from local artists, also are being refreshed.

The renovations come just two years after the 9-year-old hotel updated its 202 guestrooms and suites with a similar color palette of blues and neutral, creamy tones. Last year, the Ritz renovated its award-winning spa, which included adding a 2,229-square-foot fitness center, new salon and updated reception area.

"We are really excited to be in the final phase of our three-year, $12 million renovation project," says Grant Dipman, the hotel's general manager. "The redesigned lobby and meeting spaces will capture the beauty and unique feel of Colorado with contemporary design providing our guests with a true  sense of place."

BLD (Bilkey Llinas Design), located in Hong Kong and Palm Beach, Florida, designed the project drawing from Denver's adventurous spirit and contemporary architecture with a blend of clean urban details complemented by images often seen in nature. A color palette of neutral, champagne-silver tones are enhanced with contrasting hues of deep blue, purple, soft gold and white.

The Ritz-Carlton, Denver is a six-time recipient of the AAA Five-Diamond award and is ranked Four-Stars by Forbes Travel Guide. 

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

re:Denver forum to explore demolition, adaptive reuse

The next installment of the re:Denver Forum series will explore demolition, density and adaptive reuse as it gives attendees a sneak peek into the space that the Bigsby's Folly Craft Winery will occupy when it opens this spring in an 1886 warehouse at 3563 Wazee St. in RiNo.

The Jan. 17 forum "Old Buildings, New Tools" will feature speakers Brandon Spencer-Hartle, senior city planner at the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, and Tom Mayes, vice president and senior counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They will discuss different approaches to the challenges demolition presents to neighborhoods. 

Spencer-Hartle will address Portland's recently adopted Deconstruction Ordinance and other approaches that foster both density and preservation. Mayes will explore the opportunities presented by innovative adaptive reuse ordinances, as well as ways to shift thinking about demolition to recognize not only preservation concerns but also environmental and social issues. 

The re:Denver forums always include interactive activities to gather the thoughts and perspective of participants, a presentation from the guest speakers and a robust question and answer session. Historic Denver hosts the forums every other month at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday. Locations and topics vary. 

Doors for the free forum open at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m.

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

Confluence tower tops out

With the recent topping out of The Confluence, the 35-story apartment tower developed by PMRG and National Real Estate Advisors is on track to open this spring.

Located at the site Denver was founded at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, the building will feature a heated outdoor pool and hot tub on a large deck overlooking Confluence Park, cabanas with individual fire pits, master grilling stations and skyline lounges with NanaWall systems, a professional chef's kitchen and fitness center. The general contractor is Clark Construction and the architect is GDA Architects.

"The Confluence is our first venture into the Denver market, and we're very excited to contribute to the positive growth taking place in this vibrant city," says Bryant Nail, executive vice president of multi-family development for PMRG, a Houston-based real estate company that develops and acquires property in 30 markets. "We have an outstanding track record with similar properties in other parts of the country, and we're pleased to make The Confluence one of our most recent additions to our portfolio."

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

Real estate veterans launch commercial brokerage

Veteran Denver commercial real estate brokers Kyle Malnati and Greg Johnson have launched Calibrate Real Estate, a new commercial brokerage firm focused on the apartment market and investment sales.

"Our focus is to serve private investors and niche investment firms with a high level of personal service, professional analysis and local market expertise," Johnson says. "Denver is receiving unprecedented national interest, and this isx creating new opportunities for investors at every level."

Before launching Calibrate, Malnati and Johnson led the commercial real estate division of Madison & Co. Properties Ltd. They have combined career sales volume of nearly $300 million, making them one of the leading apartment brokerage teams in Denver.

"We made the decision to go out on our own and launch Calibrate Real Estate to fill the brokerage gap between what residential firms can't do and what commercial firms won't do," Malnati says. 

Malnati and Johnson have served as commercial brokers for several of Denver's most established real estate companies, including Cornerstone Apartment Services, Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors, Unique Properties and Marcus & Millichap. They joined forces at Madison & Co. four years ago, where they were awarded top producer honors every year between 2012 and 2015.

"Throughout my real estate career, I've had the opportunity to experience a variety of roles from broker assistant to senior broker and now employing broker," Malnati says. "The timing felt right to begin my next venture in real estate."

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

Boulder tech company to manage parking, commuter solutions at Union Station

Denver Union Station has hired a Boulder-based transportation technology company to help manage all third-party transportation at the bustling transit center. 

CommutiFi, developer of the BluCar mobile app, will manage the curbside along Wynkoop Street to improve efficiency and access for all Union Station guests.

"Denver Union Station has hired CommutiFi to redefine curbside management and usher in the latest technologies and services that are helping people get around," says Sean Timmons, vice president of asset and risk management at McWhinney, which is a member of the Union Station Alliance. "We want to be at the forefront in changing the transportation ecosystem in downtown Denver, and this partnership is a progressive first step in the right direction."

More than 14,000 people pass through Denver Union Station on the Regional Transportation District's regional bus, light-rail and commuter-rail services. Additionally, The Crawford Hotel and the property's nine restaurants and bars are busy destinations for Denver residents and travelers.

CommutiFi's software and management platform will integrate parking, ride sharing and first- and last-mile solutions for commuter. BluCar is now powering Union Station's valet services, which allows guests to experience ticketless valet parking and request vehicles back in advance. In the coming months, the CommutiFi platform will be expanded to include valet and ridesharing validations, a customized employee parking program for the building's more than 700 employees and an enterprise solution for nearby businesses. There also are plans to launch a shuttle service that will connect commuters to other parts of downtown.

"We are excited to showcase the CommutiFi platform and all of its multimodal capabilities at such highly trafficked and progressive destination," says Rich Schmelzer, CommutiFi's founder. "Union Station is the jewel of Denver, and we look forward to hosting other transit centers, campuses, business districts and mixed-use developments at this location who want to learn how to deliver a seamless, subsidized end-user experience to their customers."

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

Home2 Suites by Hilton opens at DIA

Home2 Suites by Hilton has opened its newest property at Denver International Airport.

The 111-suite hotel at 6792 Tower Rd. will provide visitors convenient access to Buckley Air Force Base, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Home2 Suites also is near prominent companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, G.E., Panasonic, Amazon Fulfillment Center and the new FlightSafety School.

"Our convenient location, spacious suites and modern amenities provide an ideal choice for travelers visiting Denver," says Suzan Forston, the hotel's general manager. "Our team is excited to welcome guests seeking outdoor recreation and relaxation, as well as those traveling to the area for business with a lodging option designed to fit their needs."

Owned by DIA Tower Road LLC and managed by Baywood Hotels, Home2 Suites by Hilton offers all-suite accommodations featuring fully equipped kitchens and modular furniture allowing for guests to personalize their rooms. the hotel also features easy access to technology with complimentary wired and wireless Internet, community spaces and amenities such as Spin2 Cycle, a combined laundry and fitness area; Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items; and the Inspired Table, a complimentary breakfast that includes more than 400 potential combinations. The pet-friendly hotel also offers an indoor saline pool, fire pit and barbecue grill area.

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

Larimer Square opens new event venue

Looking for a cool new space to host your next event or party?  Consider Larimer Social, a modern venue that recently opened on Denver's historic Larimer Square.

With 6,800 square feet and expansive views, Larimer Social combines the charm of its Larimer Square location with a flexible space that accommodates up to 200 seated guests or 480 for a standing reception. 

High ceilings and windows provide a sunlit backdrop for daytime events. At night, the canopy of lights over Larimer Square add a glow to the second-floor space and provide a perfect backdrop for dinner and dancing.

"Transforming spaces is what Larimer Square is known for, and we're incredibly proud of what we have to offer with our latest venue: Larimer Social," says Jeff Hermanson, CEO and president of Larimer Associates. "Bringing together colleagues, peers, friends and family with great food in an iconic setting creates the kinds of memories that last a lifetime. We're grateful to the Denver community for allowing us to be stewards of this beloved block as we continue to create unique settings for people to connect in authentic ways."

Award-winning chefs provide premiere catering to the venue from the Larimer Square restaurants, including Troy Guard's TAG, Jennifer Jasinski's Bistro Vendome, Frank Bonanno's Osteria Marco and Richard Sandoval's Tamayo. 

Introductory rates for Larimer Social, located at 1427 Larimer St., range from $2,500 to $4,000.

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

Tile and stone distributor opens northeast Denver location

Pental Surfaces has selected Denver to open its fifth location.

The company's new facility northeast of Stapleton at 10000 E. 40th Ave. consists of a 7,000-square-foot showroom and a 73,000-square-foot warehouse that will house its products, including PentalQuartz, Lapitec and natural stone slabs, as well as porcelain, ceramic, glass and metal tile and mosaics.

"We're pleased to be opening our fifth location in Denver," says Peter Pental, the company's founder. "This is a strong market and an ideal place for our first step as we expand inland off the West Coast."

The company's Denver showroom will be open to the public six days a week. Both homeowners and industry professionals are encouraged to visit and talk to Pental's experienced and knowledgeable team about the right materials for their spaces. 

Pental Surfaces started in 1999 with just a few selections of granite slabs and has since grown into one of the largest wholesale tile and stone distributors on the West Coast. The company has facilities in Seattle; Los Angeles; Fife, Wash.; and Portland, Ore.

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

Winners of Mayor's Arts & Culture Awards announced

A panel made up of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs and Denver Arts & Venues employees have selected the winners of the 2016 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture.

"Denver is full of talented artists and performers filling our galleries, museums, theaters and concert halls and enhancing our daily experiences with arts and culture," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says. "These award recipients exemplify Denver's vibrant and diverse cultural and artistic scene. Through the work of these dedicated and inspiring individuals and groups, the arts have become more accessible, visible, interactive and integrated into the lives of our residents and visitors."

 The winners are: 
 
  • Arts & Culture Youth Awards: Denver Public Library, After School is Cool, a five-day-a-week program that enriches the lives of underserved Denver youth at five library locations
  • Arts & Culture Impact Award: Huitzilopochtli Azteca Dance for its effort to enrich the lives of Mexican youth and their families through 50 free performances per year at schools and churches
  • Arts & Culture Innovation Award: Elisa Narizhnaya, Denver Online High School, who continually finds innovative ways to establish a sense of community for her students 
  • Arts & Culture Global Award: Denver Young Artists Orchestra for providing high-level music education and world-class opportunities for students to work with top teachers and coaches
  • IMAGINE 2020 Award: Dan Manzanares for his skill at collaborating with individuals and groups such as Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Denver VOICE, the American Museum of Western Art, Doors Open Denver and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

BMC, Bow River to develop Cherry Creek office building

BMC Investments is continuing its investment in Cherry Creek with the acquisition of 2727 E. Second Ave., where it plans to develop an eight-story office building with 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. 

BMC is teaming up with Bow River Capital on the project. Both firms will relocate their offices into the building. It's the sixth land acquisition BMC has made in Cherry Creek since October 2012.

"There are so many great things going on in Cherry Creek that our belief in the neighborhood now and over the long term continues to grow rapidly," says Matt Joblon, CEO of BMC Investments. "The ability to acquire one of the best locations within Cherry Creek to build a new standard-setting mixed-use project that we can own long term aligns perfectly with our business plan."

BMC and Bow River are talking with several other companies that are interested in relocating to the project, which will be designed by 4240 Architects and built by Haselden Construction. The project will comply with the 15 percent open space requirement by creating an activated public courtyard for the community. The building also will have a full rooftop deck for all office tenants to use. 

"We are excited to partner with BMC Investments on this one-of-a-kind office asset, which will emphasize cutting-edge and sustainable architecture for our long-term investment in one of Denver's strongest neighborhoods," says Blair Richardson, CEO of Bow River. "The development presents a tremendous opportunity to establish Bow River Capital Partners' corporate headquarters alongside other successful financiers in the vibrant and energetic Cherry Creek North."

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

Zeppelin Station breaks ground

RiNo pioneer Zeppelin Development has broken ground on a 100,000-square-foot office and retail building at 3563 Wazee St.  just steps from 38th & Blake Station.

Inspired by the success of The Source, Zeppelin Station's ground floor will be home to experiential food and beverage concepts. Zeppelin is working with operators of several multicultural food purveyors to establish grab-and-go counter eateries, as well as an anchor restaurant for a sit-down dining experience. The project also is expected to offer shops focused culinary goods, as well as fashion and design.

"The station itself is just a platform," says Kyle Zeppelin, principal of Zeppelin Development. "They don't have this historic station to have the shops and restaurants waiting for people to come off the train. The idea with this project is to provide that public amenity."

Zeppelin has a number of tenants lined up for the office space, many of which are relocating from the developer's nearby Taxi project. Tenants include Dfine Branding, Dynia Architects, Starbuck Realty Group, Brandfolder and WunderWerkz. Zeppelin Development also is moving into the new building.

"We're taking advantage of a more central location and the positive momentum we're seeing in RiNo," Zeppelin says. 

Designed by award-winning Dynia Architects, will feature indoor-outdoor open spaces characterized by high ceilings, natural light and native landscaping. Office suites will have roll-up, glass garage doors that open onto terraces overlooking the Denver skyline and Rocky Mountains. Zeppelin is seeking LEED certification for the project.

The project comes just as the city has committed more than $47 million to infrastructure improvements that will come online in the next two years. Construction is under way for a modernized Brighton Boulevard, which will have the city's first elevated cycle tracks, as well as wide sidewalks and green stormwater filtration by 2017. Construction begins this year on the RiNo Park on the South Platte River just four blocks from Zeppelin Station. The park will establish a series of flexible and creative gathering spaces for the community, such as a garden court and a library.

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

MSU Denver faculty showcase their own artwork

Ever wondered what the people who teach art create? Now's your chance at the Metropolitan State University of Denver Center for Visual Art's (CVA) biennial exhibit that showcases the studio art and design of its faculty and staff.

The exhibits, located at 965 Santa Fe Dr., are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

COLLECTIVE NOUNS: MSU Denver Art Faculty Exhibition is on view Nov. 18 to Jan. 21, bringing together objects across a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, video and typography representing the artists' experiences, influences and interests. The exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to see how the team of faculty and staff weave together all of their disparate backgrounds and teachings to work toward the common goal of educating students from all walks of life to become innovative creative professionals.

"As an off-campus art center, it's important to make the connection with the university art department for vistiors in order to give context to the year-round exhibitions we bring to the community that include student works and significant contemporary art," says Cecily Cullen, managing director and curator at CVA. "COLLECTIVE NOUNS makes that link and as a biennial exhibition we are able to show the evolution and innovation of subjects and methods that our educators bring to students."

Many works in the exhibition will be for sale. The student-run 965 Gallery at CVA is showing a concurrent exhibition titled TIME: MSU Denver Student Exhibition featuring student-submitted artwork juried and curated by students that reflect the theme of time.

Events, which are free and open to the public, include:
 
  • Opening reception: 6-8 p.m. Nov. 18
  • Art and Digital Technology: 6 p.m. Dec. 1; artist talk with Michael Bernhardt, Kelly Monico, Jessica Moore and Tsehai Johnson
  • Fonts of My Family: The Fleeting Craft of Cursive Writing: 7 p.m. Dec. 2, artist talk with Shawn Meek
  • Conflict Crock Pots: 6 p.m. Dec. 7, slow-cooked politics, history, community, culture and imperialism discussion with Matt Jenkins
  • Outsider Art and Disability in Art and Design: 6 p.m. Dec. 7, artist talk with Alan Murdock
  • is EMANCIPATION: 6 p.m. Jan. 18, book release and talk with editors Peter Bergman and Zoe Larkins
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Winners of Mayor's Design Awards announced

Mayor Michael Hancock recently honored 17 projects for the contributions they've made to Denver's public realm at the 2016 Mayor's Design Awards recently held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

"The theme that emerged from this year's field of winners is transformation," Hancock says. "The impact that these projects have made on their streets, their neighborhoods and the city will be felt for years to come. The owners and their project teams have shown a clear commitment to design with intention with results we can all take pride in."

Since 2005, the awards have been presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Winners range from community placemaking projects and adaptive reuse of historic structures to single-family residents and major mixed-use downtown buildings. Each brings something special to Denver's visual fabric and speaks to the city's collective commitment to building healthy, sustainable communities.

The 2016 Mayor's Design Award winners are:
 
  • Wheels Go Round, 16th Street Mall
  • Bindery on Blake, 2901 & 2875 Blake St.
  • Mental Health Center of Denver's Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, 3401 Eudora St.
  • Freight Residences, 3515 Ringsby Ct.
  • One City Block, 444 E. 19th Ave.
  • Blue Moon Brewing Company -- RiNo District, 3750 Chestnut Place
  • Denizen, 415 S. Cherokee St.
  • Denver Art Museum Administration Building, 1226 Bannock St.
  • The Metlo, 1111 Broadway
  • The ART, a hotel, 1201 Broadway
  • Room & Board, Cherry Creek, 222 Detroit St.
  • Galaxie, 3520 E. Colfax Ave.
  • Torchy's Tacos, 1085 Broadway
  • Halcyon Hotel, 245 Columbine St.
  • Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver, 1600 W. Colfax Ave.
  • Private residence, 4025 Grove St.
  • Private residence, 2510 S. Lowell Blvd.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Koelbel, Trailbreak to develop affordable housing at SLOANS

Koelbel and Company and Trailbreak Partners are teaming up on a mixed-use project at SLOANS on the former St. Anthony Hospital site.

Plans for the site, known as Block 3, include:
 
  • Restoration of the Kuhlman Building to provide 49 apartments affordable to households earning 60 percent of area median income or below
  • Up to 27 market-rate row houses on West 17th Avenue, Quitman Street and West 16th Avenue
  • A new 2,200-square-foot cafe to be co-located with a 4,300-square-foot public plaza at the northeast corner of 17th Avenue and Perry Street
"SLOANS Block 3 will be a vibrant, active and attractive community that will include a diverse mix of housing and commercial uses to enhance the legacy of St. Anthony's and strengthen connections to Sloan's Lake and the existing neighborhood," says Carl Koelbel, vice president of Koelbel  and Company.

The project is receiving low-income housing tax credits, tax-increment financing from the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) and a performance loan from the Denver Office of Economic Development.

"The ability to preserve a historic building, provide affordable housing and deliver new amenities to the community are key goals of the area's urban redevelopment plan," says Tracy Huggins, executive director of DURA. 

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

Rita and Navin Dimond Fellows named

Bridget "Birdie" Meyers has been named the second elite fellow of the Rita and Navin Dimond Fellows Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver's Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events

Meyers, a senior with an events management concentration, received a $5,000 cash award. She was accepted into the program in the spring and has since been working at Stonebridge Companies' Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites property downtown as a front desk agent.

"After speaking with managers of the properties and faculty at MSU Denver, we felt that Birdie exceeded expectations," says Navin Dimond, founder, president and CEO of Stonebridge and a member of the MSU Denver Foundation board. "Our selection of Birdie was based on her exceptional work performance. Birdie is a role model for all students and embodies qualities that we hope to cultivate in the next generation of hospitality leaders."

Four other new fellows also have been announced: Marcus Bosco, Michallee Gallegos, Andrea Marin and Risa Wolffis.

The Dimond Fellows Program was established after Rita and Navin Dimond provided a generous donation to the Hospitality, Tourism and Events department to support the Hotel Management Program. A significant portion of the Dimonds' contribution was specifically reserved to endow the program as a shared commitment to excellence and passion for fostering future hospitality leaders. Fellows are provided with unique professional development opportunities, including a paid internship with the executive teams at Stonebridge hotels for one semester, which counts toward their senior experience.

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

Fish N Beer opens in RiNo

The latest addition to RiNo's restaurant scene debuted this week with Fish N Beer opening at 3510 Larimer St.

As its name suggests, fish and beer are the stars of the menu. The casual restaurant has 16 beers on tap to showcase the flavor profiles and enhance its seafood dishes. 

Chefs Kevin Morrison and Aniedra Nichols are partners in Fish N Beer, which is a dinner-only casual restaurant with a serious approach to all things seafood and beer. The menu features grilled oysters, arctic char, a whole hybrid bass, halibut cheeks and a Greek stone bass, all served with a choice of one side dish such as grilled Brussels sprouts, parmesan-roasted acorn squash or rotisserie cauliflower.

There are also baskets of tempura rock shrimp and buffalo-fried oysters, served with fries and  a delicious slaw. As for sandwiches, there's the lobster-crab Louis roll or a hearty mushroom "steak" sandwich, both served with fries and slaw.

Morrison's restaurants include Taco, Tequila, Whiskey and Poco Toreria. He's been recognized by Bon Appetit, Huffington Post and Men's Journal.

Formerly the executive chef at Elway's Cherry Creek, Nichols' dishes have been recognized by the James Beard House, where both she and Morrison have cooked on several occasions.

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

Xfinity delivers gigabit speeds to Coda in Cherry Creek

The recently completed Coda in Cherry Creek apartment building is the first property in Colorado to deliver gigabit speeds to residents through Xfinity's Advanced Communities Network (ACN).

Coda developer Zocalo Community Development has been committed to innovation in the multifamily industry since its founding in 2001, boasting a number of Denver-area first in apartment development, including in-building bicycle maintenance shops and electric vehicle charging stations.

"This investment in network infrastructure at Coda property is a notable differentiator for us in the Denver area," says Susan Maxwell, principal and COO of Zocalo. "Our building is registered for LEED Gold certification, making it one of the smarter and more sophisticated properties in the region. By offering gigabit speeds to our residents as an additional amenity through Xfinity Communities, we are providing the infrastructure needed to support smart home and environmental technology, which are two very important priorities in Colorado."

Located at First Avenue and Steele Street, the 12-story building features a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging 902 square feet in size. Each unit has custom tile flooring, quartz countertops, an in-suite front-loading washer and dryer and keyless entry. Many units also offer private balconies and California closet designs in the master suites.

Community amenities include:
 
  • A rooftop swimming pool and community lounge, featuring a chef's kitchen and outdoor grills
  • Concierge services
  • Health and fitness center with space for meditation and yoga
  • Climate-controlled garage with spaces to accommodate all residents
  • An exclusive entrance for residents into The Kitchen, the highly-rated, farm-to-table restaurant opening on Coda's ground floor in 2017
"We're thrilled to be open and to be offering a truly boutique hotel-type lifestyle in one of Denver's most sought-after neighborhoods," Maxwell says.

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

New affordable housing in Five Points available for rent

Century Real Estate Advisors has completed construction of Welton Park, a 223-unit affordable housing complex at 2300 Welton St. in Five Points.

Designed by Humphries Poli Architects P.C. and built by Calcon Constructors, the apartments are now available for lease.

"We've been hard at work on this development during the past three years, and it's with tremendous pride and satisfaction that we're now able to announce its completion and continue to help meet the high demand for affordable housing in Denver," says Brent Snyder of Century Real Estate Advisors. "The city of Denver, DURA (Denver Urban Renewal Authority) and the State of Colorado Division of Housing all worked extremely hard to make this community a reality, and we're all looking forward to delivering these quality residences in a price range that is more affordable to most people. It's another step in the right direction."

Welton Park offers studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with prices ranging from $420 to $1,250. The units are available to people earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

Amenities at the pet-friendly Welton Park include a fitness center and on-site laundry facilities. The two-building complex is close to the library and Curtis Park and within walking distance to the 25th & Welton light-rail station.

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

Uniqlo opens on 16th Street Mall

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has opened its first Colorado store at the Denver Pavilions shopping center on the 16th Street Mall downtown. 

The two-story, 17,000-square-foot store showcases Uniqlo's full assortment of clothing for men, women and children.

"Our mission is to enhance people's lives through our clothing, and we are excited to introduce products like ultra light down jackets and Heattech Innerwear for Colorado's active, outdoor lifestyles," says Hiroshi Taki, CEO of Uniqlo USA. "We hope to bring a new, unique customer service and shopping experience to Denver Pavilions."

Uniqlo also brings its social responsibility efforts to Denver, including the all-product recycling initiative in which customers can drop off gently used Uniqlo clothing in a bin at the store for donation to those in need. The brand will host its "A Warm Gesture" in-store shopping experience in November and December to help provide warm winter clothing to homeless children across the country.

Uniqlo's apparel is designed with the Japanese values of simplicity quality and longevity. The company has more than 1,700 stores in 18 markets, including 45 stores in the United States and its e-commerce website, uniqlo.com.

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

Mountain Khakis to open on Larimer Square

Wyoming-based Mountain Khakis will open its first independently owned retail store on Denver's historic Larimer Square in Feb. 2017.

The mountain town-inspired lifestyle apparel brand will open a 600-square-foot preview store Nov. 17. The store will feature the brand's selection of mountain-inspired accessories and apparel and play host to Santa and visitors as part of Larimer Square's popular holiday tradition every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

"Mountain Khakis was born in the mountains so it is natural for us to open our first independent retail location -- our flagship store -- in the Mile High City," says Ross Saldarini, president of Mountain Khakis. "Larimer Square is a vibrant block that perfectly suits our brand's playful spirit, and we look forward to establishing roots in the Denver community. The store will provide outdoor and fashion devotees a closer look at our Jackson Hole heritage, which showcases a fusion of old west and new west flair combined with urban appeal."

Mountain Khakis' offerings for men and women include pants, tops and outerwear with performance details that will transition easily from the trail to city streets without sacrificing style. The company also offers accessories ranging from canvas market tote bags fashioned with recycled climbing rope to handcrafted glass belt buckles, artisan-made trade bead bracelets and  American-crafted leather luggage.

"We are thrilled to welcome Mountain Khakis' first-ever retail location to Larimer Square," says Jeff Hermanson, president and CEO of Larimer Associates. "Our goal on the historic block is to provide unique retail opportunities and Colorado-specific experiences not found anywhere else."

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

Hitachi Consulting joins Catalyst HTI

Hitachi Consulting is the latest company to join Koebel and Co.'s growing roster of tenants for Catalyst, a 180,000-square-foot office and retail space at 35th Street and Brighton Boulevard.

Hitachi Consulting has been designated as the "Strategy Technology Partner" for Catalyst HTI (Health-Tech Innovation) and will be taking advantage of the opportunity to collaborate with other health-tech industry leaders  in developing creative solutions that will enable healthcare companies to transform their businesses in the digital era.

"Denver is at the center of digital healthcare innovation in the United States, and Catalyst HTI will be the hub for this vibrant health-tech community," says Hitachi Consulting VP Kerry Sims. "We are very excited about the new location and the potential to collaborate with the other tenants in a building that sits at the heart of one of the most exciting and innovative neighborhoods in the nation, not just Denver."

Catalyst, which recently broke ground, is 40 percent pre-leased to 10 tenants, including Kaiser Permanente, Terumo BCT and Premier Manufacturing. The building still has 70,000 square feet of space remaining -- the largest available space in RiNo.

"With the groundbreaking of Catalyst, we are bringing the next generation of office space to the area with a focus on creating and generating community and collaboration in concert with traditional office users in every facet of the project," says Walter "Buz" Koelbel Jr., president of Koelbel and Co. 

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

Shift Bannock opens in Golden Triangle

Shift Workspaces has opened Shift Bannock, its newly developed Golden Triangle location at 1001 Bannock St.

The 22,000-square-foot location provides concierge-level service and amenities to entrepreneurs, small businesses and professional service providers.

"Shift offers a shared workspace community for established professionals, along with unparalleled amenities and a genuine workplace culture," says Grant Barnhill, founder and CEO of Shift Workspaces. "Our facility promotes a sense of well-being for our members and was intentionally designed to promote workplace happiness. We've learned that we all respond positively or negatively to our environment -- that views are preferable to walls, light is preferable to dark offices and that working outdoors brightens our days."

The Bannock location joins Shift's existing Corona Street location near Cherry Creek North. Both spaces are designed to cater to entrepreneurs who want committed service in a creative atmosphere conducive to fun, collaboration and culture. From professional workshops to premium wine tastings and international film screenings, Shift strives to consistently surprise and delight its members with a variety of events and activities.

"We've seen consumer spending shift away from things and towards experiences -- we know that people are becoming increasingly interested in improving the way they spend their days," Barnhill says. "Investing in a membership at Shift goes beyond just finding a place to work. We're offering an experience akin to staying at your favorite hotel or resort."

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

Denver is seventh-greenest city in U.S.

Denver ranks as the seventh-greenest city in the United States, according to a recent study by CBRE Group and Maastricht University.

The third annual Green Building Adoption Index study found that 46.6 percent of office space in metro Denver qualified as green certified, down from 48.7 percent last year when Denver ranked No. 6 on t he list.

San Francisco claimed the top spot with 73.7 percent of its space considered green, followed by Chicago at 72.3 percent and Minneapolis at 60.6 percent.

Green office buildings are defined as those that hold either an EPA Energy Star label or U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification or both.

"While the rate of growth in green buildings has slowed modestly, our latest study underscores that in most major markets, sustainable office space has become the new normal," says David Pogue, CBRE's global director of corporate responsibility.

Green certifications are now held by 11.8 percent of all buildings surveyed in the 30 largest U.S. markets, representing 40.2 percent of all office space. Both figures are slightly above last year's results, indicating that while green building is still occurring, the rate of adoption is slowing.

"This likely reflects the fact that only a certain fraction of the building stock can obtain a green or energy-efficiency certification," says Nils Kok, associate professor in finance and real estate at Maastricht University. "Additionally, we believe that some buildings that were previously certified did not renew their certification in 2015. This does not necessarily mean that the energy use of these buildings has changed but that some of the owners and managers may choose not to spend the time or expense to reapply for certification every year."

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

Village Homes breaks ground on 698-home community

Village Homes of Colorado has broken ground on Denver Connection, a 698-home mixed-use community at Chambers Road and Green Valley Ranch Boulevard.

Village Homes, a division of William Lyon Homes, plans to build 284 single-family, detached homes and 414 single-family, attached townhomes on the 115-acre site. Residents will enjoy 40 acres of open space, parks, common area landscaping and amenities, including a 10-acre city park, dog park and multi-use community facility with outdoor pool called The HUB. 

Homes will range in size from 1,245 square feet to 2,462 square feet with prices starting in the mid $200,000s. Village Homes expects its models will be open next spring.

The project also will complete the long-awaited regional connection of Green Valley Ranch Boulevard from two to four lanes between Chambers Road and Pena Boulevard.

"This is a very thoughtfully designed and amenitized community," says Jeff McGovern, Colorado division manager of Village Homes. "It will have broad appeal to people who work at nearby companies, DIA and downtown Denver, especially those who travel a lot, want an easily accessible location in the City and County of Denver and are looking for a homeownership opportunity with lifestyle flexibility."

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

St. Charles Town Co. breaks ground on affordable housing complex

St. Charles Town Company has broken ground on Del Corazon, a 197-unit workforce housing complex on Morrison Road in southwest Denver's Westwood neighborhood.

The $40 million project, expected to be completed in early 2018, will replace two blighted mobile home parks that were on the verge of being condemned before St. Charles acquired the property at 4351 Morrison Rd. in Sept. 2014. After purchasing the property, St. Charles began addressing the many challenges that came with redeveloping the site.

"We had been talking with the owners since 2010 about redeveloping the parks, but the economics were very challenging and would not have been possible without clear vision from the Denver Office of Economic Development and help from Mile High Connects," said Darrin Grommeck, a St. Charles principal and chief financial officer.

Financing for the project is being provided by Gardner Capital; CREA, LLC; Citibank; the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the City and County of Denver's Office of Economic Development. The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority is providing housing tax credits. Del Corazon is the second project St. Charles and CREA have teamed up on.

"Councilman Paul Lopez brought attention to the project, and that sparked a broader conversation about neighborhood investment, which ultimately led to this project moving forward," said Charlie Woolley, founding principal and president of St. Charles Town Company. "This project promises to be a community asset that will provide critically needed workforce housing, as well as redevelopment of two crucial land parcels that have been major obstacles to a broader revitalization effort in the Westwood community."

In designing the project, architect Van Meter Williams Pollack was inspired by the vibrant Latino cultural influences on the Westwood neighborhood. The combination of Southwest-style architecture paired with the many colorful small businesses along Morrison Road make for a unique design that will drastically improve the urban streetscape in Westwood. Trees, vegetable gardens and a plaza will line Morrison Road. Del Corazon residents will enjoy extensive community social space, including a large vegetable kitchen and lounge area with fireplace, computer center, fitness center, wrap-around barbecue patio, playground, seating plaza and futsal soccer court. 

The neighborhood also will benefit from the installation of a HAWK (High-intensity Activated Cross Walk) signal that will help pedestrians cross Morrison Road safely. The project will also feature two car shares open to the public through Enterprise Car Share. 

"We hope Morrison Road will ultimately become the main street and centerpiece of a growing cultural district that celebrates the neighborhood and its vibrant heritage," said Jordan Zielinski, principal and director of development for St. Charles. 

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

Triangle Building gets LEED Gold certification

East West Partners' most recently completed development The Triangle Building has been awarded LEED Gold certification.

The building received the majority of its LEED points for its core and shell construction, which covers base building elements such as structure, envelope and building-level systems, combined with LEED design elements for energy efficiency. 

"We are honored to be recognized with LEED Gold certification for a building that is one of the most distinctive in all of downtown Denver," says Chris Frampton, managing partner at East West. "The Triangle Building has brought innovation to the community, and we are thrilled that it is now recognized for being resource efficient and for reducing stress on the environment."

The 10-story office building incorporates innovative energy strategies and building techniques to maximize comfort and minimize waste. Storm water is captured and treated for use in the municipal system, allowing for 50 percent reduction in landscaping water use and 30 percent reduction in building water use. Oversized glass windows allow for plenty of sunshine and natural warmth, and the overall building construction fetures the most efficient combination of glass and metal to minimize energy usage.

Twenty percent of materials used on the project are recycled, with 10 percent of materials regionally sourced. Fifty percent of construction waste on the overall project was able to be recycled.

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

Catalyst HTI to break ground Oct. 20

Koelbel and Co. will break ground Oct. 20 on the 300,000-square-foot office and retail building in RiNo that will be the new home of Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation (HTI).

Catalyst HTI will bring together private enterprise (startups to large companies), government, academic and nonprofit organizations with healthcare providers and payers to accelerate innovation and drive change for the healthcare industry. The organization's goal is to transform Colorado into the top digital health cluster in the nation by 2020.

Office sizes in the new building at 35th Street and Brighton Boulevard, which will be built in two phases, range from a single desk to 30,000 square feet.

When it opens in the first quarter of 2018, Catalyst HTI will offer a 3D Printing and Idea Lab, a software and business academy, incubators, accelerators, venture funding, a primary care clinic powered by Kaiser Permanente, as well as onsite restaurants, a workout facility and event and meeting spaces.

The space is 40 percent pre-leased. In addition to Kaiser Permanente, Catalyst HTI will be home to the American Diabetes Association, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the Medical Group Management Association, Prime Health and CirrusMD.

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

Avelina opens in LoDo

Avelina, a rustic, New American restaurant with Mediterranean influences, has opened its doors in the heart of LoDo.

Located at 17th and Wazee streets, Avelina is the creation of the husband-and-wife team John Broening and Yasmin Lozada-Hissom.

Broening and Lozada-Hissom are collaborating on the 4,900-square-foot restaurant with North Carolina-based Urban Food Group, headed by another husband-and-wife team Kevin and Stacey Jennings. The Jennings own dozens of restaurants in Raleigh and Durham, including Chow, a gastropub and pizzeria; Coquette, a French brasserie; Motto, a regional American eatery; and Vivace, a contemporary Italian trattoria.

Avelina's menu features seasonal flavors with dishes derived from Italy, Spain and Greece. It focuses on local sustainable ingredients in dishes ranging from a wood oven-roasted eggplant with Tahini dressing, braised carrots, pickled vegetables and za'atar flatbread to a lamb and mango salad with Vietnamese dressing, cucumbers and peanuts.

Heading up the wine and spirits program is Aubrey Baker, whose history in the restaurant industry includes serving as pastry chef at the Brown Palace Hotel, director of wine at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, sommelier at the Golf Club at Castle Pines and manager of several Denver restaurants, including Papillon and Le Chantecler.

Avelina serves dinner from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 1 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Lunch and brunch will be added at a later date.

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

New financing tool available for commercial building clean energy projects

New financing options for commercial property clean energy projects are available thanks to an intergovernmental agreement between the City and County of Denver and the Colorado New Energy Improvement District.

The agreement, adopted by the Denver City Council, allows Colorado's Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to be offered within the City and County of Denver. C-PACE offers financing options for clean energy projects on both new projects and renovations of existing buildings.

"Commercial building operations account for the majority of our city's greenhouse gas emissions, so we're thrilled to offer a new tool that will not only reduce our carbon footprint but save property owners money," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Sustainable development is smart development, and we're now better positioned to encourage a built environment that leads Denver toward a more sustainable future."

Through C-PACE, city property owners and developers will be able to access a new financing tool to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements. The voluntary program lowers the cost of third-party financing, which is repaid through the property tax assessment process. A voluntary assessment on the building owner's property tax bill can provide long-term financing of up to 20 years and stays with the property at the time of the sale, removing traditional barriers to financing projects with payback cycles longer than two to three years.

New commercial construction projects that meet building code requirements are eligible for C-PACE at up to 15 percent of construction costs. The program also makes available an additional 5 percent of construction costs for new buildings to be financed if project teams improve the performance of their buildings 5 percent beyond what the code requires.

"Denver's implementation of this program, as well as the changes to our building code, will go a long way toward increasing our community's energy security for generations to come," says Jerry Tinianow, Denver's chief sustainability officer. "Efforts to make commercial properties more efficient help the city to achieve its 2020 Sustainability Goals for energy and climate while lowering operating costs and supporting the local economy."

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

Industrial RiNo building to be converted into office space

The Yard at Denargo Market, an 85,000-square-foot industrial building at 2323 Delgany St. in River North, is being converted into an innovative office building.

EverWest Real Estate Partners and WHI Real Estate Partners purchased the building last month with plans to transform The Yard into flexible and adaptable tenant spaces with open lighting via 24 skylights and 19-foot high windows, common conference space, collaborative areas, an outdoor patio, indoor bike storage, a fitness center and a reception bar.

"The existing structure offers ultimate flexibility for us as we are designing these interactive common spaces and also delivers an amazing canvas for users who are looking for something different from traditional office space," says Curt Kremer, managing principal with EverWest. "The Gensler team has done a tremendous job of blending new use within this old structure making for a uniquely creative product."

The Denver-based investor and developer is expanding its local asset portfolio, which includes Cherry Creek Corporate Center, Broadway Station, Panorama Corporate Center and more than 320,000 square feet of industrial product. 

"This investment is part of a creative office redevelopment strategy that EverWest is implementing nationally," Kremer says. "The Yard's concept and location fill a desirable space demand in the downtown Denver business district."

Renovations are scheduled to begin late this year, with planned delivery scheduled for mid-2017.

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

Campus Lounge sold to group led by St. Charles Town Company

A partnership led by St. Charles Town Company has purchased The Campus Lounge building, an iconic Bonnie Brae neighborhood lounge at the corner of South University Boulevard and East Exposition Avenue in a deal that closed Sept. 28.

St. Charles Town Company is teaming up with Dan Landes of City O' City and WaterCourse Foods to create a bistro-style concept in the old dive bar.

"It's both an honor and a big responsibility to take on a project like The Campus Lounge," said Charlie Woolley, founding principal and president of St. Charles Town Company. "We want to restore the building, which has a past that precedes The Campus, and preserve the legacy that is The Campus."

St. Charles Town Company adds the Campus Lounge to its growing list of neighborhood restaurants downtown, on East Colfax and in Bonnie Brae. The company continues to focus on real estate projects in urban neighborhoods, including LoDo, LoHi, East Colfax Avenue, Westwood, Edgewater and Lakewood. 

"Dan and his partner share our passion to serve communities and understand neighborhood serving spaces," Woolley said. "We know they will reinvigorate the Campus in an exciting way that pays homage to the carefree ambiance Jim Wiste instilled in the many generations of family, patrons and friends who frequented his beloved lounge."

The Campus Lounge opened as the Bel-Aire in 1946 and became The Campus Lounge in 1949. Seller Jim Wiste, a former NHL player, purchased the building from Bill and Joe White in 1976.

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

Zeppelin starts construction of new building for Boa

Zeppelin Development has started construction of a 140,000-square-foot office building to house Denver-based Boa Technology, a maker of closure and adjustment systems integrated into athletic footwear.

The building, called FLIGHT, will be part of the mixed-use TAXI community, where Boa is currently located. 

"Our mission at Boa is to manufacture a technology that speaks to the fundamental needs of its users," says Mark Soderberg, the company's CEO. "In order to continuously innovate, our team requires an inspiring space where ideas thrive, and Zeppelin truly gets that. We've really enjoyed our time at TAXI and love working with Zeppelin Development. We share similar goals and values, and Zeppelin has continuously demonstrated an unmatched understanding of our needs, which will without a doubt translate to this next phase."

The new space will host the Boa Fit Lab that launched in 2015 in the DRIVE building, a facility used to create fit solutions with partners, fuel product progression and ensure quality through rigorous testing. 

With the addition of FLIGHT, TAXI will be home to one of the largest single-tenant office spaces in the River North neighborhood. 

"Boa shares in our values of collaboration, community and humanity as the core of a successful and growing entrepreneurial business," says Kyle Zeppelin, a principal of Zeppelin Development. "They are an integral part of the culture at TAXI, and by commissioning a building that harnesses these principles to specifically meet their needs, we're ensuring a thriving partnership for many more years to come -- with a homegrown, Denver success story that we've watched take form under our roof at TAXI."

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

OZ to design World Trade Center campus

OZ Architecture has been selected to design the World Trade Center Denver campus in near the 38th and Blake commuter rail station in River North.

Officials plan to develop an economic development engine that provides an accessible, welcoming destination where new ideas will be forged, art and culture will be celebrated, businesses will grow and innovations will be shared.

The project includes the World Trade Center Denver offices, new and established businesses, creative workspaces, conference facilities, hotel and retail and restaurants. An interconnecting series of art-filled outdoor public spaces will unify the various components.

"Unlike many of the world's nearly 300 World Trade Centers that are iconic skyscrapers designed with a singular focus, WTC Denver creates an engaging, inclusive campus that embodies Colorado's collaborative spirit, entrepreneurial heritage, hospitable climate and resultant outdoor lifestyle," says Sean Campbell, founder and CEO of Formativ, WTC Denver's development partner.

In an effort to capitalize on the collaborative nature of the project, OZ is conducting a series of idea-generating planning sessions that engage the business and design community both locally and internationally.

The WTC Denver campus is expected to break ground next year, with phase one completed in 2019. Landscape architecture design will be provided by Design Workshop. Andrew Feinstein from EXDO Properties is a development partner and a land owner in the project.

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

Public invited to Denveright workshops to establish vision for city

The City and County of Denver is hosting a series of Denveright workshops to establish a vision for the city's future.

The workshops are part of a historic and unprecedented effort to inform citywide plans for land use, mobility, parks and recreational resources. They're also an opportunity for the community to have conversations that will help shape the city for decades to come. Plans included in Denveright are Blueprint Denver (land use and transportation); the Game Plan (parks and recreation; Denver Moves: Transit; and Denver Moves: Pedestrians and Trails.

The workshops will be held on the following dates:
 
  • 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Tues. Oct. 4, McNichols Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave.
  • 3-5 p.m. on Tues. Oct. 4, New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Blvd.
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tues. Oct. 4, North High School, 2960 Speer Blvd.
  • 3-5 p.m. on Wed. Oct. 5, Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St.
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wed. Oct. 5, College View Elementary, 2674 S. Decatur St.
City officials who will attend the events include Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning & Development; Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks & Recreation; and Jose Cornejo, executive director of Denver Public Works.

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

Gleam Car Wash opens in North Denver

North Denver has a shiny new car wash.

Gleam Car Wash, located on West 38th Avenue between Wolff and Xavier streets, features a state-of-the art car wash tunnel, an enclosed detail center and an upscale waiting area that offers coffee and goods from local businesses.

"I've been in the business of washing cars for over a decade," says Rob Madrid, co-manager of Gleam. "Gleam is going to brush off the image of car washes as dirty, smelly places you can't wait to get out of. We're going to provide a great environment for everyone who needs a clean car."

Gleam's 135-foot tunnel can wash a car in about three minutes, with prices starting at $6. It also uses less than 15 gallons of fresh water per car.

"If you wash your car yourself, you'll use 80 to 140 gallons of drinkable water, and your car won't be as clean," says Emilie Baratta, another Gleam co-manager. "Gleam will reclaim 90 percent of all the water used and treat 100 percent of that. If you are cleaning your car at home, you are pouring untreated toxic chemicals into our stormwater system. Untreated, these chemicals pollute our waters and kill fish and other wildlife."

Gleam also is giving back to the community by donating $1 of its top-end Gleam Interior washes to Groundwork Denver and $1 of its top-end Exterior Total to Children's Hospital Colorado. Gleam also offers fundraising opportunities to schools, churches, sports teams and other charitable groups, which can sell gift cards and keep 40 percent of the sales.

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

The Workroom opens in Backyard on Blake

The Workroom, a co-working space with several monthly membership options has opened in Backyard on Blake, a mixed-use development between 30th and 31st streets on Blake Street in River North.

The Workroom has 3,000 square feet of space, with seven private offices and an open floor plan with 16 workstations and desks surrounding a central conference room. Memberships begin at $175 a month for floating workstations; $350 a month for permanent desks; and $1,000 a month for private offices. All members have access to the conference room, high-speed Internet, printer, copier and scanner, in addition to a kitchen, lounge and cafe bar serving beer, wine and coffee.

"We're excited to be opening in RiNo's newest co-working space at Backyard On Blake," says Fiona Arnold, president of Mainspring Developers. "We think the Workroom provides an interesting option to work in a great space that that is also part of a vibrant community that includes first-time businesses, public spaces and rooftop gardens, along with a restaurant and coffee shop."

The Workroom is located above the courtyard and adjacent to the rooftop deck. Members will have easy access to all the services provided by the building's tenants, which include The Fitness Branch, And Collaborative, Edge on StreetRoostercat CoffeehouseThe Preservery and Spinster Sisters.

The Workroom will be hosting an open house on Tues. Oct. 4, with tours of the space, drinks and appetizers.

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

Speer neighborhood getting new coworking space

Alchemy Creative Workspace, a new coworking space at 66 S. Logan St., is nearing completion and will welcome entrepreneurs in October.

Designed by Chris Fulenwider, Alchemy co-founder and president of CF Studio Architecture + Development, Alchemy features dedicated desks, co-working memberships and private office suites for startups and small businesses.

"Chris and I wanted to create more than just another co-working space in Denver," says Travis McAfoos, co-founder of Alchemy. "Alchemy is a shared office alternative where collaboration, mutual respect, life-work balance and collective well-being are embraced in an atmosphere of positive entrepreneurial spirit."

Located in an old bow-truss warehouse building, Alchemy's two-story design stems from a central axis through the center of the cathedral-like space, where interaction among members will be promoted with lounge seating areas, high-top tables, a bar, kitchen and the main conference room. A nest lounge area will be between trusses and on top of the conference room, which has a raised ceiling. 

The first floor of the building will feature a new yoga studio, and dogs will be welcome at Alchemy. Free local craft beers will be served daily and there are plans for monthly member networking events.

"The Baker and Wash Park neighborhoods currently do not have office options like Alchemy," Fulenwider says. "Not only are we filling a void for people who don't want to work at home or deal with a commute downtown, we know the location's proximity to so many great lifestyle options are a huge draw."

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

Denver wins grant to strengthen retail industry

The Denver Office of Economic Development is getting a $422,652 from The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership grant to strengthen retail industry career services. 

Denver is one of 10 cities across the country to form and implement new models of career services specific to retail that will serve as best practices for the roughly 550 Workforce Development Boards in the United States that provide career services such as coaching, soft-skills training, specialized-skills training and referrals to other resources. The funding is part of a $10.9 million grant the Walmart Foundation made to the workforce partnership in March.

"Helping create local jobs for local residents is a priority for us, and we're thrilled to receive this grant that will equip us to better support struggling residents who are working hard to get back to work," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "This is a great opportunity to grow good entry-level and middle-skill jobs in a sector that plays a significant role in Denver's economy, and we're ready to work with businesses to develop clear career paths in retail, while providing skills training and new approaches to accelerate career development."

The Denver grand funding will provide a variety of services to job seekers, including:
 
  • Job readiness training customized to the retail sector, including helping jobseekers acquire the soft skills that are critical for workplace success such as teamwork, leadership, communication and conflict resolution
  • Job placement assistance, resume writing help and interviewing skills workshops
  • Post placement services to promote job retention
Among the services OED will offer employers are:
 
  • Serving as a point of contact for retail employers in the area for recruiting and training opportunities, including career tracks such as sales, customer service, logistics, merchandising/buying and management
  • Customized recruiting and screening and assistance in writing job descriptions for new positions
  • Employee retention assistance and improving the supply of qualified job candidates
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Barolo goes casual with new space in Avanti

Barolo Grill is going casual with the opening of Chow Morso in Avanti Food & Beverage in LoHi.

Ryan Fletter is bringing his Italian street food concept to the first-floor space currently occupied by Bixo Mexiterranean Bites. Fletter is teaming up with Darrell Truett, executive chef at Barolo, and Don Gragg, who worked at Barolo when it opened and has since worked at nationally recognized restaurants including Chez Panisse in Berkley, Calif., and Gramercy Tavern in New York City. At Chow Morso, Truett will serve as executive culinary director and Gragg will lead the team as executive chef.

"Avanti is all about developing a concept and fin tuning it in a small collective space, so it's the perfect setting to launch Chow Morso," Fletter says. "The platform allows us to be creative and pivot as needed to make sure our ideas are working and guests are happy. Avanti's restaurant incubator platform is a perfect training ground without the enormous risk that goes along with a brand-new brick-and-mortar space."

The menu features small- and large-plate options, as well as the choice of creating your own pasta. There will be lightly fried calamari skewers and polenta fries and savory puff pastry doughnuts wrapped in prosciutto. Everything on the menu comes in Chow (large) and Morso (small) portions and is under $15.

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

New RiNo hotel to feature NYC's Death & Co

Gravitas Development Group has broken ground on The Ramble Hotel, a 50-room boutique hotel in RiNo that will feature Death & Co Denver as its marquee lobby bar. 

The bar marks the first outpost outside of Death & Co's original location in New York's East Village.

"We've long thought about growing Death & Co but have been understandably careful to do so," says David Kaplan, co-founder of Death & Co. "I believe the Death & Co DNA can be expanded to a host of different spaces and experiences, and with Death & Co at The Ramble, we'll be able to show that. We are looking forward to our first collaboration with a hotel, providing for guests' needs from their first bite and first sip of coffee to their nightcap before tucking in."

Located at 2450 Larimer St., the hotel is expected to open in late 2017. It will include an intimate theater and bar; flexible meeting space; a small retail outlet and an outdoor courtyard.

"Not only is our most recent development in RiNo, but our office always has been as well," says Ryan Diggins, a partner in Gravitas. "The neighborhood is fertile ground for artists and creative entrepreneurs, and we hope to create a space where travelers and locals can personally experience the art, authenticity and ambition that make RiNo so great."

Designed by Denver's Johnson Nathan Strohe, with interiors by Los Angeles-based Avenue Interior Design, the hotel's 4,700-square-foot lobby with 20-foot ceilings takes inspiration from French salons of the 17th century and the salon's utility in society as not only a platform for the exchange of ideas through conversation but as a catalyst to creating community.

"The edifice is designed to engage the passerby, the hotel guest and the restaurant patron, evoking an old-world charm and a certain curiosity that allows a moment of pause and lets the eye wander to intricate masonry and metal detailing," says Tobias Strohe, partner at Johnson Nathan Strohe. "Materials are traditional and of lasting quality, giving a nod to their neighborhood context while incorporating a contemporary interpretation."

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

DIA hotel to be converted into Courtyard by Marriott

Stonebridge Companies has acquired the Denver International Airport Country Inn & Suites and plans to convert the hotel into a Courtyard by Marriott property.

The 192-room hotel will undergo a significant renovation and conversion to offer the latest Courtyard with six interior design finishes, a full-service Bistro Cafe and bar, WiFi, a business library, boardroom and meeting rooms, guest laundry, gift shop market, 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor patio with a fire pit and views of the Rocky Mountains.

"We are excited to announce the conversion of the Country Inn & Suites to the Courtyard Marriott," says Navin Dimond, founder, president and CEO of Stonebridge. "We have had a long and strong-withstanding relationship with Marriott, and therefore we know this hotel will keep true to our Distinguished Hospitality brand as we continue to provide modern comfort and convenience."

The 192 guest rooms include a combination of 74 two-bed queen size and 118 single-bed king room accommodations, which include 15 larger king suites and two extra-large king suites designed for longer stays.

Founded in 1991, Stonebridge is a privately owned, innovative hotel owner, operator and developer headquartered near Denver. Its diverse portfolio of properties includes select-service, extended-stay, mid-scale and full-service hotels in markets throughout the United States.

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

Gene Commander named to DURA board

Gene Commander has been named to the Denver Urban Renewal Authority Board of Commissioners to help provide policy direction in all aspects of the organizations activities.

Commander, president of alternative dispute-resolution firm Gene Commander Inc., brings the perspectives of the legal and real estate landscapes in Denver after previously spending more than 35 years as an attorney representing clients involved in nearly every sector of the construction industry. He formerly served as managing shareholder for the Denver office of Polsinelli PC, as well as the vice chair of the firm’s national construction practice.

"Gene brings an appreciated perspective to the DURA Board of Commissioners, with expertise in redevelopment and construction," says Tracy Huggins, executive director of DURA, Denver’s facilitator of redevelopment and neighborhood investment. "As DURA continues to manage thoughtful solutions for redevelopment in the areas that need it most, Gene will provide a respected voice."

Commander also is an active member and past chairman of the Downtown Denver Partnership, a panel member with the American Arbitration Association and a past board member of the Associated General Contractors of Colorado.

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

Tech companies lease more space than other industries

High-tech companies accounted for the most leasing of any other industry in 2015, according to a recent report from CBRE Research.

Last year, high-tech companies accounted for 16.5 percent of the total square footage leased in metro Denver. Across the state, high-tech encompasses 15.5 million square feet.

"There is migration from submarket to submarket -- for example, downtown Denver is more tech-focused today than ever -- and between property types, with traditional office space still dominating but tech firms now occupying everything from co-working space to industrial/flex buildings," says Katie Murtaugh, research analyst and CBRE Denver. "The industry's evolution has led to unique submarket trends in terms of the type and maturity of high-tech companies that locate in specific areas and the format of the space they lease."

Of Colorado's 15.5 million square feet occupied by the high-tech industry, defined in the report as high-tech services and manufacturing, hardware companies were the largest occupiers of real estate at 6.5 million square feet. The next highest user is software publishing at 4.4 million square feet, followed by business services at 2.4 million square feet.

Subsector diversification varies by submarket. In downtown Denver, software business services and cloud make up a combined 70 percent of the high-tech footprint. Hardware, Colorado's largest overall subsector, has a significant presence in the northwest and Boulder submarkets at 7.7 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively but it's Fort Collins and Colorado Springs that see the lion's share at 88.6 percent and 76.8 percent, respectively.

"The diversification of Colorado's high-tech sector comes as a surprise to many people, Murtaugh says. "Subsectors like social media and e-commerce frequently receive a lot of fanfare, but it's our state's hardware, software publishing and business services tech companies that have the largest footprint. Overall, a diversified tech sector is a healthy sector and the best-positioned to weather any one subsector's storm."

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

Robert Bell is artist in residence at Four Seasons

Denver-based artist Robert Bell will be the fifth artist-in-residence at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver for the month of September.

In addition to displaying artwork throughout the hotel, Bell will draw from a pop-up studio in the lobby on the afternoons of Sept. 9 and Sept. 29. Both events will be followed by cocktail parties from 4 to 9 p.m. in EDGE Bar. The live drawings and happy hours are free and open to the public.

"My work is about striking a harmony between two opposing forces, much like my life," Bell says. "I am interested in finding out how much intentional will I can impose on the natural, organic pattern of wood grain or rusted steel and still achieve proportional forms. A high-contrast palette often echoes this struggle between artist and surface."

With more than 1,000 pieces of art in its 45 stories, the Four Seasons Hotel prides itself in supporting local artists.

"Most of our art collection is from local artists -- from sculptors to painters -- seen in our lobby, hallways, spa, ballrooms and more," says Jim Guttau, spokesman for the hotel.

The hotel also is offering intimate, after-hours tours of the Molly Brown House Museum where they can explore areas of the property normally off limits to the general public. As they wind through the restored 1889 home, guests will get a sense of Brown’s life in Victorian Denver as a museum guide shares vivid stories of the prominent Denver resident.

The museum also has given Four Seasons access to the final dinner menu served aboard the Titanic. After the tour, guests will return to the hotel to sample the dessert served that fateful night.

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

Denver Sports Recovery celebrates expanded space with special package

Denver Sports Recovery is offering a special package to celebrate the grand opening if its expanded space at 2242 W. 29th Ave.

The deal includes five massages or fascial stretch treatments for $300. The offer is available through Sept. 9.

Denver Sports Recovery (DSR) offers professional-grade recovery tools and services, including fascial stretch, joint injury treatment, cupping and muscle activation techniques. 

With the 1,600-square-foot addition, the center has a total of 3,600 square feet of space, enabling it to partner with several other companies, including NeuraPerformance, Onus iV Hydration and Invincible.

"We're thrilled that this expansion will provide us with ample space to continue offering top-of-the-line equipment and practitioners to our clients," says Andria Hassler, DSR co-owner and certified fascial stretch and soft tissue therapist. "The expanded space allows for more privacy, as well as additional treatment and recovery options. we have introduced several new tools into the space, and we are excited to offer a wholly unique experience in  Denver."

The expanded space includes additional private treatment rooms, a spacious area for self-myofascial release and floor exercises, dedicated areas for both NeuraPerformance and Onus iV Hydration's treatment services, an infrared sauna and a whole body cryosauna.

Denver Sports Recovery's cryosauna is a single-person treatment chamber that is recommended to clients suffering from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, stress, fatigue and muscular discomfort. One session lasts from 60 seconds to three minutes. It exposes the person inside to a temperature of 256 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, which causes a natural anti-inflammatory response and the release of endorphins to flush toxins and provide a surge of energy.

The infrared sauna uses an exclusive heating technology of full-spectrum near-, mid- and far-infrared wavelengths. Infrared light has the ability to penetrate tissue, which produces many healthy benefits. Most programs last 20 to 45 minutes with temperature settings of 110 to 130 degrees.

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

Jesse Morreale to open new restaurant in Highlands

Jesse Morreale is teaming up with Larimer Associates and City Street Investors to launch a new restaurant and bar at 3759 Lipan St. on the border of the Highland and Sunnyside neighborhoods. 

Slated to open by the end of September, the concept is intentionally crafted to provide an affordable alternative to the more pricey restaurant and bar options typical in much of the area.

"Our M.O. is custom crafting -- building concepts that fit with the neighborhood," says Joe Vostrejs, principal at Larimer and City Street. "We wanted an edgy concept designed from the ground up to specifically serve the demographic and location, and Jesse is is the perfect partner to make this vision a reality. His proven track record of creating successful businesses in transitional neighborhoods and on traffic corridors was exactly what we were looking for at this location, and we're excited to see him in action."

Morreale has a reputation for building successful businesses in neighborhoods others might think it would be difficult to succeed.

"I get a lot of satisfaction from taking on projects in areas that some may view as undesirable or transitional and creating authentic restaurants and bars that honor the neighborhood rather than disclaim it," Morreale says. "Just like the successes I had when developing Colfax [the Bluebird District] and Broadway, with this project we need to show the Highlands and Sunnyside neighbors that we understand what their neighborhoods are a deliver a relevant, vibrant and desirable destination for them."

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

First Unitarian building receives historic designation

The First Unitarian Society of Denver building at 1400 Lafayette St. received local historic landmark designation for its importance in the history of the LGBT rights movement.

The site, whose architecture and geography also meet the city's designation criteria, is the first in Colorado to be recognized at the local, state or national level for its importance in the LGBT rights movement.

"Preserving sites like this helps us tell our city's story -- the whole story," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "While Denver's landmarks include buildings originally built by and for those with wealth and social status, they also include equally important places linked to people who may have been left out of the history textbooks."

The First Unitarian congregation has a long history of social justice work, including involvement in   women's rights and suffrage, civil rights and immigration justice. Over the years, it has welcomed social justice organizations that could find no other public venue for the meetings or presentations.

The congregation's involvement in the LGBT rights movement began as early as the 1950s. At a time when few were willing to open their doors to the gay community, First Unitarian offered support to the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay rights groups in the United States, by providing space to organize in. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Unitarian building was a de facto headquarters of the Gay Coalition of Denver, which is known today as The Center, an LGBT nonprofit located a block from First Unitarian on Colfax Avenue.

The building itself has been occupied by the First Unitarian Society of Denver since 1958. The Richardsonian Romanesque-style building, built in the 1890s, has retained its architectural integrity over the years. It has wide rounded arches, recessed entryways, a dramatic rose window and rough surface stone quarried in Castle Rock. 

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

New exhibit on display at Buell Theatre

The exhibition of the collaborative installation "Intrepid Garden" by artists Suchitra Mattai and Jodi Stuart has opened at the Buell Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

The exhibition is open to patrons attending ticketed Buell events through the end of September and by appointment.

Stuart and Mattai's work investigates gardens of the past, present and future through visual collisions of intense colors, pattern and texture that explore the relationship between the hand-made and digitally produced. 

The exhibition is part of Denver Arts & Venues' The Next Stage NOW, a pilot program granting funds to artists and arts organizations to program the Arts Complex in non-traditional ways.

Mattai lives and works in Denver. She received a Master of Fine Arts in painting and drawing and a Master of Arts in South Asian Art, both from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Her work employs landscape to address the theme of artificial encounters in the natural world.

Stuart grew up in a small town on the east coast of New Zealand. She earned a Bchelor of Visual Arts from Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland and a Master of Fin Arts from Auckland University. Stuart moved to the United States in 2010 and lives in Denver, where she is an artist in residence at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Her work explores aspects of place and presence through the view finders of new technologies.

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

S*Park condos in Curtis Park selling fast

More than 20 percent of the condos under construction at S*Park have been reserved shortly after TreeHouse Brokerage and Development and Westfield broke ground.

The project, under construction in the 2500 block of Lawrence Street, will offer a range of amenities, including a private, gated 19,500-square-foot internal park, energy efficient solar panels, private gated yards, underground parking, urban community gardens and a greenhouse.

"We were thrilled with the warm market reception we experienced during our first week of pre-sales," says Clem Rinehart, owner of TreeHouse. 

Slated to open late next year, S*Park will be an ultra-green community of townhomes and condos designed by Tres Birds Workshop. It will occupy a fill city block in the historic Curtis Park neighborhood on the edge of RiNo.

Condos will range from studios to three bedrooms, with prices starting in the upper $200,000s. Townhomes will feature three to four stories, increased square footage, private yards and rooftop terraces.

"S*Park is my favorite new construction development in Denver right now," says Matt Conway, a broker with Kentwood Real Estate. "I have several buyers who have reserved units at S*Park, with many more interested. In the future, the specific location of this project has the possibility to give residents a better mix of retail and restaurant offerings than any other location in Denver and will easily rival popular neighborhoods like LoHi."

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

Mural event coming to RiNo in September

Colorado's premier mural event is coming up on Sept. 18 and 19 in RiNo.

Dubbed Crush, the event was started six years ago by RiNo artists Robin Munro (Dread) and Jonathan Lamb in an effort to unite the Denver artist community. the goal was to bring international attention to the Denver mural scene by bringing together artists from all over the world to work with Denver artists during the third week of September each year.

Over the years, the event has covered more than 50,000 square feet of walls districtwide and attracts locals and tourists to tour and photograph the murals.

Centered on 27th and Larimer, the Crush brings mural and graffiti 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, creative director for the RiNo Art District.

This year, the RiNo Art District and Crush organizers will host a variety of pop-up events in conjunction with local businesses during the week to celebrate the murals in progress and provide opportunities for the public to engage with the artists. The district also has expanded the event to include a larger footprint, including walls in RiNo East and RiNo West. Area youth and younger artists will have the opportunity to paint alongside the world's best.

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

Two nonprofits receive grants under Healthy Eating Challenge

Two nonprofit organizations have received grants to support efforts to improve fresh food access and consumption in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods under the Denver Office of Economic Development's Healthy Food Challenge.

Focus Points Family Resource Center received $76,720 to develop a new micro-food business support center for Globeville, Elyria-Swansea food businesses and entrepreneurs. The center will provide community-driven programs to help people with starting or expanding food-based micro-businesses in the surrounding areas.

OED awarded $66,213 to The GrowHaus to support the launch of a door-to-door community health worker program to educate residents on healthy eating habits, cooking methods and nutrition. The grant is tarted to provide outreach classes and education to at least 300 residents.

"Access to fresh and nutritious foods is a key component to building vibrant communities," says Paul Washington, executive director of the OED. "We're excited to fund these innovative, new programs in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea as part of our ongoing efforts to develop additional food retail options for local residents."

Globeville and Elyria-Swansea have a combined population of more than 10,000 residents but the area doesn't have even one full-service or limited-service grocery store. Studies have shown that many residents travel twice as far as the average Denver resident to grocery stores, most of which are outside of Denver.

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

Course offers behind-the-scenes look at city planning

Denver residents can get an inside look at how city planning works this fall when Denver Community Planning and Development holds its second Citizens' Planning Academy.

 

Hosted in partnership with Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, the free, three-part Citizens' Planning Academy curriculum will give 30 participants insight into the key aspects of citywide plans, neighborhood plans and zoning. 

 

The academy will be held three weeknights this fall on dates that are yet to be determined. For additional information or to apply, visit DenverGov.org/CPD. The application deadline is Aug. 19.

 

Courses will be jointly taught by city planners, neighborhood representatives and industry professionals, with interactive activities and group discussions. They will cover:

 

  • Citywide Planning: How does a city of more than 650,000 set a vision for its future? Learn how to identify and prioritize transportation and land-use strategies to build sustainable and well-connected communities citywide.
  • Neighborhood Planning: What are your neighborhood's best features? What would make it healthier, more livable and better connected? Learn how neighbors have worked together to identify what character-defining features to preserve and enhance, while opening doors for appropriate reinvestment to keep their area vibrant.
  • Zoning: Zoning can help translate a community's brad vision into sticks and bricks. Learn about Denver's context- and form-based code and how it strives to improve the health, safety, prosperity and quality of life for all of Denver. Learn helpful tips about how to use the code, including online tools available at DenverGov.org/zoning.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver ranks among "Most Charming State Capitals"

Denver ranks as the nation's ninth "Most Charming State Capital," according to a recent report by RentLingo, an apartment search site.

RentLingo created the Charm Index with the belief that local businesses are what define a neighborhood’s charm.

"While every state capital has its share of charm, we were curious which one was the most charming," RentLingo's website states. "Neighborhoods that are not as charming have a higher percentage of chain stores, pawn shops, strip clubs, credit loan stores, crime and do not have access to community institutions such as parks, town halls and flea markets."

Its findings are based on:
 
  • How local are the businesses?
  • How well are they liked by residents?
  • What kind of local institutions and amenities are nearby? Universities? Parks? Restaurants? Museums?
  • Is it inexpensive or expensive to live within the neighborhood?
  • What is the crime rate of the area?
  • What kind of emphasis does the neighborhood put on health and environmentally friendly modes of transportation?
The no. 1 Most Charming State Capital is Boston, followed by Annapolis, Md.; Providence, R.I.; Washington, D.C.; and Madison, Wis.

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

Actors' studio opens on South Pearl Street

Lea Marlene Actors Studio has opened for classes in a new location at 1601 S. Pearl St.

Formerly known as Actasana, Lea Marlene Actors Studio is a Sanford Meisner-based acting studio and theater that hosts classes for all ages, professional productions, stand-up comedy nights, workshops and featured artists series.

The new location has office space for private instruction, a stage for classes and full productions and seating for 70 audience members.

"I founded Lea Marlene Actors Studio to provide a welcoming space for actors and non-actors alike," says founder Lea Marlene. "We challenge our students to grow artistically and live creatively, and we are dedicated to providing our students tools that help them thrive in life, both personally and professionally."

The studio is the only studio in Denver offering adult students the full two-year Meisner Technique program. Developed by Sanford Meisner, the approach teaches students to react instinctively to the surrounding environment. The technique puts a greater emphasis on focusing on the other actors on the stage, as opposed to one’s internal thoughts or feelings associated to the character being portrayed.

The studio also provides a variety of youth classes and camps for ages 3 to 17 that explore improvisation, acting exercises, movement and script reading.

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

Union Station gets LEED certification

Denver Union Station has been awarded LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Union Station earned points for implementing a variety of green initiatives, including:
 
  • Development density and community connectivity
  • Building reuse -- more than 90 percent of the historic building's existing structural elements were reused, including the original floors, walls and roof
  • Providing easy access to public transportation, including the Regional Transportation District's new University of Colorado A Line to Denver International Airport and B Line to Westminster
  • Diverting more than 50 percent of construction waste from landfills
  • Using low-emitting paints and flooring materials
  • Using regionally manufactured materials whenever possible
  • Remediating asbestos contamination

"The Union Station Alliance was dedicated to redeveloping this historic gem of a building in as an environmentally friendly manner as possible," says Ferd Belz, a partner in Denver Union Station. "We're continuing to roll out exciting new green programs like the rooftop urban beekeeping initiative and the Clear Intentions Glass Valet recycling program."

Earlier this summer, Denver Union Station unveiled an urban beekeeping program on its roof, with four hives holding more than 30,000 honeybees. Restaurant and retail outlets within the station plan to incorporate the harvested honey into their food and drink offerings later this summer.

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

Partnership to hire private security for 16th Street Mall

During the coming year, the Downtown Denver Partnership plans to hire a private security team for the 16th Street Mall and establish a security command center to coordinate information sharing and implement the Downtown Security Action Plan.

It's one of several initiatives the Partnership announced during its 61st annual meeting, which showcased activities that align with the strategies outlined in the 2007 Downtown Area Plan geared toward building a healthy and vital downtown.

"The Downtown Denver Partnership leads the private sector to build downtown Denver as the premier economic hub of the region," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "We have a bias for action through results-driven planning and execution, and our impact on the center city is significant."

Other priorities for the coming year include:
 
  • Launching an interactive Arapahoe Square Property Owner Map to allow developers, investors and city agencies to see parcel-specific information regarding ownership, improvements and zoning.
  • Leading marketing efforts to recruit senior developers to downtown Denver to expand its culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and meet the growing demand for top talent.
  • Advocating for affordable housing options while balancing business and property owner interests, including evaluating funding sources, uses and governance for the city's proposed dedicated revenue fund for affordable housing.
  • Working with public- and private-sector partners to develop a competitiveness report that will define key indicators to inform policy decisions, including tax initiatives, business incentives and infrastructure investments.
  • Defining a clear vision for the future of the Mall in collaboration with the City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District through The Mall Experience Study.
  • Developing a strategic plan for economic development for the Mall that will emphasize retail and development opportunities and take into account amenities that support visitors, workers and residents.
  • Pursuing a Local Maintenance District for Skyline Park to provide additional private sector support of maintenance, infrastructure and programming.
  • Establishing the vision and course for the Downtown Loop, an urban trail that will weave through the city center to connect cultural destinations, attract visitors and represent Denver's outdoor, environmental and artistic values.
  • Engaging with the city to update the Downtown Multi Modal Access Plan to advance the use of emerging transportation technologies, choices in mobility and a network of options to support how people move in cities.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Top five floors of D&F Clock Tower up for sale

For just the second time in its 105-year history, the top five floors of the D&F Tower are up for sale with an asking price of $4.5 million.

The Denver Landmark building at 1601 Arapahoe St. offers panoramic city views and space for more than 100 people in a total of 2,838 square feet. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the D&F Tower is one of downtown Denver's most recognizable icons, with its four lit clock faces rising 250 feet from the street and measuring 16 feet in diameter.

"This could be the most expensive property ever listed on a per-square-foot basis," said Phil Ruschmeyer, president and chief executive of The Ruschmeyer Corporation, which is listing the property. "But what you get is incredible."

It also could be the last opportunity to rent the space for an event. Owner Holly Kylberg is continuing to book events in the space and will honor any bookings after the property is sold.

"The next owner may not open it to the public," she said. "It might be your last chance to get up there and enjoy the space. It's very special -- it's like a fairytale."

Kylberg also is creating a program called "A Time to Give" in which she will donate the space each month to a nonprofit organization to host a gathering.

Built in 1911 as a dry goods store, the D&F Tower was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River with a height of 325 feet. It later became one of Denver's most prestigious department stores until it was vacated in 1958 after the D&F Company merged with May Company and relocated to a new store at Courthouse Square.

When urban renewal and redevelopment swept across Denver between the 1950s and 1970s, the tower was in danger of being demolished. But advocates for historic preservation voiced concern over its loss an the tower was spared, though the store was razed.

The Italian Renaissance-style building was turned into condominiums in the early 1980s, with the individual floors of the tower belonging to people who use them as office space. In recent years, the top five floors have been used as event space, hosting everything from weddings to holiday parties to board retreats.

"This is an opportunity to own a piece of Denver history," Ruschmeyer said. "It's a great central location in the heart of downtown that is an ideal office setting or entertainment space."

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

Pedestrian bridge connecting Globeville and Sunnyside opens

The new pedestrian bridge connecting the Highlands and Sunnyside neighborhoods to Globeville neighborhood near the future 41st & Fox Station along the Regional Transportation District's G Line has opened.

On the Sunnyside end, the bridge is located at West 41st Avenue and Inca Street. The G Line will travel 11 miles between Union Station and Wheat Ridge, passing through northwest Denver, Adams County and Arvada.

Though the bridge is open to the public, the station will remain closed until the G Line opens this fall. For safety, the bridge will have high-definition security cameras and will be monitored by security officers. RTD is urging the public to remember these safety tips:
 
  • Use designated pedestrian areas when accessing the bridge -- other areas are considered trespassing and are dangerous and illegal.
  • Stay off the train station platforms until they are open to the public.
  • Do not cross the railroad tracks at the station; trains will be operating through the station prior to the G Line opening.
  • Never touch or throw objects at the overhead wires -- they are powered with 25,000 volts of electricity and can be deadly.
The G Line is part of the Eagle P3 project, the nation's first full public-private partnership for transit. The $2.2 billion project is made up of local RTD taxes combined with a $1.03 billion federal grant and $450 million from Denver Transit Partners, the 34-year concessionaire that will build, operate and maintain the trains.

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

Union Station's Terminal Bar gets new menu options

Terminal Bar at Denver Union Station is rolling out a new food program under the direction of award-winning Chef Lon Symensma.

Custom crafted by the Union Station Alliance partners, the Terminal Bar concept will soon offer three separate menus:
 
  • The Plaza Beer Garden, located on Wynkoop Plaza in front of Terminal Bar, will feature a specially designed bar stocked with a variety of Colorado craft beer -- including the Union Station Kolsch brewed by Denver Beer Co. -- plus wine and cocktails, as well as a walk-up grille where guests can order a variety of house-made German sausages and bratwursts. The menu will include a Currywurst with Spiced Ketchup and Chicken & Apple Sausage with Cranberry Relish, as wall as a homemade warm pretzel with spicy cheddar dip.
  • The Beer Hall, inside Union Station’s Great Hall in front of the Terminal Bar, turn the ticket windows into a food window where guests may order quick-service fare from a menu that includes food like Crispy Cheese Curds, Chicken Schnitzel Fingers, Warm Giant Pretzels and a variety of house-made German sausages.
  • Terminal Bar will offer a full-service menu to guests seated inside the bar beginning in early September. Menu items include Beef Sauerbraten with Red Cabbage Spaetzle, Union Station Fish Croquettes with Horseradish Tartar Sauce and Oktoberfest Pork Shank with Buttered Potatoes and Pickled Peppers, plus a variety of sides and sweets. 
"The public has truly embraced the Terminal Bar concept since we opened two years ago, and we believe that these changes will make it even more of a dining and drinking destination," says Joe Vostrejs, a partner in Union Station Alliance. "Chef Lon Symensma has created a unique lineup of delicious foods that go perfectly with our Colorado craft beer offerings."

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

Council approves Westwood Neighborhood Plan

The Denver City Council unanimously approved the Westwood Neighborhood Plan, which recommends ways to create a more connected, celebrated, resilient and healthy Westwood.

Key tenets of the plan include improved connections for greener, safer mobility for pedestrians, bikes and transit users; authentic cultural representation through public art, urban design, community events and support of uniquely Westwood businesses; and resiliency through employment opportunities and more affordable housing options, including recommended zoning that allows accessory dwelling units. The plan also recommends transforming Morrison Road into a pedestrian-friendly linear mercado, cementing it as the cultural and economic hub of the neighborhood and west Denver.

"This plan will help create a healthier, more livable and sustainable community in an area that historically has been underserved, but no longer," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "Great neighborhoods are the result of intentional planning, strong partnerships and committed communities, and this community came together to create something we can all be proud of -- the first neighborhood plan in Westwood in more than 30 years."

Westwood will begin to see aspects of the plan implemented in the coming months when: 
 
  • The City and County of Denver builds a bikeway on Knox Court connecting housing, schools and the Knox light-rail station
  • The City and County of Denver enhances Morrison Road with traffic-calming features like medians and bumpouts
"The Westwood Neighborhood Plan is the blueprint for this neighborhood's future," says Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez. "It is a reflection of the collective vision and hard work of residents, not meant to collect dust on a shelf. This living document exemplifies the culture and soul of Westwood."

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

Capital One Cafe to open in Triangle Building

Capital One Café is the latest tenant to be announced for The Triangle Building on Wewatta Street.

The new banking concept offers cafe-style service along with ambassadors to assist with banking needs. The cafe, slated to open this fall, will feature an open design with space for visitors to have comfortable conversations with each other and with Café Ambassadors. It will serve handcrafted espresso, coffee and tea beverages from Peet's Coffee & Tea, as well as baked goods from local businesses. 

Capital One Cafés currently are in six markets across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Triangle Building location will be about 8,600 square feet with four ATMs, two nooks and one meeting room for customers, partners and community members to use for work space.

"At Capital One, we're reimagining banking so that it's a simple, straightforward experience designed for you," says Stacy Jones, spokesperson for Capital One. "As a digital bank that relies on great design to better improve customer experience, we have long wanted to build a presence in Denver. People are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we aim to keep the banking experience simple and straightforward whether you're mobile, online at the ATM or in one of our Capital One Cafés, where our approach to banking really comes to life."

Capital One Café will join fellow tenants WeWork, Liberty Global, Autodesk and Stella's on 16th in The Triangle Building.

"Capital One Café is the perfect addition to The Triangle Building as it will appeal to people on the move in the Union Station area wanting to fulfill a banking need or to simply connect to Wi-Fi over a great cup of coffee," says Chris Frampton, managing partner at East West Partners. "We love that it's a new concept to Denver, as The Triangle Building has solidified itself as a magnet for innovation in the community."

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

Latigo opens in Ballpark

Chef Ignacio Leon is bringing his sophisticated take on traditional Mexican cuisine to Denver's Ballpark neighborhood.

Latigo, which recently opened at 22nd and Blake streets in the space once occupied by Zi South, will offer lunch and dinner daily.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase authentic Mexican food in one of Denver's liveliest neighborhoods," Leon says. "Latigo's approach will be simple: to deliver fresh, high-quality cuisine that remains true to the traditions of Mexico."

Trained in Mexico City, Leon is best known for the restaurants he established with brothers Cesar and Roberto: Paxia, a contemporary Mexican bistro in Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood, and the taqueria chain Los Carboncitos, which has locations in Denver and Aurora.

Latigo will be larger and more upscale than Leon's previous efforts, with seating for 300 and a 25-seat patio. The name Latigo plays off the ropes that were a part of the space's original interior and refers to the sturdy leather strap used to secure a saddle.

Leon will offer classic dishes like Clayudas, an Oaxacan specialty that resembles a Mexican pizza, and Pescado Veracruz, a seafood favorite that features a sauce of olives, tomatoes and jalapenos. Much of the menu will be based on Leon family recipes, which Leon mastered cooking in his mother's kitchen.

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

New Stapleton neighborhood built for Zero Energy

A new Stapleton neighborhood will feature 822 newly designed homes that can be built as Zero Energy Ready.

Beeler Park will have 22 new home collections priced from the $200,000s to the $900,000s from 10 different builders. From classic cottage bungalows to sleek modern designs, the homes will feature crafted details and colors inspired by nature.

"At Stapleton, we've created a community built on big ideas, and after over 10 years, we're still writing the book on new ways to live," says John Lehigh, president of Forest City Stapleton, developer of the community. "This is a tremendous undertaking because only a select group of top builders in the country meet the extraordinary levels of excellence and quality specified by the U.S. Department of Energy guidelines for Zero Energy Ready Homes."

The Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home is a high-performance home so efficient that a renewable system like solar can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption. With a Zero Energy Ready Home, homeowners could have no energy bills, other than a monthly electric hook-up fee. And with features like thicker walls and triple-paned glass, a home can create as much solar energy from its solar collectors as it uses.

"Every Zero Energy Ready Home includes a host of features that minimize pollutants and allergens, prevent moisture buildup and provide a continuous flow of fresh, well-filtered air," says Samuel Rashkin of the Department of Energy. "Every Zero Energy Ready Home begins with solid building science specified by Energy Star for homes. Then, advanced building, mechanical and appliance technologies are added, as well as practices from world-class research programs."

Beeler Park is bordered by Dick's Sporting Goods Park to the west and Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to the north.

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

First building under construction at 9th & Colorado

The first new building on the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center campus is under construction.

Block 7, a 275-unit residential building with more than 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, is expected to be complete by mid-2018. Construction also has started on the utility and roadway infrastructure for the larger 9th & Colorado project. Roads and utilities on the northern half of the site are scheduled to be be completed by the end of this year.

"The start of vertical construction is a major milestone for the 9th & Colorado project," says Frank Cannon, development director for Continuum Partners, which is developing the site in partnership with CIM Group as 9th Avenue (Denver) Land LLC. "Our demolition work is substantially complete, and now we're focused on fulfilling the vision to create a dynamic neighborhood. It's great to be bringing new buildings up instead of tearing old ones down."

The site-wide demolition included nearly 2 million square feet of buildings, including the implosion last year of the former Biomedical Research Building. Structures that remain and will be renovated include a 1,000-car parking structure at 11th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, the former Nurses' Dormitory and the five-story Research Bridge that spans Ninth Avenue, which has been fully gutted and is in preliminary design for adaptive reuse.

Construction also has begun on Ash Street Apartments by Ash Street Affordable Housing LLC, a joint venture between Koelbel and Company and Mile High Development. The 112-unit affordable housing development is being built on land that 9th Avenue (Denver) Land recently conveyed to Ash Street to fulfill its vision and commitment to providing affordable housing in the community.

When completed, the 9th & Colorado project will include about 2 million square feet of new development on 26 acres.

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

Koelbel launches pre-sales for new Berkeley community

Koelbel Urban Homes has launched pre-sales for 5390', a new community in Northwest Denver that includes 51 homes in the Berkeley neighborhood.

At an elevation of 5,390 feet -- one of the highest points in the metro area -- the community is adjacent to the municipal Willis Case Golf Course with easy access to downtown and the Rocky Mountain corridors, as well as the Tennyson Street District. 

"We are always looking for urban infill projects that are going to improve upon Denver's already great neighborhoods and embrace their individual history and identity," said Buz Koelbel, Koelbel and Company president. "Our community at 5390' combines an ideal location with impeccable views and blends seamlessly into the backdrop. It will offer people the rare chance to purchase a brand-new home in an older neighborhood that has been popular for decades."

Designed by KGA Studio Architects, exterior architectural styles range from Craftsman and prairie to mid-century modern. Pricing for new homes ranges from the low $700s to just over $1 million. Floor plans range from 1,800 square feet to 3,200 square feet, plus the option for a finished basement. All homes include two-car garages and incorporate outdoor living spaces as essential elements for daily living. 

The area is being brought back to life with the renovation of the historic El Jebel Shrine building, a unique landmark within the community that will soon become condos. Much of the iconic facade and character will be preserved in the process.

"We have had so much positive feedback from people who live in the area from the architecture to the overall concept," says Carl Koelbel, vice president of Koelbel and Company, overseeing Koelbel Urban Homes. "It is hard to replicate this site anywhere in Denver, so we are making sure to do it right."

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

Creative Alignments opens office in RiNo

Creative Alignments, a Boulder-based recruiting agency with a time-based billing model, is expanding its Colorado presence with the opening of an additional office at 3463 Blake St.

The new office space supports the company's growth in hiring for the expanding technology, natural food, consumer goods, manufacturing and professional services in Denver and beyond.

"We are delighted to have moved into Denver's eclectic RiNo district and are looking forward to exploring our new home away from home," says Katie Daiker, a partner in the company.

Creative Alignments time-based recruiting model creates a strategic and cost-effective partnership with clients. Rather than taking a commission or percentage of salaries, the agency's clients are billed only for the time the company spends focused on seeking quality talent for their businesses. 

The company' specializes in technology, natural food, consumer goods, manufacturing and professional services. Its clients include Crocs, Door to Door Organics, Rally Software and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

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

Beehives installed on Union Station roof

Denver Union Station is buzzing with activity -- not only from transit passengers and diners, but now from the recently installed rooftop honeybee colonies.

The four hives are home to about 5,000 to 10,000 honeybees each. Union Station's restaurants and retail outlets plan to start incorporating the harvested honey into their food and drink offerings later this summer.

"Urban beekeeping is a surprisingly successful phenomenon," says Denver Union Station beekeeper Caitlin Rose Kenney. "If the honeybees' basic needs are met, they are inspiringly resourceful and productive. The Denver Union Station's bees are a perfect example of this and are thriving this season."

Denver Union Station has become downtown Denver's hottest gathering place since it reopened in July 2014 after a $54 million renovation. The historic landmark train station is home to an eclectic mix of 12 Colorado restaurants and retail outlets created by Colorado-based Larimer Associates. 

"We are dedicated to supporting local businesses at Denver Union Station and to be as sustainable as possible, so installing beehives on the roof seemed like an obvious idea," says Joe Vostrejs, partner at Larimer Associates and a member of the Union Station redevelopment team. "We are pleased to be a part of the urban agriculture movement."

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

Panzano's Wiggins to open Stapleton restaurant

Award-winning Denver chef Elise Wiggins is opening Cattivella, wood-fired Italian this fall as part of Eastbridge Town Center in the Stapleton neighborhood where she lives.

Cattivella, which translates to "naughty girl," will be located on the southwest corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Galena Street. It joins chef-driven restaurants from Troy Guard, Lon Symensma and the Kitchen Next Door in the Eastbridge project, which abuts the long-awaited King Soopers currently under construction.

"I can't believe I'm opening my own restaurant in my own neighborhood, just a few blocks from my own house," Wiggins said. "This project is a dream-come-true for this naughty chef."

Designed by Sarah Brown of Semple Brown Design, an exhibition kitchen will be the star of the show and focus all attention to a wood- burning pizza oven, a wood-burning grill and the dance of the Cattivella cooks. Guests also can sit overlooking the pastificio (pasta table) section of the chefs' counter, while others might sit with a view of the Butchers' Corner where the butchers work on beef, pork, lamb and other whole animals. The surrounding chefs' counter will seat 26, along with 74 additional interior seats and 100 seats on a wrap-around patio with mountain views. The open kitchen will provide an ideal setting for the cooking classes Wiggins will continue to offer.

Cattivella is expected to open by late fall or early winter 2016.

Wiggins brings decades of restaurant experience to her new venture, including a 12-year stint as executive chef of Panzano, named Best Italian Restaurant by Westword and winner of multiple awards for food and service from The Denver Post, 5280 magazine, The American Culinary Federation and The American Automobile Association.

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

Denver mural wins national arts award

The "City of the Sun" mural on the Cherry Creek bike path at Speer Boulevard and Blake Street was honored by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in the United States.

The mural by artist Gemma Danielle was designed as a prayer wheel reminiscent of the night sky with a central mandala in gold. The artwork, funded through Denver Arts & Venues' Urban Arts Fund, spans nearly 1,000 square feet and is inspired by both mathematics and nature. 

"Artworks made possible by the Urban Arts Fund are an exciting and integral part of the Denver Public Art Program," says Mary Valdez, public art program coordinator for Denver Arts & Venues, which manages the fund. "Not only do the works beautify Denver, but through the 115 murals we have completed thus far, we have abated 200,000 square feet of graffiti-prone areas and engaged more than 2,000 youth to participate in Urban Arts Fund projects."

Americans for the Arts honors 38 outstanding public arts projects created in 2015 through the Public Art Network Year in Review program.  The works were chosen from 260 entries across the country and recognized June 17 at Americans for the Arts' 2016 Annual Convention in Boston.

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

Nominations sought for Mayor's Design Awards

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the city's Community Planning and Development Department are seeking nominations for the Mayor's Design Awards, which honor projects throughout the city for excellence in architecture, exterior design and place making.

The awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits and artists for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. A variety of projects from private residences to restaurants and office buildings are eligible.

"Whether it's creating a new public space or rehabilitating a historic gem, this is a chance for Denver to invest in our city and our neighborhoods," Hancock says. "I invite everyone with an interest in design and place making to nominate their favorite project that contributes to our city's unique character and charm."

To be eligible for consideration, projects must be completed and in use, entirely inside city limits and privately funded. Nominations are due Sept. 6. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in late fall.

Last year's winners included the Moffat Depot, Balfour at Riverfront Park; Industry, 3001 Brighton Blvd; the Whittier Alley Loop, four blocks between Williams and Race streets; and The Butterfly Walk, La Alma Lincoln Park.

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

New LoDo restaurant opens this summer

LoDo is getting a new restaurant that will serve seasonal, rustic wood-fired dishes.

Avelina, headed by the husband-and-wife team of Executive Chef John Broening and Pastry Chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom, is opening this summer at 17th and Wazee streets.

"Nothing gives me more satisfaction that our guests leave happy because of the delicious food they ate and the great service they received from the staff," Broening says. "The menu at Avelina will be rustic and seasonal, which is the way I love to cook, and it’s the way I grew up eating."

Avelina will be operated in partnership with Stacey and Kevin Jennings of North Carolina-based Urban Food Group, a multi-concept, multi-unit restaurant ownership company.

"We have enjoyed watching and eating our way through the booming culinary scene in Denver," says Kevin Jennings. "We are thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to join the scene and and to work with such an accomplished team of restaurant professionals. Our vision is for the restaurant to be approachable and comfortable."

Avelina will feature beer from local breweries chosen to highlight the diversity of styles being created in Colorado and to complement the cuisine. Cocktails will be a mix of innovative drinks and updated classics. The wine list will feature food-friendly selections from around the world. The 4,900-square-foot space will seat 75 in the dining room, 40 in the private dining room, 30 in the bar and 25 on the outside patio.

Initially, the restaurant will be open for dinner house and will open for lunch and brunch in the coming months.

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

Luxury home sales flat over last year

Luxury home sales in metro Denver were flat in May compared to the same month last year, but the number of high-end sales last month was higher than April's totals, according to the latest report from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

There were 168 luxury sales in May, exactly the same number as May 2015, according to the report based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1 million last month in metro Denver. But sales were up 282 percent from April's 131 transactions, and the upper end of the market saw 22 sales of more than $2 million and six sales over $3 million.

"The Denver metro area's luxury market is starting to come back into a bit more balance between supply and demand as a few more listings come on the market," says Chris Mygatt, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. “Although sales were flat from a year ago, overall the luxury market continues to be quite healthy."

Some key findings from the report include:
 
  • The most expensive sale in the metro area last month was a five-bedroom, five-bath 15,500-square-foot home in Highlands Ranch that sold for $6.7 million.
  • Denver boasted the most million-dollar sales with 51, followed by Boulder with 35 and Cherry Hills Village with 11
  • Homes sold in an average of 84.2 days on the market, down from 89.5 days a year ago and 93.6 days the previous month
  • Sellers received an average of 97 percent of their asking price, the same as a year ago but down from 98 percent the previous month
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Affordable housing opens in Ruby Hill

Denver’s newest affordable housing development, Ruby Hill Residences at 1144 S. Pecos, has opened.

Developed by The Burgwyn Company, the $20.4 million Ruby Hill Residences offers 114 income-restricted apartments for low- and moderate-income households.

"Affordable housing is one of our biggest challenges as a city," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "There is great progress under way to make and keep Denver affordable through exciting new projects like Ruby Hill Residences."

The four-story building includes one- and two-bedroom units for households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income (up to $43,260 for a family of three). Some of the units are reserved for formerly homeless people and disabled veterans. Residents began moving into the building in May, and 90 percent of the units have been leased.

Features of the building include a community room with a kitchen, library, game room, conference room and business center. Exterior amenities include a courtyard, children’s play area and community garden.

Public finance partners include the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, the Colorado Division of Housing and the Denver Office of Economic Development, which provided $875,000 from federal housing funds to help support the development. The loan guarantees an affordability period of at least 40 years on all of the units.

Ruby Hill Residences represents the latest affordable units to be created under the mayor’s "3x5 challenge." Announced in 2013, the challenge calls for the development, rehabilitation or preservation of 3,000 affordable housing units over five years. So far, the city and the real estate development community have produced 1,833 units and nearly 1,000 more units are under construction.

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

Zagat lists Preservery among hottest new restaurants

Zagat has named The Preservery one of Denver’s hottest new restaurants.

Opening in spring 2016, the fast-casual eatery, bakery, marketplace and bar is located in an old warehouse that's now the Backyard on Blake complex. Its menu focuses on maximizing the local supply chain to create familiar yet inspired dishes, as well as preserves of all kinds -- from cheese and salumi to pickles and jellies.

"We are obsessively dedicated to what we call storied ingredients . . . whether that means local, organic, sustainable, heirloom, artisan-made or any of those other catchy marketing terms," says Whitney Ariss, the restaurant's co-owner and culinary director. "To us, what's most important is that we can get excited about telling the story behind each great ingredient we use and each product we sell so we can proudly share those stories with our guests."

The Preservery is a deli and marketplace by day and approachable fin dining by night. Dinner is full-service -- and tip-free. The restaurant has joined a movement of restaurants that are doing away with tipping and instead pricing their menus to reflect the costs of labor.

"It was really important to us to offer the kind of hospitality that matched the amazing quality of food that we're making," Ariss says. "We want to ensure that the dining experience for our guests is really special, while continuing to embrace this no-tipping model."

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

Triangle Building to get cafe, market

An epicurean emporium will open in The Triangle Building in the Union Station neighborhood this fall.

Stella's on 16th will offer cafe-style service, as well as an abundant selection of gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups and seasonally inspired dishes to enjoy in-house or take home. Stella's also will offer a unique selection of artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, freshly baked pastries, desserts and handcrafted culinary products from around the world. 

"Stella's on 16th is the perfect addition to The Triangle Building as it will appeal to people on the move in the Union Station area," says Chris Frampton, managing partner at East West Partners,  developer of the building. "We also love that it's a new concept as The Triangle Building is becoming a magnet for entrepreneurialism in the Denver community."

Stella's, at 1550 Wewatta, will occupy 6,760 square feet with about 150 seats for in-house dining.

With construction recently completed, The Triangle Building is home to WeWork and Liberty Global. Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, recently committed to lease more than 20,000 square feet of space with move-in planned for late June. About 45,000 square feet of space is still up for grabs in the building, which Westword Denver recently named the Best New Building in its annual "Best of Denver" issue.

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

Applications being accepted for funding from IMAGINE 2020

Denver Arts & Venues and the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs are accepting proposals for the second year of the IMAGINE 2020 Fund, which provides support for new, creative and innovative programs. 

Applications are due by 5 p.m. June 24 and award notification will be mid-July. The funding an implementation period is August through December 2017.

The IMAGINE 2020 Fund provides up to $5,000 per program. Eligible applicants can apply for programs that are new or in development since the launch of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan in the spring of 2014. Programs must demonstrate a 1:1 or more match of resources, including volunteer labor valued at $20 an hour, donated materials or cash. Programs must take place in the City and County of Denver during the calendar years of 2016-2017 and must have a project director who will initiate, plan, implement and track the impact of the program. 

Proposals indicating collaboration among multiple groups are strongly encouraged. Proposed programs should be inspired by one or more of the seven vision elements outlined in IMAGINE 2020: integration, amplification, accessibility, lifelong learning, local talent, economic vitality and collective leadership. City agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, neighborhood and community-based organizations and individuals located in the City and County of Denver are eligible to submit an application.

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

Thirsty Lion set to open in Cherry Creek

Portland, Oregon-based Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill will open its second location in the Denver market at 201 Columbine St. in Cherry Creek North on June 14.

The restaurant will occupy 7,000 square feet of space, including a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio. It will serve lunch and dinner daily, with a brunch menu available on Saturday and Sunday. 

"Given the rapid development of housing and retail space in Cherry Creek North, we really couldn't be joining the community at a better time," says John Plew, the Thirsty Lion's CEO. "This is an active neighborhood with a thriving social scene, and Thirsty Lion offers an upbeat atmosphere to accommodate any dining occasion."

About 95 employees will work at the new location, which boasts an open-air kitchen, a hearth-baked pizza oven, a 20-seat bar and two outdoor seating areas. 

Menu items include sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, salads and specialty dishes like salmon and asparagus risotto, Baja fish tacos, traditional scotch eggs and charcuterie boards.

Thirsty Lion features a large selection of 40 craft beers on tap, many of which are from local brewers, as well as unique craft cocktails that combine fresh fruit purees, juices and premium liquors. Of the 25 wines available by the glass, 20 will be available on tap, guaranteeing a pour that is always fresh.

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

AIA recognizes young architects

Fifteen young architects were recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado chapter during its Young Architects Awards Gala.

The following 10 awards and five honorable mentions were selected from entries submitted by firms, designers, students and young architects (licensed 10 years or less) from across the state:
 Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Construction begins on Marriott Moxy in Cherry Creek

Construction on the $35 million Marriott Moxy hotel in Cherry Creek North has begun, with the hotel expected to open by the middle of next year. 

The hotel, being developed by BMC Investments, will be a low-cost alternative for the Cherry Creek North shopping district.

"This is a really important project for Cherry Creek because it will allow travelers who have historically been priced out of this area to enjoy all of the incredible amenities it has to offer," says Matt Joblon, CEO of BMC. "We are committed to delivering a space that our neighboring community will love as much as our hotel guests. This project is unlike anything Denver has ever seen in the hospitality space."

Designed by Johnson Nathan Strohe, the hotel at 240 Josephine St. will have 170 rooms, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor meeting space and a large bar and lounge in the lobby. Rather than checking in at the reception desk, guests will check in at the bar. The outdoor lounge spaces will be open to the public and feature fire pits with comfortable seating. The outdoor space will be programmed with events geared to the residents of Cherry Creek North and the Denver Country Club neighborhoods.

Marriott launched the Moxy brand in Europe in 2013 and recently expanded into the United States with locations in New York, Chicago and San Francisco also scheduled to open next year. This will be the first Moxy in Colorado.

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

DEFINE body & mind coming to LoHi

DEFINE body & mind will open its first Denver studio in the city's LoHi neighborhood this summer.

The company specializes in balanced fitness, offering barre, cycling and yoga-infused classes. It's goal is to help people become their best mentally, physically and emotionally. DEFINE's complete exercise routine incorporates cardio, yoga and Pilates that everyone can do.

"After having been a client of DEFINE in Texas, I made the move to Denver to open my own studio and expand the concept in an already active market that was lacking an all-inclusive body and mind experience," says Mallory Martindale, owner of DEFINE LoHi. "I am beyond excited to join the community and introduce the DEFINE concept to the people of Denver and LoHi."

The 1,925-square-foot studio, which will be located at 2420 17th St., also offers its own line of foods and juices and has created a co-branded retail line by partnering with athletic apparel brands like Splits 59, Under Armour and DEFINE Your Inspiration. 

Classes, which will be offered from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., include:
 
  • DEFINE body: a balanced 60-minute class of strength and flexibility that incorporates Pilates, yoga, ballet and core strengthening to target all the major muscle groups
  • DEFINE mind: a soothing class focused on gaining flexibility, refreshing the body and calming the mind.
  • DEFINE revolution: a 45-minute indoor cycling class that incorporates the DEFINE body class onto the bike, combining the principles of isometrics with cardio-blasting cycling.

"Unlike a lot of gyms where clients keep to themselves, we offer and atmosphere that builds community among clients, where everyone can feel relaxed, energized and encouraged," Martindale says. "Our clientele reaches all demographics and ages, both male and female, who come to DEFINE for different reasons."

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

Barre Forte to open in Central Platte Valley

Barre Forte is bringing its dance-inspired workout to Denver's Central Platte Valley this summer.

Since launching its original Denver studio in 2012, Barre Forte has opened two additional Colorado locations and expanded into Florida through a unique licensing model. Barre Forte's licensing model offers a more flexible and affordable option for studio owners than traditional franchising. Under the licensing agreement, owners receive significant branding, advertising and merchandising support from the Barre Forte team while retaining the ability to personalize the studio and class programming.

Fitness enthusiasts and certified barre instructors Sarah Brittenham and Amy O'Connell will own and operate the new studio at 1553 Platte St., bringing nearly 25 years of combined professional experience to their new business venture, which is the first licensed location in Colorado. 

"Fitness has always been a passion of ours, and after discovering Barre Forte's workouts and seeing the results in our own bodies, we instantly knew we had to open a studio so others could try it," O'Connell says. "Barre workouts are always challenging, but the Barre Forte classes and teachers take barre fitness to a whole other level."

In 60 minutes, Barre Forte's workouts can burn between 400 and 600 calories using a combination of interval training, strength training and isometric holds that exhaust the muscles. Each section of the workout is followed by stretching to result in a long, lean and sculpted physique. the workout is low impact and designed to benefit people of all fitness levels. 

"We feel like not enough fitness enthusiasts are aware of barre fitness and how it can transform your body," Brittenham says. "We want to introduce the workout to everyone from first-time gym-goers to athletes looking to become stronger and leaner using a method they haven't tried before."

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

Neighborhood market slated for LoHi

A second restaurant that includes an artisan market, cafe, bakery and take-home area is set to open this fall in Southern Land Co.'s apartment development in LoHi.

The Bindery will feature an open floor plan, wraparound patio and wood-fired oven that bakers will use to create entrees for the restaurant, as well as pastries and artisanal breads for the bakery.

"Cities such as Paris, New York and Milan have the type of neighborhood market that I plan to create in Denver by opening The Bindery," says Linda Hampsten, the local chef behind the concept. "Denver is the perfect place to debut this concept. It's a large, sophisticated city with residents who appreciate the type of locally sourced ingredients that we will feature on our menus."

Hampsten has helped organize a number of culinary events for organizations including Denver's Excelsior Foundation and its youth projects, the Colorado Music Festival, the Denver Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Blue Sky Bridge and The Jane Goodall Foundation.

The Bindery will occupy 4,000 square feet on the ground for of the apartment community Southern Land is building at 18th and Central streets. The two buildings will include 317 studio, one and two-bedroom apartments. 

"The Bindery is exactly the type of partner we want when we open a new residential building," says Paul Neuroth, senior vice president of retail leasing at Southern Land. "Not only will Linda and her team bring the highest-quality ingredients and dining experience to this market, but her leadership at the restaurant will have a strong influence in the greater community."

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

Hyatt Regency Denver offers bike tour package

The Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center has launched a new Urban Explorer Bike Tour Package that guides travelers not only through Denver's most renowned and interesting sites, but also little-known and interesting insights along the way. 

Designed in conjunction with the Denver B-Cycle program, which has a station just across the street from the hotel, the bike tour package includes a B-Cycle day pass for two to go on a Denver journey. Guests are provided a map with options to take a route west of the hotel (15 sites) or east of the hotel (11 sites), all perfectly outlined and orchestrated. 

"Our guests tell us time and time again that when they visit a city, they are looking for more than the obvious," says Greg Leonard, Hyatt's general manager and an avid cyclist. "They want to delve into the destination and understand it better. This innovative bike tour package is packed with fun and humor, some of it frightful and all of it unique, promising to transport its participants to a different time, right at the very location where it all took place."

One example of a little-known locale included on the tour is the Cheeseburger Monument, the site of Louis Ballast's Humpty Dumpty where he invented the first-ever popular sandwich in 1935. Though he trademarked the term "cheeseburger," Ballast never sued anyone for using it. 

Guests can venture on to discover the most haunted buildings and the scary stories behind them and the historic places where the Old West unfolded.

The Urban Explorer Bike Tour Package starts at $185 a night and is subject to availability. Enter or ask for offer code: BIKE. To make a reservation, visit the offers page of denverregency.hyatt.com.

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

Seven builders commit to Parade of Homes

The first Denver-area home builders have signed on for the 2016 Parade of Homes, which will run from Aug. 11 through Labor Day.

Those joining the Parade are: Elacora, Jackson Design Build, The Lakes at Centerra, Meritage Homes, Oakwood Homes, TRI Pointe Homes and Wonderland Homes.

"Mark your calendars now," says Karna Pryor, 2016 chair of the Parade of homes and marketing manager for TRI Pointe Homes. "This is one of the most anticipated events in greater Denver, and we expect more than 100,000 visitors this year. The Parade is a great way for potential home buyers and anyone interested in new homes to get amazing ideas on decorating trends, the latest in architectural design or to check out exciting new neighborhoods."

Organizers expect the 2016 Parade will showcase more than 70 new model homes, custom homes, affordably priced homes and luxury homes in neighborhoods throughout the greater Denver metropolitan area. 

More home builders, locations, price ranges and home styles will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Parade runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Aug. 11 through Sept. 5. The event is free and open to the public.

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

Housing project aims to reduce homelessness

Mental Health Center of Denver has broken ground on a new housing project aimed at reducing homelessness in Denver. 

Modeled after successful permanent supportive housing projects in other U.S. cities, Sanderson Apartments will house 60 of Denver's chronically homeless, which will further the city's efforts to provide housing for 250 of the most vulnerable residents.

"We are committed to finding solutions to homelessness because we know when people are in their own homes and feel safe, they are better able to access other social services to improve their well-being," says Dr. Carl Clark, president and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver. 

Located at 1601 S. Federal Blvd., Sanderson Apartments will be the largest supportive housing project for Mental Health. The three-story, 50,000-square-foot building will include 60 one-bedroom, furnished apartments with on-site staff and amenities. The project is expected to be completed next summer.

The Mental Health Center of Denver is a nonprofit community mental health center that has been delivering comprehensive and accessible mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing, education and employment services for more than 25 years. 

The project is being financed through the Social Impact Bond program launched in February and $600,000 in financing through the Denver Office of Economic Development.

Sanderson Apartments is the latest project to break ground under Mayor Michael Hancock's "3x5 challenge," which calls for the development, renovation or preservation of 3,000 affordable housing units over five years. To date, the city and the real estate development community have produced 1,714 units under the challenge, with nearly 1,200 additional units under construction or scheduled for development.

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

RNL launches employee bike-sharing program

International architecture, design and planning firm RNL has launched a bike-share program for employees at its Denver office. The company's intent is to promote a culture of wellness and healthy mobility choices.

"It's easy to see how riding a bike boosts health and wellness and can reduce community health costs," says Rob Ollett, project architect at RNL, who is spearheading the initiative. "With Denver's accelerated rate of growth, biking as a mode of transportation will also enable better connections to our community and reduce traffic and pollution. As a team, we are practicing what we preach; we take our responsibility as architects, designers and planners seriously, and we're committed to building a world with a brighter, greener future."

The program includes five branded bikes and helmets, which are stored in the main entry lobby to provide employees quick and convenient access outside to commute to and from work, to and from meetings, as well as for quick errands or rides around town for exercise.

"As a Certified B Corporation, RNL is committed to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance and improving the quality of life in our communities through our business," says Rachel Bannon-Godfrey, RNL's director of sustainability. "The bike share program is one more example of our commitment to sustainability and the wellness of our employees in action."

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

Co-op launches new name and brand

The former Northeast Community Co-op Market has announced its new name and brand -- Nourish Community Market.

The new brand is the first of several initiatives from the co-op, which plans to increase membership from 704 member-owners to 1,000 by the end of the summer and move closer to establishing one of Denver's first community-owned natural grocery stores.

The name change better encapsulates the co-op's primary goal: to nourish its neighborhood with healthy food and community spirit.

"The name, Nourish, not only is easier for most people to remember, but it signifies our mission," says Matthew Dimalanta, vice chairman of Nourish. "We want to nourish the people of the Denver metro area."

Nourish also is launching a new Fresh Food Box program, exclusively for member-owners. The program is being run in cooperation with fellow food co-op startup Westwood Food Cooperative and will bring fresh and local produce options to the community on a weekly basis.

Nourish is hosting an event from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 21st on Stapleton's Conservatory Green at the corner of East 49th Place and Valentia Street to showcase its new brand, yard signs and Fresh Food Box program. The event will feature live music, a beer garden with local breweries, food trucks and vendors specializing in locally produced food and healthy lifestyle products.

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

Marriott honors Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center hotel

The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center hotel was recently honored by Marriott with the 2015 Hotel of the Year award for the Renaissance brand in the western United States.

The hotel, developed by Stonebridge Companies, is in Denver's Central Business District, a half-block from the 16th Street Mall and three blocks from the Colorado Convention Center.

"We are proud of transforming on of Denver's historic landmarks into a modern luxury hotel," says Navin Dimond, founder, president and CEO of Stonebridge. "We are honored to receive this award and will continue to provide guests with our unique brand of Distinguished Hospitality."

The hotel has 230 guest rooms, 6,000 square feet of meeting space and fitness center. Range, the hotel's original concept restaurant, features local menu items sourced from the Rocky Mountain region.

The historic building features murals by the iconic western artist Allen Tupper True and many preserved elements from the original Colorado National Bank, which opened in 1915.

"The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center showcases the historic Rocky Mountain West and offers the full-service accommodations, amenities and comforts of a luxury hotel," says Michael Damion, general manager. "We are pleased to be recognized by Marriott with the 2015 Hotel of the Year distinction."

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

DIA is second on list of best airports in North America

Denver International Airport landed the No. 2 spot on Skytrax's 10 Best Airports in North America list

Denver, which sees 53 million passengers a year, ranked No. 28 on the Skytrax list of the World’s Top 100 Airports in 2016. 

The airports were ranked based on 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, location of bathrooms and the language skills of the staff. 

The top 10 best North American Airports were:
 
  1. Vancouver International Airport (YVR); 19.5 million yearly passengers 
  2. Denver International Airport (DEN); 53 million yearly passengers 
  3. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG); 6.3 million yearly passengers 
  4. San Francisco International Airport (SFO); 47.1 million yearly passengers 
  5. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL); 101.5 million yearly passengers 
  6. Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ); 38.6 million yearly passengers 
  7. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA); 37.5 million yearly passengers 
  8. Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport (DFW); 64 million yearly passengers 
  9. New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK); 56.8 million yearly passengers 
  10. Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ); 3.7 million yearly passengers
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Anschutz Medical Campus to join Catalyst HTI

Health-tech industry integrator Catalyst HTI has added three healthcare entities to its development in Denver’s River North District.

Terumo BCT, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the American Diabetes Association will join a community that includes Medical Group Management Association, CirrusMD, burstIQ, Prime Health and Telespine. The development still has 65,000 square feet of available space for lease.

Catalyst HTI dubs itself an industry integrator for bringing together a full spectrum of stakeholders in health-tech. the goal is to build a community where collaboration accelerates innovation within the healthcare industry. Startups will have access to potential clients and investors in established companies, while larger corporations can surround themselves with emerging technologies in an environment filled with entrepreneurs and growth companies.

"Over the past two years, Colorado has been ranked one of the top digital health clusters in the nation," says Don Elliman, chancellor of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. "We believe that by connecting our nationally recognized academic research institution and hospital system with the health-tech startup and innovation community, we will be able to further solidify our position as a leaders in answering the call to reimagine healthcare for our nation."

The project, slated to open early next year, is being jointly developed by Koelbel and Company, health-tech entrepreneur Mike Biselli and landowners the Burgess family.

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

Three applications considered for historic designation; fourth expected

Denver could soon have three new historic landmarks if historic designation applications are approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission and Denver City Council in the coming weeks. 

The potential new historic landmarks/districts are:
 
  • National Western Stock Show Stadium Arena, 4655 Humboldt St. The arena, built in 1908-09, is owned by the National Western Stock Show and is associated with the historical development of Denver and of the annual stock show, one of the largest and oldest stock shows still in operation in the United States.
 
  • South Lincoln Street historic district, 200 block of South Lincoln Street. Homeowners in the 200 block of South Lincoln want to designate their block as a historic district. The block includes 15 homes designed by architect William Lang built between 1889 and 1895, all of which embody Queen Anne architecture. One of the homes (227 S. Lincoln) was designated an individual historic landmark in 2015. 
 
  • Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton St. The former Emily Griffith Opportunity School is named for an innovative educator who spearheaded the creation of a school providing non-traditional education for the community in 1917. It became the first of its kind in the country and was a national role model. 
Denver currently has 334 historic landmarks and 51 historic districts. 

"Preservation helps to tell our city's story," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development and former chair of the Landmark Preservation Commission. "As our city grows and changes, preserving our historic landmarks and districts becomes even more important."

Preservation planners expect to receive a fourth application later this year for a single-family house near City Park. The last time Denver had four or more historic landmarks designated in one year was 2007.

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

Denver ranks No. 3 for relocating Millennials

Denver ranks third among the top 10 cities attracting more Millennials than others, according to the 2016 Mayflower Mover Insights study.

The study, which focused on Millennial moving trends, found that nearly half (46 percent) of 18- to 35-year-olds moved to a new city, state or country to be with or find a romantic partner. Those 29 or younger are more likely to move for a partner than Millennials over the age of 30.

"Our Mayflower agents across the country are moving Millennials as they begin new chapters in their lives," says Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications for Mayflower. "The findings of this year's Mayflower Mover Insights study reinforce what our agents are seeing every day. This data helps us analyze not only where are customers move, but also why they are moving."

In addition to moving for relationships, the study found that nearly half (48 percent) of Millennials have moved for a new lifestyle or experience. Overall, the study showed Instagram-worthy food is a top priority for Millennials choosing a new city, with more than half of respondents (56 percent) stating good restaurants are a must have. Second and third, respectively, were child-friendly activities (23 percent) and church/religion (22 percent).

So what cities are attracting Millennials more than others? According to moves completed between January and December 2015, Dallas is the hot spot, followed closely by Chicago and Denver: 

    1.    Dallas, Texas
    2.    Chicago, Ill.
    3.    Denver, Colo.
    4.    Seattle, Wash.
    5.    Atlanta, Ga.
    6.    Los Angeles, Cali.
    7.    Portland, Ore.
    8.    Charlotte, N.C.
    9.    Washington D.C.
    10.    Phoenix, Ariz.

"This list of cities is consistent with the long-standing patterns of the U.S. population shift from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and the West," says Jeffrey Artnett, research professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "Emerging adults are leading the way because ethic are, overall, the most likely to be moving."

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

Invent Development kicks off River North Residences

Invent Development Partners is building a 17-unit loft and townhome community in Denver's River North neighborhood.

River North Residences is the second RiNo project for Invent. The company's Backyard Residences is already sold out and scheduled for completion in July. 

Designed by HKS Architects, River North Residences is less than four blocks from the new train station at 38th and Blake streets, and Coors Field, LoDo, the Pepsi Center and Union Station are just a walk or bike ride away.

"Interest has definitely been building for River North Residences," says Jon Dwight, co-founder of Invent Development.

The units at River North Residences will be larger than those in most urban projects -- some as wide as 24 feet with 10-foot ceilings and ranging from 1,549 square feet to 2,313 square feet. Prices on the two- and three-bedroom units situated on 0.43 acres at 34th and Walnut streets will start in the high $500s. 

"RiNo is where everyone wants to be right now," says Liz Richards, a broker with Kentwood City Properties who is listing the project. "It has an amazing energy and momentum unlike any other neighborhood in Denver. I am a huge fan of this project."

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

Confluent wins award for The LAB

Denver-based Confluent Development has received the Innovative Project of the Year Award from NAIOP Colorado for its work on The LAB office building at 17th and Platte Streets. 

The LAB is a 78,000-square-foot office building with first-floor retail and covered parking. The project, which is pursuing LEED certification, was sold immediately after its completion last summer and is fully leased to WeWork Communities.

"It is an incredible honor to earn this award," says Marshall Burton, president and CEO of Confluent, which teamed up with Brue Capital Partners on the project. "The LAB is a prime example of the success that can be achieved by local partnerships. Being selected from the many industry leaders means a great deal, and we are proud to have helped make this project a reality."

Confluent recognized the value of the re-emerging Platte Street neighborhood, a location many developers viewed as too far removed from the downtown core for it to be successful. Through developments such as The LAB, the neighborhood has become a preferred location for young professionals. The project provides pet-friendly space with nearby amenities, including fitness studios, dining and pedestrian access to light rail, parks and trails.

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

Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge slated for April 28

Westminster Station has been selected for this year's Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, in which graduate student teams from the University of Colorado and University of Denver present their plans for the area.

The presentations will be made at a dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. April 28 at the Marriott City Center downtown.

Westminster Station is the third stop from Denver Union Station for the upcoming RTD B Line. Just 11 minutes from downtown Denver, the station is located just west of Federal Boulevard near 69th Avenue between Interstate 70 and Highway 36. The station and adjacent 900-space parking garage are slated to open this summer. 

The 21-acre site offers unique challenges and opportunities for the competing student teams, which must present a plan to transform a low-density industrial site into a higher-density, mixed-use transit-oriented development. The site benefits from the city's investment in new infrastructure, as well as its dynamic community with distinct neighborhoods and a good local economy. 

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge is an annual event designed to serve as a learning tool for students of the University of Colorado and University of Denver's graduate real estate programs and local business community to interface, while assisting the project sponsor with development options for the specific property.

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

Denver seeks community input for Food Plan

A series of community meetings throughout Denver will explore the issues of food insecurity and healthy food access. 

Hosted by the Denver Office of Economic Development, the meetings are designed as a platform for community residents to propose solutions they think would be best in each neighborhood. The intent is to develop the first countywide Denver Food Plan.

"There is a great need in many of our neighborhoods for healthy food access," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "Through a strategic Food Plan approach, we can capitalize on new opportunities around local and healthy foods and create the right environment for the city to make a major difference in our neighborhoods and in the lives of many residents."

The Denver Food Plan is likely to encompass strategies for improving healthy food access, as well as targeting business development and job creation related to the city's food system. 

Improving the food environment in Denver's most challenged neighborhoods will likely require multiple strategies, including shifting household shopping, cooking, and eating behaviors to include more fresh and healthy foods; reducing the distance required to travel to access fresh and healthy foods by improving small "corner" stores and farmers markets; and launching micro-enterprises or other new food-related businesses that increase household incomes and provide jobs.

"Taking a host of socioeconomic, mobility and cultural issues into account, the issue of healthy food and food access is anything but simple," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Office of Economic Development. "So many people assume it's just a matter of opening a supermarket, and while that is desirable, other integrated solutions are necessary as well."

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

New owners to restore historic Bosler House

The historic Bosler House has new owners who plan to restore the building and make it their home.

Steve and Jan Davis, who currently live in the Berkeley neighborhood, paid $375,000 for the house, which was badly damaged in 2008 when its then-owner removed the roof without proper building permits or required approvals from Denver's Landmark Preservation Commission. 

"This is a spectacular opportunity for us," says Steve Davis, a licensed contractor who plans to do some of the restoration work himself. "We're excited and proud to be able to lend our passion and expertise to this historic landmark, while at the same time making it our home."

The city's attempts to work with former owner Keith Painter to bring the property at 3209 W. Fairview Pl. into compliance with property maintenance and historic preservation requirements were not successful. Ultimately, liens and fines on the property led the city to begin foreclosure proceedings on the house last May. 

Under terms of its settlement agreement with Painter, about $150,000 will go toward the City and County of Denver for unpaid liens and fines, and $75,000 will be paid to the receiver for already-performed property management, maintenance and contracted architectural services. Painter will receive the difference. 

"We have been fighting for this house for six years," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "Today, we finally have certainty that this building will not crumble but will stand as a north Denver landmark for future generations."

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

Two new tenants sign on at Stanley Marketplace

Stanley Marketplace has added two tenants to its roster of businesses opening at the market later this year. 

The Savory Spice kiosk will feature more than 400 freshly ground herbs and spices and more than 160 handcrafted seasonings, which are ground and blended weekly to ensure superior quality and freshness. 

"We have a truly amazing lineup to share with Stanley patrons," says Mike Johnston, founding partner of Savory Spice. "Some of the tried-and-true favorites include our Supreme Saigon Cinnamon, Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning, Bourbon Barrel Smoked Black Pepper and Madagascar Vanilla Beans."
 
MindCraft will feature engineering kits and other products promoting critical thinking, as well as a do-it-yourself-focused creative space where all ages can gather to learn and invent. New technologies such as 3D printers, CNC machines, scanners and laser cutters will engage participants. 

Co-owners Brenda Lane and Adriana Santacoloma, who have more than 50  years of combined experience as teachers, school administrators, coaches and program directors, developed MindCraft as a dynamic spinoff from their tutoring center in Lowry, eXL Learning.

"Through operating eXL Learning, we discovered that the kids we serve love to learn through hands-on making and creating," Lane says. "We will offer the types of after-school programming that will make us the place kids want to be, in addition to providing a wide variety of classes for all ages. You are never too young or too old to learn how to make."

The more than 22-acre, 100,000-square-foot Stanley Marketplace at 2501 Dallas St. in Aurora at the edge of Denver was once Stanley Aviation headquarters, where airplane ejector seats were engineered and manufactured.

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

Six projects win Downtown Denver Partnership awards

Six projects considered transformational received awards from the Downtown Denver Partnership at the organization's 55th Annual Downtown Denver Awards. 

The honorees, selected by a jury of key business leaders convened by the partnerships, are businesses, projects and initiatives that had the most significant impact on the center city in 2015.

The winners:
 
"We are grateful for the opportunity to pause each year to celebrate the achievements that advance us toward our vision of a world-class center city," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "These projects support our place-based economic development strategy and have made significant contributions to bolster downtown Denver as a powerful economic engine for the city, state and region."

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

Mortenson selected for revamp of Civic Center Station

The Regional Transportation District awarded a $26 million contract to Mortenson Construction for the Civic Center Station renovation project. 

Civic Center Station is one of RTD's busiest regional bus transit centers, serving 18 routes and an average of 15,000 passengers daily. The station also is the endpoint for the 16th Street FREE MallRide and the FREE MetroRide.

"Civic Center Station has been a vital transit element of downtown Denver for over 30 years and is in need of renovations," says Tom Tobiassen, chairman of the RTD board. "Once this project is complete, it will be a state-of-the-art transit hub to complement Union Station that will provide improved connections and convenience for our passengers."

The building design includes:
 
  • Nine bus bays
  • Glass-enclosed terminal building
  • Bus concourse rebuild
  • Bus ramp extension connecting Broadway to Lincoln Street
  • Open view from the 16th Street Mall to the State Capitol
  • Building structure that is easier to maintain and repair in the long term.
The new design also provides a more open and welcoming environment and preserves a land parcel for future development opportunities. 

Construction is expected to start this summer and be completed in about a year. Details about the station closure and route detours will be available when plans are finalized and approved.

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

Developers selected for Lowry's Boulevard One

The Lowry Redevelopment Authority has selected the final two developers for Boulevard One, the last neighborhood that will be built in the Lowry community. 

BuildMark Development will build a boutique, low-rise condominium community at Lowry Boulevard and Monaco Parkway, directly east of Crestmore Park. The Aileron will be a three-story, LEED Gold-certified building with condos priced from the $400,000s to more than $1 million. 

Koelbel Urban Homes will build 29 row row homes south of First Avenue between Oneida Court and Pontiac Street. Orion on First Avenue will include three different two- and three-story plans, each with two bedrooms plus a den/loft/flex room. Homes will range from 1,800 to 2,100 square feet with pricing expected to be in the $500,000s to $600,000s.

"We're excited to bring another great neighborhood to Boulevard One," says Peter Benson, senior vice president of Koelbel Urban Homes. "While distinctly different from our current offering, we will bring equivalent superb design with the help of our architect-partner, Neo Studio, and a complementary, integrated look and feel to the surrounding community."

Koelbel also is building The Matador Series at Boulevard One, 35 upscale row homes along Lowry Boulevard now under construction.

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

Starter homes are vanishing in Denver

Starter and trade-up homes are vanishing from Denver, according to a report recently released by Trulia.

Denver ranked seventh among cities with the largest decrease in starter home inventory. Starter home inventory in Denver dropped 77 percent from 2,321 homes during the first quarter of 2012 to just 534 during the first quarter of this year. 

Nationally, the number of starter homes on the market dropped by 43.6 percent, and the number of trade-up homes on the market declined by 41 percent. Trade-up homebuyers will need to pay 2.6 percent more of their income for a home than in 2012.

"Rising prices is causing homebuyer gridlock," writes report author Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia's chief economist. "The growing price spread between premium homes and trade-up homes in some markets is highly correlated with fewer trade-up homes coming onto the market."

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

The Next Stage NOW accepting applications to activate DPAC with art

Denver Arts & Venues is accepting applications for The Next Stage NOW, which is aimed at activating the Denver Performing Arts Complex campus.

Through a partnership with the Boettcher Foundation and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Next Stage NOW is a pilot program that Arts & Venues is launching to grant funds to artists and arts organizations to program the complex in non-traditional ways.

"We are honored to support The Next Stage NOW project, and we are eager to see the exciting projects that Colorado’s creative community will put forth to help activate our performing arts complex as we work toward reimagining this important gathering place," says Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. 

Participants interested in booking space through the program must provide activities that feature music, theater, dance, art, poetry, film or other creative placemaking activities, including yoga, fitness  and putt-putt. Preference will be given to programs that are free and open to the public, occur on a regular basis, attract new audiences and activate the space during the daytime and evening hours prior to performances in the theaters. 

Performances must take place in public and underutilized spaces at the complex, such as the Sculpture Park, The Galleria, The Studio Loft and Ellie Caulkins Opera House and the lobbies of the major theaters. 

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis with the first round of funding distributed in late spring for summer performances. 

An overview of The Next Stage NOW will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Tues. April 5 at The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St.

"DCPA believes that art is the soul of the city, a reflection of our creativity, passions, heritage and stories," says Scott Shiller, CEO of Denver Center for the Performing Arts. "The Next Stage NOW is the first step to bringing these concepts together to build the next generation performing arts complex."

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

Prototyping Festival slated for 16th Street Mall in July

As part of its effort to get more people to the 16th Street Mall and encourage them to stay longer, the Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District will host the 2016 Prototyping Festival July 23-24.

The festival is an opportunity to experiment with ideas for public spaces and showcase ideas for how participatory design, art and technology can create connections and greater ownership of public spaces and how they are used. 

"The 16th Street Mall is one of our most vital public spaces, and we are focused on ensuring its future as an authentic, self-sustaining place that is supported by the entire community," says John Desmond, executive vice president of downtown environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership. "We encourage the entire community, including artists, designers, entrepreneurs and all those interested in ensuring the vibrancy of the Mall to submit their ideas for installations that can transform the visitor experience downtown."

Accepted submissions will be showcased during the final weekend of Meet in the Street, which returns for five consecutive weekends this summer, beginning June 25. Analysis of Meet in the Street, including the Prototyping Festival, will help hone in on long-term changes to the Mall and adjacent sites.

The application process will be open from April 1 through May 15. Applicants will be notified if their submissions have been accepted by June 1. The partnership will co-host and information session from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tues. April 5 at The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St.

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

Rotary Club hosts Back to the '80s in Five Points

Rotary Club of Five Points Cultural District is hosting Back to the '80s, Denver's first '80s-themed indoor food truck event from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. April 2 at the Glitter Dome Event Center.

The event will feature food trucks, craft drinks, crafts and live music by El Passo Lasso and DJ E-Trane. Participating food trucks include Crock Pot, Fat Green Bowl, Taste of the Philippines, Bared Wire Reef, Lena B Bar-B-Que, AikoPops and The Dessert Stand. Drinks will be provided by Dry Dock Brewing Co., C Squared Ciders and Molly's Spirits.

"Five Points Rotary provides service-oriented professionals a place to meet and serve the community of northeast Denver," says Suzie Ahlers, president of Five Points Rotary. "As an extension of Rotary International, Five Points Rotary focuses its efforts on promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies in the Five Points neighborhood, Denver and beyond."

The event is free and open to the public, but you must be 21 years or older to attend. Proceeds from food and beverage sales will benefit the Shots for Tots and Teens clinic, the Books for Nooks literacy program, RAFT Colorado and other nonprofits in the area. 

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

HBA Job Board goes live

The Home Builders Association of Metro Denver has launched a new Job Board to help members post openings, as well as people seeking employment in the construction industry.

The Job Board is featured on the association's website and allows builders and associate members to post current job openings and search for candidates seeking jobs at no cost. Submissions also are posted on the HBA's social network pages.

"I encourage all of our members to utilize this free tool to maximize new hire opportunities for their companies," says Connie Dahl, HBA's director of marketing and communications. 

Dahl noted that the HBA Job Board is different from other job search websites that cater to the entire country. "Ours is only for the eight-county metro region and focuses specifically on positions related to the construction industry," she says. "It is updated frequently as new job listings pop up weekly."

Listings will remain on the Job Board for 30 days unless they're updated with new content. "This ensures that candidates are viewing only the most active job openings," Dahl says.

To post a job opening on the HBA Job Board, companies may email job descriptions and qualifications needed along with a company logo to cdahl@hbadenver.com.

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

RTD launches Catch the Train photo contest

The Regional Transportation District is holding its Catch the Train photo contest to kick off its Instagram account and promote safety for the University of Colorado A Line, which begins running between downtown and Denver International Airport on April 22.

RTD is asking the public to snap pictures of a commuter rail train while it's testing on the CU A Line and post them to the RTD Instagram page with the hashtag #CatchtheTrain through April 4.

A winner will be chosen weekly and will be eligible to receive two tickets to a Colorado Avalanche game and a voucher/permission document for a ride on the Zamboni during the game, plus a set of RTD Free Ride Coupons.

Photos must be taken while following the rules. Any photos that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. 

Pictures must be taken from a safe location and never while operating a vehicle. RTD asks that photographers stay off railroad tracks and away from crossings. The test trains are not open for service and the University of Colorado A Line stations and platforms are not yet open to the public and may not be used as vantage points. 

The first Catch the Train photo contest was held to coincide with the testing of the W Line to Golden in 2013.

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

Applications for NAIOP mentor program due April 4

NAIOP Colorado is seeking applications from members 35 years old or younger to be part of its 2016 Mentor Class.

The NAIOP Colorado Mentor Program is designed to match a limited number of mentees with experienced industry professionals who will provide them with the opportunity to learn different aspects of the real estate industry. Mentors will share career and professional advise to help mentees succeed in life and the real estate industry. 

In order to graduate from the program, an applicants must attend at least three out of four educational programs and meet with their mentors on a monthly basis. 

A mentor is recruited for each participant based on information in his or her application, personality test, goals and work history. Past mentors have included Christopher King, president of DPC Development Co.; Mary Sullivan, senior managing director of HFF, LP; and Michael Cantwell, executive vice president of CBRE Inc.

The program's educational events include:
 
  • Business development and networking coach
  • Public speaking/interview training
  • Personality profile review
  • Business workplace etiquette, including wine tasting
  • Current real estate trends and negotiations
Only 10 to 15 applicants will be selected to participate. The application deadline is April 4.

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

Denver adopts new building code

The adoption of a new building code that's in line with the latest building safety and energy-efficiency standards worldwide means buildings in Denver will be safer and more energy-efficient. 

New buildings in Denver are expected to be up to 25 percent more energy-efficient. The code also will make it easier to renovate, repair and alter existing buildings, which could mean keeping more existing building stock, ultimately a more sustainable approach. 

The city adopted the 2015 International Code Council codes for building safety with Denver-specific amendments:
 
  • Garages at new single-family and duplex homes must include a conduit and panel capacity to support charging an electric car.
  • The code requires garages and accessory buildings to be on the same electric meter as the primary residence for firefighter safety and to deter the illegal rental of these buildings for marijuana cultivation by an offsite party.
"Embracing best practices in safety, quality and sustainability is a long-term commitment to our city and its future," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "Through and open and collaborative review process, design and construction professionals, property owners and code officials reached consensus on standards that will serve us well for years to come."

There will be a six-month transition period during which customers may apply for building permits under the 2011 Building Code or the new code.

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

Spring Flea in RiNo next month

The Denver Flea is hosting a block party in RiNo on April 23-24.

The Spring Flea will showcase 150 Colorado-centric vendors and curated new additions. Wares range from handmade jewelry, leather goods and artisan food products to local beauty lines, art and illustrations. Vendors include Spinster Sisters, Knotty Tie Co., and Rare Finds

“In the last two years, we’ve built an incredibly engaging event,” says Blake Adams, co-founder of the Denver Flea. “With the upcoming Spring Flea, we’re excited to tie the Flea community into such an important city milestone and to be part of the city festivities surrounding it.”

The Flea will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with entrances at 35th and Larimer streets and 36th and Walnut streets, plus additional festivities inside the EXDO Event Center

Entry to the Flea is $5 and includes a beverage such as a New Belgium Beer or handcrafted cocktail upon entrance.

"The Denver Flea has not only stimulated the growth of Colorado makers and creatives, it’s encouraged the well-being of surrounding businesses at each event," says PJ Hoberman, another of the Flea's co-founders. "Our Holiday Flea had an estimated $1 million impact on the city and brought over 20,000 people to the old Denver Post production building in Globeville."

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

City unveils vision for performing arts complex

A new music hall, rehearsal and recording space, commercial development, expanded retail and an arts high school campus are part of the vision for the redevelopment of the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Dubbed The Next Stage, the concept was created by a working group appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock. The team studied options, needs and trends in arts over the past year and received input from more than 4,200 Denver residents, as well as patrons, performers and presenters. 

"The Next Stage vision provides a phenomenal opportunity to elevate our arts complex to become a vibrant public regional center of cultural activity in the heart of downtown," Hancock says. "With this vision, we will set out to realize the potential of the arts complex by better attracting diverse residents and tourists, integrating it into the neighborhood and enhancing the Galleria and Sculpture Park."

The next step is to build a plan to deliver on the vision. The funding and governance group's goal is to provide its recommended plan by the end of the year. 

The featured elements of The Next Stage are an open wedge design that offers more green space, an elevated Sculpture Park with parking beneath it, a new mid-size music hall for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and other presentations and a variety of retail options. Denver Arts & Venues and Denver Public Schools have reached a memorandum of understanding to study the feasibility of bringing a school into the complex.

"The next generation of performers, artists and patrons is growing right before our eyes in our schools," says Susana Cordova, acting superintendent of Denver Public Schools. "We are committed to studying how our school of the arts can fit in at the arts complex because of our commitment to diversity, creativity and imagination in education."

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

Colt & Gray chef to open southern-style restaurant

Chef Kyle Foster and his wife, Katy, are opening a new restaurant in RiNo that's build as a Southern sophisticated concept.

Julep will open in 2,750 square feet in Larimer Row, a new building being developed by Westbrook Development Partners at 3254 Larimer St. The restaurant, which also will include a patio and mezzanine, will honor the history and traditions of southern hospitality while featuring local foods and produce, particularly vegetables.

"My great-grandfather was a preacher in Kentucky and would have gatherings at his house every Sunday where the focus was on food that you grew from the garden and his own chickens, to the cow farm down the street," Kyle Foster says. "Julep will be a return to my own roots, as well as the roots of food -- preparing simple, good food and respecting the tradition of knowing where it comes from."

The husband-and-wife team have traveled around the south to find inspiration for the restaurant and its menu. Julep will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, as well as brunch on weekends. The bar and lounge will focus on American whiskey, as well as classic southern cocktails.

Kyle Foster, the current chef and butcher at Colt & Gray and Rebel Restaurant, recently was celebrated as one of Denver's unsung heroes of the kitchen and was voted one of the city's hottest chefs by Denver Eater. Katy Foster is the chef and owner of Stir Cooking School in Denver's LoHi neighborhood.

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

OED launches Healthy Food Challenge

Grants and competitive loans are available to fund healthy food initiatives in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.

The Healthy Food Challenge will award up to $250,000 in grants to projects addressing one or more aspects of healthy food education, fresh food retail or food-related micro-businesses. there also is a combined loan opportunity of $1 million that has been established to support new retail.

"By combining grants and loan dollars, we recognize that no single strategy, in isolation, will effectively address the complex challenge of providing healthy food access in our low-income communities," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development, which is heading the challenge. "The Healthy Food Challenge is intended to inspire new and creative solutions to a key community issue. We're very excited to leverage off of other significant investments being made in these neighborhoods by the city and partner with the nonprofit and private sectors in pursuit of mutually aligned interests."

Grants are available to governmental, educational or nonprofit organizations or agencies engaged in a public service within the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods. Private, for-profit organizations engaged in food retail, food distribution and micro-business development support for target businesses may also apply. 

A pre-bid meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. March 16 at the Swansea Recreation Center, 2650 E. 49th Ave. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. on April 11.

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

OZ planning World Trade Center's RiNo campus

OZ Architecture has been selected to lead the master-planning effort for the new World Trade Center (WTC) Denver global campus in RiNo.

The project will serve as a major catalyst for the area, creating a mixed-use, transit-oriented urban community expected to elevate Denver's profile on an international level.

OZ assisted WTC Denver with the visioning for the project and is developing the master plan for the campus, which will be anchored by a hotel. The development also will include about 250,000 square feet of office space for both large and small businesses from around the world, an international business and conference center, a flex-work environment, an array of multicultural restaurants, diverse retail, an art gallery and a parking structure.

"We're able to combine the collective knowledge of OZ Architecture's diverse workplace, hospitality, urban living, retail/restaurant and cultural practices to develop the new World Trade Center Denver campus," says Rick Petersen, OZ principal. "To date, OZ has been instrumental in the design of more than 20 projects in RiNo and has played a key role in reinvigorating what has become one of Denver's most dynamic neighborhoods."

The WTC Denver campus is expected to break ground next year, with the first phase completed in 2019.

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

Stapleton among bestselling communities nationwide

Stapleton ranks as the no. 4 bestselling master-planned community in the country during 2015 by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. with a total of 665 new homes sold last year. 

Stapleton's diverse mix of home products and designs attract a wide range of buyers, which boosted the community in the ranking. 

"Our newest neighborhoods continue to provide a diverse mix of builders, home types and pricing, which combine fantastic parks, open space and schools -- all making Stapleton a popular place for people to call home," says Lisa Hall, community development director at Forest City Stapleton Inc., developer of the community. "In addition to the 665 new homes that sold in 2015, there were 548 resale homes in Stapleton. Interestingly, 30 percent of the people selling their homes in Stapleton were doing so to purchase a new home also in Stapleton, demonstrating the pride of ownership in this community."

Forest City has created several new neighborhoods north of Interstate 70 in the last three years. Conservatory Green, Willow Park East and Wicker Park have proven successful. Each were designed to continue Stapleton's successful formula of community engagement, parks, schools and appealing new home designs.

"Forest City's Stapleton community is one of the most unique examples of adpative reuse anywhere in the country," says Kenneth Perlman, principal for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. "Today a classic neighborhood development theme characterized by parks, walking paths, tree-lined streets and architecturally diverse homes have proven just how successful the reinvention of the Stapleton International Airport has been."

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

Dimond Fellowship recipients announced

Metropolitan State University of Denver has announced the recipients of the 2016 Rita and Navin Dimond Hotel Management Fellowship for the spring semester.

The fellowship program, endowed through a gift from the Dimond family, was established to foster excellence and passion for providing distinguished hospitality in future industry leaders. Dimond fellows are provided professional development opportunities, including a paid internship with the executive teams at Stonebridge Companies hotels for one semester as part of their senior experience.

"Having the opportunity to participate in this fellowship taught me the ins and outs and best practices of the hotel industry," says Joe Boss, member of the inaugural 2014 class who now serves as the food and beverage and front desk supervisor at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cherry Creek, one of Stonebridge's 40-plus properties across the country. "The fellowship taught me how hotels function and everything that goes on behind the scenes. I don't think I would have the skills I have today if I hadn't been able to participate in the fellowship."

Members of the spring semester class include:
  • LeAnn Tousley Gunnell, a mother of six who is pursuing her bachelor's degree in hospitality, tourism and events with a concentration on event management
  • Elizabeth Settambrino, a student who anticipates graduating in May with a bachelor's degree in hospitality, tourism and events with a concentration on event management
  • Amanda Dinan, who grew up in Michigan and was raised in the hospitality industry
  • Bridget "Birdie" Meyers, a transfer student from Colorado State University who is pursuing a concentration in event management with the goal of a career in sales, marketing or management
"I am impressed with what our fellows have accomplished in such a short time," says Navin Dimond, founder and president of Stonebridge and a member of the MSU Denver Foundation Board. "I am confident that our latest class of students will continue to excel and be prepared to make a strong impact on the hospitality profession."

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

Micro-apartments planned for 14th and Court

A sliver of city-owned property in downtown Denver is slated for micro apartments that are being promoted as a car-free community.

A partnership between Urban Villages and Jeff Hermanson of Larimer Associates plans to pay $2.5 million for the quarter-acre site at 14th and and Court streets where they will build a 12- to 14-story micro-apartment on what now houses a free childcare center for families with Denver County or district court business.

"The project at 14th and Court has the opportunity to showcase the city’s commitment to new urbanism and the shared economy by creating a 100 percent car-free community that embraces the shared economy, heavily encouraging the use of bicycle and car-share services, as well as nearby public transit options," Hermanson says. 

The neighborhood where the project will be located has few residential options and no restaurants, bars are gathering places, resulting in poor activation of Civic Center Park beyond working hours.

"The property sits at one of Denver’s most dynamic intersections," says Grant McCargo, CEO of Urban Villages. "Tucked in among some of the most iconic architecture in the city, the site is touched by a wide variety of user groups throughout the day. This activity is complemented by programming on Civic Center Park and at the McNichols Building, by the nearby art museums, the state capitol and the U.S. Mint."
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

LoHi getting 165-room boutique hotel

Denver's LoHi neighborhood is getting a 165-room boutique hotel that's slated to open in September 2018.

The hotel will the 14th property in Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Tribute Portfolio collection, which launched last April to meet demand for greater access to booming markets like Miami, Las Vegas, London and Denver.

"Our approach to evolving the Tribute Portfolio brand centers in listening closely to our SPG members and owners as we plot our growth strategy," says Dave Marr, global brand leader for Tribute Portfolio. "In a recent survey we conducted this past December, nearly 65 percent of our guests named Denver as one of the next places they'd like to see a Tribute Portfolio hotel, and within months the brand has delivered."

The project, which is being developed by St. Charles Town Co. with architecture from Semple Brown Design, will offer views of downtown Denver from its rooms and rooftop, as well as a great location in one of Denver's hottest neighborhoods.

"Denver and our new hotel will be a must-visit destination for travelers looking to bask in the city's arts and culture, culinary and music scenes set against a majestic mountain backdrop," says Charlie Woolley, president of St. Charles Town Co. "Embarking on a partnership with Tribute Portfolio enables us to provide a truly independent experience for our guests who can also benefit from the SPG rewards program."

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

Strategic plan focuses on economy, jobs

Denver's strategic plan for economic development -- JumpStart 2016 -- has established a broad, three-year framework to continue momentum in the city's vibrant economy, creating good jobs and opportunities for all residents to succeed.

The recently released plan outlines pillars of economic development: business development, small-business advocacy, housing, neighborhoods and workforce development. Each pillar includes detailed initiatives, goals and partners with which the city's Office of Economic Development (OED) will collaborate to convert plans to action.

"This is Denver's time. We are seeing record-breaking economic success on so many levels, and the challenge now is to maintain this growth in a manner that will positively impact all our people," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Our JumpStart vision has always been founded on inclusivity, striking a balance between bold goal setting and ensuring that we are directly creating economic mobility for residents in every corner of the city."

Among the specific initiatives in the 2016 plan:
 
  • Build outreach efforts to international companies looking to expand in the United States, while also exploring international opportunities for local firms to tap new markets
  • Support Denver-based startups through a new loan fund, which in turn will provide payment enhancements to the city following a firm's successful growth and/or exit strategy
  • Identify up to 500 firms that contribute to Denver's core economy and assign them an OED business development representative to strengthen lines of communication for future expansion or retention conversations
  • Provide financing to the top ideas addressing food insecurity in the Globeville/Elyria/Swansea neighborhoods
  • Support the creation of at least 600 additional affordable and workforce housing units and pilot new tools for affordable home ownership
  • Establish a retail incubator and storefront on East Colfax for immigrant entrepreneurs to manufacture, market and sell goods

"I am proud that the vision and discipline of producing a JumpStart document each year since 2012 continues to reinforce a culture shift within the city's economic development work, stretching ourselves to accomplish greater milestones and managing to a strict scorecard for accountability which I believe makes us far more effective," says Paul Washington, executive director of OED.

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

Denver is top city for real estate agents

Three Colorado cities have landed on Realtor Magazine's list, "The Best Places to be a Real Estate Agent."

Denver came in at no. 1, while Aurora and Colorado Springs snagged the nos. 5 and 9 spots, respectively.

"The weather is great in Denver, with around 300 days of sunshine a year," said Mark Callaghan, a broker associate in Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage's Devonshire office in Cherry Creek. "The sun makes most people happy and want to buy homes in Denver."

The list is based on a WalletHub comparison of the 150 largest cities across 13 key metrics, such as sales per agent and the annual median wage of agents.

Among the findings in Colorado, Aurora had the fifth-highest turnover rate, and Denver had the fourth-highest housing market health index.
Source: WalletHub

Here's the top 15 cities on the list:
  1. Denver, Colo.
  2. Irvine, Calif.
  3. Seattle, Wash.
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Aurora, Colo.
  6. Portland, Ore.
  7. Indianapolis, Ind.
  8. San Francisco, Calif.
  9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  10. Boston, Mass.
  11. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  12. Boise, Idaho
  13. Honolulu, Hawaii
  14. Raleigh, N.C.
  15. Madison, Wis.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

$2 million condos being developed at Nine Hundred Penn

Developer Nadine Lange is redeveloping Nine Hundrend Penn in Denver's Governor's Park area into seven full-floor luxury residences.

The location is just a short walk to The Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum and other attractions in the Denver cultural center. Restaurants, two natural grocery stores and an 80-acre park all are less than a 10-minute walk from the building.

"It was really important to create a residence that I would want to live in; to bring together the quality of life experience, which includes quality of construction, views and indoor-outdoor living," Lange says. "My philosophy focuses on details of quality, elegance and functionality."

Each 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, 3.5-bath residence is fully customizable, including designer kitchens with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. Each unit will come equipped with motorized retractable glass wall systems and automatic roller shades that ope into the indoor living space and two large terraces with glass rails to optimize city and mountain views. Prices start at more than $2 million.

"Nine Hundred Penn is truly an exceptional property with appointments and design details that I have yet to see in a Denver high-rise luxury residence," says Matt McNeill, a broker with Kentwood City Properties.

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

Denver Home Show to feature celebrity guests

When the Denver Home Show returns to the National Western Complex March 18-20, it will feature celebrity guests including the Cooking Channel's Beekman Boys and reality TV couple Trista and Ryan Sutter.

The Beekman Boys are two New York City guys who bought a farm in upstate New York, where they are raising 80 goats, two pigs, a dozen chickens and a narcissistic llama. The farm and surrounding community serves as the inspiration for their lifestyle brand Beekman 1802, which includes beauty, home and food pdoducts found on the shelves of Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma and other national retail partners.

The Sutters, a favorite couple from The Bachelorette, have taken their love of renovation to Colorado's log cabins. 

Also back by popular demand will be the Tiny Home Village, which will feature more than a dozen tiny homes with different themes by a variety of builders that range from Custom Tiny Homes to EcoCabins to SimBLISSity Tiny Homes. The show's Marketplace will feature small, local companies displaying crafts and smaller locally made items.

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

RiNo to get new karaoke venue

The RiNo neighborhood is getting a new karaoke venue with a twist.

When Portland, Ore.-based Voicebox opens this summer at 2601 Walnut St., it will offer guests 10 private private-party suites, a central bar area and food.

"Voicebox is about discovery and letting your guard down," says Scott Simon, the company's founder. "It's not your typical karaoke experience -- instead providing guests with their own private party suite, we make it about the group experience, not the performer. It's a custom-designed party reactor and we're incredibly excited to bring it to the Denver community."

Through vbsongs.com, a proprietary technology developed by Voicebox CTO Carter Thaxton, guests can make a playlist of their favorite songs in advance of their suite reservation. When guests arrive, the list will automatically  populate in their suite, where they can control lights and song selection directly from a smartphone. 

"We've known a lot of people to say that karaoke isn't their thing," Simon says. "At Voicebox, karaoke is a bridge to authentic connectivity, where every visit has the potential for joy, energy, storytelling and life-changing experience. It's for people who love it, people how have never tried it, people who may be intimidated by the prospect of singing out loud -- really it's karaoke for everyone."

Chef Jensen Cummings of Fortune Cookie Concepts will build the food and beverage programs.

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

Report details development in Cherry Creek

Seven projects in Cherry Creek were completed in 2015 and another 15 projects have been announced or are under construction, according to the latest Cherry Creek Area Development Report.

When planned and under construction projects are completed, Cherry Creek will see a 225 percent increase in residential units, a 300 percent increase in hotel rooms, a 33 percent increase in the square footage of office space and a 25 percent increase in the square footage of retail space.

"Cherry Creek has widely been known as the city’s premier shopping destination," says Julie Underdahl, president and CEO of the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District. "Cherry Creek is evolving into a mixed-use destination with more hotels, restaurants and living, office and retail spaces coming online. We are working closely with public and private partners to ensure that the area continues to be the No. 1 destination for premier shopping, as well as the top destination in Denver to live, work, play and stay."

The Cherry Creek Area plan, adopted in 2012, outlines a vision for a connected, distinctive, green and prosperous Cherry Creek, a vision that required updating outdated zoning rules for the one-square-mile area. The new zoning has paved the way for development and growth in the area.

"The Cherry Creek Area development report tells a unique story about the Cherry Creek area and the effectiveness of long-term placemaking efforts," says David Steel, chair of the Cherry Creek Area Business Alliance and president of Western Development Group. "For decades, we saw minimal redevelopment activity in the area. Now, with the new zoning in place, the area is one of the most desirable mixed-use, walkable urban nodes in the country."

Other highlights in the report include:
  • More than 500 hotel rooms announced or under construction
  • Nearly 1,000 residential units planned or under construction
  • More than 95,000 square feet of retail space planned or under construction
  • Nearly 200,000 square feet of office space planned or under construction
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Tamburello, Pottles receive inaugural CREW award

CREW Denver is recognizing developers Paul Tamburello of Generator Development and Jack and Judy Pottle of JBC Capital Partners with its inaugural STEP UP award.

Together, Tamburello and the Pottles have redeveloped a parcel in North Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood, creating the Cobbler's Corner business and retail district. Cobbler's Corner is the site of the former Germinal Stage Theater at 44th and Alcott Streets. For more than 40 years, Jack Pottle's grandparents ran the cobbler's shop that is the inspiration for the new development's name.

"This is an exciting time to be involved in the real estate community in Denver -- and an exciting time for CREW Denver," says CREW Denver President Stina Kayser, partner and general counsel at Urban Villages, a Denver-based real estate development firm. "We are a growing organization and 'stepping up' our voice in the community. CREW Denver's STEP UP awards will be an important part of our brand going forward, as we look to recognize people in the area and within our own organization who are stepping up to do great things for Denver development."

CREW is a commercial real estate organization dedicated to growing the role of women in the industry.

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

Historic Bosler House up for sale

The historic Bosler House at 3209 W. Fairview Place is up for sale.

The house, built in 1875 and designated a city landmark in 1984, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It's significant not only for its Italianate architecture, but also for its history in the development of Denver and its association with Ambrose Bosler and W.H. Yankee, two early settlers of the West Highland area of Denver. the house was a functioning home from 1875 until about 2007.

Keith Painter purchased the house in 1987. He removed the roof in 2008 and began to pop the top -- work that requires prior approval by Denver's Landmark Preservation Commission, as well as appropriate building permits. After the city issued a stop-work order, the owner declined to return the roof to its earlier condition and instead proposed demolishing the historic building.

Over the next six years, attempts to work with the owner to bring the property into compliance with city maintenance and historic preservation requirements were not successful. During that time, the roof has been open and exposed to the elements. Ultimately, liens and fines on the property led the city to begin foreclosure proceedings on the house last May. The city requested the court to appoint a receiver to act as a temporary caretaker.

A historic structure assessment started last summer concluded that unauthorized alterations of the last 20 years have left the Bosler House in fair to poor condition. The 200-page assessment identified critical structural problems caused by water infiltration from the open roof and from other recent alterations, such as removal of structural beams in the interior. Removal of structural, electrical and plumbing systems were done without building permits or inspections.

Despite the damage the house has sustained inside and out, the assessment indicates that it can be restored by qualified engineers and historic preservation professionals performing major repairs. The assessment estimates the cost of all recommended repairs to total $1.75 million.

"This is a difficult situation," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "The sale of this house is a last resort and an unprecedented move -- but a necessary one. Protecting our city's most treasured historic assets is something we take very seriously and something that Denver's landmark preservation ordinance requires."

The court-appointed receiver will request the court's approval to sell the property. In addition, construction plans for roof repairs are being drafted by an architect so a future owner can use them to begin construction work immediately. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has approved a $7,000 grant to help fund the plans. State tax credits also are available for repairs to historic buildings.

"Our goal is to save this irreplaceable city landmark, and we are hopeful that a qualified buyer with resources and expertise can restore the Bosler House and make it a point of community pride once more," says Barbara Stocklin-Steely, principal city planner for landmark preservation.

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

Colorado ranks No. 5 in nation for LEED certification

Colorado ranks fifth in the nation for LEED certification with 12.2 million square feet of space in 95 projects certified in 2015.

That translates 2.43 square feet of LEED-certified space per capita. The U.S. Green Building Council calculates the list using per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building. The method allows for fair comparisons among states with significant differences in population and number of buildings.

LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

"Colorado is a nationwide leader in green building and LEED certification," says Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. "LEED has become an essential standard for the transformation of building design and construction. LEED-certified buildings drive economic growth, create jobs and ma communities healthier."

Among the notable projects that were certified in Colorado in 2015 are: 
 
  • Republic Plaza in Denver, LEED Gold
  • Granite Tower in Denver, LEED Gold
  • Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility in Denver, LEED Gold
  • North Colorado Springs Readiness Center in Colorado Springs, LEED Platinum
  • Laurel Village Residence Halls (LEED Gold and Laurel Village Pavilion (LEED Platinum) at Colorado State University
  • Pueblo County Judicial Center, LEED Silver
  • City of Boulder Fire Station 8, LEED Silver
The states topping Colorado on the list are Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington.

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

PlanOmatic has increased revenue by 50 percent in 10 years

As Denver-based PlanOmatic celebrates its 10th year in business, the real estate marketing firm has achieved revenue growth of 50 percent.

PlanOmatic also expanded on its services and territories to include aerial photography, virtual staging, multiple exposure photography techniques and technology integration, which allows companies to connect their platforms with brokerage clients, making the process more seamless.

"PlanOmatic is my home away from home, a place where our team is like family," says Kori Covrigaru, co-founder and CEO. "As we continue to grow, I'm humbled by their dedication and unwavering potential. Surrounding ourselves with great people has been a key to our success, and we look forward to the next chapter and a magnanimous 2016."

The firm, originally started in Michigan, has expanded to 26 states and continues to work with some of the most prestigious real estate brokerages in the country. The company also was named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.

Key employee additions in 2015 included a controller/director of human resources, field supervisors to manage the photographer network, a hiring/training team and logistics supervisor. A total of 100 photographers also are scattered throughout the country.

"Our 2015 expansion included the addition of 70 photographers across 62 markets, and we are still growing," says Chad Gagnon, the company's chief operating officer. "In order to meet the demands of this rapid growth, we also expanded our teams internally with talented professionals who understand our purpose and value. These crucial additions streamline communication, as well as our training processes."

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

RiNo Art District to present initiatives at breakfast

The RiNo Art District is hosting a breakfast at its monthly neighborhood meeting to kick off its 2016 initiatives.

The Art District will provide complimentary light breakfast fare from RiNo's restaurants and bakeries, including Babettes, The Preservery, Comida and Stowaway, as well as mimosas and special cider-mosas from C Squared Ciders. 

The breakfast will be held on Thurs. Feb. 11 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Summit Church, 3300 Larimer St., where the Art District will present its lineup of initiatives for the year and attendees will have the chance to comment and discuss the projects planned for this year, including design guidelines, wayfinding signage and the parking study.

Initiatives include:
 
  • Affordability for artists, creatives and entrepreneurs to advocate for and help keep RiNo artists in the district
  • RiNo design guidelines
  • RiNo gateways, wayfinding and signage
  • Brighton Boulevard construction
  • 38th Street underpass creative lighting project
  • Multimodal access and parking plan
  • Placemaking: crosswalks, benches, bike racks, alleys
  • Green stormwater strategy
  • Westside lighting and safety
  • Park planning and activation
Located just north of downtown Denver, the RiNo Art District was formed in 2005 by a small group of artists focused on starting an artist and creative community and helping these businesses market their work. Today, RiNo is a state-certified Colorado Creative District and has grown to more than 200 member, 250 studios and 25 galleries. The district also includes a Business Improvement District and a General Improvement District.

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

The Preservery to open in RiNo in March

Restaurant industry veterans and musicians Obe and Whitney Ariss will open The Preservery in RiNo in March.

The fast-casual eatery, bakery, marketplace and bar is located in an old warehouse that now is the Backyard on Blake complex. The community-driven food and music hall will be open six days a week featuring breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner, late-night and regular live music performances. 

The Preservery also has joined a movement of restaurants that are doing away with tipping and instead is pricing its menu to reflect the costs of labor. The system will allow the restaurant to set its starting minimum wage at $14.50 an hour and provide full health benefits and shift meals to employees.

"We are building a social enterprise," Whitney Ariss says. "Our mission with The Preservery is to help create positive change in the community and get more people supporting local food and music."

The menu focuses on maximizing the local supply chain to create familiar yet inspired dishes, as well as preserves of all kinds -- from cheese and salumi to pickles and jellies.

The music will be inspired by the music scene in New Orleans, where both great food and live music are celebrated.

The Preservery's mission is to build community through everything they do, not just by bringing people together with music and food but also through education, outreach and fundraising, sustainability and practicing gratitude.

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

Final phases of Tejon34 in LoHi hits the market

Townhomes in the final two phases of Tejon34 in LoHi hit the market Jan. 29 with prices ranging from $750,000 to $1.25 million. 

Developed by River Meadow LLC, the front doors and porches of residences in Tejon34 face the street or a courtyard, offering residents the opportunity to connect with the surrounding community.

"Homes that have design sensitivity to the neighborhood sell for more per square foot than homes that have less thoughtful design," says Paul Tamburello, broker/owner of Generator Real Estate, which is marketing the property in conjunction with Red Chair Realty Advisors.

In all, Tejon34 has 20 townhomes and eight condos surrounding a courtyard. The 24-foot-wide residences at the corner of West 34th Avenue and Tejon Street range in size from 1,872 square feet to 2,928 square feet and feature energy-efficient systems combined with environmentally sensitive, locally sourced materials, including brick, stone and steel."

"We could have built more on the site, but we thought the responsible way to design the project was to give our residents a place to gather and interact with each other," says Ray Kawano, managing partner of River Meadow. "The townhomes give buyers a contemporary urban living option in the heart of a culturally diverse neighborhood that has a blend of restaurants, shops and community events."

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

Crelow launches new services for office space searches

Commercial real estate matchmaker Crelow has launched three new services for tenants looking for office space. 

The new services Crelow has launched include:
 
  • "Crebates" that allow tenants to share in the savings they create with a cash-back incentive program
  • Rep Matcher for tenants who prefer to work with a representative will match companies with tenant reps
  • Tenant reps can submit their own bid request to work directly with landlords.
"We developed this technology to put the business tenant in control and help them find the great office space they deserve,"says Jim Simpson, CEO of Minneapolis-based Crelow. "Our marketplace is particularly important to smaller tenants that have been traditionally underserved. It takes reps just as much time to find and serve smaller tenants to the market has largely ignored them."

Tenants looking for less than 5,000 square feet of space make up about 80 percent of the Denver market.

"These new features represent dramatic change in the commercial real estate industry," says Peter Fitzgerald, a broker with Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq. "Crelow not only includes reps on both sides of the deal, they have found a way to make smaller businesses more attractive to both tenant reps and landlord reps. It's definitely a win, win, win situation that puts the small-business tenant front and center."

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

Quality Italian to open in Cherry Creek

New York-based Quality Branded will open Quality Italian later this year in Halcyon, a hotel at 245 Columbine in Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood.

The menu will offer modern-day adaptations of traditional Italian-American steakhouse fare.

"Denver is rapidly becoming a food destination, and we're excited to be able to take part in its development," says Michael Stillman, president and founder of the Fourth Wall Restaurants, recently renamed as Quality Branded. "We're also thrilled to be bringing the Quality family west."

In addition to the upcoming Quality Italian Denver, the Quality Branded portfolio includes Quality Eats, Quality Meats NYC, Quality Meats Miami, Park Avenue Winter, Maloney & Porcelli and Smith & Wollensky.

"The goal of our Quality restaurants is to provide a contemporary steakhouse experience that speaks to current dining tastes but remains rooted in traditional hospitality," Stillman says. "Whether it's fulfilling a guests's special request or simply providing a great meal, we like sending people home having had a quality experience. It's how we named several of our restaurants, and we though it only fitting that our restaurant group's name reflect those same values."

Developers BMC Investments and Sage Hospitaliy have teamed up to build Halcyon, a boutique hotel with 155 guest rooms, meeting space, a roof-top deck, fitness center and valet parking.

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

Cannabis Business Alliance offers outlook for 2016

As Colorado marks the two-year anniversary of legalization for recreational marijuana, the cannabis industry predicts new milestones will be reached throughout the state, as well as nationwide.

"This year, the cannabis industry made great strides in protecting and educating the consumer," says Peggy Moore, chairwoman of the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) and owner of Love's Oven, a Denver-based, small-batch cannabis bakery. "The industry heard early on after legalization for the adult-use market about concerns of unintended access, as well as overconsumption."

The CBA, an advocate and resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the marijuana industry, will continue to bring best practices to the industry and ensure that consumers are educated about cannabis consumption, Moore says.

"We take our role in ensuring public safety very seriously," she says. "The industry has embraced and furthered certified child-resistant packaging, safety warnings on labeling and product testing and will continue to promote this and other industry best practices in 2016."

As the industry evolves, the Cannabis Business Alliance offers an outlook for 2016:
 
  • Education and safety: The "Start Low, Go Slow" public education campaign on edibles will continue, and the industry will further education on cannabis consumption protocols and proper cannabis storage techniques to keep children safe.
  • Purchasing regulations: Purchasing limits will be a topic of discussion this year. A 2014 legislative bill called for a study to determine the equivalency of edibles and concentrates to the one ounce of marijuana purchase. Purchasing restrictions for out-of-state tourists also are up for discussion this year. Non-residents of Colorado are restricted to purchasing no more than a quarter of an ounce in a single transaction. Washington and Oregon don't have such restrictions for out-of-state consumers.
  • Stamping: The State Licensing Authority has proposed a universal symbol for medical and retail marijuana packaging and labeling, which is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1. The law requires that packaging and edible cannabis-infused products be marked with the symbol. Legislation regarding the shape and character of edibles also is expected to be introduced this year.
  • Pest management: As more states legalize the production of cannabis, many cultivators are grappling with the issue of managing pests in an industry that has no federal oversight.
  • Retail rules: A Denver moratorium on new recreational stores, cultivation facilities and infused-product manufacturers expires on May 1, but city regulators are asking the City Council to extend the freeze for two more years to give them time to gauge the impact on the legal marijuana industry from a city management perspective.
  • Mainstream acceptance: Support for legalized cannabis continues to grow both in Colorado and nationwide.
  • Tourist influx: A recent Colorado Tourism Office study, which surveyed 3,254 tourists that vacationed in Colorado between April and September, revealed that 48 percent of visitors to Colorado were influenced by the legal marijuana industry.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division's first annual report released in 2014 showed that 4.8 million units were sold in the first year of recreational cannabis sales. By December 2014, the state had issued 833 retail licenses and 1,416 medical licenses.

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

OED announces mentor-protege pairings

The Denver Office of Economic Development announced the first five mentor-protégé matches designed to strengthen minority- and women-owned businesses in the construction industry. 

"The fundamental goal of our Division of Small Business Opportunity is to build the capacity of minority- and women-owned firms," says Paul Washington, executive director of the OED. "Beyond the core work of certifying qualified firms to compete across a broader range of opportunities, we're boosting their chances of success even further with additional programs like this mentor-protégé initiative. It takes this goal to a whole new level."

Designed to last at least three years, the pairings are:Protégés will receive coaching on public contract applications and contract performance, as well as an array of other business-management topics from strategic planning to financial management and marketing. All participants already are active in the city's Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program administered by the Division of Small Business Opportunity.

Plans call for additional placements later in 2016, with mentor-protégé matches in professional services as well as construction.

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

H+L Architecture merges with Kansas firm

Denver-based H+L Architecture has merged with Treanor Architects, a nationally recognized form based in Lawrence, Kansas.

The companies will maintain their existing names but will work together during the coming months to develop a new branding identity that will encapsulate the culture and history that unite the firms.

"We are extremely excited to be merging with such an exceptional team of architects and designers," says Scott Kuehn, president of H+L. "Combining teams with portfolios as deep as our two firms is an amazing opportunity to add to our depth of knowledge in all of the markets we are currently serving and continue creating spaces that inspire. This is truly a win-win for H+L, Treanor and our clients."

The merger will strengthen the firms' service offerings, as well as allow them to examine all aspects of customer service to ensure they continue to offer outstanding customer service to all their clients.

H+L, which has offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, focuses on healthcare, education, advanced industries and senior life. Its projects include the Colorado School of Mines Ben Parker Student Center, Northfield High School, Children's Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado Anschutz Wellness Center. 

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

Green Building Council predicts surge in green building for 2016

The U.S. Green Building Council's Colorado chapter is predicting a major surge in green building for 2016.

Coming off a banner year in the construction industry where the chapter saw 127 LEED certifications this year, the USGBC saw attendance at its signature event Rocky Mountain Green increase by nearly 25 percent.

"Colorado has always shown tremendous support for green building," says Patti Mason, executive director of USGBC Colorado. "What stands out in 2015 is the diversity of LEED-certified projects. From affordable housing developers earning LEED for Neighborhood Development certification to schools in rural Colorado earning a community's first LEED plaque, we have seen a rich diversity of projects that is unmatched in previous years."

The USGBC Colorado predictions for 2016 include:
  • Greater accessibility to green living for residents in low-income housing. The Denver Housing Authority's longstanding commitment to renewable energy, green building and healthy living will serve as a model for others working on Colorado's housing shortage.
  • Repurposing industrial buildings and building more condominiums. With Denver's land values appreciating more than 100 percent in the last two years, the 2015 trend was adapative reuse. 2016 will see more of the same, with adaptive reuse being an option to meet the housing demand in Denver.
  • Schools shift toward the 21st century. Schools will look for creative ways to shift existing and new schools toward an environment appropriate for 21st century learning.  With 11 new LEED-certified schools in Colorado in 2015, the green schools movement is on the rise.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Bacon Social House opens in Sunnyside

Bacon Social House has opened in the Sunnyside neighborhood's historic Cobbler's Corner at 2434 W. 44th Ave.

"At Bacon, we believe food is family, so we're providing an elevated dining destination with a neighborhood and community feel," says owner David Dill. "We're very conscious when it comes to sourcing locally and buying the highest quality ingredients for our menu, so the flavors come out when eating our recipes and food."

Bacon lovers can dive into dishes that feature six different flavors of bacon (habanero, garlic, candied, applewood, paleo and chef's selection). The menu also includes lighter fare and options for those with dietary restrictions, including vegans and vegetarians. Bacon's beverage menu has 12 taps of Colorado beer, brunch cocktails, bacon cocktails and signature cocktails.

"David made a larger investment in the kitchen because people often dine in groups," says Executive chef Brian Crow. "We want all of our guests to have choices they feel good about. Our job is to deliver what guests want. We designed the restaurant to be all about the experience from the moment guests walk up to the front door."

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.em. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. 

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

Three Arch11-designed restaurants open in Denver

Three new restaurants designed by Boulder architecture firm Arch11 have opened in Denver. 

Blue Island Oyster Bar in Cherry Creek melds elements of rustic East Coast oyster shacks with Denver's artisanal dining trends. The open kitchen design and central shucking counter highlights the growing desire for experiential dining where customers see their food prepared.

"With baskets of oysters on ice right in front of diners, customers express how intimately connected they are to their food and the story of oysters," says Arch11 principal and lead architect Ken Andrews. 

Arch11 also helped design Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in the Prospect area near Coors Field. Collaborating with a team assembled by the Tavern Hospitality Group, the bar's timeless atmosphere is poised to become the social hub of the neighborhood. The restaurant's earthy palette of concrete, steel and wood highlighted with warm washes of soft light sets a sociable tone with a splash of sophistication. The 3,200-square-foot space offers an intimate drinking and dining experience that distinguishes it from the city's popular expansive craft beer halls.

Chef Steven Redzikowski and beverage director Bryan Dayton, the partners behind the award-winning Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, tapped Arch11 to create their fast-casual rotisserie restaurant Brider in the Nichols Building in the Central Platte Valley.

"The space didn't have a history or patina of its own, so we had to create it," Andrews says.

Andrews' team applied a palette of classic materials to the interiors, including repurposed oak, Carrara marble, chalkboard menus and steel. Layered textures, geometric wall planes and custom built-ins, along with bright green flashes of colors and Knoll furnishings, give the space an old-soul feel with clean modernist lines.

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

Content delivery network Fastly opens in LoDo

The San Francisco-based real-time content delivery network Fastly has opened is fifth office in Denver.

The 2,200-square-foot space at 1445 Market St. will house eight Denver-area employees in sales and product development. Fastly helps companies accelerate web content to end users. The company also has offices in San Francisco, New York, London and Tokyo.

"Fastly chose Denver as its latest location because of easy access to companies in the Midwest and mountain states," said Jonathan Candee, director of sales for Fastly's central region and leader of the Denver office. "The city's vibrant community of technology talent, market-leading tech companies and growth-focused venture-funded startups made Denver an easy choice."

Denver has been a key to Fastly's geographic strategy since October 2014, when the company opened a downtown Denver technical Point of Presence (PoP), which is wihtin walking distance of its new LoDo office.

"Our larger network reach and increased capacity will help allow current and future customers share our dedication to high-quality web experiences," says Artur Bergman, Fastly CEO. "Fastly thanks its customers for contributing to our rapid growth. We're honored to be supporting them along the way."

The Fastly content delivery network gives businesses complete control over how they serve content, access to real-time performance analytics and the ability to cache frequently changing content. The company powers popular online destinations, including Twitter, the Guardian, Fast Company, Pinterest and Shazam.

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

Natural Grocers opens in Berkeley

Natural Grocers opens its 36th store in Colorado at 3825 Tennyson St. in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood. on Dec. 15. 

As part of the grand opening, the store will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:55 a.m. where it will distribute mystery gift cards to the first 60 customers in line. Gift cards will be in the amounts of $5, $10, $15, $50 and $100. Customers won’t know the amount of their gift cards until they check out. The store also will offer a tasting of health foods from its Paleo Wraps class.

The opening of the new store begins with a live performance by Wild Canyon Band from 8 to 10 a.m., followed by a series of free, grand-opening celebrations, including food tastings, cooking demonstrations and nutrition classes. All activities will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on the following dates:
 
  • Dec. 19: Gluten-Free Holiday, including a live performance by DJ Cavem and Alkemia Earth from 2 to 2:40 p.m.
  • Jan. 9: New Year, New You
  • Jan. 16: Paleo Fair
  • Jan. 23: Taste the Difference Food Standards Make
Natural Grocers provides fresh produce that is USDA Certified Organic, as well as other healthy affordable, organic and natural products. The new store will feature a mix of national brands and locally grown, raised and manufactured products from Colorado in a neighborhood market environment. The new store also will feature a nutritional health coach and offer free nutrition education classes.

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

SkyHouse Denver reaches milestone with topping out

SkyHouse Denver has reached a new milestone with the topping out of the 354-unit apartment building on the corner of Broadway and 18th Avenue in Denver's Uptown neighborhood.

The topping out signals that the 26-story  building is halfway to completion.

"With this milestone, we are pleased to be that much closer to offering residents the opportunity to be among the first to live in this world-class building located in the heart of the Uptown neighborhood," says Jim Borders, president of Novare Group, which is developing the project. "Batson-Cook Construction and Swinerton Builders are working carefully and methodically to deliver a high-quality high-rise community, and we are excited to celebrate the topping out with them and the highly skilled construction workers making this a reality."

In addition to the apartments, ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, the mixed-use project  includes 6,900 square feet of street-level retail space. The top floor of the building will include a club room, swimming pool and fitness center. Other amenities include vehicle-charging stations, bike storage and maintenance areas, a dog-walk area and dog-washing station. The building is being built to Energy Star standards.

The building, designed by Atlanta-based Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart and Associates, is targeting professionals who want to live in urban centers close to public transportation, employment centers and cultural institutions. The leasing center will open next spring, and the project is expected to be delivered in August.

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

Bra retailer SOL expanding in new space

Bra retailer SOL is moving into a larger space at 3010 E. Sixth Ave. in Cherry Creek next spring.

The new 3,400-square-foot store, just three blocks north of SOL's current location, is 67 percent larger than its current store. The larger space will have spacious fitting rooms, increased showroom space and offices for the SOL team. A private, 12-space parking lot will be available to customers.

"After 18 years of talking to women about fit, size and confidence, it was time for us to do the same," says Jeanie Peterson, who owns the business with her sister Cindy Johnson. "We've been growing with the changing figure of Denver's women who are more empowered than ever -- culturally, personally and economically. And our larger location will help us provide more of what our modern customer, who also is busier than ever, is craving: more service, more space and more convenience."

The new Tuscan-style SOL location will feature large columns, unique tiles and bright decor inspired by Johnson and Peterson's European trips to source extraordinary bras, pajamas and swimwear.

Johnson and Peterson founded SOL in 1997 with the goal of creating a fun bra-fitting destination to help women be confident and find beauty in their own skin. The store's focus is on fitting, and SOL has earned a national reputation for its trained, career fitters who complete a two-month bra-fitting course.

"The SOL approach is about helping women feel good about themselves inside and out," Johnson says.

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

Balfour receives two national awards

Balfour at Riverfront Park was recently received the 2015 Senior Living by Design Award and the Grand Award for a Senior Living Community.

Balfour at Riverfront Park, a senior living community that opened in October 2014, provides independent living, assisted living and memory care in a setting that combines the amenities of a four-star hotel with the comforts of a carefully designed residential setting.

It received the Grand Award for a Senior Living Community from Hanley Wood, the premier information, media, event and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. 

Designed by Klipp Architects, Balfour received the Senior Living by Design Award from Argentum, the largest national association dedicated to professionally managed resident-centered senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve.

"This awards competition shows once again how senior living providers are constantly adapting to the changing desires and needs of residents and families," says James Balda, Argentum's president and CEO. "We will continue to see innovation in the industry through these types of collaborations with cutting-edge architects and through advances in technology and research on care for older adults."

The Balfour project is highlighted in the November/December issue of Senior Living Executive, a magazine published by Argentum.

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

Nearly 13,000 residential units added to Denver's center neighborhoods

Over the last five years, 12,933 residential units have been completed or are under construction in downtown Denver, according to the Downtown Denver Partnership’s first Center City Neighborhood Residential Development Map and Profiles report.

The report supports the Downtown Denver Partnership’s commitment outlined in the 2007 Downtown Area Plan to add 18,000 housing units to center city neighborhoods by 2027.

The report also found that 72,767 residents now call downtown Denver’s center city neighborhoods home. Fifteen center city neighborhoods were included in the report, with residential development occurring at 98 projects across 13 of the neighborhoods since 2011.

"The explosion of population growth in the center city, where some neighborhoods have grown by more than 30 percent since 2010, is a testament to our collective progress towards building an economically healthy, growing and vital downtown," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Residential development projects and access to high-quality amenities and multi-modal transportation options are critical components of attracting downtown’s next generation workforce who continue to place downtown living in high demand."

Other highlights of the report include:
  • Residential population in the center city has increased 15 percent since 2011
  • 2015 is the most active year in residential development since 2011, with 29 projects completed or under construction
  • There are currently 6,165 residential units under construction in the center city
  • 95.9 percent of the units completed or under construction since 2011 are rental units
  • Capitol Hill has the highest population (16,468) within center city neighborhoods, while the Ballpark and Central Platte Valley neighborhoods have both experienced the largest percentage in population growth since 2010 (31 percent).
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood, bolstered by the re-development of Denver Union Station, has also seen the largest increase in residential units added or under construction since 2011 (3,808).
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Halcyon hotel to open in Cherry Creek next spring

Halcyon -- a Hotel in Cherry Creek will open next spring at 245 N. Columbine St. 

The 155-room hotel will include a rooftop bar, pool and two restaurants, one being Sage Restaurant Group's Departure Restaurant + Lounge Cherry Creek featuring a modern Asian menu.

"Halcyon will be not only an exciting place to be for travelers, but with the culinary offerings, rooftop bar, pool and comfortable atmosphere, we look forward to it being a favorite place for locals as well," says Peter Karpinski, chief operating officer and co-founder of Sage Restaurant Group. "It will be well appointed with subtle art, textiles and amenities that make it more than a normal hotel room."

Designed by Denver-based Johnson Nathan Strohe and New York-based AvroKO, rooms will evoke a sense of staying in a friend's home. Natural elements and riffs on the American West will add a sense of place and light will pour in from oversized windows. Guests will enjoy filtered still and sparkling water, craft cocktail ingredients delivered by room service, a place for coffee and a refrigerator for leftovers from the abundance of restaurants in Cherry Creek.

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

Seven receive awards from U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado has announced the winners of the second annual Commercial Real Estate Green Building Awards.

The winners are:
  • Executive Director's Award: Dakota Outfall Project, replacing an aging stormwater system in south Denver.
  • Exceptional Implementation of Sustainable Technologies Award: Marble Distilling Co., which is the first major commercial building to meet the requirements of the International Green Construction Code in the town of Carbondale, Colo. 
  • Green Building Legacy Award: 1900 16th St.,  a 17-story commercial office building, that has been recognized as the first multi-tenant office building in Colorado to achieve LEED Platinum. 
  • Most Successful Community Engagement Award: Aurora Public Schools, for  engaging the community through the Green Stars Program, an incentives program developed to award schools for their energy saving efforts. 
  • Rise to the Challenge Award: Turntable Studios, a 13-story, 94,000-square-foot former hotel next to Sports Authority Field that has been transformed into Denver's first micro apartment project.  
  • Green Dealmakers Award: GreenSpot Real Estate, an industry leader in adding value to real estate through green-building certifications and energy efficiency.
  • Greenest Building Award: South Wing at St. Vrain, which is targeting LEED Platinum and pursuing credits in all areas of sustainability: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
The winners and finalists were selected by a jury of their peers and honored Dec. 1 at a gala reception at SPACE Gallery

"The finalists for this year's Commercial Green Building Achievement Awards are the best and brightest in Colorado's green building community," says Patti Mason, the council's executive director. "The awards are designed to celebrate these green building leaders and honor the projects they have worked on over the past year."

Finalists for the awards were:

Exceptional Implementation of Sustainable Technologies
  • Aria Apartments: The new LEED Gold community is focused on energy efficiency and generational and socioeconomic diversity.
  • CityScape at Belmar: CityScape at Belmar is on track to be LEED Platinum certified and will provide homes for households with a wide range of incomes in a very attractive, highly sustainable, cost-effective building. 
  • University of Colorado | Colorado Springs:  The university has committed to constructing all new structures to a minimum of LEED Gold specifications. 
  • Village at Westerly Creek II: Village at Westerly Creek II replaced the obsolete housing development, Buckingham Gardens, and was designed and built to incorporate ADA and UFAS requirements.  
Green Dealmakers: Most Sustainable Real Estate Company
  • D4 Urban: D4 Urban is a Denver-based real estate development company focused on urban, infill, transit-oriented development opportunities. 
  • Zocalo Community Development: Zocalo Community Development provides a range of services ideally suited to delivering and managing successful green development projects. 
Most Successful Community Engagement
  • The Dakota Outfall Project: The Dakota Outfall Project was a successful public-private-partnership that was managed and delivered by the BMP Metro District and involved the City and County of Denver, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, and RTD. 
Greenest Building of 2015 (New or Existing)
  • Factory Flats: Factory Flats is a new, sustainable, solar-powered, five-story mixed use building with 24 residential flats, plus retail and office space for lease in the heart of Denver's RiNo neighborhood.
  • RTD Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility: The LEED Gold certified building features refrigerant flow systems, evaporative cooling, radiant floor heating, LED lighting and skylights for natural day light. Through a series of energy-saving designs, the facility achieved an energy savings of 32 percent. 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Holiday Flea expects $1 million economic impact over four days

When The Denver Flea presents the four-day Holiday Flea Dec. 3-6 in Globeville, not only will the market bring in 40,000 shoppers, it is expected to have an economic impact of $1 million.

The economic impact figure is based on the cost to host the event, including contractors for lighting, rentals and heat; what vendors pay to rent space; and consumer spending at the event and in the surrounding neighborhood.

"The Denver Flea is the only event of its kind in Colorado providing a sustainable support system and launching pad for 180 growing entrepreneurs and small businesses," says Blake Adams, who launched The Denver Flea in May 2014 with partners Casey Berry and PJ Hoberman.

The Denver Flea’s efforts to support local companies is paying off for vendors like Kelly Perkins, founder Spinster Sisters. Perkins says the $10,000 in sales she had during the first market far exceeded her expectations. 

"Somehow the Flea team has gathered exactly the perfect demographic for our handcrafted, all-natural skincare products," Perkins says. "The exposure we have received at the Flea markets has really helped grow our brand in the Denver area. We’ve even won some wholesale gift boutique customers from the market. Not only are the markets really fun, but our sales have consistently exceeded our expectations each time we have participated."

It’s not just those vendors participating in the Flea markets that benefit. Neighboring businesses and real estate owners also see increased activity during the events. In a 2002 survey of more than 800 customers from a variety of indoor and open-air markets nationwide, the Project for Public Spaces found that 60 percent of market shoppers also visited nearby stores on the same day. Of those shoppers, 60 percent said they visited the additional stores only on days they visit the market.

"The weekend of Denver Flea brought us an estimated 15 to 20 percent increase in traffic and sales for the weekend," says Jennie Richau of Epic Brewing Co. "The increase in business is appreciated; however, what we enjoyed most is seeing guests come in who had never been to Epic before."

Sonia Danielsen, owner of Bindery on Blake where the first Denver Flea was held, said the market exposed her real estate development project to potential tenants.

"Before the Flea, no one know about Bindery on Blake or where it was," Danielsen says. "Now I say Bindery on Blake, and the response is, 'Is that where The Denver Flea was?’ We are now 100 percent leased for office and retail. It would not have happened without the Flea."

The Holiday Flea will be held Dec. 3-6 at the former Denver Post production facility at 4400 Fox St. For more information, visit www.denverflea.com.

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

Chill apartments sells for $2.34 million

Local private investor 66 S. Clarkson St. LLC paid $2.34 million for Chill, a 12-unit property located at 66 S. Clarkson St. in Denver's Washington Park neighborhood.

The property, which underwent extensive renovations in 2012, was 100 percent occupied at the time of the sale. Renovations to the 1959 building included finishes that rival those found in new, high-end construction, including designer floors and lighting, new stainless steel appliances, updated kitchens and bathrooms and balconies.

"This transaction is a continuation of the strong interest and momentum in the metro Denver market," says Justin Hunt, executive managing director of ARA Newmark, which represented seller Incense Holdings LLC in the transaction. "The ability to secure permanent debt at historically low rates is leading to an increased appetite for stabilized, renovated assets."

The demographics surrounding Chill, just five miles southeast of downtown Denver, have helped the apartment building absorb rent premiums for renovated units. 

"The buyer was able to secure this property due to the seller-friendly terms, which included a very large amount of non-refundable earnest money and a contract extension to help facilitate a seller 1031 Exchange if needed," says Robert Bratley, associate director of ARA. "We had higher offers, but favorable terms won the deal."

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

Park Central gets pop-up artist's studio

The lobby of the Park Central office building will be converted into a pop-up artist-in-residence studio from Nov. 12 to Dec. 17.

Studio 1515, located at 1515 Arapahoe St., will feature Adam Buehler, an emerging artist and graduate student at the University of Colorado at Denver's College of Architecture and Planning.  Buehler will work from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays creating a site-specific painting for a plaza-level location in the building.

NINE dot ARTS worked with Jones Lang LaSalle to provide Buehler with in-kind, on-site studio space for the project.

"We are very excited to partner with NINE dot ARTS in this initiative," says JLL's Amy Vadovic, general manager at 1515 Arapahoe. "This is a unique opportunity to engage the local community and showcase Denver's incredibly talented artists."

Buehler will showcase his intuitive artistic process on the building's ground floor facing the 16th Street Mall for a behind-the-scenes look at how art is made. 1515 Arapahoe tenants, as well as the general public, are invited to witness the painting's creation, chart its progress and engage in Buehler's artistic process with the hashtag #studio1515denver. Using his bold, expressive, geometric and abstract style, Buehler will transform a reclaimed, nearly 7-foot-wide wooden panel into a painting. 

"Artist studios are becoming increasingly unaffordable in the city, and real estate developers and property managers, led by JLL, have an incredible opportunity to leverage artistic interventions to activate unused spaces and support artists beyond a check and become true arts patrons," says Martha Weidmann, CEO of NINE dot ARTS.

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

Thrive wins national Department of Energy award

Denver-based Thrive Home Builders is one of four builders nationwide to receive an award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for Innovation in Multi-Family Homes.

Thrive, formerly known as New Town Builders, is the first home builder in the country to win a Grand Award for three consecutive years. 

The DOE Housing Innovation Awards recognize the best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes. Thrive was recognized for Row Homes at Perrin's Row in Wheat Ridge. 

"Introducing homeowners to the benefits of energy efficient homes has been incredibly rewarding," says Gene Myers, Thrive's CEO. "Everyone wins because net zero homes are good for the environment and offer homeowners significant savings on energy costs."

Located at West 38th Avenue and Depew, Row Homes at Perrin's Row are DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes, meaning they are so energy efficient they can offset all or most of their annual energy consumption. Energy efficient features include solar panels and Energy Star-rated appliances.

"Wheat Ridge is honored that Thrive Home Builders selected our community to build these homes," says Wheat Ridge Mayor Joyce Jay. "The Perrin's Row project was supposed to take three years to sell and construct, and it's taken less than two years. It just shows the quality of these homes and the popularity of Wheat Ridge."

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

Restaurant opens on MSU Denver campus

Degree Metropolitan Food + Drink has opened on the MSU Denver campus. 

Located inside the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at MSU Denver, Degree serves lunch and dinner daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the bar staying open until midnight every night except for Sunday.

Students from MSU Denver's Department of Hospitality, Tourism & Events are working alongside professional restaurateurs at Degree, earning real-life experience in restaurant operations and management. A portion of all sales at Degree goes to the MSU Denver Foundation, which supports student scholarships. 

Led by Executive Chef Daniel Hyman, Degree's menu features Colorado meats, ethically caught seafood and local produce. Dishes include a Colorado Cobb for $10, Soba Noodle Salad for $10 and a variety of sandwiches and ramen bowls. Entrees such as Harissa Chicken, Gnocchi Salmon and Colorado Drunken Noodles are served beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The bar menu includes 16 wines by the glass and 20 Colorado craft beers, including Tivoli Brewing Co.'s Helles Lager, Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout and Great Divide's Whitewater Wheat Ale. Degree also serves an inventive list of handcrafted cocktails made from local spirits, including a Rosemary Salty Dog made with CapRock Gin and grapefruit juice for $7 and the Pickled Goat, made with Peach Street Distillers Goat Vodka and pickled Fresno pepper juice for $9.

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

RiNo creates Business Improvement District

The River North (RiNo) Art District has approved both a Business Improvement District (BID) and a General Improvement District (GID) to generate more than $1 million a year to invest in infrastructure, advocacy, affordability initiatives, placemaking, marketing and programming. 

The goal of the districts is to ensure than the investment pouring into the neighborhood does not significantly alter its urban, industrial character and that there are resources to ensure artists, small businesses and creatives can stay put and that the neighborhood remains diverse, inclusive and affordable. 

Funding from the districts will help preserve RiNo's character and support artists and creatives through grants, artist housing and other initiatives that could be a model for other art districts. District funds also will be invested in infrastructure improvements to the industrial neighborhood, including a collaborative partnership with the city to enhance Brighton Boulevard and develope a new park and community facilities.

The districts also will fund improved lighting, wayfinding signage and other physical improvements. Programming, marketing, activation and continuing to grow the dynamic nature of RiNo are all part of the plan.

The RiNo BID encompasses about 450 acres generally bounded by Interstate 70 to the north, the alley between Larimer and Lawrence streets to the east, Broadway to the south and the rail tracks to the west. Commercial property owners within those boundaries will pay four mills on the assessed value of their property, which will generate about $600,000 in 2016. 

The RiNo GID includes about 300 acres and covers only the western portion of the RiNo district. Commercial and residential property owners in the GID will pay four mills on the assessed value of their properties, which will generate about $300,000 in 2016. 

In addition, property owners fronting Brighton Boulevard will pay a special assessment of about $200 per linear foot to fund infrastructure enhancements on the street, raising $3 million over 20 years.

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

Mayor's Design Award winners announced

The winners of the 2015 Mayor's Design Awards honoring excellence in architecture, exterior design and placemaking were honored at a recent ceremony held in the Chambers Grant Salon at Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Created in 2005, the awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design.

Projects that involve the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings:
 
    •    Bradford Real Estate Office, 2956 W. 32nd Ave. 
    •    The Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Dr. 
    •    The Moffat Depot, Balfour at Riverfront Park, 1500 Little Raven St. 
    •    Wurstküche Restaurant, 2036 Broadway 
    •    Industry, 3001 Brighton Blvd. 

Category: This is Home
Single-family projects:

    •    Gulliver-Lynch House, 227 S. Lincoln St.
    •    Curtis Park Garden Cottage, 2857 Stout St. 

Category: Building Well, Living Well
Projects that promote community health through active living, access to healthy food and transit, or walkability:

    •    Art In Transit, 3200 - 5200 W. Colfax

Category: Density by Design
Multi-family and mixed-use developments:

    •    16M, 1560 Market St.
    •    My Block – Wash Park, 255 Washington St.

Category: Neighborhood Gem
Projects that exemplify the unique character of their neighborhoods:

    •    Mestizo-Curtis Park Playground, 3181 Champa St.
    •    Izakaya Den, 1487A S. Pearl St.
    •    Whittier Alley Loop, 4 blocks between Williams & Race Streets 
    •    The Butterfly Walk, La Alma Lincoln Park, 1100 Mariposa St.

Category: Distinctive Denver
Projects with unique features or elements that set them apart from similar structures, uses and building forms:

    •    The Boathouse, 1850 Platte St.
    •    Union Station North & South Buildings, 1705 17th St. & 1615 Wynkoop St.

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

MAAH petitioning city for affordable housing fund

Mothers Advocating for Affordable Housing (MAAH) is collecting signatures in an effort to persuade Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the City Council to support the creation of an ongoing funding source for affordable housing. 

The group, formed earlier this year by Denver preservationist Dana Crawford and developer Susan Powers, has broadened its membership to include men, millennials and anyone else who cares about the lack of affordable housing.

"The rising cost of housing in Denver is impacting everyone," Powers says.   "Earlier in the year, Dana Crawford and I pulled together a group of about 75 women from all different backgrounds to talk about what could be done to address it.  We want to be a voice that supports efforts to create more housing for the full spectrum of needs from the homeless to our workforce who are unable to afford housing close to where they work."  

The issue of affordable housing affects people from all stages of life, from the young, first-time employee to the couple starting a family to the baby boomer retiree. To afford the average two-bedroom rent of $1,550 in metro Denver, families need to hold 2.7 minimum wage jobs, according to MAAH. That's forcing many kids to live in inadequate housing and stressful family environments.

For those trying to buy their first homes, challenges in the housing market also are evident. With housing prices rising quickly, hitting an average sale price of $322,500 in August, and the supply inadequate to keep up with demand, the goal of home ownership is not achievable for many households.

The housing crisis also threatens the economy. Over the next five years, more than 300,000 new residents are expected to flock to the region as new businesses and jobs move here. But the region's economic growth could be threatened if innovative businesses and people choose to locate elsewhere because of a lack of affordable homes. 

"This is not just an issue in Denver, but we are starting here because of the mayor's recent announcement to create an ongoing sources of funding for affordable housing, which has never existed before," Powers says. "We need people to join in and support this first step."

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

Embrey to build 350 apartments at Lowry

San Antonio, Texas-based multifamily developer Embrey plans to build and manage a 350-unit luxury apartment community at Boulevard One at Lowry.

Boulevard One is the last neighborhood at the former Lowry Air Force Base to be developed by the Lowry Redevelopment Authority (LRA). 

"Embrey is aligned with our vision," says Monty Force, executive director of the LRA. "They take a long-term approach to building high-quality places in the midst of urban, mixed-use communities."

The Kephart-designed Boulevard One Apartments will be adjacent to a community park and a mixed-use town center with a variety of gathering places. A juice and coffee bar will serve apartment residents and the greater community. The studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will rent for between $1,650 and $3,300 a month. 

Amenities include a pool with a landscaped courtyard, heated spa, fountain and fire feature. A fitness center overlooking the pool will include a yoga studio.

The building will be designed to meet LEED Gold requirements.

"Embrey is excited to bring its award-winning brand and talent for designing an experience with a sense of place to this exceptionally conceived development," says Jeff Booth, the company's executive vice president of development.

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

Study aims to enhance 16th Street Mall

Denver is studying the 16th Street Mall in an effort to get more people to stay for longer periods of time in the city's urban core.

The study, "The Mall Experience: The Future of Denver's 16th Street Mall," was led by the city in partnership with the Downtown Denver Partnership with assistance from global consultants Gehl Architects. It's one of three city initiatives designed to activate Denver's urban core. The other projects are "The Next Stage: The Future of Denver's Performing Arts Complex" and "The Outdoor Downtown: The Future of Denver's Parks and Public Spaces."

The guiding principles Gehl has identified for the study are:
 
  • Provide a series of experiences
  • Provide transportation choices
  • Make invitations for people to spend time
  • Encourage lively edges
  • Support a wider network of investment
  • Think beyond the boundaries of 16th Street
  • Create a strong and integrated network
  • Continue to evolve
Last summer, the Downtown Denver Partnership diverted the Free Mall Ride shuttles to 15th and 17th streets for five Sundays for "Meet in the Street," an event that filled the Mall with special events, activities, artwork, food and drink. 

An analysis of the event found that:
 
  • The number of pedestrians overall increased by 30 percent
  • Positive feelings about the Mall increased by 200 percent
  • The number of children increased by 77 percent, and the number of women increased by 65 percent
  • 88 percent of the activities programmed on the Mall resulted in an overall increase in time spent there
The study is designed to measure, test and refine ideas to ensure the Mall remains a vibrant place.

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

Rusty Bucket to open in LoHi

The Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern has signed on as the first retail tenant in Southern Land Co.'s apartment project at 18th and Central streets in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood.

The restaurant, which provides comfort food in a family friendly environment, will occupy 5,250 square feet in the building, which is under construction on the site of the former Mile High United Way at 2505 18th St.

"Having a neighborhood restaurant and tavern on the site only increases the attractiveness of 18th and Central, offering future residents a convenient spot to catch a game, grab a late-night meal or network over lunch," says Tim Downey, CEO of Southern Land. 

The development, scheduled to open next fall, will include 317 apartments in two buildings. There will be a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units. Amenities include a rooftop deck with fire pits, pool, 24-hour fitness center and on-site dog services. There will be underground parking for 405 vehicles and bicycle storage. 

In addition to the space Rusty Bucket will occupy, the building has two more retail spaces of 1,450 and 2,600 square feet. Rusty Bucket will have a dedicated guest entrance with direct access to the garage, which will have about 55 spots for retail customers.

"LoHi offers the perfect mix of entertainment and shopping options for new residents," says Gary Callicoat, president and founder of Rusty Bucket. "Rusty Bucket will add to that mix by offering chef-driven comfort food, featuring fresh ingredients and bold flavors, house-made artisan cocktails and local and seasonal craft beer selections."

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

Third Stapleton community north of I-70 underway

Forest City Enterprises is starting work on the third Stapleton neighborhood that will be north of Interstate 70.

Wicker Park will offer 240 single-family homes surrounding a large park complete with playground, grassy fields and gardens.

"One of the best things about Stapleton is the unique characteristics embraced by each of the neighborhoods that make up our community," says John Lehigh, president of Forest City Stapleton. "Starting with 29th Avenue to the Willow Park East neighborhood and now onto Wicker Park, each neighborhood has its own identity. Wicker Park will embrace a charming and quaint urban vibe thanks to the bouquet of home styles lining the streets."

Wicker Park will offer a variety of home styles, from classic cottage bungalows to sleek modern designs. Seven different homebuilders will be building a variety of floor plans ranging from 1,100-square-foot, two-bedroom homes up to 3,800-square-foot, five-plus-bedroom homes. Prices will range from about $200,000 to $900,000.

At the northern edge of Wicker Park is the Boston Street Garden, a concept that combines green lawns with walking paths that stretch between seasonal flower gardens and large shade trees.

"Boston Street Garden combines front yards with a shared garden space and creates a true urban oasis," says Lisa Hall, builder program director at Forest City Stapleton. "Inspiration was drawn from the charming brick road lined with elegant homes adjacent to outdoor gardens, known as Louisville Lane in Louisville, Kentucky."

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

East West Partners to develop $190 million building

East West Partners and Starwood Capital Group plan to develop a $190 million office building in the Union Station neighborhood.

Called 16 Chestnut, the building will front both 16th and 17th streets. DaVita Healthcare Partners, a provider of kidney-care services, will be the anchor tenant in the 265,000-square-foot building.

"DaVita believed in our vision for the Union Station neighborhood long before it came to fruition," says Chris Frampton, managing partner at East West Partners. "We are honored that they are entrusting us in making a second home for their teammates."

Groundbreaking for the building is scheduled for next July, with DaVita targeting a move-in date of August 2018. Remaining space available for lease will come to market in January 2016, and the entire building is slated for completion in October 2018.

Designed by Gensler, 16 Chestnut is will seek LEED Platinum certification upon completion. The building will make extensive use of glass, allowing for striking views of the city and Rocky Mountains from each floor. Its location adjacent to the southbound light-rail line and two blocks from the northbound line to Denver International Airport gives it easy access to transit.

"We are excited about the opportunity to invest in Denver and reaffirm our commitment to East West Partners' vision for the Union Station  neighborhood," says Dan Schwaegler, senior vice president in the asset management group at Starwood. "This neighborhood has become the destination of choice for Fortune 500 companies in Denver."

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

Sperry Van Ness expands in Denver, throughout state

Sperry Van Ness is expanding its commercial real estate brokerage in Denver and throughout the state. 

The company's three franchises in Denver, Fort Collins and Chicago -- independently operated until now -- are partnering to create Sperry Van Ness/Denver Commercial. The company's new office is at 710 W. Colfax. 

The partnership is designed to reposition the Denver office to offer a broad array of brokerage services throughout the metro area, including leasing and sales for all major product types. It also expands the reach of both the Denver and Fort Collins offices, allowing for future statewide growth. The relationship with Chicago will provide a brokerage connection to capital and investors from the Midwest.

"We are very excited to now bring the Denver market a full complement of real estate brokerage services," says Steve Kawulok, one of six managing directors for the company. "The partnership creates a dynamic team of people and a unique collection of resources, including a direct link to investment capital in Chicago."

Sperry Van Ness/Denver Commercial will specialize in the sale and leasing of industrial, office, multi-family, investment, retail and land properties throughout the greater Denver region, Colorado Springs, Northern Colorado and the Western Slope. It plans to increase its team of Denver brokers to 20 over the next year. The plan also calls for continued geographic expansion.

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

Union Station to host Halloween parties for adults, kids

Denver Union Station is hosting two Halloween parties -- one for kids and another for adults -- on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30.

Little monsters are invited to take part in Denver Union Station's Second Annual Kids Halloween Parade & Party from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29. the celebration will feature trick-or-treating in the merchant shops, a costume parade led by Dayle Cedars and Lisa Hidalgo from Denver's 7NEWS and a costume contest with prizes for best overall and best group/family costumes.

The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. and march around Wynkoop Plaza in from the the station and inside through the great hall. There will be special guests, including favorite princesses and a mummy on freaky stilts. Prizes will be awarded at 6:30 p.m. 

Other activities include balloon twisters, a palm reader and magic show, with Halloween party songs like "Monster Mash" performed by the Juke Box Boys Trio. 

Adults are invited back to Union Station on Oct. 30 for a Spooky Speakeasy in the Terminal Bar. Starting at 9 p.m., the bar will be showing The Shining on the walls. There will be Halloween cocktails, beer specials and a costume contest with prizes. The grand prize is a one-night stay at The Crawford Hotel plus a $100 gift card to Union Station.

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

Allegro Coffee to open shop on Tennyson

Allegro Coffee will open its first freestanding micro-roasting company on Tennyson Street in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood.

Allegro Coffee Roasters (ACR) is slated to open in November in an old hardware store

The flagship store boasts a 30-foot bar and comfortable indoor and outdoor seating. Beans will be roasted in small batches onsite within sight of the coffee bar in a gas-fired Loring drum roaster.  Twelve of the 19 coffees at ACR Tennyson will be hand-packed and sold at local Whole Foods Markets. Allegro will brew its specialty blends for patrons in-house and offer them to Whole Foods customers.

"Allegro Coffee Co. has been in wholesale for the past 30 years, and we've always been an industry leader in equitable and direct sourcing,” says Tara Cross, the company's director of marketing. "Since 1997, when Whole Foods purchased Allegro, our team has become experts in retail operations and coffee bar management. Opening ACR gives us an opportunity to take the Allegro experience to a new level."

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

Zocalo tops off Coda in Cherry Creek

Zocalo Community Development has completed the topping off of Coda, a 12-story apartment building under construction in Cherry Creek North.

Located at First Avenue and Steele Street, Coda will have 182 apartments, fitness center, self-service pet spa, Velo Room with professional bike, ski and snowboard maintenance equipment and concierge service. Just over half of the units will be one bedroom, while 25 percent will be studios and the remaining 23 percent will be two bedrooms. The apartments will range in size from 510 square feet to nearly 1,700 square feet.

Coda's leasing office is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016, and the project is scheduled for completion by April.

"As a beacon into Cherry Creek North, Coda will be the most sought-after community, thanks to its upscale finishes, unparalleled views and prestigious location," says Susan Maxwell, principal of Zocalo.

Zocalo is applying for LEED Gold certification for the building, which will have a number of sustainable features, including electric vehicle charging stations; comprehensive recycling and composting programs; high-efficiency lighting; and floor-to-ceiling low thermal emissivity windows. 

Coda is the fifth LEED-certified multifamily project developed by Zocalo in Denver. Its other projects include 2020 Lawrence, a 231-unit tower in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood; Solera, a 120-unit project; and Cadence at Union Station, a 219-unit building at 17th and Chestnut streets.

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

New Restoration Hardware opens in Cherry Creek

Restoration Hardware's flagship Colorado store has opened at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center

RH has reinvented itself to take advantage of a rebounding luxury housing market that has consumers opening their wallets to furnish their homes. The new stores offer expanded products and services. A few years ago, the company transformed its real estate platform, opening three full-line galleries that were more than three times the size of its average store. 

At 53,000 square feet, the new RH store is more than four times the size of its previous Cherry Creek store. It occupies a portion of the 90,000 square feet Saks left behind when it closed its Cherry Creek store in March 2011.

The four-level design gallery features a multi-story atrium, outdoor garden and rooftop park, as well as dedicated galleries for the company's numerous product lines.

Other stores occupying the balance of the space include Tory Burch (women's clothing), David Yurman (jewelry) and 801 Fish (seafood restaurant). All are new to the Denver market. Tiffany & Co. is relocating from the lower level into the upper level of the former Saks space.

RH is celebrating the opening in a big way, with a live performance by Thievery Corporation, curated wines and food from Matsuhisa and Epicurean Group.

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

Union Station wins prestigious ULI award

Denver Union Station has been named a winner of the 2015 Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence competition.

Ten winners were selected from among a broad mix of projects around the world, including five in the United States, three in Europe and two in Asia.

"The result of a visionary collaborative effort, Denver Union Station brings an exemplary transformation of downtown through a complex mixed-use project," says Michael Covarrubias, jury chairman for the ULI award. "The project not only makes progress ahead of the initial plan but already turns the rail yard into a viable community/work space."

Now in its 37th year, ULI's Global Awards for Excellence recognizes real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction economics, planning and management. It's viewed as the centerpiece of ULI's efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development.

A partnership between East West Partners, Continuum Parters, Union Station Alliance and Trammell Crow Co. developed the project.

"The ULI Global Award for Excellence is the most prestigious award in our industry and it is an incredible honor to have won for our work on the Union Station Neighborhood," says Mark Smith, principal of East West Partners. "This award is in recognition of the extraordinary effort put forth by the entire Union Station team, as well as the impact that this project has had on the neighborhood and the entire city of Denver."

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

10 "Women of Influence" nominated for CREW awards

CREW Denver has named 10 women in commercial real estate as finalists for its Women of Influence Awards.

Two awards will be given at the gala, to be held Oct. 20 at the Ritz-Carlton. The event will feature BBC anchor and best-selling author Katty Kay as the keynote speaker. 

Nominees for the Entrepreneur Women of Influence Award honoring a woman who has achieved a unique career success as a result of taking a risk and breaking barriers include:
 Nominees for the Mentor Women of Influence Award honoring a woman who exemplifies a commitment to elevating the status of women in commercial real estate include:
 CREW Denver promotes professional opportunities and business relationships for women in the commercial real estate industry. Founded in 1984, it’s one of 74 chapters in the 9,000-member national CREW network.

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

Denver issues record number of building permits

More than 9,000 building permits were issued in Denver during September, making it the busiest month on record.

The previous highest-volume month on record was August 2004, when the city issued 8,194 permits.

"People want to live in Denver, stay in Denver and reinvest in their homes and businesses," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "This record is a sign of how much of that investment and reinvestment is happening all over the city and how hard our staff is working to keep pace with that demand."

Sustained high demand going back two years, a normal seasonal surge and a spike in demand for roofing permits after the June hail storms all contributed to the busy September. A strong economy, low interest rates and a growing population also were factors in the high volume of permits. The city is on pace to rival 2014's total permit volume for the year (67,800), which was 23 percent higher than 2013 and 63 percent higher than 2009.

Community Planning and Development has taken steps to keep pace with the demand, including hiring more staff, paying overtime, outsourcing some plan reviews and making business process improvements. In addition, some minor permits are now available via email.

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

Union Station to host Harvest Market

Denver Union Station will host a Harvest Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 10 on Wynkoop Plaza.

The market will feature 10 Colorado farms, locally produced food items and fresh food dishes from Denver Union Station restaurants, including Mercantile Dining & Provision, Stoic & Genuine and Snooze. Participating Colorado farms include The Fresh Herb Co., Cure Organic Farm, Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, Jodar Farms, Oxford Gardens and Plowshares Community Farm.

The Harvest Market is being organized by Boulder County Farmers Markets, a Boulder-based nonprofit organization that has operated producer-only farmers markets in Boulder County since 1987. 

"As we approach the opening of the commuter rail line to Denver International Airport next spring, we are pursuing new ways to offer travelers and locals alike more quick and curated options at Denver Union Station," says Joe Vostrejs, partner in the Union Station Alliance, which redeveloped the historic building. "We look forward to testing the Harvest Market to see if this is something the Denver and LoDo communities will utilize."

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

Recycling center opens in Overland

SustainAbility has opened its second public recycling drop-off center in Denver. 

The center, located at 1270 S. Bannock St., is the first Hard-To-Recycle (H2R) center in the Denver area. It accepts traditional recyclable materials such as paper, plastic, metal and glass but also takes a range of non-traditional materials, such as fire extinguishers, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, wine corks, CDs, vegetable oil, books, paint, bikes and clothing. 

"H2R centers are incredibly important for communities that care about sustainability because they offer people the opportunity to recycle dozens of unusual items that would normally be landfilled," says Rachel Nathan, the company's sustainability director. "We have found ethical recycling solutions for all of these items, and we are working every day to add more to the list."

A majority of SustainAbility's workforce is make of of people who have developmental or intellectual disabilities. The new center will have a total of 31 employees, 25 of whom have developmental or intellectual disabilities. 

"Our mission is not only to be an innovative leader in the recycling world, but also to employ individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities," Nathan says. "We truly believe that just because someone has been given the label of a disability, if you find what that person is good at, they are better at it than most."

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

VESTA launches multi-family interior design division

Denver-based VESTA, a commercial interiors general contractor, has launched a new division to provide multi-family residential clients with its unique approach to service.

In addition to launching its multi-family division, VESTA has made significant moves to grow the business this year. Since 2014, the company has added six employees, launched a new website and earned certification as a Woman-Owned Business. The company has completed $8 million in projects this year, helping it to grow by 200 percent year over year.

"This has been an exciting year for VESTA in terms of growth," says Kristen Cummings, chief executive of VESTA. "The VESTA multi-family division was a natural next step for us. We see great potential in the multi-family residential market. We look forward to offering multi-family residential clients a more comprehensive and streamlined experience aligned with the same high standards and tightly managed schedules we provide in the commercial interiors arena."

Todd Solheim will serve as the field manager for the new division, overseeing demolition, renovation and maintenance of all VESTA multi-family projects to ensure the results reflect the company's commitment to client service and satisfaction. 

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

Colorado Health Foundation to break ground on new headquarters

The Colorado Health Foundation will break ground Oct. 5 on its new headquarters at 1780 Pennsylvania St. in Denver's Uptown neighborhood.

The building's mission-driven design allows greater interaction and accessibility to partners, the community and an array of transportation options for staff and visitors. The three-story, 32,500-square-foot building has direct access to outdoor areas via rooftop decks and gardens. The project also has 17,500 square feet of below-grade parking. 

"The Colorado Health Foundation Board is excited by this design that exemplifies the organization and its vision," says Dr. Donald Murphy, chairman of the foundation's board and a geriatrician with Rocky Mountain Senior Care. "From the start, we wanted a structure that spoke to the foundation's work with partners to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation while creating a friendly, health-driven space that integrates the organization's efforts to be continuously learning about how well-being can be integrated into daily life."

Designed by Davis Partnership Architects, the building's design draws from best practices and innovative approaches for promoting employee and visitor health. 

Saunders Construction, which will build the project, will implement a job-site wellness plan throughout construction in support of its vision to create a health work environment for all contractors. The plan includes fresh fruit availability, health food vendors, bike lockers, changing stations, wellness days, cooking seminars and exercise challenges. 

Completion of the project is slated for late 2016.

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

New book details the life of Denver preservationist Dana Crawford

Former Denver Post Reporter Mike McPhee's new book about Denver preservationist Dana Crawford has hit the shelves on during the 50th anniversary of Larimer Square, the historic block Crawford is credited with saving.

The book, Dana Crawford: 50 Years Saving the Soul of a City, details how Crawford, a stylish mother and housewife, convinced a group of wealthy investors to buy historic buildings in the 1400 block of Larimer Street -- where Denver began --  to save them from the wrecking ball.

"As a newcomer to Denver in 1954, I could see that its architectural history was about to be erased," Crawford told former Colorado First Lady Dottie Lamm in 2012. "And I felt very motivated, almost obsessed, with a need to figure out to save at least one block of the 26 blocks in downtown Denver that were slated for demolition."

But Crawford is responsible for much more than saving for Larimer Square. Over the years, she's redeveloped the Oxford Hotel, which dragged her into bankruptcy twice, an old flour mill and a mattress factory. She also was instrumental in the redevelopment of Denver Union Station. Despite her protests, her partners in the project named The Crawford Hotel after her.

McPhee, who spent four years working on the book, also outlines Crawford's early life growing up in Salina, Kansas, through her college years and beyond. The book is filled with photographs of the early years in Denver, as well as Crawford's early life.

"I knew from the moment I started this book that capturing this remarkable woman's story would be difficult and unpredictable," McPhee says. "What an understatement! Putting her story down on paper has been like stuffing 10 pounds of potatoes into a five-pound bag."

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

Tennyson Center to get new playground

More than 225 volunteers will build a new playground at the Tennyson Center for Children on Sept. 22.

The new playground will replace 20-year-old play structures with sensory-integrated play areas featuring iplaces for kids to climb, swing and have fun. 

The effort is being coordinated through a $4.1 million partnership between the CarMax Foundation and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that has built nearly 16,300 playgrounds since its creation in 1996. CarMax and KaBOOM! will build 30 playgrounds to serve more than 100,000 children across the United States by the end of the year. CarMax supports KaBOOM!’s goal of ensuring all kids get the balanced and active play they need to become healthy, successful adults.

The Tennyson Center for Children, at 2950 Tennyson St., provides residential and therapeutic services, as well as a K-12 school, to Colorado children ages 5 to 18. The kids are survivors of severe abuse or neglect or have significant mental health or developmental issues.

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

Catalyst HTI to build 300,000-square-foot building in RiNo

Koelbel and Co. plans to build a 300,000-square-foot office and retail building on Brighton Boulevard between 35th and 36th streets in Denver's River North District.

The building will be the new home of Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation (HTI), which will bring together private enterprise (startups to large companies), government, academic and nonprofit organizations with healthcare providers and payers to accelerate innovation and drive change for the healthcare industry. The organization's goal is to transform Colorado into the top digital health cluster in the nation by 2020.

"The new Catalyst HTI building will be a first-in-class collaborative office ecosystem that will meet the market's growing demand for dynamic work environments," says Carl Koebel of Koebel and Co. "We believe the office space of the future will be one that provides tenants the privacy they need to manage their core business while also providing opportunity to collaborate and innovate with their neighbors."

Office sizes in the new building, which will be built in two phases, range from a single desk to 30,000 square feet.

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

Coldwell Banker launches shoe drive for Soles4Souls

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Colorado has launched a shoe drive to collect 50,000 pairs of shoes to help those in need. 

Through Sept. 30, bring used shoes of any kind to any Coldwell Banker office from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins.

The effort supports Soles4Souls, an international anti-poverty organization that monetizes used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts, including distribution of new shoes and clothing. 

"Coldwell Banker is supporting Soles4Souls as part of our annual fall charity drive because it is the definition of social enterprise where solid business practices are used to create positive change in people's lives," says Todd Moir, regional marketing director for Coldwell Banker. "Coldwell Banker is a community leader and as a strong supporter of Soles4Souls' anti-poverty mission, we hope to take a big step in providing the organization with the used shoes they require to keep making a difference for people in need."

Founded in 2007, the organization has distributed more than 25 million shoes in more than 100 countries.

"The simple truth is that almost anyone with a closet has shoes they don't wear or an old pair that will just end up in a landfill," says Buddy Teaster, chief executive of Soles4Souls. "Give those to us and know that you are taking a step to make the world a better place for all of us."

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

Central Park Station opens for bus service

The Regional Transportation District has opened the Central Park Station Park-n-Ride for bus service and parking.

The new station, located at 8200 Smith Rd., replaces the Stapleton Park-n-Ride. It has 1,500 parking spaces and serves bus routes 28, 38, 40, 43, 65, 105 AB/ABA and AS. It also will be a commuter rail station for the A Line to Denver International Airport in the spring of 2016.

Parking fees apply at the station. Vehicles registered at an address within RTD boundaries may park for free the first 24-hour period every day they are parked. For parking beyond the first 24 hours, a $2 daily fee applies. Passengers with vehicles registered out of the district pay a $4 fee for every day they are parked.

RTD and its contractor, Denver Transit Partners, are hosting an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at the park-n-ride. The event will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, information about the commuter rail station and trains.

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

Pop-up park to open in RiNo Sept. 18

Focus Property Group is creating a pop-up pocket park at 3330 Larimer St. in Denver.

The park is designed to honor (PARK)ing Day, an annual worldwide event on Sept. 18 where artists, designers and residents transform spaces into public parks. The effort will convert a single parking space into a temporary public park.

"The pocket park is a great amenity not only for the building's tenants but it's also a powerful way to activate a new stretch of Larimer," says Bahman Shafa of Focus Property Group.

The effort is a collaboration between Focus; AMBIT, a newly formed intelligent design firm; builder/designer VonMod; and Corvus Design Build.

"While everyone who lives in and around Denver is watching the city's urban core transform overnight, we wanted to take an opportunity to create a bit of unexpected whimsy in the neighborhood," says Paige Damiano, one of AMBIT's founders. "To create a space that brings people together and gives them an opportunity to experience the area in totally different way."

Though the site will launch on (PARK)ing Day, the group plans to keep it open throughout the fall to observe use and interaction.

"The historically industrial corridors of RiNo and other areas of the city could benefit from this type of micro green space," says Jordan Vaughn of VonMod. "Underutilized urban areas and parkletts can offer real opportunities to produce some really calming and dynamic environments for tenants and the public alike."

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

Specialty brew to honor Larimer Square's 50th anniversary

Ratio Beerworks has created a limited-time specialty brew in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historical preservation of Larimer Square.

Ratio will launch its commemorative Wicked Grin Plum Saison from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23. Two Larimer Square restaurants, Bistro Vendome and Ted's Montana Grill, will provide food.

The brew was given its name as a homage to Jack  Kerouac's On the Road novel, in which the author recalls looking upon Larimer Street with a "wicked grin."

"We decided to use an Italian plum," says Jason zumBrunnen, founder and brewmaster at Ratio. "It's juicier and more flavorful than your everyday plum."

Several Larimer Square chefs contributed to the brewing process, which started July 17. Wicked Grin Plum Saison is now on tap at Ratio Beerworks, 2020 Larimer St. in RiNo, and the Larimer Square restaurants Euclid Hall, Ted's Montana Grill and Corridor 44.

Fifty years ago, preservationist Dana Crawford fought to save the historic block, which was slated for demolition under the city's Skyline Urban Renewal Project that flattened most of Denver's historic center for new buildings.

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

Travel company addresses global poverty

A travel-with-purpose nonprofit -- Onwards -- is holding its launch party at the Artwork Network to explain its approach to adventure travel that promotes international aid.

The event, which is open to the public, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 16 at Artwork Network, 878 Santa Fe Dr., Suite 2 in the Art District on Santa Fe. 

Onwards is using tourism -- the largest industry in the world -- to address global poverty. the organization provides loans, training and revenue for businesses such as guide organizations, restaurants, small hotels -- or anything that can benefit from community-based tourism. According to the company's website, tourism represents the largest transfer or resources from rich to poor -- dwarfing international aid -- but has not contributed to community economic development.

Onwards creates trips to businesses in the Dominican Republic and Haiti that provide immersive travel experiences where the money goes to support community development and help alleviate poverty.  It’s raising money to support more entrepreneurs and expand its offerings. 

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

CU buys naming rights for rail line to DIA

The University of Colorado will pay the Regional Transportation District $5 million over five years for naming rights for the A Line from Union Station to Denver International Airport, as well as ads on the Flatiron Flyer Bus Rapid Transit line that will run along U.S. 36 from Union Station to Boulder.

The agreement also includes exterior advertisements on the rail and buses and CU's name and logo on RTD digital assets and printed material related to the A Line.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Colorado for this first contract through our corporate partnership program," says Chuck Sisk, chairman of RTD's board. "We believe that branded sponsorship is an emerging marketplace with many valuable opportunities for the local and national business communities."

CU President Bruce Benson said the agreement will help the university convey the message about its contributions, value and accomplishments to the estimated 10 million annual riders on the A Line, which will include Coloradans, as well as national and international visitors.

"The University of Colorado is excited to partner with RTD on this initiative that brings together the state's leading public higher education institution with the crown jewel of the largest and newest public transportation project in the United States," Benson says. "CU is kicking off a major marketing initiative next month and the University of Colorado A Line and Flatiron Flyer will be important parts of the effort."

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

Mill Creek to build apartments in RiNo

Mill Creek Residential is planning a 362-unit apartment community on 2.92 acres at 2890 Brighton Blvd. in Denver's River North neighborhood.

Modera River North will feature nine-foot ceilings, eight-foot doors, built-in closets and kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, tile backsplashes and oversized cabinetry. Community amenities will include a resort-style courtyard and pool, a business and conference center, fitness center and unobstructed views of the mountains and downtown.

ARA Newmark has raised an undisclosed amount of equity through its capital markets group for the $90 million project.

"For an area that was considered the wrong side of the tracks no more than 18 months ago, there has been incredible institutional capital interest for this front door location," says Chris Cowan, executive managing director of ARA Newmark in Denver. "RiNo hasn't just made the map for Denver -- it is the map. It is impossible to articulate all of the fluidity and activity happening there."

With more than $100 million in public and private investment, the Brighton Boulevard Corridor is a strategic focus for the city of Denver, enabling RiNo to become a hub of creative offices, art galleries and a variety of other businesses and cultural amenities.

"Mill Creek is excited to become part of the River North community and part of the Brighton corridor in particular," says Brian Wynne, managing director of development for Mill Creek. "We are huge believers in the momentum of activity all around this site, and we see the best of both worlds in this location -- participating in the exciting energy of the area while being only a short walk to the heart of downtown Denver."

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

Jamestown Revival to headline After Party on the Bridge

Jamestown Revival is the headliner for this year's After Party on the Bridge benefiting The Greenway Foundation's efforts to protect the South Platte River and its tributaries.

The event will be held on the historic 19th Street Bridge at 6 p.m. Sept. 11, one night after The Greenway Foundation's annual Gala on the Bridge. Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door. 

Partners in Change, which works to improve the community and connect people to the river, will be honored at the event with a new award: the Partner in Change Legacy Award.

In addition to music from Jamestown Revival, the After Party on the Bridge will feature food and cocktails, as well as DJ sets by Eric David, Chuck Lepley and Rose Quartz.

Since its inception in 1974, The Greenway Foundation has built more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, created more than 20 parks and natural areas, designed and built numerous whitewater boat chutes and provided environmental education to more than 60,000 school children. The foundation has helped to create more than $100 million of improvements to the South Platte River and its tributaries, facilitating more than $10 billion in residential and commercial development throughout metro Denver.

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

Zocalo to develop mixed-use project for Emily Griffith

Zocalo Community Development is working with the Emily Griffith Foundation to develop a mixed-use project that will add services and housing for families while providing long-term financial support to Emily Griffith Technical College as it furthers its mission of providing hands-on, real-world industry specific work to its students.

The development will be located on one of three parcels at 1811 Lincoln St. and is part of a larger 93,000-square-foot acquisition of land Zocalo executed on behalf of the foundation. The acquisition also includes a parcel at 1830 Broadway and a 320-space parking garage at 1855 Lincoln. Groundbreaking will occur during the second half of 2016.

"With this purchase and future development, the Emily Griffith Foundation has taken a big step toward a financially sustainable future and an increased role in the support of Emily Griffith Technical College," says Alby  Segall, president of the foundation. "Our intention is to be a catalyst for economic growth and social enterprise in the rapidly growing neighborhoods to the north and east of downtown."

The project will include:
  • A Social Enterprise Hub offering retail space for Technical College students to receive hands-on training while pursuing some of the 5-plus certificate programs
  • A workforce development center operated by Emily Griffith
  • Daycare/early childhood education center
  • 200 apartments for families earning 50 to 90 percent of the area median income
"Over the past century, Emily Griffith Technical College has contributed immeasurable to the growth of Denver's middle class," says Ivan Anaya, Zocalo's development manager. "Community impact projects such as this embrace Zocalo's commitment to serving community through real estate development."

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

Z Block is now Dairy Block

The developers of Z Block have changed the project's name to Dairy Block to better reflect the site's history as a former dairy.

The full square block is currently under construction to redevelop the site into a mxied-use office, hotel and retail destination on Denver's historic Windsor Dairy Block along Wazee and Blake streets between 18th and 19th streets.

"The rich history of the Windsor Dairy Block is remarkable," says Chad McWhinney, chief executive and co-founder of Loveland-based development firm McWhinney. "We felt it iwas important to have a name that pays homage to the significance of the block's history."

McWhinney is partnering with Grand American Inc. and Sage Hospitality on the development. The partnership's goal is to create a place in LoDo that blends historical heritage with a new, vibrant place that elevates the experience.

The 600,000-square-foot development will have 250,000 square feet of office space, a 172-room hotel, 60,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and a 394-car below-grade parking garage -- all of which are integrated  into three of the historic Windsor Dairy Block buildings.

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

WeWork leases 72,000 square feet in Triangle Building

Shared workspace provider WeWork has signed a lease for 72,000 square feet in the soon-to-be completed Triangle Building at 1550 Wewatta St. in the Union Station neighborhood.

The WeWork space will have a ground-floor private entrance with glass visibility connection to the main building lobby on floors one and two.

"Co-working and shared workspaces are a huge trend internationally, nationally and right here in Denver and is a concept we really wanted to bring to the Union Station neighborhood," says Chris Frampton, managing partner at East West Partners, developer of the building. "We couldn't be more thrilled that WeWork has chosen the Triangle building for its entree in the Denver market."

The 10-story Triangle Building will have easy access to Larimer Square, LoHi and all of downtown Denver. The more than 200,000-square-foot building will include nine stories of office space, 10,000 square feet of street-level retail space and two floors of underground parking. The building's triangular shape with three facades provides 20 percent more window offices than a traditional office building. The project is seeking LEED Gold certification.

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

Southern Land to develop Tavern Uptown site

Southern Land Co. and GTIS Partners LP plan to develop and eight-story building in Uptown that will include 315 apartments and 14,000-square-feet of retail space for the existing Tavern Uptown.

The site is the second Denver acquisition for Nashville-based Southern Land Co. In 2013, it purchased the former Mile High United Way site in LoHi, where it is building 302 apartments and 9,300 square feet of retail.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop much-needed apartment housing in Denver while enabling a popular neighborhood gathering spot to continue to thrive and serve its loyal customers," says Tim Downey, CEO of Southern Land. "This location offers the ideal setting to benefit the community, businesses and residents alike."

Tavern Uptown owner Frank Schultz says he’s been approached by various developers who wanted to purchase the site but has always declined because he didn’t want to leave the neighborhood.

"Tavern Uptown was our first location . . . the birthplace of the Tavern, so it’s pretty sentimental to us," Schultz says. "We feel we’re part of the fabric of the community and have grown with the neighborhood. Southern Land Co. recognized our steadfast stance of keeping Tavern Uptown in our same location. They proposed a plan, which includes Tavern Uptown in the redesign of the new multifamily building."

The plan to demolish the building has drawn criticism from local preservationists.

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

Group works to improve congestion during Santa Fe art walks

Arts Street is working with high school and college-age youths who will participate in a sustainable urban design and creative placemaking initiative to improve traffic congestion along Santa Fe during First Friday ArtWalks.

Through its La Alma Connection project, the organization will encourage the use of light rail to help solve the parking shortage and integrate functional art and community activities into the streetscape. The process will leverage the creative energy of the students and apply them to public infrastructure development.

"Problem solving is the most important skill we teach at every level," says Stella Yu, executive director of the organization. "Together with cognitive learning and collaboration through teamwork, youth at Arts Street apply their natural creative talents and find that they can fly if they want to."

The project is being supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Rose Community Foundation and Denver Arts & Venues.

"We are thrilled that our funders recognize that the arts are more than entertainment," Yu said. "They are most powerful when integrated into life as creative solutions for the betterment of society. We thank our sponsors for their innovative approach to grants funding, allowing small organizations to make big impact to our communities."

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

GHC Housing acquires Section 8 portfolio

Los Angeles-based GHC Housing Partners has purchased a 500-unit apartment portfolio that will preserve affordable housing throughout Colorado.

The project-based Section 8 portfolio includes 10 communities located from Clifton to Cañon City to Aurora. The bulk of the portfolio is in metro Denver. Project-based Section 8 housing means the vouchers remain with the property, rather than with the residents.

"This kind of affordable housing is very limited and highly sought after," says J.B. Hochman, a senior advisor with Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors, who with Justin Brockman represented bot the buyer and the seller in the deal.

The communities range from 40 units to 104 units with a total square footage of more than 365,000 square feet. The company intends to make improvements to the properties and continue to preserve them as affordable housing.

"This is the largest project-based Section 8 transaction in Colorado in recent history," Brockman says.

It's the first acquisition GHC has made in Denver, though it owns properties in other Colorado markets.

"We are excited to expand our presence in Colorado with this portfolio acquisition," says R.J. Miller, senior vice president of acquisitions for GHC. "As a Colorado native, it's exciting to see the amount of growth happening in the state yet important to preserve its limited affordable housing properties. This purchase is the first of what we plan to be many more in the Denver metro area, and our goal is to acquire, rehabilitate and preserve affordability for as many of these properties as possible."

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

$300,000 loan to help NextHealth expand

NextHealth Technologies has received a $300,000 small-business loan from the Denver Office of Economic Development to help fund its expansion.

NextHealth Technologies, a healthcare predictive analytics company, has leased office space at 1675 Larimer St. and plans to grow from 15 to 60 technical development jobs within three years.

"We were attracted to NextHealth on multiple levels," says Paul Washington, executive director of OED. "Their experienced executive team, particularly CEO Eric Grossman's success with TriZetto and other entrepreneurial ventures in this very competitive field, has a proven grack record. Their commitment to being in Denver and the exceptional quality of the technical jobs they're creating were also major factors that strongly fit our lending strategy."

NextHealth's mission is to improve outcomes and reduce costs by helping patients make more informed choices about their health. The company says its customers are seeing a 20 percent reduction in emergency room visits and costs within a targeted Medicaid population. NextHealth's platform incorporates advanced analytics, behavioral economics and consumer engagement techniques to predict risk and prescribe personalized member-level actions to improve outcomes.

"We are very proud and excited to partner with Denver to build a legacy of healthcare innovation and local job growth," Grossman says. "We're committed to create even more Denver-based tech jobs in this burgeoning healthcare environment."

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

Five Points Historic Cultural District signs installed

New signs proclaiming the new name Five Points Historic Cultural District have gone up along the Welton Street corridor.

The new name for the former Welton Street Cultural Historic District better reflects the corridor's longstanding identity and cultural heritage.

"It's a change that symbolizes a lot to the people of this community," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of the Denver Community Planning and Development Department, which oversees landmark preservation in the city. "A historic cultural district helps to tell the story of our city's development, so it's important that its name reflects the district's true identity."

In 2002, the city designated the Welton Street corridor between 24th and 30th streets a historic district. It was the cultural and commercial heart of Denver's African-American community from the post-Civil War era through the mid 1960s. Nine historic buildings from this era remain standing.

The district's most distinctive building is the Rossonian Hotel at 2640 Welton St. Other buildings contributing to the district are the Atlas Drug Store, 2701 Welton; Radio Pharmacy-Wise Harris Building, 605 26th St.; Alta Cousins Terrace, 521 25th St.; Original Fire Station #3, 2563 Glenarm Place; Fire Station #3, 2500 Washington; Douglas Undertaking Building, 2745 Welton; Metropolitan Investment Co.-Equity Savings and Loan-Cousins Building, 2559 Welton; and Rice's Tap Room and Oven-Simpson Hotel-KC Lounge, 2801 Welton.

"The pride of the community is reflected in the name Five Points, which denotes entrepreneurship, resourcefulness, and artistic creativity," says Tracy Winchester, executive director of the Five Points Business District. "With the economic activity we are experiencing today, these new signs will reflect our incredible past and inspire our future development."

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

State launches artist housing program with Artspace

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has launched an initiative to provide affordable housing and work space for artists and arts organizations that will position Colorado as the nation's leader in artist-led community transformation.

Minneapolis-based Artspace will act as a consultant to Space to Create, Colorado, which will develop nine projects in eight regions in the state's rural, small-town and mountain communities over the next eight years. Each project will be customized to meet community needs for workforce housing and commercial space for artists and creative entrepreneurs. The first project will be in Trinidad. After that, the regions will be prioritized based on readiness, public will, commitment of local resources and housing demands.

"Housing and economic development are vital needs in rural Colorado, and the Space to Create initiative advances both of these issues by harnessing the power of the public, private and philanthropic sectors, as well as the creative community, to activate historic spaces and elevate rural economies," Gov. John Hickenlooper says. 

Artspace has more than 35 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, including Artspace Loveland, which has 30 occupied units of housing for artists and their families.

“Artspace has an incredible track record for successful community-driven projects across the United States, and we are excited to partner with them on Space to Create, Colorado,” says Margaret Hunt, director of the economic development office's Colorado Creative Industries arm.

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

RTD adds rail stop to East Rail Line

The Regional Transportation District is adding a new station to its East Rail Line, which will open in next spring to connect downtown Denver’s Union Station with Denver International Airport.

The Peña Boulevard Station, located at 61st Avenue and Peña Boulevard, will be the sixth eastbound stop on the trip from Union Station to the DIA. Travel time from downtown to DIA will be 37 minutes with trains running every 15 minutes during peak times. Travel time from 61st and Peña to DIA will be about five minutes.

"This new station provides a convenient access point into RTD’s regional rail system for commuters and other riders from the growing northeast metro area," says David Genova, RTD’s interim general manager and CEO. "This improvement would not have been possible without our long-term partnership with Denver, its airport team and the landowners, who worked together to create an asset that will significantly benefit the region."

The station will include the train platform, a public plaza and an 800-car parking lot that is funded and operated by DIA. The station will be accessible from Tower Road and serve as the catalyst for the 400-acre transit-oriented development named Peña Station.

Peña Station is planned as a mixed-use development of office, hotel, retail, multifamily and healthcare commercial real estate. It will have direct access to the hiking and biking trails of the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge to the west via a pedestrian trail below Peña Boulevard.

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

Postino WineCafe to open late August

Postino WineCafé will open its doors late next month in the former Denver Bookbinding Co. building at 2715 17th St. in LoHi.

Open daily for lunch and dinner and serving brunch every weekend, the menu features soups, salads and panini sandwiches. The restaurant will source its food and beverages from local purveyors, including City Bakery, Infinite Monkey Theorem and Colorado brewers Avery, Crooked Stave, Elevation, Great Divide, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Odell, Ska and Upslope. Postino offers $5 wine by the glass and pitchers of beer from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Postino has four locations in Arizona, including one near Snooze. Owners Lauren Bailey and Craig DeMarco became good friends with Snooze founders Jon and Adam Schlegel, who convinced them to open a restaurant in Denver and helped them find the LoHi location.

"We loved the bookbinding history, and we plan to tell the story of the building," Bailey says. "We also love the civic pride in the city and state. That’s what attracted us here."

The building also will be home to Recess beer garden, which will feature a bar, full kitchen and a large patio. There is still one retail space available in the building.

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

Steam on the Platte will transform old warehouse into office space

Urban Ventures LLC and White Construction Group will start work during the fourth quarter on Steam on the Platte, a mixed-use project on 3.2 acres in the industrial corridor of the South Platte River near the Interstate 25 viaduct at 14th Avenue and Zuni Street.

The project's name honors the juxtaposition of industry and nature, connecting the character and energy of the area's industrial steam plants and smokestacks with the South Platte's beauty. Its location near downtown, light-rail stop, bike path and riverside setting are expected to be attractive to businesses and residents who want a blend of Denver's historical and edgy culture.

"The idea of new life in this industrial corridor is transformational, both culturally and economically," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. "Steam on the Platte is a catalyst for both the redevelopment of Sun Valley and the Platte River, which are high priorities of Mayor [Michael] Hancock."

Steam on the Platte includes the largest remaining undeveloped exposed brick-and-timber warehouse in the city, which had been neglected for several decades. The project will transform the 65,000-square-foot warehouse into creative office space. An existing building adjacent to the river will house a restaurant that is slated for completion late next year or in early 2017. Future phases will include additional office and residential space.

"Steam on the Platte is the perfect blend of environment and industry, inspired by the spirit and energy of Denver," says Susan Powers, president and Founder of Urban Ventures. "We discovered a local gem that just needs some polishing."

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

Highland Tap and Burger to open at Sloan's Lake

The owners of Highland Tap and Burger are opening a new restaurant at SLOANS, a 177-acre development at Sloan's Lake. 

Tap and Burger at Sloan's Lake will have a 4,600-square-foot restaurant at Alexan Sloan's Lake, a 369-unit apartment development by Trammell Crow Residential.

"Being a part of a community is super important to us, and this project really lends itself to embracing the Sloan's Lake community," says Juan Padro, who with his wife, Katie O'Shea-Padro, owns Highland Tap and Burger. "We were encouraged, as I hope others will be, by the fact that we have a compelling opportunity to contribute to the future growth of such a dynamic neighborhood. It's a super-active area -- you've got apartments, homes with backyards, a great walkability factor, the park and the lake that's bolstered by a ton of football traffic and thousands of cars that use Colfax to get in and out of downtown."

The new restaurant will have 230 seats, a raised patio, a centerpiece island bar and private dining area with capabilities to host business functions and meetings. Padro plans to continue focusing on Colorado craft beers and spirits and will offer 36 to 40 draft handles, alongside wine and cocktails. The core menu items at the original location will remain as Padro and his crew introduce new dishes.

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

$30,000 prize, professional services will be awarded to BizPlan Award winner

The Denver Office of Economic Development will honor the best and brightest ideas in small business again this year through the JumpStart BizPlan Awards.

The office will select three startup and early-stage companies as finalists who will pitch their concepts at a live event Sept. 28 during Denver Startup Week.

The top prize package includes $30,000 cash, legal counsel provided by Polsinelli and strategic marketing services from dovetail solutions. 

"Incredible innovations, products and services are sprouting from firms of all levels and across many industries throughout Denver," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "By spotlighting these rising stars, we hope to spur investment opportunities, open up access to new markets and ultimately help the finalists to attain their growth plans."

The BizPlan Awards are open to startups, as well as established businesses with up to 25 employees that have been in operation for up to five years. The businesses must reside or plan to reside in Denver. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 14, or until 150 entries have been received.

"The JumpStart BizPlan Award is an opportunity to publicly recognize and celebrate our strong culture of innovation," says Paul Washington, executive director of OED. "We’re challenging entrepreneurs to bring forth their best ideas, from which we can help grow jobs, expand the tax base and make Denver a better place to live, work and play."

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

Mill Creek to build 275 apartments near DU

Dallas-based Mill Creek Residential has purchased a 2.08-acre site in Observatory Park where it plans to develop 275 apartments in two five-story buildings. 

Mill Creek plans to break ground in August and complete the project during the first quarter of 2017.

"We were attracted to the Observatory Park neighborhood for many reasons, including an easy commute to both of Denver's employment centers while being close to some of Denver's best amenities and transit,” says Brian Wynne, managing director of Mill Creek. "We plan to develop a very high-quality community with top-level finishes, a luxury pool deck and more."

The site, formerly a surface parking lot and five single-family homes, is at the southwest and southeast corners of South Josephine Street and East Jewell Avenue. The location between Cherry Hills Village and Cherry Creek is energized by an active college neighborhood.

"With visibility from I-25, light rail within walking distance and surrounded by some of the highest value homes in Denver, this opportunity was one that Mill Creek understood immediately," says Chris Cowan, executive managing director of ARA Newmark, which represented the seller. "The development will be unique, as it fronts both sides of the Josephine Street, allowing Mill Creek to create a strong streetscape."

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

New apartment project slated for Jefferson Park

Riverpoint Partners is breaking ground on Decatur Point, a 203-unit apartment complex in Denver's Jefferson Park neighborhood.

The project, on Decatur between West 27th and West 28th Avenues, will have designated underground parking; a second-floor outdoor deck with spa, pool and grills; a fifth-floor community room with city and mountain views; and interior courtyard; fitness center, spin and yoga studio; bike storage; dog wash and a business center.

Designed by Craine Architecture of Denver, Decatur Point will offer studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residences, 11 of which will be two-story brownstone-style units. Built with LEED guidelines in mind, the units will range from 625 square feet to 1,250 square feet, many with balconies and unobstructed city or mountain views. All residences will include full-size washers and dryers. The project is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2016.

"Jefferson Park . . . is one of the most sought-after new neighborhoods in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country," says Reid Davis, principal of Riverpoint Partners. "The convenient access Decatur Point offers to shopping, dining, bike paths and more makes it an ideal location for Denver's ever-increasing population of Millennials and young professionals."

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

Townhouse project under construction in Five Points

Clear Creek Homes broke ground Thursday on The Brownstones at King Stroud Court, a 26-unit townhome project in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. 

All but two of the 26 two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath units have sold. Designed by Denver-based Craine Architecture, the townhomes range in size from 1,340 square feet to 1,750 square feet and offer two-car, attached garages, gourmet kitchens with stainless steel Bosch appliances and rooftop patios.

"That we have nearly sold out of The Brownstones at King Stroud Court is a testament to the popularity of the Five Points neighborhood," says Laura Wnorowski, managing broker for Clear Creek Real Estate. "The neighborhood has a variety of restaurants and hosts music events throughout the year."

Five Points is one of Denver's oldest and most culturally diverse neighborhoods. Founded in the 1860s as one of Denver's first residential suburbs, Five Points features some of the city's oldest homes and historic storefronts. Today, light rail and the neighborhood's proximity to downtown make it attractive to all types of people.

Clear Creek Homes also is involved in other projects in Five Points, including The Wheatley, a $21 million project at 2460 Welton St. that will have 82 apartments, 14 townhouses and 3,800 square feet of street-level retail space.
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Lincoln Property Co. breaks ground on next phase at Colorado Center

Lincoln Property Company and ASB Real Estate Investments have started construction on the next phase of Colorado Center at 2000 S. Colorado Blvd.

The project will add more than 450,000 square feet of commercial and residential space near at the intersection of Interstate 25 and Colorado Boulevard.

Designed by Tryba Architects, he planned additions include a 210,000-square-foot office building with covered parking; a 205,000-square-foot residential tower with 189 apartments and 80 loft-style units; 40,000 square feet of retail; and modernization of existing parking garages, two new garages and street parking. 

"It's been in the works for quite a while," says Scott Caldwell, senior vice president of Lincoln Property Company Denver. "This is a cutting-edge project designed for a lifestyle."

Currently, Colorado Center features three Class A office buildings; Dave & Busters and United Artists Colorado Center Stadium 9 served by light rail. 

"The project will build on the success of earlier phases, adding residential and benefiting from increasing light-rail line ridership," says Robert Bellinger, president and CEO of ASB Real Estate. "Colorado Center's convenient location between LoDo and the Tech Center and its proximity to Cherry Creek create major demand drivers."

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

Cucina Colore reopens after expansion

The first phase of the expansion and renovation of Cucina Colore Modern Italian Trattoria & Bar in Cherry Creek is complete.

Designed by Roth Sheppard Architects, the renovation provides added space for an expansive wine bar, two community tables and additional banquet seating. The new island bar, which seats 20, is the centerpiece of the restaurant. A wraparound patio also has been added on Third Avenue, doubling the restaurant's outdoor seating.

"We are committed to remaining a Cherry Creek landmark for many years to come," says Venanzio Momo, the restaurant's owner. "Naturally, Jeff Sheppard was the person we called, as his initial design truly met the test of time. We could not be more thrilled with the results, and our accelerated growth since reopening has let us know that our customers feel the same way."

Steel shelving racks behind the bar display wooden wine boxes filled with wine, olive oil bottles and authentic Italian ingredients featured in Momo's family recipes. A peg wall displays more than 1,000 bottles of wine from around the world accented by a gallery of Momo's personal collection of decanters.

"We are honored to have worked with Venanzio for more than 20 years and are thrilled to have been selected to design his first restaurant and now his first major expansion and remodel," Sheppard says. "This is indeed a welcome addition to Cherry Creek, where Venanzio has established a rich community tradition for more than two decades."

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

City seeking nominations for Mayor's Design Awards

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the city's Community Planning and Development Department are seeking nominations for the Mayor's Design Awards.

The Mayor's Design Awards honors projects throughout the city for excellence in architecture, exterior design and place-making. The awards are presented to homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 8.

"Behind every great place for project in Denver, there's usuall a great story," Hancock says. "Whether it's about a family building their dream home, a nonprofit creating a new gathering place for the community or a restaurant that quickly becomes a neighborhood staple, we want to hear these stories."

Previous winners range from restaurants and galleries to private, single-family homes to plazas and other shared public spaces. The common denominator is the imaginative and innovative way they enhance public spaces and create community. 

"Our city celebrates the value of truly great design through The Mayor's Design Awards, and the award winners are our city's best-in-class when it comes to making a positive impact on our public realm and the built environment," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Community Planning and Development.

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

Sushi Ronin to open in LoHi

Sushi Ronin is the final tenant to sign a lease in a five-story building at 2930 Umatilla in Denver's LoHi neighborhood.

The restaurant will be located at the 23,000-square-foot building's street level, with Executive Chef Corey Baker at the helm.  The nearly 2,000-square-foot restaurant will feature transitional indoor/outdoor space and a distinct dining area and bar.

"We reviewed a variety of concepts for the street-level space at 2930 Umatilla and felt that Sushi Ronin was an ideal fit for both the building at the neighborhood," says Ryan Diggins, a partner with Gravitas Development Group, which developed the building. "LoHi needs a sushi restaurant to call its own, and Corey Baker's impressive experience and vision for Sushi Ronin will work well in a neighborhood in which chef-driven restaurants have been the catalyst to development."

Baker has more than 10 years of experience and training in sushi and Japanese cuisine. He formerly was the head sushi chef at Sushi Den on Old South Pearl Street. He also ran Sushi Hai in the Highland neighborhood for three years.

"I'm looking forward to bringing my vision for Sushi Ronin to life," Baker says. "The concept of Sushi Ronin is rooted in traditional sushi preparation, and this will be juxtaposed with an esoteric-traditional menu to create an intimate, yet energetic environment."

The top floor of the building will have a restaurant operated by Justin Cucci, chef/owner of other popular Denver concepts including Linger, Root Down and Ophelia's Electric Soapbox. The restaurant will have unobstructed views of downtown Denver from a large, open-air patio.

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

Biennial kicks off July 14 with free events

The Biennial of the Americas opens July 14 with a variety of free events at the Biennial Pavilion at 1550 Wewatta St. in the Union Station neighborhood.

The opening night street party, starting at 8 p.m., features music by Flobots and Making Movies, as well as the opening of the exhibition Oid el Sueno de una Palabra/Listen to the Dream of a Word. Partygoers will be escorted across 15th Street to MCA Denver by a marching band crossing guard for the opening of the central art exhibition "Now? NOW!" with food, music and body art.

The festivities continue at 5 p.m. July 17 with food trucks and free performances in Civic Center Park by Companhia Urbana de Danca from Brazil, modern artist and emcee Jeremy Bailey of Canada and Wonderbound, a dance company with its studio in Arapahoe Square.

More free events occurring during opening week include:
 
  • STEAM (STEM + Art) Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 15 at the Biennial Pavilion
  • Futbol Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 17 at the Biennial Pavilion and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Civic Center Park
  • Performing Arts Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 18 at the Biennial Pavilion
The Biennial of the Americas is designed to connect business, art, culture and civic leaders from throughout the Americas by building lasting relationships, addressing shared issues and inspiring action.

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

Green Valley Ranch joins Denver's sustainability movemement

Green Valley Ranch has been selected by the Denver Department of Environmental Health to participate in the Sustainable Neighborhoods Program.

It's the sixth neighborhood to join the program, which also includes Barnum, Chaffee Park-Regis, North City Park, Villa Park and West Colfax.

Green Valley Ranch's focus will be on water efficiency, increasing recycling, healthy food access, anti-idling and youth. Planned efforts include:
 
  • Encouraging the use of rainwater sensors on sprinkler systems to reduced water use
  • Promoting recycling by organizing Green Days, an event featuring appliance and electronics recycling and clothing donation
  • Hosting gardening workshops and teaching food preservation
  • Organizing an anti-idling campaign and educating high school drivers on safety
  • Increasing the number of community volunteers for after-school and summer programs
The Sustainable Neighborhoods Program is designed to help neighborhoods increase and strengthen their sustainability efforts. Participating neighborhoods receive in-kind support from the city in the form of outreach materials, printing, venue fees, food and staff time to assist with outreach and project development.

Applications are solicited twice a year from registered neighborhood organizations. Up to two are chosen each round based on their ability to implement a variety of projects tied to the program's five focus areas: air, land, energy, water and people.

Participating neighborhoods earn credits for achieving sustainability goals by completing projects such as offering xeriscaping workshops, holding work days at a local community garden, installing artwork in neighborhood alleys or encouraging neighbors to commit to making their homes more energy efficient. 

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

Multifamily developer pays $3.5 million for RiNo properties

A local developer has paid $3.5 million for three warehouses in Denver's RiNo neighborhood.

3825 Walnut Street LLC, which bought the property from J & E Properties LLC,  to convert the buildings, totaling 20,000 square feet, into a more appropriate use for the property. The developer, which has assets in RiNo, LoHi, Tennyson and Sunnyside, focuses on mixed-use, multifamily construction.

"The sale of the Walnut property underscores the flourishing activity in RiNo with warehouses rapidly converting to redevelopment sites," says Russell Gruber, a director at Newmark Knight Frank who handled the transaction with Steve Fletcher. 

In the past two years, sales topped $365 million, representing a total  of 130 properties, Gruber says. That's a big jump from the 50 assets that traded hands for a total of $43 million between 2009 and 2011. In the last 90 days, a total of 15 assets have sold for about $40 million.

"It's a feeding frenzy in RiNo," Gruber says. "At a sale price of $175.50 per square foot, these three industrial assets achieved a rate higher than the 2014 average for both the central submarket (at $62.88 a square foot) and the overall Denver metro market (at $63.77 a square foot)."

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

Beryl's Beer celebrates one-year anniversary in RiNo

Beryl's Beer Co. is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a weekend of events and entertainment from June 25-27 at its brewery at 3120 Blake St. in the River North neighborhood.

The celebration kicks off with the introduction of A Beryl Full of Laughs at 6 p.m. on Thurs. June 25. The evening features a performance by the Denver-based improv comedy team The Dinner Experience and food from The Cajun Kitchen Food Truck.

"The Dinner Experience is like a shot of adrenaline to any party, corporate event or public gathering," says Chris Gallegos, co-founder of the comedy troupe. "We have years of experience in hosting events and providing themed parties for private and public gatherings."

Food from local food trucks and music from local bands Dagger Dagger, Dear Me and The Outfit will be on hand throughout the weekend. 

"We truly want to be an anchor for local artistic endeavors in RiNo," says Calvin Beasley, co-owner of Beryl's. "Everyone is talking about the growth in Denver right now. It's going to happen, it's just a matter of how. We can let someone else lead it, or we can step up and own it. It's important to us to help cultivate the artists in the area in any way that we can."

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

New kiosk system will provide information on downtown

The Downtown Denver Partnership has launched a kiosk experience designed to provide information, engage users and support economic development downtown.

IKE, a collaboration between the partnership and Colorado Springs-based Street Media Group, is a pilot program created to support the partnership’s 20-year vision for downtown by providing a comprehensive wayfinding system that leverages technology, promotes retail goods and services and helps welcome international visitors to the city.

"It is really important for us to bring the most advanced technology available downtown to advance our culture of entrepreneurship and innovation," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "IKE helps energize our commercial core and will help us provide an even better experience for downtown consumers."

The kiosks are at five locations along the 16th Street Mall at Tremont, Court, Market, Larimer and Curtis streets, as well as one at 15th and Curtis. 

IKE is designed to serve as an interactive directory of places to eat, shop, play and stay downtown. It also includes a comprehensive event listing offers maps, walking directions and information on transit routes.

Built by Golden-based Display Devices, the kiosks also provides promotional opportunities for businesses and displays safety and emergency announcements both visually and with sound.

"IKE is truly on the cutting edge of interactive kiosk technology and offers not only a forward-thinking approach to wayfinding but also a unique opportunity to help downtown businesses thrive," says Gary Young, chief executive of Street Media Group.

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

RTD seeks input on general manager search

The Regional Transportation District is seeking input from the community about the characteristics and professional skills people would like to see in the agency's next general manager, as well as hear feedback about the operation of the RTD system in general.

Questions include rating personal characteristics, importance of duties for a general manager, as well as questions about critical issues for RTD, what is working well and what can be improved. The survey will be available through June 23. 

"It's important to the board of directors that we offer our community and RTD riders the opportunity to be involved in the general manager search process," says Chuck Sisk, RTD board chair. "This public input is one element we will consider as we choose the next leader of RTD."

RTD is looking for a new general manager to replace Phil Washington, who is headed to California to lead the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, known as Metro. Washington has guided RTD since 2009 and overseen FasTracks, the multi-billion dollar project to add 122 miles of track to RTD's rail-transit network. Metro also is undertaking a major expansion of its rail network in L.A.

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

Five Points affordable housing project kicks off

Century Development has broken ground on a 223-unit affordable housing project at 2300 Welton St. in Five Points.

Designed by Humphries Poli Architects, the $43 million project is on two infill parcels spanning Welton Street from Park Avenue West to 24th Street and along Park Avenue from Welton to Glenarm Place. Rental units will range from studios to three bedrooms and will be available to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income -- up to $43,200 for a family of three.

Denver's Office of Economic Development provided $1.1 million in financing to help support the land acquisition for the development. Other financing partners include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Colorado Division of Housing and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.

"We're proud to invest housing resources in Five Points -- to make a down payment that ensures the affordability in this gateway to downtown for generations to come," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "2300 Welton will offer incredible opportunities for working individuals and families to access jobs and prospects in central Denver, with transit connections throughout the metro area. These kinds of projects are key to ensuring this city remains accessible and affordable now and in the future."

The project is the latest affordable housing development created under Hancock's "3x5 challenge," which calls for the development, rehabilitation or preservation of 3,000 affordable housing units over five years. Since the challenge's inception in 2013, the city and real estate development community have produced 1,291 units.

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

Shift Workspaces to spend $30 million on expansion

Shift Workspaces plans to invest more than $30 million to develop 71,332 square feet of co-working space at three locations.

Shift will expand its existing 15,650-square-foot facility in the Alamo Placita neighborhood at 383 Corona St. by 4,332 square feet. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It will add a second 22,000-square-foot location in the Golden Triangle at 1001 Bannock St., expected to open in February 2016. 

In Uptown, Shift Grant will break ground in August 2015 and open in March 2016. Formerly Cathedral High School, the 45,000-square-foot space in three buildings will include 130 private offices that can accommodate from one to 28 people; a 10,000-square-foot private courtyard; 2,200 square feet of restaurant/bar and indoor event space; five kitchens; and fitness facilities.

"Traditional office space with white walls, stale air and long, dark hallways is dead," says Grant Barnhill, founder and chief executive of Shift Workspaces. "We want to spend time in bright, collaborative environments that inspire us and promote creativity and a sense of belonging."

All the Shift projects will have solar PV panels, hydroponic gardens and covered bike storage. Prices start at $179 a month for co-working space, $399 a month for a dedicated desk and $599 a month for a private office.

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

Westin at DIA to open Nov. 19

The Westin Denver International Airport will officially open on Nov. 19.

The 433,000-square-foot hotel, located on the commuter rail line that will connect the airport to downtown in 2016, will include 519 guest rooms and 35 suites, all with Westin's signature Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Bath amenities, including the Heavenly Shower. Guests also will have access to a top-floor pool and fitness studio in the "saddle" of the building.

"As one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Denver is poised to soon have a hotel with refreshing ambience that allows the traveler to feel well while on the road, as well as a conference and transit center that will connect more people with everything the Rocky Mountains have to offer," says Tom Curley, general manager of The Westin Denver International Airport.

The 37,000-square-foot conference center is one of the few above-ground conference centers located at an airport. It will feature a grand ballroom, junior ballroom and 15 meeting rooms for a total of 19 meeting rooms. The conference center also includes a 10,000-square-foot pre-function area with panoramic three-story, floor-to-ceiling glass wall with panoramic views.

The project also includes an 82,000-square-foot open-air public plaza that will serve as an entertainment venue with event programming by Denver Arts & Venues.

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

 

Seven receive awards from Downtown Denver Partnership

The Downtown Denver Partnership recently recognized seven people, places and businesses for initiatives that had the most impact on the center city in 2014 at the 54th Annual Downtown Denver Awards Dinner attended by 1,000 people at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.

The awards were presented to:
 "We are grateful for the opportunity to pause each year to celebrate the excellent achievements that advance us toward our vision of a world-class center city," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "This year's winners are city builders who have made Denver stronger, and they are instrumental in establishing downtown as the economic engine that drives the city, state and region.'

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

Alpine celebrates Cherry Creek opening with promotion

To celebrate the opening of its second Denver location in Cherry Creek, Alpine Bank is hosting Indie-Pendence Day on June 13.

Alpine is asking patrons to shop at their favorite Cherry Creek North businesses that day and bring their receipts to the bank at 215 St. Paul St. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Participants spending at least $20 will be reimbursed with $20 in cash.

"We are excited to join the vibrant community of Cherry Creek and operate among established local entrepreneurs," says Karrie Fletcher, senior vice president and manager of Alpine Bank Cherry Creek. "With our Indie-Pendence Day promotion we are practicing our core belief of supporting other independent businesses. We have been kindly welcomed by our Cherry Creek neighbors and hope to continue to stimulate business in our new community."

The 3,717-square-foot Alpine Bank serves as a full-service retail location with five full-time employees and one part-time employee. Services include loans deposits, merchant processing, electronic banking, safe deposit boxes, mortgage and investments. 

"As an independent business ourselves, Cherry Creek was the obvious choice for our second Denver location, and we are thrilled to offer our services to this thriving entrepreneurial community and surrounding neighborhoods," says Norm Franke, the bank's regional president for the Denver market. "We are excited to support both businesses and consumers with our Indie-Pendence Day promotion and on an ongoing basis."

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

Early Childhood Education Center opens in Westwood

Volunteers of America's new Early Childhood Education Center is open in Denver's Westwood neighborhood.

The center, at 320 S. Yates St., will more than double the number of children and families now served in VOA's early childhood education programs.

"The new facility is something we have been very excited about for some time," says Dianna Kunz, president and chief executive of VOA's Colorado branch. "Volunteers of America saw an unmet need in this community for education, and we are happy to be able to move forward with our plans to build this center for early childhood education."

The 11,425-square foot center includes five classrooms and is adjacent to a new affordable housing community where children and families who are eligible for Head Start services reside. The center will expand the number of children served by VOA's early childhood education classes from 68 to 170.

The Denver Office of Economic Development provided $620,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for property acquisition and related costs associated with construction of the $3.9 million center.

"Nothing is more impactful at lifting neighborhoods up than early childhood education options that provide a smart start for all children," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "We are honored to partner with the Volunteers of America to boost education and empower our most vulnerable populations."

Through its youth and senior programs, Volunteers of America Colorado Branch has served southwest Denver residents for more than 30 years. Since 2001, VOA has operated a Denver Great Kids Head Start Delegate Center, providing early childhood education to preschool children below the poverty level.

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

DDP releases Downtown Development Map update

The Downtown Denver Partnership has released updates to the Downtown Denver Development Map detailing projects under construction or planned as of April.

There now is $1.27 billion in development under construction that includes 1,741 hotel rooms, 4,210 residential units, nearly 2.4 million square feet of office space and nearly 230,000 square feet of retail space either planned or under construction downtown.

"That signals noteworthy progress toward the partnership's vision of a prosperous city that attracts jobs, growth and investment," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Projects around Denver's Union Station, particularly residential developments, are moving forward at a faster pace than many had envisioned as developers recognize that building adjacent to this important multimodal transportation hub is a smart investment."

The annual Downtown Denver Development Map, detailing all downtown development projects since 2010, will be released in June. The map is intended to be used by developers, investors and brokers interested in downtown Denver. Development trends remain consistent with previous updates, including more than half of the development of residential units occurring around Union Station.

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

Giant lily sculpture installed at DIA

Denver artist Price Davis has installed the Denver Lily at Denver International Airport.

The nearly 30-foot-tall sculpture is comprised of a base, flower pot and stemmed flower with pod and leaves. It's made of hand-forged sheets of steel that were stained and powder-coated. The sculpture is part of Davis' Global Peace Through Art initiative, a grassroots effort to raise awareness of our creative class.

"We must celebrate the skilled artists that bring us beauty in our everyday lives," says Davis, a craftsman with an emphasis on architecture. "Art should inspire and take into consideration the diversity of its viewers.

The lily, a symbol of relationships and friendship, will remain at DIA through July.

Davis says the Denver Lily embodies the components he strives to include in his art. It's conceptually simple, accessible and interactive.

"By installing a giant flower sculpture in the center of DIA, our goal is to surprise and delight passengers during spring, while showcasing a local artist's talent," says Chris Stevens, DIA's arts and culture manager. "This bright sculpture is monumental in height, which also highlights the scael of Jeppesen Terminal's iconic tent roof architecture."

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

Mile High Connects gets $1.6 million grant

Mile High Connects has received a $1.6 million, two-year grant from the Ford Foundation to help the organization's core nonprofit partners focus on affordable housing, jobs, affordable transit and healthy places.

Mile High Connects is a broad partnership of organizations from the private, public and nonprofit sectors that connects people, through transit, to better opportunities. The organization works collaboratively to leverage resources and inform policy, empowering low-income communities to access good-paying jobs, education and affordable housing.

"The Denver region is at the forefront of innovation in their approach to connecting people and their needs in the community they live," says Lisa Davis, program officer at the Ford Foundation. "Mile High Connects brings together diverse partners to focus on equity, and we see the impact of a grassroots and grasstops collaborative to affect change for low-income communities and communities of color."

As the first national funder to invest in Mile High Connects, the Ford Foundation has supported the collaborative's mission and work since 2011. The latest grant is supported by the Ford Foundation's Connecting People to Opportunity Initiative, which elevates the work of organizations that pursue integrated approaches to housing, land use and environmental planning, public transportation and community infrastructure, and aligned workforce opportunities.

"For many people in low-income communities and communities of color, transportation is a lifeline to greater opportunity," says David Miller, chief executive of The Denver Foundation. "The Ford Foundation's ongoing support of Mile High Connects helps ensure that transit in this region develops in ways that are equitable, smart and a model for the nation."

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

Sewall Child Development to move to Congress Park

The Sewall Child Development Center will relocate to a newly renovated building in Congress Park  in time for the new school year.

Palace Construction is managing the project, which will include renovations of eight existing classrooms and a redesign of the office space to accommodate teacher workstations. 

"This project will result in a new and improved home for Sewall Child Development Center, an inspiring educational center that serves children of all learning styles and economic situations," says Maggie Bolden, director of client relations for Palace Construction. "Palace Construction’s world-class team is commmitted to delivering the new space on time and on budget so that Sewall can continue its mission of helping children succeed."

Built in 1924, the building will be renovated to include installation of an ADA accessible elevator that will provide access to all floors of the building, air conditioning for the entire building and ADA restrooms to be used by 2- to 5-year-old children. 

Sewall Child Development Center provides integrated educational programs for more than 300 children from birth to age 6. It serves an additional 2,000 children through its role as the disabilities service provider for Denver’s Head Start programs. About two-thirds of the children served by Sewall live in poverty, and about half have identified special needs including developmental challenges, physical disabilities and cognitive and behavioral problems.

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

Two new murals on Cherry Creek Trail completed

Denver Arts & Venues' Urban Arts Fund program has teamed up with Black Book Gallery to create two new murals along the Cherry Creek Trail by Norwegian artists Hama Woods and Martin Whatson.

The murals exemplify the integration of art into daily life, a cornerstone of the IMAGINE 2020 cultural plan. Woods' mural is located at Speer Boulevard and Broadway, and Whatson's mural is at Speer and Lawrence Street.

Whatson, whose work is on display at Black Book Gallery at 304 Elati St. through May 30, works primarily with stencils and spray paint and stencil. His process incorporates traditional aspects of graffiti mixed with hand-cut stencils to create a unique and recognizable aesthetic.
 

Woods, whose work also is on display at the gallery through May 30, is a stencil artist and studio mate with Whatson. Her work demonstrates a reverence for nature and its immediate connection to humanity. Her stencils reflect a sociological approach to greed and human consumption and its direct affect on our natural environment.

Denver Arts & Venues actively facilitates new murals in highly vandalized areas throughout the City and County of Denver through the Denver Urban Arts Fund. IMAGINE 2020  provides a strategic vision for arts, culture and creativity and calls on city agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, civic leaders, neighborhood- and community-based organizations and residents to make the vision a reality.

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

Metro State completes athletic complex

Metropolitan State University of Denver is celebrating the completion of its $23.6 million Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver.

The 13-acre facility includes baseball and softball diamonds, a soccer field, eight tennis courts and a multi-purpose fitness trail.

The athletic complex is home to six of the Roadrunners' 15 sports, including baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer and men's and women's tennis. The facility also includes a 23,000-square-foot locker room and athletic training area and will provide health, sports and recreation opportunities to children and families in the surrounding neighborhoods and to downtown businesses and residents.

The complex, designed by Davis Design and built by Saunders Construction, is the fourth MSU Denver-owned facility to be built as part of the university's master plan. It follows the opening of the Center for Visual Art in Denver's Art District on santa Fe, the Student Success Building and the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center along Auraria Parkway on the Auraria Campus.

In November 2013, MSU Denver announced a $1 million naming rights agreement for the complex through 2023 with The Regency student housing community, owned by Lola and Robert Salazar.

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

Closetbox offers discounts to flood victims

As Colorado residents find water levels rising in their basements as a result of recent storms, Closetbox is offering discounts on its storage services for victims of flooding.

Closetbox will pick up items to be stored for free and is offering an additional $100 off to victims of recent Colorado flooding who should use the code coflood at checkout.

It takes less than 60 seconds to order storage at www.closetbox.com and Closetbox will pick up storage items within 24 hours. Customers can order storage by the space or store by the item. Customers need only to pack boxes and place a reservation, and Closetbox will take care of everything else, including shrink wrapping, protecting and moving both boxes and furniture out of the home and into secure storage.

"For the cost of a traditional storage unit, customers get their own full-service storage concierge and a free pickup," says Marcus Mollmann, the company's founder. "We hope Closetbox storage can help address and remove one of the many hassles faced by victims of recent flooding."

Denver-based Closetbox operates in 14 U.S. cities in eight states. Since its creation in 2013, the company has more than doubled its customer base each month.

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

Planning for I-25 and Broadway station kicks off

Denver city planners have kicked off the planning process for the Interstate 25 and Broadway station area, one of the busiest transit stations in Denver and one of the city’s key transit-oriented development (TOD) sites.

When complete, the I-25 and Broadway station area plan will provide a vision, strategies and transformative projects for the future of the area surrounding the station. it will also identify needs and make recommendations for infrastructure, mobility, parking, land use, open space, economic development, housing, partnerships and other cultural and community investments.

"TOD is more than just building structures around rail stations," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "It is about creating transit communities around stations that mend the urban fabric more tightly together, making Denver a more seamless, multi-modal and vibrant community."

The area included in the planning process is bordered by Virginia and Arizona avenues and Logan and Jason Streets. It overlaps the West Washington Park, Baker, Platt Park, Overland Park< Ruby Hill and Athmar Park neighborhoods.

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

Larimer Square welcomes beauty boutique

Larimer Square's newest retailer opened its doors last month at 1408 Larimer St.

Luxury beauty boutique Aillea is selling toxin-free cosmetics and skincare products. Aillea's lines are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, endocrine disruptors and other harmful chemicals. It's also the first brick-and-mortar location for the company.

"Like all of our retailers, Aillea brings something very special to the block -- their combination of premium luxury beauty products and expert consultative services aren't found anywhere else," says Jeff Hermanson, chief executive of Larimer Associates. "Ladies looking to go green will find exclusive and trustworthy beauty lines, hand-selected from a variety of global sources, all in one place."

The boutique will offer brands including Pure and True Skincare; Lily Lolo Cosmetics; DR J Organics Cleanser; and Suki Cleansing Lotion. 

Aillea will host a grand opening party from 4 to 8 p.m. May 21st. Guests attending the event will receive 15 percent off purchases that evening.

"It's a dream to open our first location on iconic Larimer Square," says Aillea founder Kathryn Murray. "The caliber of retailers, the beauty of the buildings and canopy of lights and the popularity of the block among both locals and visitors makes it an ideal fit for the Aillea brand."

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

Gensler creates innovation hub

Global design firm Gensler has created an innovation hub that will promote connectivity between people in the 23,000-square-foot space it occupies at 1225 14th St. 

"From the outset, our goal was to create the best place to work in Denver," says Jon Gambrill, principal and managing director at Gensler Denver. "Our entire office was fully engaged in the design process. This new space sets the new standard in Denver for a creative, collaborative work environment, enhancing our ability to innovate and deliver outstanding service to our clients."

The new Gensler office covers two floors. It has ground-level retail space to enhance connection to the Denver community. A coffee bar and cafe seating flanks the stadium staircase that's the prominent feature from the Lawrence Street entrance into the firm's lobby.

Workstations and meeting areas are flexible, and a range of space types and experiences provides a sense of creativity, connectivity and innovation. 

Throughout the space, the design promotes well-being through ergonomics, acoustics, air quality and interaction with nature.

As part of the 50-year-old firm's commitment to sustainability, Gensler is pursuing LEED Gold certification for the space. Some of the key sustainable features include LED lighting with motion sensors, low-emitting materials, energy- and water-saving equipment and interior plantscaping. 

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

RiNo site selected for Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge

Recognizing that the River North is one of the hippest spots in Denver, the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties has selected a site in the district for this year's Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge.

The 14-acre site of the Midtown Industrial Center will be analyzed by student teams from the University of Colorado and University of Denver, who will present their plans for the evolving area at a dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 7 at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center.

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge is an annual event designed as a learning tool for students in the universities' graduate real estate programs and the Denver business community. A property is selected to serve as the competition site. 

Each school forms multiple student teams charged with creating a vision for the property, conducting market research on uses for the property and working with a local architectural firm to help them in the project's design. Finalists from each school are judged by a group of real estate professionals the day of the event. 

The Midtown Industrial Center on Brighton Boulevard offers unique opportunities for development and place-making in an edgy area that is home to art galleries, restaurants, bars and breweries. The site is owned by the Westfield Company.

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

Prologis to relocate to Z Block in LoDo

Industrial real estate developer Prologis is relocating its headquarters from northeast Denver to the Z Block building in Lower Downtown.

The company will occupy the top two floors of the 235,000-square-foot building under construction on Wazee Street between 18th and 19th streets. 

"The decision to relocate our operations headquarters was significant," says Edward Nekritz, Prologis' chief legal officer and general counsel. "It was important for us to put our stamp on a new building and office environment that reflects our culture. Z Block will be a fantastic addition to LoDo, and we look forward to being an integral part of this important development for the long term."

Z Block is one of downtown's newest urban infill projects. It includes office space, a hotel and retail development. The developers are seeking LEED Gold certification for the project.

"We are pleased to build state-of-the-art office space for Prologis," says Chad McWhinney, chief executive and founder of McWhinney, which is developing the project in conjunction with Grand American Inc. and hotel operator Sage Hospitality. "Prologis wanted to offer its team superior office amenities, excellent access to mass transit and proximity to all that LoDo has to offer, including hotels, restaurants and sports and entertainment venues."

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

Republic Plaza to get $5 million in renovations

Brookfield Property Partners will start renovations to Denver's tallest building this summer.

Brookfield, which has owned and managed the 56-story Republic Plaza since 1986, will transform 15,000 square feet of the concourse level. The project will include a new conferencing center outfitted with the most recent technology, fitness center and collaborative space that will include a cafe. It will incorporate signature design elements and create usable open-air green spaces allowing natural light into the areas below street level.

"Brookfield is proud to invest over $5 million to offer its tenant community premier office space that incorporates innovative amenities," says David Sternberg, executive vice president of the Midwest and Mountain regions for Brookfield's office division. "The transformations to Republic Plaza's concourse will continue to make it the most attractive business address in the city for both employers and employees."

Brookfield Property Partners is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world. Its portfolio includes interests in more than 100 office properties and more than 150 malls worldwide. The company also holds interests in multifamily, industrial and hotel properties.

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

Wizard's Chest to move to Broadway

The Wizard's Chest is opening a new castle at 451 Broadway this fall.

Its current location at 230 Fillmore in Cherry Creek North will remain open through December. The complete transition to the new location will take place in January.

The new 12,000-square-foot store will feature the familiar castle storefront and welcoming wizard. The larger space -- the Cherry Creek store is 8,000 square feet -- will open up to the toys, games, costumes, theatrical makeup, accessories, books, puzzles and magic that have made The Wizard's Chest a popular destination for families for more than 30 years.

"We have treasured our years in Cherry Creek, but we are bursting at the seams in our current space," says Kevin Pohle, owner of The Wizard's Chest. "In order to better serve our customers, we need to expand. When the Broadway location became available, we realized it was an opportunity we couldn't pass up."

The store, which is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the weekends, offers a variety of events, including Magic Monday and regular card games.

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

Crafty Fox to open in Sunnyside

The Crafty Fox, a craft beer taphouse, will open by this fall in a 6,000-square-foot building near the light rail station at 41st Avenue and Fox Street that's slated to open in 2016.

The two-story building, designed by Architectural Workshop and W. West, will feature an open-concept space, rooftop deck with mountain and downtown views, a street-level patio and community tables. 

The Crafty Fox, developed by Kyle and Angelique Moyer, will feature 40 craft beers, fresh pizzas, locally sourced salads, sandwiches and appetizers.

"Denver's love of craft beer runs deep, and from the discussions I've been having with our neighbors and clients at Bogey's, it's obvious that the demand for a gathering place to enjoy a few drinks with friends is strong," says Kyle Moyer, who currently is the general manager and owner of Bogey's Beer and Wine, a boutique liquor store offering craft beer, craft spirits and fine wines from the same building as The Crafty Fox.

Moyer is working with Chef Matt Selby of Central Bistro + Bar to create the menu. Chef Matt Krascek will head the kitchen.

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

First building in Mayfair apartment complex open for residents

The first of three buildings at Avenue 8 at Mayfair Apartments has been completed and is welcoming its first residents.

Located at 5701 E. Eighth Avenue, the upscale apartment complex spans a city block between Ivanhoe and Ivy streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues. 

The first building includes 51 one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $1,135 to $1,675 a month. Amenities include a pet-friendly indoor park, TV lounge, tech bistro, business center, fitness center and yoga studio, as well as outdoor patio and grilling area, rooftop terrace and controlled-access parking. 

"Very early in the construction process, we received interest from potential residents wanting a pet-friendly community near downtown," says Zvi Rudawsky, president of Boutique Apartments, which is managing the property. "This is the first residential development in Mayfair that offers top-level finishes and an incredible amenity package for residents."

Renovation of the property's remaining two buildings is under way, with completion of an additional 112 units slated to open late this summer.

Part of the community's appeal is its easy access to nearby hospital complexes, as well as Trader Joe's at Ninth and Colorado, the Mayfair Town Center, Cherry Creek, City Park, Lowry and Stapleton.

"The Mayfair neighborhood is friendly and quiet with an outstanding quality of life," says Sara Miller, Avenue 8 at Mayfair's on-site manager. "Residents will be able to live near their workplaces with access to mass transit and bike paths."

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

Matsuhisa to open in Cherry Creek apartment building

A bit of the mountains will come to Denver when Matsuhisa Cherry Creek opens a 7,800-square-foot restaurant at Steele Creek, an apartment and retail project at 1st Avenue and Steele Street.

Matsuhisa plans to serve the roof-deck pool at Steele Creek, a 12-story building with 218 apartments. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, and residents of the building will be able to order food and drinks, as well as have Matsuhisa cater their events.

"This iconic, internationally acclaimed restaurant will further establish Steele Creek as the premier luxury residential community in Cherry Creek and greater Denver," says Jarrett Posner, chairman of BMC Investments, the developer of Steele Creek, which will have a total of 17,000 square feet of retail space. 

Matsuhisa, which has restaurants in Aspen and Vail, was chosen as one of the Top 10 Restaurant Destinations in the world by the New York Times in 1993. World-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa has received numerous nominations for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation and one of the 11 Most Influential Chefs of the Decade by Madrid Fusion.

The restaurant, designed by Aspen-based Rowland + Broughton, is expected to open by the end of the year.

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

Roth Sheppard to host students interested in architecture

Roth Sheppard Architects is holding its second educational event for Colorado high school students and their parents.

The firm will host So You Want to Be an Architect?, an introductory seminar for high school students, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 9. The event is part of Roth Sheppard's effort to engage the profession, the public and education in a dialogue to raise the level of design expectation in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.

Students and their parents or guests will rotate between stations led by Roth Sheppard architects and staff. The topics will cover:
  • The design process from the initial hand-darn sketch to a completed project
  • The creation of 3D computer models using Google Sketchup and PhotoShop software
  • The creation of a physical  model including a review of the different types and the tools used
  • What else an architect does on a project, including an overview of what it takes to oversee and manage the construction of a building with a demonstration of Autodesk's Revit software, as well as understanding how projects are won, proposals created, schedules and hours tracked and the best way to land a position at a top design firm
Participation is limited to 30 students, with no more than five from one school. Each student can bring two parents or guests each. All students must be accompanied by an adult. 

The deadline for registration is 5 p.m. April 24. For the $5 fee at the door, all supplies will be provided.

For questions or to register, contact Janet Ronneng at (303) 534-7007 or jronneng@rothsheppard.com.

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

FirstBank invests nearly $100 million in Cherry Creek projects

FirstBank Holding Co. has made loans totaling nearly $100 million for developments in Cherry Creek North, including two of the district's most high-profile projects in 250 Columbine and 245 Columbine.

The projects will add retail stores, residences, office space, restaurants and a 155-room hotel.

Western Development Group will use a $50 million loan from FirstBank to develop 250 Columbine as residences, office space  and street-level retail, including two restaurants -- SOL Cocina and Blue Island Oyster Bar.

"250 Columbine is another example of Cherry Creek North raising the bar to maintain its position as the most sought-after shopping district in the Denver area," says Roy Kline, a partner with Western Development Group, which is developing the property. "We had a wonderful experience partnering with FirstBank on a previous project and appreciate working with a local bank that understands the community and shares our vision."

For 245 Columbine, FirstBank provided $41.4 million in funding. The project, a joint venture between BMC Investments and Sage Hospitality, will include a 155-room boutique hotel, a restaurant operated by Sage Restaurant Group and 5,900 square feet of retail space. The hotel, expected to open in the summer of 2016, will offer meeting and event space, a rooftop deck, fitness center and valet parking.

"FirstBank also provided two loans of more than $5 million to Schnitzer West LLC to buy retail buildings in the area, including 250 Fillmore and 262 Fillmore, and 242 and 246 Milwaukee. The company is considering plans to redevelop the Fillmore buildings, while those on Milwaukee will remain retail stores.

FirstBank also is opening a branch at 100 St. Paul, a new eight-story, 149,000-square-foot office and retail building.

"We strongly believe in these projects and are proud to have a stake in developments that will improve our community," says Tom Wright, market president of FirstBank Cherry Creek.

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

Elsy Studios buys Highland building

Interior design firm Elsy Studios has purchased a 4,000-square-foot office building at 3528 Tejon St. in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood for $1.25 million.

Elsy, which specializes in corporate interiors, will lease part of the two-story building to Seattle-based furniture manufacturer Watson Furniture. It will be Watson's first Denver showroom. 

Over the last two years, Elsy Studios has grown into a 10-person firm. The new space will allow Elsy to continue growing to accommodate up to 20 employees.

"Elsy Studios has built a strong reputation for creativity and project delivery over the last two years," says Lynn Coit, president and founder of Elsy Studios. "This new office space will allow us to grow and provide an even higher level of service to clients in a convenient and thriving location. By leasing part of our space to Watson Furniture, we can offer an atmosphere filled with design inspiration."

In addition to its LoHi location, the property was attractive to Elsy for its visual appeal. The building was designed in 2006 by Jim Bothwell and earned a Denver Mayor's Design Award for the core and shell.

The new space will include quiet rooms, height-adjustable work stations, custom LED lighting and a number of the fun and inspiring finishes that Elsy has become known for in its design projects. The firm's clients range from restaurants to retail establishments to corporate offices.

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

Shears Adkins Rockmore moves into new digs in LoDo

Shears Adkins Rockmore has blended the past with the present with the renovation the historic building at 1550 Wynkoop St. in Lower Downtown that it recently made its home. 

The architecture firm occupies 5,474 square feet of space in the building, which originally was completed in 1889 along with a series of interconnected buildings between 15th and 16th streets.

During the demolition, MAX Construction, Inc. uncovered steel beams that were installed in the building about 125 years ago.

"The beams are made of large angles and plates that are riveted together," says Dean Smith, an architect with the firm. "This structure was consistent with the new steel elements we had already designed for the space. Despite the challenges of bringing the old beams up to fire code, the team at MAX Construction was able to quickly adapt and deliver the project on our original timeline."

In addition to the steel  beams, MAX Construction was able to keep much of the original heavy timbers, flagstone foundation and brick, which helped the space retain the character of its original design.

"We see this space as the perfect blend of nostalgia and forward thinking," says Mark McGann, vice president at MAX. "A big part of what makes LoDo so special is the unique architecture of these historic buildings, so the MAX Construction team did everything we could to respect the building's past while incorporating modern features that reflect Shears Adkins Rockmore's focus on innovative design."

Some of that modernization included significant structural work to remove sections of the first floor to allow nature light into the basement level. A two-stage "floating" staircase from the first floor to the basement level was added to create a new access point. 

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

Downtown rooftop greenhouses nearly completed

Construction of the first greenhouse is underway at Groundwork Greens, a community-driven rooftop greenhouse at 2020 Lawrence St.

A project from Groundwork Denver, the 2,600-square-foot greenhouse will produce more than 15,000 pounds of fresh vegetables a year. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of March when growing systems will be installed and vegetables grown. Green Team youth employees will work at the greenhouse, learning about hydroponic growing, marketing, sales and distribution.

Less than 1 percent of food consumed in Denver is produced in Colorado, and one out of eight Denver families is "food insecure," meaning they don't have access to enough food. Groundwork Greens hopes to demonstrate a solution that captures the economic activity of local food consumption and provides healthy food for residents.

Groundwork Denver is non-profit organization that works with lower-income communities to address environmental problems, implement environmental improvement projects, build environmental leaders and support volunteerism and civic engagement. 

Developed by Zocalo Community Development, 2020 Lawrence is a 10-story, 231-unit apartment building, offering a rooftop health center overlooking the mountains; Barks & Rec, a rooftop pet exercise area with artificial grass; work space with conference center; demonstration kitchen; and rooftop lounge with a hot tub, outdoor kitchen and fire pit.

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

For-sale condos in the works at SLOANS

What may be the biggest condo project on the drawing board in the metro area was recently approved by the Denver City Council.

The 12-story building will be located on a 2.2-acre site at West 17th Avenue and Stuart Street in the SLOANS development. The project, being developed by NAVA Real Estate Development likely is the largest condo project because the state's construction-defects laws make it easy to sue developers.

The project will have 226 units of for-sale residential condominiums in eight and 12-story buildings with a three-level, 400-space parking garage. The average unit size is 1,000 square feet with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, as well as penthouses. Prices have not yet been determined.

The community is the first registered International WELL Building Institute multi-family project in Colorado. The WELL Building Standard marries best practices in design and construction with health and wellness interventions to create a built environment that support health, well-being and comfort.

Located on the former campus of St. Anthony's Hospital, the SLOANS development also will include an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, restaurants, market-rate apartments and a combination of for-sale and rental workforce and affordable housing.

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

Construction of Cherry Creek hotel underway

BMC Investments and Sage Hospitality have started construction on their $70 million hotel and retail development at 245 Columbine St. in Cherry Creek North. 

"We are very excited to deliver what we expect to be another transformative project not only in Cherry Creek, but for the Denver hospitality market as a whole," says Matt Joblon, chief executive of BMC Investments. 

The development will include 155 hotel rooms, a rooftop deck with a pool and bar, 5,000-square feet of meeting and banquet space and two ground-floor restaurants. Klipp is the architect and Mortenson is the builder.

Sage Restaurant Group will open Departure, a concept operated by Top Chef finalist Gregory Gourdet in its Nines hotel in Portland, Oregon. An additional 6,000 square feet of retail space is available for another restaurant operated by a third party. 

The hotel will be a luxury, independently branded experience unique to the Denver market. It will have 100 percent valet parking in two levels of below-grade parking. The hotel is expected to open in April 2016.

"This project will mirror the big changes that have been taking place in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood," says Walter Isenberg, president and chief executive of Sage. "The hotel and restaurant we have planned will deliver the luxury experience for locals and visitors."

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

Parade of Homes starts Aug. 13

The 2015 Denver Parade of Homes is slated for Aug. 13 through Labor Day.

New and never-lived-in homes throughout the Denver area will be on display to the public. 

"All home builders who participated in last year's Parade and new builders interested in participating in this year's edition are encouraged to sigh up now to take advantage of this unique marketing opportunity and to be part of one of Denver's favorite summer traditions," says Jeff Whiton, president and chief executive of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, which sponsors the event.

The HBA recently hosted an orientation meeting with more than 20 home builders, remodelers with unoccupied full-home remodels, community developers and real estate agents listing new homes who have expressed an interest in entering this year's parade.

Last year's Parade attracted more than 100,000 visitors who saw 74 homes located throughout the Front Range from Loveland to Castle Rock and from Central City to Aurora.

The HBA is a trade association representing business involved in the residential development, construction and remodeling industry in the Denver metro region. Members include home builders, land developers, remodelers, architects, mortgage lenders, building material suppliers and subcontractors.

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

Gravitas lands office tenant at LoHi building

San Francisco-based Delivery Agent has moved into 14,000 square feet of office space at 2930 Umatilla in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood. 

Delivery Agent, which turns audiences into revenue-generating customers for the world's largest brands, will have up to 75 employees at the expanding technology and advertising business units Denver office.

"I have been living and working in Denver for many years, and feel strongly that this city has -- and will continue to be -- one of the top markets for tech innovation," says David Rudnick, chief technology officer of Delivery Agent. "As part of our company expansion plans we are excited to actively double our presence in Denver."

The new 23,000-square-foot building, located south of the restaurant Linger, is the latest development from Denver-based Gravitas Development Group. The building's top floor will be home to a restaurant from restaurateur Justin Cucci, chef/owner of Linger, Root Down and Root Down DIA. The ground floor will be occupied by a yet-to-be named restaurant.

"The addition of Delivery Agent to the tenant mix at 2930 Umatilla development underscores our mission of creating thoughtful urban infill," says Ryan Diggins, a partner in Gravitas. "With the tech sector hiring in Denver and outpacing that of Silicon Valley, we saw an immediate benefit and utility in leasing this space to an innovative and fast-growing company like Delivery Agent."

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

RiNo apartment project gets crowdfunding

A new 62-unit apartment project in Denver's River North (RiNo) neighborhood received a $1 million infusion from Washington, D.C.-based Fundrise, an online platform for real estate investments.

Similar to crowdfunding, Fundrise gives everyone the opportunity to invest in real estate. 

"It's almost like creating a stock exchange for small commercial real estate investments," says Brandon Jenkins, the company's chief operating officer. "In the same way you can go on eTrade and buy a share of Apple, you can buy a $5,000 chunk of a $50 million investment."

The $15 million project at Larimer and 35th streets is the first investment in Colorado for Fundrise, which started four years ago with investments in Washington, D.C. and New York City. People who invest $5,000 are expected to receive a 13.2 percent return.

"We really like the underlying fundamentals of the Denver market," Jenkins says. "If it had been New York City, there would have been a big slew of private equity groups bidding on it and competing for it."

Also financed by Littleton Capital Partners, the property is within four blocks of the 38th and Blake light-rail station -- the first stop from Union Station on the East Rail Line that will connect downtown to Denver International Airport. It's also just a block from the future 35th and Downing light-rail station, part of the planned Central Corridor extension that will connect the existing Central Rail Line to the East Rail line.

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

Nocturne jazz club opens in RiNo

Denver's newest jazz club has opened its doors in RiNo.

Nocturne, a modern take on the jazz and supper clubs of the 1940s, marries the culinary, cocktail and musical arts in a restored early 20th century factory building at 1330 27th St. 

The 3,500-square-foot, 105-seat venue embraces the industrial feel of RiNo, using materials such as raw steel and bronze melded with elements that evoke Atlantic coast Art Deco from the 1920s and 1930s. 

"With its wealth of street art, funky work spaces, independent restaurants, great music venues and art galleries, our goal was to create a room that complimented RiNo's culture while also looking to the underground jazz clubs of old Hollywood and New York for the inspiration of Nocturne's spirit," says Scott Mattson, who with his wife, Nicole, owns the club. 

At the core of Nocturne's venue is an artist-in-residence program. Residencies are awarded to musicians focusing on one of three concentrations: the study of a jazz icon, the exploration of a specific jazz genre or the performance of all-original material. During each residency period, six artists, each playing one night a week, will take the stage for a three-month run. Nocturne also will host nationally touring jazz musicians. 

A portion of the funds used to develop the club came from a small group of community supporters.

"Our crowdfunders' commitments to taking Nocturne from a dream to a reality really showcases this as something the RiNo community, and Denver, wants and needs," says Nicole Mattson. "You just don't see young people opening jazz clubs these days, but we were reassured that it's something that will not only work, but thrive in Denver when so many people step forward to contribute."

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

Demolition starts at 9th & Colorado

Abatement and demolition work on the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at East Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard is underway.

The demolition includes nearly all existing buildings on the site except for a 1,000-car parking structure, the former Nurses' Dormitory building and the five-story Research Bridge that spans Ninth Avenue. Razing the buildings is expected to take about 16 months. Vertical construction is expected to begin later this year, even as demolition continues.

"This is a significant milestone for the 9th & Colorado project," says Frank Cannon, development director for Continuum Partners, which is developing the project. "We're excited to be under way with the abatement and demolition. With buildings coming down we are one step closer to bringing the development plans to reality."

Plans for the redevelopment call for the creation of a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use environment that will complement and connect with the surrounding neighborhoods. The plan includes plazas and public space and the adaptive reuse of the Nurses' Dormitory and Research Bridge buildings.

"The neighborhood is excited to see that the project is moving ahead after years of dashed hopes and collapsed plans with prior groups," says Laurie Bogue of Colorado Boulevard Healthcare District. "We feel confident the 9th & Colorado project team will make this part of the process as seamless as possible."

Denver-based Continuum Partners is developing the project with Los Angeles-based CIM Group, a real estate and infrastructure investment firm.

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

Gonzales library branch opens in west Denver

The Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Branch Library is officially open at West Colfax Avenue and Irving Street. 

The two-story, 27,000-square-foot library is the last of three new libraries built with 2007 voter-approved Better Denver Bond funds. The new facility will serve west Denver neighborhoods that haven't had a library branch nearby.

"Our branch libraries reflect the individual spirit and diversity of their neighborhoods," says city librarian Shirley Amore. "The Gonzales Branch Library not only celebrates the diversity of west Denver, it is also a community space that will bring residents and visitors together in new and special ways."

The library is named for Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, a Denver native, poet, boxer and nationally recognized leader in the civil rights movement who advocated for the education, economic and political equality of the Latino community in Denver. 

Studiotrope Design Collective designed the library to support the community's vision of the library as an incubator for growth. 

"One of the primary goals of the project is to celebrate the diverse and culturally rich community of west Denver," says Joseph Montalbano, Studiotrope's principle architect for the project. 

The building facade is highlighted by a series of brightly colored horizontal "threads," each symbolizing the unique members of the community. "In this way, the building exterior showcases the transformational power of the neighborhood," Montalbano says.

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

Old Stapleton tower gets new use

More than 20 years after the last plane landed at Stapleton Airport, the old air traffic control tower complex is being redeveloped as the home to Denver's second Punch Bowl Social, as well as the company's corporate headquarters. 

Located at the intersection of Central Park Boulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard, the building is structurally sound, but the interior has degraded substantially. Plans for the new Punch Bowl Social include the removal of much of the interior structure while preserving the architecture of the exterior. 

"The control tower is a landmark in this community and the city of Denver," says Robert Thompson, founder of Punch Bowl Social. "As a company, we are intentional about seeking out locations that have historic roots but need a new purpose. There's a lot of interest in seeing the tower preserved, and we intend to retain the character that's so familiar and appealing to locals and visitors alike."

Punch Bowl Social's headquarters will occupy the third floor of office space. The lower two levels will be expanded by about 5,000 square feet in a manner consistent with the historic architecture.

"We have been searching for an adaptive reuse opportunity for quite some time and know Stapleton residents as well as the larger community will find this to be an exciting and invigorating use of the tower," says John Lehigh, president and chief operating officer of Forest City Stapleton, the master developer of the master-planned community.

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

Urban Peak to honor Morgridge at fashion show

Local philanthropist Carrie Morgridge will be honored at Urban Peak's third annual Urban Nights fashion show and fundraiser on Aug. 29.

Morgridge, vice president of the Morgridge Family Foundation, will receive Urban Peak's Urban Legend honor for her efforts to spark innovation and fuel transformation in education, health and wellness, conservation and the arts. Urban Peak is Colorado's only nonprofit serving youth experiencing homelessness.

"We are honoring Carrie for her philanthropic commitment to the community," says Justin Joseph, production chair of Urban Nights and a member of the Joseph Family Foundation. "We are inspired by and thankful for Carrie's leadership."

This year's fashion show features designer and Project Runway winner Mondo Guerra, who is designing a collection exclusively for the Urban Nights fashion show inspired by artwork created by Urban Peak's homeless youth. The artwork also will be sold during the event's silent auction.

Ten other Colorado designers will be selected by the Urban Nights fashion director and featured on the runway. Local designers can submit their portfolios online at www.urbannightsdenver.org through March 15.

"On any given day, more than 750 youth in metro Denver are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless," says Amy Meyer Smith, marketing director of Infiniti of Denver, the presenting sponsor of Urban Nights. "This event helps provide basic needs and services for kids who have experienced extreme hardship and homelessness."

The event will be held at Mile High Station under the Colfax Avenue viaduct.

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

Z Block starts construction

The renovation of the historic Windsor Dairy block in Lower Downtown is under way.

Known as Z Block, the project will be a mixed-use office, hospitality and retail development along Wazee Street between 18th and 19th streets. The 350,000-square-foot project includes 200,000 square feet of office space, a 172-room hotel, 30,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and a 400-car below-grade parking garage -- all integrated into three of the historic Windsor Dairy Block Buildings in LoDo.

Developed by the partnership of McWhinney, Sage Hospitality and Grand American, Z Block is designed to pay homage to Denver's past and keep an eye on its future. The project is being designed by Denver-based architecture firm Shear Adkins Rockmore.

"The rich history of the Windsor Dairy Block is remarkable and an important part of Denver's future," says Chad McWhinney, chief executive of McWhinney. "Our team looks forward to the enhancement of this block while preserving and respecting its significance in our city's history."

Z Block, expected to be completed in September 2016, is one block from Denver Union Station, the epicenter of the region's FasTracks mass transit system. It's one of the last remaining full-block development sites within historic LoDo.

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

RTD turns on rail power between downtown and airport

The Regional Transportation District is turning on the power lines along the East Rail Line between Union Station and Denver International Airport in anticipation of a year-long testing program starting this spring.

RTD is powering up the lines in sections as part of the electrification testing process.

"These wires hold 25,000 volts of electricity and can be extremely dangerous, even  fatal, if anyone comes close to them," says Brian Middleton, project director of the FasTracks East Rail Line. "We ask everyone to please stay away from the tracks and the wires, and never try to touch or throw anything at them."

Trains will begin to run under their own power this spring, si it is important to remember these other safety tips:
  • Never trespass on any train track.
  • Cross the tracks only at designated crossings, always follow safety signs and obey warning devices such as flashing red lights and gate arms.
  • Stay alert and look both ways for a train -- you may not hear them coming.
  • Never trespass onto construction sites, and stay off the train station platforms until they are open to the public.
FasTracks is RTD's voter-approved transit expansion program to build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county region.

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

New apartment tower under construction in Uptown

A 26-story luxury apartment tower is under construction in at the corner of Broadway and 18th Avenue in Denver's Uptown neighborhood.

SkyHouse Denver is a mixed-use project featuring 354 apartments ranging from studio to two-bedroom units. It also has 6,900 square feet of street-level retail space. The top floor of the building includes a club room, swimming pool and fitness center.

"We are excited to be working with Simpson Housing and Batson-Cook Development Co. to add SkyHouse Denver to the fabric of downtown," says Jim Borders, president and CEO of Novare Group, an Atlanta-based real estate development and investment company. "The Mile High City has been on our radar for several years, and we are thrilled to have an excellent location that fits perfectly with what our residents want."

The project will have vehicle charging stations, bike storage, kitchen, a dog walk area and a dog washing station. The apartments will have nine-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass, quartz countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and porcelain tile.

JP Morgan and US Bank are providing construction financing for the project, and Simpson Housing, Batson-Cook and NGI Investments LLC are providing equity. The architect is Atlanta's Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart.

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

Sun Valley to get Denver's largest building wrap

The Sun Valley neighborhood is about to get Denver's largest building wrap.

The wrap, created by Ink Monstr, will transform a blank concrete wall into four historic-looking storefronts, adding character to the company's headquarters in the Sun Valley neighborhood southwest of downtown.

Ink Monstr, which produces large-scale vinyl graphics and wraps, relocated to Sun Valley from Brighton Boulevard in RiNo just over a year ago and founder Reed Silberman has been actively involved in the community ever since.

"It's a really great up-and-coming neighborhood that has some future potential," says Silberman, who serves on the Sun Valley Community Coalition and has been