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Report: Downtown's economic health is thriving

A new report summarizing downtown Denver's economic health has found that employment growth is strong, consumers are spending at a healthy pace and the commercial real estate market has lower vacancy rates and higher lease rates than a year ago.

Highlights from the Downtown Denver November Economic Update include: 
  • Downtown employment levels increased 4.5 percent, with levels in the Business Improvement District (BID) increasing 1.4 percent between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014.
  • Retail sales increased 10 percent between the second quarters of 2013 and 2014. 
  • Hotels and other accommodation services increased nearly 40 percent during between the second quarters of 2013 and 2014.
  • Home sales increased 9.7 percent year-over-year, compared with a 0.5 percent decline throughout metro Denver.
  • Office and retail vacancy rates declined 1.2  and 1.1 percentage points, respectively. The average office lease rate rose 8 percent, and retail lease rates rose 26.3 percent.
"The November Economic Update paints a clear picture: People want to be in downtown Denver," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, which compiled the report. "With  the average lease rate for office space growing by 8 percent and retail space by 26.3 percent, over 1,400 new residential units created and hotel occupancy and average daily room rates higher than 2013 year-to-date levels, we see the popularity of the city center continuing to grow."

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

Movement Climbing opens in Baker neighborhood

Movement Climbing + Fitness has opened at 1155 W. Fifth Ave. in Denver's Baker neighborhood.

The new center occupies a newly constructed 32,000-square-foot building that includes a photovoltaic system supporting thermal water heating, as well as natural daylight. The sustainable features are expected to offset 70 percent of Movement's annual energy consumption.

The project received financing through the Denver Office of Economic Development's Revolving Loan Fund Program, which lends up top 25 percent of project costs.

"This project is an ideal embodiment of our goal to more proactively seek out and fund environmentally sustainable companies," says Paul Washington, executive director of the economic development office. "We're proud to welcome a new wellness champion to help further revitalize the Baker neighborhood west of Kalamath Street."

Movement Climbing + Fitness features a 50-foot climbing wall in addition to space for yoga, Pilates, cycling fitness, childcare and personal training. It is staffed with six full-time employees and 35 part-time workers.

"We look forward to being a hub for the climbing and fitness community and to joining the thriving Baker neighborhood and Santa Fe art district," says Anne-Worley Moelter, who with her husband, Michael, established the first Movement location in Boulder in 2009.

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

Pet hotel opens at DIA

Paradise 4 Paws, a resort for dogs and cats, recently opened at Denver International Airport.

The 25,000-square-foot facility at 24735 E. 75th Ave. is just east of the Pikes Peak shuttle lot next to Fox Rent A Car.

Paradise 4 Paws offers 24-hour service that includes day and overnight pet stays. It has large dog suites that overlook expansive indoor play areas that feature indoor grass, soft rubber flooring and a bone-shaped splashing pool. A separate wing of the resort is specially designed for petite pooches. 

And cats are welcome, too. The pet hotel also features a Cat Adventure Jungle with climbing trees. Pricing for cats ranges from $25 a night to $35 a night, depending on the accommodations.

Pricing for dogs varies from $45 a night to $100 a night, depending on the type of accommodations you choose. Paradise 4 Paws also offers daycare for $20 for a half day or $30 for a full day.

Paradise 4 Paws offers onsite parking for $12 a day and provides a  complimentary shuttle to the airport. Parking reservations must be made in advance.

It's the fourth location for Pets 4 Paws, which also is has facilities at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and near Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports.

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

Union Station to host New Year's Eve celebration

Denver Union Station is hosting its first New Year's Eve event since the $54 million renovation of the historic building was completed.

The New Year's Eve Bootlegger Ball begins at 8 p.m. and will feature three floors of entertainment. 

"We're going to change the way Denver does New Year's Eve," says Joe Vostrejs, a member of the Union Station Alliance development team. "Union Station is an amazing venue in the heart of the city. We're planning an exciting night of surprises and a party that really takes it up a notch."

The Bootlegger Ball will feature live music, a DJ, complimentary drinks and bubbles, a private speakeasy and a countdown to midnight. 

There are two options for the celebration:

General admission with access to the speakeasy is $150 a person and includes:
  • Access to the Terminal Bar and Great Hall
  • Exclusive access to the underground speakeasy
  • Appetizers and desserts
  • Three drink tickets including wine and beer with an additional cash bar
  • Complimentary bubbles toast at midnight
  • New Year's gear
  • Live band, DJ and dancing
Countdown at the Cooper is $475 for two people and includes:
  • Access to The Cooper Lounge
  • Access to the Great Hall party, Terminal Bar and underground speakeasy
  • Open bar all night with top-shelf choices
  • Dinner, appetizers and desserts
  • New Year's gear
  • Live band, DJ and dancing
  • Champagne toast at midnight
Both admission options can be combined with a stay at The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station. Tickets can be purchased at www.unionstationdenver.com.
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver Beer creates brew for Union Station

Denver Union Station and Denver Beer Co. have partnered to create a new beer commemorating the renovation of the historic Denver Union Station.

Union Kolsch will be sold exclusively at Union Station's Terminal Bar and Denver Beer's Platte Street location just across the tracks. The Terminal Bar, located on the east side of the Great Hall, features Union Station's original ticket windows and an outdoor patio overlooking Wynkoop Street. Union Kolsch joined more than 30 varieties of Colorado craft beers offered at the bar, as well as its extensive wine list.

Inspired by Denver's rich German brewing history, Union Kolsch is a bright, straw-colored ale with a white head. Malty and lightly hopped, the beer has a touch of fruit and a clean, refreshing finish. The official public tapping will take place on Repeal Day (Fri. Dec. 5) at 5 p.m.

Denver Union Station is home to various bars, restaurants and retailers, as well as The Crawford Hotel, a 112-room boutique hotel named for urban preservationist Dana Crawford. The station and hotel feature more than 600 pieces of eclectic Western art, curated by NINE dot ARTS. Pieces include vintage family pictures and travel postcards, inherited objects and a "found objects" collage collected from under the station's benches during construction, including 1940s celebrity trading cards.

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

East Colfax gets Business Improvement District

East Colfax officially has a business improvement district now that property and business owners in the area voted for annual assessment to fund economic development, public improvements, safety and advocacy activities.

The Fax-Mayfair Business Improvement District also was awarded a $150,000 grant from the Denver Office of Economic Development to offset startup costs and fund a streetscape master plan for the district.

"It's all about making this section of Colfax a thriving area for both consumers and businesses," says Jamie Harris, president of the board and owner of the Mayfair Center at 14th and Krameria Street. "The Fax Partnership really laid the groundwork for where we are today."

In the mid-1980s, business leaders organized Colfax United to clean up the street and improve its image, but the area continued to decline and a group of concerned residents and business owners formed the Fax Partnership in 2004, which secured city funding for business support programs, marketing and other initiatives.

The Fax-Mayfair BID includes about 200 businesses from Elm Street to Monaco Parkway, including the Mayfair Town Center between Colfax and 14th, Kearney and Leyden. It's possible other areas eventually will be included in the service boundaries.

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

Nonprofit to develop food hub in Westwood

Local nonprofit Re:Vision is redeveloping a property in Denver's Westwood neighborhood as a food hub and neighborhood grocery store.

With a $1.2 million performance-based loan from the Denver Office of Economic Development, Re:Vision will create a destination at 3738 Morrison Road that will include a co-op grocery store combined with a small cafe, a commissary kitchen and a food aggregation and processing facility, says Eric Kornacki, executive director of the organization. The development also will feature an open-air mercado that will have dozens of local vendors and create a pop-up market on weekends.

"We also aim to build a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse on site to provide year-round produce in addition to the thousands of pounds of food that we produce in the community," Kornacki says. "Our model is unique in that the local community owns it at the end of the day."

The Westwood neighborhood is largely considered a food desert -- an area where residents can't access or afford healthy food. There are no easily accessible grocery stores for the more than 6,000 households in the area, and residents suffer from some of the highest obesity rates and diet-related diseases in the metro area.

"We are pleased to support Re:Vision in their efforts to provide expanded healthy food access and greater economic development opportunities for Westwood and southwest Denver," says Paul Washington, executive director of the city's economic development office. "Along with the city's other investments along Morrison Road and in the neighborhood, this project will improve the quality of life for Westwood residents."

Other recent investments in the neighborhood include parks and open space, youth, affordable housing and commercial development.

Founded in 2007, Re:Vision works with people in marginalized communities to develop leaders, cultivate community food systems and grow resilient, local economies.

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

MSU Denver gets $5.2 million for aerospace building

Metropolitan State University of Denver has received $5.2 million to fund planning, pre-construction and utility work for its proposed Aerospace and Engineering Sciences building.

The $60 million project  is expected to break ground next fall and open in the spring of 2017. In addition to the funds received from the Spillover Appropriation Fund by the state Capital Development Committee, MSU Denver has committed $20 million of its own capital. It is seeking an additional $15 million from the state and $20 million from the private sector.

MSU Denver is working with aerospace industry leaders to create a curriculum that will foster advantageous connections between aviation and aerospace science; mechanical, electrical and civil engineering technologies; industrial design; physics; computer information systems and computer science.

"MSU Denver's Aerospace and Engineering Sciences initiative will directly address one of the biggest workforce challenges in Colorado: how to better create a pipeline of highly skilled graduates to meet the specific needs of Colorado industries," says Stephen Jordan, the university's president. "Colorado has the country's third-largest aerospace economy, but industry leaders can't find the talent they need to maintain that position of strength. We're working closely with those industry leaders to design a ground-breaking program to develop the nation's most workforce-ready advanced manufacturing professionals."

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

Tivoli Brewing to open on Auraria Campus

Tivoli Brewing Co. is returning to its original home in the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus.

The brewery will occupy the 4,000-square-foot restaurant space and 4,000-square-foot historic boiler room, where Tivoli beer will be brewed. The Tivoli Brewery and Tap Room is scheduled to open as a full-service tap room, restaurant and brewery next spring. HIstoric elements such as the smoke stack and other structural and building components, as well as the original brewery machinery will be preserved.

"We are planning to resurrect and brew a number of historic beers from some of Colorado's other early breweries, such as Neef Brothers, Zang's and Sigi's," says Corey Marshall, chief executive of Tivoli Brewing Co. 

Marshall resurrected the Tivoli brand as a tribute to Colorado's rich brewing history. "I wanted to bring back a part of Colorado that was lost," he says.

Tivoli, Colorado's oldest brewing company, began a 45-year hiatus in 1969 after more than 100 years as one of the largest breweries in the state. In 2012, Tivoli Brewing recreated the historic Tivoli beer recipe and has been distributing and serving it in metropolitan Denver.

With the opening of the brewery, Auraria Campus students will have an opportunity to experience a curriculum built around the beer industry.

"We are thrilled to have Tivoli Brewing Co. back in operation on campus," says Barbara Weiske, executive vice president for administration and chief executive of the Auraria Higher Education Center. "The academic collaborations that are being developed around this craft make it a unique partnership for all constituents involved."

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

CFC Construction breaks ground on Venue on 16th

CFC Construction has broken ground on Venue on 16th, a 181-unit luxury apartment complex located on East 16th Avenue between Fillmore and Milwaukee streets.

Designed by JG Johnson Architects, the five-story building will offer residents contemporary living near City Park and is just minutes from downtown Denver. The project is expected to be completed in June 2016.

The project, developed by The Picerne Group, also includes two levels of underground parking, as well as a resort-style pool and spa with cabanas and barbecues and a top-floor sky lounge with views of the mountains and City Park.

"We are very excited to build a new relationship with The Picerne Group," says E.J. Olbright, CFC's founder and chief executive. "Venue on 16th is a landmark project in a landmark neighborhood, and it is our pleasure to serve as builder."

The 330-acre City Park is home to the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Ferril and Duck lakes and a boathouse. The park was created after the Colorado legislature in 1878 approved a bill to allow Denver to acquire 1,280 acres of state land to build parks. City Park became the largest tract turned into a park.

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

Northeast Denver pushing for co-op market

More than 410 member-owners have signed onto the Northeast Community Co-op Market concept of a community-owned grocery store. 

Each member invested a $200 one-time payment to support the cooperatively owned, full-service grocery store that is committed to supporting the local economy by providing a wide selection of locally grown and sourced food products.

The co-op is looking to sign more than 1,500 members by next year in order to open a 10,000-square-foot storefront near the border of northwest Aurora and Stapleton that will serve the communities of northwest Aurora, Stapleton, Lowry, East Colfax, Montclair, Montbello and Park Hill. The area has many convenience and liquor stores but no affordable natural foods grocers.

"A typical food co-op sells on average three times more locally supplied food products than a conventional grocery store," says Thomas Spahr, chairman of the organizing committee's marketing working group.

The co-op concept differs from club stores in that membership is a one-time equity investment and serves as an ownership stake in the business concept. While membership is not required to shop at the food co-op, member-owners will receive certain benefits, including profit sharing, discounts and voting rights.

The organizing committee is considering several sites in north Aurora and Stapleton, including the Stanley Marketplace at East 25th Avenue and Dallas Street.

The co-op expects the market will have up to $6 million in annual sales and employ up to 25 people at opening.

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

Senior living facility to be built in Mayfair

Rosemark Development Group has broken ground on Rosemark at Mayfair Park, an assisted-living and memory-support residential community at Eighth Avenue and Jersey Street.

Located  near Mayfair Park, the 88-unit senior living community will have a bistro lounge, library, home theater room, arts and crafts, exercise and rehabilitation room, beauty salon and Skype services. Small pets are allowed.

"Residents will enjoy an easy and enriching lifestyle with support as they need it," says Anne Rosen, principal of Rosemark. "Medical centers such as Rose, National Jewish Health and the Anschutz campus are very close."

The 2.5-acre campus also will feature 16,000 square feet of outdoor gardens and walking paths. the two-story building will have studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with private bathrooms and small kitchens. Four different "neighborhoods" within the building will encourage a sense of community and offer support for residents will different needs. 

The project is expected to open in late 2015. 

"Rosemark at Mayfair Park will offer a very high quality of life with a wide range of amenities and programming, along with highly trained staff who will deliver personalized care and services to meet each individual need and expectation," says Camille Thompson, president of CLS, which will manage the property.

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

New Hibachi concept opens at Tiffany Plaza

Two Japanese companies have partnered with Denver-based  operator to bring the first Miyabi Jr. Japanese Express restaurant to Tiffany Plaza in southeast Denver.

The quick-service Japanese restaurant offers hibachi grilled fresh food cooked behind the front counter by skilled executive hibachi chefs. Some of the menu items include the hibachi filet mignon, steak, shrimp, chicken, fish, vegetables Gyoza, sushi rolls and other Japanese favorites.

"Our entire team understands what makes Japanese food so inviting and tasteful, and Miyabi captures the full essence of what we know to be true," says Junya Nakajima, Miyabi Jr.'s Denver manager. "We can't wait to have as many people as possible come and experience our newest venture."

Koichiro Hirao of Capital Japan opened the first Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse in Charleston, S.C. in 1979. Since then, he has opened 17 restaurants. Since teaming up with PJ Partners, a food and beverage company based in Japan, Hirao has opened more than 20 restaurants in Japan, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hawaii.

The Tiffany Plaza location is the team's first eatery into Colorado. Expansion plans could bring as many as five more Miyabi Jr. restaurants to the Denver metro area in the next 24 to 36 months.

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

Brownstones to be built in Five Points

Clear Creek Homes is teaming up with Palisade Partners and Civil Technology Inc. to build 26 brownstones at 2400 Washington St. in Denver's Five Points neighborhood.

Designed by Denver-based Craine Architecture, the Brownstones at King Stroud Court will range in price from the high $300s to the high $400s. A typical floor plan includes two bedrooms, two full and one half baths and a two-car garage. All units will have luxury-level finishes, featuring quartz countertops, Bosch stainless steel appliances, 42-inch upper cabinets, 8-foot interior doors, hardwood floors and rooftop decks.

"Prospective buyers will find a luxury level brownstone not found anywhere else in the Denver metro area," says Laura Wnorowski, broker/owner of Clear Creek Real Estate. "Buyers will also be able to customize their brownstone to their tastes."

Clear Creek Real Estate will start an interest list on Nov. 7 and begin selling brownstones shortly after. The homes are expected to be completed by the end of next year.

The project's location just north of downtown in the historic Five Points neighborhood will give residents access to numerous restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, as well as easy commuting with the adjacent light-rail station.

"This is a strong contributing project to the revitalization of the Five Points neighborhood," says Martin Willie, director of project development for Civil Technology. "The design is respectful of the history of the neighborhood, as well as the contemporary aspects of the market."

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

RedPeak buys the Coachman Apartments

RedPeak Properties has acquired the Coachman Apartments, an 82-unit multifamily community at 1044 Downing St. in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Denver-based RedPeak paid $13.45 million for the property, which had been owned by a family partnership since it was built in 1970.

"We were able to provide the family with a seamless transaction at a top market price, something that many property owners appreciate when working with RedPeak on transactions," says Bobby Hutchinson, investment director at RedPeak. "We're looking forward to continuing to address market demand and provide the type of communities that our residents are proud to call home."



RedPeak is planning an extensive renovation of the Coachman to include all new kitchens and baths, as well as common areas.

In recent months, RedPeak has purchased six other urban, multi-family properties including 1075 Corona St., 880 and 890 Dexter St., 825 Dahlia St. and 70 Clarkson St. It also recently completed the renovation of the historic Burnsley Hotel at 1000 Grant St. into a modern apartment building.

RedPeak's portfolio includes more than 2,200 units in Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek, downtown Denver, Governor's Park, Greenwood Village, Hilltop, Littleton, Uptown and Washington Park.

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

New Town Builders wins housing innovation award

The U.S. Department of Energy has named New Town Builders the winner of its highest housing innovation award, recognizing the sustainable production builder as the standard bearer for zero energy ready homes. 

It's the second consecutive year Denver-based New Town has received the Zero Energy Ready Home Grand Award. the builder was selected as the winner from seven finalists and innovation award winners in the Production Builder Awards category. Zero energy ready homes must meet rigorous requirements that ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health and durability.

The best building scientists in the world judge these awards," New Town CEO Gene Myers says. "For New Town to receive the Grand AWard for two consecutive years affirms our team's hard work and commitment and places New Town among the best in both environmental science and design."

Judges examine a number of factors, including indoor air quality, water conservation and durability. 

"Zero Energy Ready Homes are the future for U.S. housing, and we need builders like New Town to get us there," says Sam Rashkin, chief architect for the Department of Energy's building technologies office. "We know that Zero Energy homes provide a vastly superior consumer experience at lower ownership cost -- and an experience that all Americans should want in their next new home."

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

RedLine fundraiser is great way to add to art collection

RedLine's fall fundraiser One Square Foot will give art enthusiasts an easy way to add to their collections on Nov. 1.

RedLine, a diverse urban art laboratory where art, education and community converge, will feature more than 100 pieces of art for $100 each. Each work from local and regional artists is exhibited anonymously.

"This event is an opportunity to provide support for RedLine and purchase incredible, affordable artwork from local artists," says Bradley Joseph, a RedLine trustee. 

Tickets for the event at RedLine's gallery at 2350 Arapahoe St. are $50 and include entry, cocktails, heavy appetizers and entertainment. 

Also on view during the fundraiser will be Surveying Judy Chicago: 1970-2014, an international celebration of the artist's career on her 75th birthday. Through her roles as an artist, writer, theorist, teacher, feminist and humanist, Chicago has transcended the boundaries of the conventional art world. The survey spans 50 years of her career concluding with recent sculptural works in bronze and glass.

Founded by artist and philanthropist Laura Merage, RedLine's goal is to connect artists with the community. The nonprofit organization encourages artistic growth in an environment where artists can lose inhibitions that may hold them back, while gaining support systems to realize their dreams.

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

Downtown Denver Partnership seeks nominations for awards

The Downtown Denver Partnership is seeking nominations for the 54th Annual Downtown Denver Awards to celebrate the accomplishments that have transformed the center city over the last year.

Submissions should represent a center city business, organization, event or project that was completed this year and has made a significant contribution resulting in a positive impact on downtown Denver, while supporting the 2007 Downtown Area Plan. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 21. 

"It's incredibly important for communities to celebrate their successes," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "It allows us to reflect on possibility and reinforce confidence that together we can to big things that move the city forward. Let's always reflect what we have done in the past to inspire what we can do in the future and to celebrate the milestones."

Winners will be announced May 21 at the 54th Annual Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center. The black tie event is attended by more than 800 of the city's business and civic leaders.

The lengthy list of winners over the last 53 years has included standout high rises that contribute to a livable environment to infrastructure breakthroughs that move downtown Denver forward. Award winners have included Cadence Union Station, a 219-unit LEED Gold apartment building; the Denver Car Share Permit Program;  and the Metropolitan State University Denver Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center.

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

City unveils five-year housing plan

A recently unveiled five-year comprehensive plan will harness the resources of the public and private sectors to deliver accessible housing opportunities for people of all income levels throughout Denver.

Housing Denver will bolster affordability to all income levels from homeless to low-, moderate- and median-income households. It's the first such plan for the city in 15 years.

"Access to safe, decent affordable housing has never been more important in Denver," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "While the city's population growth has spiked, our housing stock is simply not keeping pace with the community's needs."

The plan outlines eight priorities:
  • Increase housing resources. A consistent stream of funding is needed from public and private investments, revenue from housing-related initiatives such as the Metro Mortgage Assistance program and the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, social impact bonds and general funds.
  • Improve the system and the communication of the city's funding process to simplify, clarify and work more transparently with the housing development community, primarily nonprofits.
  • Ensure regulatory relief and better efficiency benefits for those developing affordable housing, including accelerated processing, lower fees and/or reducing development charges on utilities.
  • Increase critical needs and homeless housing through more wrap-around supportive service, exploring micro-unit development and removing barriers to housing those who were formerly incarcerated.
  • Promote affordable housing throughout more ethnically and economically diverse areas for a wider range of family sizes, with better tracking of neglected, underutilized and/or derelict properties.
  • Closely monitor and preserve the current body of affordable workforce and critical need properties to maximize the savings between a rehabilitated unit and a newly constructed one, including income-restricted properties, covenant restricted properties and those with a notice of intent to sell.
  • Continue to foster home ownership through existing and additional homebuyer assistance and support programs.
  • Encourage environmental sustainability and improved public health throughout all housing initiatives, including green building standards, transit-oriented developments, energy/water conservation, bicycle-pedestrian amenities and access to fresh food and other healthy lifestyle options.
"Denver's new plan strives to illustrate a full spectrum of housing needs and resources while strengthening the public-private partnerships that are necessary to boost affordable housing options," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Office of Economic Development. "From emergency shelter for the homeless all the way up to payment assistance for a homebuyer, creating affordable housing takes many forms, and our goal is to help more people appreciate the diversity of who benefits from a strong housing program."

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

Modern Home Tour slated for Oct. 25

Denver's Modern Home Tour on Oct. 25 will feature four homes built to showcase new construction techniques and materials and new ways of addressing old problems.

Modern Home Tours LLC, based in Austin, Texas, was founded by James Leasure and former partner Matt Swinney to introduce modern architecture and living to people acoss the country through fun and informative tours in dozens of U.S. and Canadian cities.

"I'm trying to think about all the things people don't like about townhomes and get rid of them," says Clem Rinehart, developer of Framework at Sloan's Lake, one of the homes featured on the tour.

This year's Denver tour features:The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the event, with children under 12 admitted free of charge. Proceeds from the event benefit Habitat for Humanity.

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

Affordable housing to be built in Westwood neighborhood

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) awarded $915,504 in federal low-income housing tax credits to a new affordable housing development in southwest Denver's Westwood neighborhood.

The development, Grove Street Apartments, is part of a comprehensive revitalization effort being implemented by the city in partnership with the Westwood community. The mixed-use development incorporates 42 affordable housing units and a nonprofit community services organization.

"By partnering with cities and urban renewal authorities, CHFA can leverage our resources even further to help address the need for affordable housing, especially in communities like Westwood where revitalization has been prioritized," says Cris White, the agency's executive director and chief executive.

The $14.3 million project located on 1.3 acres at 3116 W. Alameda Ave. is being developed by Gorman & Co. In addition to the tax credits, the project will receive a financial contribution from the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA), which identified the area as blighted and in need of reinvestment.

"The redevelopment of this site, identified as a priority location for redevelopment in the 1990 Urban Renewal Plan, represents a significant milestone for the corridor," says Tracy Huggins, DURA's executive director. "For over 20 years, DURA has worked with individual residential and commercial property owners to reinvest in the Westwood area."

About 27 percent of all of Denver's substandard housing units are in Westwood, and 78 percent of renter-occupied housing was built before 1980, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Groundbreaking is expected next fall with an opening in the fall of 2016.

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

Stanley Marketplace will be neighborhood center

Denver-based Flightline Ventures recently broke ground on Stanley Marketplace, a retail and dining development located in the former Stanley Aviation headquarters at 2501 Dallas St. in Aurora, just across Westerly Creek from Stapleton.

Inspired by urban marketplaces across the United States, including San Francisco's Ferry Building, Seattle's Melrose Market and New York's Chelsea Market, the adaptive reuse development aims to become the new community centerpiece between Aurora and Denver's Stapleton neighborhood.

The 100,000-square-foot marketplace will be anchored by a restaurant and beer garden operated by Denver chef and restaurateur Kevin Taylor. Kindness Yoga and Endorphin also are part of the mix of 40 prospective tenants who have issued formal letters of intent to join Stanley Marketplace. The development also will include a community park, indoor/outdoor event venue and office space.

"Stanley Marketplace promises to be a unique blend of quality retail and dining establishments located in a truly historical place," says Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. "I am thrilled that this will be a standout amenity for both Aurora and Stapleton neighborhoods, and I'm confident Stanley Marketplace will become a regional destination."

Built in 1954, the building originally housed Stanley Aviation, which manufactured airplane ejector seats. The company was named for founder Bob Stanley, a noted inventor and engineer and the first American to fly a jet aircraft.

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

La Alma/Lincoln Park named to Great Places list

Denver's La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood has been named one of the Great Places in America by the American Planning Association.

Each year, the association honors 30 exemplary streets neighborhoods and public spaces that add value to communities and foster economic growth.

One of Denver's oldest neighborhoods, La Alma/Lincoln Park dates to the 1850s. Located just southwest of downtown, it's known for its Hispanic and Latino heritage, variety of housing types, diverse land uses, historic treasures, transit and a strong job base. It also includes the Art District on Santa Fe, parks and greenways and a range of cultural and public facilities.

"La Alma/Lincoln Park is a perfect example of what happens when a community is truly integrated into the planning process," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "The result is a new definition for a healthy community that is authentically of the place, the culture and the history of the neighborhood."

In recent years, residents, community leaders, nonprofit groups ad city planners have worked to lift the neighborhood and establish a vision. The light-rail station at 10th and Osage opened the door for the Denver Housing Authority's new Mariposa development, a transit-oriented community built around improving health. The city of Denver recently reopened the 1927 Neighborhood House at 1265 Mariposa St. to provide summer and after-school programs for children.

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

Atomic Cowboy, Denver Biscuit to open in Berkeley

Atomic Cowboy, Denver Biscuit Co. and Fat Sully's New York Pizza are opening a third location at 4275 Tennyson St. in north Denver.

The new 3,000-square-foot space, set to open next spring, will have a similar look and feel to the concept's other locations at 3237 E. Colfax Ave. and 141 S. Broadway.

Between the Atomic Cowboy bar, the Denver Biscuit Co. breakfast spot and the Fat Sully's pizza joint, the location will offer something for everyone, says Drew Shader, owner of the concepts. 

"We've really evolved over the last 10 years and hope to become the friendly neighborhood spot with awesome service and quality food and drinks within the Berkeley community," Shader says.

Denver Biscuit Co. and Fat Sully's will offer house-made items like The Franklin breakfast sandwich or a giant New York-style pizza slice. They also will add new items to the menu and expand the children's and brunch menus. 

The restaurants are open daily from  8 a.m. to 2 a.m., with nightly specials from 7 p.m. to close and happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.

The concepts will celebrate their 10th anniversary at their East Colfax location and its first anniversary at their South Broadway location later this year.

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

New park opens in west Denver

The new Cuatro Vientos/Four Winds Park has opened along West Alameda just west of Morrison Road.

The park, the first to be built in the community in more than 30 years, increases the open space in a neighborhood that falls well under the national standard of 10 acres per 1,000 residents. It provides a vibrant and active community open space that includes a playground and interactive water feature, two separate turf areas for fitness and sport activities, new landscaping and a picnic shelter. Situated on a hill rising from West Alameda, the park has spectacular views of the Denver skyline.

"This is what happens when good people never cease working together," says Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez, who represents the area and first envisioned the new park. "Our new park embodies that spirit. Its name honors the many people from the four directions who have made this neighborhood and city their home."

Before the property was purchased in 2009, it was the site of a neglected mobile home park and a nuisance bar. Working with grants from Great Outdoors Colorado, Denver's Office of Economic Development and the Trust for Public Lands, as well as funds from the Better Denver Bond Program, Denver Parks and Recreation purchased the land.

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


RTD unveils branding for Bus Rapid Transit

The Regional Transportation District has unveiled the branding of its new Bus Rapid Transit Service (BRT) that will offer riders a choice of non-stop or all-stop service along U.S. 36 between Boulder and Denver Union Station.

The Flatiron Flyer's non-stop service will run on the new express lanes that are currently under construction. The all-stop service will run on the general purpose lanes with stops at the corridor's six stations, which will be enhanced with canopies, ticket vending machines, programmable displays and upgraded security and station furniture.

The line's six stations are at U.S. 36 and Westminster Center, Church Ranch, Broomfield, Flatiron, McCaslin and Table Mesa.

"We're excited to offer this new class of service to our riders starting in 2016," says Phil Washington, RTD's general manager and chief executive. "BRT combines the quality of rail transit and the flexibility of buses, and it offers more capacity on U.S. 36, which will help relieve traffic congestion and optimize our transportation investment."

The design on the new BRT buses encompasses a unique blue and sunrise-orange color scheme, the geographical significance of the Rocky Mountain foothills and movement and speed portrayed by a bird and swoosh.

The BRT is part of RTD's FasTracks transit expansion program, which will build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit services, 21,000 new parking spaces, the redevelopment of Denver Union Station and redirected bus service to better connect the eight-county district.

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

LoHi to get two new restaurants

Denver’s LoHi neighborhood is getting two new restaurants in a building being developed by Gravitas Development Group at 2930 Umatilla.

Mizu, a contemporary Japanese restaurant with a full sushi bar and lounge, will occupy a split-level space on portions of the first and second floors of the building. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant is scheduled to open by early 2015. It will feature indoor and outdoor space on both levels; a 33-foot NanaWall opening the second floor to the open air; several water features; and a distinct dining space and bar/lounge. 

Restaurateur Justin Cucci, owner of Linger and Root Down in LoHi and at DIA, will open a 2,700-square-foot restaurant on the building’s fifth floor. The restaurant, slated to open by the middle of next year, will have unobstructed views of downtown Denver from a large open-air patio.

"The urban typology of this development, not common to Denver, presented our team with the opportunity to offer the LoHi community a dynamic mix of restaurants on a piece of land that would typically only allow one," says Ryan Diggins, a partner in Gravitas. "The top, fifth-floor space was originally designed as office space. However, we converted it to restaurant space after seeing the stunning views it showcased of the downtown Denver skyline."

In addition to the two restaurants, the 23,000-square-foot building also will house office space.

Gravitas also has developed a mixed-use office, restaurant and retail complex made of shipping containers on the corner of 25th and Larimer streets in the RiNo neighborhood; another mixed-use project near Highlands Square at the corner of 32nd  Avenue and Irving Street; and the soon-to-be completed adaptive reuse project in the Berkeley neighborhood at 4000 Tennyson St., which will be home to Block and Larder, a chophouse-style restaurant, and a new diner from the team behind the Jelly breakfast restaurants.

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

Symphony unveils plan for renovated Boettcher

The Colorado Symphony has unveiled a proposal for a repurposed, renovated concert hall.

The $40 million plan envisions a modernized and upgraded building that allows for greater flexibility in programming and addresses critical issues of sound and structure.

"A great symphony like a great sports team needs a great field to play on," says Jerome Kern, the symphony's chief executive and board co-chair. "Boettcher Concert Hall has been the Colorado Symphony's home since it was built, and we're optimistic that this plan allows us to move into the future, so that it can remain the orchestra's home for another 35 years."

Designed by Semple Brown, the proposed renovation includes reducing the cubic volume of the hall; enlarging the reflective surfaces closest to the musicians; tightening the stage enclosure; and increasing the flexibility of seat count and format to help the symphony support a broader range of music types and performers.

"This design concept strategically adds seats close to the stage and reduces seating farther from the stage, while maintaining Boettcher's distinctive intimacy and embrace of the musicians," says Chris Wineman, principal of Semple Brown. "It allows the CSO to customize the seating capacity quickly and easily to match its programming."

Possible funding sources for the project include up to $25 million remaining from a voter-approved bond initiative passed in 2007 and Denver Mini-Bonds issued this year. Up to $20 million additional funding could come from city investment, Colorado Symphony donors, corporate sponsors, public/private partnerships and naming rights.

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

Denver Leadership Institute to focus on shared spaces

Denver Shared Spaces and the Nonprofit Centers Network are teaming up to host the Denver Leadership Institute, a two-day program that will bring teams from municipalities across the United States and Canada to focus on developing collaborative public/private partnerships that foster a vibrant community of innovative shared space centers.

The goal is to bring teams from 15 cities with representation from the government, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to learn from Denver Shared Spaces' partnership model and engage in peer-to-peer exchange. 

"This will give us an opportunity to highlight the incredible partnerships and collaborations happening locally, learn from attendees about the work in their communities and share tools to help other municipalities replicate our approach," says Megan Devenport, project coordinator.

The Denver Leadership Institute on Shared Space is a pilot program designed to respond to requests from the Nonprofit Centers Network membership. The network, which recently relocated to Denver, is a learning community dedicated to creating and managing shared nonprofit workspace, administrative services, technology and programs. 

The workshop will be held Oct. 8-9 at The Alliance Center at 1536 Wynkoop. The Alliance Center is  a multi-tenant center where people and organizations are focused on sustainability. To register, visit www.nonprofitcenters.org/events or call (720) 836-1189.

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

Linigers donate The Wildlife Experience to CU

The University of Colorado has received the largest real estate donation in its 138-year history.

Dave and Gail Liniger donated The Wildlilfe Experience facility in Douglas County to allow CU to expand its presence in south Denver.

The $40 million gift builds on the collaboration that began in April when the Linigers teamed with CU, converting 11,000 square feet of the 151,000-square-foot facility to classroom and lab space. CU began offering classes at the facility in August, while the wildlife art and natural history museum continued most of its services.

"Dave and Gail Liniger have demonstrated a vision and commitment to serving our community and state that will have a substantial impact for decades to come," says CU President Bruce Benson. "We value the confidence they have in CU and appreciate their transformational gift. The Wildlife Experience has been a cultural touchstone in south Denver and adding higher education will build on its commitment to the community."

Founded in 2002, The Wildlife Experience is designed to serve as a cultural and educational center. The facility hosts exhibits in fine art, natural history an dinteractive science and provides space for private and community events.

"Gail and I are making this gift to CU to provide more services and more value to our south Denver community," Liniger says. "The museum remains open, events will be held, and the public spaces will be available for rental. The added value now is the easy access to a quality CU education right here in south Denver."

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

Colorado Ballet moves into new building

The Colorado Ballet has moved into its new home at 1075 Santa Fe St. on the north ed of the Art District on Santa Fe.

The new space establishes a center for dance where the ballet will raise the profile of the state's largest resident dance company.

"When I think about my original vision for our new space and what we are not surrounded by, I'm thrilled to say that this is exactly what I envisioned for the Colorado Ballet," says Gil Boggs, artistic director for the ballet. "We all feel a strong sense of responsibility to further the art form, and this new space will help us truly accomplish that."

Designed by Semple Brown Design, the new space has eight studios, as well as improved amenities, including separate locker rooms and showers, a physical therapy and massage room, a shared staff and dancer lounge and increased parking. A new Black Box Theater will allow the ballet to add in-house productions to its repertoire to foster up-and-coming choreographers both within the company and outside. Up to seven dedicated studios will increase and diversify the programs available through the ballet's Academy and Education & Outreach programs.

The new building is designed with an abundance of glass and open views to allow the ballet to reach out into the neighborhood. It also allows the organization to better support its mission to educate the next generation of students through the Academy.

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

Green Spaces adding 7,000 square feet in RiNo

Green Spaces Colorado is planning a 7,000-square-foot expansion at its location in Denver's RiNo neighborhood.

The socially conscious coworking community, focused on providing a collaborative culture for environmentally friendly businesses, is developing partnerships and doubling its available office space to meet the demands of Denver's green movement.

"Green Spaces is an innovative blend of Denver's work to protect our resources for the future and support of entrepreneurialism," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Every decision we make impacts the quality of life for future generations, and Green Spaces exemplifies the sustainability efforts that will ensure our city is a better city for generations to come."

Green Spaces Founder Jennie Nevin has developed partnerships with local and national organizations that focus on green practices to ensure a clean environment for future generations. Those partnering with Green Spaces include:
  • Certifiably Green Denver, administered by the Department of Environmental Health, provides free, confidential, non-regulatory environmental assistance to Denver's business community with the opportunity to become a certified green business.
  • The Clean Energy Collective developed community-owned renewable energy solutions for electric utilities and their customers.
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (Region 8) protects human health and the environment in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and 27 tribal nations.
  • Walk2Connect transforms walking for a choice to a behavior to a lifestyle.
  • Zipcar, a car-sharing network, is redefining the way we thing about transportation options and car ownership.
Originally founded in 2008 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Green Spaces is a way for green and socially conscious entrepreneurs to connect. Green Spaces opened its doors in Denver in 2009.

"Denver was an easy decision for the next Green Spaces location," Nevin says. "It has a thriving and growing green community, the mayor an city administration are dedicated to sustainability and smart green decision-making and the startup culture is exploding. As an added bonus, I was really eager to live in this incredible city."

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

CU Denver opens building on Auraria campus

The University of Colorado Denver has opened the first building dedicated specifically to CU Denver students on the Auraria campus.

Owned and operated by the University of Colorado Denver, the 146,000-square-foot, $60.5 million academic building houses student services to provide a one-stop shop for students.  It includes four lecture halls, meeting space and faculty offices. Later this fall, a Qdoba cafe will open in the building.

“This building represents the gateway do Denver,” says Don Elliman, Chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. “It’s a fantastic portal not only for CU Denver but also for downtown Denver.”

Student services housed in the building include:
  • Academic Success and Advising Center
  • Admissions
  • Scholarship resource office
  • Disability resources and services
  • Bursar’s office
  • Registrar
  • Lynx Center (concierge service for answering student’s questions and directing them to the appropriate resources)
The Student Commons Building was designed to maximize flexibility, natural daylight and views of downtown Denver, the campus and the mountains. Its sustainable design has earned it LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

CU Denver, the only public research university in the city, had an economic impact of $720 million on the Colorado economy in fiscal 2009-10.

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

Midtown launches two urban agricultural programs

Midtown at Clear Creek has launched two new urban agriculture programs for residents.

The community, developed by Brookfield Residential, is partnering with AgriNETx, a Golden-based company that combines the characteristics of New Urbanism, modernism and preservation with environmentally sustainable principles of real estate development. It's offering an A.M Farmer program, as well as 25 large personal garden plots ranging from 135 to 270 square feet.

"Midtown is a rare breed: an urban setting minutes from downtown Denver with brand new homes but far enough away from the city to offer a true respite," says Rick Dengler, President of Brookfield Residential's Colorado division. "Our large gardens and Garden Shed community center are located at the heart of the neighborhood. We south to connect the residents through a shared love of land and to create a space to make new friends while getting their hands dirty."

The A.M. Farmer program lets residents sign up to work alongside professionals, becoming a farmer for the day. The garden, maintained by AgriNETx, is about a quarter of an acre and uses automated timers to ensure as little water as possible is used. The yield from the garden will be distributed among the residents with the surplus donated to the Denver community.

The 184-acre Midtown, on Pecos St. near West 67th Ave., includes a 47-acre park and will have about 1,300 single-family residences when it's completed.

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

Mercantile Dining & Provision opens in Union Station

Chef Alex Seidel has opened Mercantile Dining & Provision inside historic Denver Union Station.

The 75-seat restaurant will serve dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. on weekends. The market will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and serve gourmet coffee, along with a full menu of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch options. The market is filled with in-house preserved fruits and vegetables, potted meats and seafood, as well as artisanal goods from small producers.

Designed by Tricia Mueller of Larimer Associates, the restaurant and market features a central bar led by Stuart Jensen, formerly of Green Russell. Jensen is creating a culinary-focused cocktail program using house-made ingredients, fresh produce and provisions from the market.

"Tricia took our vision and through her design brought this place to life in a greater way than I could possibly have imagined," Seidel says.

Seidel, winner of Food & Wine's 2010 Best New Chef, is owner of Denver's award-winning Fruition Restaurant. He founded the 10-acre Fruition Farms in Larkspur in 2009, the state's first artisan sheep dairy and creamery.

Evening dining reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling 720/460-3733.

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

OneWall accepting artists' submissions

OneWall, a community-driven initiative that aims to elevate both local artists and the Denver art scene, is accepting submissions through Sept. 14 from Colorado artists for a large-scale mural.

The winning submission will be blown up to mural-sized proporations and installed on a building at 12th and Speer. Previous OneWall installations have been around 1,800 square feet.

The OneWall Project is a collaborative platform that facilitates the commission and installation of large-scale artwork on blank building walls around Denver. Underwritten with private funding and using billboard vinyl, the works are printed in high definition and temporarily exhibited around our city. By periodically installing new artwork, the process allows for heightened exposure of local artists and Denver’s cultural scene. OneWall’s digital and social channels supplement the installations with freely accessible content.

To be eligible to participate in the contest, entrants must be 18 or older and a current Colorado resident. Art should be appropriate for public use and relate to a broad audience.

Three finalists will be chosen on Sept. 20 and announced on OneWall’s Facebook page on Sept 22. Voting on OneWall Project’s Facebook page begins Sept. 22 and ends Sept. 29. In the event of a tie, the winner will be chosen by the OneWall panel of judges.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver wants to know what's your favorite place

Denver's Department of Community Planning and Development is launching a citywide conversation about placemaking and city building by asking residents what their favorite places in the city are and why.

All residents are invited to participate in the dialogue by answering the question on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #favoriteplacedenver, along with text, photos or videos.

The social media campaign will kickstart a Denver love fest to foster civic pride and learn from each other how the city can be improved.

"Denverites have such great pride in their city, from our vibrant core to our quiet neighborhoods and everything in between," Mayor Michael Hancock says. "This is a way to engage in a conversation about what we love and what we'd love to see more of."

Brad Buchanan, Denver's Director of Community Planning and Development, saw a need to engage residents in an open, citywide dialogue about what's important to them when it comes to building a city.

"Cities are not just a collection of places," Buchanan says. "Cities are a collection of experiences. We want to know what matters to Denverites so that they can help us make the places that make the experiences that make a city."

The campaign will run through the end of September, with a few participants randomly selected to win tickets to a Red Rocks concert.



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

Council approves two new business improvement districts

The Denver City Council has established two new Business Improvement Districts (BID) on Santa Fe Drive and along East Colfax in the Mayfair neighborhood.

Both districts must pass a November vote by their commercial property owners in order to receive taxing authority, however because the process to submit a BID proposal requires extensive outreach and community input before council approval, the elections are expected to be successful.

"We’re pleased to check off both of this achievements as major components of our JumpStart economic development strategy," says Paul Washington, Executive Director of the Denver Office of Economic Development, which initiated the initiatives as effective ways to promote economic activity and spur job creation. "Both Fax-Mayfair and Santa Fe present significant potential for improvement and commercial growth, but even more exciting in both cases is seeing diverse groups of property owners come together toward a common goal."

On Santa Fe Drive between Sixth and 13th avenues, an area that includes more than 800,000 square feet of commercial area, the new BID replaces to existing maintenance districts. With an expected annual budget of $100,000, proponents of the new BID hope it will improve a framework for physical public improvements, more pedestrian-friendly features, increased safety, enhanced maintenance, improved water drainage and all forms of strategic economic development.

Along East Colfax, the Fax-Mayfair BID has been promoted by a group of business owners with help from The Fax Partnership, a nonprofit economic development organization. The BID’s seven-member board will oversee an anticipated annual budget of about $118,000 during the district’s initial 10-year term. The group will focus on economic development, public improvements, public safety and advocacy to improve the economic vitality of property along both sides of Colfax from Elm Street to Monaco Parkway.

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

Elway's Downtown unveils new look

The Elway's Downtown has completed renovations to its lounge, bar and dining room.

Designed by Aspen-based design and architecture firm Rowland+Broughton, the dining room's most stunning modification is the onyx stone wall that acts as a divider from the bar. 

The restaurant also added John's Room, a new private dining room that can accommodate up to 12 guests and offers a private viewing window into the kitchen. The room is equipped with an HDTV and audiovisual capabilities, as well as custom, locally made tables and credenzas. 

"The additional private dining space we created has seen great success as we continue to see that market really pick up," says Allyson Fredeen, Communications Manager for The Ritz-Carlton Denver, where the restaurant is located.

The lounge just off the restaurant's main entrance features new dark wood floors and a stone fireplace, along with a community table and banquette leather seating. The bar also has expanded, with new tables and stools and banquette seating. All renovated areas are equipped with charging stations, and the entire restaurant offers Wi-Fi access.

"The renovation to Elway's Downtown has surpassed our expectations, both functionally and aesthetically," Fredeen says. "We continue to hear great feedback from our guests which is especially important in a time like now when there are so many new dining options in the city."

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

Yacht Club opens in The Source

The Yacht Club has taken over the center space at The Source in RiNo with plans to offer a community gathering place with high-quality beverages.

"We want the space to have something for everyone and also showcase how diverse the world of booze can be," says Mary Wright, owner of Yacht Club. "In the islands, you have Ti Punch, in Spain sherry or gin and tonics, as well as favorites here like juleps, cobblers or a shot and a beer and so on. At the Yacht Club, we will showcase some of these ideas, as well as some of our own."

The wine list highlights quirky and esoteric bottles, as well as classics. To encourage customers to experiment with new wines, all bottles are available to open for by-the-glass purchase with a two-glass commitment.

The Yacht Club also plans to keep a steady rotation of food-friendly beers.

"It's all about balance," Wright says. "Whether it's a big barrel-aged beast or a crisp pilsner, we want the beer to be approachable to the palate while maintaining a certain amount of complexity."

A small selection of food is available through a collaboration with Acorn, one of the two restaurants at The Source. The goal is to provide food that complements the drinks, rather than the more traditional approach where drinks complement the food.

"We want to offer our guests a broad range of options -- cocktails, wine, beer -- without the commitment to a big dinner," Wright says. 

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

Queen City wins "What Does LoDo Need?" campaign

Queen City Trading Co. has been selected as winner of Alpine Bank's What Does LoDo Need? campaign.

The local retail boutique will receive a $100,000, two-year, interest-free business loan. Queen City will be the fourth retail boutique in the Denver area run by family owned Soul Haus Limited. The boutique will specialize in regionally made gifts, jewelry and cards, while incorporating the eclectic and aesthetic desires of the LoDo neighborhood.

"Our goal for Queen City Trading Co. is to really develop an entire retail core in LoDo and establish one-on-one relationships with our customers," says Stephanie Shearer, Senior Operations Manager of Queen City. "We see our customers as part of our family, and our focus is to do business the right way, with our community in mind."

Alpine Bank launched the campaign in March to celebrate the opening of its new Denver Union Station location. It conducted surveys with people in the LoDo neighborhood, as well as through the website, www.WhatDoesLoDoNeed.com, asking what they thought LoDo needs in terms of services and retail. More than 3,000 responses were collected.

"LoDo is ripe for such new faces as Queen City Trading Co.," says Holly Barrett, Executive Director of LoDo District Inc. "The recent developments at Union Station and throughout the neighborhood are creating a wonderful and much-needed new environment for retail."

Shearer and her partners currently operate three stores in Capitol Hill and Uptown: Pandora on the HillSoulHaus and Peppermint.

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

Bus Rapid Transit eyed for Colfax

After more than two years of evaluating options to improve transportation mobility, the City and County of Denver has recommended that Bus Rapid Transit be implemented along the 10-mile Colfax Avenue corridor between the Auraria Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus.

The proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) would dedicate one existing travel lane along Colfax in each direction during the weekday morning and evening peak hours for exclusive transit use. Buses would continue to operate in the outside travel lane with traffic during off-peak hours and on weekends.

The BRT system would include features such as upgraded bus stops, real-time travel information, enhanced street crossings, and improved bicycle and pedestrian connections. New multi-door and low-floor boarding buses also would be branded for the corridor.

"Colfax serves as a critical backbone of the city's transportation network and has the highest bus ridership in RTD's system," says Chrissy Fanganello, Director of Transportation for Denver Public Works. "BRT on Colfax will offer and upgraded, cost-effective transit experience that moves more people throughout the corridor, helping meet existing and future travel demand."

BRT is estimated to attract up to 43,000 riders daily and save riders about 10 minutes on their end-to-end travel time. Its estimated cost is $115 million.

The public is invited to attend meetings from 5:30 to 7:30 Aug. 26 at Knights of Columbus Hall, 1550 Grant St.; and 5:30 to 7:30 Aug. 28 at North Middle School, 12095 Montview Blvd. in Aurora. Input can also be given online at www.ColfaxCorridorConnections.com.

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

KTI wins awards for Guard and Grace design

Denver-based interior design firm KTI has won two American Society of Interior Designers Colorado Crystal Awards for the design of steakhouse Guard and Grace at 1801 California St. downtown.

KTI worked with Chef-Owner Troy Guard and his wife, Nikki, to design a modern steakhouse that is less masculine than traditional steakhouses found in Denver. The space is filled with natural light, clean lines and a sense of vibrancy.

"Our goal was to interpret Troy's vision of a modern progressive steakhouse with mountain and urban influences," says Kimberly Timmons-Beutner, Founder of KTI. "He wanted this to be the best-looking restaurant in town, recognized for the design as well as the food."

The centerpiece of the restaurant is the open kitchen, which creates a sense of transparency that is echoed in the large storefront windows. A glassed-in wine cellar holds more than 3,000 bottles of wine.

In addition to Guard and Grace, KTI has collaborated with Guard on TAG restaurant and Bubu, which opened July 17 in  Larimer Square.

Guard says he chose KTI again because of the quality of its work and the previous success they've had with his other restaurants.

"In the restaurant business, you don't get a second chance on design," Guard says. "You can make small changes, but you have to get it right."

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

Backyard on Blake breaks ground

River North Investment Co. LLC is breaking ground on Backyard on Blake, a residential, office, studio, restaurant and retail space built around a park and courtyard on Blake Street between 30th and 31st streets in Denver's River North neighborhood.

River North is redeveloping a 12,500-square-foot warehouse built in 1932 and a new building that wraps around the courtyard to connect with the warehouse. River North expects to collaborate with an experienced residential developer on the residential component at the 30th Street end of the development. 

"RiNo has become a hotbed of creative business owners who have been moving to this neighborhood to experiment in new models of living and working," says Fiona Arnold, Principal of River North Investment. "We are passionate about renovating and rehabilitating this property in a unique way to serve the existing neighborhood, foster improved work/live opportunities and create a lasting anchor."

Designed by Sprocket Design-Build, Backyard on Blake will capitalize on the raw materials and scale of the existing industrial building, paired with new architectural elements that create a synergistic blend of old and new.

"Backyard on Blake is a project born out of our passion for the RiNo area and the possibility to create something unique, enduring and community centered," Arnold says.

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

ULC acquires abandoned Thriftway

Urban Land Conservancy has acquired the Thriftway property at 4401 Morrison Road in southwest Denver.

ULC will demolish the 6,000-square-foot abandoned building later this summer. The site will be host the car show at the Westwood neighborhood's annual Chili Fest on Sept. 13. The organization will work with Westwood Unidos, Healthy Places Westwood and other partners to develop longer-term plans for the site to benefit the community.

"ULC is excited to make such an impactful real estate investment in Westwood," says Aaron Miripol, the organization's President and CEO. "We look forward to working with the community to determine how this site can become a safe, active place for the neighborhood to enjoy."

ULC received funding from the Denver Office of Economic Development to acquire the site, which has been the scene of violent crimes and drug activity since it was abandoned 15 years ago. In the past year, there has been a suicide, homicide and attempted kidnapping and rape on the property.

"This building has long been a symbol of the blight and neglect of this neighborhood," says Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez. "Through the work of our office, OED, ULC and residents, it will soon be the symbol of positive changes and redevelopment in Westwood."

Urban Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that uses real estate as a tool to benefit urban communities in metro Denver. It acquires, preserves and develops real estate, including affordable housing, nonprofit office space, community centers and schools.

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

Alliance Center contest winner will get free event space, catering

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado is giving away free event space and catering to one nonprofit organization in its Space for ALL Giveaway.

From now until Aug. 21, The Alliance Center is accepting entries from nonprofits outlining their best plans for a sustainable event using the center's space. The winner of the prize package, valued at $6,200, will be announced on The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado's Facebook page.

The Space for ALL Giveaway aims to introduce the organization's multi-tenant building at 1536 Wynkoop St. in LoDo and its 170-person event space. Visit the center's website for official rules and instructions on how to enter.

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado is dedicated to transforming sustainability from vision to reality. The center is home to more than 20 nonprofits and businesses working to advance sustainability in Colorado. It is a showcase of green building and technology that increases innovation and improves productivity through workspace design and efficiency upgrades.

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

Aria Denver launches Cultivate Health Project

Aria Denver launched  its Cultivate Health Project on Aug. 7.

The goal of Cultivate Health is to support the health and wellness of residents living in the multi-generational, mixed-income Aria Denver community at West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard. The program supports infrastructure improvements that include sidewalks, outdoor adult exercise equipment, a 3.5-mile wellness walk, bike lanes, nutrition and physical activity programs at Beach Court Elementary School and a one-acre production garden that will supply fresh vegetables to the neighborhood through a Pay-As-You-Can Farm Stand. 

Cultivate Health is a partnership between Aria Denver and Regis University, which will add academic work in urban agriculture. Students in that program and other programs will use Cultivate Health for community engagement.

Developed by Urban Ventures and Perry Rose, Aria Denver features a neighborhood center with 30,000 square feet of retail space. The 17.5-acre site is surrounded by orchards and gardens and includes an urban agricultural program.

Aria is located within six blocks of a planned light-rail station on the RTD Gold Line scheduled to open in 2016.

When it's completed, Aria Denver will have a total of 378 residential units, including 26 townhomes priced from $350,000 to $500,000. The two- and three-bedroom townhomes  are built to Energy Star standards, which are up to 20 percent more efficient than local building codes require. 

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

Forum to explore sustainability

The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado will host a discussion with developers and property owners to analyze the critical elements of green building at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 13 in the newly renovated Great Hall at The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station.

"The current international focus on the Union Station neighborhood project is evidence of the broad and growing interest in creating socially minded and sustainably focused public-private partnerships," says Sharon Alton, Executive Director of the organization. "Much of the success of the Union Station project is rooted in the business case for sustainable design, and as such, it presents a unique case study for green building from which other communities, developers and owners across our state can benefit."

Forum speakers will include Steve Byers, CEO, EnergyLogic; Rob Cohen, CEO, The IMA Financial Group; Matt Mahoney, President, BuildMark; Jim McGibney, President, First Century Development; Trae Rigby, Director of Commercial Development, McWhinney; and Gordy Stofer, Director, Hines. The event will be moderated by Carissa Sawyer, Energy Engineer, EnergyLogic.

Click here for more information and to register.

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

 

Golden Triangle to get luxury apartments

The Integral Group and Charter Realty Group LLC plan to develop a 274-unit luxury apartment high rise in the heart of Denver's Golden Triangle neighborhood.

Eviva Cherokee will include studios, one- and two-bedroom units, as well as several townhomes. 

The Golden Triangle is just a few steps from Denver's cultural and entrepreneurial destinations, making it attractive to renters of all ages looking for a new standard of living, says Christopher Martorella, President of Integral Investment Management.

"The Golden Triangle is such an amazing neighborhood and vibrant living space that our new project will fit in perfectly and add to the contextual fabric of this wonderful urban environment," says Skip Ahearn of Charter Management. "With world-class museums and new ones being added concurrently with our project, we will bring new life and vibrancy to the neighborhood. Eviva Cherokee will add a level of sophistication and urban charm to help the Golden Triangle fulfill its potential."

Amenities at Eviva include a fitness center a locker room, aerobics and yoga studios; conference center and business lounge; swimming pool; barbecue grills; fire pits; and sports bar.

Each unit will have floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies to take advantage of views of the Rocky Mountains and Denver skyline. 

The project is expected to break ground this fall.

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

Website, incentives aim to attract new retailers

Denver's Office of Economic Development (OED) has developed a new retail recruitment and marketing website and launched an incentive program for prospective retailers in an effort to strengthen the city's retail offerings and encourage more retailers to open.

"We're committed to growing Denver's retail scene, providing a supportive environment to deliver a more robust offering of retailers that meets the shopping needs of our residents and visitor," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "We are delivering on the first steps under the city's strategic retail plan to grow Denver's retail markets by strengthening the city's retail hubs and by bringing more opportunity to business districts throughout the city."

The website was developed to showcase Denver's increasingly vibrant mix of retail and chef-driven restaurants, provide a summary of shopping districts and areas and highlight news and opportunities. Targeted to retailers and retail real estate professionals, the site will be updated monthly to include additional retail areas throughout the city.

The economic development office's Retail Attraction Program provides an incentive pool for the OED to attract prospective retailers to Denver. the program supports small to mid-sized retailers and is focused on first-in-market retailers, locally unique stores and those that fill a gap where customers' needs are not being met.

"We now have a comprehensive, robust retail-recruitment strategy and toolkit that should result in increased retail sales tax activity," says OED Excecutive Director Paul Washington.

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

Modworks coworking space opens in Petroleum Building

A new Denver coworking space, Modworks, recently opened in nearly 10,000 square feet  in the Petroleum Building on the 16th Street Mall at Broadway.

Modworks' modular layout can accommodate small and growing companies or groups of people. The offices are designed with removable panels so multiple offices can be combined into one that will allow up to 10 people to work together in one space.

"Modworks really represents an evolution in the concept of shared workspace," says Modworks Co-Founder John Borst. "Our model bridges the gap between traditional executive suites and hipster coworking warehouses. We have a decidedly modern aesthetic for creative and innovative professionals seeking the highest quality, sustainable workspace."

Modworks also has developed ModList, a list of preferred service providers vetted by the company's management team. 

"If a member needs a top-notch web designer, patent attorney, architect or event planner, we have those contacts," says Co-Founder Gabe Henriques. 

Memberships at Modworks start at $195 a month for a "hot desk" and up to $1,200 a month for a private office. All furnishings are included, as well as access to conference and training rooms, lounge areas and private telephone rooms. All copying, printing, energy snacks and drinks also are included at no extra charge. Modworks has arranged discounts for its members and Car2Go and an athletic club.

"We want our members to be productive and allowed to focus on their work," Henriques says. "To help with that we have relationships with a number of vendors that will serve our members' needs, including pick-up and drop-off services for things like dry cleaning, bike repairs and shoe shines. We are very amenity rich with a highly hosted environment for our members."

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

Finalists for What Does LoDo Need? competition announced

Alpine Bank has selected three finalists for its What Does LoDo Need? business loan competition. 

One of the following companies will receive a $100,000, two-year, interest-free business loan:
  • Anchor Den, which strives to create a multi-functional property that brings lodging, co-working and events under one roof to fill a void in Denver’s hostel market.
  • Soul Haus Ltd. wants to bring downtown residents Queen City Trading Co., a LoDo-inspired boutique specializing in regionally made gifts jewelry and cards that incorporate the eclectic aesthetic of the LoDo neighborhood.
  • GOrganic Micro Mart wants to provide locally grown produce, chemical- and preservative-free groceries, cruelty-free body care and eco-household products to LoDo residents.
The winner will be announced Aug. 5.

"We liked that all three of these finalists expressed a demonstrated need for their concept in LoDo," says Matt Teeters, Executive Vice President of Alpine Bank's Denver branch. "Their thoroughness, management teams and financial projections were well-conceived and reasonable."

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

The Crawford Hotel opens in Union Station

The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station is officially open. 

Named for Denver urban preservationist and Union Station partner Dana Crawford, the 112-room boutique hotel honors its home inside the historic building while offering contemporary lodging services. 

"The revitalization of Denver Union Station has been a labor of love for so many people; we are thrilled that The Crawford Hotel is finally welcoming guests," said Walter Isenberg, President and CEO of Sage Hospitality another partner in the project.  "This is a modern lodging experience unlike anything else in the United States -- and it's an opportunity to experience the new heart of downtown Denver."

Designed by Denver architecture firms JG Johnson Architects and Tryba Architects, the Pullman-style rooms evoke train travel during its heyday, offering a modern take on the glamorous private sleeping cars. The Classic guestrooms are inspired by the building's Victorian era beginnings, with a contemporary twist on traditional design styles. The Loft rooms are located in Denver Union Station's former attic and feature exposed wood timbers and high, vaulted ceilings. 

The Crawford also offers four one-bedroom LoDo Suites and the spacious Crawford Suite, which features hand-selected design details from the hotel's namesake. The Crawford Suite offers a butler's pantry, separate living and dining rooms, a powder room and master bedroom with a sitting area.

Amenities at the dog-friendly Crawford include an in-room iPad mini loaded with The Crawford app; free WiFi and high-speed tiered Internet service; a 24-hour fitness center; Tesla car services within a 2-mile radius; and Panda Bicycles available for rent.

As part of the partnership between The Crawford Hotel and the award-winning Oxford Hotel, located one block from Denver Union Station, Crawford guests have access to The Oxford Club Spa & Fitness Center, which offers a full-service day spa and salon and an extensive schedule of group exercise classes.

Denver Union Station and The Crawford also feature more than 600 pieces of eclectic Western art, curated by Denver's NINE dot ARTS. Unique pieces include vintage family pictures and travel postcards, inherited objects and a "found objects" collage, a wonderful collection of items found under the station's iconic benches during construction, including 1940s celebrity trading cards, wallet photos and tokens.

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

Curtis Hotel completes $7 million renovation

The Curtis - a Doubletree by Hilton has completed a $7 million renovation that includes upgrades to all 336 rooms and a lobby expansion.

The downtown Denver hotel also has created "hyper-themed" suites on each of its 13 themed guest floors featuring custom art by Colorado artists, unique flooring and decorations. 

For example, the Sci-Fi floor includes the Star Trek Enterprise room featuring futuristic flooring, Lucite furniture and cast photos and on the Mad About Music floor, parrotheads will flock to the new Jimmy Buffett room featuring ocean blue floor tiles and a giant Margaritaville mural highlighting top hits such as "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere."

The Curtis also added two new one-bedroom suites to compliment its existing Rolling Stone Suite -- the KISS Suite, named after the flamboyant rock band, and the Spice Girls Suite, dedicated to Britain's best-selling girl band. Each suite is 800 square feet and features a separate living room and master bedroom. 

"We really wanted to let the hotel's funky personality shine through even brighter with this renovation," says JoAnn Elston, General Manager of The Curtis. "Our new lobby features a lot more seating and is a much more relaxing place for guests to gather."

The Curtis is kicking off the weekend each Friday this summer with Denver DJ Rockstar Aaron spinning his favorite hits in front of the hotel from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Volunteers of America breaks ground on education center

The Volunteers of America has broken ground on its new Early Childhood Education Center at 5000 W. Alameda Ave. in the city's Westwood neighborhood.

The center, in one of the city's highest areas of concentrated poverty,  will more than double the number of children and families served in the Volunteers of America's early childhood education programs.

"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."

The Denver Office of Economic Development anticipates it will provide $620,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for property acquisitionand related costs associated with construction of the $3.9 million center.

Since 2001, Volunteers of America has operated a Denver Great Kids Head Start Delegate Center, providing early childhood education to preschool children below the poverty level. It has outgrown its current location and has a waiting list of 30 eligible children.

"The new facility is something we have been very excited about for some time," says Dianna Kunz, President and CEO of Volunteers of America 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."

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2015, the 11,425-square-foot center will include five classrooms and is adjacent to a new affordable housing community where families that 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.

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

 

City unveils transit-oriented development plan

The city has released a new plan that will kickstart transit-oriented development improvements in station areas across the city to help make Denver healthier, more livable and better connected.

Transit Oriented Denver identifies what each rail station needs in order to maximize its potential and provides a set of action items for getting it there.

"Enabling smart transit-oriented development is critical to the health and livability of our growing city," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "This plan demonstrates that we are thinking strategically about each of these sites, leveraging the character and assets of each unique neighborhood to better connect residents to the amenities they need to live vibrant lives."

Today, many of Denver's rail stations are not located in walkable neighborhoods but in areas that have barriers to surrounding neighborhoods. The development that occurs around these stations is crtical to delivering a more complete network of walkable urban places, increasing accessibility to transit and making housing choices more affordable.

"TOD is more than just building structures around rail stations," says Brad Buchanan, Executive Director of Community Planning and Development for the city. "It is about creating transit communities around stations that knit the urban fabric more tightly together, making Denver a more seamless, multi-modal and vibrant community."

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

Denver joins Target Cities program

The Sun Valley neighborhood will get a new renewable and sustainable energy infrastructure as a result of Denver’s participation in Target Cities, a two-year partnership of nine development projects across seven North American cities designed to amplify and accelerate community regeneration.

The vision for Denver is to have a holistic, transformative and sustainable solution for the 100-acre Sun Valley neighborhood, with a goal of reducing energy consumption by more than 60 percent over local code standards.

"Sustainability is a value that is embedded in everything we do as an administration because the decisions we make today will affect generations we will never meet," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Creating healthy, sustainable cities begins at the neighborhood level."

The effort is the result of a partnership with EcoDistricts, the Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit behind Target Cities. Other EcoDistrict projects are in Atlanta; Boston; Cambridge, Mass.; Ottawa, Ontario; and Washington, D.C.

EcoDistricts acts as a strategic partner to each of the project teams to build robust governance models that will spur political and technical change.

"Denver is proud to join with other Target Cities around the country to develop sustainable and equitable communities through district-scale strategies and solutions that will positively impact the quality of life of residents and the local ecosystems," says Ismael Guerrero, executive director of the Denver Housing Authority.

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

ULI Colorado selects Elyria-Swansea for Building Healthy Places Workshop

The Colorado District Council of the Urban Land Institute has selected two communities, including one in Denver, for its first Building Healthy Places workshops.

In a one-day event, leading ULI Colorado volunteers will work with the communities to find practical ways to improve the urban environment in ways that benefit the health of residents. The goal is to encourage active living, healthy buildings, access to nature and healthy food and public safety.

In Denver, ULI Colorado chose Elyria-Swansea, the birthplace of rail in Colorado and home to 6,400 residents who live close to intensive industrial uses, highways and railways. Just four miles from downtown, the neighborhood is 84 percent Latino, with many multi-generational households.

With an average household income of $44,700, compared to Denver's average of $73,000, the community faces a number of economic challenges. Disconnected streets and lack of convenient access to parks, healthy foods and other services contribute to higher-than-average rates of asthma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among residents.

A planned FasTracks commuter rail transit stop at 40th and Colorado presents opportunities for neighborhood improvements and services in Elyria-Swansea, as well as the adjoining Clayton and Northeast Park Hill neighborhoods. The ULI panel will seek ways to create connections, neighborhood investment and opportunities for healthy living. 

"The selection of the historic Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods for the Building Healthy Places Workshop is important, timely and relevant to the future of the constituents that I represent," says Judy Montero, Denver City Councilwoman for District 9.

The other neighborhood ULI Colorado selected for a workshop is Lake Creek Village Apartments, a 270-unit garden apartment complex on 30 acres in Edwards. Designed decades ago for ski resort and service workers, Lake Creek has evolved into a property that houses people of all income levels, including many low-income families. 

"These two communities will get to work with the leading architects, developers and public health experts in Colorado on land-use strategies to improve the health of their citizens," says Kirk Monroe, Executive Vice President of Vectra Bank Colorado and chair of ULI Colorado. "With healthcare costs straining our GDP and draining family budgets, this has become a huge issue for our economy and quality of life."

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

Dance studio opens in Art District on Santa Fe

Colorado New Style Dance Studio has opened in the Art District on Santa Fe. 

Led by studio directors and world-class dancers Daniel Cid and Kathryn Warshaw, the studio offers a variety of classes for both children and adults, including introductory dance, improvisation and capoeira summer camps for kids. In addition to the group classes, there will be six-week intensive dance classes that build on each week of class in hip-hop and dancer technique and strength and flexibility. 

Ten-week salsa classes are offered in a variety of styles, including salsa partner work fundamentals; intermediate/advanced partner work; and ladies'/men's styling. Private salsa dance instruction also is available to those who want a one-on-one experience.

A native of Santiago, Chile, Cid moved to Murcia, Spain, in 2005, where he fell in love with Salsa dancing. In 2008, he joined Adrian y Anita Amateur Dance Co. in Barcelona, directed by five-time world champions of salsa Adrian Rodriguez Carbajal and Anita Santos Rubin.

Warshaw started gymnastics at the age of three and competed from the time she was eight until she was 18. She started social salsa dancing in 2009 and was performing by the end of 2011.

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

CU Denver study finds road projects affect public health

When major roads are built through lower-income neighborhoods, public health issues often are ignored, according to a study from the University of Colorado Denver

Air pollution, crime and numerous traffic hazards point to a serious and persistent gap between public health and planning.

"The public health effects of heavy traffic are broad," says Carolyn McAndrews, Assistant Professor at the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning and author of the study. "Studies have found associations between high-traffic roads and high mortality rates, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, poor birth outcomes and traffic-related injuries."

The study, published this month in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, focused on busy Verona Road near Madison, Wis., which carries up to 60,000 vehicles a day, 10 percent of which are heavy trucks. Similar roads exist throughout the country.

Designers should take the public health impacts of roads into consideration before construction to minimize hazards earlier, rather than later when it's more difficult to change, McAndrews says. Making public health a priority demonstrates the future of transportation planning and design, she says.

"I think that kind of shift in thinking would set a new and better standard for communities across the country," she says.

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

 

Downtown hotel certified LEED Gold

The U.S. Green Building Council has certified SpringHill Suites and the Hospitality Learning Center at Metropolitan State University LEED Gold for new construction.

 

Managed by Denver's Sage Hospitality, the 150-suite hotel designed by JG Johnson Architects and RNL is metro Denver's first LEED Gold hotel. 

 

"When we laid out our vision for this facility, we never imagined the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown Hotel would become the first LEED Gold hotel in the Denver metro area," says MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan. "As we prepare our students to be future hotel management leaders in Denver and beyond, it's rewarding to know that they are also learning about corporate social responsibility and the importance of sustaining the environment."

 

The hotel and learning center, opened in 2012, give students on-the-job training as they work with seasoned Sage staff.

 

The 28,000-square-foot learning center combines classrooms with interactive laboratories to provide and experiential curriculum for more than 600 hospitality, tourism and events students. Amenities include a sensory analysis laboratory for wine and food tastings and a cellar management laboratory that boasts a 3,100 bottle wine-storage cellar.

 

Green features at the hotel and learning center include:

 

  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures and low VOC paints and flooring
  • Secure bicycle storage lockers and changing rooms
  • Full recycling in guestrooms, classrooms and offices
  • Natural day lighting in 90 percent of regularly occupied areas

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

Downtown Denver Partnership presents six awards

The Downtown Denver Partnership presented six awards recognizing business, projects and initiatives that have had the most significant impact on the center city in 2013 at a dinner sponsored by Polsinelli May 29.

“It is so important to pause and reflect every year on the big ideas, accomplishments and successes that have changed the landscape of our city and inspire all of us,” says Tami Door, Downtown Denver Partnership president and chief executive. “These six award winners are setting an incredible example of what it means to contribute to making this city stronger. We are proud to honor their significant achievements.”

The award winners include:

1801 California -- Brookfield Office Properties
In 2011, Brookfield paid $215 million for 1801 California and transformed one of Denver’s most iconic office buildings into a state-of-the-art space that has reenergized the commercial core by attracting new businesses, creating an inviting environment and activating the ground floor and plaza with new amenities

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Denver 125th Anniversary
Founded in 1888, the Frederick Ross Co. was Denver’s first commercial real estate firm and has played a role in envisioning, advising, planning and investing in downtown Denver ever since. 

Cadence Union Station -- Zocalo Community Development
Cadence Union Station is the first residential building completed in the Union Station neighborhood, breathing life into the area.

Denver Car Share Permit Program -- Denver Public Works
Public Works established a creative car-sharing permit program through a collaborative process that made it possible for multiple car-share companies to enter the Denver market.

IMA Financial Group Building
The five-story IMA Financial Group Building with ground-floor retail created 2,100 jobs throughout its construction and represents a crucial private investment that allowed Denver Union Station to qualify for federal funding, an instrumental factor in the $480 million public transportation project.

Trinity United Methodist Church 125th Anniversary
As the first church in downtown Denver, Trinity has evolved with the city and become a symbol of pride.

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

477 homes sold in Conservatory Green

Sales at Stapleton's first community north of Interstate 70 are exceeding expectations, with more than half of the 800 homes planned for the neighborhood sold within 14 months.

About 30 percent of buyers in Conservatory Green already are residents of Stapleton, proving that people love the lifestyle.

"Each time we launch a new neighborhood in Stapleton, we accept a challenge to advance Stapleton's reputation as a thoughtfully planned, sustainable community that enhances the quality of life for its residents," says John Lehigh, President and COO of Forest City Stapleton. "Conservatory Green is well on its way to meeting that challenge."

Conservatory Green includes several miles of parks and greenways woven through the neighborhood. the Conservatory Green Plaza will be finished this summer. The space will feature gathering spots with a shade structure, water feature and fire pit. Two new pools also are opening this summer.

Conservatory Green features a range of home designs, from townhomes with main-floor master bedrooms to duplexes. 

Stapleton was ranked 11th in the nation for sales at master-planned communities in 2013, and it has accounted for about 10 percent of all homes sold in Denver for the year, according to Metrolist.

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

Boardroom Executive Suites expands to LoDo

Boardroom Executive Suites is expanding to a second location in Lower Downtown.

The provider of full-service executive suite offices is leasing 7,595 square feet of space in the Grand Central Building at 1625 17th St. The offices are expected to ope in July.

"The main reason that drove us to go forward with Boardroom Executive Suites-LoDo is the Union Station redevelopment," says Nathan Jansch, President of Boardroom Executive Suites. "It's estimated that 15,000 people will pass through Union Station each day once the project is done, and that number is expected to increase in the years to come."

A total of 25 full-service executive suite offices ranging from 92 square feet to 291 square feet are available for lease monthly or up to two years. Full-service offices will include a furnished office, receptionist services, phone services, conference room access, high-speed internet, telephone and mail service. Unfurnished offices also will be available. Prices for full-service offices range from $800 to $2,500 a month. Virtual office services start at $75 a month. Three high-tech conference rooms will be available for $30 an hour.

"Our Cherry Creek executive suite has been in business for 24 years with continued steady growth," Jansch says. "We've enjoyed 96 percent occupancy for the past three years, and in 2013 we were 100 percent leased for most of the year."

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

First Watch coming to Denver

Fresh Start Colorado LLC is bringing First Watch, The Daytime Cafe to Colorado.

The Bradenton, Fla.-based franchise, known for its fresh approach to breakfast, brunch and lunch, will open its first restaurant in Denver later this year. A location has not yet been announced. It also plans to open a restaurant in Colorado Springs.

"We feel that Denver foodies and families alike will enjoy the unique menu offerings and fresh approach to breakfast, brunch and lunch," says Denver real estate developer Bill Schuck, Principal of Fresh Start. Rich Boyle, veteran with more than 30 years in multi-unit restaurant development, is Managing Partner of Fresh Start.

First Watch offers 100 percent fresh-squeezed orange juice, house-made granola and salsa and house-roasted vegetables. The menu features traditional breakfast favorites, including pancakes omelets, salads and sandwiches, as well as signature specialties like the Chickichanga, Healthy Turkey Omelet and Fresh Fruit Crepes.

It is a recipient of more than 200 "Best Of" accolades, as well as a 2014 MenuMasters Award from the Nation’s Restaurant News for its quinoa power bowl. 

"Denver and Colorado Springs have some great neighborhoods whose residents recognize and appreciate fresh ingredients, food made with care and healthy alternatives, and we are thrilled to be bringing just that to them," says Ken Pendery, President and Chief Executive of First Watch.

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

Participatory artwork to be installed at Denver Art Museum plaza

WORKSHOP8 and Blue Spruce Design & Construction will transform the outdoor plaza at the Denver Art Museum with a participatory artwork that will activate the museum’s entrance from May 31 through mid-September.

The design teams will create a series of urban campfires that will encourage visitors to pull up a tree stump and relax on Martin Plaza.

"We are excited to once again tap the creative community to craft a space by and for our visitors," says Jaime Kopke, Manager of Adult and College Programs at the museum.  "This partnership continues the museum’s tradition and commitment to engaging our community to ignite creativity in all of our guests."

The design team will create four campfire platforms with eight seats, each crafted from beetle-kill pine donated by Wood Source in Thornton. Each campfire platform will have rays made from recycled climbing ropt that extend beyond the wood and connect to light poles on the plaza. Throughout the summer, participants can write or draw what summer means to them on colorful tags they can attach to the rope rays.

The public is invited to meet the designers and create their own summer stories tag from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 31. The museum also will host a bronze pour on the plaza from noon to 3 p.m.

Formed in March 2010, WORKSHOP8 is a Boulder-based collaborative architecture, planning and design studio dedicated to providing architecture and design services that are beautiful, sustainable and energy efficient.

Niwot-based Blue Spruce Design & Construction is a woman-owned general contracting company specializing in commercial tenant finish, restaurants and residential renovations with an emphasis on green building and sustainability.

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

Final retailer for Union Station announced

Larimer Associates is adding one more tenant to the mix of Colorado retailers and restaurants opening in Denver Union Station in July.

5 green boxes plans to offer an eclectic mix of local crafts, jewelry, one-of-a-kind furniture and worldly goods with a focus on artsy gifts and hip items for travelers.

“This project is really exciting because of the sheer number of people who will be passing through Denver Union Station every day -- from downtown residents and workers to visitors to Colorado,” says Charlotte Elich, who opened the first 5 green boxes in Denver’s South Pearl Street shopping and dining district in 1999. “We are thrilled to be a part of this amazing new community.”

Opening July 12, Denver Union Station will feature a mix of locally owned restaurants and retailers, including Mercantile Dining & Provision, a European-style restaurant and market by chef Alex Seidel; Stoic & Genuine by chef Jennifer Jasinski; Snooze, an A.M. Eatery; the Kitchen Next Door Community Bistro; the Tattered Cover Book Store; and Bloom, a boutique by Anuschka Pashel. Denver Union Station is now 100 percent leased.

“5 green boxes is the perfect final retailer to round out the eclectic mix of Colorado businesses that we envisioned for the new Denver Union Station,” says Pat McHenry, leasing and acquisition partner at Larimer Associates. “Visitors to the historic Great Hall are going to be amazed at this exceptional collection of experiences.”

Denver Union Station also will be home to The Crawford Hotel, a 112-room independent luxury hotel managed by Sage Hospitality.

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

Hotel Teatro announces new restaurant concept

The Hotel Teatro's renovated ground floor will feature The Nickel, a chef-driven restaurant that incorporates locally sourced ingredients into rustic Colorado fare. The restaurant is expected to open in July 2014.

Leading The Nickel is Chef Jake Linzinmeir, a culinary veteran with experience as a certified sommelier and executive chef. Coming from Telluride, Linzinmeir has worked with farmers, ranchers and foragers from around the state. He is returning to the kitchen after spending time in Italy's Michelin star-rated restaurant Le Calandre and most recently serving as Senior Vice President of restaurant development company Blau + Associates.

"The Nickel will be a combination of many inspiration points I've been collecting throughout my career," Linzinmeir says. "I've been fortunate enough to work at some of the finest restaurants in New York, Aspen, Los Angeles and Italy -- and the most memorable experiences for me have been those that were simple, classic and could be enjoyed at any time of the day."

The Nickel's beverage menu is designed to complement the food. Barrel-aged spirits will be accompanied by Colorado craft beers, a hand-selected wine collection and a coffee-roasting program.

"It's much more fun to eat at a bar than drink in a restaurant," Linzinmeir says. "That's what we are creating at The Nickel."

The restaurant's name pays homage to the hotel's history. With an original vault dating to the property's origins as Denver's Tramway Building in 1911, the space once was used to collect nickels from customers riding streetcars.

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

Hyatt Regency completes $23 million renovation

The Hyatt Regency Denver has completed the $23 million redesign of its 1,100 hotel rooms.

The new color palette is intended to reflect the pine trees and landscapes that capture the essence of Colorado. Contemporary elements found throughout the hotel are carried into the guest rooms. The hotel also upgraded Wi-Fi with increased bandwidth to add speed for guests.

"We are pleased with the completion of the redesign of all 1,100 Hyatt Regency Denver accommodations," says Hyatt Regency Denver General Manager Ed Bucholtz. "In addition to comfort and functionality, a great deal of focus was given to providing the most up-to-date technology for these guest rooms. Upgraded Wi-Fi and LCD Smart 46-inch televisions in each guest room help deliver exactly what the guest is looking for." 

Hyatt Regency Denver also offers 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including two large ballrooms that can seat a total of up to 3,400 people theater style. 

One of the region's largest hotels, the Hyatt Regency Denver is located adjacent to the Colorado Convention Center just a block from the 16th Street Mall in the heart of Denver's theater and entertainment district.

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

Task force reveals recommendations for Cherry Creek

In an effort to retain and enhance Cherry Creek's character, the Cherry Creek Zoning Technical Task Force has made a number of recommendations designed to create opportunities for new housing and improving the pedestrian experience.

After eight months of analysis building on the 2012 Cherry Creek Area Plan, the task force's recommendations include:
  • Building heights that transition down from Second Avenue to Third Avenue, respecting adjacent neighborhoods and retaining sunlight on Third Avenue
  • Parking requirements comparable with other urban centers in Denver but adjusted in acknowledgement of Cherry Creek's status as a regional shopping destination
  • Buildings required to have active storefronts, ground-floor transparency and setbacks to improve the pedestrian experience
  • Incentives for providing publicly accessible open space
  • Incentives and exemptions for small lots to encourage reinvestment in small lots and small buildings
  • Allowing a more diverse mix of uses, including hotels and limited outdoor sales
The task force includes Cherry Creek residents, property owners, business owners, developers, architects and other stakeholders.

"These recommendations create a great path forward, balancing the need for reinvestment with the desire to retain and enhance what we all love about Cherry Creek," says District 10 Councilwoman Jeanne Robb, who convened the all-volunteer task force last June. "The task force members are dedicated to what's best for Cherry Creek, and together they devoted hundreds of hours to this project."

The public is invited to offer comments and questions on the recommendations before formal consideration by the Denver Planning Board and Denver City Council. To learn more about the project, visit www.DenverGov.org/CherryCreek.

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

Portman to develop office, hotel at 18th and Wewatta

Atlanta-based Portman Holdings plans to build a 200,000-square-foot office and hotel at 18th and Wewatta streets across from Denver Union Station.

Portman plans to break ground on the project this fall. General contractor Hensel Phelps expects to complete construction within 18 months of breaking ground. Designed by John Portman & Associates, the project will feature a public outdoor space.

"This location is unbeatable," says Ambrish Baisiwala, CEO of Portman Holdings. "Denver is just the type of market we are bullish about, and we appreciate the dynamics of the Union Station neighborhood, as well as the walkability and integrated transit."

As of December, there projects valued at $1.5 billion were under construction in downtown Denver. Denver also has recovered 110 percent of the jobs lost during the recession.

Over the last 60 years, Portman Holdings has developed more than 50 million square feet of real estate worldwide. The firm focuses on hospitality, office and mixed-use properties. John Portman & Associates has more than 60 years of experience designing hotels, residences, offices, universities, exhibition centers and mixed-use complexes.

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

City to host small-business forum

The Denver Office of Economic Development is hosting a forum May 15 to help businesses better understand how to access contracting and procurement opportunities available through the City and County of Denver.

The Small Business Opportunity Forum will address recent changes to the city's Minority/Women Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise ordinance, as well as a new purchasing ordinance that provides new procurement opportunities within select industries to small businesses and minority/women-owned businesses.

"We are committed to sharpening the competitive edge of Denver’s small and disadvantaged businesses," says Chris Martinez, Director of the OED Division of Small Business Opportunity.  "New ordinances have expanded our programs, offering much more to level the playing field for certified firms. This forum will work to help businesses understand what new and existing opportunities are out there, and they can use these resources to better compete and succeed."

The forum also will provide an overview of Executive Order 101, which requires city departments to compile information from contractors and consultants on their efforts toward diversity and inclusiveness and report them to the OED.

The forum will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the AGC Education Center at 686 Mariposa St.
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Yelp names two Denver restaurants to Top 100 in U.S.

Two Denver restaurants made Yelp's first-ever Top 100 places to eat in the United States.

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs at 16th and Arapahoe ranked No. 12, and Pho 95 Noodle House at 1401 S. Federal Blvd. came in at No. 71.

Biker Jim's dogs aren't your typical ballpark franks. He turns out reindeer and wild boar brats, as well as dogs made from rattlesnake, pheasant, elk, antelope, yak and buffalo. All are topped with Coca-Cola-soaked grilled onions and a swizzle of cream cheese.

Pho 95 specializes in traditional Vietnamese food, with a focus on pho soup. The authentic dish consists of beef broth, thin slices of beef and rice noodles. Some soups contain soft tendon, flank steak and brisket.

The Yelp list covers every kind of food, price range and experience ranging from food stands to three-hour meals. Yelp's engineers compiled the last based on a restaurant's star rating and number of reviews to determine which spots have top ratings, as well as which are the most popular in the Yelp community.

The top five on the list were Da Poke Shack in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; Paseo in Seattle; Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue in Kansas City, Kan.; The Cinnamon Snail in New York City; and Porto’s Bakery in Burbank, Calif.

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

Western Daughters takes over Source butcher shop

Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe is taking over the space in the Source formerly occupied by Meat Head.

Western Daughters, which opened in December at 3326 Tejon St. in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood, is owned and operated by Kate Kavanaugh and her fiance, Josh Curtiss. 

Whole carcasses are brought into the shop from ranches that are within 150 miles of the store, primarily on Colorado’s eastern plains. All meats are antibiotic, hormone and steroid free.

"Everything is traceable," says Kavanaugh, who was a vegetarian before meeting Curtiss. "We know where everything comes from. We visit all of our ranchers and help them out. When you know the people who make your food, it changes the whole game."

In addition to the meats it sells, Western Daughters also offers a variety of dry goods that have not been processed and are chemical free. LoHi resident Bill Yalch, also known as Chile Billy, is among the locals whose fresh chile sauces are featured at Western Daughters. Yalch also operates a food cart that serves up a varied chile-infused menu of traditional and not-so-traditional street eats.

"We bring in products that are the best," says Kavanaugh.

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

RedLine presents She Crossed the Line

This year, RedLine is presenting She Crossed the Line, a year of art and ideas that will underscore the role of women as artistic innovators and cultural leaders.

The series is designed to honor the creativity of trailblazing women artists through exhibitions, programs and events.

The series includes:Located  at 2350 Arapahoe St. in Arapahoe Square, RedLine is a center for contemporary art that combines an artist residency program with project-based community engagement in the arts.

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

Millennium Bridge to get million-dollar makeover

Denver’s Millennium Bridge is getting a million-dollar makeover.

The Central Platte Valley Metropolitan District will be making significant improvements to the bridge late this month, with completion scheduled for July.

"The Millennium Bridge is not only one of downtown Denver’s most iconic landmarks, it is an important thoroughfare between downtown, Riverfront Park and the Lower Highlands," says Amy Cara, President of the metro district. "This renovation will make that pedestrian access more seamless and ensure the bridge remains in good condition and an icon in Denver for years to come."

The $1 million renovation, funded by savings from street infrastructure, aims to improve pedestrian accessibility to the new light-rail plaza and make lighting improvements that will further illuminate the bridge's impressive design and add to Denver’s ever-evolving skyline.

The east staircase will be expanded, creating more flidity and access to the transit hub at Denver Union Station, scheduled to open in May. A third of the cost will be dedicated to upgrading to LED lighting, which will provide brighter and clearer lighting and energy efficiency and will allow the use of colored lights throughout the year. It also will reduce light pollution.

"In addition to improving energy efficiency by up to 80 percent, the lighting upgrades are a fun way to celebrate local milestones like a Broncos game with orange and blue lights, or the Fourth of July with blue and red lights," Cara says.

Starting April 24, the first phase of the project will begin on the south side of the bridge and will limit access to the bridge's elevators for about a month. Alternative routes will be displayed on maps to direct pedestrians to 15th Street.

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

Free art exhibit showcases Van Gogh, Picasso

An exclusive showing of Impressionist and Modern paintings, American art, 19th Century European art and luxury timepieces will be on display April 22-24 at the JW Marriott Denver.

The artworks, including paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Norman Rockwell, will be showcased in the hotel's new Fireside event space before Christie's puts them on the auction block this spring.

"Christie's is thrilled to have the opportunity to share with those in Denver these star lots from our upcoming spring sale season," says Liz Sterling of Christie's in New York. “We are particularly excited to display Thomas Moran’s large-scale masterwork, The Grand Canyon of the Colorado."

The exhibit is coming to Denver as a result of the strategic partnership JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts formed with Christie's. The venture began in 2011 as part of a global brand initiative to deliver a deeper luxury guest experience at JW Marriott properties worldwide. The public exhibitions and previews of major auctions and JW Marriott hotels offers travelers a glimpse into the worlds of art and auction.

“We have long been dedicated to supporting the arts in Colorado and are proud to serve as the official host hotel of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival," says Dave Pease, General Manager of the hotel. "This will truly be a unique event for Denver’s art scene."

The event, at 150 Clayton Lane in Cherry Creek, is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22-24.

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

USGBC Colorado supports Green Ribbon Schools Program

The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado has donated a $500 grant to support the winners of the Colorado Green Ribbon Schools Program when they travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in a national recognition ceremony.

Each year, Colorado can nominate up to four schools and one district for recognition in the program, which honors America's public and private elementary, middle and high schools for their efforts toward improving student health and achievement and reducing their environmental impact. This year’s honorees will be announced by the U.S. Department of Education at the recognition ceremony on April 22.

"USGBC Colorado’s goal is to green Colorado's schools within a generation, and the Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Program is a wonderful way to recognize and promote healthy and sustainable schools in Colorado," says USGBC Colorado Associate Director Patti Mason. "We hope USGBC Colorado's donation will inspire others in our community to support this worthy cause."

Green Ribbon Schools sets a standard of excellence for all schools to become energy efficient and healthy learning spaces that provide environmental education. National studies and existing green schools programs indicate that the benefits of the Green Ribbon Schools program will include increased energy cost savings, improved student and staff health and productivity, enhanced critical thinking skills, improved student performance, reduced behavioral problems and increased student engagement, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

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

Alpine Bank celebrates grand opening in LoDo

Alpine Bank of Colorado has opened its first Denver branch in the new IMA building at 1777 Wynkoop St. adjacent to Denver Union Station.

The 2,500-square-foot space is a full-service retail location with seven employees and the latest technology available in banking. The decor incorporates modern finishes with a mountain ambience.

"We are thrilled to open our fist location in downtown Denver and expand our services from the mountains to the city," says Norm Franke, Alpine Bank Regional President for the Denver market. "It is particularly exciting to be opening our first Denver branch in the new Union Station neighborhood, which will be a hub of activity and the perfect locale to introduce Denver businesses and residents to our services."

In conjunction with its grand opening on April 12, Alpine Bank announced a contest for local entrepreneurs to conclude its "What Does LoDo Need?" campaign. Entrepreneurs interested in competing for the $100,000 two-year, interest-free loan for a small business must submit their business plans by June 16. 

Business plan submissions will be evaluated by a panel of Alpine Bank employees and established LoDo business professionals based on several criteria including probability of the business to positively impact LoDo; quality of content of the business plan; feasibility of financial success; and quality and effectiveness of an in-person presentation by the finalists.

Three finalists will be announced on June 27 and the winner of the contest will be announced in August. All submission guidelines and rules, as well as a business plan outline can be found at www.WhatDoesLoDoNeed.com and any questions can be emailed to businessplans@alpinebank.com.

Alpine Bank is a $2.4 billion dollar, employee-owned organization chartered in 1973 with headquarters in Glenwood Springs.  With 37 western and southwestern Colorado banking offices, Alpine Bank employs over 500  people and serves more than 130,000 customers with retail, business, trust, asset management, mortgage, and electronic banking services.

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

Balfour starts hardhat tours of Riverfront Park project

People interested in living at Balfour at Riverfront Park now can make appointments to take hardhat tours of the senior living community that is scheduled to open in September.

The tours will provide an opportunity to safely tour secure areas of the construction site while previewing the apartments and common areas.

"Our residents will enjoy numerous amenities, including fine restaurant dining, limousine service, pool, spa and exercise programs and over 300 scheduled activities and excursions per month," says Michael Schonbrun, Founder of Louisville-based Balfour Senior Living, which is developing the project. "The hardhat tours will allow people to see the amazing progress we're making and view the quality of the design and construction."

The entire project, scheduled to open Labor Day, will include 112 independent-living rental apartments ranging in size from 600 square feet to 1,600 square feet; 65 assisted living apartment homes with specially designed dining and outdoor areas; 26 memory-care apartment homes; a European-style central piazza with gardens; three dining rooms and a rooftop bar; fitness center and spa with indoor saltwater swimming pool; full-service salon; and concierge service.

Balfour's leasing office at 1590 Little Raven St. showcases a large detailed scale model of the project, a unit kitchen and design boards that feature fabrics and furniture of the library, dining room, spa and the community's main common area at The Moffat Station. 

To schedule an appointment for a tour, contact the leasing office at 720/360-4500.

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


Infinity wins national award at Vegas home show

Denver-based Infinity Home Collection won the Gold Award for "Best Detached Single Family Home in the Country" at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

Designed by Littleton-based Woodley Architectural Group and located in Stapleton's Conservatory Green neighborhood north of Interstate 70, the 2,971-square-foot VUE 3 is a wide-open, flowing, urban-inspired contemporary single-family home. It features a dramatic six-foot wide stairway, master bedroom with 12-foot ceilings and a spa-like master bath, three secondary bedrooms and a loft. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring in lots of natural light. Like all Infinity homes, VUE 3 is highly energy efficient and controlled by an iPad.

"This award is quite significant considering that this home competed with the best in the entire country in its category," says David Steinke, general manager of Infinity  Home Collection. "We owe much of our success to being a builder at Stapleton, one of the nation’s top master-planned communities."

The VUE 3 collection has been popular with young families, says Steinke, noting that Infinity sold 15 homes in March alone. The average price of the homes is $750,000, and Infinity plans to introduce a larger series that will start in the $900,000s.

"Our value is in stronger architecture, nicer finishes and better ingredients all around," Steinke says.

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

Denver opens compressed natural gas fueling station

 The city of Denver has opened its first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station.

The station, which has 70 CNG pumps that will be used by city vehicle operators, supports Mayor Michael Hancock's 2020 Sustainability initiative, which includes improving air quality. CNG is a cleaner-burning fuel that generates less carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emissions compared with regular diesel.

In addition to environmental benefits, CNG fuel is less expensive. The Department of Public Works estimates it will save $2 per gallon-equivalent of liquid fuel, or $8,000 per trash truck a year.

Denver already has purchased 19 CNG vehicles and is anticipating having 40 vehicles -- or about 40 percent of its trash and recycling fleet -- running on CNG by the end of the year.

"Denver is very proud of this investment in alternative fuel infrastructure," Hancock says. "The new CNG station is an important milestone in achieving our sustainability goals and elevating Denver’s reputation as a smart, livable city."

The new $2.5 million fueling station is an integral piece of infrastructure for the city’s expanding CNG fleet. Designed Denver-based RNL and built by TruStar Energy, the station will accommodate up to 68 vehicles. 

Denver Environmental Health provided a $2.15 million loan to build the station; the remaining amount was paid for by Public Works Fleet Management. Denver also received a $500,000 grant from Encana Natural Gas to purchase 15 CNG refuse vehicles.

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

Convention center installs eight new artworks

The Colorado Convention Center has added eight new pieces to its permanent art collection.

The pieces, created by established and emerging local artists, include a 95-by-95-foot mural by Mindy Bray titled The Heavy is the Root of the Light. It covers an entire wall behind a two-story escalator. 

Another piece by Sandra Fettingis titled I Know You Know That I Know is 160 feet long and spans an entire hallway in the convention center.

"Convention centers are also learning centers where people come to be engaged and broaden their knowledge, so it’s appropriate that art be an important part of the building’s environment," says Kent Rice, Executive Director of Denver Arts & Venues, which oversees the convention center.

The new art adds to downtown Denver’s growing reputation as an art center, as well as a symbol for the Colorado Convention Center. Visit Denver has incorporated one of the convention center's older artworks -- the 40-foot tall Blue Bear -- into an icon for the city and the lead element in the its advertising campaign.

"The first thing you see coming into the convention center is the Blue Bear, and now as you walk through the 2 million-square-foot building, you will continue to encounter art everywhere you go," says Richard Scharf, President and CEO of Visit Denver.

Other artworks that have been installed in the convention center include:

The additions are the result of a public-private partnership between the City and County of Denver and the convention center's management firm, SMG, which commissioned the $235,000 project. Denver-based art consulting firm NINE dot ARTS was hired to select and install the new work.

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

New United Way headquarters slated for August opening

The Mile High United Way’s new headquarters is taking shape and on track to open in August. A topping-off ceremony took place on March 25.

Called The Morgridge Center for Community Change, the new $23 million building is a long-term investment in the collaborative community work Mile High United Way does to improve the lives of children, families and individuals. It has been heralded as a turning point in the community, marking the beginning of a wider transformation for residents and businesses in Curtis Park and the Denver metro area.

"This United Way building is the catalyst for change -- positive change -- in the Five Points neighborhood," says Carrie Morgridge of the Morgridge Family Foundation. "How noble for the United Way team to build in a zone of our city hungry for help, love and wraparound services to transform living conditions for men, women children and families."

The 63,000-square-foot building at 711 Park Ave. West, was designed by Davis Partnership and is being built by PLC Construction. It will include the CoBank Leadership Center, a large collaboration space for Mile High United Way to convene the public, private, philanthropic and local nonprofit organizations to address the community’s challenges that are larger than any one organization can solve alone.

In addition to the funding from the Morgridge Family Foundation, CoBank, the City and County of Denver, The Anschutz Foundation and PCL Construction provided capital support. The project also received New Markets Tax Credit financing.

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

Denver unveils cultural plan

Denver Arts & Venues recently unveiled a cultural plan designed to integrate arts and culture into daily life in the city.

Created under the leadership of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, Imagine 2020: Denver's Cultural Plan provides a strategic vision for arts culture and creativity. More than 5,000 people participated in the process, sharing their priorities through public meetings, community forums, focus groups and outreach festivals and fairs.

The priorities established by the plan include:
  • Supporting  Denver Public Schools' arts education strategic plan
  • Maximizing Denver365.com website for residents and visitors
  • Increasing visibility of local artistic and creative talent
  • Launching a public-private partnership with a focus on building the infrastructure necessary for 21st century cultural development and promotion
  • Identifying, inventorying and ranking availability of arts, culture and creativity in every neighborhood, noting cultural deserts
  • Addressing barriers that limit participation such as affordability, transportation and other factors
  • Increasing availability of affordable and accessible live-work spaces for creative sector workers
  • Launching an alliance of organizations committed to inclusiveness and engagement in arts and culture
  • Inventorying all arts, cultural, and creative enterprises for policy and messaging purposes
  • Offering a "Culture Cash" gift card, with proceeds benefiting IMAGINE 2020 initiatives
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

High Point Creamery to open in Hilltop

Erika Thomas and husband and business partner Chad Stutz plan to open the first of several planned artisanal ice cream shops in April.

High Point Creamery, located at 215 S. Holly St. in the Hilltop/Crestmoor neighborhood, will produce handcrafted ice creams using fresh ingredients. The company, which will develop innovative frozen concoctions, will offer 18 standard flavors in addition to a selection of rotating flavors emphasizing seasonality and freshness. The menu also will include an assortment of sorbets.

"We plan to offer a great ice cream experience for not only the local neighborhood but for all of Denver -- the perfect place to bring you family or your date," Thomas says.

Specialty menu items include the ice cream bombe, a molded ice cream dessert that has its origins in Victorian-era France, and an ice cream flight similar to the sampler flights at wine bars or microbreweries. All of High Point Creamery's products will be made from scratch and be kosher.

The store will feature modern decor that includes a combination of white marble tables, retro subway tiles, bleached oak, a handcrafted chalkboard menu and an outdoor seating area.

Thomas and Stutz plan to open two more locations over the next two years.

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

Balfour Senior Living pre-leasing affordable apartments

Balfour Senior Living is starting pre-leasing of 28 affordable rental units for seniors 62 and older at Balfour at Riverfront Park in downtown Denver.

The one-bedroom, one-bath apartments feature full kitchens with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and bathrooms with carrera marble vanities and glass showers.

"We are proud to partner with the City and County of Denver in offering affordable units in a premier location and with our signature Balfour services," says Michael Schonbrun, Balfour’s Founder. "Our residents will enjoy numerous amenities, including fine restaurant dining, limousine service, pool, spa and exercise program and over 300 planned activities and excursions a month."

Balfour's leasing office at 1590 Little Raven showcases a large detailed scale model of the project, a unit kitchen and design boards showing the fabrics and furniture of the library, dining room, spa and The Moffat Station main common area for the community. The leasing office is open daily. 

The entire project, scheduled to open Labor Day, will include 112 independent living rental apartments ranging in size from 600 square feet to 1,600 square feet; 65 assisted living apartment homes with specially designed dining and outdoor areas; 26 memory care apartment homes; a European-style central piazza with gardens; three dining rooms and a rooftop bar; fitness center and spa with indoor saltwater swimming pool; full-service salon; and concierge service.

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

LowDown Brewery opens in Golden Triangle

LowDown Brewery + Kitchen has opened its doors at 800 Lincoln St. in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood.

Owners Scott O'Hearn and Phil Phifer have more than two decades of experience, education and a national following and have won numerous awards for their craft brews, including accolades from the Great American Beer Festival

"My dream has always been to open a neighborhood brewpub offering guests quality beer, great and sustainable food -- all in a relaxed and comfortable enfornment so they can create great memories with family and friends," says O'Hearn.

LowDown currently features 10 of its own beers and a few hand-picked guest beers. It plans to rotate its beers, mixing classic styles with beers that don’t fit into standard guidelines. The food menu includes soups, sandwiches, shareable appetizers, a children’s menu and desserts.

O'Hearn and Phifer met at Rock Bottom Brewery, where O'Hearn had been a head brewer for nearly 20 years.  

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant can hold up to 115 guests, including a 45-person outdoor patio and beer garden that will open in late spring. Lowdown is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Onsite parking is available, and the restaurant does not take reservations.

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

Colorado in Top 10 States for LEED

Colorado ranks eighth on the U.S. Green Building Council’s list of the Top 10 States for LEED.

The list highlights the regions around the country that are at the forefront of the movement for sustainable building design, construction and operation. Using less energy and water, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.  

"In the face of the extraordinary global challenge of climate change, our national imperative to create resource-efficient and cost-effective green buildings has never been greater," says Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO of the council. "Colorado has a strong base of dedicated individuals who are using LEED to transform its built infrastructure into high-performing spaces that promote the health of our planet and the people who use these buildings each and every day."

Notable projects that are certified in Colorado in 2013 include:
 
·         Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, LEED Gold
·         Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Grand Junction, LEED Platinum
·         Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building in Denver (federal office building), LEED Gold
·         Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center, LEED Platinum
·         Denver Public Library Sam Gary Branch, LEED Gold
·         University of Colorado Hospital Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion 2, Aurora, LEED Silver
·         Army National Guard Windsor Readiness Center, Windsor, LEED Platinum
·         Salida High School, Salida, LEED Gold
·         Fort Carson Warrior in Transition Battalion Headquarters, LEED Silver

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

Denver wins support to build protected bike lanes

Denver is one of six new cities to join the PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project, an intensive two-year program to build better bike lanes.

Denver, Atlanta, Boston, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Seattle will receive financial, strategic and technical assistance to create low-stress streets and increase vitality in urban centers through the installation of protected bike lanes. The six cities were chosen from more than 100 U.S. cities that submitted letters of interest for the program.

Launched in 2012, the Green Lane Project works with U.S. cities to speed the installation of protected bike lanes across the country. The on-street lanes are separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts to make riding a bike an appealing option for more people.

"It was extremely difficult to narrow down our selection to just six cities," says Martha Roskowski, vice president of local innovation for PeopleForBikes. "We are seeing an upsurge of interest in accommodating bikes on busy city streets. Denver has ambitious goals and a strong vision supported by the elected officials and community."

Denver will install its first protected bike lane in late spring when it introduces an element of vertical separation on the 15th Street Bikeway downtown. The city also is starting a planning effort to identify more opportunities to install protected bike lanes.

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

Denver to host Rocky Mountain Green Conference

The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Chapter is hosting the Rocky Mountain Green Conference 2014, a two-day event bringing together green building leaders and professionals from all over the Rocky Mountain region.

The conference is scheduled April 17-18 at the Embassy Suites Downtown Denver, 1420 Stout St. The hotel achieved LEED Silver certification in 2011 and is the first hotel in Denver and in the Embassy Suites brand to have earned the certification for sustainable building design, construction and operations.

The conference will explore issues ranging from net zero energy and tactical urbanism to how to best take advantage of emerging green building economic opportunities.

The U.S. Green Building Council will host workshops, speakers, discussions and networking opportunities aimed at furthering the advancement of sustainable b uilding design, construction and operation. 

"With construction activity now returning to pre-recession highs, green building will continue to impact and provide jobs at every professional level," says Patti Mason, Associate Director of the council. "The Rocky Mountain Green Conference brings together organizations and individuals who are committed to collaborating with and learning from each other."

The conference will cover topics including:
·         The green building market today
·         LEED projects under development in Colorado
·         Outlook for the future green building
·         Policies driving green building
·         New technologies; and
·         The role of state and federal government support

For more information on the conference or to register, visit www.rockymountaingreen.com.

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

City seeks proposals for improvement programs

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is seeking proposals for its Public Facilities and Improvements Program and Neighborhood Improvement Program.

The Public Facilities and Improvements Program provides performance-based loans to nonprofit agencies providing a public service to Denver residents. A public facility may be owned an operated by a nonprofit such as a senior center or neighborhood center as long as it is open to the general public. Funds must be used for improvements to the agency's building premises or can be used for acquisition. 

The program has helped nonprofit agencies replace or refurbish lobbies, offices and kitchens; improve exteriors; and install handicapped-accessible restrooms, ramps, entrances or other improvements. Funds cannot be used to operate or maintain public facilities/improvements, and deferred maintenance project requests such as roof replacement are ineligible.

OED is accepting applications from organizations that provide services to Denver residents in the following areas:
  • Youth or children's programming
  • Homeless or at-risk populations
  • Health food access
The Neighborhood Improvement Program funds improvements that will beautify and enhance the safety of the neighborhood and community at large. The program's goal is to leverage resources to address neighborhood issues such as block beautification, parks and playgrounds, community centers and the elimination of blighting conditions. Public improvements include streets, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds and aesthetic amenities on public property.

The deadline for applications is Mar. 17.

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

Sagebrush breaks ground on LoHi townhouse project

People used consider a neighborhood within walking distance of LoDo a strong selling point. But today realtors sell their clients on LoDo and the surrounding neighborhoods based on their walking distance to Denver's trendy LoHi neighborhood. 

That cachet has developers building luxury townhomes all along Tejon Street, which realtor Jan Nelsen of Kentwood City Properties says has become the new "it" street in Denver. Nelson says she expects Tejon to be developed all the way to 38th Avenue and even beyond into the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Nelsen is listing LoHi Place, a 12-unit  town house project at West 35th Avenue and Tejon Street that's being built by Sagebrush Development and was designed by Ed Enck of S-Arch. It’s within walking distance of LoHi's numerous trendy restaurants, bars and shops. Men's Journal named LoHi one of the best neighborhoods in the country. It's also been featured in Travel and Leisure and National Geographic Traveler.

With prices starting at $725,000 Nelsen has already pre-sold four of townhomes, but the end units are still available.

Townhomes in LoHi Place average 2,500 square feet and have rooftop decks and Viking appliances. Buyers can make changes to the units, which are expected to be completed 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.

Arts & Venues seeking artists for Stapleton project

Denver Arts & Venues is seeking to commission an artist or team of artists to create a site-specific artwork for the Northfield Uplands Park in Stapleton.

The site is within the linear park stretching from Trenton Street on the west to Willow Street where it turns south to Northfield Boulevard. The open space lends itself to artwork composed of multiple elements, or artwork that relates to the different type of nature, recreation or sustainability.

The artwork must be complementary to its location in a residential neighborhood with an elementary school. It must not interfere with pedestrian, bike or automobile traffic or distract drivers with flashing lights.

Other guidelines include:
  • Stapleton has adopted a master plan for lighting, including a dark skies initiative that address concerns for light pollution and energy efficiency, as well as safety and security. 
  • Stapleton sees itself as an urban community and does not welcome imagery that references its former use as an airport.
  • Concerns for sustainability demand the artwork be designed to be durable and require minimal and low-cost maintenance. Artwork needs to be able to withstand intense sun, snow, wind and temperature extremes and fluctuations characteristic of the Denver area.
  • The artwork must comply with the rules, regulations and guidelines of the City and County of Denver for the site.
The project will be funded through the Better Denver Bond Program under which the City and County of Denver is implementing more than 175 projects to improve, preserve, renovate and build new libraries, parks, hospitals, public safety facilities and cultural facilities.

Entries can be submitted online through Mar. 9 here.

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

Buchanan to head city's planning department

Architect Brad Buchanan has been named Executive Director of Denver's Department of Community Planning and Development effective March 3.

Previously, Buchanan was a principal and board member of RNL Design, a design, planning, architecture and interiors services firm in Denver. He is a past chairman of the Denver Planning board and past chairman of the Downtown Denver Partnership. He also was a member of the Denver Zoning Task Force that completed the first substantial rewrite of the 1956 Denver Zoning code.

"I've been training my entire career for this position, and I’m excited to join Mayor (Michael) Hancock and the dedicated CDP staff when Denver is experiencing such incredible momentum," Buchanan says. "With all of the great opportunities in our neighborhoods and parks, as well as the National Western, DIA, I-70, Brighton Boulevard, transit stations and downtown, Denver is simply on a roll."

The Department of Community Planning and Development is in charge of managing, planning and building within Denver, including designing and implementing citywide and neighborhood plans, establishing construction and design standards, coordinating revitalization efforts, managing historic preservation and performing code enforcement and education.

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

Thrive coworking space expanding in Cherry Creek

LotusGroup Advisors Partners Raphael Martorello and Andy Seth along with Dave Ness of Thrive Real Estate have invested in Thrive Workplace Solutions to help fund the expansion of its Cherry Creek location and launch a new Ballpark facility.

Thrive Workplace provides flexible spaces for growing businesses, as well as services tailored to its members business needs. 

Thrive opened its second location at 201 Milwaukee St. in Cherry Creek in August, and the space is now more than 90 percent full. Its first location is at 1830 Blake St. in Lower Downtown. It has not announced the exact location it will be in Ballpark.

"We're on a mission to cultivate a community of driven and talented people who make life count," Martorello says. "Our investment in Thrive helps bring beautifully designed workspaces to our community, along with an ecosystem that builds meaningful relationships. The energy at Thrive is contagious, and we are excited to be the lead investor."

Thrive Workplace offers concierge service to take care of members' personal errands, making dinner reservations or plan gifts for clients. It also provides a package of accounting services, as well as meeting spaces that can accommodate from two to 25 people.

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

New wing opens at Nature & Science museum

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science celebrated the grand opening of its $56.5 million new wing on Feb. 14.

The five-level, 126,000-square foot wing houses the Morgridge Family Exploration Center and the Rocky Mountain Science Collections Center occupy the addition.

"We are proud to marke the beginning of an amazing new chapter that is reinventing and reinvigorating our 113-year-old institution," says George Sparks, President and CEO of the museum. "We are grateful to our generous donors and members of our wonderful Colorado community, including the citizens of Denver who supported the Better Denver bond campaign."

The construction cost of the new wing was funded through a combination of $30 million in Better Denver bonds approved by voters in 2007 and $26.5 million in gifts and grants raised by the museum. The museum also is raising $15 million to equip and program the new wing.

The Morgridge center includes three above-ground levels devoted to offering memorable and impactful programs that encourage vistors of all ages to have in-depth conversations about science and the natural world. It is named to recognize a lead gift of $8 million from the Morgridge Family Foundation, the largest private gift in the museum's history.

Level three of the above-ground levels is home to the Anschutz Gallery, made possible by the Anschutz Foundation, which will adjoin the existing Phipps Gallery. The space enhances the museum’s ability to present leading exhibitions from around the world and debuts with Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, the largest exhibition about this ancient culture ever presented in the United States.

A new Discovery Zone on the second level, made possible by Kaiser Permanente, is under construction and will open June 7. Its activities will be geared toward children ages three to five.

The Rocky Mountain Science Collections Center totals 63,000 square feet in two underground levels devoted to providing consolidated housing for nearly 1.5 million artifacts and specimens.

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

RTD to introduce Central Rail study

The Regional Transportation District is holding a kickoff public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 26 to introduce and seek input on the Central Rail Extension Mobility Study.

The meeting will be held at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library at 2401 Welton St. 

The Central Rail Extension will improve access between and among the northeast Denver neighborhoods, the downtown transit network and the full RTD transit system. The study, expected to be completed by late this year, will identify the most feasible rail transit route and operating plan to provide a direct rail transit ride with no transfers from the future 38th/Blake Station on the East Rail Line into downtown Denver.

The study area encompasses downtown Denver and the neighborhoods of Five Points, Whittier, Cole and Elyria-Swansea. RTD is partnering with the City and County of Denver on the project and also is collaborating with the Five Points Business District and the Downtown Denver Partnership to ensure it is a success.

The study aims to create a stakeholder and community consensus on the implementation of the Central Rail Extension. The study will gather information to measure and evaluate potential alternatives and provide a detailed description of the most feasible alternative. It also will determine how the Central Rail Line should interface with the downtown Denver transportation system to minimize impact to vehicular traffic, transit, bicyclists and pedestrians.

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

McWhinney names new Chief Development Officer

Trae Rigby has been promoted to Chief Development Officer of McWhinney, a real estate investment, management and development company with projects in Colorado and California.

Rigby brings more than 12 years of private real estate development experience to McWhinney and has played an integral role in the company’s multi-use and hospitality development projects. As chief development officer, Rigby manages McWhinney’s real estate development teams and maintains close relationships with industry and community stakeholders. He also leads the company’s development strategy, operations and business development opportunities.

"Trae has shown tremendous leadership and initiative over the past seven years at McWhinney," says Chad McWhinney, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of McWhinney. "McWhinney is fortunate to have someone of his caliber join our leadership team and help lead our company."

Rigby currently oversees the redevelopment process for two historic projects in Lower Downtown -- Union Station and the Windsor Dairy Block (renamed Z Block) between 18th and 19th streets and Blake and Wazee streets.

He serves on the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.’s board of governors and previously was an engaged member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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

Semple Brown to design four restaurants for The Kitchen

Denver-based Semple Brown Design has teamed up with The Kitchen and its offshoots Next Door and Upstairs to design four new restaurants.

Two of the restaurants will be located in metro Denver -- Next Door Union Station and Next Door Glendale City Set. The firm also is designing The Kitchen restaurants in Fort Collins and Chicago.

The Kitchen co-founders, Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson, expanded their Boulder-based family of restaurants in 2011 with a downtown Denver location in the former Gumbo’s space on the 16th Street Mall at Wazee.

"We lean toward historic buildings because they represent our community and speak to our mission of 'Community Through Food,'" Musk says. "Our clean, timeless interiors match the timeless feel of a building that has been in our community for years. Semple Brown really gets that and has helped us achieve our vision of 'Community Through Food' in all our spaces."

The Kitchens new locations in metro Denver will be smaller and more intimate Next Door concepts with a lower price point. 

"The Kitchen Next Door is a community pub that is fun, fast and affordable," Musk says. "It's accessible to everyone in the community."

Next Door Glendale is expected to open Feb. 26; The Kitchen Fort Collins in mid-April; and Next Door Union Station in July. The Kitchen Chicago will open later this year.

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

Kirkland Museum to build new facility in Golden Triangle

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art plans to build a new museum at the northwest corner of 12th Avenue and Bannock Street in Denver's Golden Triangle neighborhood.

Located near the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum, the new location will offer visitors an enhanced experience, while staying true to the salon-style and intimate atmosphere for which the Kirkland is known.

"Relocating the Kirkland Museum offers far greater visibility for our three focus areas and makes it more convenient for art lovers to park once to experience all the internationally important artwork Denver offers in the Golden Triangle," says Hugh Grant, the museum's Founding Director and Curator.

The Kirkland Museum's three focus areas are:
  • The Colorado Art Collection, the largest repository of Colorado art showcasing the state's talent from the 1870s through the 1980s.
  • The International Decorative Art Collection, which includes about 15,000 objects.
  • The Vance Kirkland Collection, about 550 paintings and 600 drawings and prints with 55 works on view.
As part of the relocation, the existing Vance Kirkland Studio building will be moved to the future site and oriented in the same direction with the banks of windows facing north for the natural light.

Construction on the project designed by Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects will begin next year. It's expected to be completed by early 2017.

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

Denver Art Museum seeks designs for sculpture

The Denver Art Museum is looking for Front Range architects and artists to design a sculpture for Martin Plaza that will be installed this summer when the museum showcases several exhibitions and programs related to the idea of sculpture.

The outdoor project is expected to complement the museum's offerings and add a knock-your-socks-off, interactive feature to the larger Civic Center complex.

The museum is seeking a sculpture that visitors can interact with or an installation that prompts people to interact with each other. The winning team must be able to both design and build the sculpture. The museum has a budget of $15,000 for the project, which includes artist fees and materials.
 
The project should have a strong visual draw and celebrate the idea of sculpture and/or communal gathering with interactive features. Because it will be outside and attract visitors of all ages, it needs to be durable and safe.

The selected individual or group must work collaboratively with the museum staff to finalize project design.

All project proposals must be emailed in PDF format, to Jaime Kopke by 5 p.m. on Feb. 14.  For more information, visit the Denver Art Museum website.

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

Coldwell Banker Broker named President of Mile High Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors

Kirsten Medeiros, a Broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, has been named President of the Mile High Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors for 2014.

Medeiros, who specializes in sales and marketing of homes throughout the Denver metro area, has been involved with the Mile High Chapter since 2010 and a local real estate agent for 20 years.

"We are so excited about Kirsten's new position," says Wade Perry, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Devonshire's manager. "Her impeccable reputation, integrity, compassion and professionalism shine as a beacon for all others to follow. We are proud Kirsten is a member of our Coldwell Bank Residential Brokerage family."

Women’s Council of Realtors is a nationwide network of more than 19,000 real estate professionals that empowers women to realize their potential as entrepreneurs and industry leaders. The council, an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, provides an environment of collaboration in which members can form, build and maximize relationships for personal success. 

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage operates 16 offices with nearly 1,000 sales associates serving the communities along Colorado’s Front Range. It offers residential and commercial brokerage, corporate relocation and mortgage services.

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

Denver commuters use transit more than rest of U.S.

Commuters traveling to downtown Denver use transit more and drive alone less than the average American commuter, according to the annual Downtown Denver Commuter Survey.

The survey, conducted each fall, measures a sample of the downtown employee population to analyze commuting patterns, explore the attractiveness of transportation benefits and determine how commuters currently travel to their downtown offices.

"Understanding the commuting preferences, options and trends of downtown employees plays a critical role in the management and planning of downtown Denver," says Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "By highlighting these key findings, we can reinforce downtown Denver’s role as a regional transportation hub, as well as continue to support the transportation amenities and programs that our downtown employees rely on."

Key findings in the report show that transit and driving are the two most commonly used ways commuters travel to work, with 46 percent of respondents using transit and 38 percent driving alone; and factors such as age, gender, office location, commute length and employer-provided transportation benefits affects an employee's commuting habits.

Commuters younger than 30 are almost twice as likely to bike to work and more than three times as likely to walk to work than commuters as a whole. Men are 167 percent more likely to bike to work than women.

People who commute to downtown Denver are nine times more likely to use transit, seven times as likely to bike and half as likely to drive to work than the average U.S. commuter.

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


Metro State to host 2016 NCAA Spring Sports Festival

Metropolitan State University was selected as the host site for the 2016 NCAA Division II Spring Sports Festival.

The event, to be held May 16-21, 2026, will bring more than 70 teams and 1,000 student athletes to Denver to compete for national championships in men’s and women’s golf, tennis, softball and women’s lacrosse.

The championships for softball and women’s lacrosse will be crowned on Metro State's campus at The Regency Athletic Complex and MSU Denver, which is currently under construction and will be completed by next winter. The tennis championships will be held at both The Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver and Gates tennis Center in Cherry Creek, while the golf courses to host the event are to be determined.

"This is a very prestigious opportunity for our university to host the Spring Sports Festival," says Joan McDermott, Metro State’s Director of Athletics. "The Denver Sports Commission has worked tirelessly on this bid, and we are excited for the exposure for our brand-new athletics facility as a result."

The Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver broke ground in March, and the tennis courts were completed for play in the fall. The university will break ground on the softball, soccer and baseball fields this spring.

Metro State also was selected to host the 2014 and 2016 NCAA Division II South Central Region cross country championships. The races will take place at Washington Park.

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

LoDo street to convert to two-way traffic

Denver Public Works plans to convert 18th Street between Wynkoop and Blake streets from one-way traffic to two-way traffic.

The project is the result of a year-long study of the efficiency and usability of the transportation network in Lower Downtown. With the many changes taking place in the area, including the pending completion of the Denver Union Station project, a significant increase in residential living and Denver's growing multimodal transportation options, the conversion of 18th Street reflects the appropriate treatment to address the context of the area with regard to accommodating multiple modes of transportation and the more residential character of the neighborhood, according to Public Works. 

Features of the conversion include dedicated striped lanes for bicycle travel on both sides of the street; new traffic signals with countdown pedestrian signalsat 18th and Wynkoop streets; countdown pedestrian signals at Wazee and Blake streets; and improvement curb ramps and crosswalk markings.

The goal is to reconnect the street grid; create a green and walkable city, as envisioned by the Downtown Area Plan; allow more efficient movement of all modes of traffic; and create an outstanding pedestrian environment and true multimodal street.

The project, estimated to cost $550,000, is being funded by the city's general fund, Capital Improvement Project funds and tax-increment financing. Work is expected to begin this summer and take two months to complete.

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

Forest City breaks ground on Spruce Townhomes

Forest City Stapleton Inc. has broken ground on Spruce Townhomes at Stapleton.

The 18-unit quality, affordable-housing development is being built by the Northeast Denver Housing Center and will provide homeownership opportunities to households making less than 80 percent of Denver's area median income.

"Northeast Denver Housing Center has a proven track record of providing high-quality housing for a range of household incomes," says John Lehigh, president of Forest City Stapleton Inc. "Forest City’s collaboration with NEDH to bring the Spruce Townhomes to Stapleton is our most recent effort to provide affordable home ownership opportunities for families wishing to live in one of Denver’s newest and most desirable neighborhoods."

The majority of the townhomes range in price from $160,000 to $198,000 and will serve a diverse group of buyers with a family-friendly building product and floor plans.

Founded in 1982, the Northeast Denver Housing Center's mission is to create sustainable, healthy housing opportunities for underserved households through outreach, education and housing development.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Forest City Enterprises Inc. is a national real estate company with $10.6 billion in assets. The company owns, develops, manages and buys commercial and residential real estate throughout the United States.

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

Shift Workspaces to open second location in Uptown

Shift Workspaces has acquired a a three-story building in Denver’'s Uptown neighborhood that it plans to develop into a second location.

Known as the Cathedral High School and Convent complex, the 45,000-square-foot building at 1840 Grant St. will be renovated to include offices, shared workspace, conference and meeting rooms, event space and artist studios. The ground floor also will include a restaurant, cafe and/or retail space. The complex includes its own parking lot.

"We've seen an increase in demand for well-designed office and shared workspace in Denver and are extremely  excited to expand the Shift brand and community to a second location," says Grant Barnhill, CEO of Shift. 

Shift opened its first 15,000-square-foot location at 383 Corona St. in the Alamo Placita neighborhood in 2012.

"Our current members love our space, our community and the business benefits that we offer," Barnhill says. "Just like our Corona location, the new building will house a well-planned mix of traditional offices, shared workspaces and meeting and event space designed to encourage interaction, collaboration and innovation."

Shift has more than 100 members working in a variety of industries, including technology, legal, architectural, sales, health and education.

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

Union Station neighborhood to get affordable housing

East West Partners and Crescent Real Estate are teaming up with Integral Development and the city of Denver on an affordable housing project in the Union Station neighborhood.

The project, scheduled to break ground this summer, will be a 108-unit, low-rise building at the corner of 18th and Chestnut streets. 

"We really want the Union Station neighborhood to be for everyone, and this affordable housing development ensures that the community will provide options for all families," says Chris Frampton, Principal at East West Partners. 

The one-acre parcel is one of the last remaining parcels in East West Partners' longtime partnership with Crescent, which began with the purchase of the land that is now Riverfront Park. The City and County of Denver worked closely with Integral to support the affordable housing development, which will receive tax credits through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

"The mixed-income housing made possible by East West Partners' sale of this land completes the last missing piece at Denver Union Station," says Robin Kniech, at-large Denver City Councilwoman who served on the Denver Union Station Project Authority from 2010 to 2011. "We had a half billion dollars in public investment in transit, a half-billion dollars of private investment, and now we have a diversity of incomes able to access these amenities."

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


Room & Board expansion plans unveiled

Roth Sheppard Architects has unveiled its preliminary design for Room & Board’s 9,600-square-foot expansion of its Cherry Creek store, located at 222 Detroit St.

The expanded space will enable Room & Board to display more of its modern furniture and accessories to better serve its growing customer base.

"We’re thrilled to see this project move forward thanks to the enthusiastic support of Cherry Creek North and the city of Denver," says Natalie Brown, Project Designer for Roth Sheppard Architects. "Room & Board's expanded showroom will be one of the greatest retail experiences in Colorado, and the roof-top deck will provide a stunning new space for their outdoor furniture collection."

While the existing store will remain largely untouched, it will connect to a new two-story Modernist addition via an open staircase that leads to the rooftop deck. The new second floor features a transparent exterior that will give it the appearance of floating above a new street-front showroom.

The main entry will remain the same, and the addition will be accessed through the existing showroom. There will be additional onsite parking spacesa nd exterior materials will be drawn from the building’s existing pallet. Room & Board will partner with local community groups to make the new rooftop space available for meetings and events.

The official opening of the new space is slated for spring 2015. The existing showroom is expected to remain open during construction.

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

Project management program to be offered in February

American Project Management is offering its Project Management Masters Certification Program Feb. 25-28 in Denver.

The program, which is open to project management professionals, business and technology professionals, students and educators, is designed for those seeking professional project management certification. The program teaches technical and business professionals how to master the critical skills of project management techniques as part of their technical career development.

Skills developed in the program apply to large and small projects, product design and development efforts, construction projects, IT projects, software development and any project with critical performance, time and budget targets.

Topics covered include project initiation, costing and selection; project organization and leadership; detailed project planning; project monitoring and control; and risk management.

The program, which provides 36 hours of project-management education, meets the education requirement for for all professional designations through the Project Management Institute and other professional agencies. It also awards four continuing education units upon request.

Tuition for the four-day program is $995. To register for the program, visit the American Project Management website or call 888/980-9697.

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

Elitch Gardens Theatre getting facelift

White Construction Group and Humphries Poli Architects are restoring the Elitch Gardens Theatre, a 122-year-old structure that fell into disrepair after closing its doors in 1991.

The historic theater hosted performers such as Grace Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Edward G. Robinson, Mickey Rooney and Robert Redford. It screened Colorado’s first moving picture in 1905. Antoinette "Tony" Perry made her debut on the Elitch stage at age 11 before going onto Broadway fame and eventually becoming the namesake of the Tony Awards.

After a 2007 renovation that focused on the exterior of the building, the Elitch Theatre Foundation raised $540,000 for the first phase of the interior rehabilitation, including a Community Development Block Grant of $425,0000 from the Denver Office of Economic Development. 

"The Elitch Garden Theatre is a beacon for north Denver, an icon that has transcended many in the area." says Courtney Tucker, Project Manager with White Construction. "We are pleased to have worked with the foundation as they always worked to give this building back the status it deserves, a place of culture, education and continued history."

The initial phase of interior restoration will bring the theater up to code and implement bare-bones, life-safety compliance measures. Later phases of the renovation will address the balcony and cosmetic features.

The Elitch Gardens Historic Theatre Foundation is continuing its fundraising efforts for future renovations with a variety of programs, including a film series that ran this summer. The goal is to return the theater to use as a working theater, as well as a community center and host of art education programs.

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

Smart Growth conference slated for February

WalkDenver, in partnership with PlaceMatters, is hosting an "Urban Walkshop" during the New Partners for Smart Growth conference in February.

The conference, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency from Feb. 13-16, brings together the brightest minds in the community to solve problems relating to sustainable growth. 

The Urban Walkshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 16. Participants will board a bus at the Hyatt and head to Jefferson Park, one of Denver’s original streetcar suburbs. 

Like many similar neighborhoods, Jefferson Park lost its splendor in the last half-century when attention shifted to more car-oriented development patterns. But recently, people have returned to neighborhoods close to downtown.

In 2012, WalkDenver, a local nonprofit dedicated to making Denver more pedestrian-friendly, chose Jefferson Park for Better Block, a complete streets demonstration project. Since then, Jefferson Park has become a laboratory for an urban renaissance.

The Walkshop will explore urban revitalization challenges such as improving the walkability along high-volume streets, using active transportation to connect residential areas with downtown and the potential for neighborhood commercial districts.

The Walkshop is just one of several tours planned for the New Partners for Smart Growth conference. For more information about activities taking place during the conference and to register, visit the New Partners website.

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

Racines celebrates 30th anniversary

Racines is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a grand prize trip for two to Bouillon Racine restaurant in Paris.

The second prize in the contest is a trip for two to Racine, Wis., and dinner in one of the city's finest restaurants.

Opened in 1983 in its original location at 850 Bannock St. by Lee Goodfriend, David Racine and the late Dixon Staples, Racines moved to its new location at 650 Sherman St. in 2004. 

"In this intensely competitive industry where restaurants come and go, we’re very proud of our staff and management on this milestone anniversary," Goodfriend says. "Some of our staff have been with us for all 30 years."

Guests are encouraged to stop by the restaurant through Jan. 31 to fill out a contest entry for the two trips. Both include airfare for two, hotel accommodations and dinner for two. Winners, who will be chosen Feb. 1, will be asked to shoot photos at the dinners to post on the Racines website.

Guests also are being asked to post their favorite stories and photos on the Racines Facebook page. A random story of photo will win dinner for two once a month for a year.

"Our guests have celebrated everything from closing a major deal to wedding anniversaries, birthdays or first dates at the restaurant," says Racine. "We'd love to reminisce with our guests bout the milestones they celebrated at Racines."

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

Denver 2030 District launches

Denver is launching a 2030 District aimed at ensuring the city meets the energy, water and vehicle emissions targets called for by Architecture 2030 and the 2030 Challenge for Planning.

The district’s goals include an aggregated reduction in energy and water use and an increase in alternative methods of transportation amonits member buildings by the year 2030. The Denver 2030 District launched with 32 members representing more than 11 million square feet of commercial space in downtown Denver. Members are granted access to an assessment of building performance relative to the district’s goals, anonymous benchmarking against peer buildings, guidance, training and support.

"The Denver 2030 District -- a high performance building district -- makes Denver a more sustainable, healthy and competitive city by decreasing emissions, conserving natural resources and reducing building operational expenses," says Adam Knoff, sustainability project manager for Unico Properties. "With experience as a founding partner of the Seattle 2030 District, Unico has seen the dramatic impact that district-scale green building efforts can have on our surrounding communities. Supporting the Denver 2030 District was an obvious choice as it also improves the city of Denver’s economic development efforts by making Denver a more attractive market to potential businesses."

The Denver 2030 District is a public/private partnership that brings property owners and managers together with local governments, businesses and other community stakeholders to provide a business model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing and shared resources. The district facilitates strategic partnerships with professional stakeholders -- entities that provide services within the district’s boundaries -- non-profit and governmental entities to rpoviode buidling owners, proeprty managers, developers and professional service providers with education, services, tools and support needed to accomplish its performance goals. 

For more information or to become a Professional or Community Stakeholder in the District, visit www.2030district.org/denver.  To schedule an interview with a representative, please contact RNL Design's Lisa Glass.
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
 

First residents move into 1756 Clarkson

The first residents have started moving into 1756 Clarkson in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood.

The 60-unit building, which features a rooftop patio and clubroom with city and mountain views, is 11 percent leased, says developer Paul Books, owner of Palisade Partners. The average size of the units is 685 square feet. There are nine two-bedroom units and 19 traditional one-bedroom units. There also are 32 one-bedroom apartments that feature dropped ceilings in the bedroom but are not considered studios. Rents start at $1,275 a month.

"Uptown is an emerging neighborhood, especially the 17th Street corridor, which has restaurants like Ace, Steuben's and Tony P's," Books says. "It’s also not a far walk to downtown."

Each unit in the LEED Silver building features an Art Deco-style interior with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Each unit has covered parking and all but one has an outside balcony.

Palisade Partners also developed B Street Lofts, a 73-unit apartment building in Denver's LoHi neighborhood that is 68 percent leased. That project features a rooftop clubhouse with a pool table, TVs, kegorator and computer work stations. 

Cornerstone Apartments manages both B Street and 1756 Clarkson.

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

Lower48 opens at 2020 Lawrence

Lower48 Kitchen has opened at 2020 Lawrence in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood.

The contemporary American restaurant, operated by Mario Nocifera and Chef Alexander Figura, is inspired by the diversity of regional American cuisine. The menu embraces natural preservation techniques, artisan breads, heritage breeds and heirloom vegetables.

The 2,800-square-foot restaurant occupies a prime corner of the first floor of 2020 Lawrence, a LEED Gold-certified apartment building developed by Zocalo Community Development.

"This is an area that's poised for growth and is on city planners’ radar," Nocifera says. 

The restaurant includes an eight-seat chef’s counter, 10-seat communal table and eight-seat bar. The interior features repurposed beetle kill wood, natural finishes and a color palette of stone, gray and blue hues embellished with bright pops of red.

Lower48 Kitchen is open for dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Lower48 Kitchen is adjacent to ServiceBar, a sister concept that is modeled after a Mid-Century Modern living room that can accommodate 28 guests. 

Nocifera is a front-of-the-house industry veteran with over two decades of experience running some of the country's most acclaimed restaurants, including San Francisco's The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton and Boulder's Frasca Food and Wine. He selected an all-star team that includes Figura, formerly of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Michelin-starred El Celler de can Roca in Spain.

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

Quarter of condos at 250 Columbine are pre-sold

Western Development Group has achieved its goal of 25 percent of pre-sale contracts for condominiums at 250 Columbine, a $100 million mixed-use development planned in Cherry Creek North.

As a result, Western Development has pulled the remaining units off the market until early next summer. 

"We foresaw a strong market for condominiums, especially considering the spike in apartment construction and the limited availability of luxury, for-sale condos," says David Steel, Partner at Western Development. "With construction of 250 Columbine already underway and the immediate and strong response to our pre-sale event, we're confident we're hitting the market at a great time. Demand for condos in Denver is high, especially in prime locations such as Cherry Creek North."

When it's finished, 250 Columbine will include an 80,000-square-foot office building, which will be ready for delivery for tenant improvements late next year; 70 condominiums; and 30,000 square feet of retail space.

"We’re looking forward to delivering another high-caliber project to Cherry Creek North," Steel says. "We're confident that Cherry Creek North is viewed as Denver's most desirable location, especially among many of the world's very best businesses and retailers who want to establish a Denver address. Our NorthCreek development, located just a few blocks away, is evidence of the attention Cherry Creek North is garnering. It is fully leased with a list of tenants that include some of the finest brands in fashion.”

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

Greenbox Self Storage opens in Ballpark

Greenbox Self Storage has opened its newest Denver location at Park Avenue West and Delgany Street across from Coors Field.

It’s the third location for Greenbox, which opened its first on Brighton Boulevard and its second on South Santa Fe Drive earlier this year.

"We are thrilled to be opening our third location and expanding into new areas of the city," says Bahman Shafa, a local real estate developer and founder of Greenbox Self Storage. "The residential population of downtown Denver is expected to grow by 18 percent over the next five years, and Greenbox is the ideal sustainable storage option for this growing population."

Located at 2424 Delgany St., the new storage facility is central to numerous downtown neighborhoods, including LoDo, Ballpark, Highland, Prospect, RiNo and Union Station. The new building offers 135,000 square feet of rentable storage space with 651 total units. Unit sizes range from 12.5 square feet to large warehouse units of up to 15,000 square feet. The two-story building offers three freight-capacity elevators, ensuring easy access to both levels and loading docks that are can accommodate 18-wheeler seimi trailers, moving trucks, pickup trucks and cars.

The facility, which can be accessed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, also includes a business center and conference room for customer use. Storage units and workshop space are available starting at $49 a month. 
 
Greenbox's newest location was designed to be as sustainable as possible by using energy-efficient insulation, recycled materials and other sustainable practices during the building process, including beetlekill wood. Two hundred and ninety-six solar panels have been installed and are projected to produce over 120,000 kilowatt-hours of emission-free electricity each year, which is projected to cover 96 percent of the building's electrical needs. The Delgany Street Greenbox location also features state-of-the-art amenities including computerized keypad access, climate-controlled units, energy efficient LED lighting, video surveillance and free use of moving trucks for customers.

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

Developer Tamburello receives philanthropy award

Denver developer Paul Tamburello recently received the Georgia R. Imhoff Philanthropist Award from Blacktie Colorado.

The award, given every two years, honors a special humanitarian, recognizing his or her work in the community. 

Tamburello, also owner of Little Man Ice Cream in Denver's LoHi neighborhood, is committed to various efforts in his community. Through its Scoop for Scoop program Little Man helps fight hunger in developing nations. For every scoop of ice cream Little Man sells, one scoop of rice or beans is donated to a community in need. (Scoop is a theme, by the way. Tamburello recently added a labradoodle he named Scoop to his family.)

Little Man is named for Tamburello's father, who was small in stature but big in heart. Making a difference in the world was his legacy, and Little man is Tamburello’s way of keeping his father’s legacy alive. 

The company also supports organizations focused on education and childhood welfare by offering time, financial assistance, knowledge and homemade ice cream.

In addition, Tamburello is a Co-Founder and Board Chairman of GrowHaus, a non-profit indoor farm, marketplace and educational center in Denver’s Elyria Swansea neighborhood and on the board of LiveWell Colorado.

The Georgia R. Imhoff Philanthropist Award is named for the late Blacktie Colorado co-founder who supported a large number of Colorado charities, many committed to caring for women and children.

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



Opus celebrates topping out of Verve

Opus Development Company LLC recently celebrated the topping out of Verve, a 10-story apartment building slated for completion in June 2014.

Located at 1490 Delgany St. across from the Museum of Contemporary Arts, the 10-story building is walking distance from Denver Union Station, the Cherry Creek Trail, LoDo and LoHi.

"We feel like this project is well-positioned both from a timing standpoint and a location standpoint," says Celeste Tanner, a director at Opus. 

Opus partnered with real estate investment company Amstar to build the 285-unit, 428,000-square-foot apartment building, which will include 4,000 square feet of retail space at street level.

Each unit features granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances and balconies with mountain views. The pet-friendly building's amenities include a fitness center, mezzanine with kitchen and a pool and lounge area. 

Opus plans to start leasing the project after the first of the year. Tanner says she expects residents of the project will range from young professionals to empty nesters who don't want to buy a condo but want to live downtown.

“We expect a decent amount of people who are relocating from out of state," Tanner says. "We're big believers in this area. We love the catalyst of Union Station and being a multifamily rental project nestled in downtown in a quiet residential area."

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

Prescient secures $3 million in financing

Denver-based Prescient, a software design and structural system manufacturing company, has secured $3 million of a $10 million funding round.

The financing enables Prescient to bring a manufacturing facility online in Houston next year to meet demand for its system. Construction is booming in the Houston area, with $5.8 billion in permits issued this year -- a 17.5 percent increase over 2012, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

"We are seeing growing demand for our system in Colorado and across the country," says John Vanker, Prescient's CEO. "We are currently in talks with major building companies and installers and are moving ahead with a facility in Houston, which will double our annual manufacturing capacity to 10 million square feet while providing direct access to the major U.S. growth markets of Texas, Louisiana and the South Central Region."

Prescient's patented structural system can be used in buildings up to 12 stories tall and is faster, greener and cheaper than wood, concrete or other framing options. The system uses light-gauge, cold-rolled steel and provides as much as 35 percent savings over other structural engineering methods and assemblies. The system can be erected in a fraction of the time of other engineering assemblies or any type of foundation.

Prescient has more than 9 million square feet of active projects in its sales pipeline.

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

Suitsupply opens in Cherry Creek North

Men in Denver now have a place they can buy a tailored suit that doesn't break the bank.

Founded in Amsterdam by Fokke de Jong in 2000, Suitsupply has opened a 7,000-square-foot store at 299 Detroit St. in Cherry Creek North. The store features suits made from Italian fabric starting at $385. Made-to-measure suits are a bit pricier.

"You come in, get fitted and walk out in the suit," says Nish de Gruiter, Vice President and the partner in the company who describes himself as the "market maker" for Suitsupply. "We spend a lot of effort training our guys to get you fitted."

Suitsupply stores have on-site tailors that perform basic alterations as the customer waits. "We can offer you a cup of coffee or a drink while you wait," de Gruiter says.

In addition to suits, Suitsupply sells blazers, shirts, overcoats, scarves and a variety of shoes. "It’s a one-stop shop," de Gruiter says. "Everything we have is private label. It's designed and manufactured in-house."

Suitsupply selected Denver as its first location in the west after noticing its online sales to men in the region increase. Men who traveled to its other stores began receiving compliments on their wardrobes and word spread.

"You can buy a $5,000 suit, but if it doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t look good," de Gruiter says. "You feel comfortable in a good-fitting garment."

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

Ratio Clothing opens in LoHi

Online custom shirt maker Ratio Clothing has opened its first physical location at 16th and Boulder streets in Denver's LoHi neighborhood.

"We had a lot of requests from people wanting to swing by to check out fabrics and get their measurements taken," says Eric Powell, founder of the Denver-based company.

Powell started the company as an online business in 2011. At 6 feet 4 inches, he had trouble finding clothes that fit. After a trip to Asia, where he got his first taste of custom clothing, he had the idea to start Ratio.

"I wasn't happy with the quality there, and I had the itch to start something," Powell says.

Most custom shirt companies make their clothing halfway around the world, but Ratio keeps all the work -- and jobs -- in the United States. The company currently makes dress and casual shirts and hopes to add custom suits next year.

"One of these days, we actually hope to get into women’s clothing as well," Powell says.

Powell also is keeping the online outlet, where customers can order custom suits without taking measurements. Ratio asks a series of questions such as the size of suit jacket do you where to arrive at the perfect fit. It takes about three weeks for the customer to receive the order, and if it doesn't fit perfectly, Ratio will alter it or remake it for free.

"Once you’ve got your fit profile locked in, it's as easy as going to J. Crew and getting a size medium off the rack," Powell says.

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

NINE dot ARTS to curate artwork for Union Station

When The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station opens in summer 2014, it will be filled with art curated by NINE dot ARTS, a Denver-based corporate art consulting firm whose projects have included SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown on the MSU Denver campus.

The Crawford Hotel, named for urban preservationist and Union Station partner Dana Crawford, honors the history of the train station while providing guests with modern luxury. The 112 uniquely decorated guest rooms will reflect the different eras of the building's history.

"We’re finding art in all kinds of really interesting places," says Martha Weidmann, co-founder of NINE dot ARTS. "We have people who are the usual suspects, as well as finding things in antique shops, flea markets and estate sales."

The hotel also will feature artifacts that were found inside the benches in the historic building, including trading cards of Hollywood glamour stars from the 1930s, old train tickets and luggage tags.

Other projects NINE dot ARTS is working on include curating the art for nearly 1 million square feet at the Exempla St. Joseph Hospital; the 2.2 million-square-foot Colorado Convention Center; and the Colorado National Bank Building, which is being redeveloped as a hotel. 

"We are a young growing company in a niche, creative field," Weidmann says. "Not a lot of women are doing startups."

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

Hancock presents design awards

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock recently awarded 15 projects throughout the city with the Mayor's Design Awards for excellence in architecture, design and place-making.

The awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits and artists for their contribution to the puplic realm through innovative design projects.

"All of our winners have improved Denver's cityscape in their own way, contributing to the vibrant, diverse, world-class city we call home," Hancock says.

The following  projects received awards during a ceremony at the Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver's River North (RiNo) neighborhood:

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


Ink! Coffee to open in Cadence

Ink! Coffee has agreed to lease space in Cadence Union Station, a 218-unit apartment community under construction in the Union Station neighborhood.

The new location is just over the Millennium Bridge from its coffee shop in Riverfront Park.

"They don't feel like they will be competing with themselves because it's a completely different neighborhood," says Susan Maxwell, Principal and Director of Real Estate for Zocalo Community Development, which is developing the building.

Zocalo also already has signed leases for 3 percent of the apartments in the building, including one with a resident in its 2020 Lawrence project. The building will include studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with average rents of $1,892 a month.

Amenities at Cadence include a rooftop pool and lounge area; a multipurpose room with billiards; rooftop health center; climate controlled parking; and a variety of community gathering areas, including a lobby-level lounge and some type of outdoor space.

Apartments also include an array of green features such as easy recycling and composting programs; Energy Star appliances; high-performance water fixtures; and the Velo Room, a fully equipped bicycle maintenance shop.

Overall, Zocalo estimates that Cadence residents will spend 50 percent less on their utility bills than they would living in a similar, non-LEED certified building. Because of its close proximity to public transportation, Cadence will also offer residents the opportunity to park their cars and save money on fuel.

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

Prescient receives patent for its framing technology

Denver-based startup Prescient, a software and structural system manufacturing company, has received a U.S. patent on its innovative light-gauge steel-panel structural system and cold-rolled steel elements.

The system does not use a bearing-wall type of engineering, concrete or hot-rolled steel. The framing system can be used in buildings up to 12 stories and is faster, greener and cheaper than wood, concrete or other framing options.

"The patent is an important step forward for the company and the industry as a whole," says John Vanker, Prescient CEO. "We are seeing the demand for our technology grow every day, and we expect that growth to continue as more companies in the building industry factor in the amount of time and money that can be saved by using Prescient’s innovative system."

The Prescient system provides as much as 35 percent savings over other structural engineering methods and assemblies. As a panelized system, it can be erected in a fraction of the time other engineering assemblies on any type of foundation, including parking garages and retail and commercial podiums. 

The first building to open built with the technology is the B Street LoHi apartment building, a 60,000-square-foot, five-story structure that had the paneling installed in just six weeks. The six-story University Station also is using the system.

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

Brookfield launches Art Set Free

Arts Brookfield has launched Art Set Free, a global art showcase that offers the opportunity for established, emerging and amateur artists worldwide to have their work presented to an international audience.

The artists' work is showcased at ArtsBrookfield25.com and at Brookfield Office Properties' premier office properties in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Toronto, Perth and Sydney. Brookfield owns Republic Plaza in Denver’s central business district.

"For 25 years, Arts Brookfield has set art free for the public with free concerts, exhibitions, theater and dance performances, and film screenings at Brookfield's indoor and outdoor public spaces," says Debra Simon, Vice President and Artistic Director of Arts Brookfield. "We think the best way to celebrate our 25th annoversity is to truly make the world our stage and encourage artists working in all genres around the world to set their own art free."

To participate in Art Set Free, artists should capture their work in a photo, video or audio recording; and then share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #artsetfree. Entries are welcome from any genre, including dance/movement, music/sound, painting, sculpture, photography and street art. Arts Brookfield will review submissions on a rolling basis and curate the most innovative and thought-provoking pieces for display at select Brookfield buildings around the world and on ArtsBrookfield25.com, potentially reaching an audience of millions.

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

Urban Luxe uses Airstream to close deals

Urban Luxe Real Estate is taking a cue from food trucks and bringing its real estate services straight to clients via a mobile Airstream real estate office.

"It’s an attention getter," says Heidi Finn, Employing Broker at Urban Luxe. "Everything has become mobile. You're not longer tied to an office, and this gives us the ability to come to clients for closings or to set up a sales office."

Last month, Urban Luxe sponsored the Dora Moore Home Tour in Cheesman Park using the Airstream as a central location for people to pick up tickets for the tour. 

"We always bring cruiser bikes with us and use them several times with buyers interested in looking at open homes in the neighborhood -- the homes on the tour were not for sale," Finn says. “It was a fun, impromptu way to tour the neighborhood and look at homes for sale."

This month, the Airstream will travel to a $2.5 million closing in Hilltop and host a client-appreciation tailgate party at a Broncos game.

Urban Luxe Real Estate is a full-service boutique real estate firm with a staff of agents, transaction managers, writers, art directors, graphic designers, photographers and interior designers.

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

Gates Foundation's new headquarters completed

Semple Brown Design has completed the Gates Family Foundation's new headquarters in the historic Hover Building at 1390 Lawrence St.

The 7,800-square-foot office space preserves the historic nature of the building’s architecture while complying with the standards required for a LEED Gold Commercial Interiors rating.

Wiring and mechanical systems are largely concealed within the historic shell and a raised hides 90 percent of electrical and technology systems. 

"A significant portion of the foundation’s work involves support for conservation and natural resource stewardship in Colorado, and we are a capital funder of many nonprofit and community facilities," says Tom Gougeon, President of the Gates Family Foundation. "We always encourage grantees to employ green and sustainable and practices, so LEED Gold certification for our space seemed appropriate -- we felt we could create an efficient, sustainable and contemporary set of improvements that worked well with the historic character of the building."

Sustainable strategies include independent HVAC controls in each office, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and LED lighting. The foundation also commissioned two local woodworkers to craft their conference room table, kitchen table and chairs from an ancient ponderosa pine found on the Gates family homestead near Evergreen. The tree had been weakened by beetles and fell during high winds.

A 400-square-foot rooftop penthouse addition and a 2,000-square-foot deck offer panoramic views of the Front Range and downtown Denver.

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

Pinnacle Club opens after facelift

Grand Hyatt Denver has relaunched the Pinnacle Club after a $28 million renovation.

Located on the 38th floor of the hotel at 1750 Welton St., the 10,000-square-foot Pinnacle Club's meeting and event space features two ballrooms with pre-function areas and panoramic views spanning 10,600 miles of snowcapped peaks and prairie.

The Crystal Peak and Capitol Peak ballrooms boast more than 1,200 hand-blown crystal light fixtures individually hung from the 14-foot ceiling. A kitchen that was previously against a bank of windows was moved to the interior, allowing the Pinnacle Club to be windowed on all four sides. The architectural design is complemented with accents of cherry wood and brass.

"We understand the iconic stature of this facility that is familiar to so many," says Mark Stiebeling, general manager of the Grand Hyatt. "In creating the concept for the new Pinnacle Club, we wanted to refresh and modernize while retaining the opulence that it is known for."

The Pinnacle Club has a rich history in Denver dating back to the state’s oil boom in the 1980s, when it was known as The Petroleum Club. With the Pinnacle Club, the Grand Hyatt's 52,600 square feet of conference space includes five ballrooms. 

All 516 hotel rooms also were renovated, along with the Skycourt, one of downtown Denver's only rooftop jogging tracks and tennis courts. The hotel's lobby also was renovated, adding two linear stacked fireplaces, as were guestrooms.

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

Collegiate Peaks opens in RiNo

Collegiate Peaks Bank is opening its fifth location at The Source in Denver’s River North neighborhood.

It's the first full-service community bank to open in RiNo and gives Collegiate Peaks to ability to serve the influx of a new generation of businesses and residents in the emerging neighborhood.

"It's not often that you’ll find a bank sharing space with a butcher, break maker and brewery, but we believe this is an ideal location for our bank, especially as we continue to focus on providing financing to fast-growing, successful companies," says John Perkins, President of Collegiate Peaks Bank in the Denver region. “River North is becoming a hub for the companies that are entrepreneurial in spirit and are developing new products, services and visions that are feeding the economy."

Zeppelin Development, the force behind the TAXI mixed-use development, opened The Source in August. In addition to Collegiate Peaks, it is fully leased to creative food purveyors, restaurants and private businesses.

Other Collegiate Peaks locations include the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora; Denver’s Belcaro neighborhood; Buena Vista; and Salida. The bank provides financign for residential and commercial construction, revolving lines of credit for businesses and individuals, acquisition and development loans, commercial and industrial accounts receivable and inventory loans, equipment loans and small-business loans.

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

Downtown Denver Partnership launches CityTalk Denver

The Downtown Denver Partnership has launched CityTalk Denver, a community engagement website where the downtown community can communicate and collaborate with leaders and other residents on what it takes to build a great city.

The site was created to help move the Downtown Area Plan forward, says Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

"CityTalk Denver seeks input in how the entire plan moves forward and gives our community a voice around policy and planning and projects that strengthen downtown’s fabric and make it economically, socially and environmentally more vital," Door says.

CityTalk Denver encourages civic engagement by allowing members of the community to contribute from anywhere at any time to share a broad range of ideas, solutions and feedback. The site leverages the power of the Internet and social media to connect the Partnership with members of the community who might not have the opportunity, resources or time to get involved and allows the Partnership to track ideas and acknowledge people's input and create a dialogue with the broader community.

"It is often said that it takes a village, and CityTalk Denver gives a platform for users to discuss, learn, collaborate and strategize ways to build our city and influence policy," says Elbra Wedgeworth, Chairwoman of the Downtown Denver Partnership.

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

Swinerton wins Hyatt contract

Swinterton Builders and Shiel Sexton have been selected to build a 21-story, dual-branded Hyatt Hotel at 14th Street and Glenarm Place in downtown Denver.

Construction of the 361-room hotel, being developed by White Lodging, is scheduled to start in early November, with an opening set for late summer 2015.

The 306,000-square-foot building will feature both a Hyatt Place select-service hotel and a Hyatt House extended-stay product. Each hotel will have its own entrance, lobby, restaurant and lounge area, though hotel guests will share conference rooms, a swimming pool and workout area and four levels of underground parking.

"The location on 14th Street and the amenities of this dual-branded new hotel offer an attractive option for business travelers, convention attendees and visitors to Denver," says Swinerton VP Scott Conrad. "Swinerton is excited to once again build in the theater/convention center district in downtown and leverage our expertise honed on constructing the nearby Four Seasons Hotel on this new project for White Lodging."

Hotel occupancy levels have risen to 73.4 percent, and average room rates are up to $153.50 a night, according to the Downtown Denver Partnership’s 2013 State of Downtown Denver report.

"As this area continues to evolve, we look forward to completing this project, which will contribute to Denver’s economy, restaurants, retailers and local businesses," says Kevin Hunt of Shiel Sexton, an Indianapolis-based general contractor that has completed five hotels for White Lodging. "It will fit in very nicely with the Colorado Convention Center and the recent pedestrian improvements made to the 14th Street corridor."

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

Mulligan named top attorney by Law Week Colorado

Real estate attorney Jim Mulligan has been recognized as the 2013 People’s Choice Best Real Estate attorney by Law Week Colorado.

The legal publication also recognized Mulligan, a partner in the Denver office of Snell & Wilmer, as the Barrister’s Best Real Estate Attorney in 2009 and 2012 and as one of its Lawyers of the Decade in 2011.

"Barrister's Best is Law Week’s Best of Colorado," says Meg Satrom, Managing Editor of Law Week Colorado. "This issue highlights the best attorneys in all practice areas including the People's Choice award, where individual attorneys are honored by the vote of their peers."

Mulligan's practice focuses on most aspects of commercial and mixed-use real estate, including urban, resort and suburban developments, with an additional emphasis in the structured financing and corporate areas of practice. He has represented the real estate ownership, development and finance industries in Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain Region on legislation, regulatory concerns and other issues. He also represents corporate and commercial clients on a variety of public policy and government relations issues.

Each year, Law Week Colorado surveys lawyers and judges in Colorado to identify the top attorneys in the state.

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

RiNo to get Industry, a new collaborative workspace

Construction has started on Industry Denver, a 120,000-square-foot collaborative office building on Brighton Boulevard between 29th and 31st streets in Denver’s River North neighborhood.

Developed by Industry Denver, the space will hold up to three cornerstone tenants, a multitude of mid-sized users, dozens of boutique firms and sole proprietors. With the number of people who will work in the building daily and the recent addition of residential units in the neighborhood, Industry also will have up to four eating and drinking establishments in the first phase of the project.

"We were 40 percent leased before we even closed on the building," says Dean Koebel of Koebel and Co., who is handling leasing for the project.

Open floor plans with community kitchens, lounges and conference rooms will foster interaction and collaboration. The 26-foot-high ceilings allow for numerous mezzanines where tenants will have the opportunity to relax or work. In addition to on-site parking, the project will feature sustainable transportation modes from B-Cycle stations to encouraged use of Car2Go.

In addition to teaming up with Koebel, who also will develop about 65 townhomes on the site, Industry Denver is working with San Antonio, Texas-based Lynd Group to develop an eight-story condo project, says Josh Marinos, a partner in Industry.

"We're truly creating a neighborhood,"  say Marinos, who also developed Battery621, a cooperative working space at Sixth Avenue and Kalamath Street. 

Celebrating its three-year anniversary, Battery621 was full from the moment it opened and has had a waiting list ever since.

"I’m turning away three to five people a week wanting to be in our Battery building," Marinos says.

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

Maxwell named equity partner of Zocalo

Susan Maxwell has been named an equity partner of Zocalo Community Development, a Denver-based development and management company focused on creating sustainable communities.

Maxwell has served as Zocalo's Director of Real Estate since 2010, leading all of the company's community operations including budgeting, financial reporting and cost-containment procedures from project conception through execution. She oversaw the operations of the LEED Gold apartment communities Solera, 2020 Lawrence and the upcoming Cadence Union Station project.

"Using a unique mix of innovation, analytical skills, creativity and leadership, Susan has helped establish Zocalo as a company nearly unique in Denver, equipped to design, develop, market and manage apartments," says David Zucker, Zocalo Principal. "Having her join us as an equity partner strengthens the company and allows us to continue to be a pioneer in Denver's real estate market -- a company that doesn’t just build buildings, but builds communities."

Maxwell has more than 25 years of progressive executive management experience, having served some of the multi-family industry’s largest brands. Before joining Zocalo, she was regional vice president for Campus Advantage, where she oversaw a fluid portfolio of student housing projects in a variety of markets. 

She is a boardmember of the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and serves on the organization’s executive committee.

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

One Union Station fully leased before completion

Four new tenants have signed leases at One Union Station at 16th and Wynkoop streets.

The tenants include a FirstBank branch; the popular Boulder restaurant Zoe Ma Ma; and two national restaurant concepts expanding into Denver -- the health, quick-serve restaurant company Protein Bar and The Thirsty Lion Pub, a gastropub that combines the traditional values of American- and European-style pubs.

"Denver’s Union Station Neighborhood is going to transform Denver’s landscape, so it’s not surprising that One Union Station was the first speculative office building in downtown Denver’s history to be fully leased before the completion of construction," says Chris Frampton, Managing Partner of East West Partners, which is developing the 110,000-square-foot building with Starwood Capital Partners. "These businesses will bring a new level of vibrancy to the neighborhood and will be the beneficiaries of the prime location that will ultimately be the epicenter of activity, commerce and growth in the city of Denver."

Antero Resources will occupy the top three floors of the five-story building, which will be completed next May.

Zoe Ma Ma is a quick-service Chinese restaurant, which uses cage-free eggs, organic flour, MSG-free ingredients, recyclable containers and renewable energy.

"I think Zoe Ma Ma and Union Station redevelopment project is a great partnership as we both strive to maintain our heritage while moving into the future with care for the environment," says Edwin Zoe, CEO of the restaurant.

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

CHUBurger to open at Coors Field

Oskar Blues is opening its second CHUBurger location with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

The Longmont-based CHUBurger will be a central feature of the Colorado-centric rooftop deck renovation, adding a craft-casual beer and food atmosphere. The renovation will create the largest rooftop deck in the country. 

"We're fired up to catch Colorado Rockies day games with a CHUBurger and a beer without the guilt of skipping out on work," says Dale Katechis, CHUBurger's Beef Wrangler and Founder of Oskar Blues.

The Coors Field location will offer CHUBurgers created around the Oskar Blues Hops & Heifers Farm 100 percent all natural black angus beef and craft brews. The location also will offer select items off the original CHUBurger menu including BUFFburgers made with natural local bison; OMEGAburger made with wild Coho salmon; and the BERKburger -- a pork patty topped with blue cheese butter and bacon.

"CHUBurger is grass fed and spent grain (from the brewing process) supplemented beef from the Hops & Heifers farm to go against the ordinary," says Chef Jason Rogers."Conscience cuisine with handcrafted fresh ingredients delivered right to you with a Colorado craft beer."

The original CHUBurger is located at 1225 Ken Pratt Blvd. in Longmont, just eight miles from the Hops & Heifers Farm.

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

Nancy P. Anschutz Center opens in Park Hill

The new Nancy P. Anschutz Center, home of the Jack A. Vickers Boys & Girls Club has opened at 3333 Holly St. in Denver.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver worked with The Anschutz Foundation to obtain a $5 million grant for the center. While the Jack A. Vickers Boys & Girls Club will take the majority of space at the center, additional partners will also serve the community from the building.

A community consortium led by The Denver Foundation's Strengthening Neighborhoods Program, the City of Denver, the Holly Area Redevelopment Project (HARP) and the Urban Land Conservancy worked together to vision the future for the Holly Square shopping center, which was devastated by a gang-related arson fire in May 2008. The Piton Foundation also made a sizeable financial commitment. The new Nancy P. Anschutz Center will be a welcomed neighbor to the residents of the community.

"This is a group of people that recognizes the past but has its site set on the future," Boys & Girls Clubs President and CEO John Arigoni told those gathered at the center to celebrate its grand opening.

The burned out Holly Square property was purchased by the Urban Land Conservancy with support from Denver's Office of Economic Development in 2009. The ULC oversaw the demolition of the burned structures on the 2.6-acre site.

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

Denver to launch Sustainable Neighborhoods Program

Denver Environmental Health is seeking applications from residents and neighborhood organizations to launch Denver’s Sustainable Neighborhoods Program.

The pilot program’s goal is to encourage neighborhoods to design and lead community sustainability projects with the potential of achieving City Sustainable Neighborhood designation.

"We want to see community leaders who care about sustainability step up and bring their ideas to fruition through a partnership with the city," says Elizabeth Babcock, Community Energy and Sustainability Administrator.

Two neighborhoods will be selected to participate in the 2014 pilot program and earn credits for achieving goals like offering workshops, initiatives and events such as energy audits, bicycle programs and community gardens. 

Depending on the credits earned in a year, neighborhoods can be designated as a Participating Sustainable Neighborhood or an Outstanding Sustainable Neighborhood.

A Learning Community designation will be offered to neighborhoods not selected to be in the pilot program. The program will offer sustainability speakers, events with local nonprofits about how to design and lead projects, as well as build capacity in their communities for taking larger sustainability actions. Learning Community neighborhoods will help other neighborhoods prepare to participate in future rounds of the program.

To learn more about the program or application process, visit http://sustainableneighborhoodnetwork.org/sustainable-neighborhoods-denver. Applications are due Nov. 18.

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

Cadence at Union Station leasing center opens

Cadence Union Station, a 218-unit apartment community under construction in the Union Station neighborhood, has opened an on-site leasing center at 17th and Chestnut streets.

The LEED Gold high-rise, which will be the first apartment building to open adjacent to the Union Station renovation project, is expected to open in December.

Cadence already is attracting strong interest, with some renters signing leases as early as last month for move-in dates in January.

"There are people who really want to get in on the ground floor of what will likely be one of downtown’s most exciting and vibrant neighborhoods," says Susan Maxwell, Principal and Director of real estate for Zocalo Community Development, which is building Cadence with Principal Real Estate Investors. "We’re also hearing from renters who are familiar with our products, and we know we have a solid reputation for delivering innovative, high-quality housing."

Amenities at Cadence include a rooftop pool and lounge area; rooftop health center; climate controlled parking; and a variety of community gathering areas, including a lobby-level lounge and some type of outdoor space.

The building will include studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with average rents of $1,892 a month.

Apartments also include an array of green features such as easy recycling and composting programs; Energy Star appliances; high-performance water fixtures; and the Velo Room, a fully equipped bicycle maintenance shop.

Overall, Zocalo estimates that Cadence residents will spend 50 percent less on their utility bills than they would living in a similar, non-LEED certified building. Because of its close proximity to public transportation, Cadence will also offer residents the opportunity to park their cars and save money on fuel.

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

City seeking grant to fund environmental assessment of South Platte River

Denver Environmental Health and the city’s Office of Economic Development are collaborating to create a grant proposal to fund environmental assessments to encourage revitalization efforts along an 11-mile stretch of the South Platte River.

The South Platte RiverPlace initiative will help offset costs of the environmental assessments that are required as part of the initial phase of redevelopment.

"This initiative will focus on assisting riverfront property redevelopment that harmonizes with the river, leverages public/private investment occurring within the river corridor, and provides positive benefits to the community and development project," says Dave Wilmoth of the Denver Department of Environmental Health.

Environmental assessments help developers determine the environmental conditions and costs associated with clean-up efforts. After an assessment, a state-approved remediation plan ensures environmental issues are addressed before any new development occurs.

The initiative follows a 2011 area-wide study for the South Platte Corridor. The study explored possibilities for sustainable development, neighborhood revitalization, mixed-use affordable housing, smart growth and economic development in the corridor.

If you are interested in a providing input into the development of the South Platte RiverPlace Initiative or to get involved, please contact Michael Miera with the Denver Office of Economic Development or Dave Wilmoth with the Denver Department of Environmental Health.

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

Rained-out fashion show rescheduled

Celebrate Fashion, the fashion show featuring Cherry Creek North retailers, has been rescheduled for the evening of Oct. 18.

All tickets purchased for the Sept. 12 event, which was cancelled because of rain, will be accepted for the rescheduled show. VIP ticket holders receive a seat along the runway, unlimited cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a goodie bag. General admission ticket holders receive two complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Some in-store events will also be rescheduled.

The fashion shows will feature 14 boutiques, giving guests a taste of the diverse collection of adult and children’s fashion offerings  available in Cherry Creek North.   Each of the  featured retailer models will walk the runway showcasing their fall and winter looks that can be found in stores this season.

"Whether or not you shop Cherry Creek North regularly, Celebrate Fashion runway show is a great way to experience the diverse collection of chic adult and children’s fashions while celebrating and experiencing the ambiance of a New York Fashion Week-style show in Denver’s premier outdoor retail, dining and mixed-use destination in the region," says Leslie Horna, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District.

A percentage of the proceeds from the event will go to the Denver Health Foundation to continue providing much-needed healthcare services. A percentage of each ticket is tax deductible.

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

Zeppelin starts construction on DRIVE 2 at TAXI

Zeppelin Development has started construction of the DRIVE 2 office building at its TAXI mixed-use development in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood.

A groundbreaking event is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at 3459 Ringsby Court.

Financing for the project is being provided by U.S. Bank. Brinkman Construction will build the 60,000-square-foot building, which is designed by Stephen Dynia Architects. DRIVE 2 is scheduled to open next spring.

"The strong demand for new-generation workspaces, not just among small entrepreneurial companies but among mid-size and large companies as well, and our team is committed to providing companies with the most advanced, productive and inspiring place to work in the entire Denver metro area," says Kyle Zeppelin, developer of the project. "The original DRIVE building opened fully leased, and DRIVE 2 is beginning to attract similar interest."

Tenants will be able to work directly with the architect and construction team to design their office space to fulfill their company’s specific needs.

Features of the building will include more than 50 glass garage doors to provide natural light and views; skylights combined with glass floor panels that provide natural light through the core of the building; a 2,500-square-foot rooftop conference center; and a bike shop.

TAXI is a 20-acre urban mixed-use site that over the last 12 years has been transformed from a vacant taxicab dispatch center and tucking warehouse into a hub for new economy tech and creative business and professionals. TAXI is widely credited as being one of the catalysts for fastest growing new neighborhood in the city -- RiNo.  The TAXI site now includes six buildings, over 200,000 square feet of space (with room for an additional 600,000 square feet of mixed-use development ), 60 businesses and nearly 400 employees.

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

RTD gets bids for North Metro line

The Regional Transportation District has received proposals from four design/construction teams for the North Metro project that will extend commuter rail from Denver Union Station through Commerce City, Adams County, Thornton and Northglenn.

The teams are Bechtel/Herzog joint venture; Graham, Balfour Beatty, Harmon Contractors; North Metro Transit Solutions, a Kiewit/Stacy and Witbeck joint venture; and URS Energy and Construction Inc.

"We look forward to reviewing the proposals for competitive pricing and innovative ideas," says RTD General Manager Phil Washington. "Our goal through this proposal process is to not only build the entire North Metro Line, but to determine if there are other parts of the program that can be built at this time."

The North Metro project is an 18.5-mile commuter rail line from Denver Union Station through Denver, Adams County, Commerce City, Thornton and Northglenn, ending at Highway 7. The design and construction is scheduled to begin next year.

The teams are responding to a request for proposals released on June 28. Graham Contracting Limited first approached RTD in February with an unsolicited proposal. After reviewing the Graham proposal, RTD staff determined it was consisted with the agency’s unsolicited proposal policy and worthy of moving forward to a competitive procurement process. 

An evaluation committee will review the proposals and make a recommedation of the most qualified bidder to the RTD board at its Nov. 5 FasTracks Monitoring Committee meeting. The board is scheduled to take formal action on the contract award at its regular board meeting Nov. 26.

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

Interactive billboard promotes CU Denver

The University of Colorado Denver has installed an interactive billboard on the Auraria Campus.

Covered with more than 11,000 custom button pins that spell out its new tagline "Learn with Purpose," passersby can pull off a button of their choice to keep.

"We’re really trying to own the downtown environment," says Leanna Clark, Vice Chancellor of University Communications. "We’re trying to get people to interact with our brand."

The billboard is part of a new advertising campaign promoting Denver’s leading research university, which awards more master’s degrees annually than any other public university in the state.

Through television, radio and print adds, outdoor placements and online marketing,the campaign reflects the determination, vibrancy and academic rigor of the CU Denver community and its connection to the city of Denver.

With an original score and compelling voiceover, the TV ads incorporate unusual camera angles showing the enterprising nature of students and their seamless movement between campus and the city. A common element among the television, digital, print and outdoor will be the use of interesting facts and statements about CU Denver.

"We’re really trying to create an education corridor that brings students off campus and into downtown," Clark says.

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

Balfour opens leasing center

Balfour at Riverfront Park has opened its new leasing center at 1590 Little Raven St.

"People who visit our leasing center will be provided with information not only about the design features and amazing amenities of this exciting new development, but the five-star level of service they and their loved ones will receive at Balfour at Riverfront Park," says Michael Schonbrun, CEO and founder of Balfour Senior Living. "Our team of leasing professionals are experts in retirement living and are well-equipped to answer questions regarding all aspects of residing in a senior living environment and providing the resources and tools to individuals considering such a lifestyle change."

Scheduled for completion next summer, the luxury senior living community will feature signature hospitality, amenities and services that will provide the highest level of residential living. 

The site is adjacent to the Moffat Train Depot, a historic building that will be incorporated into the project as the Great Room for the 275,000-square-foot community. 

The project will include 112 independent living rental apartments ranging in size from 600 square feet to 1,600 square feet; 65 assisted living apartment homes with specially designed dining and outdoor areas; 26 memory care apartment homes; a European-style central piazza with gardens; three dining rooms and a rooftop bar; fitness center and spa with indoor saltwater swimming pool; full-service salon; and concierge service.

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

Alliance Center going green

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado has kicked off the transformation of the Alliance Center at 1536 Wynkoop in Lower Downtown.

The renovated center will become a hub of sustainability in Colorado as it continues to provide below-market rent and operational support to more than 35 nonprofit organizations that are focused on some aspect of sustainability policies and practices.

"We cannot afford to be satisfied with improvements that were implemented decades ago," says John Powers, Founder and Board Chair of the Alliance."Buildings consume over half of the energy we use and contribute more than 40 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions. Complacency offers only a false sense of achievement. The transformation of the Alliance Center will push the limits of our potential and hopefully set a standard for the commercial building industry."

Increasing productivity is another vital part of the transformation project. The Alliance Center will explore ways to move the needle forward through open space design, furniture solutions and new leasing models such as hot-desking. Proposed green guidelines for occupants are another way of setting a sustainability standard for commercial office space, offering a powerful way to encourage sustainable behavior among tenants. The guidelines will include stipulations such as tenants purchasing only Energy Star appliances and participating in building-wide recycling and composting programs.

Last renovated nearly a decade ago, the Alliance Center is the first historic building in the world to have received two LEED certifications (Existing Buildings Gold and Commercial Interiors Silver). This transformation project will implement newly developed sustainable building practices and technologies reflective of the advancements in the sustainability industry.

The project is expected to be complete in early 2014.

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

Award-winning architect speaks at CU Denver

Award-winning architect and author Allan Greenberg presented his lecture “Why Classical Architecture” on Sept. 25 at the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning.

“Allan Greenberg is one of the most important classical architects in the world," says Mark Gelernter, dean of the college. "His work has significantly advanced contemporary architecture."

Greenberg was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and educated at the University of Witwatersrand and Yale University. His firm, Allan Greenberg, Architect, has an international reputation for combining contemporary construction techniques with the best architectural traditions to create solutions that are both timeless and technologically progressive. His work includes the Humanities Building at Rice University and renovations to the Department of State, including the secretary of state's offices and the Treaty Signing Room.

He has taught at Yale University’s Schools of Architecture and Law, The University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Historic Preservation at Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame.

Greenberg's books include The Architecture of Democracy: the Founding Fathers' Vision for America and George Washington, Architect.

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

Greenbox offers free storage units to flood victims

Denver-based Greenbox Self Storage is offering 60 days of free storage to those impacted by the flood.

The offer is valid for any household along the Front Range that has been impacted by the recent floods and is available at either of the Greenbox locations at 3310 Brighton Blvd., in Denver and 1385 S. Santa Fe Drive. In addition, Greenbox is offering free use of its moving trucks in order to move household goods to either Greenbox storage location.

"I have a friend who posted on Facebook that she needed someplace to store her stuff because of the impact of the flooding on her home and I realized she was definitely not the only person who would be in need and that as a storage facility, we had the ability to help," says Josh Fine, Vice President of Greenbox. "I feel fortunate that we can assist victims in this way and hope that it eases their burden, even in a small way."

Greenbox Self Storage is an environmentally friendly self-storage company that offers modern, sustainable storage space in an urban setting. Led by local businessman and real estate developer Bahman Shafa, Greenbox Self Storage is the only LEED-certified, energy efficient storage facility in Denver. Greenbox Self Storage delivers the highest level of service, privacy and security for today’s urban residents.

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

Convercent moves into new office space

Denver-based startup Convercent recently moved into new offices at a former car dealership at 929 Broadway.

The company took it over in March and spent months renovating the 22,000-square-foot space three blocks south of the Denver Art Museum.

The design for the office is Quinlan's vision from what he describes as a 3 a.m. "aha moment." He sketched out the rough design and turned it over to Drumbeat, a brand experience company with a focus on non-digital interaction design.

"There’s not a single office in the entire space," says Patrick Quinlan, the company's CEO. "We built every desk and created all of the cubicles. One of our values is open and honest communication and we wanted to create the environment for it."

Quinlan, along with partners Philip Winterburn and Barclay Friesen left Rivet Software in 2011 and acquired Business Controls, a compliance technology firm based in the Denver Tech Center. They went to work developing the next generation platform for compliance and rebranded the company as Convercent earlier this year. In January, Convercent closed on a Series A round of $10.2 million.

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

Affordable housing opens at Evans light-rail station

Evans Station Lofts has opened at the Evans Light Rail Station, bringing 50 affordable housing units to the transit-oriented development.

Developed by the Urban Land Conservancy and Medici Communities LLC, the $12.35 million project features 10-foot ceilings, glass-tile accents, a community room with laptop computers and free Wi-Fi, exercise room, a rooftop barbecue area and a shared car for hourly rental. Monthly rents for the one- and two-bedroom apartments range from $380 to $850 a month.

The building also has 10,000 square feet of commercial space that incorporates the work of the Denver Shared Spaces program, with the first commercial tenant being Kim Robards Dance, a local nonprofit.

"We wanted this project to not only provide a high-quality living environment for the residents, but to be a positive catalyst for future development of the surrounding community," says Troy Gladwell, founder and principal of Medici Communities.

The Urban Land Conservancy paid $1.2 million for the land in June 2011 using Denver’s Transit-Oriented Development Fund, a loan fund created to acquire and preserve land near transit stations for affordable housing and other community benefits. Urban Land sold the property to Medici for the project, which was awarded $1 million in annual low-income housing tax credits from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority

"This development shatters the stereotype of mixed-use affordable housing and is a powerful example of how nonprofits, the public sector and for-profits can positively incorporate new transit-oriented development into an established neighborhood," says Aaron Miripol, President and CEO of the Urban Land Conservancy.

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

Survey aims to identify historically significant buildings

The city has launched Discover Denver, a survey to identify historic and architecturally significant structures. 

The survey, which began Sept. 7 with a pilot area in Harvey Park in southwest Denver, is gathering information about buildings using public records, neighborhood canvassing, academic research and tips from the public.

The pilot area includes 1,300 buildings in Harvey Park, which was selected for its predominance of mid-century modern architecture. Two subsequent pilots will include older residential neighborhoods and commercial corridors.

"We often say, ‘If these walls could talk,’" says Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver Inc., which is leading the collaborative project in partnership with the City and County of Denver and History Colorado. "Through this survey, we hope the buildings will tell us about their history, their architecture and their role in making Denver what it is today."

Findings from the survey will be accessible online.

Other major cities including Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tulsa also are conducting building surveys. 

Benefits of the 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 sales decisions
  • Equipping city planners with information about historic resources when proposing changes to an area
  • Bolstering civic pride and heritage tourism
Community input is key to the success of the project, which will ultimately survey all of Denver’s 160,000 buildings. Residents can share their stories about Denver buildings on the Discover Denver website.

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

Greenbox opens storage facility on Santa Fe

Greenbox Self Storage has opened its newest location on Santa Fe Drive.

The 52,350-square-foot facility at 1385 Santa Fe has 434 units, including workshop spaces up to 2,000 square feet. Drive-in RV and boat units also are available and the facility has loading docks able to accommodate 18-wheel tractor-trailers.

"We are thrilled to be expanding into new areas of the city," says Greenbox Founder Bahman Shafa. "Denver continues to see huge residential growth year after year, with even more people choosing to live downtown. In addition to providing new, modern storage space for the growing urban population, our new locations will offer residents a sustainable storage option that supports Denver’s emerging green economy."

The new Greenbox location was designed to be as sustainable as possible, using energy-efficient insulation, recycled materials and other sustainable practices during the building process. The 175 solar panels installed on the building are projected to produce 107,764 kwh a year. The project also features computerized keypad access, climate-controlled units, energy-efficient LED lighting, video surveillance and free use of moving trucks for customers. 

Office space is available for small businesses. The upper level already is leased to Urban Lights, Denver’s largest lighting showroom. The storage facility is accessible from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Prices start at $49 a month.

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

Galvanize to open second location on Platte Street

Galvanize will unveil plans for a second location on Platte Street at the Startup Crawl on the night of Sept. 18 during Denver Startup Week.

Jim Deters, Galvanize CEO, says the concept originally was planned for Platte Street, but he was anxious to get a space up and running, so the community designed for entrepreneurs and innovators first opened in an existing building at 1062 Delaware St. in the Golden Triangle. There are now about 130 companies working in the 30,000-square-foot building.

The new building at 1644 Platte St. will be a four-story, 78,000-square-foot structure designed by Open Studio Architecture. It will have a rooftop deck and a restaurant at street level. The project is expected to be completed in about a year.

"We have a waiting list of people for our suites," Deters says. "I expect the new building will be pretty much full when we open our doors, though we will try to leave some vacancy so we can see who is coming next."

Deters also recently signed a deal to open a 10,000-square-foot location at 1035 Pearl Street in Boulder. The target for the opening of that location is February.

Though he declined to disclose specific plans, Deters says his vision for Galvanize extends beyond Colorado. He's mentioned Manhattan and Austin in previous interviews with Confluence.

"We’re not just thinking about the next six months," Deters says. "We’re thinking about the next several years."

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

Fast-growing NIMBL relocating to Art District on Santa Fe

Over the last six months, NIMBL has hired more than 50 full-time employees, forcing the software company to find larger space to accommodate its growth.

NIMBL expects to relocate next month from its current space in the Taxi complex in RiNo to a 13,000-square-foot warehouse over an old Phillips 66 gas station it’s retrofitting at 800 Kalamath St. in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe.

"We’re overflowing in our current space," says Yosh Eisbart, NIMBL’s CEO. "I don’t even have a desk."

Designed by local architecture firm Studio H:T, the old gas station’s service bays will remain in place, and the convenience store portion of the building will be used as a conference room. The building also will include a yoga room, barista bar and gym.

"Studio H:T has done an amazing job of helping us create a very innovative, creative office space, which works really well within the existing footprint," Eisbart says.

Eisbart and Michael Pytel, the company’s CTO, founded NIMBL in 2009 to provide software services to companies running SAP. German multinational SAP is the world’s largest business software company, offering a wide range of enterprise software spanning resource planning to mobile.

"Our consultants focus on helping solve our clients’ SAP problems," says Eisbart. NIMBL clients include ExxonMobil and PepsiCo.

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

Prescient's technology allows quick construction

Denver-based startup Prescient has completed the first building featuring its light-gauge steel structural system.

The B Street LoHi building, opening in the Highland neighborhood this month, was built using Prescient’s patent-pending technology, which standardizes the multi-family design and construction and provides faster, greener and more cost-competitive building.

"This first building is evidence that our standardized structural alternative allows complete design freedom while speeding up build time and reducing costs," says John Vanker, CEO and co-founder of Prescient. "We’ve already begun installation on our second building and are currently bidding on active projects across the country of over 3.5 million square feet."

Prescient’s engineering and construction process combines proprietary software, a patent-pending manufacturing system and a simplified installation process that speeds up building time and lowers overall development costs.

"Prescient has found an incredibly effective way to standardize every step of the process, from design to construction," says Paul Books, President of Palisade Partners, the project’s developer.

B Street LoHi building’s 60,000-square-foot, five-story apartment structure was installed in just six weeks -- a production rate of more than 15,000 square feet per week -- about three times faster than the average build time of a wood-frame structure.

Prescient’s next building, University Station, is a six-story affordable housing complex near the University of Denver light-rail station. Vanker expects the framing of the building will be completed in just five weeks -- faster than B Street LoHi.

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

Adult apartment community under construction at Stapleton

Greenways at Stapleton, the first market-rate apartment community for active adults at Stapleton, is now under construction.

Located at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Ulster Street, the 108-unit complex will include a large clubroom with kitchen; outdoor landscaped plaza; fitness room; cafe with free Wi-Fi; private dining and meeting room; activity room; and underground parking.

"Greenways is a smart choice for people aged 55 plus who want to live a maintenance-free lifestyle close to all that Stapleton offers -- shopping, dining, parks and events," says John Thode, Director of Development for Wisconsin-based Horizon Development Group. "We’re already hearing from folks who want to live closer to family or retire in the area."

The $16 million project will feature 48 one-bedroom, 53 two-bedroom and seven two-bedroom plus den apartments ranging in size from 700 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Rents start at $1,000 a month.

The project is being developed by Horizon and Denver-based WC Johnson LLC

Horizon has designed, built and managed senior living facilities since 1984.

"Each of our developments is uniquely tailored to the surrounding neighborhood and to hte lifestyles of prospective residents," Thode says. "There is a tremendous demand for this kind of product in metro Denver, and we are working on additional opportunities."

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

First phase of Aria opens in northwest Denver

The first phase of Aria Apartments and Aria Townhomes have opened on the grounds of the former Convent of the Sisters of St. Francis 52nd Avenue and Decatur Street.

The project, developed by Urban Ventures and Perry Rose, is designed for urban-minded people of all ages who value a healthy and simplified lifestyle in a convenient location eight minutes from downtown.

The project is an intergenerational community consisting of families, singles, young couples, college students and empty nesters who want to live in a neighborhood that reflects sustainable values and creates a strong sense of community.

"Aria Denver is distinguished by its diversity of housing choices and its commitment to the principles of healthy living," says Susan Powers, President of Urban Ventures. "Aria Denver is sure to become a vibrant community and retail magnet for Northwest Denver."

The developers plan to create a commercial corner at 52nd and Federal, which will include a wellness center, fresh-food store, coffee shop, green dry cleaner and restaurants.

A portion of the 17.5-acre site has been set aside for community gardens, providing residents and commercial tenants an opportunity to grow much of their own produce. A garden already in place produces fresh vegetables for sale at a nominal cost, with the remainder donated to Warren Village and area food banks.

"The focus on using open space to grow fresh vegetables and provide this produce to people at a price they can afford is a key component to healthy living," says City Councilwoman Susan Shepherd. "The smart-growth future of Denver is reflected in the focus of the Aria neighborhood on infill development, healthy living and lifelong learning."

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

Emerson Lofts is first of several infill projects for Fulenwider

Leasing has begun at Emerson Lofts, a 42-unit apartment building in the heart of Governor’s Park and Eighth Avenue and Emerson Street'

Designed by Chris Fulenwider of CF Studio Architecture + Development, the project features two-story, loft-style one- and two-bedroom apartments with 15-foot ceiling heights and extensive green features. So far, 26 units have been leased.

"When initially designing the building, we wanted it to have a neighborhood feel, making sure the building fit with the rhythm of Emerson and the more commercial feel of Eighth," Fulenwider says. "On Emerson, the building meets the street with porches in the same manner as the Denver squares that line that street.  Then on Eighth, we have a more vertical, rowhouse feel with stoops that also creates an outdoor public private transition or defensible space."

Emerson Lofts was co-developed by L.C. Fulenwider Inc. and CF Studio Architecture + Development. It’s the first of several infill projects planned by the two companies as they expand their portfolio in established urban neighborhoods in Denver.

L.C. Fulenwider has been involved in the Denver real estate market for 109 years. 

"We want to make Denver a better place to live and work by utilizing responsible urban design," Fulenwider says.
"Emerson Lofts is a great example of turning a vacant lot into a vibrant and cohesive project in one of Denver’s storied neighborhoods."

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

Private showing gallery opens in Museum Residences

Internationally renowned artist Nadaleena Mirat Brettmann has opened a new gallery in the penthouse of the Museum Residences.

The urban gallery, open by appointment only to private collectors and to the trade, is in addition to Mirat Brettmann's home studio in Littleton.

"I wanted to offer my buyers, many of whom are in the city a more convenient way to visit with me and see my work," she says.

A lifelong painter who only began showing professionally in the last year, Mirat Brettmann made headlines when Disconnect sold for $1 million. She gifted part of the proceeds from the sale to the Denver Art Museum to support another year of its Luncheon by Design series.

She used part of the proceeds from her most recent $1 million sale of the Twister series to buy the Museum Residences penthouse for $750,000 in an all-cash deal.

"If you don’t pay cash, you don’t own it, the bank owns it," she says.

Mirat Brettmann works in a large format, applying oil paint to canvas in bold strokes that convey great energy and passion.

In addition to her own large-scale abstract oil paintings, Mirat Brettmann will show the work of others including acclaimed artist Bill Gian, whose painted metal Petros adorns Denver's Cherry Creek Bike Path near Speer. She and Gian are also collaborating on a piece titled Twister in Motion, to be displayed in an upcoming show in Hollywood, California.

Mirat Brettmann is also unique in her level of involvement with her clients. She sells very selectively to private individuals, personally interviewing each prospective buyer and maintaining scrupulous records of all purchases so that she can stay in touch.

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

B Street LoHi to open in September

A $10.3 million apartment building in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood is expected to open early next month.

B Street LoHi, a five-story building at the corner of 17th and Boulder streets, will include 73 apartments and a 749-square-foot rooftop deck and clubhouse with dramatic views of the Denver skyline.

"One of the best features of this building was our design for the top floor of the building," says Paul Books, President and Founder of Denver-based development firm Palisade Partners. 

The rooftop includes a community clubhouse with a pool table, TVs, kegorator and computer work stations. The project also is built to use 30 percent less energy than a typical apartment building and is expected to earn LEED Silver certification.

Each unit includes a washer and dryer, stainless steel Energy Star appliances, large closets, preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and dual flush and low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water use by a minimum of 20 percent.

Cornerstone Apartments, which is managing the building, already has leased 23 units and expects the remaining apartments to lease quickly. 

"You just can’t beat this location in the Highlands and the amenities of the building, especially the rooftop patio featuring a fire pit and the incredible views," says Books.

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

Students moving into new housing complex

The Regency Student Housing Community recently completed the expansion of its off-campus housing with the addition of 360 beds at the Villas at 3900 Elati St.

The $12 million project is just north of the Regency, which has operated as an off-campus living experience for Auraria Campus students since 2005. 

Residents of the Villas, affiliated with Central Street Capital Inc., will enjoy all the same perks as residents of the Regency, including an all-you-can-eat dining hall, convenience store, two full-sized basketball courts, swimming pool, bowling alley, fitness center, amphitheater and common study areas.

"For the price, it’s one of the best living situations you can get in Denver," says incoming freshman Taylor Thornton of the Metro State University of Denver tennis team. "My sister is paying a lot more for a one-bedroom in the city. Everything here is brand new and very modern."

Affordable lease rates include all utilities, Internet, cable television, water and trash. The rooms are fully furnished and on-site parking is free. All units have exterior entrances, full kitchens, living area and private bathrooms for each bedroom.

Regency Student Housing offers free shuttle service to the Auraria Campus, which is just two miles away.

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

Jefferson Park units start at $399,000

Sagebrush Cos. is building 28 townhomes in Denver's up-and-coming Jefferson Park neighborhood.

Located at 24th Avenue between Bryant and Clay streets, all the units in 24 Jeff Park have mountain views, and several of them have city views. Prices for the units range from $399,000 for a two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath unit to $609,000 for a three-bedroom, 3-1/2-bath townhome.

All units include attached two-car garages.

"This is great for people who have been priced out of LoHi," says Deviree Vallejo, a broker with Kentwood City Properties who is marketing the property. "You can’t find anything for $399,000 in LoHi."

Vallejo predicts that will all the new residential units being built, Jefferson Park is on the brink of becoming the next LoHi.

"There’s a lot of retail going in around 25th and Elliot," Vallejo says. "It’s great because that’s what Jeff Park has been missing."

Former Barolo Grill Chef Brian Laird is close to opening Sarto's, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant at 2900 W. 215th St. that will feature the Northern Italian cuisine and Chef Matt Selby, formerly of Vesta, Ace Eat Serve and Steuben’s, recently opened Corner House, a bistro-style restaurant at 2240 Clay St.

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

Fashion show will benefit homeless kids

Urban Nights is hosting a fashion show Aug. 23 at Mile High Station.

Proceeds from the show will benefit Urban Peak, a non-profit organization that provides services to homeless youth ages 15 to 25. More than 900 young people sleep in the streets of Denver on any given night.

"This will be an extraordinary event, not just because it will be an amazing time with high-end fashion and the place to be, but because it will do so much to help young people facing homelessness get the resources they need to lead fulfilling lives," says Justin Joseph, co-chair of Urban  Nights Denver. "It is the perfect collision of cause and catwalk -- a runway for a reason."

The VIP party and silent auction begin at 6 p.m. Doors open for general admission at 7 p.m., and the fashion show kicks off at 8:15 p.m., followed by an after party.

Urban Nights is Colorado's largest outdoor fashion show and production. Launched in 2012 by the Joseph Family Foundation, the foundation provides financial support for the event allowing the dollars raised from patrons to flow entirely to the beneficiary, Urban Peak.

"Urban Peak provides opportunities and services for young people who, in many cases, have lost all hope…from a meal, to shelter, to job training, and transitional housing,: said Kim Easton, CEO of Urban Peak. "Events like Urban Nights not only bring in much needed revenue, they also bring the story, the tragedy of youth experiencing homelessness, to many who have never heard about this critical issue or of Urban Peak."

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

Brushstrokes gallery's facade reveals what's inside

Denver artist Patrick Kane McGregor is creating a mural on the exterior of Brushstrokes Studio-Gallery at 1487 S. Broadway.

The facade of the two-story building will feature an elaborate trompe l'oeil depicting the interior of the gallery owned by artists John Harrell, Kit Hevron-Mahoney, Anita Mosher and Kelly Berger. A trompe l'oeil is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the objects in the work exist in three dimensions.

The project, expected to be completed in mid August, is partially supported by the city of Denver’s graffiti prevention program.

McGregor has nearly two decades of experience in the art world and has worked for leading art organizations, including New York City's Tony Shafrazi Gallery for Colossal Media, we well as advertising companies. 

McGregor is routinely commissioned to hand-paint realistic images for clients ranging from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, where each floor of the parking garage elevator bank features a different season of aspen trees.

Most recently, he was hired by an agency to create a hand-painted micoghraphy billboard made from tweets at the Cannes Lions Festival.

McGregor will finish the mural Sat. Aug. 17 at Broadway Bash, a street fair on Antique Row. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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

LoHi gets an English pub

Churchill's Public House has opened its doors on LoHi’s hippest corner.

Described by Co-Cwner Peter Satchell as a clean-cut British pub, Churchill’s dishes up traditional pub fare such as bangers and mash; fish and chips; and shepherd's pie. The establishment, at the corner of 16th and Boulder streets, also offers a wide selection of beer from England and Scotland, as well as other European countries such as Austria, Belgium, Germany and Ireland.

"What we wanted to do was have a local pub for neighborhood people," says Satchell’s wife, Dawn Satchell, who manages the restaurant. "This corner was just so meant for us."

Long-time LoHi residents, the Satchells spent years sitting on the vacant site watching fireworks at Coors Field. Today, in addition to Churchill's, the location also is the site of Line28 at LoHi, a 130-unit apartment building developed by Holland Residential.

Peter Satchell was working as project manager on Line28 when he decided he wanted to open a pub in the retail space. He brought in Keith Winyard as a partner and Tim Goeller as executive chef.

"We thought about this place for three years," Dawn Satchell says. "Peter did all the construction himself."

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

CU Denver welcomes students to new architecture school

The first undergraduates at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning will attend class in a space designed specifically for them.

This fall, the school will welcome its first class of undergrads -- the university previously offered only a master's of architecture program -- into new space on the second floor of the CU Denver Building at 1250 14th St. 

The 22,000-square-foot space was converted from offices to a loft-style design with studios space, lecture hall, lounge and a catering kitchen. Student services offices also have been incorporated into the design.

Designed by Dominic Weilminster, an Associate at RNL and a graduate of the school's master of architecture program, the project creates a new front door for the school, as well as a place for public engagement with the surrounding downtown community.

"It was a big benefit having gone to school here because I had the experience of the space and how it's used," Weilminster says. 

The lobby furniture was designed by students and is made from beetle kill wood. Additional furniture was built from doors recycled from the original space.

"The raw steel and plywood finishes reflect that this is a learning space for architecture students," Weilminster says. "They are the building blocks of the trade."

The project and the new undergraduate program coincides with the university's 40th anniversary and are examples of CU Denver building on four decades of excellence and growth.

The CU Denver community and the general public are invited to get the first look at the new space during the school's second-annual Block Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 22. Food trucks, bands, a rock wall and ropes course will be on tap along Lawrence between 14th and 15th streets.

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

LoHi to get new office building

Gravitas Development Group has broken ground on a five-story office building in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood.

The building will have 17,000 square feet of office space and a 3,900-square-foot restaurant at street level. The project also includes 38 parking spaces -- 24 of them in a garage built into the hillside on the site.

"We want this to be an alternative to LoDo," says Ryan Diggins, a partner at Gravitas. "The parking our site offers is a huge amenity. We’re trying to pull businesses over the bridge and get them to think about Lower Highland not just as restaurants and apartments."

Designed by Yong Cho at Studio Completiva, the building will be set back from the street to blend in with the Olinger complex that includes restaurants Vita, Lola and Linger.

"The office tenants will be able to look down on Linger's rooftop," Diggins says. "It's going to have a really neat, ultra-dense feel influenced by the architect and his living in very dense parts of the world."

The building is expected to be completed next summer.

"I hope people start to do more office projects," Diggins says. "The neighborhood is kind of at a critical point. The question is, is it going to be all apartments? Or can we keep the identity Lower Highland had in the first place."

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

Historic downtown building undergoes renovation

Dunkeld-14 Co, LLC plans to redevelop the historic building at 414 14th St., adding nearly 6,000 square feet of space.

Built in 1923 as an administrative building for Denver Public Schools, the building now houses offices for the Denver Art Museum, which will relocate early next year to a new building in the Golden Triangle.

"We are extremely excited to get the opportunity to restore and redevelop this beautiful building where we can blend architectural detailing from the 1920s with contemporary architectural elements to create an exceptional office work space in downtown Denver," says Tom McLagan, managing partner in Dunkeld-14.

Dunkeld-14, a partnership that includes the principals of Hyder Construction Co., plans to add a new entry to the building and install a new HVAC system that will allow the more than 150 windows along the perimeter of the building to remain operable. Each of the three floors above grade will be about 12,000 square feet. An additional 10,800 square feet in the lower level will include amenities such as bike storage, shower rooms and space for a variety of tenant uses. The building comes with 48 dedicated parking spots adjacent to the building.

"We think there are quite a few tenants out there that would rather be in a building like this with modern new systems than on the 36th floor of a high rise," says Jeff Caldwell, a broker with Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors who, with Blake Holcomb, is marketing the property. "This will have a brand-new modern infrastructure."

Over the last few years, the Downtown Denver Partnership has branded 14th Street as the "Ambassador Street" because of the diversity of visitor-oriented uses found along the corridor, including the Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Performing Arts Complex and the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center. The district covers the entire the 12 block length between Market Street and Colfax Avenue and extends approximately one-half block on either side of 14th Street. Since 2002, $1.5 billion in public and private investments have been made along the corridor.

"This is an exciting redevelopment project that will complement the investments already made along 14th Street," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "It is innovative projects like these that illustrate how historic buildings can be repurposed to bring even more vitality to downtown Denver."

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

RTD exceeds goals for minority participation in FasTracks

The Regional Transportation District has exceeded its contracting targets for small and disadvantaged businesses with awards totaling $480 million on FasTracks projects such as the West Rail Line, Denver Union Station and the Interstate 225 Light Rail Line.

In addition, RTD's Small Business Enterprise/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Workforce Initiative Now (WIN) and Technical Assistance Intitiatives programs have helped hundreds of workers and small businesses in the Denver area.

"Throughout my career I've seen what unemployment and a lack of opportunities can do to communities in both big cities and more rural areas," says RTD General Manager Phil Washington, who created RTD’s WIN program. "We implemented our ... programs to train workers for RTD and the broader metro area community, and to give small-business enterprises the chance to compete for high-profile construction and transit-oriented jobs that might not otherwise have come their way."

For example, RTD recently awarded four on-call construction contracts to prime contractors. Three of the four contracts went to African-American-owned prime contractors (Gilmore Construction, ITP and Sky Blue Builders). Each of the prime contractors is supported by diverse teams of Denver-area small or disadvantaged businesses. The fourth prime (Krische) identified more than 20 Denver-area small or disadvantaged businesses that subcontract for the company.

Since October 2010, nine groups of up to 25 students each have gone through WIN, which combines classroom and in-the-field job training. Currently, 179 people are employed in 50 different disciplines within RTD's FasTracks program, which is building out the region’s light-rail and commuter-rail lines. Additionally, WIN participants have been placed within RTD's rail and bus operations divisions as administrative support, mechanics, operators and maintenance providers.

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

Einstein Bros. opens second DIA location

Einstein Bros. Bagels has opened on the east side of level six inside Denver International Aiport's Jeppesen Terminal. 

The restaurant is Einstein’s second location at DIA, where it has a location on the C Concourse.

The terminal location will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and feature a menu that includes artisan-roasted coffee, fresh-baked bagels, snacks and signature sandwiches.

"As our passengers have seen over the last 12 months, we are making great progress towards a robust increase in the variety of retail, food and beverage offerings in our airport," says Kim Day, Denver’s manager of aviation. "Einstein Bros. Bagels is another step in that direction, and its popularity on Concourse C has demonstrated its appeal toour passengers."

Both of the restaurants are operated by Denver-based Mission Yogurt Inc., which has 11 other dining establishments at DIA.

"Our existing Einstein’s location at DIA is the busiest in the country, and we think this one will be just as popular with travelers," says Rod Tafoya, owner of Mission Yogurt.

DIA's concession program consists of more than 170,000 square feet of retail space with more than 140 locations offering culinary, fashion and retail. Last year, the concession program generated $281 million in annual gross sales and more than $49.6 million in revenue to the airport.

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

Black Cat/White Dog gallery opens in Cherry Creek

IRG will celebrate the grand opening of The Black Cat/White Dog Gallery and Store in Cherry Creek and a warehouse near Interstate 70 and Peoria.

The gallery, which sells art, antiques, furniture, pet products and children's toys, creates a sustainable source of income for IRG (Investigative Research Group) programs that help make Colorado communities safer and reduce violence, with a focus on gender-based violence prevention. The gallery also offers an array of services, including furniture repair, antique restoration, upholstery and custom orders.

"To the best of our knowledge, we are one of the only programs in the country that truly provides a solution to the ever-increasing costs of crime and punishment," says Elizabeth Houde of IRG. "Our program puts the cost of crime on those that commit crime – not the taxpayers."

The warehouse will create blue-collar jobs for those released from prison in an effort to deter a return to prison and crime.

Though the program originally was designed to work toward gender-based violence prevention, IRG has broadened its scope. The organization has aligned itself with the Colorado Domestic Violence Coalition, the Sexual Assault Coalition and local law enforcement to work toward the prevention of any form of violence.

The grand-opening celebration will be held from 4 pm. to 8 p.m. on Tues. Aug. 9 at 300 Josephine St.

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

City accepting nominations for design awards

The Denver Community Planning and Development department is seeking nominations for the annual Mayor's Design Awards honoring projects throughout the city for excellence in architecture, design and placemaking. 

The awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their contribution to the public realm through innovative design projects.

"Award-winning projects honor the things Denverites hold dear," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "We cherish our gathering places, the spots that draw us together an define us. This is a chance to honor Denver’s very best in architecture, design and events."

The awards honor many different types of projects, including newly-built structures; creatively renovated or refurbished buildings; historic preservation projects; outdoor spaces or landscapes; public spaces on private property, such as promenades, courtyards or sidewalk cafes; and special events that create a sense of place or community identity.

Last year’s winners included Curtis Park homes at Arapahoe and 31st streets by McStain Neighborhoods; Ace Eat Serve at 501 E. 17th Ave.; Billy's Gourmet Hotdogs at 2455 Larimer St.; and Denver Beer Co. at 1695 Platte St.

Hancock will review all nominations, which are due Sept. 1. Visit Denvergov.org for details on submitting a nomination.

Business is booming in Cherry Creek North

Cherry Creek North sales tax collections increased by nine percent last year, compared to 2011.

The largest sales category for the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District -- restaurants and hotels -- reported a six percent increase. The second-largest category -- clothing and accessories -- collected 11 percent more.

The largest monthly total was in December, when tax collections topped $1 million for the month for the first time since 2000. 

“Cherry Creek North is a special shopping, dining, business and entertainment district home to over 400 businesses,” says Julie Underdahl, President and CEO of the Cherry Creek North BID. “With so much variety, we are able to give visitors what they’re looking for. We have an unparalleled business community and loyal customers to thank for this wonderful achievement.”

Cherry Creek North includes about 1 million square feet of retail space. Vacancies decreased from nine percent in 2011 to 7.5 percent last year. The average lease rate continued to improve at a rate of three percent to nearly $27 a square foot.

More than 43 new businesses opened in Cherry Creek last year, including clothing, home furnishings, food and beverage, health and personal care, fitness studios, and service industries.

The BID was established in 1989 as the first business improvement district in Colorado. The District encompasses a 16-block (27-acre) area, bound by 1st and 3rd avenues and University and Steele streets.

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

First residents move into Conservatory Green

Residents are moving into Conservatory Green, the first of the future neighborhoods north of Interstate 70 that will ultimately double the size of Stapleton.

Conservatory Green offers all the amenities Stapleton is known for, including award-winning schools, year-round community events and homes available in every style and price range. The new neighborhood also will have acres of parks and open space that integrate into the landscape.

"We chose this neighborhood for a few reasons," says Javin Cyriacks, one of the new residents. "We like the location first of all with the close proximity to downtown, as well as the Anchutz Medical campus.  Stapleton was one of the few areas close to the city that we could get a new home built.  Being part of a new community and watching the Northfield area develop was also appealing to us. We are looking forward to raising a family and living here for years to come."

There are a variety of energy-efficient homes to choose from, many of which offer ways for residents to incorporate urban agriculture into their lifestyles. The garden-ready approach ranges from options for attached greenhouses to double-entry garages with doors wide enough for wheelbarrows.

Garden Court homes will have garden beds on courtyards where neighbors can gather to harvest fruits and vegetables.

Developed by Forest City Enterprises, Stapleton is a master-planned community on the site of Denver’s former airport.

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

Development office seeks proposals for neighborhood projects

The Denver Office of Economic Development has funding for projects and related services that make a positive impact on neighborhoods.

The office is seeking proposals in three areas: housing, neighborhood development and services, and economic development. 

The selected projects will be funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant program, HOME Investment Partnerships and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDs programs.

The goal of the program is to broaden the tax base; stimulate balanced economic growth through business assistance, neighborhood revitalization and the development of a skilled workforce; and focus on innovation, sustainability and education.

Eligible uses of grant program funds include purchase, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of public facilities and improvements to schools, libraries, nursing homes, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, group homes and emergency shelters. Improvements can include streets, sidewalks, curbs, parks, playgrounds, water and sewer lines, parking lots and aesthetic amenities on public property.

Online applications for funding will be accepted through Aug. 5. at denvergov.org/oed.

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














Group forms to focus on redevelopment of Brighton corridor

The North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative Project's Office has started issuing a newsletter to provide brief updates on the emerging planning, partnerships and project implementation efforts in the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods.

Recognizing an opportunity to align individual projects into one coordinated vision, Mayor Michael Hancock formed NDCC in January and appointed Kelly Leid as project manager. The office officially opened in May.

Leid oversees planning, strategic coordination, financing and implementation of six primary projects:
  • National Western Stock Show -- assessing current and future facilities’ needs to ensure the National Western's long-term viability and the complex and Denver Coliseum site.
  • Interstate 70 east reconstruction -- collaborating with the Colorado Department of Transportation aand stakeholders to ensure smart imporvements to I-70 between Colorado and Brighton boulevards help reconnect Denver neighborhoods.
  • RTD station development -- Working with the Regional Transportation District and city agencies to coordinate the planning and implementation of new stations that will servce the area and connect downtown to the airport.
  • Brighton Boulevard redevelopment -- Overseeing effective public infrastructure improvements to the street and continuing the momentum of reinvestment that is beginning to emerge along the gateway to downtown.
  • River North -- Reclaiming the river via greenway and transporation improvements and identifying sustainable development opportunities along the riverfront.
  • Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhood plans -- Ensuring that the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhood plans are aligned with each other and the myriad of projects happening in and around the neighborhoods.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

McWhinney relocates to Larimer Square

McWhinney has relocated its Denver office from Independence Plaza to Larimer Square.

The developer, which is headquartered in Loveland, is occupying space above Tamayo at 1404 Larimer St.

"Our beautiful, historic office suite is the perfect fit for us," says Chad McWhinney, chief executive and co-founder of the company. "Our relationship with Larimer Associates to date has been phenomenal, and we could not be more pleased to office in a location that is so well-aligned with the projects we have adopted in Denver."

Earlier this year, McWhinney joined the team that is redeveloping Denver Union Station into a 112-room hotel and more than 22,000 square feet ot ground-floor space that will be divided into about 10 independent shops and restaurants, as well as 40,000 square feet of outdoor plaza space.

Last month, the company announced it is teaming up with Grand America to redevelop the HIstoric Windsor Dairy Block between 18th and 19th and Blake and Wazee streets in Lower Downtown.

"Larimer Square was one of the first Denver locations that began bringing near-dormant historic spaces back to life and re-establishing their relevance in the downtown ecosystem," McWhinney says. "We look forward to continuing this legacy of values through our own work. Our office will help remind us of this daily."

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

City gives neighborhoods a boost for events

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is launching Denver Days, a citywide effort to help neighbors get to know each other and get involved with their communities by throwing block parties, organizing service projects and hosting neighborhood activities.

The city has provided a toolkit for Denver Days on its website to help neighborhoods get started.

"We want to build out a civic infrastructure," says Michael Sapp, Neighborhood Liaison for the mayor’s office. "When neighbors are talking to each other, neighborhoods become clean and vibrant. We think this can become a national model for civic involvement."

Sapp says the toolkit provides ideas for events and what is required to comply with city regulations. A permit is required if you expect 25 people or more.

"Parties for an entire neighborhood usually require renting a location or at least getting a permit for a picnic area in a park to ensure there is enough space for everyone," according to information on the Denver Days website. "These parties also require more coordination, so having a committee of at least four or five people can make a big difference."

The site also lists activity ideas such as holding a bike decorating contest, scavenger hunt, relay races and water balloon toss.

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

Change impending, Globeville food festival celebrates Orthodox heritage

The 10th annual Orthodox Food Festival and Old Globeville Days was held July 20-21 in Argo Park at 47th and Logan streets.

The free event ran from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The festival featured cuisine from Russia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Eritrea, Greece and Mexico. Live music, dance entertainment, craft and gift booths, art displays, children’s activities an tours of the historic landmark Holy Transfiguration of Christ Orthodox Cathedral.

Located in the heart of Globeville, an old ethnic community in north Denver, the cathedral is the earliest Orthodox church in Colorado formed in 1889. In September of 1898, the parish was incorporated as the Greek Catholic Church, Transfiguration of Christ.

Also that year, the parish purchased six lots at the present site for $350. The total cost of the lots and of construction of the church at East 47th and Logan streets was $4,082, according to the church’s web site.

Today, the area is in the spotlight as the Colorado Department of Transportation works on the proposed reconstruction of Interstate 70, which split the community when it was originally built in the 1960s.

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

Kephart takes home gold for Stapleton project

Denver architecture firm Kephart’s design for The Grove at Stapleton received a Grand Award for Best Senior Housing Community on the Boards at the Gold Nugget Awards.

Developed by Zocalo Development, The Grove is designed to appeal to renters aged 55 and older. The architecture treats outdoor spaces as an extension of the interior, creating multi-purpose spaces for playing games, lounging, cooking, dining and exercising. 

The project's 150 units are a mix of one- and two-bedrooms averaging 1,005 square feet. The project, which also includes 210 parking spaces, is designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification.

"As the first age-qualified community in the Stapleton development marketed to families, this dynamic community reflects the new actuality that 55+ housing does not have to look like a retirement home,"  the Gold Nugget judges stated. "The building plan opens up the courtyards to the surrounding neighborhood in order to promote interaction with its surroundings as well as walking. This is an excellent example of senior housing that represents the multigenerational trend of active seniors wanting to live within proximity of their children and grandchildren, yet still be independent."

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

Taxpayers still approve of FasTracks project

Nearly a decade after metro Denver taxpayers voted for the buildout of the FasTracks mass transit program, 85 percent of respondents to a recent survey still believe approving the system was a good idea.

Transportation improvement and the reduction of traffic congestion and air pollution were cited as the main reasons FasTracks was a good decision, according to a survey of 800 Denver-area residents. 

"This survey shows once again that a strong majority of the public continues to support FasTracks and what the program is and will be accomplishing," says Phil Washington, General Manager of RTD. "We are building a mass transity system that is already considered a national model, and we're glad that our region has the foresight to acknowledge the benefits for generations to come."

Among the survey’s other findings:
  • 73 percent of respondents believe reducing traffic congestion and creating thousands of new jobs are the biggest benefits.
  • RTD users (83 percent) are more likely to have positive impressions of FasTracks than nonusers (77 percent).
  • Those who disapprove of FasTracks cited "too expensive/budget issues" as the main reason.
FasTracks is building out six new commuter rail and light-rail lines, bus rapid transit service, more parking spaces and is redeveloping Denver Union Station as a multimodal, transit-oriented development hub for trains, buses, bikes and pedestrians when it opens in 2014.

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

Denver sets new records for visitor volume, spending

Denver set new records for visitor volume and spending last year, according to the Longwoods International annual visitor profile study.

The report, commissioned by Visit Denver, found that the city welcomed 13.6 million overnight visitors in 2012, 3 percent more than in 2011 and an all-time high. 

The increase was reflected in both leisure and business travel. In leisure travel, the greatest improvement was in "marketable" trips by people who could travel to any destination but who specifically chose to visit Denver, which rose by 9 percent to 5 million visitors.

Overnight business travel to Denver continued to rebound after reaching a multi-year low in 2010, with 2.3 million business trips in 2012. That's up 6 percent over 2011 and 24 percent over 2010. Convention and conference business increased 5 percent to 880,000, and general business trips rose 7 percent to 1.4 million in 2012, from 1.3 million the previous year.

“We are very pleased to see that our marketing efforts are working and that we continue to see an increase in the amount of lucrative 'marketable' visitors that come to Denver," says Richard Scharf, President and Chief Executive of Visit Denver.  "Tourism and conventions don't just happen. The Longwoods study allows us to see that since 2005 when voters approved more marketing dollars for Denver, we have seen a 43 percent increase in the number of leisure visitors coming to our city."

Denver's overnight visitors also set a new spending record in 2012, generating $3.6 billion of spending -- 9 percent more than in 2011.

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

Fuse Living breaks ground on residences in Five Points

Fuse Living is breaking ground on Clarkson Green, the first official residential development in the Five Points Redevelopment Plan.

The project features five single-family homes and four townhomes on Clarkson Street between 24th and 25th avenues. The homes range in size from 1,873 square feet to 3,238 square feet, and all have parking for two cars. The townhomes feature rooftop decks. Prices start at $695,000.

"We like the sense of community, walkability and the close proximity to shops," says Shannon Harris, President and Co-Founder of Fuse Living. "We’re firm believers in being able to access all the things you need."

Clarkson Green will be a solar-powered, Energy Star and LEED-certified development, meaning buyers will have lower utility bills and enhanced performance. The homes will have high insulation, water-saving plumbing fixtures, Indoor AirPlus-certified carpets and carpet pads, and safe paints and stains.

Crain Architecture designed the project, and Sean Smith Construction will build it.

Denver-based Fuse Living is a family owned business that's been remodeling homes in Phoenix. Clarkson Green is the company’s first project in Denver.

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

South Platte corridor ripe for investment

The South Platte River corridor has the potential to draw investment of nearly $260 million that could generate 773 construction jobs and 352 permanent employment positions with an average annual salary of $55,370, according to a recent study commissioned by the City and County of Denver.

 

About 1,230 new residents would live near the river in these developments, a 16 percent increase above the current residential population of 7,500 in the corridor. The new residents could spend $8.7 million each year on taxable goods purchased in Denver, according to the study funded by an EPA Brownfields Area-wide Planning grant.

 

The study focused on five neighborhoods considered opportunity areas and catalytic sites. The criteria for site selection included underutilized sites that had a potentiall strong relationship to the river and that were potentially catalytic and beneficial to the surrounding area and adjacent greenway. The review of each site explored ideal orientation of new development to the river, site access and neighborhood circulation for pedestrians and vehicles and innovative opportunities for capturing and sustainably treating stormwater generated from impervious surfaces.

 

The sites selected included:

  • River North (RiNo) -- a 5.5-acre site between the river and Brighton Boulevard that could accommodate 333 new residential units, 43,600 square feet of office/flex space and 23,500 square feet of street-level retail.
  • Water Street in the Jefferson Park neighborhood -- Infill development could introduce 384 residential units and 12,45- square feet of retail and restaurant space.
  • Zuni and Lower Colfax Avenue -- A 4.8-acre site between Zuni and the river could yield 12,000 square feet of retail, 51,600 square feet of office and 320 residential units.
  • Alameda -- An eight-acre commercial block just south of Alameda Avenue on the west side of the river could attract new business with office and light assembly or warehouse needs, education facilities, human services, retail and other non-residential uses.
  • Evans and Huron -- a 5.2-acre site could be converted into 192 residential units and 26,000 square feet of retail or office on the ground level.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Show off your neighborhood in Visit Denver contest

Visit Denver is giving locals a chance to show off their neighborhoods’ best side with the "This is My Denver" photo contest.

To enter, "Like" the contest's Facebook page and submit an original photo of your neighborhood before July 12. Get friends to vote on your photo through July 17.

The person who submits the photo that gets the most votes will win a jackpot of more than two dozen prizes, including annual membership to Denver B-cycle; a one-night stay at The Curtis Hotel; tickets to the Denver Botanic Gardes, Elitch Gardens, Hisotry Colorado Center and the Denver Zoo; dinners at Blue Sushi Sake Grill, i-Fish and The Fort; and gift certificates for Larimer Square, Gallagher Books and SOL Lingerie.

Celebrating more than 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, generating $3.6 billion in annual spending in 2012, while supporting nearly 50,000 jobs.

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

McWhinney to develop full city block in LoDo

McWhinney and Grand American Inc. have teamed up to redevelop a city block in Denver's Lower Downtown.

The project, currently known as the Historic Windsor Dairy Block, will consist of nearly 325,000 square feet of office, retail and multi-family with private underground parking between 18th and 19th streets and Blake and Wazee streets.

Grand American has owned the block for more than 30 years and has renovated many of the historic buildings in the neighborhood.

"We are excited to partner with McWhinney to develop this property into a product that the community, the city and we can be really proud of," says Bruce Phillips, President of Grand American.

This is the second project in Denver for Loveland-based McWhinney, which announced its commitment to the Denver Union Station hotel project earlier this year.

"We are thrilled to be an increasintgy integral part of Denver’s incredible revitalization, redevelopment and infill efforts," says Chad McWhinney, CEO and Co-Founder of McWhinney. "Denver continues to provide us with great opportunities for creative and responsible real estate deals that align perfectly with our values of creating a true sense of place and ultimately, spurring broader economic growth."

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

CrossFit Omnia opens in 8,800 square feet in Athmar Park

R.J. Smith and David Wilhelm have teamed up to open what they believe is the largest CrossFit training facility in Denver.

Located 8,800 square feet at 901 S. Jason St. in the Athmar Park neighborhood, CrossFit Omnia will offer CrossFit training, as well as yoga, health and wellness seminars and competitions.

"We’re trying to put a lot of emphasis and focus on building our community," says Smith, who also works in sales, technology and real estate. "We want to be a place where people come to feel like they’re part of the family."

Developed by coach Greg Glassman over several decades, CrossFit optimizes fitness using constantly varied, functional movements performed at a relatively high intensity. CrossFit also is the community that forms when people work out together.

"One of the big things CrossFit started with was that sense of community because everyone was so close together," says Wilhelm, who also runs two small technology companies. "We want that small-gym feeling in a larger-gym setting."

The time is right for a larger CrossFit facility because members of smaller gyms have started to express the desire to have more room to work out. Members also are finding it increasingly difficult to get into classes at the times they want, Wilhelm says.

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

ULI Colorado seeking minorities, women for real estate program

Urban Land Institute Colorado is seeking applicants for its Real Estate Diversity Initiative, a program designed to boost the real estate careers of minorities and women.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. July 3.

In partnership with the Denver Office of Economic Development, ULI will select a class of up to 36 participants who will be grouped with mentors to lead them through development planning for three sites along the West Colfax Corridor.

To be eligible for the program, participants must attend up to two classes a month for four months, participate in smaller work groups to complete specific projects and complete a program evaluation. Upon acceptance to the program, participants must submit a $200 feel.

Now in its fourth year, More than 125 people have completed the program, including architects, real estate brokers, title company employees, financial professionals, property managers and those working in the construction industry. Those who complete the program receive a one-year ULI membership.

The program is sponsored by the Denver Housing Authority, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Urban Land Conservancy, Greenberg Taurig, Wells Fargo and the ULI Foundation.

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

Medicine and art collide at exhibit on Anschutz campus

Travis Vermilye is combining art and medicine with his exhibition of works at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Hyper-Stasis, which runs through Aug. 29, examines the result of choices we make that impact our health -- what we eat, what we do and what we don't do.

"The intent of the entire exhibition is to provide motivation and a place for self-reflection and to provide a glimpse into the beauty of the human body, even in a diseased state," says Vermilye, Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Media at the University of Colorado Denver who teaches courses in medical illustration.

The first series, titled Waiting, consists of three 24-by-34-inch images that explore the number of people in the United States waiting for organ transplants versus the number who actually receive transplants. Vermilye uses a labyrinth in each to represent the path each person must take and symbols to represent individual people.  

The second series, titled NINE, consists of nine 30-by-30-inch graphite drawings representing the top nine conditions that result from prolonged physical inactivity.  The series looks at microscopic changes that occur in our bodies with each condition and includes nine facts related to each condition.  

In addition to being the home of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, the Fulginiti Pavilion features a 1,000-square-foot art gallery, a grand piano in the lobby, conference rooms and seating areas.

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

LoHi Merchants launch new website

The LoHi Merchant Group has unveiled a new website that provides visitors to the area information about the neighborhood’s businesses, special deals and upcoming events.

Formed in 2011 by LoHi business owners and residents Lu Stasko and Paul Tamburello, the LoHi Merchant Group serves as a platform to help merchants market their businesses in a more cohesive way and gives them a chance to network and work together with the neighborhood as one voice.

"From the beginning, we thought if we taught the merchants about the businesses in the neighborhood, they could become ambassadors for LoHi and help each other flourish," says Stasko, Owner of The Stasko Agency, a publicity and public relations firm. "Our motto has become, 'Merchants helping Merchants.'"

Stasko and Tamburello are known for their efforts in creating a strong sense of community in LoHi. Both have been active members of the resident neighborhood organization HUNI (Highland United Neighbors Inc.) for more than a decade and were the impetus of the successful HUNI Hours, a social networking group that meets monthly at neighborhood restaurants and bars.

"Lu and I both had a vision for the neighborhood, which initially focused on bringing the residents together to support the local businesses and create a sense of community," says Tamburello, Owner of Red Chair Realty Advisors. "As we started to attract new developments and retailers, we saw a need to develop the same sense of community and collaboration among merchants."

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

YOUnique Counseling opens in Cherry Creek

YOUnique Counseling is opening its seventh location at 50 S. Steele St. in Cherry Creek.

The 1,500-square-foot suite will house 12 counselors in four offices.

YOUnique is a Denver-based franchise business that offers marketing and business management support to independent counselors.

"We can support a small business by wrapping it around a big-business infrastructure," says Sean Boyd, founder of the company. "Legally, it's an executive office suite, but it's very specific to the mental health community."

Recognized as the Emerging Business of the Year by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, YOUnique plans to develop up to 150 new locations worldwide over the next five years. Franchisees invest $15,000 to $30,000 to open an office, depending on how big of a group they put together. The number of offices in each location ranges from three to 12.

"The owners are provided with all the tools and resources for the therapists who join their community," Boyd says.

The challenge is not in finding the therapists to occupy the offices. The company is connected to the universities counselors are graduating from.

"The therapist community is pretty small, so it's not hard to get the word out," he says. "The challenge is making sure we’re a resource for those seeking mental health counseling."

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

Four businesses open shop in redeveloped Five Points building

Developer Nathan Beal has transformed a long-vacant building in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood into a hub for several small businesses.

The 4,000-square-foot building at 2952-2962 Welton Street is now home to Purple Door Coffee, Bulkley Associates, the Unification Point fitness studio and Winter Session leather goods.

"The previous owner was intending to do apartments," says Beal, who left a career in accounting to start St. Bernard Properties, named for his St. Bernard Otis. "He did all the tear-out, so when I bought it it was just studs. I rebuilt the historic storefront."

Beal, who used to live in Five Points, has several other projects in the works for the neighborhood, including an 8,000-square-foot building at 28th and Downing he renovated a few years ago for residential and commercial use.

"I just always thought Five Points had good bones," Beal says. 

Now he's working on plans for new construction of a small mixed-use project that will include two large apartments above ground-level retail on an empty lot next to the Welton Street building, as well as a residential project at 28th and Champa streets.

"We’re just trying to get through the city permitting process," he says.

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

Foundation seeks nominations for South Platte supporters

The Greenway Foundation is seeking nominations to recognize those who have contributed to the enhancement of the South Platte River and its communities.

Winners will be honored Sept. 13 at the After Party on the Bridge on the on the historic bridge at 19th and Platte streets near Riverfront Park.

The foundation will recognize an honoree in each of four categories: art, public projects, private development and programing, events and recreation.

The deadline for nominations is July 1.

The After Party on the Bridge will take place one night after the Greenway Foundation's annual Gala on the Bridge. The $75 ticket price includes street food catered by Three Tomatoes Catering, local cocktails and beverages, live music and networking opportunities.

Proceeds from the event support the South Platte River and The Greenway Foundation.

"The Greenway Foundation wants to find engaged supporters and broaden their reach," says Jorgen Jensen, co-chair of the event. "We realized that because there are access permits and infrastructure things that go into it, we could piggyback off the Gala and create a tandem event. The idea is to drop the price point to $75 and make it easier for people to get involved."

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

MODesTEA's business has increased since relocation

Since moving her MODesTEA shop a few blocks north on Tennyson, Tracy Frickey has seen business pick up.

A former teacher at West Gate Elementary in Jefferson County, Frickey relocated from  150 square feet of space at 38th and Tennyson into a 550-square-foot storefront at 43rd and Tennyson in the heart of the the Berkley and Tennyson Cultural Arts District.

She says the district's new streetscape, which has made the area more walkable, also has helped her business.

"It was a good move because I'm closer to the retail shops," says Frickey, whos started the business with her daughter Emily three years ago.

MODesTEA offers 80 blends of loose tea, with 10 earning the distinction of World Tea Champions.

"Some I blend myself, some I outsource," says Frickey, who has converted a number of coffee drinkers to tea. "We do all the packaging and labeling in-house. We cut out the middleman to keep prices low."

In addition to peddling teas, MODesTEA houses a gallery, which participates in the district's First Friday art walk.

Still, Frickey is concerned the Tennyson's rising popularity will push many artists out of the area. 

"The rents are going up, which concerns me a little bit because we need to keep artists on the street," she says.

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

Massif Studio offers photographers a coworking environment

A new media production studio has opened in an 11,000-square-foot space at 2191 S. Broadway.

Designed by J. Clay Environments, Massif Studio Space offers 10 custom-built studio bays that are for hire to professional and amateur photographers, videographers, audio engineers and media producers.

"It’s a pretty extraordinary place with a very custom beetle-kill interior," says Drew Witmer, founder of J. Clay Environments. "I really like using beetle kill because it’s out of our backyard."

J.Clay Environments is a full-service design studio and fabrication shop that provides design services for residential and commercial projects.The company specializes in designing and producing its own fixtures and furniture to create unique, hand-crafted environments.

Massif Studio Space was created by photographer Hunter Helmstaedter, who often struggled with finding studio space for his photo shoots.

"Everything we designed for the space we had in mind that it will eventually be a set for a photo," Witmer says. "I can’t wait to see my work popping up all over the place."

Other projects J. Clay has completed include the Jiberish urban streetwear store on South Platte Street; the Level 1 Productions offices at 3333 Larimer St.; and the Strafe Outerwear retail shop and headquarters at Aspen Highlands Resort.

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

East West Partners to start speculative office building

East West Partners has unveiled its plans for The Triangle Building, an $85 million office building in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood. 

Located at 1550 Wewatta St., the 10-story office building has three facades and will serve as a city landmark and a tribute to the potential of what and office space can be.

East West, which is partnering with an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group on the project, is building The Triangle without having a tenant signed on. The team expects to break ground on the project in October.

"We have greate activity, but we still have to snag somebody," says Chris Frampton, Managing Partner at East West. "It feels like we’ve got a pretty appealing product."

The project will include nine stories of office space, 10,000 square feet of street-level retail and two floors of underground parking. The building's unique shape provides 20 percent more window offices than a traditional office building. Oversized glass windows will provide views from every angle.

The project, which will be seeking LEED Gold certification for its green building design, also will include a bike station on Old Wewatta Plaza with capacity for 200 bikes,  a repair and rental facility, lockers and showers. The bike station is being developed by a nonprofit formed by East West Partners in collaboration with the city of Denver and the local bicyling community. Fundraising and design are both under way.

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

Coffee at The Point gets liquor license

After three years in business, Ryan Cobbins' Coffee at The Point has secured a liquor license, making it a spot where families can unwind over a glass of wine or beer while they enjoy spending time with their children.

With the addition of beer and wine, Cobbins also is expanding the menu of the 2,500-square-foot coffee shop at 710 E. 26th Ave. in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood.

"It’s making that full circle of being a positive community spot for the neighborhood," Cobbins said. "We host a lot of meetings so to be that complete neighborhood spot, part of the relaxation is having a beer or a glass of wine."

The eclectic beer list includes 11 bottles and cans from breweries such as Colorado's Funkwerks, Left Hand and Colorado Cider Co. The wine list highlights quality, approachable wines from California, Washington, Argentina, Spain and Italy.

Happy hour will be hosted daily from 4 to 7 p.m. and feature $1 off beer and wine, with changing food specials.

"The menu is parallel to the community in terms of how diverse it is," Cobbins says. "To be profitable and sustainable in this area to where we are here for a really long time, it behooves us to broaden our menu a little bit."

The menu features breakfast burritos, soups, bagels and fresh pastries, as well as gourmet sandwiches made to order.

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

Emma & Grace Bridal Studio opens in RiNo

Denver’s River North neighborhood is home to a new bridal studio that offers customized apparel for women getting ready to walk down the aisle.

While most bridal shops are referred to as salons, Emma & Grace Bridal Studio offers options for everything from the design of a gown to customized veils. And unlike most bridal shops, Emma & Grace owner Mayra Moreno does all alterations in-house. 

Emma & Grace features the work of international designers not represented in Colorado, with Moreno working with the bride to make each gown unique.

"Say the bride wants straps or a longer train," says Terrie Boesel, Moreno's business partner. "At another salon, it would be up to the bride to figure it out. But we can design dresses, veils, garters and jewelry right here."

After looking for a downtown location proved fruitless, Moreno and Boesel looked on Craig’s list and found a 3,000-square-foot space at 1320 27th St. in the RiNo neighborhood.

Emma & Grace also caters to the mother of the bride.

"The bride typically shops with her mom," Boesel says.

"We really didn’t know much about River North," Boesel says. "We were looking downtown, but it’s so outrageously expensive and things go really quickly."

Previously an architectural firm's studio, the space is perfect for the bridal shop, with the offices converted into large dressing rooms offering comfortable chairs and mirrors to guests.

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

ideaLAB gives teens access to technology

The Denver Public Library has opened ideaLAB, a digital media studio created for teenagers.

Located in the Community Technology Center of the Central LIbrary at Broadway and 14th streets, the lab includes four workstations and equipment that will allow teens to create videos, music, video games, web sites and digital artwork. The project was funded in part through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which administers the LIbrary Services and Technology Act.

"ideaLAB creates a safe, open, supportive and inspiring environment in which teens can explore their interests and learn new skills," says City Librarian Shirley Amore.

Music enthusiasts will have access to microphones, keyboard, mixing station, DJ controllers and an electric guitar. Video equipment includes cameras, tripods, a lighting kit and a green screen. Macintosh and PC workstations will have the full Adobe Suite, including Photoshop, Premiere, AfterEffects, as well as specialized software for video game creation, creating comics and cartoons, Sonar and FL Studio for music creation.

The lab will be open to teens in grades 6-12 from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Trained staff and volunteers will work with teens to help them navigate the tools needed for their projects.

The library also offers classes on digital media software and hardware, in addition to one-on-one appointments and open lab times where teens can learn through a project-based approach.

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

Patterson Historic Inn offers boutique hotel experience on Capitol Hill

Raw Architecture recently completed the renovation of The Patterson Historic Inn, a boutique hotel at 420 E. 11th Ave. in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Mother-and-son team Brian and Gloria Higgins toke great care to keep the inn sleek, says Sue Callahan, General Manager of the property.

"We’re period, but we’re not the normal, cluttered period inn," Callahan says. "It’s a bed and breakfast, but really more of a boutique hotel."

The former residence of Sen. Thomas Patterson, who served as a U.S. congressman from 1877-79 and U.S. senator from 1901-07, features nine guest suites, each designed around a unique theme ranging from 19th-century Paris to Italian Renaissance.

"At most bed and breakfasts, I assume the rooms will be small," wrote one guest on the Trip Advisor web site. "I stayed in the Library room, and it was very large with modern updates but antique charm. I was extremely impressed. The house is beautiful. They also have a pub downstairs for happy hour where the serve wine and a few simple snacks."

The bar in Maggie's Pub, named for Patterson's daughter Margaret, was pulled from the the old Burnsley Hotel. It is open only to guests of the inn or for special events. The owners also are planning to renovate the property's carriage house to be used for special events.

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

Create Denver offers coworking space in the McNichols Building

Create Denver has redesigned a portion of the McNichols Building as a creative installation and flexible coworking space as part of City Beautiful 2.0.

City Beautiful 2.0, which runs through June 23, celebrates the civic and community engagement ideals of the City Beautiful movement first championed in Denver in 1904 by former Mayor Robert Speer. The installation includes architectural renderings of the Civic Center’s built environment, textiles and the natural elements of the park.

The project also includes coworking space, featuring custom, mobile furniture created by local artists. The space is free and open for use during the McNichols Building's normal hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

"Create Denver is helping to establish the McNichols Building as a cultural hub for the city, and we’re officially retiring Create Denver Week so that we can help bring year-round programming and exhibitions to the building," says Lisa Gedgaudas, Create Denver's Program Manager. "We’ve experimented with the use of space in the building, and we’ve come up with a place that will give Denver’s creatives, entrepreneurs, residents and visitors a chance to experience a co-working environment and that will hopefully generate more ideas on how to integrate the building with its surrounding built environment."

Create Denver supports the growth and development of the creative sector, including artists and enterprises such as film, music, fine art, galleries, art districts, fashion and design.

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

Denver is leader in shared workspaces

Denver is hosting the NonprofitCenters Network Conference June 3-5.

The conference, which will highlight shared workspace, kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1400 Welton St., with a pre-conference bootcamp for new shared-space centers. It continues with site tours to Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits and Z PlaceRedLine, 2350 Arapahoe St., will host a celebration from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The conference moves to the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St., on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The conference comes at a time when nonprofits are increasity turning to shared workspace to save money. Shared spaces not only leverage limited resources, but expand nonprofits impact in the communities they serve. 

"We are delighted to be hosting the NonprofitCenters Network Conference in Denver," says Dace West, Director of the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, which with the Urban Land Conservancy funds Denver Shared Spaces. "As a city that has embraced shared space, it is an incredible opportunity to have so many leaders from all over North America convening for a week of deep intersection and learning in our community."

While nonprofits, real estate professionals and foundations are applying shared-space models across the country, Denver is one of the only metro areas using an integrated approach to apply the model to city planning, grant making and commercial real estate development. There are more than 25 self-identified shared-space centers in metro Denver.

Denver Shared Spaces is a public-private partnership that promotes best-practices in the creation and operation of shared spaces.

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

ScooTours to offer guided tours of Denver

There’s a new tour operator in town offering a unique way to see all the sites Denver has to offer.

ScooTours is poised to start tours guided by experts on a variety of subjects. Its first will be the Cold Facts on Colfax, starting at Kipling and heading east.

"We’ll point out historical things, including old hotels and gas stations that were really important when people were first getting cars and going into the mountain parks," says Owner David Howard. "Since then, it’s had a much varied story to tell. It’s really been a very important street to Denver. You can look at it as a scar, or you can look at it as an evolving organism that has some beauty and importance."

Howard also is planning tours of various arts districts, including those in RiNo and on Santa Fe.

Operating from a parking lot at 14th and California streets in the shadow of the Blue Bear, ScooTours has 14 gas-powered 50 cc scooters and 14 electric scooters, all of which can be parked on a sidewalk and require only a valid driver’s license to operate. Riders also must be at least 18 years old. The company suggests calling for a reservation, rather than showing up on the lot.

The scooters also are available for rent on an hourly or daily basis. Its $65 for the first two hours or $95 for a full day until 8 p.m. The cost includes all the gas a rider can burn, insurance, eye protection, helmet, lock, map and a safety vest to improve visibility.

"We provide very patient training," Howard says. "We start you off descirbing operation and safety components of the scooter then send you around the parking lott a couple of times. You then ride around on the one-way streets. If you’re comfortable, then your time starts."

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

Zocalo tops off Cadence

Zocalo Community Development has topped off Cadence Union Station, bringing the first apartment project at the development significantly closer to completion.

Pre-leasing of the project at 17th and Chestnut streets is expected to begin in August and open to its first residents in December.

"We have been working on this site with our partner Principal Real Estate Investors since 2010, knowing that this was sure to be one of the nation's premier transit-oriented neighborhoods," says David Zucker, principal of Zocalo. "We anticipate strong demand for Cadence, giving the building's great location, adjacency to rail lines, luxury amenities and energy-efficient features."

Cadence will feature a rooftop pool and lounge area, rooftop health center, an indoor parking garage and a variety of community gathering areas, including a lobby-level lounge with a piano and bar. 

The building will include studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging just over 800 square feet and renting for an average of $1,700 a month.

Green features of the project include easy recycling and composting programs, Energy Star Appliances, high-performance water fixtures, high-efficiency lighting and low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants and carpets to improve indoor-air quality. Zocalo estimates residents will spend 50 percent less on their utility bills than they would living in a similar non-LEED certified building.

Cadence is the fourth LEED multi-family project developed by Zocalo in Denver. The company’s other high-rise apartments include 2020 Lawrence, a 231-unit development in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood, and Solera, a 120-unit luxury project which sold for $37 million in October 2011.

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

Students' work shows how Denver has grown up

Two University of Colorado Denver urban and regional planning students have taken over a the kiosk on the 16th Street Mall at Welton Street to demonstrate how the city has evolved over time.

Ryan Sagar and Jake Sacks are using figure-ground maps to show how much Denver has changed between 1887 and 2012. The area they studied covers California to Tremont and 15th to 17th streets. A figure-ground map is a two-dimensional map of an urban space that shows the relationship between built and unbuilt space.

"In 1887, it was small wood-fram buildings on small lots," Sagar said. "Now it’s huge buildings on huge logs. The Pavilions take up two whole blocks. In general, it just got super-sized, and that’s what tends to happen to a city over time."

The Downtown Denver Partnership and the Business Improvement District made the eight retail kiosks on the Mall available to the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning to showcase the diversity of students' work. The student designs will be on display, weather permitting, through the end of the month.

Vendors will return to the kiosks in June.

“This is an example of how we try to activate the Mall with non-traditional activation and partnerships that we are creating downtown,” says Jenny Starkey, Communications and Media Relations Manager for the DDP.

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

Nick's Diner takes over old Breakfast Queen spot

When Nick Mikelis took over the Breakfast Queen, a greasy-spoon diner at 3743 Federal Blvd. in Denver's Highland neighborhood, he returned to the restaurant his wife's uncle bought in 1982 where he served as the first cook.

He renamed the establishment Nick's Diner, cleaned the place up, spruced up the outside and changed the menu.

"As soon as we put the new sign up, business went up hill and keeps going up," says Mikelis, who took over the Lighthouse Co. restaurant in 1984 and operated it for more than nine years before being forced out of the building at 1801 Welton St. "I always liked this neighborhood. When the opportunity arose, I jumped at it."

Nick's Diner serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and specializes in traditional Mexican and Greek breakfast fare. New to the menu are paninis and pasta, as well as special deals for senior citizens and children -- on Mondays between 4 and 5 p.m. kids eat free so long as an adult orders a meal and a drink.

Still in store for the restaurant is a new paint job on the interior, though the booths and chairs will remain the same.

"The restaurant is outdated," Mikelis says. "That’s why we made the sign the way we did with the 1950s feel."

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

Berenices will add 12 styling stations with expansion

Berenices, an Aveda concept salon in Congress Park, is adding 1,200 square feet to its existing space, expanding its services and adding stylists as a result of rapid growth over the last 10 years.

The expansion will give the salon a total of 4,700 square feet of space, making it the largest Aveda concept salon in Denver.

"We’ve been double-digit growth almost since we started 10 years ago," says Louie Lago, managing partner of the salon and owner of the building. 

The salon now has about 14 stylists and plans to add up to 15 more with the addition of 12 new stations, says Lago, who also runs the software company Neill Technologies. It will add spa services and hair extensions to its menu of offerings, which already include massage, waxing, brow shaping and facials, in addition to traditional cut and color. 

The expansion will match the exterior of Lago's neighboring copper-clad building, which houses the Glaze Baum Cake Shoppe, a bakery featuring the Euro-Asian Baumkuchen, which originated in Germany and were embraced in Kobe, Japan, over 100 years ago.

The addition to Berenices also will include a luxury apartment above the salon. The 2,200-square-foot unit will have three bedrooms, three bathrooms and 18-foot ceilings. Lago expects it will rent for $3,500 to $4,000 a month.

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

2020 Lawrence opens May 15

The 2020 Lawrence apartment building celebrates its grand opening May 15.

Developed by Zocalo Community Development, the 10-story building at 20th and Lawrence streets in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood offers residents a rooftop health center overlooking the mountains and furnished with state-of-the-art fitness equipment; a rooftop pet exercise area featuring artificial grass; a lobby-level demonstration kitchen and communal living reoom; and a rooftopo lounge with hot tub, outdoor kitchen and a fire pit.

Zocalo is working on getting a restaurant for a portion of the 9,000 square feet of street-level retail space.

The 231 units at 2020 Lawrence range from 475-square-foot studios to nearly 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom apartments and rent for between $1,025 and $2,305 a month.

Most apartments offer some type of outdoor space and all feature European-style kitchens with quartz countertops and washers and dryers.

The project is LEED Gold registered and will be one of the greenest apartment buildings in the country. Features include Energy Star-rated appliances, flooring and other finishes made of recycled and locally sourced materials and high-efficiency water fixtures, which use 34 percent less water than standard products. The building also will offer recycling on every floor, as well as a composting program.

Overall, 2020 Lawrence residents are expected to spend 50 percent less on tehir utility bills than they would living in a similar non-LEED-certified building.

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

Highland home wins TLC's Four Houses competition

LoHi residents Liza Kampstra and Craig Evans are the winners of a $10,000 grand prize for TLC's Four Houses competition.

The contest pitted four Colorado homeowners against each other in a battle of unique decor and personal style. Contestants judged their competitors' homes and awarded points based on originality, style and livability.

"I'm going to put (the money) in my son's college fund, but we will throw a little party," Kampstra said.

Kampstra calls her 7,000-square-foot ultra modern home an "urban retreat" and says the skyline is her art.

"It’s like something Trump would have," said Gary, one of Kampstra's competitors who owns a 35-acre ranch in Sedalia decorated with animals he killed and mounted himself. "It's totally opposite of my deal, but I'm liking what I'm seeing. I can adapt to almost anything."

Not so for contestant Karla, who described her six-bedroom, nine-bath home in Parker as an "arts-and-crafts" style home. She seemed to find fault with nearly every aspect of Kampstra's home, with the exception of the deck featuring an outdoor fireplace, flat-screen TV and massive cooking area.

“You'd be sitting on her couch and the most exciting thing you’d see is a car crash,” she said. “The house has an amazing view, but most of it is the highway.”

Judi, the fourth contestant whose Boulder home is as funky as a consignment store, loved everything about Kampstra's home.

“I could move in here right now and stay for a week,” she said.

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

ULC brings $70 million investment along new rail line

The Urban Land Conservancy is bringing more than $70 million in economic investment the W Line, the new light-rail line that opened last week. 

The nonprofit ULC has been buying real estate along the W Line for over six years, knowing that affordable housing and other community assets are critical of successful public transit buildout.

"Each new rail line is a catalyst for transit-oriented development in metro Denver, and ULC has been very strategic in our real estate investments and partnerships and stewardship on the W Line, maximizing and leveraging resources to increase economic opportunities for low-income families, seniors and the community as a whole," says Aaron Miripol, president and chief executive of ULC.

ULC’s four W Line property purchases and their projected development values are:
  • Jody Apartments next to the Sheridan Station. ULC bought the property in December 2007 in partnership with NEWSED for $3.5 million and now has 62 units of affordable apartments on two acres. The complex will be redeveloped at a higher density under Denver’s new zoning code, preserving and creating permanently affordable housing in a mixed-use setting. Residents will not be displaced and can remain in the community. The projected value of the project is $25 million.
  • Mile High Vista at Colfax and Irving Street is located within a quarter mile of both the Knox and Federal/Decatur stations. ULC purchased the two-acre parcel in March 2011 for $2.14 million. The City and County of Denver bought 0.84 acres of the site the following year to build a new public library. Del Norte acquired a portion of the site to build  80 affordable homes and 10,000 square feet of community space. ULC is the master developer, completing infrastructure on the entire site and retains land planned for a 20,000-square-foot commercial building. The value of the project is estimated at $30 million.
  • 11th Avenue TOD is next to the Sheridan Station at 11th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. The 0.83j-acre site was purchased for $350,000 in July 2012. ULC is partnering with Rocky Mountain Communities to develop 58 affordable senior housing units. The projected value of the project is $10 million.
  • Villas at Wadsworth Station at 1330-1337 Yukon St. in Lakewood. ULC preserved 100 units of existing affordable housing when it bought the site in December 2012 for $7 million. The 2.36-acre property is 50 feet from the Wadsworth Station.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

DIA seeking artists for expansion project

The Denver International Airport Art & Culture Program is seeking an artist or team of artists to create and exterior artwork for the north Wall of the roadway and bus station for new South Terminal redevelopment now under construction.

The commission for the work is $200,000. The deadline for submitting portfolios is May 31. The entire South Terminal project will generate more than $4.25 million in permanent and temporary public art and design commissions over a three-year period.

"One percent of the construction cost is dedicated to public art," says Stu Williams, program manager for the South Terminal Redevelopment Project.

The current commission is for a 400-foot wall at the north end of the Public Transit Center that will be completed in 2015. The selection panel is seeking a one-of-a-kind artwork appropriate for a transit center in one of the world's busiest airports. Materials should be durable, easy to clean and maintain and able to withstand dirt and snow/ice-melt chemicals.

In 2011, DIA started its first major airport redevelopment project since it opened in 1995. The five-year, $500 million project includes a hotel and conference center and train station connecting the airport to downtown.

The 519-room Westin Hotel and Conference Center is expected to open in early 2015, and the Public Transit Center will open in early 2016.

"The hotel will do its own art but is coordinating with DIA to get local artists into the rooms," Williams says.

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

New building gives CCD new classrooms, office space

The 87,000-square-foot Confluence building at Community College of Denver opened May 2.

Located on the southwest side of the Auraria Campus at Seventh Street and West Colfax Avenue, the $40 million building will give students access to services and programs, as well as provide 14 new classrooms, tutoring, testing, office space, meeting rooms and a cafe.

"It’s a really important project for CCD," says Bernice Harris, the college’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer. "We’ve never had a new building, and we’ve never had a building that’s ours."

Confluence is an energy-efficient building with the design taking advantage of natural light and incorporating features such as a green roof, chilled beams, radiant floor, triple-paned insulated glass and sunscreens.

"It is a building that is now the standard for the Auraria Campus," says Duane Risse, the college's Chief Financial Officer and Vice President. "Little old CCD has made its mark on the campus."

Designed by OZ Architecture of Denver and Boora Architects of Portland, Ore., the project was funded by a student-approved fee increase and college reserves. 

"The students wanted this building," Harris says. "They wanted a new building, they wanted more classrooms. It’s really going to be a sea change for this college in terms of how students feel about being at CCD."

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

aBuzz Gallery opens in RiNo

aBuzz Gallery is opening May 2 in the old Dry Ice Factory in the RiNo Art District.

The 1,200-square-foot  gallery, at 3340 Walnut St., will showcase emerging and established artists in all media.

aBuzz is changing how artists and galleries interact. At each solo show, exhibiting artists will be given a customized marketing plan and instructions on how to execute a business model developed by internationally known fiber artist and gallery owner Carol Ann Waugh. aBuzz also will publicize artists through its newsletter and web site.

"When I became a full-time artist four years ago, I was amazed at how little artists knew about how to market their work to potential buyers," Waugh says. "Most art departments at colleges don’t spend much time on giving students the skills they need to make a living as an artist, so mission in opening this gallery is to do just that."

Artists will pay a flat fee to showcase their art for three weeks.  Each artist will have opening and closing receptions, artist talks and participate in First Fridays. The gallery will not take commissions on works they sell.

The gallery’s opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wed. May 2.

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

Stonebridge opens hotel in old Xcel headquarters

Colorado's first dual-brand hotel is celebrating its grand opening.

Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown-Convention Center is open in the original Xcel Energy headquarters at 550 15th St. just a half block from the Colorado Convention Center. 

Developed by Englewood-based Stonebridge Cos., the 13-story hotel includes 302 rooms and 4,355 square feet of meeting space. The lobby will be split between the two brands, offering separate front desks, lodging and dining areas.

"Our team has taken great care and consideration in the adaptive reuse of this landmark Denver building," said Navin Dimond, president and chief executive of Stonebridge. "We are especially pleased with the efforts taken to make it a true original."

The hotel features artwork from six local artists, a living green wall in the lobby and bold use of color, texture and space throughout.

Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown-Convention Center is Stonebridge's first dual-brand property, and will bring approximately 75 jobs to the Denver area. The opening also marks the 12th dual-branded property from Hilton Worldwide in North America, and the 11th featuring the Homewood Suites brand.

Founded in 1991 by Navin Dimond, Stonebridge is a privately owned hotel-management company that has developed more than 60 hotels and operated more than 75 lodging properties. Currently, Stonebridge operates over 40 hotels with more than 6,000 guest rooms in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington and New York.  Its portfolio includes select-service, extended stay, mid-scale and full-service hotels in primary and secondary markets.

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

Lechuga's is up for sale

Lechuga's Italian Restaurant & Lounge, a north Denver institution, is up for sale. 

Owners Rachael Vigil and Chuck Lechuga are asking $3 million for the real estate and business at 3609 Tejon St. in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood, where over the years diners have enjoyed spaghetti, salad and garlic bread for $4.99 -- and a dose of karaoke on Thursday nights.

Originally Carbone's Bakery in the in the 1940s, political powerhouses Sal Carpio and the late Paul Sandoval bought the business in the 1960s and it soon transformed into a meeting ground for state legislators.

Sandoval, a former Democratic state senator, influenced the careers of numerous politicians in his office at Tamales by Las Casita, the restaurant he owned across from what is now Lechuga's. Sandoval died last year.

Carpio served on the Denver City Council and as Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority.

Vigil and Lechuga purchased the business, known for its square pizzas, 22 years ago, but with development in LoHi booming, the business partners determined now is the time to sell, said Juanita Chacon, a broker with ReMax Alliance, who is listing the property.

"There are 2,400 residential units in a quarter-mile radius," Chacon said. "The ideal buyer would preserve the development. It is the last of the north Denver institutions."

The restaurant is in an area that was known as Denver's Little Italy until the 1980s.

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

Dirty Cookie delivers late night sweetness

What started as a case of the late-night munchies ended up as a business for Chris Newell and Jennifer Coolbrith, who recently opened a fresh-cookie delivery service in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood.

Open from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, The Dirty Cookie offers free delivery of its warm cookies, milk and ice cream within a three-mile radius of its 2,500-square-foot commissary at 3462 Larimer St.,

Newell and Coolbrith, who both currently have full-time jobs, plan to open a downtown-area coffee and cookie shop by the end of August.

"We plan on filling the whole corridor with the smell of chocolate chip cookies," Newell said.

The partners are planning a second location -- retail or not -- near the University of Denver to cut down on the time it takes drivers to deliver orders to that area.

"If we get two orders from DU back-to-back, two drivers are gone for an hour," Newell said. 

Ultimately, The Dirty Cookie will have a location in Boulder and then branch out with franchises throughout the state.

"Everything about our company is Colorado -- all the way down to the cows that produce the milk," Newell said. 

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

Ruby Hill Park to get new amphitheater

Levitt Pavilion Denver plans to build and operate an amphitheater in Ruby Hill Park.

The facility will be a live-performance venue southwest of downtown Denver, with live music year-round and 50 free concerts annually featuring local, national and international artists. It’s part of a park revitalization project that will turn Ruby Hill Park, Located on the South Platte River south of West Florida Avenue, into a cultural and recreational oasis.

Levitt Pavilions has pledged $1.2 million over five years in addition to $100,000 each year in ongoing operational support for the project. The funds will be added to a $2 million bond appropriation announced by Mayor Michael Hancock in October, as well as a pledge and partnership with the Greenway Foundation.

The Levitt Pavilion Denver board includes cultural, business and community leaders from across the Denver metropolitan area, including Denver First Lady Mary Louis Lee, Denver City Councilman Chris Nevitt, Laurie Dannemiller, head of Denver Parks & Recreation, and Tad Bowman of Denver Arts & Venues

"The addition of the Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park is key to our long-term planning efforts to integrate arts and culture into our green spaces," Dannemiller said. "Forming strong public-private partnerships helps build a solid foundation for success, and we look forward to showing off Ruby Hill Park as the standard for developing and programming urban parks around the country."

Levitt Pavilion Denver will be the seventh ampitheater Levitt Pavilions has built, joining Los Angeles; Pasadena, Calif.; Arlington, Texas; Memphis; Bethlehem, Penn.; and Westport Conn.

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

Model homes open at Midtown

The first model homes at Midtown at Clear Creek are open.

Midtown, a boutique community from Brookfield Residential, is positioning itself as a unique alternative to the Highland, Berkeley and Sunnyside neighborhoods, providing new home construction in close proximity to those areas and just minutes from downtown.

When complete, the 184-acre development will include a 47-acre park and about 1,300 single-family homes, with prices starting in the high $200,000 range.The Garden Shed community center will serve as a gathering place for residents with an indoor venue, outdoor plaza and community gardens. Midtown also will have an off-leash dog park.

From tankless water heaters and 92 percent efficient furnaces to the Blue Stained studs used in framing, the homes were designed with energy efficiency in mind. All homes at Midtown will be Energy Star 3.0 verified.

Two builders are currently building at Midtown: Brookfield Homes and David Weekley Homes.

"We jumped at the chance to help build the Midtown community," says Rod Staten, project manager for David Weekley. "For our company, being environmentally friendly is more than a buzzword -- it’s the future of building, and we’re excited to align with Brookfield Residential, which shares the same values."

Brookfield's homes will range from 1,700 to 2,200 square feet and start in the mid $300,000 range. The homes feature low-flow fixtures  and Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles, with an opt-in monitoring system accessible from any internet connection that shows energy production and generation. 

David Weekley homes range from 1,400 to 2,300 square feet and start in the high $200,000 range. Features include a balanced home ventilation systems and programmable thermostats.

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

Room & Board expanding in Cherry Creek North

Contemporary home furnishings retailer Room & Board is expanding its store in Cherry Creek North.

The company has hired Denver-based Roth Sheppard Architects, known for its retail and restaurant work, to design the expansion.

Room & Board first partnered with Roth Sheppard on the renovation and redesign of the retailer's showroom at 222 Detroit Street in 2001. Then, beginning late last year, the company tapped the firm to help it with acquisition of the adjacent property to the south. The purchase of the building at Second Avenue and Detroit Street was finalized in late December.

"The acquisition of additional retail space will enable us to display more of our furniture and accessories in a larger inspirational environment," said Mark Miller, Room & Board's CFO. "This will help us meet more of our customers' needs in the Denver market."

Initially, the newly acquired building will be used to showcase Room & Board’s 2013 collection of handcrafted, American-made outdoor furniture. Minor cosmetic changes will be made for the temporary use of the ground level only. The company’s long-term plan includes the design and construction of a new addition, which will be accessed directly through its existing showroom.

Timing of the expansion has yet to be determined.

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

The Über Sausage opens in LoHi

The Über Sausage has opened a second location in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood.

In addition to house-made sausages, the 1,200-square-foot fast-casual restaurant at 1535 Central St. dishes up a selection of salads and sandwiches, as well as offering a full breakfast menu. The restaurant is waiting for the state to sign off on its liquor license.

"We’re excited to be here," says Alex Gschwend, one of the partners in the restaurant. "In Lower Highland, there are a lot of sit-down places, but not a lot of fast casual."

The restaurant's signature creation is The Swiss, a veal and pork sausage sandwich with clover sprouts, chopped red onions and parsley, spicy brown mustard and a yellow curry-based seasoning.

"It’s common street food in Switzerland and Austria," Gschwend says. "We started with that one sandwich and went through a lot of trial and error building the menu."

While the partners, who also include Henry DeMatteis and Brad Arguello, are planning a third location on South Broadway, they have no plans to franchise their concept.

"We’re still trying to figure out who we are," Gschwend says.

The partners opened their first store at 2730 East Colfax Ave. in 2011. 

Long-time friends Arguello and Gschwend were born and raised in Denver and both come from a long line of restaurateurs. They went to college in Boston, where they met DeMatteis.

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

MSU Denver moving ahead on athletic complex

Metropolitan State University at Denver's planned groundbreaking  on its state-of-the-art athletic complex at Fifth Street and Old Colfax Avenue was thwarted by wintry weather on Wednesday. It has been rescheduled for June.

The 12.5-acre complex will include baseball, softball and soccer fields and eight tennis courts. It will be home of six of the Roadrunners' 15 sports.

In addition to varsity athletics, intramural sports and academic programs, the complex will provide health, sports and recreation opportunities to the surrounding underserved Denver communities and to downtown Denver businesses and residents. A perimiter trail will frame the complex, providing a three-quarter-mile walking loop for the community.

The complex, designed by Davis Design, will be built by Saunders Construction. It’s the fourth MSU Denver-owned facility, established 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 and the Student Success Building and Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center along the Auraria Parkway on the Auraria Campus.

Through a memorandum of agreement in 2011, MSU Denver assumed all campus shared costs for the complex and its facilities and retains full ownership, management oversight and naming rights.

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

GrahamGolden buys old Mariposa Clinic

The long-vacant Mariposa Clinic in the Art District on Santa Fe has new life as an office building for two local firms. 

In February, IT consultancy GrahamGolden Technologies (GGT) and Layer Cake Creative, a marketing and public relations agency, relocated to the architecturally unique building at the corner of 11th Avenue and Kalamath St. 

GGT purchased the 10,000-square-foot building from Denver Health and Hospital Authority in October. Remodeling began soon after, led by the design/build team of Insula Design Studio and Alcorn Construction.
 
Each firm enjoys its own office suite, with individual and group work spaces, a conference room, and casual meeting spaces. They share common spaces and are planning a joint open house.

GrahamGolden Technologies is a Denver-based IT firm started in 2001 by partners Ralph Graham and Jeremy Golden. They work with both enterprise and small-business clients, providing solutions in network design and implementation, VOIP, virtualization, IT strategy and managed services. 

Layer Cake Creative is a full-service marketing and public relations firm that specializes in promoting professional service clients. Founded by Kimberly MacArthur Graham in 2009, and based in Denver, the company offers design for print and web, copy writing and editing, video and animation, publicity, social media, event services and marketing strategy solutions to a national clientele.

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

Greenbox Self Storage adds two locations

Focus Property Group plans to add two new Greenbox Self Storage locations in downtown Denver later this year.

The new locations build on the success of Focus' first facility at 3310 Brighton Blvd., which opened in January, 

"The downtown Denver population is growing at an exceptional rate, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon," says Bahman Shafa, real estate developer and founder of Greenbox. "There are currently over 17,000 residents and 44,000 students attending school in the metro area, so the need for storage has never been greater."

The second Greenbox location will be at 2424 Delgany Street, just north of Coors Field. The 130,000-square-foot, two-story building will feature 650 modern storage units, large-scale rentable warehouse space and state-of-the art amenities, including computerized keypad access, climate-controlled units, video surveillance and free use of moving trucks for customers. The building also will feature a 90-foot landmark glass and steel tower designed to enhance the downtown skyline and become a landmark for the neighborhood.

Greenbox also will offer customers at this location a Small Business Solutions Center, complete with shipping services, fax and copy machines, Wi-Fi access and a private conference room, enabling the space to serve as a small-business and start-up incubator. 

The third facility will be at 1385 S. Santa Fe Dr.. the lower level will have 45,000 square feet of rentable storage space with 407 units ranging from 25 square feet to 2,300 square feet. 

The upper level of the Santa Fe building is leased primarily to Urban Lights, Denver’s largest lighting showroom. Drive-in RV and boat units will be available for customer at this location.

Both new Greenbox Self Storage locations are already under development and have been designed to be as sustainable as possible, with plans to use energy efficient insulation and recycled materials during the building process. Approximately 300 solar panels will be installed at each building, which will save more than a combined 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted each year when compared to traditional storage facilities. 

Storage units and retail space at the original 3310 Brighton Boulevard Greenbox location are available to rent now, with prices starting at just $49 per month.

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

New stores bring NorthCreek shops to 100 percent occupancy

Four new tenants signed leases at The Shops at NorthCreek, bringing the tony residential and retail development in Cherry Creek to 100 percent occupancy.

The new additions include Kate Spade New York, Calypso St. Barth, Francesca's and ExOfficio. Each store features its own unique style of clothing and fashion, whether it's formal or casual wear, outdoor gear or clothing for travel and adventure.

"We’ve worked very diligently to make The Shops at NorthCreek among the most uniqu and desirable shopping destinations in Denver, with a tremendous mix of retailers and restaurants," says Roy Kline, a partner with Western Development Group, the developers of NorthCreek. "This is a very exciting time for NorthCreek and Cherry Creek North, and we feel fortunate to be able to work with the neighborhood leaders and businesses to bring new concepts and visions to the area that will complement it as a whole."

In addition to the new tenants, The Shops at NorthCreek include Harems, Loro PIana, True Food Kitchen, Eileen Fisher, See Eyewear, The North Face, Pasta Pasta, prAna, The Blue Jeans Bar and Chase Bank.

NorthCreek is a $100 million, mixed-use development across from the Cherry Creek Shopping Center between First and Second avenues and Detroit and Second streets. The shopping center is one of Denver's most popular attractions and includes more than 350 restaurants, bars, coffee shops and stores.

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

Stapleton's first neighborhood north of I-70 under way

Forest City Enterprises Inc. is beginning the buildout of Conservatory Green, its eighth neighborhood at Stapleton. 

Conservatory Green will be the first of future neighborhoods north of Interstate 70 that will ultimately double the size of Stapleton, a master-planned community on the site of Denver’s former airport.

"While Conservatory Green has its own unique identity, it will offer the same quality of life that has made our community one of the nation’s most successful urban infill projects," says John Lehigh, chief executive of Forest City. "We have gleaned key lessons from the build-out of past neighborhoods to create the next evolution of life at Stapleton and carry Denver’s roots forward with some extraordinary new ideas."

Conservatory Green will offer all the amenities Stapleton is known for, including award-winning schools, year-round community events and homes available in every style and price range. The new neighborhood also will have acres of parks and open space that integrate into the landscape.

There will be a variety of energy-efficient homes to choose from, many of which offer ways for residents to incorporate urban agriculture into their lifestyles. The garden-ready approach ranges from options for attached greenhouses to double-entry garages with doors wide enough for wheelbarrows.

Garden Court homes will have garden beds on courtyards where neighbors can gather to harvest fruits and vegetables. Stapleton has appointed Bryant Mason, founder of Urban Farm Co., to be chief gardening officer and share his expertise with residents.

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

Former Denver Post printing plant to be redeveloped

Ascendant Development is planning a mixed-use redevelopment of the long-vacant Denver Post printing plant at the “mousetrap” freeway interchange at Interstates 20 and 70.

25/70 will offer a mix of nationally recognized residential and commercial design showrooms, as well as specialty retail, restaurants, conference and event spaces and design studios, professional office space and multifamily residences.

"From the beginning, we imagined this campus as a destination, with design as the common thread among all the seemingly different elements," says Graham Benes of Denver-based Ascendant. "A lot of amazing design is happening in Denver, and we want to call attention to it and give the world a place to come and see it."

Pre-leasing is under way and renovations of the 320,000-square-foot building will begin late this year. Phase I of the project is expected to open in early fall 2014.

Nationally recognized design center consultants Stephen Nobel of NOBELINKS and Nancye Green of Donovan/Green helped develop the overall concept for 25/70 and continue to participate in the programming of the showroom, retail and public spaces.

After a national search, Ascendant selected Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works Architecture of Portland, Ore., to lead master planning and architectural design. The company's portfolio includes the Clyfford Still Museum

Local firms participating in the project include Interior Architects and Saunders Construction.

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

Balfour breaks ground on $74 million senior living project

Balfour Senior Living plans to build a $74 million senior living community in downtown Denver. 

The company broke ground last month on the Balfour at Riverfront Park at 15th and Little Raven streets adjacent to the Moffat Train Depot, a 1,200-square-foot historic building that will be incorporated into the project as a great room.

The age-restricted community will offer a full range of independent, assisted and memory-care living choices. 

"Colorado has a new generation of seniors who want to enjoy downtown Denver’s dynamic urban lifestyle," says Michael Schonbrun, CEO and founder of Balfour Senior Living. "Until now, seniors have had few options for upscale downtown living, and few anywhere in the state will offer what Balfour at Riverfront Park will provide: an urban lifestyle in a park-like setting where residents have easy access to the city’s leading restaurants, cultural events, entertainment and sports venues."

The 275,000-square-foot, five-story project will include 112 independent apartments; 65 assisted-living apartments; and 27 memory-care units managed by Balfour’s memory care executive director and Alzheimer’s expert.

The project also will feature three dining rooms, a rooftop bar and art studio and several private dining rooms. Residents also will enjoy a fitness center and spa with an indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool and yoga studio.

Balfour also will provide full transportation services, including a private limousine fleet to take residents to and from events, shopping and medical appointments.

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

Laird to open Italian restaurant in Jefferson Park

Chef Brian Laird plans to open Sarto's in Denver’s Jefferson Park neighborhood by the end of the year.

The 4,000-square-foot restaurant and market at 2900 W. 25th St. will feature Northern Italian cuisine, which Laird built his reputation on during his 13 years at Barolo Grill. The market and deli will offer take-away soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas, as well as Italian specialty goods for take-and-make meals, said Taylor Swallow, who with Kajsa Gotlin is Laird's business partner.

"We’ve been looking at that area for 10 years now," Swallow said. "It’s going to be great for us. It’s such a neat old building. It was built in 1904 and has a lot of character."

Sarto's is joining an increasing number of establishments that are sprouting up in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, starting with 2914 Coffee at 2914 W. 25th Ave. which features a variety of blends from Kaladi Brothers Coffee, Little Man Ice Cream, cookies, pastries and sandwiches. The shop also offers live music and special events.

Popular Denver chef Matt Selby, formerly of Vesta, Ace Eat Serve and Steuben's, recently opened Corner House, a bistro-style restaurant at 2240 Clay St.

"Matt Selby is bringing some weight over to that area," Swallow said. "Brian and Matt are good friends, so they’re excited to have restaurants near each other."

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

Mission Yogurt bringing Udi's and Root Down to DIA

Mission Yogurt Inc. is opening two new restaurants at Denver International Airport.

The company, an airport concessionaire with a portfolio of 12 dining brands at DIA, opened Udi's Cafe & Bar on Concourse B in April and will open Root Down on Concourse C in May. 

"Bringing these restaurants into DIA underscores our mission to support Colorado businesses, while also providing airport travelers food that is not only quick and delicious, but healthy," says Rod Tafoya, owner of Denver-based Mission Yogurt. "From day one, we've aimed to source food locally and only provide travelers with food we'd want to eat ourselves."

In addition to providing travelers with quality food and service, Mission is dedicated to ensuring the ambiance in each space is on point. The company worked with the teams behind both new restaurants to create spaces authentic to each brand.

At Udi's, Mission created an environment that mirrors the brand's focus on fresh, healthy food, filling the space with bright colors found in nature such as green and orange.

At Root Down, Mission spent extra time sourcing materials for the space to create an aesthetic inspired by airport hangars with a focus on sustainability. The restaurant features a self-watering green wall, flooring sourced from an old gymnasium and wall decor comprised of recycled cockpit instruments and wing flaps from vintage airplanes.

Mission and Root Down also built a complimentary water bottle refill station using a reverse osmosis system. The refill station is available to all travelers, not just Root Down guests.

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

Urban Land Conservancy makes largest land purchase to date

The Urban Land Conservancy has purchased 9.4 acres of land at Smith Road and Colorado Boulevard in northeast Park Hill to develop 156 permanently affordable apartments and additional assets.

The property, called Park Hill Village West, is in an area of northeast Denver where many families lack access to affordable housing, high-performing schools and quality healthcare. The project is located at the 40th and Colorado station on FasTracks' East Line.

"Not only will 156 new affordable homes be built at this rail station, ULC sees this as a model for community-driven real estate development," says Debra Bustos, director of real estate for ULC.

ULC is working in partnership with The Piton Foundation, the Gary Community Investment Company, the city of Denver and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development on the project.

It’s the largest land purchase ULC has made to date and the largest acquisition using Denver’s $15 million Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Fund, the country’s first created specifically to preserve and develop affordable housing near public transit.

ULC financed $3.7 million of the $6 million acquisition using Denver’s TOD fund. The property is the eighth transaction ULC has made using the fund since it was capitalized in April 2010. The eight acquisitions have preserved or created 625 affordable homes along high-frequency bus and rail corridors.

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

Prices for Logan Lofts start at $180,900

LPH Logan LLC is building a 24-unit loft project at 95 Logan St. in Denver's Byers neighborhood located between Washington Park and Cherry Creek.

Units at Logan Lofts will feature gas fireplaces, off-street parking, custom cabinets, high-end finishes, stainless-steel appliances and individual balconies or patios. The building also includes a rooftop deck.

"It’s close to parks, restaurants, and you’re walking distance to a lot of things, especially on the South Broadway corridor that has neat restaurants and bars," says Tim Colleran, a broker with Kentwood Co. who is marketing the project. "It’s also not too far from light rail."

Designed by John Matthews of Littleton's M-A Architects, the units range from 603-square-foot studios to 1,036-square-foot two-bedroom, two-baths and are priced from $180,900 to $362,600. The project is likely to appeal to young professionals. The units have 9- to 10-foot ceilings, have large windows and a modern, open look. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2014

"We haven’t tried to sell any yet, but people want to live in that neighborhood and there’s  absolutely nothing new there," Colleran says.

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

Renovation work starts on The Burnsley Hotel

RedPeak Properties has started construction on the $5 million renovation of The Burnsley Hotel to convert it into an apartment building. It has been renamed The Burnsley at 1000 Grant

The renovation, to be completed in September, will maintain the historic character and charm of the property’s original architecture and design while bringing the 50-year-old building in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood up to modern-day standards and transforming it into one of Denver's most desirable apartment communities.
 
"The Burnsley is a trophy property in downtown Denver, and we're very excited to be underway with renovation work which will make it a premier place to live and enjoy all of the great things the city has to offer," said Mike Zoellner, CEO of RedPeak Properties. 

W.E. O'Neil Construction, general contractor for the project, will convert 84 hotel rooms into modern-day apartment homes and add four penthouses to the top floors of the property. The property's mechanical, electrical, plumbing and life safety systems will be upgraded to meet today's standards.

The first two floors will provide amenity areas and services to residents, and the building's facade will be repaired. 
 
RedPeak Properties purchased The Burnsley Hotel in December Joy Burns, who owned the property for over 40 years. The 17-story all-suite property has a rich history as a downtown Denver landmark. The Burnsley Hotel was originally constructed as an apartment community in 1963 before being converted into a hotel and jazz club, which quickly gained popularity.

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

Downtown map reveals investment in Denver

The Downtown Denver Partnership has created a downtown development map to illustrate the private and public investments that have occurred in Denver’s urban core over the past five years.

The Downtown Denver Development Map also shows 20 developments currently under construction. All told, the map lists 72 public and private sector developments or infrastructure projects in downtown Denver.

"We have seen a great concentration of development in the center city over the past five years signaling ongoing investment in downtown," says Tami Door, President and Chief Executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Highlighting these developments in this unique development map allows us to tell the story of growth and expansion in the urban center and share with developers and business leaders in order to continue those investments in the future."

In addition to mapping developments, the map illustrates several facts about downtown developments over the last five years:
  • 6,061 residential units added or under construction
  • 2.4 million square feet of office space added or under construction
  • 2,190 hotel rooms added or under construction
  • 42 percent of the projects were residential
  • 20 projects are currently under construction, seven of which are in the Union Station area

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

RedPeak building 302-unit apartment building in Uptown

RedPeak Properties is building a 302-unit apartment complex in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood. 

One City Block, between 18th and 19th avenues and Logan and Pennsylvania streets, will consist of four buildings around a central courtyard and include 9,800 square feet of retail space. It is slated to be complete by early 2014.

RedPeak purchased the property in 2006 from the Catholic Archdiocese, which operated schools on the site for over 100 years.

"It’s a landmark site," says Evan Lichtenfels, RedPeak’s development director. "We’ve created separate buildings with different architectural design so it looks as if it were built over time. We want it to tie into the existing fabric of the neighborhood."

Units range from studios that lease for $1,100 a month to two-bedrooms that lease for $2,000 a month. Amenities include a large community room, game room with cyber cafe, yoga room and rooftop decks.

"We designed the amenities to be geared toward millennials and the Gen Y group moving to Denver," Lichtenfels says. "This millennial group is really socially active and as rather than entertaining in their units, they’re more likely to hang out in the community spaces."

The project is just a block from Benedict Park and walking distance to numerous restaurants and bars. It’s about halfway between Denver’s central business district and the Exempla Hospital redevelopment.

"It’s very convenient for future hospital employees," Lichtenfels says. "The neighborhood has a great history and great urban fabric."

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

RTD West Line named most significant construction project

The Regional Transportation District’s West Rail Line project has been named one of the most significant construction projects of 2012 by the Associated  General Contractors of America.

The AGC’s Alliant Build America Awards are considered among the most prestigious recognition of construction accomplishments in the country.

The West Rail Line project was completed eight months ahead of schedule and on budget. The line travels through three cities, which required intergovernmental agreements. Denver Transit Construction Group, the project’s civil contractor, built 13 bridges, two tunnels, 12 stations and 12 miles of light rail.

Lakewood-based Denver Transit Construction Group also received one of the AGC’s Alliant Build America Awards.

"RTD is fortunate to have had Denver Transit Construction Group as one of the major contractors in the West Rail Line project," says RTD General Manager Phil Washington. "They demonstrated hard work, tremendous skill and determination to see this important project through to completion."

The West Rail Line is the first completed line to open in RTD’s multi-billion FasTracks transit expansion program. When it opens in April 26, it will be called the W Line and is expected to draw ridership of 19,300 people daily.

The 12.1-mile light-rail line will run from Denver Union Station through Lakewood and the Federal Center, and to the Jefferson County Government Center in Golden. It will include 12 stations and six park-and-rides.

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

Beast + Bottle opens in Uptown

The Beast + Bottle opened March 16 at 719 E. 17th Ave. in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood.

Siblings Paul and Aileen Reilly, who were behind the late Encore Restaurant,  call Beast + Bottle a rustic American craft restaurant. It will serve dinner and brunch Tuesday through Sunday. (Brunch service will start in the next few weeks.)

Chef Paul Reilly runs the kitchen, dishing up creative cuisine from small plates ranging from fois gras pastrami on pumpernickel with pear mostarda to ricotta gnudi with leek soubise, asparagus and artichoke chips. 

He also serves a range of flatbreads, including the fig + pig, which made the move from Encore, and mortadella with pistachio pesto, taleggio and castelvetrano olives.

Entrees range from pan-roasted leg of lamb with carrot puree, English pease, lentils du puy and parsley to fluke with lemongrass lobster nage, fingerling potatoes, fava beans and tarragon. Not to be missed is the burrata mezzaluna  with pork meatballs, spring mushrooms and mushroom jus.

City Star Brewing in Berhoud is making Beast + Bottle’s house beer: B + B Barnhouse Saison. Specialty cocktails include 867-5309 Ginny (Broker’s gin, saler, lime and house bitters) and Agave New Attitude (30/30 blanco, vermouth and orange bitters).

Decor is simple, with booths lining the east wall and a banquette along the back. The space is not as cramped as it was when Beast + Bottle’s predecessor Olivea occupied it -- the partition between the dining room and the bar has been removed.

Electronics and crafts blend at Concoctory

South Broadway merchants are hosting a block party March 23 to celebrate the grand openings of The Concoctory and Cafe Crescendo.

The festivities kick off with a scavenger hunt from 3 to 6 p.m., starting at Cafe Crescendo at 2190 S. Delaware. Cafe Crescendo serves organic coffee and tea, sandwiches, soups and salads.

From 5 to 10 p.m., The Concoctory will host participants to retro arcade games, food trucks and live music in its 1,500-square-foot space at 1875 S. Broadway. Weather permitting, the event will feature a Tesla coil at sundown by Mad Scientist Gomez.

Other merchants participating in the party include Treelotta, Dedication Tattoo, Kolacny Music, Azucar Bakery, Regal Vintage, Mystic Ink and Flossy McGrew’s.

Started by Mar Williams, The Concoctory is a mix of electronics and crafts designed to take the mystery out of technology for people of all ages.

"I have this love of electronics and come from an art background and wanted to merge the two to show arts and crafters that electronics is not a big, scary thing to get into," Williams says. "I’m trying to show that electronics is cool, accessible and fun. Technology is part of our world, and people don’t know how to tinker with it."

In addition to its retail outlet, The Concoctory also hosts workshops to help people overcome their fear of technology. The first will be an Easter egg workshop, with a robot drawing on the Easter eggs.

"Even the robot is something you can take home and put together," Williams says.



Line28 at LoHi is 40 percent leased

Since residents started moving in in January, Line28 at LoHi is about 40 percent full.

Though not quite all the work is done, residents in the 130-unit building developed by Holland Residential can enjoy all one of Denver's hippest neighborhoods has to offer, including coffee shops, bars and restaurants within walking distance of the building at 1560 Boulder St. 

"It’s been a fun project, but it's not quite done," says Erik Hagevik, partner in charge of Holland’s Colorado region. "We’re making a few changes to the clubhouse and working with local artists to create one-of-a-kind artwork for the building to bring the local community and the neighborhood into the building."

The rooftop deck is scheduled to open in April, and Holland is continuing work on interior finishes, landscaping and furniture.

The majority of residents who've moved into the building have been Gen Yers and people who work from home.

"We’ve had people who want to use the second bedroom for a study or an office," Hagevik says. "It's been a mix of people."

Rents at Line28 at LoHi range from $1,200 a month for a studio to more than $2,000 a month for a two bedroom apartment. The average unit size is 690 square feet.

The developer is seeking LEED certification for the eco-friendly project, which features low VOC paints, adhesives and flooring, reclaimed and refurbished items,  low-flow toilets, showers and faucets, energy-efficient appliances and extra insulation in floors, windows, walls and ceilings.

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

Old South Pearl to get new coffee shop

Twin brothers Hani and Zahi Yaafouri plans to open Steam Espresso Bar in the Old South Pearl neighborhood by the end of March.

The brothers purchased the 1,420-square-foot building at 1801 S. Pearl St. in August and have been building out the space since November. The 60,000-square-foot lot also will include an outdoor seating area where customers can enjoy coffee from Boulder-based Boxcar Coffee Roasters, fresh juice and pastries from the Trompeau Bakery nearby.

Hani Yaafouri says he likes the neighborhood because it supports local businesses.

"We've had a lot of people coming by excited about the opening day," says Yaafouri, who worked for Starbucks in Beirut for six years. "We've been looking for locations for a couple of years. There are plenty of locations available, but to find the right location takes a lot of time."

Hani moved to Denver in 2006 to attend the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, where he earned a master's degree in management and an environmental law degree from the College of Law.

Zahi has been in the area since 2000, earning a degree in architecture from the University of Denver.

"My brother is an architect and has a full-time job, but he's helping with permits and design," Hani Yaafouri says. "We moved here for grad school and fell in love with the city. The weather is amazing and the business environment is great."

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

Troy Guard to open taqueria in RiNo

Xan Creative is designing a new building for Troy Guard's new venture at the edge of Denver's RiNo neighborhood.

Guard, Chef and Owner of TAG and TAG Raw Bar and Operating Partner at TAG Burger Bar, is planning a taqueria and dessert restaurant at Broadway and Larimer Street and has selected Xan to create the space.

The taqueria will be 2,400 square feet and the dessert restaurant, to be operated by Pastry Chef Noah French, will have 1,000 square feet, says Xan’s Stephanie Friday. It also will include a rooftop deck. Xan will design a different look and feel for each side of the establishment.

"We call it space branding," Friday says. 

Among Xan's other projects are Snooze A.M. Eatery, Ace Eat Serve, Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Great Divide Brewing Co. Xan also designs space for creative companies such as Pure Brand Communications, a Denver-based advertising and marketing agency with offices in the Ballpark neighborhood.

Xan is teaming up with Boulder-based architecture and construction firm Tres Birds Workshop on Guard's project. 

The yet-unnamed establishment, behind Billy’s Hot Dogs on what is now a parking lot, is scheduled to open in the fall.

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

Denver Distillery to open in Baker this summer

Ron Tarver is transforming an old Victorian hotel in Denver’s Baker neighborhood into the Denver Distillery, where he plans to make whiskey, vodka and gin.

The 3,000-square-foot also will feature a tasting room overlooking the stills in the building's basement.

Tarver says the establishment will cater to 25- to 35-year old professionals, a demographic that has become increasingly conscious of what they're consuming.

"They're all into non-corporate," says Tarver, the 65-year-old owner of Broadway Terrace Realty. "They want to know where th efood comes from. They want to see that someone is actually making what they’re buying. I want them to see how I make it and where it’s made."

He’s hired Denver artist Charles Wooldridge to restore the cast-iron posts at the front of the building and architect Scott Moore of Dalkita to design the project in the three-story brick building at 244 S. Broadway.

"I’ve got the right people, and I like how they do things," Tarver says.

When he started cleaning up the building, formerly the Imperial Hotel, he found five Budweiser bottles and newspapers dating to 1903, which he’s put under glass to preserve.

"I thought people would like to look at them," he says.

Tarver expects to open the Denver Distillery sometime this summer. He’s already obtained the zoning and will apply for construction documents within the next 30 days. 

"I’ve never done retail," he says. "I thought I could just kind of go into it, but it’s really quite complex."

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

Restaurant Savvy provides one stop shopping for restaurant vendors

A group of 13 businesses that caters to the restaurant industry has joined forces to provide products and services to new dining establishments as they open.

Restaurant Savvy Consultants includes an architect, accounting firm, construction firm, equipment repair, lighting company and food and liquor distributors. A marketing expert and social media company also are on board.

"We want to be able to walk into a brand-new restaurant and say here are 13 vendors you should work with," says Trisha Lindeman, the marketing consultant who formed the group. "Restaurants are generally too busy to shop for multiple quotes. We want to make it easy for a restaurant to do business with our group."

Restaurant Savvy meets regularly to discuss the various stages of the restaurants in its database.

The group includes representatives from American Express, Jordy Construction, Illumination Systems Lighting, Direct Digital Solutions, Republic National Distributing Co., Heartland Payment Systems, Shamrock Foods, Aloha POS, Gabby Gourmet, On Call Restaurant Accounting, Advantage Service and OpenTable.

"We have the best of the best in each category, and we make it easy for people to open their doors," Lindeman says. "We want to be a one-stop shop. You could call it a power alliance."

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

LoHi gets a new jewelry and clothing store

An experiment with a pop-up store at the Laundry on Lawrence in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, Rachel Lubow has taken the plunge and opened Jewelius in permanent space in LoHi.

The 800-square-foot store at 2405 W. 32nd Ave. features clothing and accessories at reasonable prices. 

"We want to keep fresh, new lines coming in from all over the world, as well as locally an nationally," Lubow says. "We’re on point with trends but at a reasonable, affordable price point."

She calls her lines "inspired" pieces, rather than knockoffs. All jewelry is under $50, and clothing is under $100. Leather goods are less than $200. Lubow expects to open an online store within the next month.

"Sales have been growing since we started," Lubow says. "Now we’re focused on social media and getting the website going."

Lubow operated a jewelry and accessories distribution business -- also called Jewelius -- for a number of years before establishing a retail shop. She’s restarting the distribution company, which will  deliver goods to retailers in California and Colorado locations outside of Denver.

"We don’t want to compete with ourselves," Lubow says. 

The store is named for Lubow’s grandfather Julius, who owned a small business in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.

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

reCyclery bike shop and cafe opens on Capitol Hill

The reCyclery bike shop and cafe sells and repairs bikes on one side of its 2,500-square-foot space at Ogden and 14th streets in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and dishes up unique cuisine on the other.

"We’ve been thinking about this concept since high school and finally got the money put together," says Brian Klees, co-founder of the shop.

The reCyclery bike shop sells all levels of recycled bikes -- everything from $150 commuter bikes to $3,000 road bikes. ReCyclery also has a full-service maintenance shop. 

Klees and business partner Justin Worrell believe that throwing out good gear is a waste. Used bikes and bike parts can be restored, reused, repurposed, repaired and rebuilt so they don’t end up in landfills.

Everything in the cafe side of the business has been designed and hand-built to fit the space. Worrell and Klees, along with family and crew, built the tables, the bar and the floor out of old bike parts.

"All of our furniture is built out of bike parts -- bar stools and tables,"  says Klees, who raced mountain bikes professionally for six years. "The only items we purchased brand new are the light fixtures."

The cafe's menu features hand-held salads sealed with a panini press and kolaches, a dough stuffed with anything from peanut butter and jelly to sausage and jalapeno.

"Everything on the menu pertains to being able to pull up on your bike and eat on your way," Klees says.

The cafe also features three artists each month and will cater art shows after hours.

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

Auraria Campus' Hub is model for sustainability

The three higher-education institutions on the Auraria Campus are creating a model for collaborative projects between the downtown Denver business community and the schools.

The 5th Street Hub at 1224 Fifth St. is aimed at exemplifying sustainability by connecting economic development, social responsibility and environmental stewardship in the heart of downtown Denver.

Located in an old 10,000-square-foot warehouse adjacent to the new light-rail line, The Hub helps students with inventions to engage with the Denver business community.

"We truly view these skilled individuals as the future workforce of Denver, so we want to take every opportunity we can to celebrate the value of the Auraria Campus and the role that it plays in the future success of Denver," says Barb Weiske, executive vice president of administration and chief executive of the Auraria Higher Education Center. "The intent is to bring together a bunch of different entities that are based on sustainable industry."

The University of Colorado Denver’s College of Engineering and Applied Science is developing a design and fabrication facility for road vehicles to support a proposed sustainable automotive engineering and motor sports program.
 
The CU Denver program is collaborating with Metropolitan State University of Denver's biodiesel production and research initiative, which refines used grease from restaurants into fuel for use in its race cars.

The Community College of Denver is creating a new curriculum of study in the area of sustainability to help the Auraria Campus with sustainability-related projects and outreach on the campus. Proposals are reviewed to support potential projects in energy efficiency, alternative transportations, water conservation, food and gardens, renewable energy and waste diversion.

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

willPower Fit opens in Ballpark

The willPower Fit Studio is hosting a grand-opening party from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at its new studio at 2110 Market St. in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood.

The studio offers one-hour classes drill-based classes that include at least 25 minutes of strong cardiovascular work, dynamic flexibility training and functional body-toning exercises without using any equipment. Classes are structured for students of all levels.

And they're barefoot.

"A lot of people don’t move efficiently in bare feet," says Stacey Lei Krauss, owner of the studio. "There’s definitely a tremendous debate about whether or not you should be barefoot. My philosophy is that you wear clothes that allow you to move freely when you work out, but you put your feet in these little boxes. If you’re going to train, train your whole body. Train for head to toe."

Krauss has trained more than 4,000 instructors in the discipline around the world, including in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain and Italy, but this the first physical studio for willPower Fit.

willPower Fit occupies about 1,100 square feet of space in the 5,000-square-foot building. The other portion of the building is leased by Fiit Werx, a bootcamp-style circuit-training class that also is performed barefoot.

"We teach form and function on our side, and then we turn them over to the boys on the other side," says Krauss, who’s been in the fitness industry for over 25 years. "They’re more intensity based."

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

RTD seeking manager for Union Station plazas

The Regional Transportation District is just months away from issuing a request for proposals to find an organization to manage the plazas on the east side of Denver Union Station.

The plazas are designed for both passive use as well as programmed events, such as stage performances, festivals, vending carts and games.

"We engaged a group of experts and stakeholders to talk about what to do with the plazas," says Bill Sirois, senior manager of TOD and planning coordination for RTD’s FasTracks team. "The general consensus was people want to see it actively managed to establish a regular pattern of usage."

The Downtown Denver Partnership has expressed interest in managing the plazas and could be the logical choice when the contract is awarded, Sirois says.

"Most everybody thought the partnership was the best because they already do downtown events," he says.

Some observers say that because the Downtown Denver Partnership already manages everything around Union Station except for the plazas, it only makes sense for the programming contract be awarded to the organization, which also programs most of the other public spaces downtown.

"That space is another jewel in the collection of public spaces and parks in heart of downtown," says Tami Door. "It's critical that it's a safe, clean place and reflects the quality of the development that's taking place around it. We've long been committed to make sure that's what happens with that space."

The south plaza will include fountains that will be computer programed to allow for effects such as jets of water popping up in different shapes and timing patterns. The height of the water jets also will be adjustable to account for wind speed and other factors. A row of trees closer to the station will provide shade to restaurant patios.

Trees on the north plaza will shade the seat walls, planters and movable tables and chairs. The far end of the plaza, closest to the IMA Financial Building now under construction, will remain open to provide sunny space and clear sight lines to the pedestrian bridge and plaza over the commuter rail tracks.


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

Grand Hyatt Denver plans $28 million renovation

The Grand Hyatt Denver is planning a $28 million redesign of the 516-room hotel at 17th and Welton streets downtown.

The lobby will be revitalized with stacked fireplaces embedded in chiseled stone, hand-tufted rugs and a wood canopy ceiling. An onyx wall will be the backdrop for a sculptural root table serving as a registration desk.

"Essentially, this is the opening of a new hotel, an industry leader, making a great property even great," says Greg Leonard, general manager of the AAA Four Diamond hotel. 

The new light fixtures, sconces, wall coverings and flooring in the 38th-floor Pinnacle Club will complement the panoramic views of the city and Rocky Mountains. The Pinnacle Club is one of the only meeting facilities in the United States with windows on all four sides, presenting a 10,600-mile view spanning from Wyoming to Pikes Peak. The Grand Hyatt Conference Center on the second floor of the adjoining office tower and the hotel’s lobby-level Mount Sopris meeting room also will get a makeover.

The hotel also will upgrade its guest rooms using natural materials, rich textures and warm, modern furnishings, including ceruse oak headboards and tree-branch-inspired accent lighting.

The work is expected to be completed this spring.

Last summer, the hotel opened the Pub 17 on Welton Street, a 2013 Sunset Magazine Editors' Pick featuring locally sourced fare and more than 50  handcrafted Colorado microbrews, as well as regional wines and spirits. The hotel also recently added the Skycourt, an outdoor rooftop jobbing track and tennis court, an extension of the updated indoor heated pool and a 24-hour fitness center.

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

Community garden planned for West Colfax neighborhood

A new community garden is sprouting up in north Denver thanks to the Denver Urban Gardens Network.

The new West Colfax Community Urban Garden, in Lakewood Dry Gulch Park near West Wells Place and Utica Street, will have 38 plots, including three set aside for residents in housing projects operated by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, which is a partner in the project.

“As we typically do with any new garden, we worked with the community and assessed community readiness,” said Abbie Harris, development and communications coordinator for Denver Urban Gardens (DUG). “The community has been very active in the planning. It’s really been a full-on community effort.”

DUG builds up to 20 new community gardens each year and has a total of 35 gardens in Denver-area schools. All told, DUG operates over 120 community gardens throughout Denver.

Denver Urban Gardens was established in 1985, to help Denver residents create sustainable, food-producing neighborhood community gardens. Over the last decade, DUG has created a number of ongoing youth and community education programs designed to promote community involvement and ensure long-term garden sustainability.

For more information on getting a plot in the West Colfax garden, call (303) 292-9900 or email dirt @dug.org.
 

Burns Marketing expands in LoDo

Burns Marketing is doubling its staff and relocating to Lower Downtown.

The Johnstown, Colo.-based company is moving in May to 4,281 square feet in the Elephant Corral building at 1444 Wazee St. It’s leaving about 2,000 square feet of space in Zeppelin Development’s TAXI complex in the River North (RiNo) neighborhood.

The company is also expanding its Denver workforce from the four employees it currently has to about 10 people, says Mike Burns, the company's president and chief executive.

Burns founded the agency in 1972 with one client -- the worldwide non-profit Epsilon Sigman Alpha International, which is still one of its largest clients. Burns has helped the organization raise more than $150 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

The firm serves largely business-to-business clients in the technology, medical, and financial industries. Burns’ other clients include Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Advanced Energy.

Burns established its Denver presence last August with the acquisition of Ripcord, giving it a team of seasoned marketing experts with compatible capabilities. Burns also gained new businesses with the deal, including Dynamic Materials Corp., Computer Services Inc. and Science Applications International Corp.’s energy, environment and infrastructure division.

C3 Bike Shop opens in LoHi

Wade Washburn opened C3 Bike Shop about a month ago in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood, joining a number of other bike shops that have recently located in the trendy neighborhood.

C3, which stands for Colorado Cycling Connection, carries high-end bikes by Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, Masi, Haro, Intense, BMC, Leader and Norco in the 1,100-square-foot retail space at 3316 Tejon St. The shop also has an 1,000-square-foot space it uses for servicing bikes and spin classes.

"I try to have cool products from all over the globe," says Washburn, a 12-year veteran in the cycling industry.

Washburn also stocks cruisers starting at $220 and urban bikes starting at $299.

"I’m very interested in getting new riders into the sport," says Washburn, who also is a professional mountain bike racer.

With the purchase of every bike, Washburn offers tune-ups for five years and lifetime adjustments. Washburn, who is triple-certified in fitting, also ensures each bike purchased fits the customer properly.

C3 also carries a full line of cycling apparel and 25 different types of shoes, everything from high-performance road and mountain shoes to more casual cycling shoes that can be worn around town.

C3 joins Jinji Cycles, which opened in June at 2538 W. 32nd Ave; Panda Bicycles opened its concept store in September at 2513 17th St., and Salvagetti, which relocated from its Platte Street store to 3800 Irving St. in July.

LoHi gets new real estate brokerage

Madison & Co. Properties Ltd. has opened a fourth location in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood.

Ken Gellman, Managing Partner and Broker Associate at the Denver-based real estate company, is running the 1,500-square-foot space at West 32nd Avenue and Tejon Street .

"It’s an incredible hard retail corner right in the middle of LoHi," says Gellman, a former English teacher and college-level writing instructor at MSU Denver. "It’s next to a coffee shop, LoHi Steakbar and Williams & Graham."

Gellman and partner Michael Turra also have developed several projects in the Highland neighborhood over the past two years, recently selling a property at West 36th Avenue and Elliot Street.

Gellman and Turra currently have three properties in Highland under construction at 4030 Lowell Blvd., 2885 Lowell and 2633 W. 42nd Ave.

"We haven’t put anything on the market but we get a call from a broker here and there," Gellman says. “It’s really hard for anyone to imagine it until it’s 90 percent done."

While Gellman and Turra both are licensed brokers, they have focused on development over the last few years. Megan Quinn-Mayfield will handle most of the brokerage services for Madison's LoHi office.

In addition Madison's LoHi location, the brokerage has offices at 1221 S. Clarkson St. in central Denver; 201 Milwaukee St. in Cherry Creek North; and 5600 S. Quebec St. in Greenwood Village.

Zanitas moves to Highpointe development

Zanitas Mexican & Margaritas is moving to the Shoppes at Highpointe at Interstate 25 and Hampden Avenue.

Formerly located on The Hill in Boulder, the 2,600-square-foot restaurant is expected to open early next month, and this time it will include a patio.

Zanitas' menu includes traditional Mexican fare such as enchiladas, burritos and tacos, as well as its trademarked NuMex cuisine created by certified master chef Ed Janos, purveyor of Cook's Fresh Market on the 16th Street Mall downtown.

The NuMex cuisine includes novel items such as salmon tacos, mac and cheese tacos and buffalo chicken wing tacos. The restaurant also will have a full bar.

"One thing we learned in Boulder is that some people just want traditional Mexican items like enchiladas and burritos," says Zanitas’ co-founder Nick Hayes. 

Ultimately, the Highpointe development will include a retail center, luxury apartment complex and retirement community. 

Greenwood Village-based developer D.H. Friedman Properties LLC bought the 4.15-acre retail portion of the site, a stone’s throw from the Southmoor Light Rail Station, in 2011, ending years of speculation over who would develop the property that once was home to the first full-service Marriott hotel west of the Mississippi River. The hotel, built as a Marriott in 1974 and converted to a Four Points by Sheraton in 2004, was razed in 2010 by the site's previous owner.

Denver-based Spectrum Retirement Communities LLC is building a 90-unit assisted-living community; and Forum Real Estate Group LLC, also based in Denver, is building the 363-unit Veranda Highpointe apartments.

RedPeak forms team to help downtown residents

Denver development firm RedPeak Properties has created an Urban Living Team to provide assistance and insight into downtown life.

RedPeak, which owns and operates nine properties downtown, established the team to help current and future residents learn more about the entertainment, dining, shopping, parks and other destinations that surround them.

The team includes David Milito, Community Manager; Courtney Lemon, Assistant Manager; Maria Tripodi, Assistant Manager; Jackie Casteel, Leasing Specialist; Lannon Quintana, Service Supervisor; and Sal Azzam, Service Technician.

"Denver has grown to become a city filled with choices, with everything from world-class restaurants, superior entertainment venues, great sports teams, tremendous shopping destinations to outdoor adventures, and we wanted to provide our customers with a team of urban experts," says Mark Windhager, RedPeak’s Chief Operating Officer. "Living and lifestyle options are also among the many choices that come along with residing in this great city and why we are doing more to set a higher standard."

The Urban Living Team stays in touch with all of the deals and events happening in various downtown-area neighborhoods, including Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek North, Uptown, Congress Park and West Highland. Team members can recommend restaurants, bars and places to hang out, as well as special events or offers occurring in the city.

"We want to improve our customers’ experience by thinking about how they live in their building and neighborhood," Windhager says. "We understand that there are a lot of new people moving into Denver who aren't aware of all the things that make it such a special place to live and all the subtle nuances that exist from one downtown neighborhood to the next."

The Urban Living Team is based at 515 Clarkson and can be reached at 720/385-3805.

Get your meatballs at Jensen Cummings' new eatery

Chef Jensen Cummings and his partners, Alex Comisar and Johnny Coast, started dishing out meatballs last week at the Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery in University Hills Shopping Center.

The new 2,200-square-foot restaurant opened Feb. 4 at 2730 S. Colorado Blvd. featuring seven different meatballs and 11 sauces served over pasta, with salad or on a bun or bread.

"We wanted to do a single-food-item fast-casual," Cummings said. "Meatballs seemed like a perfect fit for Denver. Everything is full of flavor but not so aggressive that you can’t mix and match the meatballs and sauces."

Cummings, former Executive Chef of Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar, says he takes a global approach to the cuisine while using locally sourced ingredients.

Cummings plans to open at least one more restaurant by the end of the year, likely in the Denver Technological Center. Though he has no plans to franchise the Slotted Spoon concept, he also is eyeing Boulder and Fort Collins as potential locations.

"Nothing’s ever off the table, but franchising is not our plan," Cummings says. "We want to control the quality and consistency of our product as our brand. We’re built to grow quickly, but not too quickly. We want to grow at the right pace for the product."

Cummings also plans to open a full-service restaurant -- Revelry Pangean Eats -- sometime next year.

"It will be a fun, quirky, hip restaurant that’s upscale," he says. "We’ll take a similar global approach with a lot of local ingredients."

Greenbox Self Storage opens in RiNo

Greenbox Self Storage has opened its first sustainable self-storage facility in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood.

Located at 3310 Brighton Blvd., Greenbox SelfStorage is the first LEED-certified self-storage building in Denver and the first newly constructed storage project downtown in over a decade.

The 45,000-square-foot facility includes 747 storage units and three street-level office/retail units. Additional features include computerized keypad access, individual door alarms on select units, closed-circuit video surveillance and web-based payment options. Storage units and retail space at Greenbox start at $49 a month.

"Our goal was to make renting storage space downtown easy and accessible," says Bahman Shafa, developer of the project. “We are also focused on supporting the community, which is why Greenbox was designed to be as sustainable as possible.”

Greenbox also has 234 solar panels and energy-efficient insulation, and it incorporates numerous recyled materials into its design. The solar panels will generate 76,394 kilowatt hours annually and will eliminate the emission of an estimated 180,695 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

With about 17,000 residents and 44,000 students attending college in the area, conveniently located, available storage space is in demand, Shafa says.

"Over the past 12 years, the residential population has grown more than 85 percent in downtown Denver," Shafa says. "There just isn't enough existing storage space to accommodate such growth, so we are thrilled to bring this new, state-of-the-art storage solution to Denver."

Topaz apartments near DU now leasing

Leasing has started on Topaz, a 40-unit renovated apartment complex in the University of Denver area, and developer University Intrados LLC is wrapping up construction on the second building, expected to be completed in March.

Built in the mid-1960s, University Intrados purchased the property late last year. Formerly the Skier's Inn, the property is undergoing complete interior and exterior renovations, with Wheelhouse Construction acting as the general contractor.

"There's a ton of 1960s product that has seen very little renovation," says Brian Lantzy, vice president of business development for Wheelhouse Apartments and sister company Boutique Apartments. "We’re pretty sure this is one of the first renovations of an older Class C DU asset."

The property includes 38 one-bedroom unites averaging 500 square feet and two two-bedroom units averaging 625 square feet. Before the renovation, the property was getting rents of $535 a month for the one-bedroom units. With the improvements, the rents have risen to about $825 a month. Ten of the first 20 units are leased.

"Our target demographic is graduate students or young professionals associated with the college," Lantzy says. "We're surprised by how many people in our other projects near campus aren't students. Many are single people who work for the college."

Apartment development is booming throughout metro Denver, which had a vacancy rate of 4.3 percent during the third quarter of 2012, according to the most recent report by the Colorado Division of Housing. That’s down from 4.8 percent during the second quarter and 4.9 percent from the same period a year ago.

Average rents are also rising. During the third quarter of 2012, they were $986, compared to $989 during the second quarter and $936 a year ago.

Zeppelin breaks ground on The Source

Zeppelin Development has broken ground on The Source, a 26,000-square-foot building in Denver’s River North neighborhood.

Zeppelin, developer of of the successful TAXI mixed-use development, will transform the building at 3350 Brighton Blvd. into a culinary artisan marketplace. Zeppelin has secured significant funding from the Denver Urban Renewal Authority for the $5 million project. Private financing also is being used for the project.

“The Source will be an entirely new experience for Denver’s culinary enthusiasts,” says Kyle Zeppelin, principal and chief curator of the Taxi development. “We’re providing an inspiring home to some of the state’s and nation’s most innovative -- and proven -- food artisans who are excited to introduce their craft to the city in an environment that is transparent, inviting and collaborative.”

The Source is an artisan food market that includes some of the region’s most accomplished food and beverage producers, purveyors and restaurants. The market, set in an 1880s former foundry, will include cutting-edge design that will distinguish it from any project in the country, Zeppelin says.

Tenants in the project, which is already 90 percent pre-leased, include Crooked Stave Brewery, Boxcar Roasters and Coffee Shop, CapRock Spirits Distillery and Bar, Mondo Food, Babette's (a bakery), Proper Pour (a wine and spirits store), Acorn (sister restaurant to Boulder’s Oak at Fourteenth) and Comida Cantina, originally a food truck that now has a brick-and-mortar location in Longmont.

Denver planners have had their sights set on improving the River North neighborhood for years, and now it’s garnering the attention of large and small businesses as well as developers. RiNo also will gain two light-rail stops --  one at 38th and Blake streets and another at the National Western Stock Show site.

Asbury Court project back on the drawing board

The uptick in the housing market has developers Hayden and Barry HIrschfeld dusting off plans to build three single-family homes and 17 townhomes at Asbury and Downing Street.

The Hirschfelds mothballed the project in 2008, when the housing market hit the skids.

"We’ve just been waiting to see what’s happening in the market, and the market looks like it’s perking up," says Hayden Hirschfeld, who also is a broker with the commercial real estate services firm NAI Shames Makovsky. "We’re getting a lot of calls from people who are interested in buying."

The property has been rezoned to change parking and business zoning to a Planned Unit Development (PUD), which is a site-specific zoning that is applicable only to that site. 

Though design for the homes on the 31,000-square-foot site were completed several years ago, it could change, depending on what the market demands, Hirschfeld says. Pricing for the homes also has not been set, as the developers determine what the market will bear.

"When we decide to restart it, we’ve got to look at everything again," Hirschfeld says.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute named metro Denver one of the country’s top 20 real estate markets to watch this year in the "Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2013" report.

The report also ranked the metro area eighth among promising investment markets, moving up three spots from the 2012 report because of "strong growth potential. ... An attraction is the city’s central location in the country’s southern and western regions, as well as Denver’s ever-expanding international airport."

The report ranks Denver 14th in development prospects and 15th in homebuilding.

Li'l Devils opens in Baker

After years of working at the Barker Lounge in Denver’s Baker neighborhood, Tony Fleith taken over the bar and recreated it as Li'l Devils Lounge.

Debuting last month, Denver’s newest gay establishment is a hip, urban neighborhood bar with a warm, masculine feel.

"It’s got an edgy feel to it," Fleith says. "It’s an upscale but fun atmosphere. The location itself is awesome. It’s up-and-coming and has proven itself through the years. It’s the adult version of LoDo."

Li'l  Devils, at 255 S. Broadway  offers features Colorado craft beers and a seasonal drink menu that includes all the favorites, as well as specialty hand-crafted cocktails using only fresh ingredients. 

There's no food served -- Li'l Devils doesn’t have a kitchen -- but the establishment does feature a "video bar," where the music matches what's played on the screens.

Bounded on the north by West Sixth Avenue, on the east by Broadway, on the south by West Mississippi and on the west by the South Platte River, Baker is a mix of industrial, residential and commercial properties. The area is served by several bus lines and two light-rail stations at Alameda and I-25 and Broadway.

The neighborhood includes hundreds of 19th-century brick houses and 39 buildings by architect William Lang, a famous Denver architect. More than 80 percent of the neighborhood was developed by 1900.

Jefferson Park apartment building upgraded

Residents have begun moving into The Highland, a newly renovated apartment building at 2821 W. 24th Ave. a block north of Jefferson Park.

Owner Mark Maestas spent about $300,000 on renovations to the 24-unit building, constructed in 1957. 

"It's an emerging area," says Brian Lantzy, vice president of business development for Wheelhouse Apartments, which is managing and leasing the building. "In that little neighborhood, there are older apartments and newer condos, but there haven't been any newly renovated apartments or even new apartments in quite a while."

The project is a block away from the River Clay, a 120-unit condominium project developed by Zocalo Community Development in 2008. Chef Matt Selby recently opened his bistro-style Corner House in the building.

There are 23 one-bedroom units averaging 500 square feet and one 675-square-foot two-bedroom unit. The one-bedroom units are leasing for $850 a month, up from rents of $495 before the renovation.

Renovation on the building's second floor is complete, and seven of the 12 units are leased.

Jefferson Park experienced a renaissance in the 1990s, when its affordable housing and neighborhood feel brought it back to the attention of the city and homebuyers tired of long commutes. The city of Denver made the area a focus neighborhood, investing in infrastructure and beautification.

CU Denver breaks ground on Auraria campus building

The University of Colorado Denver will break ground at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 31 on the 120,000-square-foot Academic Building on the Redwood Parking Lot at the corner of Speer Boulevard and Larimer Street on the Auraria Campus.

The event kicks off CU Denver’s 40th anniversary celebration. When the $65 million building is completed in 2014, it will provide CU Denver students a home of their own on the Auraria Campus.

"This new building will play a pivotal role in the evolution of CU Denver by addressing growth, community and a campus identity," says Don Elliman, chancleor of the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus. "It will have a transformational impact on our students and their families, our campus and our city."

The new building will consolidate student services and house the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

The building, designed by Denver-based AndersonMasonDale, will be the first built and owned exclusively by CU Denver on the downtown campus and be visible to more than 25,000 motorists daily as they travel along Speer Boulevard.

"Students will see this building being built from the ground up," said Raul Cardenas, associate vice chancellor of student affairs. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us as a campus to bring together all the things we’ve been trying to do to create a sense of community."

Additional programming and design services will be required for the approximately 68,000 square feet that will be vacated by the moves to the new building. The vacated spaces will be in multiple buildings on the Denver and Auraria Campus. Backfill projects should be completed by fall 2015.

Those participating in the ceremony will include University of Colorado Denver Chancellor Don Elliman, University of Colorado  President Bruce Benson, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, University of Colorado Regent Michael Carrigan, CU Denver community, business leaders and invited guests.

Booker T Apartments in Five Points nearly fully leased

The newly remodeled Booker T Apartments in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood are almost completely leased.

The 33-unit property at 407-455 29th St. is just six blocks from downtown Denver and two blocks from light rail.

Booker T LLC purchased the building in the middle of last year and has completely renovated the interior and exterior. A fitness center is planned for the project.

Managed by Wheelhouse Apartments, sister company to Boutique Apartments, the building includes 16 one-bedroom units averaging 520 square feet; 12 two-bedroom units averaging 612 square feet; and three three-bedroom units averaging 930 square feet. Rents range from $820 to $1,450 a month.

"It’s a newly renovated building that is just on the outskirts of downtown for people who can’t afford to live in one of the Class A buildings downtown," says Brian Lantzy, vice president of business development for Wheelhouse and Boutique. "The area is definitely emerging and being revitalized because of its proximity to downtown and light rail."

The owners decided to stick with the name Booker T to reflect the area’s African-American legacy. 

Historically, the majority of residents in Five Points have been African-American, but recent changes in demographic have brought about a majority white population and large Latino population. 

Welton Street was home to more than 50 bars and clubs, where jazz musicians such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole and Count Basie performed.

Space Creators acquires The Desk

The Space Creators has acquired majority ownership in the local coworking café The Desk

The Desk, at 230 E. 13th Ave., provides a modern, technology-friendly work environment for a wide range of professionals. Freelancers use the upscale café environment for casual meetings, while firms hosting an off-site retreat can rent The Desk’s conference room. For those wanting a high-productivity environment, The Desk also offers rentable communal seating, individual desks, private offices and isolation booths.

The Space Creators is a real estate development and brokerage firm that specializes in servicing small businesses. The company’s current real estate holdings include Wazee Union, Laundry on Lawrence and Walnut Workshop in the RiNo District, Linc 1045 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and The Desk.

"The Desk is very different than what we have in most of our buildings," says Brian Smith, president of The Space Creators. "It’s much more short-term. It’s a secondary location."

The Desk is offering a new membership pricing structure. For the remainder of January, membership will drop to $250 per month and will include a $100 credit for use at The Desk’s workspace and café.

The Desk will be open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13 for this month’s Makers & Doers, The Space Creators’ monthly networking event for Denver-area artists and creative businesses. 

The Desk is the only location in Colorado to be accepted into the League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces (LExC). This prestigious accolade places The Desk as one of only 12 institutions across the nation and the only one in Colorado to be included in LExC, which provides members with reciprocity to other extraordinary spaces throughout the country.

Kephart named Architect of the Year

Builder and Developer magazine has named Denver-based Kephart Architect of the Year.

The honor is awarded to the best of the best in housing based on industry nominations and Peninsula Publishing staff research.

Last year, the architecture firm, located in the Ballpark neighborhood, designed more than 50 communities, with more than half starting construction in the first half of 2013.

"To be named Builder and Developer’s Architect of the Year is a source of special satisfaction for our team," says Paul Campbell, principal of Kephart. "Everyone deserves a well-designed place to live. That is the philosophy that drives us to stay expert in the housing industry and to create quality places for people to call home. To be recognized by our industry peers as doing such is truly rewarding."

Last year was a banner year for Kephart. The firm led the design of the first all-solar, single-family community in the Denver metro area, ParkSide at RidgeGate, in Lone Tree. The firm also designed Veranda Highpointe, a 365-unit mixed-use apartment building near Hampden Avenue and Interstate 25 targeting Gen Yers, and The Logan, a 57-unit apartment building at 619 N. Logan St. in Denver's Alamo Placita neighborhood.

The firm added 12 employees to bring the number of people it employes to 39. Kephart also was recognized with five architectural design awards. In addition, it was named a finalist for a Best in American Living Award and a Best in 50+ Housing Award, both of which will be announced next week at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

$2.5 million Alamo Placita development attracts millennials to co-working space

Boutique Apartments has invested $2.5 million to develop a 16,000-square-foot co-working space in the Alamo Placita neighborhood.

The project at 383 Corona St. -- dubbed Shift Workspaces -- includes 70 co-working spaces, 12 desks and 34 private offices. 

Initially, Boutique wanted to develop a property for its own offices, says Grant Barnhill, the company’s chief executive. Boutique employees had been crammed into three one-bedroom units in one of the company’s Metropolis building.

“We asked the team what the ideal office looked like and then started researching companies like Google and Zappos,” Barnill says. “We found people wanted a wide variety of work spaces.”

Ultimately, Boutique determined that developing the space for independent professionals and entrepreneurs made sense.

About 75 percent of Shift’s members are millennials. Although they may work for competing businesses, the environment is one of collaboration.

“This generation is moving away from a competitive work environment to a cooperative and collaborative culture,” Barnhill says. “There are the usual referrals, but the next level is sharing business secrets.”

Shift members have access to conference rooms, a lounge, courtyard and kitchen. Shift also features a yoga studio and workout and wellness rooms. 

Memberships range from $20 for a day pass to $729 a month for a private office. Shift offers discounts to members who live in the neighborhood. It also has “green” pricing for members who bike or take public transportation to work.

Shift also is available to be leased for event space.

The Highlands' Sparkle Dog relocates to 1,500 sq foot location, changes name

LoHi’s Sparkle Dog groom shop has relocated to 2525 15th St. and changed its name to Vanity Fur LoHi.

The 1,500-square-foot shop is about four times the size of the old Sparkle Dog location, says Vanity Fur Owner Andrew Gillis. It’s the second location for Vanity Fur, which also has a shop at Leetsdale and Forest near Cherry Creek.

Vanity Fur is a full-service dog and cat grooming salon that uses high-quality shampoos, conditioners, supplies, tools and equipment. Services include hand washing, drying, brushing, full hygiene service and trimming as requested. The shop also offers the latest in shed-less treatment, commonly known as “The FURminator,” an all-natural process that helps limit shedding in pets with shedding problems and double coats.

“The LoHi clientele is younger,” Gillis says. “The Leetsdale location draws more retired people from Cherry Creek.”

Gillis, who is close to becoming a certified groomer, says he’s looking for locations to open up to four more shops.

The new shop has a retail component selling collars, leashes, clothes and treats. Gillis says he’s considering adding pet food to the retail mix.

Nichols invests $8 million to develop Cruise apartments

Leases for the 61-unit Cruise apartment building near City Park are now available. The Nichols Partnership invested $8 million in the eco-friendly property that's expected be finished in early 2013.

Each resident signing a one-year lease gets an Electra cruiser bike and a membership to Bike Denver, a non-profit bicycle advocacy organization that promotes and encourages bicycling as an energy efficient, non-polluting, healthy and enjoyable transportation alternative.

“We’re big fans of the urban experience and we think the cruiser bikes are a part of that,” says Dan Schuetz, project manager for Nichols.

The average unit size is 550 square feet, with lease rates ranging from $900 a month for a studio apartment to $1,700 a month for a two-bedroom unit. With the exception of the studios, each unit comes equipped with a washer and dryer. Boutique Apartments will manage the property.

“Our goal is to provide a modern, high-quality, Class A apartment building at a lower cost per unit,” Schuetz says. 

The first level of the building will have a pool table, wet bar and mini kitchen. The pet-friendly building also features a dog park. Cruise also has a fitness center and bike, snowboard- and ski-maintenance area, where vending machines will dispense gear such as tubes and gels.

Nichols has invested about $8 million to purchase and renovate the building at 1899 Gaylord St. Built in 1969, the building has been an assisted living facility and office space, but has been vacant for a number of years.

Two weeks after opening, leasing strong at CBD's 2020 Lawrence property

Just two weeks after opening, the 231-unit 2020 Lawrence apartment building is 14 percent occupied and 25 percent pre-leased.

Developed by Zocalo Community Development, units in the 10-story apartment building range in size from 475-square-foot studios to nearly 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom apartments. Apartments rent for $1,025 to $2,305 per month. 
Most apartments offer some type of outdoor space and all feature European-style kitchens with quartz countertops and washers and dryers.

2020 Lawrence will feature more than 9,000 square feet of street-level retail space, giving residents access to services on-site. Zocalo is in talks to secure a restaurant for just over half of the space.

“We’re looking for a set of tenants that not just pay rent but really added to the specialness and vitality of the building and Arapahoe Square,” said David Zucker, principal of Zocalo. 

Amenities at 2020 Lawrence include a rooftop fitness center overlooking the mountains, a rooftop pet exercise area featuring artificial grass and a rooftop lounge with hot tub, outdoor kitchen and fire pit.

Residents also can enjoy a lobby-level demonstration kitchen and communal living room featuring a game area equipped with Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect. A work-at-home center offers a conference room, computers and other workplace amenities for telecommuters.  The building also features a fully-equipped bicycle maintenance shop.

To earn its LEED certification, 2020 Lawrence boasts a number of “green” features, including: Energy Star-rated appliances, flooring and other finishes made of recycled and locally-sourced materials and high-efficiency water fixtures that use 34 percent less water than standard products. The building also offers recycling on every floor, as well as a composting program.

Overall, 2020 Lawrence residents are expected to spend 50 percent less on their utility bills than they would living in a similar non-LEED certified building.

MSU Denver to break ground on $12 million athletic complex

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) plans to break ground this month on a $12 million athletic complex that includes baseball, softball and soccer fields, as well as eight tennis courts.

The three fields at the 12.5-acre complex will have synthetic turf surfaces and be home of six of the Roadrunners’ 15 sports. The new complex will be located south of the Colfax Avenue viaduct adjacent to Shoshone Street east of Interstate 25.

“This will continue the physical transformation under way on our campus and is the kind of facility that our students and student-athletes deserve,” says MSU President Stephen Jordan.

In addition to varsity athletics, intramural sports and academic programs, the university will host activities for the surrounding community’s youth.

The complex will be the fourth MSU Denver-owned facility established as part of the university’s master plan. The other facilities include the new Center for Visual Art in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe and the Student Success Building and Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center along Auraria Parkway on the Auraria Campus.

Under a 2011 memorandum of agreement with the Auraria Higher Education Center, MSU Denver assumed all campus shared costs for the complex and its facilities, giving it full ownership, management, oversight and naming rights.

Donors can pledge to support the complex by visiting GoMetroState.com and clicking on the facility icon.

CrossFit gym opens in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe

CrossFit DeCO recently celebrated a grand opening at its new space in the Art District on Santa Fe.
 
“I am so excited to be a part the funky community,” says Owner Leslie Friedman. “As a CrossFit gym, while fitness and health are our primary focus, we wouldn't be successful without the community created both inside the gym's walls and with our neighboring businesses.”

Renegade Brewery and Mmm Coffee also participated in the grand-opening events. 

The 5,000-square-foot space at  923 W. Ninth Ave. and features two workout rooms for group classes. The gym also offers chiropractic care, nutrition counseling and massage therapy. 

“Its a one-stop health shop so people can have all their health and wellness needs met in one place,” Friedman says. “Denver just lends itself to being healthy and people are incredibly receptive to the type of lifestyle I want to share.”

CrossFit DeCo requires clients new to the training method to go through the gym’s four-class fundamentals program to grasp the basics, learn specific movements and techniques and become educated on how to make the most of each workout. After completing the four classes, members are welcome to join any group class.

The cost of the fundamentals classes and unlimited group classes is $200 for the first month. After that, month-to-month unlimited classes are $160; a six-month contract for unlimited classes is $150 a month; a one-year contract with unlimited classes is $140 a month.

CrossFitDeCO also offers a 10-class punch card valid for three months for $125. Drop-in rates are $15 for one class; $25 for two classes; and $30 for three classes.
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