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Three applications considered for historic designation; fourth expected

Denver could soon have three new historic landmarks if historic designation applications are approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission and Denver City Council in the coming weeks. 

The potential new historic landmarks/districts are:
 
  • National Western Stock Show Stadium Arena, 4655 Humboldt St. The arena, built in 1908-09, is owned by the National Western Stock Show and is associated with the historical development of Denver and of the annual stock show, one of the largest and oldest stock shows still in operation in the United States.
 
  • South Lincoln Street historic district, 200 block of South Lincoln Street. Homeowners in the 200 block of South Lincoln want to designate their block as a historic district. The block includes 15 homes designed by architect William Lang built between 1889 and 1895, all of which embody Queen Anne architecture. One of the homes (227 S. Lincoln) was designated an individual historic landmark in 2015. 
 
  • Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton St. The former Emily Griffith Opportunity School is named for an innovative educator who spearheaded the creation of a school providing non-traditional education for the community in 1917. It became the first of its kind in the country and was a national role model. 
Denver currently has 334 historic landmarks and 51 historic districts. 

"Preservation helps to tell our city's story," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development and former chair of the Landmark Preservation Commission. "As our city grows and changes, preserving our historic landmarks and districts becomes even more important."

Preservation planners expect to receive a fourth application later this year for a single-family house near City Park. The last time Denver had four or more historic landmarks designated in one year was 2007.

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

Denver ranks No. 3 for relocating Millennials

Denver ranks third among the top 10 cities attracting more Millennials than others, according to the 2016 Mayflower Mover Insights study.

The study, which focused on Millennial moving trends, found that nearly half (46 percent) of 18- to 35-year-olds moved to a new city, state or country to be with or find a romantic partner. Those 29 or younger are more likely to move for a partner than Millennials over the age of 30.

"Our Mayflower agents across the country are moving Millennials as they begin new chapters in their lives," says Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications for Mayflower. "The findings of this year's Mayflower Mover Insights study reinforce what our agents are seeing every day. This data helps us analyze not only where are customers move, but also why they are moving."

In addition to moving for relationships, the study found that nearly half (48 percent) of Millennials have moved for a new lifestyle or experience. Overall, the study showed Instagram-worthy food is a top priority for Millennials choosing a new city, with more than half of respondents (56 percent) stating good restaurants are a must have. Second and third, respectively, were child-friendly activities (23 percent) and church/religion (22 percent).

So what cities are attracting Millennials more than others? According to moves completed between January and December 2015, Dallas is the hot spot, followed closely by Chicago and Denver: 

    1.    Dallas, Texas
    2.    Chicago, Ill.
    3.    Denver, Colo.
    4.    Seattle, Wash.
    5.    Atlanta, Ga.
    6.    Los Angeles, Cali.
    7.    Portland, Ore.
    8.    Charlotte, N.C.
    9.    Washington D.C.
    10.    Phoenix, Ariz.

"This list of cities is consistent with the long-standing patterns of the U.S. population shift from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and the West," says Jeffrey Artnett, research professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "Emerging adults are leading the way because ethic are, overall, the most likely to be moving."

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

Invent Development kicks off River North Residences

Invent Development Partners is building a 17-unit loft and townhome community in Denver's River North neighborhood.

River North Residences is the second RiNo project for Invent. The company's Backyard Residences is already sold out and scheduled for completion in July. 

Designed by HKS Architects, River North Residences is less than four blocks from the new train station at 38th and Blake streets, and Coors Field, LoDo, the Pepsi Center and Union Station are just a walk or bike ride away.

"Interest has definitely been building for River North Residences," says Jon Dwight, co-founder of Invent Development.

The units at River North Residences will be larger than those in most urban projects -- some as wide as 24 feet with 10-foot ceilings and ranging from 1,549 square feet to 2,313 square feet. Prices on the two- and three-bedroom units situated on 0.43 acres at 34th and Walnut streets will start in the high $500s. 

"RiNo is where everyone wants to be right now," says Liz Richards, a broker with Kentwood City Properties who is listing the project. "It has an amazing energy and momentum unlike any other neighborhood in Denver. I am a huge fan of this project."

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

Confluent wins award for The LAB

Denver-based Confluent Development has received the Innovative Project of the Year Award from NAIOP Colorado for its work on The LAB office building at 17th and Platte Streets. 

The LAB is a 78,000-square-foot office building with first-floor retail and covered parking. The project, which is pursuing LEED certification, was sold immediately after its completion last summer and is fully leased to WeWork Communities.

"It is an incredible honor to earn this award," says Marshall Burton, president and CEO of Confluent, which teamed up with Brue Capital Partners on the project. "The LAB is a prime example of the success that can be achieved by local partnerships. Being selected from the many industry leaders means a great deal, and we are proud to have helped make this project a reality."

Confluent recognized the value of the re-emerging Platte Street neighborhood, a location many developers viewed as too far removed from the downtown core for it to be successful. Through developments such as The LAB, the neighborhood has become a preferred location for young professionals. The project provides pet-friendly space with nearby amenities, including fitness studios, dining and pedestrian access to light rail, parks and trails.

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

Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge slated for April 28

Westminster Station has been selected for this year's Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, in which graduate student teams from the University of Colorado and University of Denver present their plans for the area.

The presentations will be made at a dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. April 28 at the Marriott City Center downtown.

Westminster Station is the third stop from Denver Union Station for the upcoming RTD B Line. Just 11 minutes from downtown Denver, the station is located just west of Federal Boulevard near 69th Avenue between Interstate 70 and Highway 36. The station and adjacent 900-space parking garage are slated to open this summer. 

The 21-acre site offers unique challenges and opportunities for the competing student teams, which must present a plan to transform a low-density industrial site into a higher-density, mixed-use transit-oriented development. The site benefits from the city's investment in new infrastructure, as well as its dynamic community with distinct neighborhoods and a good local economy. 

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge is an annual event designed to serve as a learning tool for students of the University of Colorado and University of Denver's graduate real estate programs and local business community to interface, while assisting the project sponsor with development options for the specific property.

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

Denver seeks community input for Food Plan

A series of community meetings throughout Denver will explore the issues of food insecurity and healthy food access. 

Hosted by the Denver Office of Economic Development, the meetings are designed as a platform for community residents to propose solutions they think would be best in each neighborhood. The intent is to develop the first countywide Denver Food Plan.

"There is a great need in many of our neighborhoods for healthy food access," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "Through a strategic Food Plan approach, we can capitalize on new opportunities around local and healthy foods and create the right environment for the city to make a major difference in our neighborhoods and in the lives of many residents."

The Denver Food Plan is likely to encompass strategies for improving healthy food access, as well as targeting business development and job creation related to the city's food system. 

Improving the food environment in Denver's most challenged neighborhoods will likely require multiple strategies, including shifting household shopping, cooking, and eating behaviors to include more fresh and healthy foods; reducing the distance required to travel to access fresh and healthy foods by improving small "corner" stores and farmers markets; and launching micro-enterprises or other new food-related businesses that increase household incomes and provide jobs.

"Taking a host of socioeconomic, mobility and cultural issues into account, the issue of healthy food and food access is anything but simple," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Office of Economic Development. "So many people assume it's just a matter of opening a supermarket, and while that is desirable, other integrated solutions are necessary as well."

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

New owners to restore historic Bosler House

The historic Bosler House has new owners who plan to restore the building and make it their home.

Steve and Jan Davis, who currently live in the Berkeley neighborhood, paid $375,000 for the house, which was badly damaged in 2008 when its then-owner removed the roof without proper building permits or required approvals from Denver's Landmark Preservation Commission. 

"This is a spectacular opportunity for us," says Steve Davis, a licensed contractor who plans to do some of the restoration work himself. "We're excited and proud to be able to lend our passion and expertise to this historic landmark, while at the same time making it our home."

The city's attempts to work with former owner Keith Painter to bring the property at 3209 W. Fairview Pl. into compliance with property maintenance and historic preservation requirements were not successful. Ultimately, liens and fines on the property led the city to begin foreclosure proceedings on the house last May. 

Under terms of its settlement agreement with Painter, about $150,000 will go toward the City and County of Denver for unpaid liens and fines, and $75,000 will be paid to the receiver for already-performed property management, maintenance and contracted architectural services. Painter will receive the difference. 

"We have been fighting for this house for six years," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "Today, we finally have certainty that this building will not crumble but will stand as a north Denver landmark for future generations."

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

Two new tenants sign on at Stanley Marketplace

Stanley Marketplace has added two tenants to its roster of businesses opening at the market later this year. 

The Savory Spice kiosk will feature more than 400 freshly ground herbs and spices and more than 160 handcrafted seasonings, which are ground and blended weekly to ensure superior quality and freshness. 

"We have a truly amazing lineup to share with Stanley patrons," says Mike Johnston, founding partner of Savory Spice. "Some of the tried-and-true favorites include our Supreme Saigon Cinnamon, Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning, Bourbon Barrel Smoked Black Pepper and Madagascar Vanilla Beans."
 
MindCraft will feature engineering kits and other products promoting critical thinking, as well as a do-it-yourself-focused creative space where all ages can gather to learn and invent. New technologies such as 3D printers, CNC machines, scanners and laser cutters will engage participants. 

Co-owners Brenda Lane and Adriana Santacoloma, who have more than 50  years of combined experience as teachers, school administrators, coaches and program directors, developed MindCraft as a dynamic spinoff from their tutoring center in Lowry, eXL Learning.

"Through operating eXL Learning, we discovered that the kids we serve love to learn through hands-on making and creating," Lane says. "We will offer the types of after-school programming that will make us the place kids want to be, in addition to providing a wide variety of classes for all ages. You are never too young or too old to learn how to make."

The more than 22-acre, 100,000-square-foot Stanley Marketplace at 2501 Dallas St. in Aurora at the edge of Denver was once Stanley Aviation headquarters, where airplane ejector seats were engineered and manufactured.

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

Six projects win Downtown Denver Partnership awards

Six projects considered transformational received awards from the Downtown Denver Partnership at the organization's 55th Annual Downtown Denver Awards. 

The honorees, selected by a jury of key business leaders convened by the partnerships, are businesses, projects and initiatives that had the most significant impact on the center city in 2015.

The winners:
 
"We are grateful for the opportunity to pause each year to celebrate the achievements that advance us toward our vision of a world-class center city," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "These projects support our place-based economic development strategy and have made significant contributions to bolster downtown Denver as a powerful economic engine for the city, state and region."

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

Mortenson selected for revamp of Civic Center Station

The Regional Transportation District awarded a $26 million contract to Mortenson Construction for the Civic Center Station renovation project. 

Civic Center Station is one of RTD's busiest regional bus transit centers, serving 18 routes and an average of 15,000 passengers daily. The station also is the endpoint for the 16th Street FREE MallRide and the FREE MetroRide.

"Civic Center Station has been a vital transit element of downtown Denver for over 30 years and is in need of renovations," says Tom Tobiassen, chairman of the RTD board. "Once this project is complete, it will be a state-of-the-art transit hub to complement Union Station that will provide improved connections and convenience for our passengers."

The building design includes:
 
  • Nine bus bays
  • Glass-enclosed terminal building
  • Bus concourse rebuild
  • Bus ramp extension connecting Broadway to Lincoln Street
  • Open view from the 16th Street Mall to the State Capitol
  • Building structure that is easier to maintain and repair in the long term.
The new design also provides a more open and welcoming environment and preserves a land parcel for future development opportunities. 

Construction is expected to start this summer and be completed in about a year. Details about the station closure and route detours will be available when plans are finalized and approved.

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

Developers selected for Lowry's Boulevard One

The Lowry Redevelopment Authority has selected the final two developers for Boulevard One, the last neighborhood that will be built in the Lowry community. 

BuildMark Development will build a boutique, low-rise condominium community at Lowry Boulevard and Monaco Parkway, directly east of Crestmore Park. The Aileron will be a three-story, LEED Gold-certified building with condos priced from the $400,000s to more than $1 million. 

Koelbel Urban Homes will build 29 row row homes south of First Avenue between Oneida Court and Pontiac Street. Orion on First Avenue will include three different two- and three-story plans, each with two bedrooms plus a den/loft/flex room. Homes will range from 1,800 to 2,100 square feet with pricing expected to be in the $500,000s to $600,000s.

"We're excited to bring another great neighborhood to Boulevard One," says Peter Benson, senior vice president of Koelbel Urban Homes. "While distinctly different from our current offering, we will bring equivalent superb design with the help of our architect-partner, Neo Studio, and a complementary, integrated look and feel to the surrounding community."

Koelbel also is building The Matador Series at Boulevard One, 35 upscale row homes along Lowry Boulevard now under construction.

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

Starter homes are vanishing in Denver

Starter and trade-up homes are vanishing from Denver, according to a report recently released by Trulia.

Denver ranked seventh among cities with the largest decrease in starter home inventory. Starter home inventory in Denver dropped 77 percent from 2,321 homes during the first quarter of 2012 to just 534 during the first quarter of this year. 

Nationally, the number of starter homes on the market dropped by 43.6 percent, and the number of trade-up homes on the market declined by 41 percent. Trade-up homebuyers will need to pay 2.6 percent more of their income for a home than in 2012.

"Rising prices is causing homebuyer gridlock," writes report author Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia's chief economist. "The growing price spread between premium homes and trade-up homes in some markets is highly correlated with fewer trade-up homes coming onto the market."

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

The Next Stage NOW accepting applications to activate DPAC with art

Denver Arts & Venues is accepting applications for The Next Stage NOW, which is aimed at activating the Denver Performing Arts Complex campus.

Through a partnership with the Boettcher Foundation and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Next Stage NOW is a pilot program that Arts & Venues is launching to grant funds to artists and arts organizations to program the complex in non-traditional ways.

"We are honored to support The Next Stage NOW project, and we are eager to see the exciting projects that Colorado’s creative community will put forth to help activate our performing arts complex as we work toward reimagining this important gathering place," says Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. 

Participants interested in booking space through the program must provide activities that feature music, theater, dance, art, poetry, film or other creative placemaking activities, including yoga, fitness  and putt-putt. Preference will be given to programs that are free and open to the public, occur on a regular basis, attract new audiences and activate the space during the daytime and evening hours prior to performances in the theaters. 

Performances must take place in public and underutilized spaces at the complex, such as the Sculpture Park, The Galleria, The Studio Loft and Ellie Caulkins Opera House and the lobbies of the major theaters. 

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis with the first round of funding distributed in late spring for summer performances. 

An overview of The Next Stage NOW will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Tues. April 5 at The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St.

"DCPA believes that art is the soul of the city, a reflection of our creativity, passions, heritage and stories," says Scott Shiller, CEO of Denver Center for the Performing Arts. "The Next Stage NOW is the first step to bringing these concepts together to build the next generation performing arts complex."

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

Prototyping Festival slated for 16th Street Mall in July

As part of its effort to get more people to the 16th Street Mall and encourage them to stay longer, the Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District will host the 2016 Prototyping Festival July 23-24.

The festival is an opportunity to experiment with ideas for public spaces and showcase ideas for how participatory design, art and technology can create connections and greater ownership of public spaces and how they are used. 

"The 16th Street Mall is one of our most vital public spaces, and we are focused on ensuring its future as an authentic, self-sustaining place that is supported by the entire community," says John Desmond, executive vice president of downtown environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership. "We encourage the entire community, including artists, designers, entrepreneurs and all those interested in ensuring the vibrancy of the Mall to submit their ideas for installations that can transform the visitor experience downtown."

Accepted submissions will be showcased during the final weekend of Meet in the Street, which returns for five consecutive weekends this summer, beginning June 25. Analysis of Meet in the Street, including the Prototyping Festival, will help hone in on long-term changes to the Mall and adjacent sites.

The application process will be open from April 1 through May 15. Applicants will be notified if their submissions have been accepted by June 1. The partnership will co-host and information session from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tues. April 5 at The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St.

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

Rotary Club hosts Back to the '80s in Five Points

Rotary Club of Five Points Cultural District is hosting Back to the '80s, Denver's first '80s-themed indoor food truck event from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. April 2 at the Glitter Dome Event Center.

The event will feature food trucks, craft drinks, crafts and live music by El Passo Lasso and DJ E-Trane. Participating food trucks include Crock Pot, Fat Green Bowl, Taste of the Philippines, Bared Wire Reef, Lena B Bar-B-Que, AikoPops and The Dessert Stand. Drinks will be provided by Dry Dock Brewing Co., C Squared Ciders and Molly's Spirits.

"Five Points Rotary provides service-oriented professionals a place to meet and serve the community of northeast Denver," says Suzie Ahlers, president of Five Points Rotary. "As an extension of Rotary International, Five Points Rotary focuses its efforts on promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies in the Five Points neighborhood, Denver and beyond."

The event is free and open to the public, but you must be 21 years or older to attend. Proceeds from food and beverage sales will benefit the Shots for Tots and Teens clinic, the Books for Nooks literacy program, RAFT Colorado and other nonprofits in the area. 

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

RTD launches Catch the Train photo contest

The Regional Transportation District is holding its Catch the Train photo contest to kick off its Instagram account and promote safety for the University of Colorado A Line, which begins running between downtown and Denver International Airport on April 22.

RTD is asking the public to snap pictures of a commuter rail train while it's testing on the CU A Line and post them to the RTD Instagram page with the hashtag #CatchtheTrain through April 4.

A winner will be chosen weekly and will be eligible to receive two tickets to a Colorado Avalanche game and a voucher/permission document for a ride on the Zamboni during the game, plus a set of RTD Free Ride Coupons.

Photos must be taken while following the rules. Any photos that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. 

Pictures must be taken from a safe location and never while operating a vehicle. RTD asks that photographers stay off railroad tracks and away from crossings. The test trains are not open for service and the University of Colorado A Line stations and platforms are not yet open to the public and may not be used as vantage points. 

The first Catch the Train photo contest was held to coincide with the testing of the W Line to Golden in 2013.

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

Applications for NAIOP mentor program due April 4

NAIOP Colorado is seeking applications from members 35 years old or younger to be part of its 2016 Mentor Class.

The NAIOP Colorado Mentor Program is designed to match a limited number of mentees with experienced industry professionals who will provide them with the opportunity to learn different aspects of the real estate industry. Mentors will share career and professional advise to help mentees succeed in life and the real estate industry. 

In order to graduate from the program, an applicants must attend at least three out of four educational programs and meet with their mentors on a monthly basis. 

A mentor is recruited for each participant based on information in his or her application, personality test, goals and work history. Past mentors have included Christopher King, president of DPC Development Co.; Mary Sullivan, senior managing director of HFF, LP; and Michael Cantwell, executive vice president of CBRE Inc.

The program's educational events include:
 
  • Business development and networking coach
  • Public speaking/interview training
  • Personality profile review
  • Business workplace etiquette, including wine tasting
  • Current real estate trends and negotiations
Only 10 to 15 applicants will be selected to participate. The application deadline is April 4.

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

Denver adopts new building code

The adoption of a new building code that's in line with the latest building safety and energy-efficiency standards worldwide means buildings in Denver will be safer and more energy-efficient. 

New buildings in Denver are expected to be up to 25 percent more energy-efficient. The code also will make it easier to renovate, repair and alter existing buildings, which could mean keeping more existing building stock, ultimately a more sustainable approach. 

The city adopted the 2015 International Code Council codes for building safety with Denver-specific amendments:
 
  • Garages at new single-family and duplex homes must include a conduit and panel capacity to support charging an electric car.
  • The code requires garages and accessory buildings to be on the same electric meter as the primary residence for firefighter safety and to deter the illegal rental of these buildings for marijuana cultivation by an offsite party.
"Embracing best practices in safety, quality and sustainability is a long-term commitment to our city and its future," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "Through and open and collaborative review process, design and construction professionals, property owners and code officials reached consensus on standards that will serve us well for years to come."

There will be a six-month transition period during which customers may apply for building permits under the 2011 Building Code or the new code.

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

Spring Flea in RiNo next month

The Denver Flea is hosting a block party in RiNo on April 23-24.

The Spring Flea will showcase 150 Colorado-centric vendors and curated new additions. Wares range from handmade jewelry, leather goods and artisan food products to local beauty lines, art and illustrations. Vendors include Spinster Sisters, Knotty Tie Co., and Rare Finds

“In the last two years, we’ve built an incredibly engaging event,” says Blake Adams, co-founder of the Denver Flea. “With the upcoming Spring Flea, we’re excited to tie the Flea community into such an important city milestone and to be part of the city festivities surrounding it.”

The Flea will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with entrances at 35th and Larimer streets and 36th and Walnut streets, plus additional festivities inside the EXDO Event Center

Entry to the Flea is $5 and includes a beverage such as a New Belgium Beer or handcrafted cocktail upon entrance.

"The Denver Flea has not only stimulated the growth of Colorado makers and creatives, it’s encouraged the well-being of surrounding businesses at each event," says PJ Hoberman, another of the Flea's co-founders. "Our Holiday Flea had an estimated $1 million impact on the city and brought over 20,000 people to the old Denver Post production building in Globeville."

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

City unveils vision for performing arts complex

A new music hall, rehearsal and recording space, commercial development, expanded retail and an arts high school campus are part of the vision for the redevelopment of the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Dubbed The Next Stage, the concept was created by a working group appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock. The team studied options, needs and trends in arts over the past year and received input from more than 4,200 Denver residents, as well as patrons, performers and presenters. 

"The Next Stage vision provides a phenomenal opportunity to elevate our arts complex to become a vibrant public regional center of cultural activity in the heart of downtown," Hancock says. "With this vision, we will set out to realize the potential of the arts complex by better attracting diverse residents and tourists, integrating it into the neighborhood and enhancing the Galleria and Sculpture Park."

The next step is to build a plan to deliver on the vision. The funding and governance group's goal is to provide its recommended plan by the end of the year. 

The featured elements of The Next Stage are an open wedge design that offers more green space, an elevated Sculpture Park with parking beneath it, a new mid-size music hall for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and other presentations and a variety of retail options. Denver Arts & Venues and Denver Public Schools have reached a memorandum of understanding to study the feasibility of bringing a school into the complex.

"The next generation of performers, artists and patrons is growing right before our eyes in our schools," says Susana Cordova, acting superintendent of Denver Public Schools. "We are committed to studying how our school of the arts can fit in at the arts complex because of our commitment to diversity, creativity and imagination in education."

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

Colt & Gray chef to open southern-style restaurant

Chef Kyle Foster and his wife, Katy, are opening a new restaurant in RiNo that's build as a Southern sophisticated concept.

Julep will open in 2,750 square feet in Larimer Row, a new building being developed by Westbrook Development Partners at 3254 Larimer St. The restaurant, which also will include a patio and mezzanine, will honor the history and traditions of southern hospitality while featuring local foods and produce, particularly vegetables.

"My great-grandfather was a preacher in Kentucky and would have gatherings at his house every Sunday where the focus was on food that you grew from the garden and his own chickens, to the cow farm down the street," Kyle Foster says. "Julep will be a return to my own roots, as well as the roots of food -- preparing simple, good food and respecting the tradition of knowing where it comes from."

The husband-and-wife team have traveled around the south to find inspiration for the restaurant and its menu. Julep will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, as well as brunch on weekends. The bar and lounge will focus on American whiskey, as well as classic southern cocktails.

Kyle Foster, the current chef and butcher at Colt & Gray and Rebel Restaurant, recently was celebrated as one of Denver's unsung heroes of the kitchen and was voted one of the city's hottest chefs by Denver Eater. Katy Foster is the chef and owner of Stir Cooking School in Denver's LoHi neighborhood.

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

OED launches Healthy Food Challenge

Grants and competitive loans are available to fund healthy food initiatives in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.

The Healthy Food Challenge will award up to $250,000 in grants to projects addressing one or more aspects of healthy food education, fresh food retail or food-related micro-businesses. there also is a combined loan opportunity of $1 million that has been established to support new retail.

"By combining grants and loan dollars, we recognize that no single strategy, in isolation, will effectively address the complex challenge of providing healthy food access in our low-income communities," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development, which is heading the challenge. "The Healthy Food Challenge is intended to inspire new and creative solutions to a key community issue. We're very excited to leverage off of other significant investments being made in these neighborhoods by the city and partner with the nonprofit and private sectors in pursuit of mutually aligned interests."

Grants are available to governmental, educational or nonprofit organizations or agencies engaged in a public service within the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods. Private, for-profit organizations engaged in food retail, food distribution and micro-business development support for target businesses may also apply. 

A pre-bid meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. March 16 at the Swansea Recreation Center, 2650 E. 49th Ave. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. on April 11.

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

OZ planning World Trade Center's RiNo campus

OZ Architecture has been selected to lead the master-planning effort for the new World Trade Center (WTC) Denver global campus in RiNo.

The project will serve as a major catalyst for the area, creating a mixed-use, transit-oriented urban community expected to elevate Denver's profile on an international level.

OZ assisted WTC Denver with the visioning for the project and is developing the master plan for the campus, which will be anchored by a hotel. The development also will include about 250,000 square feet of office space for both large and small businesses from around the world, an international business and conference center, a flex-work environment, an array of multicultural restaurants, diverse retail, an art gallery and a parking structure.

"We're able to combine the collective knowledge of OZ Architecture's diverse workplace, hospitality, urban living, retail/restaurant and cultural practices to develop the new World Trade Center Denver campus," says Rick Petersen, OZ principal. "To date, OZ has been instrumental in the design of more than 20 projects in RiNo and has played a key role in reinvigorating what has become one of Denver's most dynamic neighborhoods."

The WTC Denver campus is expected to break ground next year, with the first phase completed in 2019.

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

Stapleton among bestselling communities nationwide

Stapleton ranks as the no. 4 bestselling master-planned community in the country during 2015 by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. with a total of 665 new homes sold last year. 

Stapleton's diverse mix of home products and designs attract a wide range of buyers, which boosted the community in the ranking. 

"Our newest neighborhoods continue to provide a diverse mix of builders, home types and pricing, which combine fantastic parks, open space and schools -- all making Stapleton a popular place for people to call home," says Lisa Hall, community development director at Forest City Stapleton Inc., developer of the community. "In addition to the 665 new homes that sold in 2015, there were 548 resale homes in Stapleton. Interestingly, 30 percent of the people selling their homes in Stapleton were doing so to purchase a new home also in Stapleton, demonstrating the pride of ownership in this community."

Forest City has created several new neighborhoods north of Interstate 70 in the last three years. Conservatory Green, Willow Park East and Wicker Park have proven successful. Each were designed to continue Stapleton's successful formula of community engagement, parks, schools and appealing new home designs.

"Forest City's Stapleton community is one of the most unique examples of adpative reuse anywhere in the country," says Kenneth Perlman, principal for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. "Today a classic neighborhood development theme characterized by parks, walking paths, tree-lined streets and architecturally diverse homes have proven just how successful the reinvention of the Stapleton International Airport has been."

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

Dimond Fellowship recipients announced

Metropolitan State University of Denver has announced the recipients of the 2016 Rita and Navin Dimond Hotel Management Fellowship for the spring semester.

The fellowship program, endowed through a gift from the Dimond family, was established to foster excellence and passion for providing distinguished hospitality in future industry leaders. Dimond fellows are provided professional development opportunities, including a paid internship with the executive teams at Stonebridge Companies hotels for one semester as part of their senior experience.

"Having the opportunity to participate in this fellowship taught me the ins and outs and best practices of the hotel industry," says Joe Boss, member of the inaugural 2014 class who now serves as the food and beverage and front desk supervisor at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cherry Creek, one of Stonebridge's 40-plus properties across the country. "The fellowship taught me how hotels function and everything that goes on behind the scenes. I don't think I would have the skills I have today if I hadn't been able to participate in the fellowship."

Members of the spring semester class include:
  • LeAnn Tousley Gunnell, a mother of six who is pursuing her bachelor's degree in hospitality, tourism and events with a concentration on event management
  • Elizabeth Settambrino, a student who anticipates graduating in May with a bachelor's degree in hospitality, tourism and events with a concentration on event management
  • Amanda Dinan, who grew up in Michigan and was raised in the hospitality industry
  • Bridget "Birdie" Meyers, a transfer student from Colorado State University who is pursuing a concentration in event management with the goal of a career in sales, marketing or management
"I am impressed with what our fellows have accomplished in such a short time," says Navin Dimond, founder and president of Stonebridge and a member of the MSU Denver Foundation Board. "I am confident that our latest class of students will continue to excel and be prepared to make a strong impact on the hospitality profession."

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

Micro-apartments planned for 14th and Court

A sliver of city-owned property in downtown Denver is slated for micro apartments that are being promoted as a car-free community.

A partnership between Urban Villages and Jeff Hermanson of Larimer Associates plans to pay $2.5 million for the quarter-acre site at 14th and and Court streets where they will build a 12- to 14-story micro-apartment on what now houses a free childcare center for families with Denver County or district court business.

"The project at 14th and Court has the opportunity to showcase the city’s commitment to new urbanism and the shared economy by creating a 100 percent car-free community that embraces the shared economy, heavily encouraging the use of bicycle and car-share services, as well as nearby public transit options," Hermanson says. 

The neighborhood where the project will be located has few residential options and no restaurants, bars are gathering places, resulting in poor activation of Civic Center Park beyond working hours.

"The property sits at one of Denver’s most dynamic intersections," says Grant McCargo, CEO of Urban Villages. "Tucked in among some of the most iconic architecture in the city, the site is touched by a wide variety of user groups throughout the day. This activity is complemented by programming on Civic Center Park and at the McNichols Building, by the nearby art museums, the state capitol and the U.S. Mint."
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

LoHi getting 165-room boutique hotel

Denver's LoHi neighborhood is getting a 165-room boutique hotel that's slated to open in September 2018.

The hotel will the 14th property in Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Tribute Portfolio collection, which launched last April to meet demand for greater access to booming markets like Miami, Las Vegas, London and Denver.

"Our approach to evolving the Tribute Portfolio brand centers in listening closely to our SPG members and owners as we plot our growth strategy," says Dave Marr, global brand leader for Tribute Portfolio. "In a recent survey we conducted this past December, nearly 65 percent of our guests named Denver as one of the next places they'd like to see a Tribute Portfolio hotel, and within months the brand has delivered."

The project, which is being developed by St. Charles Town Co. with architecture from Semple Brown Design, will offer views of downtown Denver from its rooms and rooftop, as well as a great location in one of Denver's hottest neighborhoods.

"Denver and our new hotel will be a must-visit destination for travelers looking to bask in the city's arts and culture, culinary and music scenes set against a majestic mountain backdrop," says Charlie Woolley, president of St. Charles Town Co. "Embarking on a partnership with Tribute Portfolio enables us to provide a truly independent experience for our guests who can also benefit from the SPG rewards program."

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

Strategic plan focuses on economy, jobs

Denver's strategic plan for economic development -- JumpStart 2016 -- has established a broad, three-year framework to continue momentum in the city's vibrant economy, creating good jobs and opportunities for all residents to succeed.

The recently released plan outlines pillars of economic development: business development, small-business advocacy, housing, neighborhoods and workforce development. Each pillar includes detailed initiatives, goals and partners with which the city's Office of Economic Development (OED) will collaborate to convert plans to action.

"This is Denver's time. We are seeing record-breaking economic success on so many levels, and the challenge now is to maintain this growth in a manner that will positively impact all our people," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Our JumpStart vision has always been founded on inclusivity, striking a balance between bold goal setting and ensuring that we are directly creating economic mobility for residents in every corner of the city."

Among the specific initiatives in the 2016 plan:
 
  • Build outreach efforts to international companies looking to expand in the United States, while also exploring international opportunities for local firms to tap new markets
  • Support Denver-based startups through a new loan fund, which in turn will provide payment enhancements to the city following a firm's successful growth and/or exit strategy
  • Identify up to 500 firms that contribute to Denver's core economy and assign them an OED business development representative to strengthen lines of communication for future expansion or retention conversations
  • Provide financing to the top ideas addressing food insecurity in the Globeville/Elyria/Swansea neighborhoods
  • Support the creation of at least 600 additional affordable and workforce housing units and pilot new tools for affordable home ownership
  • Establish a retail incubator and storefront on East Colfax for immigrant entrepreneurs to manufacture, market and sell goods

"I am proud that the vision and discipline of producing a JumpStart document each year since 2012 continues to reinforce a culture shift within the city's economic development work, stretching ourselves to accomplish greater milestones and managing to a strict scorecard for accountability which I believe makes us far more effective," says Paul Washington, executive director of OED.

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

Denver is top city for real estate agents

Three Colorado cities have landed on Realtor Magazine's list, "The Best Places to be a Real Estate Agent."

Denver came in at no. 1, while Aurora and Colorado Springs snagged the nos. 5 and 9 spots, respectively.

"The weather is great in Denver, with around 300 days of sunshine a year," said Mark Callaghan, a broker associate in Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage's Devonshire office in Cherry Creek. "The sun makes most people happy and want to buy homes in Denver."

The list is based on a WalletHub comparison of the 150 largest cities across 13 key metrics, such as sales per agent and the annual median wage of agents.

Among the findings in Colorado, Aurora had the fifth-highest turnover rate, and Denver had the fourth-highest housing market health index.
Source: WalletHub

Here's the top 15 cities on the list:
  1. Denver, Colo.
  2. Irvine, Calif.
  3. Seattle, Wash.
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Aurora, Colo.
  6. Portland, Ore.
  7. Indianapolis, Ind.
  8. San Francisco, Calif.
  9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  10. Boston, Mass.
  11. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  12. Boise, Idaho
  13. Honolulu, Hawaii
  14. Raleigh, N.C.
  15. Madison, Wis.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

$2 million condos being developed at Nine Hundred Penn

Developer Nadine Lange is redeveloping Nine Hundrend Penn in Denver's Governor's Park area into seven full-floor luxury residences.

The location is just a short walk to The Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum and other attractions in the Denver cultural center. Restaurants, two natural grocery stores and an 80-acre park all are less than a 10-minute walk from the building.

"It was really important to create a residence that I would want to live in; to bring together the quality of life experience, which includes quality of construction, views and indoor-outdoor living," Lange says. "My philosophy focuses on details of quality, elegance and functionality."

Each 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, 3.5-bath residence is fully customizable, including designer kitchens with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. Each unit will come equipped with motorized retractable glass wall systems and automatic roller shades that ope into the indoor living space and two large terraces with glass rails to optimize city and mountain views. Prices start at more than $2 million.

"Nine Hundred Penn is truly an exceptional property with appointments and design details that I have yet to see in a Denver high-rise luxury residence," says Matt McNeill, a broker with Kentwood City Properties.

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

Denver Home Show to feature celebrity guests

When the Denver Home Show returns to the National Western Complex March 18-20, it will feature celebrity guests including the Cooking Channel's Beekman Boys and reality TV couple Trista and Ryan Sutter.

The Beekman Boys are two New York City guys who bought a farm in upstate New York, where they are raising 80 goats, two pigs, a dozen chickens and a narcissistic llama. The farm and surrounding community serves as the inspiration for their lifestyle brand Beekman 1802, which includes beauty, home and food pdoducts found on the shelves of Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma and other national retail partners.

The Sutters, a favorite couple from The Bachelorette, have taken their love of renovation to Colorado's log cabins. 

Also back by popular demand will be the Tiny Home Village, which will feature more than a dozen tiny homes with different themes by a variety of builders that range from Custom Tiny Homes to EcoCabins to SimBLISSity Tiny Homes. The show's Marketplace will feature small, local companies displaying crafts and smaller locally made items.

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

RiNo to get new karaoke venue

The RiNo neighborhood is getting a new karaoke venue with a twist.

When Portland, Ore.-based Voicebox opens this summer at 2601 Walnut St., it will offer guests 10 private private-party suites, a central bar area and food.

"Voicebox is about discovery and letting your guard down," says Scott Simon, the company's founder. "It's not your typical karaoke experience -- instead providing guests with their own private party suite, we make it about the group experience, not the performer. It's a custom-designed party reactor and we're incredibly excited to bring it to the Denver community."

Through vbsongs.com, a proprietary technology developed by Voicebox CTO Carter Thaxton, guests can make a playlist of their favorite songs in advance of their suite reservation. When guests arrive, the list will automatically  populate in their suite, where they can control lights and song selection directly from a smartphone. 

"We've known a lot of people to say that karaoke isn't their thing," Simon says. "At Voicebox, karaoke is a bridge to authentic connectivity, where every visit has the potential for joy, energy, storytelling and life-changing experience. It's for people who love it, people how have never tried it, people who may be intimidated by the prospect of singing out loud -- really it's karaoke for everyone."

Chef Jensen Cummings of Fortune Cookie Concepts will build the food and beverage programs.

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

Report details development in Cherry Creek

Seven projects in Cherry Creek were completed in 2015 and another 15 projects have been announced or are under construction, according to the latest Cherry Creek Area Development Report.

When planned and under construction projects are completed, Cherry Creek will see a 225 percent increase in residential units, a 300 percent increase in hotel rooms, a 33 percent increase in the square footage of office space and a 25 percent increase in the square footage of retail space.

"Cherry Creek has widely been known as the city’s premier shopping destination," says Julie Underdahl, president and CEO of the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District. "Cherry Creek is evolving into a mixed-use destination with more hotels, restaurants and living, office and retail spaces coming online. We are working closely with public and private partners to ensure that the area continues to be the No. 1 destination for premier shopping, as well as the top destination in Denver to live, work, play and stay."

The Cherry Creek Area plan, adopted in 2012, outlines a vision for a connected, distinctive, green and prosperous Cherry Creek, a vision that required updating outdated zoning rules for the one-square-mile area. The new zoning has paved the way for development and growth in the area.

"The Cherry Creek Area development report tells a unique story about the Cherry Creek area and the effectiveness of long-term placemaking efforts," says David Steel, chair of the Cherry Creek Area Business Alliance and president of Western Development Group. "For decades, we saw minimal redevelopment activity in the area. Now, with the new zoning in place, the area is one of the most desirable mixed-use, walkable urban nodes in the country."

Other highlights in the report include:
  • More than 500 hotel rooms announced or under construction
  • Nearly 1,000 residential units planned or under construction
  • More than 95,000 square feet of retail space planned or under construction
  • Nearly 200,000 square feet of office space planned or under construction
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Tamburello, Pottles receive inaugural CREW award

CREW Denver is recognizing developers Paul Tamburello of Generator Development and Jack and Judy Pottle of JBC Capital Partners with its inaugural STEP UP award.

Together, Tamburello and the Pottles have redeveloped a parcel in North Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood, creating the Cobbler's Corner business and retail district. Cobbler's Corner is the site of the former Germinal Stage Theater at 44th and Alcott Streets. For more than 40 years, Jack Pottle's grandparents ran the cobbler's shop that is the inspiration for the new development's name.

"This is an exciting time to be involved in the real estate community in Denver -- and an exciting time for CREW Denver," says CREW Denver President Stina Kayser, partner and general counsel at Urban Villages, a Denver-based real estate development firm. "We are a growing organization and 'stepping up' our voice in the community. CREW Denver's STEP UP awards will be an important part of our brand going forward, as we look to recognize people in the area and within our own organization who are stepping up to do great things for Denver development."

CREW is a commercial real estate organization dedicated to growing the role of women in the industry.

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

Historic Bosler House up for sale

The historic Bosler House at 3209 W. Fairview Place is up for sale.

The house, built in 1875 and designated a city landmark in 1984, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It's significant not only for its Italianate architecture, but also for its history in the development of Denver and its association with Ambrose Bosler and W.H. Yankee, two early settlers of the West Highland area of Denver. the house was a functioning home from 1875 until about 2007.

Keith Painter purchased the house in 1987. He removed the roof in 2008 and began to pop the top -- work that requires prior approval by Denver's Landmark Preservation Commission, as well as appropriate building permits. After the city issued a stop-work order, the owner declined to return the roof to its earlier condition and instead proposed demolishing the historic building.

Over the next six years, attempts to work with the owner to bring the property into compliance with city maintenance and historic preservation requirements were not successful. During that time, the roof has been open and exposed to the elements. Ultimately, liens and fines on the property led the city to begin foreclosure proceedings on the house last May. The city requested the court to appoint a receiver to act as a temporary caretaker.

A historic structure assessment started last summer concluded that unauthorized alterations of the last 20 years have left the Bosler House in fair to poor condition. The 200-page assessment identified critical structural problems caused by water infiltration from the open roof and from other recent alterations, such as removal of structural beams in the interior. Removal of structural, electrical and plumbing systems were done without building permits or inspections.

Despite the damage the house has sustained inside and out, the assessment indicates that it can be restored by qualified engineers and historic preservation professionals performing major repairs. The assessment estimates the cost of all recommended repairs to total $1.75 million.

"This is a difficult situation," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "The sale of this house is a last resort and an unprecedented move -- but a necessary one. Protecting our city's most treasured historic assets is something we take very seriously and something that Denver's landmark preservation ordinance requires."

The court-appointed receiver will request the court's approval to sell the property. In addition, construction plans for roof repairs are being drafted by an architect so a future owner can use them to begin construction work immediately. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has approved a $7,000 grant to help fund the plans. State tax credits also are available for repairs to historic buildings.

"Our goal is to save this irreplaceable city landmark, and we are hopeful that a qualified buyer with resources and expertise can restore the Bosler House and make it a point of community pride once more," says Barbara Stocklin-Steely, principal city planner for landmark preservation.

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

Colorado ranks No. 5 in nation for LEED certification

Colorado ranks fifth in the nation for LEED certification with 12.2 million square feet of space in 95 projects certified in 2015.

That translates 2.43 square feet of LEED-certified space per capita. The U.S. Green Building Council calculates the list using per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building. The method allows for fair comparisons among states with significant differences in population and number of buildings.

LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

"Colorado is a nationwide leader in green building and LEED certification," says Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. "LEED has become an essential standard for the transformation of building design and construction. LEED-certified buildings drive economic growth, create jobs and ma communities healthier."

Among the notable projects that were certified in Colorado in 2015 are: 
 
  • Republic Plaza in Denver, LEED Gold
  • Granite Tower in Denver, LEED Gold
  • Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility in Denver, LEED Gold
  • North Colorado Springs Readiness Center in Colorado Springs, LEED Platinum
  • Laurel Village Residence Halls (LEED Gold and Laurel Village Pavilion (LEED Platinum) at Colorado State University
  • Pueblo County Judicial Center, LEED Silver
  • City of Boulder Fire Station 8, LEED Silver
The states topping Colorado on the list are Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington.

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

RiNo Art District to present initiatives at breakfast

The RiNo Art District is hosting a breakfast at its monthly neighborhood meeting to kick off its 2016 initiatives.

The Art District will provide complimentary light breakfast fare from RiNo's restaurants and bakeries, including Babettes, The Preservery, Comida and Stowaway, as well as mimosas and special cider-mosas from C Squared Ciders. 

The breakfast will be held on Thurs. Feb. 11 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Summit Church, 3300 Larimer St., where the Art District will present its lineup of initiatives for the year and attendees will have the chance to comment and discuss the projects planned for this year, including design guidelines, wayfinding signage and the parking study.

Initiatives include:
 
  • Affordability for artists, creatives and entrepreneurs to advocate for and help keep RiNo artists in the district
  • RiNo design guidelines
  • RiNo gateways, wayfinding and signage
  • Brighton Boulevard construction
  • 38th Street underpass creative lighting project
  • Multimodal access and parking plan
  • Placemaking: crosswalks, benches, bike racks, alleys
  • Green stormwater strategy
  • Westside lighting and safety
  • Park planning and activation
Located just north of downtown Denver, the RiNo Art District was formed in 2005 by a small group of artists focused on starting an artist and creative community and helping these businesses market their work. Today, RiNo is a state-certified Colorado Creative District and has grown to more than 200 member, 250 studios and 25 galleries. The district also includes a Business Improvement District and a General Improvement District.

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

The Preservery to open in RiNo in March

Restaurant industry veterans and musicians Obe and Whitney Ariss will open The Preservery in RiNo in March.

The fast-casual eatery, bakery, marketplace and bar is located in an old warehouse that now is the Backyard on Blake complex. The community-driven food and music hall will be open six days a week featuring breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner, late-night and regular live music performances. 

The Preservery also has joined a movement of restaurants that are doing away with tipping and instead is pricing its menu to reflect the costs of labor. The system will allow the restaurant to set its starting minimum wage at $14.50 an hour and provide full health benefits and shift meals to employees.

"We are building a social enterprise," Whitney Ariss says. "Our mission with The Preservery is to help create positive change in the community and get more people supporting local food and music."

The menu focuses on maximizing the local supply chain to create familiar yet inspired dishes, as well as preserves of all kinds -- from cheese and salumi to pickles and jellies.

The music will be inspired by the music scene in New Orleans, where both great food and live music are celebrated.

The Preservery's mission is to build community through everything they do, not just by bringing people together with music and food but also through education, outreach and fundraising, sustainability and practicing gratitude.

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

Final phases of Tejon34 in LoHi hits the market

Townhomes in the final two phases of Tejon34 in LoHi hit the market Jan. 29 with prices ranging from $750,000 to $1.25 million. 

Developed by River Meadow LLC, the front doors and porches of residences in Tejon34 face the street or a courtyard, offering residents the opportunity to connect with the surrounding community.

"Homes that have design sensitivity to the neighborhood sell for more per square foot than homes that have less thoughtful design," says Paul Tamburello, broker/owner of Generator Real Estate, which is marketing the property in conjunction with Red Chair Realty Advisors.

In all, Tejon34 has 20 townhomes and eight condos surrounding a courtyard. The 24-foot-wide residences at the corner of West 34th Avenue and Tejon Street range in size from 1,872 square feet to 2,928 square feet and feature energy-efficient systems combined with environmentally sensitive, locally sourced materials, including brick, stone and steel."

"We could have built more on the site, but we thought the responsible way to design the project was to give our residents a place to gather and interact with each other," says Ray Kawano, managing partner of River Meadow. "The townhomes give buyers a contemporary urban living option in the heart of a culturally diverse neighborhood that has a blend of restaurants, shops and community events."

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

Crelow launches new services for office space searches

Commercial real estate matchmaker Crelow has launched three new services for tenants looking for office space. 

The new services Crelow has launched include:
 
  • "Crebates" that allow tenants to share in the savings they create with a cash-back incentive program
  • Rep Matcher for tenants who prefer to work with a representative will match companies with tenant reps
  • Tenant reps can submit their own bid request to work directly with landlords.
"We developed this technology to put the business tenant in control and help them find the great office space they deserve,"says Jim Simpson, CEO of Minneapolis-based Crelow. "Our marketplace is particularly important to smaller tenants that have been traditionally underserved. It takes reps just as much time to find and serve smaller tenants to the market has largely ignored them."

Tenants looking for less than 5,000 square feet of space make up about 80 percent of the Denver market.

"These new features represent dramatic change in the commercial real estate industry," says Peter Fitzgerald, a broker with Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq. "Crelow not only includes reps on both sides of the deal, they have found a way to make smaller businesses more attractive to both tenant reps and landlord reps. It's definitely a win, win, win situation that puts the small-business tenant front and center."

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

Quality Italian to open in Cherry Creek

New York-based Quality Branded will open Quality Italian later this year in Halcyon, a hotel at 245 Columbine in Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood.

The menu will offer modern-day adaptations of traditional Italian-American steakhouse fare.

"Denver is rapidly becoming a food destination, and we're excited to be able to take part in its development," says Michael Stillman, president and founder of the Fourth Wall Restaurants, recently renamed as Quality Branded. "We're also thrilled to be bringing the Quality family west."

In addition to the upcoming Quality Italian Denver, the Quality Branded portfolio includes Quality Eats, Quality Meats NYC, Quality Meats Miami, Park Avenue Winter, Maloney & Porcelli and Smith & Wollensky.

"The goal of our Quality restaurants is to provide a contemporary steakhouse experience that speaks to current dining tastes but remains rooted in traditional hospitality," Stillman says. "Whether it's fulfilling a guests's special request or simply providing a great meal, we like sending people home having had a quality experience. It's how we named several of our restaurants, and we though it only fitting that our restaurant group's name reflect those same values."

Developers BMC Investments and Sage Hospitaliy have teamed up to build Halcyon, a boutique hotel with 155 guest rooms, meeting space, a roof-top deck, fitness center and valet parking.

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

H+L Architecture merges with Kansas firm

Denver-based H+L Architecture has merged with Treanor Architects, a nationally recognized form based in Lawrence, Kansas.

The companies will maintain their existing names but will work together during the coming months to develop a new branding identity that will encapsulate the culture and history that unite the firms.

"We are extremely excited to be merging with such an exceptional team of architects and designers," says Scott Kuehn, president of H+L. "Combining teams with portfolios as deep as our two firms is an amazing opportunity to add to our depth of knowledge in all of the markets we are currently serving and continue creating spaces that inspire. This is truly a win-win for H+L, Treanor and our clients."

The merger will strengthen the firms' service offerings, as well as allow them to examine all aspects of customer service to ensure they continue to offer outstanding customer service to all their clients.

H+L, which has offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, focuses on healthcare, education, advanced industries and senior life. Its projects include the Colorado School of Mines Ben Parker Student Center, Northfield High School, Children's Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado Anschutz Wellness Center. 

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

Green Building Council predicts surge in green building for 2016

The U.S. Green Building Council's Colorado chapter is predicting a major surge in green building for 2016.

Coming off a banner year in the construction industry where the chapter saw 127 LEED certifications this year, the USGBC saw attendance at its signature event Rocky Mountain Green increase by nearly 25 percent.

"Colorado has always shown tremendous support for green building," says Patti Mason, executive director of USGBC Colorado. "What stands out in 2015 is the diversity of LEED-certified projects. From affordable housing developers earning LEED for Neighborhood Development certification to schools in rural Colorado earning a community's first LEED plaque, we have seen a rich diversity of projects that is unmatched in previous years."

The USGBC Colorado predictions for 2016 include:
  • Greater accessibility to green living for residents in low-income housing. The Denver Housing Authority's longstanding commitment to renewable energy, green building and healthy living will serve as a model for others working on Colorado's housing shortage.
  • Repurposing industrial buildings and building more condominiums. With Denver's land values appreciating more than 100 percent in the last two years, the 2015 trend was adapative reuse. 2016 will see more of the same, with adaptive reuse being an option to meet the housing demand in Denver.
  • Schools shift toward the 21st century. Schools will look for creative ways to shift existing and new schools toward an environment appropriate for 21st century learning.  With 11 new LEED-certified schools in Colorado in 2015, the green schools movement is on the rise.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Bacon Social House opens in Sunnyside

Bacon Social House has opened in the Sunnyside neighborhood's historic Cobbler's Corner at 2434 W. 44th Ave.

"At Bacon, we believe food is family, so we're providing an elevated dining destination with a neighborhood and community feel," says owner David Dill. "We're very conscious when it comes to sourcing locally and buying the highest quality ingredients for our menu, so the flavors come out when eating our recipes and food."

Bacon lovers can dive into dishes that feature six different flavors of bacon (habanero, garlic, candied, applewood, paleo and chef's selection). The menu also includes lighter fare and options for those with dietary restrictions, including vegans and vegetarians. Bacon's beverage menu has 12 taps of Colorado beer, brunch cocktails, bacon cocktails and signature cocktails.

"David made a larger investment in the kitchen because people often dine in groups," says Executive chef Brian Crow. "We want all of our guests to have choices they feel good about. Our job is to deliver what guests want. We designed the restaurant to be all about the experience from the moment guests walk up to the front door."

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.em. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. 

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

Three Arch11-designed restaurants open in Denver

Three new restaurants designed by Boulder architecture firm Arch11 have opened in Denver. 

Blue Island Oyster Bar in Cherry Creek melds elements of rustic East Coast oyster shacks with Denver's artisanal dining trends. The open kitchen design and central shucking counter highlights the growing desire for experiential dining where customers see their food prepared.

"With baskets of oysters on ice right in front of diners, customers express how intimately connected they are to their food and the story of oysters," says Arch11 principal and lead architect Ken Andrews. 

Arch11 also helped design Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in the Prospect area near Coors Field. Collaborating with a team assembled by the Tavern Hospitality Group, the bar's timeless atmosphere is poised to become the social hub of the neighborhood. The restaurant's earthy palette of concrete, steel and wood highlighted with warm washes of soft light sets a sociable tone with a splash of sophistication. The 3,200-square-foot space offers an intimate drinking and dining experience that distinguishes it from the city's popular expansive craft beer halls.

Chef Steven Redzikowski and beverage director Bryan Dayton, the partners behind the award-winning Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, tapped Arch11 to create their fast-casual rotisserie restaurant Brider in the Nichols Building in the Central Platte Valley.

"The space didn't have a history or patina of its own, so we had to create it," Andrews says.

Andrews' team applied a palette of classic materials to the interiors, including repurposed oak, Carrara marble, chalkboard menus and steel. Layered textures, geometric wall planes and custom built-ins, along with bright green flashes of colors and Knoll furnishings, give the space an old-soul feel with clean modernist lines.

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

Natural Grocers opens in Berkeley

Natural Grocers opens its 36th store in Colorado at 3825 Tennyson St. in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood. on Dec. 15. 

As part of the grand opening, the store will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:55 a.m. where it will distribute mystery gift cards to the first 60 customers in line. Gift cards will be in the amounts of $5, $10, $15, $50 and $100. Customers won’t know the amount of their gift cards until they check out. The store also will offer a tasting of health foods from its Paleo Wraps class.

The opening of the new store begins with a live performance by Wild Canyon Band from 8 to 10 a.m., followed by a series of free, grand-opening celebrations, including food tastings, cooking demonstrations and nutrition classes. All activities will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on the following dates:
 
  • Dec. 19: Gluten-Free Holiday, including a live performance by DJ Cavem and Alkemia Earth from 2 to 2:40 p.m.
  • Jan. 9: New Year, New You
  • Jan. 16: Paleo Fair
  • Jan. 23: Taste the Difference Food Standards Make
Natural Grocers provides fresh produce that is USDA Certified Organic, as well as other healthy affordable, organic and natural products. The new store will feature a mix of national brands and locally grown, raised and manufactured products from Colorado in a neighborhood market environment. The new store also will feature a nutritional health coach and offer free nutrition education classes.

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

SkyHouse Denver reaches milestone with topping out

SkyHouse Denver has reached a new milestone with the topping out of the 354-unit apartment building on the corner of Broadway and 18th Avenue in Denver's Uptown neighborhood.

The topping out signals that the 26-story  building is halfway to completion.

"With this milestone, we are pleased to be that much closer to offering residents the opportunity to be among the first to live in this world-class building located in the heart of the Uptown neighborhood," says Jim Borders, president of Novare Group, which is developing the project. "Batson-Cook Construction and Swinerton Builders are working carefully and methodically to deliver a high-quality high-rise community, and we are excited to celebrate the topping out with them and the highly skilled construction workers making this a reality."

In addition to the apartments, ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, the mixed-use project  includes 6,900 square feet of street-level retail space. The top floor of the building will include a club room, swimming pool and fitness center. Other amenities include vehicle-charging stations, bike storage and maintenance areas, a dog-walk area and dog-washing station. The building is being built to Energy Star standards.

The building, designed by Atlanta-based Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart and Associates, is targeting professionals who want to live in urban centers close to public transportation, employment centers and cultural institutions. The leasing center will open next spring, and the project is expected to be delivered in August.

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

Bra retailer SOL expanding in new space

Bra retailer SOL is moving into a larger space at 3010 E. Sixth Ave. in Cherry Creek next spring.

The new 3,400-square-foot store, just three blocks north of SOL's current location, is 67 percent larger than its current store. The larger space will have spacious fitting rooms, increased showroom space and offices for the SOL team. A private, 12-space parking lot will be available to customers.

"After 18 years of talking to women about fit, size and confidence, it was time for us to do the same," says Jeanie Peterson, who owns the business with her sister Cindy Johnson. "We've been growing with the changing figure of Denver's women who are more empowered than ever -- culturally, personally and economically. And our larger location will help us provide more of what our modern customer, who also is busier than ever, is craving: more service, more space and more convenience."

The new Tuscan-style SOL location will feature large columns, unique tiles and bright decor inspired by Johnson and Peterson's European trips to source extraordinary bras, pajamas and swimwear.

Johnson and Peterson founded SOL in 1997 with the goal of creating a fun bra-fitting destination to help women be confident and find beauty in their own skin. The store's focus is on fitting, and SOL has earned a national reputation for its trained, career fitters who complete a two-month bra-fitting course.

"The SOL approach is about helping women feel good about themselves inside and out," Johnson says.

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

Balfour receives two national awards

Balfour at Riverfront Park was recently received the 2015 Senior Living by Design Award and the Grand Award for a Senior Living Community.

Balfour at Riverfront Park, a senior living community that opened in October 2014, provides independent living, assisted living and memory care in a setting that combines the amenities of a four-star hotel with the comforts of a carefully designed residential setting.

It received the Grand Award for a Senior Living Community from Hanley Wood, the premier information, media, event and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. 

Designed by Klipp Architects, Balfour received the Senior Living by Design Award from Argentum, the largest national association dedicated to professionally managed resident-centered senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve.

"This awards competition shows once again how senior living providers are constantly adapting to the changing desires and needs of residents and families," says James Balda, Argentum's president and CEO. "We will continue to see innovation in the industry through these types of collaborations with cutting-edge architects and through advances in technology and research on care for older adults."

The Balfour project is highlighted in the November/December issue of Senior Living Executive, a magazine published by Argentum.

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

Nearly 13,000 residential units added to Denver's center neighborhoods

Over the last five years, 12,933 residential units have been completed or are under construction in downtown Denver, according to the Downtown Denver Partnership’s first Center City Neighborhood Residential Development Map and Profiles report.

The report supports the Downtown Denver Partnership’s commitment outlined in the 2007 Downtown Area Plan to add 18,000 housing units to center city neighborhoods by 2027.

The report also found that 72,767 residents now call downtown Denver’s center city neighborhoods home. Fifteen center city neighborhoods were included in the report, with residential development occurring at 98 projects across 13 of the neighborhoods since 2011.

"The explosion of population growth in the center city, where some neighborhoods have grown by more than 30 percent since 2010, is a testament to our collective progress towards building an economically healthy, growing and vital downtown," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Residential development projects and access to high-quality amenities and multi-modal transportation options are critical components of attracting downtown’s next generation workforce who continue to place downtown living in high demand."

Other highlights of the report include:
  • Residential population in the center city has increased 15 percent since 2011
  • 2015 is the most active year in residential development since 2011, with 29 projects completed or under construction
  • There are currently 6,165 residential units under construction in the center city
  • 95.9 percent of the units completed or under construction since 2011 are rental units
  • Capitol Hill has the highest population (16,468) within center city neighborhoods, while the Ballpark and Central Platte Valley neighborhoods have both experienced the largest percentage in population growth since 2010 (31 percent).
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood, bolstered by the re-development of Denver Union Station, has also seen the largest increase in residential units added or under construction since 2011 (3,808).
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Halcyon hotel to open in Cherry Creek next spring

Halcyon -- a Hotel in Cherry Creek will open next spring at 245 N. Columbine St. 

The 155-room hotel will include a rooftop bar, pool and two restaurants, one being Sage Restaurant Group's Departure Restaurant + Lounge Cherry Creek featuring a modern Asian menu.

"Halcyon will be not only an exciting place to be for travelers, but with the culinary offerings, rooftop bar, pool and comfortable atmosphere, we look forward to it being a favorite place for locals as well," says Peter Karpinski, chief operating officer and co-founder of Sage Restaurant Group. "It will be well appointed with subtle art, textiles and amenities that make it more than a normal hotel room."

Designed by Denver-based Johnson Nathan Strohe and New York-based AvroKO, rooms will evoke a sense of staying in a friend's home. Natural elements and riffs on the American West will add a sense of place and light will pour in from oversized windows. Guests will enjoy filtered still and sparkling water, craft cocktail ingredients delivered by room service, a place for coffee and a refrigerator for leftovers from the abundance of restaurants in Cherry Creek.

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

Seven receive awards from U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado has announced the winners of the second annual Commercial Real Estate Green Building Awards.

The winners are:
  • Executive Director's Award: Dakota Outfall Project, replacing an aging stormwater system in south Denver.
  • Exceptional Implementation of Sustainable Technologies Award: Marble Distilling Co., which is the first major commercial building to meet the requirements of the International Green Construction Code in the town of Carbondale, Colo. 
  • Green Building Legacy Award: 1900 16th St.,  a 17-story commercial office building, that has been recognized as the first multi-tenant office building in Colorado to achieve LEED Platinum. 
  • Most Successful Community Engagement Award: Aurora Public Schools, for  engaging the community through the Green Stars Program, an incentives program developed to award schools for their energy saving efforts. 
  • Rise to the Challenge Award: Turntable Studios, a 13-story, 94,000-square-foot former hotel next to Sports Authority Field that has been transformed into Denver's first micro apartment project.  
  • Green Dealmakers Award: GreenSpot Real Estate, an industry leader in adding value to real estate through green-building certifications and energy efficiency.
  • Greenest Building Award: South Wing at St. Vrain, which is targeting LEED Platinum and pursuing credits in all areas of sustainability: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
The winners and finalists were selected by a jury of their peers and honored Dec. 1 at a gala reception at SPACE Gallery

"The finalists for this year's Commercial Green Building Achievement Awards are the best and brightest in Colorado's green building community," says Patti Mason, the council's executive director. "The awards are designed to celebrate these green building leaders and honor the projects they have worked on over the past year."

Finalists for the awards were:

Exceptional Implementation of Sustainable Technologies
  • Aria Apartments: The new LEED Gold community is focused on energy efficiency and generational and socioeconomic diversity.
  • CityScape at Belmar: CityScape at Belmar is on track to be LEED Platinum certified and will provide homes for households with a wide range of incomes in a very attractive, highly sustainable, cost-effective building. 
  • University of Colorado | Colorado Springs:  The university has committed to constructing all new structures to a minimum of LEED Gold specifications. 
  • Village at Westerly Creek II: Village at Westerly Creek II replaced the obsolete housing development, Buckingham Gardens, and was designed and built to incorporate ADA and UFAS requirements.  
Green Dealmakers: Most Sustainable Real Estate Company
  • D4 Urban: D4 Urban is a Denver-based real estate development company focused on urban, infill, transit-oriented development opportunities. 
  • Zocalo Community Development: Zocalo Community Development provides a range of services ideally suited to delivering and managing successful green development projects. 
Most Successful Community Engagement
  • The Dakota Outfall Project: The Dakota Outfall Project was a successful public-private-partnership that was managed and delivered by the BMP Metro District and involved the City and County of Denver, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, and RTD. 
Greenest Building of 2015 (New or Existing)
  • Factory Flats: Factory Flats is a new, sustainable, solar-powered, five-story mixed use building with 24 residential flats, plus retail and office space for lease in the heart of Denver's RiNo neighborhood.
  • RTD Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility: The LEED Gold certified building features refrigerant flow systems, evaporative cooling, radiant floor heating, LED lighting and skylights for natural day light. Through a series of energy-saving designs, the facility achieved an energy savings of 32 percent. 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Chill apartments sells for $2.34 million

Local private investor 66 S. Clarkson St. LLC paid $2.34 million for Chill, a 12-unit property located at 66 S. Clarkson St. in Denver's Washington Park neighborhood.

The property, which underwent extensive renovations in 2012, was 100 percent occupied at the time of the sale. Renovations to the 1959 building included finishes that rival those found in new, high-end construction, including designer floors and lighting, new stainless steel appliances, updated kitchens and bathrooms and balconies.

"This transaction is a continuation of the strong interest and momentum in the metro Denver market," says Justin Hunt, executive managing director of ARA Newmark, which represented seller Incense Holdings LLC in the transaction. "The ability to secure permanent debt at historically low rates is leading to an increased appetite for stabilized, renovated assets."

The demographics surrounding Chill, just five miles southeast of downtown Denver, have helped the apartment building absorb rent premiums for renovated units. 

"The buyer was able to secure this property due to the seller-friendly terms, which included a very large amount of non-refundable earnest money and a contract extension to help facilitate a seller 1031 Exchange if needed," says Robert Bratley, associate director of ARA. "We had higher offers, but favorable terms won the deal."

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

Park Central gets pop-up artist's studio

The lobby of the Park Central office building will be converted into a pop-up artist-in-residence studio from Nov. 12 to Dec. 17.

Studio 1515, located at 1515 Arapahoe St., will feature Adam Buehler, an emerging artist and graduate student at the University of Colorado at Denver's College of Architecture and Planning.  Buehler will work from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays creating a site-specific painting for a plaza-level location in the building.

NINE dot ARTS worked with Jones Lang LaSalle to provide Buehler with in-kind, on-site studio space for the project.

"We are very excited to partner with NINE dot ARTS in this initiative," says JLL's Amy Vadovic, general manager at 1515 Arapahoe. "This is a unique opportunity to engage the local community and showcase Denver's incredibly talented artists."

Buehler will showcase his intuitive artistic process on the building's ground floor facing the 16th Street Mall for a behind-the-scenes look at how art is made. 1515 Arapahoe tenants, as well as the general public, are invited to witness the painting's creation, chart its progress and engage in Buehler's artistic process with the hashtag #studio1515denver. Using his bold, expressive, geometric and abstract style, Buehler will transform a reclaimed, nearly 7-foot-wide wooden panel into a painting. 

"Artist studios are becoming increasingly unaffordable in the city, and real estate developers and property managers, led by JLL, have an incredible opportunity to leverage artistic interventions to activate unused spaces and support artists beyond a check and become true arts patrons," says Martha Weidmann, CEO of NINE dot ARTS.

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

Thrive wins national Department of Energy award

Denver-based Thrive Home Builders is one of four builders nationwide to receive an award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for Innovation in Multi-Family Homes.

Thrive, formerly known as New Town Builders, is the first home builder in the country to win a Grand Award for three consecutive years. 

The DOE Housing Innovation Awards recognize the best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes. Thrive was recognized for Row Homes at Perrin's Row in Wheat Ridge. 

"Introducing homeowners to the benefits of energy efficient homes has been incredibly rewarding," says Gene Myers, Thrive's CEO. "Everyone wins because net zero homes are good for the environment and offer homeowners significant savings on energy costs."

Located at West 38th Avenue and Depew, Row Homes at Perrin's Row are DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes, meaning they are so energy efficient they can offset all or most of their annual energy consumption. Energy efficient features include solar panels and Energy Star-rated appliances.

"Wheat Ridge is honored that Thrive Home Builders selected our community to build these homes," says Wheat Ridge Mayor Joyce Jay. "The Perrin's Row project was supposed to take three years to sell and construct, and it's taken less than two years. It just shows the quality of these homes and the popularity of Wheat Ridge."

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

Restaurant opens on MSU Denver campus

Degree Metropolitan Food + Drink has opened on the MSU Denver campus. 

Located inside the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at MSU Denver, Degree serves lunch and dinner daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the bar staying open until midnight every night except for Sunday.

Students from MSU Denver's Department of Hospitality, Tourism & Events are working alongside professional restaurateurs at Degree, earning real-life experience in restaurant operations and management. A portion of all sales at Degree goes to the MSU Denver Foundation, which supports student scholarships. 

Led by Executive Chef Daniel Hyman, Degree's menu features Colorado meats, ethically caught seafood and local produce. Dishes include a Colorado Cobb for $10, Soba Noodle Salad for $10 and a variety of sandwiches and ramen bowls. Entrees such as Harissa Chicken, Gnocchi Salmon and Colorado Drunken Noodles are served beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The bar menu includes 16 wines by the glass and 20 Colorado craft beers, including Tivoli Brewing Co.'s Helles Lager, Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout and Great Divide's Whitewater Wheat Ale. Degree also serves an inventive list of handcrafted cocktails made from local spirits, including a Rosemary Salty Dog made with CapRock Gin and grapefruit juice for $7 and the Pickled Goat, made with Peach Street Distillers Goat Vodka and pickled Fresno pepper juice for $9.

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

RiNo creates Business Improvement District

The River North (RiNo) Art District has approved both a Business Improvement District (BID) and a General Improvement District (GID) to generate more than $1 million a year to invest in infrastructure, advocacy, affordability initiatives, placemaking, marketing and programming. 

The goal of the districts is to ensure than the investment pouring into the neighborhood does not significantly alter its urban, industrial character and that there are resources to ensure artists, small businesses and creatives can stay put and that the neighborhood remains diverse, inclusive and affordable. 

Funding from the districts will help preserve RiNo's character and support artists and creatives through grants, artist housing and other initiatives that could be a model for other art districts. District funds also will be invested in infrastructure improvements to the industrial neighborhood, including a collaborative partnership with the city to enhance Brighton Boulevard and develope a new park and community facilities.

The districts also will fund improved lighting, wayfinding signage and other physical improvements. Programming, marketing, activation and continuing to grow the dynamic nature of RiNo are all part of the plan.

The RiNo BID encompasses about 450 acres generally bounded by Interstate 70 to the north, the alley between Larimer and Lawrence streets to the east, Broadway to the south and the rail tracks to the west. Commercial property owners within those boundaries will pay four mills on the assessed value of their property, which will generate about $600,000 in 2016. 

The RiNo GID includes about 300 acres and covers only the western portion of the RiNo district. Commercial and residential property owners in the GID will pay four mills on the assessed value of their properties, which will generate about $300,000 in 2016. 

In addition, property owners fronting Brighton Boulevard will pay a special assessment of about $200 per linear foot to fund infrastructure enhancements on the street, raising $3 million over 20 years.

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

Mayor's Design Award winners announced

The winners of the 2015 Mayor's Design Awards honoring excellence in architecture, exterior design and placemaking were honored at a recent ceremony held in the Chambers Grant Salon at Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Created in 2005, the awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design.

Projects that involve the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings:
 
    •    Bradford Real Estate Office, 2956 W. 32nd Ave. 
    •    The Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Dr. 
    •    The Moffat Depot, Balfour at Riverfront Park, 1500 Little Raven St. 
    •    Wurstküche Restaurant, 2036 Broadway 
    •    Industry, 3001 Brighton Blvd. 

Category: This is Home
Single-family projects:

    •    Gulliver-Lynch House, 227 S. Lincoln St.
    •    Curtis Park Garden Cottage, 2857 Stout St. 

Category: Building Well, Living Well
Projects that promote community health through active living, access to healthy food and transit, or walkability:

    •    Art In Transit, 3200 - 5200 W. Colfax

Category: Density by Design
Multi-family and mixed-use developments:

    •    16M, 1560 Market St.
    •    My Block – Wash Park, 255 Washington St.

Category: Neighborhood Gem
Projects that exemplify the unique character of their neighborhoods:

    •    Mestizo-Curtis Park Playground, 3181 Champa St.
    •    Izakaya Den, 1487A S. Pearl St.
    •    Whittier Alley Loop, 4 blocks between Williams & Race Streets 
    •    The Butterfly Walk, La Alma Lincoln Park, 1100 Mariposa St.

Category: Distinctive Denver
Projects with unique features or elements that set them apart from similar structures, uses and building forms:

    •    The Boathouse, 1850 Platte St.
    •    Union Station North & South Buildings, 1705 17th St. & 1615 Wynkoop St.

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

MAAH petitioning city for affordable housing fund

Mothers Advocating for Affordable Housing (MAAH) is collecting signatures in an effort to persuade Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the City Council to support the creation of an ongoing funding source for affordable housing. 

The group, formed earlier this year by Denver preservationist Dana Crawford and developer Susan Powers, has broadened its membership to include men, millennials and anyone else who cares about the lack of affordable housing.

"The rising cost of housing in Denver is impacting everyone," Powers says.   "Earlier in the year, Dana Crawford and I pulled together a group of about 75 women from all different backgrounds to talk about what could be done to address it.  We want to be a voice that supports efforts to create more housing for the full spectrum of needs from the homeless to our workforce who are unable to afford housing close to where they work."  

The issue of affordable housing affects people from all stages of life, from the young, first-time employee to the couple starting a family to the baby boomer retiree. To afford the average two-bedroom rent of $1,550 in metro Denver, families need to hold 2.7 minimum wage jobs, according to MAAH. That's forcing many kids to live in inadequate housing and stressful family environments.

For those trying to buy their first homes, challenges in the housing market also are evident. With housing prices rising quickly, hitting an average sale price of $322,500 in August, and the supply inadequate to keep up with demand, the goal of home ownership is not achievable for many households.

The housing crisis also threatens the economy. Over the next five years, more than 300,000 new residents are expected to flock to the region as new businesses and jobs move here. But the region's economic growth could be threatened if innovative businesses and people choose to locate elsewhere because of a lack of affordable homes. 

"This is not just an issue in Denver, but we are starting here because of the mayor's recent announcement to create an ongoing sources of funding for affordable housing, which has never existed before," Powers says. "We need people to join in and support this first step."

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

Embrey to build 350 apartments at Lowry

San Antonio, Texas-based multifamily developer Embrey plans to build and manage a 350-unit luxury apartment community at Boulevard One at Lowry.

Boulevard One is the last neighborhood at the former Lowry Air Force Base to be developed by the Lowry Redevelopment Authority (LRA). 

"Embrey is aligned with our vision," says Monty Force, executive director of the LRA. "They take a long-term approach to building high-quality places in the midst of urban, mixed-use communities."

The Kephart-designed Boulevard One Apartments will be adjacent to a community park and a mixed-use town center with a variety of gathering places. A juice and coffee bar will serve apartment residents and the greater community. The studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will rent for between $1,650 and $3,300 a month. 

Amenities include a pool with a landscaped courtyard, heated spa, fountain and fire feature. A fitness center overlooking the pool will include a yoga studio.

The building will be designed to meet LEED Gold requirements.

"Embrey is excited to bring its award-winning brand and talent for designing an experience with a sense of place to this exceptionally conceived development," says Jeff Booth, the company's executive vice president of development.

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

Study aims to enhance 16th Street Mall

Denver is studying the 16th Street Mall in an effort to get more people to stay for longer periods of time in the city's urban core.

The study, "The Mall Experience: The Future of Denver's 16th Street Mall," was led by the city in partnership with the Downtown Denver Partnership with assistance from global consultants Gehl Architects. It's one of three city initiatives designed to activate Denver's urban core. The other projects are "The Next Stage: The Future of Denver's Performing Arts Complex" and "The Outdoor Downtown: The Future of Denver's Parks and Public Spaces."

The guiding principles Gehl has identified for the study are:
 
  • Provide a series of experiences
  • Provide transportation choices
  • Make invitations for people to spend time
  • Encourage lively edges
  • Support a wider network of investment
  • Think beyond the boundaries of 16th Street
  • Create a strong and integrated network
  • Continue to evolve
Last summer, the Downtown Denver Partnership diverted the Free Mall Ride shuttles to 15th and 17th streets for five Sundays for "Meet in the Street," an event that filled the Mall with special events, activities, artwork, food and drink. 

An analysis of the event found that:
 
  • The number of pedestrians overall increased by 30 percent
  • Positive feelings about the Mall increased by 200 percent
  • The number of children increased by 77 percent, and the number of women increased by 65 percent
  • 88 percent of the activities programmed on the Mall resulted in an overall increase in time spent there
The study is designed to measure, test and refine ideas to ensure the Mall remains a vibrant place.

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

Rusty Bucket to open in LoHi

The Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern has signed on as the first retail tenant in Southern Land Co.'s apartment project at 18th and Central streets in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood.

The restaurant, which provides comfort food in a family friendly environment, will occupy 5,250 square feet in the building, which is under construction on the site of the former Mile High United Way at 2505 18th St.

"Having a neighborhood restaurant and tavern on the site only increases the attractiveness of 18th and Central, offering future residents a convenient spot to catch a game, grab a late-night meal or network over lunch," says Tim Downey, CEO of Southern Land. 

The development, scheduled to open next fall, will include 317 apartments in two buildings. There will be a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units. Amenities include a rooftop deck with fire pits, pool, 24-hour fitness center and on-site dog services. There will be underground parking for 405 vehicles and bicycle storage. 

In addition to the space Rusty Bucket will occupy, the building has two more retail spaces of 1,450 and 2,600 square feet. Rusty Bucket will have a dedicated guest entrance with direct access to the garage, which will have about 55 spots for retail customers.

"LoHi offers the perfect mix of entertainment and shopping options for new residents," says Gary Callicoat, president and founder of Rusty Bucket. "Rusty Bucket will add to that mix by offering chef-driven comfort food, featuring fresh ingredients and bold flavors, house-made artisan cocktails and local and seasonal craft beer selections."

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

Third Stapleton community north of I-70 underway

Forest City Enterprises is starting work on the third Stapleton neighborhood that will be north of Interstate 70.

Wicker Park will offer 240 single-family homes surrounding a large park complete with playground, grassy fields and gardens.

"One of the best things about Stapleton is the unique characteristics embraced by each of the neighborhoods that make up our community," says John Lehigh, president of Forest City Stapleton. "Starting with 29th Avenue to the Willow Park East neighborhood and now onto Wicker Park, each neighborhood has its own identity. Wicker Park will embrace a charming and quaint urban vibe thanks to the bouquet of home styles lining the streets."

Wicker Park will offer a variety of home styles, from classic cottage bungalows to sleek modern designs. Seven different homebuilders will be building a variety of floor plans ranging from 1,100-square-foot, two-bedroom homes up to 3,800-square-foot, five-plus-bedroom homes. Prices will range from about $200,000 to $900,000.

At the northern edge of Wicker Park is the Boston Street Garden, a concept that combines green lawns with walking paths that stretch between seasonal flower gardens and large shade trees.

"Boston Street Garden combines front yards with a shared garden space and creates a true urban oasis," says Lisa Hall, builder program director at Forest City Stapleton. "Inspiration was drawn from the charming brick road lined with elegant homes adjacent to outdoor gardens, known as Louisville Lane in Louisville, Kentucky."

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

East West Partners to develop $190 million building

East West Partners and Starwood Capital Group plan to develop a $190 million office building in the Union Station neighborhood.

Called 16 Chestnut, the building will front both 16th and 17th streets. DaVita Healthcare Partners, a provider of kidney-care services, will be the anchor tenant in the 265,000-square-foot building.

"DaVita believed in our vision for the Union Station neighborhood long before it came to fruition," says Chris Frampton, managing partner at East West Partners. "We are honored that they are entrusting us in making a second home for their teammates."

Groundbreaking for the building is scheduled for next July, with DaVita targeting a move-in date of August 2018. Remaining space available for lease will come to market in January 2016, and the entire building is slated for completion in October 2018.

Designed by Gensler, 16 Chestnut is will seek LEED Platinum certification upon completion. The building will make extensive use of glass, allowing for striking views of the city and Rocky Mountains from each floor. Its location adjacent to the southbound light-rail line and two blocks from the northbound line to Denver International Airport gives it easy access to transit.

"We are excited about the opportunity to invest in Denver and reaffirm our commitment to East West Partners' vision for the Union Station  neighborhood," says Dan Schwaegler, senior vice president in the asset management group at Starwood. "This neighborhood has become the destination of choice for Fortune 500 companies in Denver."

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

Union Station to host Halloween parties for adults, kids

Denver Union Station is hosting two Halloween parties -- one for kids and another for adults -- on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30.

Little monsters are invited to take part in Denver Union Station's Second Annual Kids Halloween Parade & Party from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29. the celebration will feature trick-or-treating in the merchant shops, a costume parade led by Dayle Cedars and Lisa Hidalgo from Denver's 7NEWS and a costume contest with prizes for best overall and best group/family costumes.

The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. and march around Wynkoop Plaza in from the the station and inside through the great hall. There will be special guests, including favorite princesses and a mummy on freaky stilts. Prizes will be awarded at 6:30 p.m. 

Other activities include balloon twisters, a palm reader and magic show, with Halloween party songs like "Monster Mash" performed by the Juke Box Boys Trio. 

Adults are invited back to Union Station on Oct. 30 for a Spooky Speakeasy in the Terminal Bar. Starting at 9 p.m., the bar will be showing The Shining on the walls. There will be Halloween cocktails, beer specials and a costume contest with prizes. The grand prize is a one-night stay at The Crawford Hotel plus a $100 gift card to Union Station.

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

Allegro Coffee to open shop on Tennyson

Allegro Coffee will open its first freestanding micro-roasting company on Tennyson Street in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood.

Allegro Coffee Roasters (ACR) is slated to open in November in an old hardware store

The flagship store boasts a 30-foot bar and comfortable indoor and outdoor seating. Beans will be roasted in small batches onsite within sight of the coffee bar in a gas-fired Loring drum roaster.  Twelve of the 19 coffees at ACR Tennyson will be hand-packed and sold at local Whole Foods Markets. Allegro will brew its specialty blends for patrons in-house and offer them to Whole Foods customers.

"Allegro Coffee Co. has been in wholesale for the past 30 years, and we've always been an industry leader in equitable and direct sourcing,” says Tara Cross, the company's director of marketing. "Since 1997, when Whole Foods purchased Allegro, our team has become experts in retail operations and coffee bar management. Opening ACR gives us an opportunity to take the Allegro experience to a new level."

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

Zocalo tops off Coda in Cherry Creek

Zocalo Community Development has completed the topping off of Coda, a 12-story apartment building under construction in Cherry Creek North.

Located at First Avenue and Steele Street, Coda will have 182 apartments, fitness center, self-service pet spa, Velo Room with professional bike, ski and snowboard maintenance equipment and concierge service. Just over half of the units will be one bedroom, while 25 percent will be studios and the remaining 23 percent will be two bedrooms. The apartments will range in size from 510 square feet to nearly 1,700 square feet.

Coda's leasing office is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016, and the project is scheduled for completion by April.

"As a beacon into Cherry Creek North, Coda will be the most sought-after community, thanks to its upscale finishes, unparalleled views and prestigious location," says Susan Maxwell, principal of Zocalo.

Zocalo is applying for LEED Gold certification for the building, which will have a number of sustainable features, including electric vehicle charging stations; comprehensive recycling and composting programs; high-efficiency lighting; and floor-to-ceiling low thermal emissivity windows. 

Coda is the fifth LEED-certified multifamily project developed by Zocalo in Denver. Its other projects include 2020 Lawrence, a 231-unit tower in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood; Solera, a 120-unit project; and Cadence at Union Station, a 219-unit building at 17th and Chestnut streets.

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

New Restoration Hardware opens in Cherry Creek

Restoration Hardware's flagship Colorado store has opened at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center

RH has reinvented itself to take advantage of a rebounding luxury housing market that has consumers opening their wallets to furnish their homes. The new stores offer expanded products and services. A few years ago, the company transformed its real estate platform, opening three full-line galleries that were more than three times the size of its average store. 

At 53,000 square feet, the new RH store is more than four times the size of its previous Cherry Creek store. It occupies a portion of the 90,000 square feet Saks left behind when it closed its Cherry Creek store in March 2011.

The four-level design gallery features a multi-story atrium, outdoor garden and rooftop park, as well as dedicated galleries for the company's numerous product lines.

Other stores occupying the balance of the space include Tory Burch (women's clothing), David Yurman (jewelry) and 801 Fish (seafood restaurant). All are new to the Denver market. Tiffany & Co. is relocating from the lower level into the upper level of the former Saks space.

RH is celebrating the opening in a big way, with a live performance by Thievery Corporation, curated wines and food from Matsuhisa and Epicurean Group.

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

Union Station wins prestigious ULI award

Denver Union Station has been named a winner of the 2015 Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence competition.

Ten winners were selected from among a broad mix of projects around the world, including five in the United States, three in Europe and two in Asia.

"The result of a visionary collaborative effort, Denver Union Station brings an exemplary transformation of downtown through a complex mixed-use project," says Michael Covarrubias, jury chairman for the ULI award. "The project not only makes progress ahead of the initial plan but already turns the rail yard into a viable community/work space."

Now in its 37th year, ULI's Global Awards for Excellence recognizes real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction economics, planning and management. It's viewed as the centerpiece of ULI's efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development.

A partnership between East West Partners, Continuum Parters, Union Station Alliance and Trammell Crow Co. developed the project.

"The ULI Global Award for Excellence is the most prestigious award in our industry and it is an incredible honor to have won for our work on the Union Station Neighborhood," says Mark Smith, principal of East West Partners. "This award is in recognition of the extraordinary effort put forth by the entire Union Station team, as well as the impact that this project has had on the neighborhood and the entire city of Denver."

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

10 "Women of Influence" nominated for CREW awards

CREW Denver has named 10 women in commercial real estate as finalists for its Women of Influence Awards.

Two awards will be given at the gala, to be held Oct. 20 at the Ritz-Carlton. The event will feature BBC anchor and best-selling author Katty Kay as the keynote speaker. 

Nominees for the Entrepreneur Women of Influence Award honoring a woman who has achieved a unique career success as a result of taking a risk and breaking barriers include:
 Nominees for the Mentor Women of Influence Award honoring a woman who exemplifies a commitment to elevating the status of women in commercial real estate include:
 CREW Denver promotes professional opportunities and business relationships for women in the commercial real estate industry. Founded in 1984, it’s one of 74 chapters in the 9,000-member national CREW network.

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

Denver issues record number of building permits

More than 9,000 building permits were issued in Denver during September, making it the busiest month on record.

The previous highest-volume month on record was August 2004, when the city issued 8,194 permits.

"People want to live in Denver, stay in Denver and reinvest in their homes and businesses," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "This record is a sign of how much of that investment and reinvestment is happening all over the city and how hard our staff is working to keep pace with that demand."

Sustained high demand going back two years, a normal seasonal surge and a spike in demand for roofing permits after the June hail storms all contributed to the busy September. A strong economy, low interest rates and a growing population also were factors in the high volume of permits. The city is on pace to rival 2014's total permit volume for the year (67,800), which was 23 percent higher than 2013 and 63 percent higher than 2009.

Community Planning and Development has taken steps to keep pace with the demand, including hiring more staff, paying overtime, outsourcing some plan reviews and making business process improvements. In addition, some minor permits are now available via email.

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

Union Station to host Harvest Market

Denver Union Station will host a Harvest Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 10 on Wynkoop Plaza.

The market will feature 10 Colorado farms, locally produced food items and fresh food dishes from Denver Union Station restaurants, including Mercantile Dining & Provision, Stoic & Genuine and Snooze. Participating Colorado farms include The Fresh Herb Co., Cure Organic Farm, Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, Jodar Farms, Oxford Gardens and Plowshares Community Farm.

The Harvest Market is being organized by Boulder County Farmers Markets, a Boulder-based nonprofit organization that has operated producer-only farmers markets in Boulder County since 1987. 

"As we approach the opening of the commuter rail line to Denver International Airport next spring, we are pursuing new ways to offer travelers and locals alike more quick and curated options at Denver Union Station," says Joe Vostrejs, partner in the Union Station Alliance, which redeveloped the historic building. "We look forward to testing the Harvest Market to see if this is something the Denver and LoDo communities will utilize."

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

Recycling center opens in Overland

SustainAbility has opened its second public recycling drop-off center in Denver. 

The center, located at 1270 S. Bannock St., is the first Hard-To-Recycle (H2R) center in the Denver area. It accepts traditional recyclable materials such as paper, plastic, metal and glass but also takes a range of non-traditional materials, such as fire extinguishers, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, wine corks, CDs, vegetable oil, books, paint, bikes and clothing. 

"H2R centers are incredibly important for communities that care about sustainability because they offer people the opportunity to recycle dozens of unusual items that would normally be landfilled," says Rachel Nathan, the company's sustainability director. "We have found ethical recycling solutions for all of these items, and we are working every day to add more to the list."

A majority of SustainAbility's workforce is make of of people who have developmental or intellectual disabilities. The new center will have a total of 31 employees, 25 of whom have developmental or intellectual disabilities. 

"Our mission is not only to be an innovative leader in the recycling world, but also to employ individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities," Nathan says. "We truly believe that just because someone has been given the label of a disability, if you find what that person is good at, they are better at it than most."

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

VESTA launches multi-family interior design division

Denver-based VESTA, a commercial interiors general contractor, has launched a new division to provide multi-family residential clients with its unique approach to service.

In addition to launching its multi-family division, VESTA has made significant moves to grow the business this year. Since 2014, the company has added six employees, launched a new website and earned certification as a Woman-Owned Business. The company has completed $8 million in projects this year, helping it to grow by 200 percent year over year.

"This has been an exciting year for VESTA in terms of growth," says Kristen Cummings, chief executive of VESTA. "The VESTA multi-family division was a natural next step for us. We see great potential in the multi-family residential market. We look forward to offering multi-family residential clients a more comprehensive and streamlined experience aligned with the same high standards and tightly managed schedules we provide in the commercial interiors arena."

Todd Solheim will serve as the field manager for the new division, overseeing demolition, renovation and maintenance of all VESTA multi-family projects to ensure the results reflect the company's commitment to client service and satisfaction. 

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

Colorado Health Foundation to break ground on new headquarters

The Colorado Health Foundation will break ground Oct. 5 on its new headquarters at 1780 Pennsylvania St. in Denver's Uptown neighborhood.

The building's mission-driven design allows greater interaction and accessibility to partners, the community and an array of transportation options for staff and visitors. The three-story, 32,500-square-foot building has direct access to outdoor areas via rooftop decks and gardens. The project also has 17,500 square feet of below-grade parking. 

"The Colorado Health Foundation Board is excited by this design that exemplifies the organization and its vision," says Dr. Donald Murphy, chairman of the foundation's board and a geriatrician with Rocky Mountain Senior Care. "From the start, we wanted a structure that spoke to the foundation's work with partners to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation while creating a friendly, health-driven space that integrates the organization's efforts to be continuously learning about how well-being can be integrated into daily life."

Designed by Davis Partnership Architects, the building's design draws from best practices and innovative approaches for promoting employee and visitor health. 

Saunders Construction, which will build the project, will implement a job-site wellness plan throughout construction in support of its vision to create a health work environment for all contractors. The plan includes fresh fruit availability, health food vendors, bike lockers, changing stations, wellness days, cooking seminars and exercise challenges. 

Completion of the project is slated for late 2016.

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

New book details the life of Denver preservationist Dana Crawford

Former Denver Post Reporter Mike McPhee's new book about Denver preservationist Dana Crawford has hit the shelves on during the 50th anniversary of Larimer Square, the historic block Crawford is credited with saving.

The book, Dana Crawford: 50 Years Saving the Soul of a City, details how Crawford, a stylish mother and housewife, convinced a group of wealthy investors to buy historic buildings in the 1400 block of Larimer Street -- where Denver began --  to save them from the wrecking ball.

"As a newcomer to Denver in 1954, I could see that its architectural history was about to be erased," Crawford told former Colorado First Lady Dottie Lamm in 2012. "And I felt very motivated, almost obsessed, with a need to figure out to save at least one block of the 26 blocks in downtown Denver that were slated for demolition."

But Crawford is responsible for much more than saving for Larimer Square. Over the years, she's redeveloped the Oxford Hotel, which dragged her into bankruptcy twice, an old flour mill and a mattress factory. She also was instrumental in the redevelopment of Denver Union Station. Despite her protests, her partners in the project named The Crawford Hotel after her.

McPhee, who spent four years working on the book, also outlines Crawford's early life growing up in Salina, Kansas, through her college years and beyond. The book is filled with photographs of the early years in Denver, as well as Crawford's early life.

"I knew from the moment I started this book that capturing this remarkable woman's story would be difficult and unpredictable," McPhee says. "What an understatement! Putting her story down on paper has been like stuffing 10 pounds of potatoes into a five-pound bag."

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

Tennyson Center to get new playground

More than 225 volunteers will build a new playground at the Tennyson Center for Children on Sept. 22.

The new playground will replace 20-year-old play structures with sensory-integrated play areas featuring iplaces for kids to climb, swing and have fun. 

The effort is being coordinated through a $4.1 million partnership between the CarMax Foundation and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that has built nearly 16,300 playgrounds since its creation in 1996. CarMax and KaBOOM! will build 30 playgrounds to serve more than 100,000 children across the United States by the end of the year. CarMax supports KaBOOM!’s goal of ensuring all kids get the balanced and active play they need to become healthy, successful adults.

The Tennyson Center for Children, at 2950 Tennyson St., provides residential and therapeutic services, as well as a K-12 school, to Colorado children ages 5 to 18. The kids are survivors of severe abuse or neglect or have significant mental health or developmental issues.

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

Catalyst HTI to build 300,000-square-foot building in RiNo

Koelbel and Co. plans to build a 300,000-square-foot office and retail building on Brighton Boulevard between 35th and 36th streets in Denver's River North District.

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

"The new Catalyst HTI building will be a first-in-class collaborative office ecosystem that will meet the market's growing demand for dynamic work environments," says Carl Koebel of Koebel and Co. "We believe the office space of the future will be one that provides tenants the privacy they need to manage their core business while also providing opportunity to collaborate and innovate with their neighbors."

Office sizes in the new building, which will be built in two phases, range from a single desk to 30,000 square feet.

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

Central Park Station opens for bus service

The Regional Transportation District has opened the Central Park Station Park-n-Ride for bus service and parking.

The new station, located at 8200 Smith Rd., replaces the Stapleton Park-n-Ride. It has 1,500 parking spaces and serves bus routes 28, 38, 40, 43, 65, 105 AB/ABA and AS. It also will be a commuter rail station for the A Line to Denver International Airport in the spring of 2016.

Parking fees apply at the station. Vehicles registered at an address within RTD boundaries may park for free the first 24-hour period every day they are parked. For parking beyond the first 24 hours, a $2 daily fee applies. Passengers with vehicles registered out of the district pay a $4 fee for every day they are parked.

RTD and its contractor, Denver Transit Partners, are hosting an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at the park-n-ride. The event will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, information about the commuter rail station and trains.

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

Pop-up park to open in RiNo Sept. 18

Focus Property Group is creating a pop-up pocket park at 3330 Larimer St. in Denver.

The park is designed to honor (PARK)ing Day, an annual worldwide event on Sept. 18 where artists, designers and residents transform spaces into public parks. The effort will convert a single parking space into a temporary public park.

"The pocket park is a great amenity not only for the building's tenants but it's also a powerful way to activate a new stretch of Larimer," says Bahman Shafa of Focus Property Group.

The effort is a collaboration between Focus; AMBIT, a newly formed intelligent design firm; builder/designer VonMod; and Corvus Design Build.

"While everyone who lives in and around Denver is watching the city's urban core transform overnight, we wanted to take an opportunity to create a bit of unexpected whimsy in the neighborhood," says Paige Damiano, one of AMBIT's founders. "To create a space that brings people together and gives them an opportunity to experience the area in totally different way."

Though the site will launch on (PARK)ing Day, the group plans to keep it open throughout the fall to observe use and interaction.

"The historically industrial corridors of RiNo and other areas of the city could benefit from this type of micro green space," says Jordan Vaughn of VonMod. "Underutilized urban areas and parkletts can offer real opportunities to produce some really calming and dynamic environments for tenants and the public alike."

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

Specialty brew to honor Larimer Square's 50th anniversary

Ratio Beerworks has created a limited-time specialty brew in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historical preservation of Larimer Square.

Ratio will launch its commemorative Wicked Grin Plum Saison from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23. Two Larimer Square restaurants, Bistro Vendome and Ted's Montana Grill, will provide food.

The brew was given its name as a homage to Jack  Kerouac's On the Road novel, in which the author recalls looking upon Larimer Street with a "wicked grin."

"We decided to use an Italian plum," says Jason zumBrunnen, founder and brewmaster at Ratio. "It's juicier and more flavorful than your everyday plum."

Several Larimer Square chefs contributed to the brewing process, which started July 17. Wicked Grin Plum Saison is now on tap at Ratio Beerworks, 2020 Larimer St. in RiNo, and the Larimer Square restaurants Euclid Hall, Ted's Montana Grill and Corridor 44.

Fifty years ago, preservationist Dana Crawford fought to save the historic block, which was slated for demolition under the city's Skyline Urban Renewal Project that flattened most of Denver's historic center for new buildings.

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

CU buys naming rights for rail line to DIA

The University of Colorado will pay the Regional Transportation District $5 million over five years for naming rights for the A Line from Union Station to Denver International Airport, as well as ads on the Flatiron Flyer Bus Rapid Transit line that will run along U.S. 36 from Union Station to Boulder.

The agreement also includes exterior advertisements on the rail and buses and CU's name and logo on RTD digital assets and printed material related to the A Line.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Colorado for this first contract through our corporate partnership program," says Chuck Sisk, chairman of RTD's board. "We believe that branded sponsorship is an emerging marketplace with many valuable opportunities for the local and national business communities."

CU President Bruce Benson said the agreement will help the university convey the message about its contributions, value and accomplishments to the estimated 10 million annual riders on the A Line, which will include Coloradans, as well as national and international visitors.

"The University of Colorado is excited to partner with RTD on this initiative that brings together the state's leading public higher education institution with the crown jewel of the largest and newest public transportation project in the United States," Benson says. "CU is kicking off a major marketing initiative next month and the University of Colorado A Line and Flatiron Flyer will be important parts of the effort."

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

Mill Creek to build apartments in RiNo

Mill Creek Residential is planning a 362-unit apartment community on 2.92 acres at 2890 Brighton Blvd. in Denver's River North neighborhood.

Modera River North will feature nine-foot ceilings, eight-foot doors, built-in closets and kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, tile backsplashes and oversized cabinetry. Community amenities will include a resort-style courtyard and pool, a business and conference center, fitness center and unobstructed views of the mountains and downtown.

ARA Newmark has raised an undisclosed amount of equity through its capital markets group for the $90 million project.

"For an area that was considered the wrong side of the tracks no more than 18 months ago, there has been incredible institutional capital interest for this front door location," says Chris Cowan, executive managing director of ARA Newmark in Denver. "RiNo hasn't just made the map for Denver -- it is the map. It is impossible to articulate all of the fluidity and activity happening there."

With more than $100 million in public and private investment, the Brighton Boulevard Corridor is a strategic focus for the city of Denver, enabling RiNo to become a hub of creative offices, art galleries and a variety of other businesses and cultural amenities.

"Mill Creek is excited to become part of the River North community and part of the Brighton corridor in particular," says Brian Wynne, managing director of development for Mill Creek. "We are huge believers in the momentum of activity all around this site, and we see the best of both worlds in this location -- participating in the exciting energy of the area while being only a short walk to the heart of downtown Denver."

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

Jamestown Revival to headline After Party on the Bridge

Jamestown Revival is the headliner for this year's After Party on the Bridge benefiting The Greenway Foundation's efforts to protect the South Platte River and its tributaries.

The event will be held on the historic 19th Street Bridge at 6 p.m. Sept. 11, one night after The Greenway Foundation's annual Gala on the Bridge. Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door. 

Partners in Change, which works to improve the community and connect people to the river, will be honored at the event with a new award: the Partner in Change Legacy Award.

In addition to music from Jamestown Revival, the After Party on the Bridge will feature food and cocktails, as well as DJ sets by Eric David, Chuck Lepley and Rose Quartz.

Since its inception in 1974, The Greenway Foundation has built more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, created more than 20 parks and natural areas, designed and built numerous whitewater boat chutes and provided environmental education to more than 60,000 school children. The foundation has helped to create more than $100 million of improvements to the South Platte River and its tributaries, facilitating more than $10 billion in residential and commercial development throughout metro Denver.

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

Zocalo to develop mixed-use project for Emily Griffith

Zocalo Community Development is working with the Emily Griffith Foundation to develop a mixed-use project that will add services and housing for families while providing long-term financial support to Emily Griffith Technical College as it furthers its mission of providing hands-on, real-world industry specific work to its students.

The development will be located on one of three parcels at 1811 Lincoln St. and is part of a larger 93,000-square-foot acquisition of land Zocalo executed on behalf of the foundation. The acquisition also includes a parcel at 1830 Broadway and a 320-space parking garage at 1855 Lincoln. Groundbreaking will occur during the second half of 2016.

"With this purchase and future development, the Emily Griffith Foundation has taken a big step toward a financially sustainable future and an increased role in the support of Emily Griffith Technical College," says Alby  Segall, president of the foundation. "Our intention is to be a catalyst for economic growth and social enterprise in the rapidly growing neighborhoods to the north and east of downtown."

The project will include:
  • A Social Enterprise Hub offering retail space for Technical College students to receive hands-on training while pursuing some of the 5-plus certificate programs
  • A workforce development center operated by Emily Griffith
  • Daycare/early childhood education center
  • 200 apartments for families earning 50 to 90 percent of the area median income
"Over the past century, Emily Griffith Technical College has contributed immeasurable to the growth of Denver's middle class," says Ivan Anaya, Zocalo's development manager. "Community impact projects such as this embrace Zocalo's commitment to serving community through real estate development."

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

Z Block is now Dairy Block

The developers of Z Block have changed the project's name to Dairy Block to better reflect the site's history as a former dairy.

The full square block is currently under construction to redevelop the site into a mxied-use office, hotel and retail destination on Denver's historic Windsor Dairy Block along Wazee and Blake streets between 18th and 19th streets.

"The rich history of the Windsor Dairy Block is remarkable," says Chad McWhinney, chief executive and co-founder of Loveland-based development firm McWhinney. "We felt it iwas important to have a name that pays homage to the significance of the block's history."

McWhinney is partnering with Grand American Inc. and Sage Hospitality on the development. The partnership's goal is to create a place in LoDo that blends historical heritage with a new, vibrant place that elevates the experience.

The 600,000-square-foot development will have 250,000 square feet of office space, a 172-room hotel, 60,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and a 394-car below-grade parking garage -- all of which are integrated  into three of the historic Windsor Dairy Block buildings.

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

WeWork leases 72,000 square feet in Triangle Building

Shared workspace provider WeWork has signed a lease for 72,000 square feet in the soon-to-be completed Triangle Building at 1550 Wewatta St. in the Union Station neighborhood.

The WeWork space will have a ground-floor private entrance with glass visibility connection to the main building lobby on floors one and two.

"Co-working and shared workspaces are a huge trend internationally, nationally and right here in Denver and is a concept we really wanted to bring to the Union Station neighborhood," says Chris Frampton, managing partner at East West Partners, developer of the building. "We couldn't be more thrilled that WeWork has chosen the Triangle building for its entree in the Denver market."

The 10-story Triangle Building will have easy access to Larimer Square, LoHi and all of downtown Denver. The more than 200,000-square-foot building will include nine stories of office space, 10,000 square feet of street-level retail space and two floors of underground parking. The building's triangular shape with three facades provides 20 percent more window offices than a traditional office building. The project is seeking LEED Gold certification.

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

Southern Land to develop Tavern Uptown site

Southern Land Co. and GTIS Partners LP plan to develop and eight-story building in Uptown that will include 315 apartments and 14,000-square-feet of retail space for the existing Tavern Uptown.

The site is the second Denver acquisition for Nashville-based Southern Land Co. In 2013, it purchased the former Mile High United Way site in LoHi, where it is building 302 apartments and 9,300 square feet of retail.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop much-needed apartment housing in Denver while enabling a popular neighborhood gathering spot to continue to thrive and serve its loyal customers," says Tim Downey, CEO of Southern Land. "This location offers the ideal setting to benefit the community, businesses and residents alike."

Tavern Uptown owner Frank Schultz says he’s been approached by various developers who wanted to purchase the site but has always declined because he didn’t want to leave the neighborhood.

"Tavern Uptown was our first location . . . the birthplace of the Tavern, so it’s pretty sentimental to us," Schultz says. "We feel we’re part of the fabric of the community and have grown with the neighborhood. Southern Land Co. recognized our steadfast stance of keeping Tavern Uptown in our same location. They proposed a plan, which includes Tavern Uptown in the redesign of the new multifamily building."

The plan to demolish the building has drawn criticism from local preservationists.

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

Group works to improve congestion during Santa Fe art walks

Arts Street is working with high school and college-age youths who will participate in a sustainable urban design and creative placemaking initiative to improve traffic congestion along Santa Fe during First Friday ArtWalks.

Through its La Alma Connection project, the organization will encourage the use of light rail to help solve the parking shortage and integrate functional art and community activities into the streetscape. The process will leverage the creative energy of the students and apply them to public infrastructure development.

"Problem solving is the most important skill we teach at every level," says Stella Yu, executive director of the organization. "Together with cognitive learning and collaboration through teamwork, youth at Arts Street apply their natural creative talents and find that they can fly if they want to."

The project is being supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Rose Community Foundation and Denver Arts & Venues.

"We are thrilled that our funders recognize that the arts are more than entertainment," Yu said. "They are most powerful when integrated into life as creative solutions for the betterment of society. We thank our sponsors for their innovative approach to grants funding, allowing small organizations to make big impact to our communities."

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

GHC Housing acquires Section 8 portfolio

Los Angeles-based GHC Housing Partners has purchased a 500-unit apartment portfolio that will preserve affordable housing throughout Colorado.

The project-based Section 8 portfolio includes 10 communities located from Clifton to Cañon City to Aurora. The bulk of the portfolio is in metro Denver. Project-based Section 8 housing means the vouchers remain with the property, rather than with the residents.

"This kind of affordable housing is very limited and highly sought after," says J.B. Hochman, a senior advisor with Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors, who with Justin Brockman represented bot the buyer and the seller in the deal.

The communities range from 40 units to 104 units with a total square footage of more than 365,000 square feet. The company intends to make improvements to the properties and continue to preserve them as affordable housing.

"This is the largest project-based Section 8 transaction in Colorado in recent history," Brockman says.

It's the first acquisition GHC has made in Denver, though it owns properties in other Colorado markets.

"We are excited to expand our presence in Colorado with this portfolio acquisition," says R.J. Miller, senior vice president of acquisitions for GHC. "As a Colorado native, it's exciting to see the amount of growth happening in the state yet important to preserve its limited affordable housing properties. This purchase is the first of what we plan to be many more in the Denver metro area, and our goal is to acquire, rehabilitate and preserve affordability for as many of these properties as possible."

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

Five Points Historic Cultural District signs installed

New signs proclaiming the new name Five Points Historic Cultural District have gone up along the Welton Street corridor.

The new name for the former Welton Street Cultural Historic District better reflects the corridor's longstanding identity and cultural heritage.

"It's a change that symbolizes a lot to the people of this community," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of the Denver Community Planning and Development Department, which oversees landmark preservation in the city. "A historic cultural district helps to tell the story of our city's development, so it's important that its name reflects the district's true identity."

In 2002, the city designated the Welton Street corridor between 24th and 30th streets a historic district. It was the cultural and commercial heart of Denver's African-American community from the post-Civil War era through the mid 1960s. Nine historic buildings from this era remain standing.

The district's most distinctive building is the Rossonian Hotel at 2640 Welton St. Other buildings contributing to the district are the Atlas Drug Store, 2701 Welton; Radio Pharmacy-Wise Harris Building, 605 26th St.; Alta Cousins Terrace, 521 25th St.; Original Fire Station #3, 2563 Glenarm Place; Fire Station #3, 2500 Washington; Douglas Undertaking Building, 2745 Welton; Metropolitan Investment Co.-Equity Savings and Loan-Cousins Building, 2559 Welton; and Rice's Tap Room and Oven-Simpson Hotel-KC Lounge, 2801 Welton.

"The pride of the community is reflected in the name Five Points, which denotes entrepreneurship, resourcefulness, and artistic creativity," says Tracy Winchester, executive director of the Five Points Business District. "With the economic activity we are experiencing today, these new signs will reflect our incredible past and inspire our future development."

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

State launches artist housing program with Artspace

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has launched an initiative to provide affordable housing and work space for artists and arts organizations that will position Colorado as the nation's leader in artist-led community transformation.

Minneapolis-based Artspace will act as a consultant to Space to Create, Colorado, which will develop nine projects in eight regions in the state's rural, small-town and mountain communities over the next eight years. Each project will be customized to meet community needs for workforce housing and commercial space for artists and creative entrepreneurs. The first project will be in Trinidad. After that, the regions will be prioritized based on readiness, public will, commitment of local resources and housing demands.

"Housing and economic development are vital needs in rural Colorado, and the Space to Create initiative advances both of these issues by harnessing the power of the public, private and philanthropic sectors, as well as the creative community, to activate historic spaces and elevate rural economies," Gov. John Hickenlooper says. 

Artspace has more than 35 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, including Artspace Loveland, which has 30 occupied units of housing for artists and their families.

“Artspace has an incredible track record for successful community-driven projects across the United States, and we are excited to partner with them on Space to Create, Colorado,” says Margaret Hunt, director of the economic development office's Colorado Creative Industries arm.

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

RTD adds rail stop to East Rail Line

The Regional Transportation District is adding a new station to its East Rail Line, which will open in next spring to connect downtown Denver’s Union Station with Denver International Airport.

The Peña Boulevard Station, located at 61st Avenue and Peña Boulevard, will be the sixth eastbound stop on the trip from Union Station to the DIA. Travel time from downtown to DIA will be 37 minutes with trains running every 15 minutes during peak times. Travel time from 61st and Peña to DIA will be about five minutes.

"This new station provides a convenient access point into RTD’s regional rail system for commuters and other riders from the growing northeast metro area," says David Genova, RTD’s interim general manager and CEO. "This improvement would not have been possible without our long-term partnership with Denver, its airport team and the landowners, who worked together to create an asset that will significantly benefit the region."

The station will include the train platform, a public plaza and an 800-car parking lot that is funded and operated by DIA. The station will be accessible from Tower Road and serve as the catalyst for the 400-acre transit-oriented development named Peña Station.

Peña Station is planned as a mixed-use development of office, hotel, retail, multifamily and healthcare commercial real estate. It will have direct access to the hiking and biking trails of the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge to the west via a pedestrian trail below Peña Boulevard.

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

Postino WineCafe to open late August

Postino WineCafé will open its doors late next month in the former Denver Bookbinding Co. building at 2715 17th St. in LoHi.

Open daily for lunch and dinner and serving brunch every weekend, the menu features soups, salads and panini sandwiches. The restaurant will source its food and beverages from local purveyors, including City Bakery, Infinite Monkey Theorem and Colorado brewers Avery, Crooked Stave, Elevation, Great Divide, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Odell, Ska and Upslope. Postino offers $5 wine by the glass and pitchers of beer from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Postino has four locations in Arizona, including one near Snooze. Owners Lauren Bailey and Craig DeMarco became good friends with Snooze founders Jon and Adam Schlegel, who convinced them to open a restaurant in Denver and helped them find the LoHi location.

"We loved the bookbinding history, and we plan to tell the story of the building," Bailey says. "We also love the civic pride in the city and state. That’s what attracted us here."

The building also will be home to Recess beer garden, which will feature a bar, full kitchen and a large patio. There is still one retail space available in the building.

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

Steam on the Platte will transform old warehouse into office space

Urban Ventures LLC and White Construction Group will start work during the fourth quarter on Steam on the Platte, a mixed-use project on 3.2 acres in the industrial corridor of the South Platte River near the Interstate 25 viaduct at 14th Avenue and Zuni Street.

The project's name honors the juxtaposition of industry and nature, connecting the character and energy of the area's industrial steam plants and smokestacks with the South Platte's beauty. Its location near downtown, light-rail stop, bike path and riverside setting are expected to be attractive to businesses and residents who want a blend of Denver's historical and edgy culture.

"The idea of new life in this industrial corridor is transformational, both culturally and economically," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. "Steam on the Platte is a catalyst for both the redevelopment of Sun Valley and the Platte River, which are high priorities of Mayor [Michael] Hancock."

Steam on the Platte includes the largest remaining undeveloped exposed brick-and-timber warehouse in the city, which had been neglected for several decades. The project will transform the 65,000-square-foot warehouse into creative office space. An existing building adjacent to the river will house a restaurant that is slated for completion late next year or in early 2017. Future phases will include additional office and residential space.

"Steam on the Platte is the perfect blend of environment and industry, inspired by the spirit and energy of Denver," says Susan Powers, president and Founder of Urban Ventures. "We discovered a local gem that just needs some polishing."

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

Highland Tap and Burger to open at Sloan's Lake

The owners of Highland Tap and Burger are opening a new restaurant at SLOANS, a 177-acre development at Sloan's Lake. 

Tap and Burger at Sloan's Lake will have a 4,600-square-foot restaurant at Alexan Sloan's Lake, a 369-unit apartment development by Trammell Crow Residential.

"Being a part of a community is super important to us, and this project really lends itself to embracing the Sloan's Lake community," says Juan Padro, who with his wife, Katie O'Shea-Padro, owns Highland Tap and Burger. "We were encouraged, as I hope others will be, by the fact that we have a compelling opportunity to contribute to the future growth of such a dynamic neighborhood. It's a super-active area -- you've got apartments, homes with backyards, a great walkability factor, the park and the lake that's bolstered by a ton of football traffic and thousands of cars that use Colfax to get in and out of downtown."

The new restaurant will have 230 seats, a raised patio, a centerpiece island bar and private dining area with capabilities to host business functions and meetings. Padro plans to continue focusing on Colorado craft beers and spirits and will offer 36 to 40 draft handles, alongside wine and cocktails. The core menu items at the original location will remain as Padro and his crew introduce new dishes.

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

Mill Creek to build 275 apartments near DU

Dallas-based Mill Creek Residential has purchased a 2.08-acre site in Observatory Park where it plans to develop 275 apartments in two five-story buildings. 

Mill Creek plans to break ground in August and complete the project during the first quarter of 2017.

"We were attracted to the Observatory Park neighborhood for many reasons, including an easy commute to both of Denver's employment centers while being close to some of Denver's best amenities and transit,” says Brian Wynne, managing director of Mill Creek. "We plan to develop a very high-quality community with top-level finishes, a luxury pool deck and more."

The site, formerly a surface parking lot and five single-family homes, is at the southwest and southeast corners of South Josephine Street and East Jewell Avenue. The location between Cherry Hills Village and Cherry Creek is energized by an active college neighborhood.

"With visibility from I-25, light rail within walking distance and surrounded by some of the highest value homes in Denver, this opportunity was one that Mill Creek understood immediately," says Chris Cowan, executive managing director of ARA Newmark, which represented the seller. "The development will be unique, as it fronts both sides of the Josephine Street, allowing Mill Creek to create a strong streetscape."

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

New apartment project slated for Jefferson Park

Riverpoint Partners is breaking ground on Decatur Point, a 203-unit apartment complex in Denver's Jefferson Park neighborhood.

The project, on Decatur between West 27th and West 28th Avenues, will have designated underground parking; a second-floor outdoor deck with spa, pool and grills; a fifth-floor community room with city and mountain views; and interior courtyard; fitness center, spin and yoga studio; bike storage; dog wash and a business center.

Designed by Craine Architecture of Denver, Decatur Point will offer studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residences, 11 of which will be two-story brownstone-style units. Built with LEED guidelines in mind, the units will range from 625 square feet to 1,250 square feet, many with balconies and unobstructed city or mountain views. All residences will include full-size washers and dryers. The project is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2016.

"Jefferson Park . . . is one of the most sought-after new neighborhoods in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country," says Reid Davis, principal of Riverpoint Partners. "The convenient access Decatur Point offers to shopping, dining, bike paths and more makes it an ideal location for Denver's ever-increasing population of Millennials and young professionals."

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

Townhouse project under construction in Five Points

Clear Creek Homes broke ground Thursday on The Brownstones at King Stroud Court, a 26-unit townhome project in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. 

All but two of the 26 two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath units have sold. Designed by Denver-based Craine Architecture, the townhomes range in size from 1,340 square feet to 1,750 square feet and offer two-car, attached garages, gourmet kitchens with stainless steel Bosch appliances and rooftop patios.

"That we have nearly sold out of The Brownstones at King Stroud Court is a testament to the popularity of the Five Points neighborhood," says Laura Wnorowski, managing broker for Clear Creek Real Estate. "The neighborhood has a variety of restaurants and hosts music events throughout the year."

Five Points is one of Denver's oldest and most culturally diverse neighborhoods. Founded in the 1860s as one of Denver's first residential suburbs, Five Points features some of the city's oldest homes and historic storefronts. Today, light rail and the neighborhood's proximity to downtown make it attractive to all types of people.

Clear Creek Homes also is involved in other projects in Five Points, including The Wheatley, a $21 million project at 2460 Welton St. that will have 82 apartments, 14 townhouses and 3,800 square feet of street-level retail space.
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Lincoln Property Co. breaks ground on next phase at Colorado Center

Lincoln Property Company and ASB Real Estate Investments have started construction on the next phase of Colorado Center at 2000 S. Colorado Blvd.

The project will add more than 450,000 square feet of commercial and residential space near at the intersection of Interstate 25 and Colorado Boulevard.

Designed by Tryba Architects, he planned additions include a 210,000-square-foot office building with covered parking; a 205,000-square-foot residential tower with 189 apartments and 80 loft-style units; 40,000 square feet of retail; and modernization of existing parking garages, two new garages and street parking. 

"It's been in the works for quite a while," says Scott Caldwell, senior vice president of Lincoln Property Company Denver. "This is a cutting-edge project designed for a lifestyle."

Currently, Colorado Center features three Class A office buildings; Dave & Busters and United Artists Colorado Center Stadium 9 served by light rail. 

"The project will build on the success of earlier phases, adding residential and benefiting from increasing light-rail line ridership," says Robert Bellinger, president and CEO of ASB Real Estate. "Colorado Center's convenient location between LoDo and the Tech Center and its proximity to Cherry Creek create major demand drivers."

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

Cucina Colore reopens after expansion

The first phase of the expansion and renovation of Cucina Colore Modern Italian Trattoria & Bar in Cherry Creek is complete.

Designed by Roth Sheppard Architects, the renovation provides added space for an expansive wine bar, two community tables and additional banquet seating. The new island bar, which seats 20, is the centerpiece of the restaurant. A wraparound patio also has been added on Third Avenue, doubling the restaurant's outdoor seating.

"We are committed to remaining a Cherry Creek landmark for many years to come," says Venanzio Momo, the restaurant's owner. "Naturally, Jeff Sheppard was the person we called, as his initial design truly met the test of time. We could not be more thrilled with the results, and our accelerated growth since reopening has let us know that our customers feel the same way."

Steel shelving racks behind the bar display wooden wine boxes filled with wine, olive oil bottles and authentic Italian ingredients featured in Momo's family recipes. A peg wall displays more than 1,000 bottles of wine from around the world accented by a gallery of Momo's personal collection of decanters.

"We are honored to have worked with Venanzio for more than 20 years and are thrilled to have been selected to design his first restaurant and now his first major expansion and remodel," Sheppard says. "This is indeed a welcome addition to Cherry Creek, where Venanzio has established a rich community tradition for more than two decades."

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

City seeking nominations for Mayor's Design Awards

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the city's Community Planning and Development Department are seeking nominations for the Mayor's Design Awards.

The Mayor's Design Awards honors projects throughout the city for excellence in architecture, exterior design and place-making. The awards are presented to homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 8.

"Behind every great place for project in Denver, there's usuall a great story," Hancock says. "Whether it's about a family building their dream home, a nonprofit creating a new gathering place for the community or a restaurant that quickly becomes a neighborhood staple, we want to hear these stories."

Previous winners range from restaurants and galleries to private, single-family homes to plazas and other shared public spaces. The common denominator is the imaginative and innovative way they enhance public spaces and create community. 

"Our city celebrates the value of truly great design through The Mayor's Design Awards, and the award winners are our city's best-in-class when it comes to making a positive impact on our public realm and the built environment," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Community Planning and Development.

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

Sushi Ronin to open in LoHi

Sushi Ronin is the final tenant to sign a lease in a five-story building at 2930 Umatilla in Denver's LoHi neighborhood.

The restaurant will be located at the 23,000-square-foot building's street level, with Executive Chef Corey Baker at the helm.  The nearly 2,000-square-foot restaurant will feature transitional indoor/outdoor space and a distinct dining area and bar.

"We reviewed a variety of concepts for the street-level space at 2930 Umatilla and felt that Sushi Ronin was an ideal fit for both the building at the neighborhood," says Ryan Diggins, a partner with Gravitas Development Group, which developed the building. "LoHi needs a sushi restaurant to call its own, and Corey Baker's impressive experience and vision for Sushi Ronin will work well in a neighborhood in which chef-driven restaurants have been the catalyst to development."

Baker has more than 10 years of experience and training in sushi and Japanese cuisine. He formerly was the head sushi chef at Sushi Den on Old South Pearl Street. He also ran Sushi Hai in the Highland neighborhood for three years.

"I'm looking forward to bringing my vision for Sushi Ronin to life," Baker says. "The concept of Sushi Ronin is rooted in traditional sushi preparation, and this will be juxtaposed with an esoteric-traditional menu to create an intimate, yet energetic environment."

The top floor of the building will have a restaurant operated by Justin Cucci, chef/owner of other popular Denver concepts including Linger, Root Down and Ophelia's Electric Soapbox. The restaurant will have unobstructed views of downtown Denver from a large, open-air patio.

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

Biennial kicks off July 14 with free events

The Biennial of the Americas opens July 14 with a variety of free events at the Biennial Pavilion at 1550 Wewatta St. in the Union Station neighborhood.

The opening night street party, starting at 8 p.m., features music by Flobots and Making Movies, as well as the opening of the exhibition Oid el Sueno de una Palabra/Listen to the Dream of a Word. Partygoers will be escorted across 15th Street to MCA Denver by a marching band crossing guard for the opening of the central art exhibition "Now? NOW!" with food, music and body art.

The festivities continue at 5 p.m. July 17 with food trucks and free performances in Civic Center Park by Companhia Urbana de Danca from Brazil, modern artist and emcee Jeremy Bailey of Canada and Wonderbound, a dance company with its studio in Arapahoe Square.

More free events occurring during opening week include:
 
  • STEAM (STEM + Art) Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 15 at the Biennial Pavilion
  • Futbol Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 17 at the Biennial Pavilion and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Civic Center Park
  • Performing Arts Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 18 at the Biennial Pavilion
The Biennial of the Americas is designed to connect business, art, culture and civic leaders from throughout the Americas by building lasting relationships, addressing shared issues and inspiring action.

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

Green Valley Ranch joins Denver's sustainability movemement

Green Valley Ranch has been selected by the Denver Department of Environmental Health to participate in the Sustainable Neighborhoods Program.

It's the sixth neighborhood to join the program, which also includes Barnum, Chaffee Park-Regis, North City Park, Villa Park and West Colfax.

Green Valley Ranch's focus will be on water efficiency, increasing recycling, healthy food access, anti-idling and youth. Planned efforts include:
 
  • Encouraging the use of rainwater sensors on sprinkler systems to reduced water use
  • Promoting recycling by organizing Green Days, an event featuring appliance and electronics recycling and clothing donation
  • Hosting gardening workshops and teaching food preservation
  • Organizing an anti-idling campaign and educating high school drivers on safety
  • Increasing the number of community volunteers for after-school and summer programs
The Sustainable Neighborhoods Program is designed to help neighborhoods increase and strengthen their sustainability efforts. Participating neighborhoods receive in-kind support from the city in the form of outreach materials, printing, venue fees, food and staff time to assist with outreach and project development.

Applications are solicited twice a year from registered neighborhood organizations. Up to two are chosen each round based on their ability to implement a variety of projects tied to the program's five focus areas: air, land, energy, water and people.

Participating neighborhoods earn credits for achieving sustainability goals by completing projects such as offering xeriscaping workshops, holding work days at a local community garden, installing artwork in neighborhood alleys or encouraging neighbors to commit to making their homes more energy efficient. 

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

Multifamily developer pays $3.5 million for RiNo properties

A local developer has paid $3.5 million for three warehouses in Denver's RiNo neighborhood.

3825 Walnut Street LLC, which bought the property from J & E Properties LLC,  to convert the buildings, totaling 20,000 square feet, into a more appropriate use for the property. The developer, which has assets in RiNo, LoHi, Tennyson and Sunnyside, focuses on mixed-use, multifamily construction.

"The sale of the Walnut property underscores the flourishing activity in RiNo with warehouses rapidly converting to redevelopment sites," says Russell Gruber, a director at Newmark Knight Frank who handled the transaction with Steve Fletcher. 

In the past two years, sales topped $365 million, representing a total  of 130 properties, Gruber says. That's a big jump from the 50 assets that traded hands for a total of $43 million between 2009 and 2011. In the last 90 days, a total of 15 assets have sold for about $40 million.

"It's a feeding frenzy in RiNo," Gruber says. "At a sale price of $175.50 per square foot, these three industrial assets achieved a rate higher than the 2014 average for both the central submarket (at $62.88 a square foot) and the overall Denver metro market (at $63.77 a square foot)."

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

Beryl's Beer celebrates one-year anniversary in RiNo

Beryl's Beer Co. is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a weekend of events and entertainment from June 25-27 at its brewery at 3120 Blake St. in the River North neighborhood.

The celebration kicks off with the introduction of A Beryl Full of Laughs at 6 p.m. on Thurs. June 25. The evening features a performance by the Denver-based improv comedy team The Dinner Experience and food from The Cajun Kitchen Food Truck.

"The Dinner Experience is like a shot of adrenaline to any party, corporate event or public gathering," says Chris Gallegos, co-founder of the comedy troupe. "We have years of experience in hosting events and providing themed parties for private and public gatherings."

Food from local food trucks and music from local bands Dagger Dagger, Dear Me and The Outfit will be on hand throughout the weekend. 

"We truly want to be an anchor for local artistic endeavors in RiNo," says Calvin Beasley, co-owner of Beryl's. "Everyone is talking about the growth in Denver right now. It's going to happen, it's just a matter of how. We can let someone else lead it, or we can step up and own it. It's important to us to help cultivate the artists in the area in any way that we can."

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

New kiosk system will provide information on downtown

The Downtown Denver Partnership has launched a kiosk experience designed to provide information, engage users and support economic development downtown.

IKE, a collaboration between the partnership and Colorado Springs-based Street Media Group, is a pilot program created to support the partnership’s 20-year vision for downtown by providing a comprehensive wayfinding system that leverages technology, promotes retail goods and services and helps welcome international visitors to the city.

"It is really important for us to bring the most advanced technology available downtown to advance our culture of entrepreneurship and innovation," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "IKE helps energize our commercial core and will help us provide an even better experience for downtown consumers."

The kiosks are at five locations along the 16th Street Mall at Tremont, Court, Market, Larimer and Curtis streets, as well as one at 15th and Curtis. 

IKE is designed to serve as an interactive directory of places to eat, shop, play and stay downtown. It also includes a comprehensive event listing offers maps, walking directions and information on transit routes.

Built by Golden-based Display Devices, the kiosks also provides promotional opportunities for businesses and displays safety and emergency announcements both visually and with sound.

"IKE is truly on the cutting edge of interactive kiosk technology and offers not only a forward-thinking approach to wayfinding but also a unique opportunity to help downtown businesses thrive," says Gary Young, chief executive of Street Media Group.

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

Five Points affordable housing project kicks off

Century Development has broken ground on a 223-unit affordable housing project at 2300 Welton St. in Five Points.

Designed by Humphries Poli Architects, the $43 million project is on two infill parcels spanning Welton Street from Park Avenue West to 24th Street and along Park Avenue from Welton to Glenarm Place. Rental units will range from studios to three bedrooms and will be available to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income -- up to $43,200 for a family of three.

Denver's Office of Economic Development provided $1.1 million in financing to help support the land acquisition for the development. Other financing partners include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Colorado Division of Housing and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.

"We're proud to invest housing resources in Five Points -- to make a down payment that ensures the affordability in this gateway to downtown for generations to come," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "2300 Welton will offer incredible opportunities for working individuals and families to access jobs and prospects in central Denver, with transit connections throughout the metro area. These kinds of projects are key to ensuring this city remains accessible and affordable now and in the future."

The project is the latest affordable housing development created under Hancock's "3x5 challenge," which calls for the development, rehabilitation or preservation of 3,000 affordable housing units over five years. Since the challenge's inception in 2013, the city and real estate development community have produced 1,291 units.

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

Shift Workspaces to spend $30 million on expansion

Shift Workspaces plans to invest more than $30 million to develop 71,332 square feet of co-working space at three locations.

Shift will expand its existing 15,650-square-foot facility in the Alamo Placita neighborhood at 383 Corona St. by 4,332 square feet. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It will add a second 22,000-square-foot location in the Golden Triangle at 1001 Bannock St., expected to open in February 2016. 

In Uptown, Shift Grant will break ground in August 2015 and open in March 2016. Formerly Cathedral High School, the 45,000-square-foot space in three buildings will include 130 private offices that can accommodate from one to 28 people; a 10,000-square-foot private courtyard; 2,200 square feet of restaurant/bar and indoor event space; five kitchens; and fitness facilities.

"Traditional office space with white walls, stale air and long, dark hallways is dead," says Grant Barnhill, founder and chief executive of Shift Workspaces. "We want to spend time in bright, collaborative environments that inspire us and promote creativity and a sense of belonging."

All the Shift projects will have solar PV panels, hydroponic gardens and covered bike storage. Prices start at $179 a month for co-working space, $399 a month for a dedicated desk and $599 a month for a private office.

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

Westin at DIA to open Nov. 19

The Westin Denver International Airport will officially open on Nov. 19.

The 433,000-square-foot hotel, located on the commuter rail line that will connect the airport to downtown in 2016, will include 519 guest rooms and 35 suites, all with Westin's signature Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Bath amenities, including the Heavenly Shower. Guests also will have access to a top-floor pool and fitness studio in the "saddle" of the building.

"As one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Denver is poised to soon have a hotel with refreshing ambience that allows the traveler to feel well while on the road, as well as a conference and transit center that will connect more people with everything the Rocky Mountains have to offer," says Tom Curley, general manager of The Westin Denver International Airport.

The 37,000-square-foot conference center is one of the few above-ground conference centers located at an airport. It will feature a grand ballroom, junior ballroom and 15 meeting rooms for a total of 19 meeting rooms. The conference center also includes a 10,000-square-foot pre-function area with panoramic three-story, floor-to-ceiling glass wall with panoramic views.

The project also includes an 82,000-square-foot open-air public plaza that will serve as an entertainment venue with event programming by Denver Arts & Venues.

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

 

Seven receive awards from Downtown Denver Partnership

The Downtown Denver Partnership recently recognized seven people, places and businesses for initiatives that had the most impact on the center city in 2014 at the 54th Annual Downtown Denver Awards Dinner attended by 1,000 people at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.

The awards were presented to:
 "We are grateful for the opportunity to pause each year to celebrate the excellent achievements that advance us toward our vision of a world-class center city," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "This year's winners are city builders who have made Denver stronger, and they are instrumental in establishing downtown as the economic engine that drives the city, state and region.'

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

Alpine celebrates Cherry Creek opening with promotion

To celebrate the opening of its second Denver location in Cherry Creek, Alpine Bank is hosting Indie-Pendence Day on June 13.

Alpine is asking patrons to shop at their favorite Cherry Creek North businesses that day and bring their receipts to the bank at 215 St. Paul St. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Participants spending at least $20 will be reimbursed with $20 in cash.

"We are excited to join the vibrant community of Cherry Creek and operate among established local entrepreneurs," says Karrie Fletcher, senior vice president and manager of Alpine Bank Cherry Creek. "With our Indie-Pendence Day promotion we are practicing our core belief of supporting other independent businesses. We have been kindly welcomed by our Cherry Creek neighbors and hope to continue to stimulate business in our new community."

The 3,717-square-foot Alpine Bank serves as a full-service retail location with five full-time employees and one part-time employee. Services include loans deposits, merchant processing, electronic banking, safe deposit boxes, mortgage and investments. 

"As an independent business ourselves, Cherry Creek was the obvious choice for our second Denver location, and we are thrilled to offer our services to this thriving entrepreneurial community and surrounding neighborhoods," says Norm Franke, the bank's regional president for the Denver market. "We are excited to support both businesses and consumers with our Indie-Pendence Day promotion and on an ongoing basis."

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

Early Childhood Education Center opens in Westwood

Volunteers of America's new Early Childhood Education Center is open in Denver's Westwood neighborhood.

The center, at 320 S. Yates St., will more than double the number of children and families now served in VOA's early childhood education programs.

"The new facility is something we have been very excited about for some time," says Dianna Kunz, president and chief executive of VOA's Colorado branch. "Volunteers of America saw an unmet need in this community for education, and we are happy to be able to move forward with our plans to build this center for early childhood education."

The 11,425-square foot center includes five classrooms and is adjacent to a new affordable housing community where children and families who are eligible for Head Start services reside. The center will expand the number of children served by VOA's early childhood education classes from 68 to 170.

The Denver Office of Economic Development provided $620,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for property acquisition and related costs associated with construction of the $3.9 million center.

"Nothing is more impactful at lifting neighborhoods up than early childhood education options that provide a smart start for all children," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "We are honored to partner with the Volunteers of America to boost education and empower our most vulnerable populations."

Through its youth and senior programs, Volunteers of America Colorado Branch has served southwest Denver residents for more than 30 years. Since 2001, VOA has operated a Denver Great Kids Head Start Delegate Center, providing early childhood education to preschool children below the poverty level.

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

DDP releases Downtown Development Map update

The Downtown Denver Partnership has released updates to the Downtown Denver Development Map detailing projects under construction or planned as of April.

There now is $1.27 billion in development under construction that includes 1,741 hotel rooms, 4,210 residential units, nearly 2.4 million square feet of office space and nearly 230,000 square feet of retail space either planned or under construction downtown.

"That signals noteworthy progress toward the partnership's vision of a prosperous city that attracts jobs, growth and investment," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "Projects around Denver's Union Station, particularly residential developments, are moving forward at a faster pace than many had envisioned as developers recognize that building adjacent to this important multimodal transportation hub is a smart investment."

The annual Downtown Denver Development Map, detailing all downtown development projects since 2010, will be released in June. The map is intended to be used by developers, investors and brokers interested in downtown Denver. Development trends remain consistent with previous updates, including more than half of the development of residential units occurring around Union Station.

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

Giant lily sculpture installed at DIA

Denver artist Price Davis has installed the Denver Lily at Denver International Airport.

The nearly 30-foot-tall sculpture is comprised of a base, flower pot and stemmed flower with pod and leaves. It's made of hand-forged sheets of steel that were stained and powder-coated. The sculpture is part of Davis' Global Peace Through Art initiative, a grassroots effort to raise awareness of our creative class.

"We must celebrate the skilled artists that bring us beauty in our everyday lives," says Davis, a craftsman with an emphasis on architecture. "Art should inspire and take into consideration the diversity of its viewers.

The lily, a symbol of relationships and friendship, will remain at DIA through July.

Davis says the Denver Lily embodies the components he strives to include in his art. It's conceptually simple, accessible and interactive.

"By installing a giant flower sculpture in the center of DIA, our goal is to surprise and delight passengers during spring, while showcasing a local artist's talent," says Chris Stevens, DIA's arts and culture manager. "This bright sculpture is monumental in height, which also highlights the scael of Jeppesen Terminal's iconic tent roof architecture."

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

Mile High Connects gets $1.6 million grant

Mile High Connects has received a $1.6 million, two-year grant from the Ford Foundation to help the organization's core nonprofit partners focus on affordable housing, jobs, affordable transit and healthy places.

Mile High Connects is a broad partnership of organizations from the private, public and nonprofit sectors that connects people, through transit, to better opportunities. The organization works collaboratively to leverage resources and inform policy, empowering low-income communities to access good-paying jobs, education and affordable housing.

"The Denver region is at the forefront of innovation in their approach to connecting people and their needs in the community they live," says Lisa Davis, program officer at the Ford Foundation. "Mile High Connects brings together diverse partners to focus on equity, and we see the impact of a grassroots and grasstops collaborative to affect change for low-income communities and communities of color."

As the first national funder to invest in Mile High Connects, the Ford Foundation has supported the collaborative's mission and work since 2011. The latest grant is supported by the Ford Foundation's Connecting People to Opportunity Initiative, which elevates the work of organizations that pursue integrated approaches to housing, land use and environmental planning, public transportation and community infrastructure, and aligned workforce opportunities.

"For many people in low-income communities and communities of color, transportation is a lifeline to greater opportunity," says David Miller, chief executive of The Denver Foundation. "The Ford Foundation's ongoing support of Mile High Connects helps ensure that transit in this region develops in ways that are equitable, smart and a model for the nation."

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

Sewall Child Development to move to Congress Park

The Sewall Child Development Center will relocate to a newly renovated building in Congress Park  in time for the new school year.

Palace Construction is managing the project, which will include renovations of eight existing classrooms and a redesign of the office space to accommodate teacher workstations. 

"This project will result in a new and improved home for Sewall Child Development Center, an inspiring educational center that serves children of all learning styles and economic situations," says Maggie Bolden, director of client relations for Palace Construction. "Palace Construction’s world-class team is commmitted to delivering the new space on time and on budget so that Sewall can continue its mission of helping children succeed."

Built in 1924, the building will be renovated to include installation of an ADA accessible elevator that will provide access to all floors of the building, air conditioning for the entire building and ADA restrooms to be used by 2- to 5-year-old children. 

Sewall Child Development Center provides integrated educational programs for more than 300 children from birth to age 6. It serves an additional 2,000 children through its role as the disabilities service provider for Denver’s Head Start programs. About two-thirds of the children served by Sewall live in poverty, and about half have identified special needs including developmental challenges, physical disabilities and cognitive and behavioral problems.

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

Two new murals on Cherry Creek Trail completed

Denver Arts & Venues' Urban Arts Fund program has teamed up with Black Book Gallery to create two new murals along the Cherry Creek Trail by Norwegian artists Hama Woods and Martin Whatson.

The murals exemplify the integration of art into daily life, a cornerstone of the IMAGINE 2020 cultural plan. Woods' mural is located at Speer Boulevard and Broadway, and Whatson's mural is at Speer and Lawrence Street.

Whatson, whose work is on display at Black Book Gallery at 304 Elati St. through May 30, works primarily with stencils and spray paint and stencil. His process incorporates traditional aspects of graffiti mixed with hand-cut stencils to create a unique and recognizable aesthetic.
 

Woods, whose work also is on display at the gallery through May 30, is a stencil artist and studio mate with Whatson. Her work demonstrates a reverence for nature and its immediate connection to humanity. Her stencils reflect a sociological approach to greed and human consumption and its direct affect on our natural environment.

Denver Arts & Venues actively facilitates new murals in highly vandalized areas throughout the City and County of Denver through the Denver Urban Arts Fund. IMAGINE 2020  provides a strategic vision for arts, culture and creativity and calls on city agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, civic leaders, neighborhood- and community-based organizations and residents to make the vision a reality.

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

Metro State completes athletic complex

Metropolitan State University of Denver is celebrating the completion of its $23.6 million Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver.

The 13-acre facility includes baseball and softball diamonds, a soccer field, eight tennis courts and a multi-purpose fitness trail.

The athletic complex is home to six of the Roadrunners' 15 sports, including baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer and men's and women's tennis. The facility also includes a 23,000-square-foot locker room and athletic training area and will provide health, sports and recreation opportunities to children and families in the surrounding neighborhoods and to downtown businesses and residents.

The complex, designed by Davis Design and built by Saunders Construction, is the fourth MSU Denver-owned facility to be built as part of the university's master plan. It follows the opening of the Center for Visual Art in Denver's Art District on santa Fe, the Student Success Building and the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center along Auraria Parkway on the Auraria Campus.

In November 2013, MSU Denver announced a $1 million naming rights agreement for the complex through 2023 with The Regency student housing community, owned by Lola and Robert Salazar.

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

Planning for I-25 and Broadway station kicks off

Denver city planners have kicked off the planning process for the Interstate 25 and Broadway station area, one of the busiest transit stations in Denver and one of the city’s key transit-oriented development (TOD) sites.

When complete, the I-25 and Broadway station area plan will provide a vision, strategies and transformative projects for the future of the area surrounding the station. it will also identify needs and make recommendations for infrastructure, mobility, parking, land use, open space, economic development, housing, partnerships and other cultural and community investments.

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

The area included in the planning process is bordered by Virginia and Arizona avenues and Logan and Jason Streets. It overlaps the West Washington Park, Baker, Platt Park, Overland Park< Ruby Hill and Athmar Park neighborhoods.

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

Larimer Square welcomes beauty boutique

Larimer Square's newest retailer opened its doors last month at 1408 Larimer St.

Luxury beauty boutique Aillea is selling toxin-free cosmetics and skincare products. Aillea's lines are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, endocrine disruptors and other harmful chemicals. It's also the first brick-and-mortar location for the company.

"Like all of our retailers, Aillea brings something very special to the block -- their combination of premium luxury beauty products and expert consultative services aren't found anywhere else," says Jeff Hermanson, chief executive of Larimer Associates. "Ladies looking to go green will find exclusive and trustworthy beauty lines, hand-selected from a variety of global sources, all in one place."

The boutique will offer brands including Pure and True Skincare; Lily Lolo Cosmetics; DR J Organics Cleanser; and Suki Cleansing Lotion. 

Aillea will host a grand opening party from 4 to 8 p.m. May 21st. Guests attending the event will receive 15 percent off purchases that evening.

"It's a dream to open our first location on iconic Larimer Square," says Aillea founder Kathryn Murray. "The caliber of retailers, the beauty of the buildings and canopy of lights and the popularity of the block among both locals and visitors makes it an ideal fit for the Aillea brand."

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

Gensler creates innovation hub

Global design firm Gensler has created an innovation hub that will promote connectivity between people in the 23,000-square-foot space it occupies at 1225 14th St. 

"From the outset, our goal was to create the best place to work in Denver," says Jon Gambrill, principal and managing director at Gensler Denver. "Our entire office was fully engaged in the design process. This new space sets the new standard in Denver for a creative, collaborative work environment, enhancing our ability to innovate and deliver outstanding service to our clients."

The new Gensler office covers two floors. It has ground-level retail space to enhance connection to the Denver community. A coffee bar and cafe seating flanks the stadium staircase that's the prominent feature from the Lawrence Street entrance into the firm's lobby.

Workstations and meeting areas are flexible, and a range of space types and experiences provides a sense of creativity, connectivity and innovation. 

Throughout the space, the design promotes well-being through ergonomics, acoustics, air quality and interaction with nature.

As part of the 50-year-old firm's commitment to sustainability, Gensler is pursuing LEED Gold certification for the space. Some of the key sustainable features include LED lighting with motion sensors, low-emitting materials, energy- and water-saving equipment and interior plantscaping. 

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

RiNo site selected for Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge

Recognizing that the River North is one of the hippest spots in Denver, the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties has selected a site in the district for this year's Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge.

The 14-acre site of the Midtown Industrial Center will be analyzed by student teams from the University of Colorado and University of Denver, who will present their plans for the evolving area at a dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 7 at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center.

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge is an annual event designed as a learning tool for students in the universities' graduate real estate programs and the Denver business community. A property is selected to serve as the competition site. 

Each school forms multiple student teams charged with creating a vision for the property, conducting market research on uses for the property and working with a local architectural firm to help them in the project's design. Finalists from each school are judged by a group of real estate professionals the day of the event. 

The Midtown Industrial Center on Brighton Boulevard offers unique opportunities for development and place-making in an edgy area that is home to art galleries, restaurants, bars and breweries. The site is owned by the Westfield Company.

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

Prologis to relocate to Z Block in LoDo

Industrial real estate developer Prologis is relocating its headquarters from northeast Denver to the Z Block building in Lower Downtown.

The company will occupy the top two floors of the 235,000-square-foot building under construction on Wazee Street between 18th and 19th streets. 

"The decision to relocate our operations headquarters was significant," says Edward Nekritz, Prologis' chief legal officer and general counsel. "It was important for us to put our stamp on a new building and office environment that reflects our culture. Z Block will be a fantastic addition to LoDo, and we look forward to being an integral part of this important development for the long term."

Z Block is one of downtown's newest urban infill projects. It includes office space, a hotel and retail development. The developers are seeking LEED Gold certification for the project.

"We are pleased to build state-of-the-art office space for Prologis," says Chad McWhinney, chief executive and founder of McWhinney, which is developing the project in conjunction with Grand American Inc. and hotel operator Sage Hospitality. "Prologis wanted to offer its team superior office amenities, excellent access to mass transit and proximity to all that LoDo has to offer, including hotels, restaurants and sports and entertainment venues."

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

Republic Plaza to get $5 million in renovations

Brookfield Property Partners will start renovations to Denver's tallest building this summer.

Brookfield, which has owned and managed the 56-story Republic Plaza since 1986, will transform 15,000 square feet of the concourse level. The project will include a new conferencing center outfitted with the most recent technology, fitness center and collaborative space that will include a cafe. It will incorporate signature design elements and create usable open-air green spaces allowing natural light into the areas below street level.

"Brookfield is proud to invest over $5 million to offer its tenant community premier office space that incorporates innovative amenities," says David Sternberg, executive vice president of the Midwest and Mountain regions for Brookfield's office division. "The transformations to Republic Plaza's concourse will continue to make it the most attractive business address in the city for both employers and employees."

Brookfield Property Partners is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world. Its portfolio includes interests in more than 100 office properties and more than 150 malls worldwide. The company also holds interests in multifamily, industrial and hotel properties.

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

Wizard's Chest to move to Broadway

The Wizard's Chest is opening a new castle at 451 Broadway this fall.

Its current location at 230 Fillmore in Cherry Creek North will remain open through December. The complete transition to the new location will take place in January.

The new 12,000-square-foot store will feature the familiar castle storefront and welcoming wizard. The larger space -- the Cherry Creek store is 8,000 square feet -- will open up to the toys, games, costumes, theatrical makeup, accessories, books, puzzles and magic that have made The Wizard's Chest a popular destination for families for more than 30 years.

"We have treasured our years in Cherry Creek, but we are bursting at the seams in our current space," says Kevin Pohle, owner of The Wizard's Chest. "In order to better serve our customers, we need to expand. When the Broadway location became available, we realized it was an opportunity we couldn't pass up."

The store, which is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the weekends, offers a variety of events, including Magic Monday and regular card games.

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

Crafty Fox to open in Sunnyside

The Crafty Fox, a craft beer taphouse, will open by this fall in a 6,000-square-foot building near the light rail station at 41st Avenue and Fox Street that's slated to open in 2016.

The two-story building, designed by Architectural Workshop and W. West, will feature an open-concept space, rooftop deck with mountain and downtown views, a street-level patio and community tables. 

The Crafty Fox, developed by Kyle and Angelique Moyer, will feature 40 craft beers, fresh pizzas, locally sourced salads, sandwiches and appetizers.

"Denver's love of craft beer runs deep, and from the discussions I've been having with our neighbors and clients at Bogey's, it's obvious that the demand for a gathering place to enjoy a few drinks with friends is strong," says Kyle Moyer, who currently is the general manager and owner of Bogey's Beer and Wine, a boutique liquor store offering craft beer, craft spirits and fine wines from the same building as The Crafty Fox.

Moyer is working with Chef Matt Selby of Central Bistro + Bar to create the menu. Chef Matt Krascek will head the kitchen.

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

First building in Mayfair apartment complex open for residents

The first of three buildings at Avenue 8 at Mayfair Apartments has been completed and is welcoming its first residents.

Located at 5701 E. Eighth Avenue, the upscale apartment complex spans a city block between Ivanhoe and Ivy streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues. 

The first building includes 51 one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $1,135 to $1,675 a month. Amenities include a pet-friendly indoor park, TV lounge, tech bistro, business center, fitness center and yoga studio, as well as outdoor patio and grilling area, rooftop terrace and controlled-access parking. 

"Very early in the construction process, we received interest from potential residents wanting a pet-friendly community near downtown," says Zvi Rudawsky, president of Boutique Apartments, which is managing the property. "This is the first residential development in Mayfair that offers top-level finishes and an incredible amenity package for residents."

Renovation of the property's remaining two buildings is under way, with completion of an additional 112 units slated to open late this summer.

Part of the community's appeal is its easy access to nearby hospital complexes, as well as Trader Joe's at Ninth and Colorado, the Mayfair Town Center, Cherry Creek, City Park, Lowry and Stapleton.

"The Mayfair neighborhood is friendly and quiet with an outstanding quality of life," says Sara Miller, Avenue 8 at Mayfair's on-site manager. "Residents will be able to live near their workplaces with access to mass transit and bike paths."

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

Matsuhisa to open in Cherry Creek apartment building

A bit of the mountains will come to Denver when Matsuhisa Cherry Creek opens a 7,800-square-foot restaurant at Steele Creek, an apartment and retail project at 1st Avenue and Steele Street.

Matsuhisa plans to serve the roof-deck pool at Steele Creek, a 12-story building with 218 apartments. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, and residents of the building will be able to order food and drinks, as well as have Matsuhisa cater their events.

"This iconic, internationally acclaimed restaurant will further establish Steele Creek as the premier luxury residential community in Cherry Creek and greater Denver," says Jarrett Posner, chairman of BMC Investments, the developer of Steele Creek, which will have a total of 17,000 square feet of retail space. 

Matsuhisa, which has restaurants in Aspen and Vail, was chosen as one of the Top 10 Restaurant Destinations in the world by the New York Times in 1993. World-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa has received numerous nominations for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation and one of the 11 Most Influential Chefs of the Decade by Madrid Fusion.

The restaurant, designed by Aspen-based Rowland + Broughton, is expected to open by the end of the year.

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

Roth Sheppard to host students interested in architecture

Roth Sheppard Architects is holding its second educational event for Colorado high school students and their parents.

The firm will host So You Want to Be an Architect?, an introductory seminar for high school students, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 9. The event is part of Roth Sheppard's effort to engage the profession, the public and education in a dialogue to raise the level of design expectation in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.

Students and their parents or guests will rotate between stations led by Roth Sheppard architects and staff. The topics will cover:
  • The design process from the initial hand-darn sketch to a completed project
  • The creation of 3D computer models using Google Sketchup and PhotoShop software
  • The creation of a physical  model including a review of the different types and the tools used
  • What else an architect does on a project, including an overview of what it takes to oversee and manage the construction of a building with a demonstration of Autodesk's Revit software, as well as understanding how projects are won, proposals created, schedules and hours tracked and the best way to land a position at a top design firm
Participation is limited to 30 students, with no more than five from one school. Each student can bring two parents or guests each. All students must be accompanied by an adult. 

The deadline for registration is 5 p.m. April 24. For the $5 fee at the door, all supplies will be provided.

For questions or to register, contact Janet Ronneng at (303) 534-7007 or jronneng@rothsheppard.com.

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

FirstBank invests nearly $100 million in Cherry Creek projects

FirstBank Holding Co. has made loans totaling nearly $100 million for developments in Cherry Creek North, including two of the district's most high-profile projects in 250 Columbine and 245 Columbine.

The projects will add retail stores, residences, office space, restaurants and a 155-room hotel.

Western Development Group will use a $50 million loan from FirstBank to develop 250 Columbine as residences, office space  and street-level retail, including two restaurants -- SOL Cocina and Blue Island Oyster Bar.

"250 Columbine is another example of Cherry Creek North raising the bar to maintain its position as the most sought-after shopping district in the Denver area," says Roy Kline, a partner with Western Development Group, which is developing the property. "We had a wonderful experience partnering with FirstBank on a previous project and appreciate working with a local bank that understands the community and shares our vision."

For 245 Columbine, FirstBank provided $41.4 million in funding. The project, a joint venture between BMC Investments and Sage Hospitality, will include a 155-room boutique hotel, a restaurant operated by Sage Restaurant Group and 5,900 square feet of retail space. The hotel, expected to open in the summer of 2016, will offer meeting and event space, a rooftop deck, fitness center and valet parking.

"FirstBank also provided two loans of more than $5 million to Schnitzer West LLC to buy retail buildings in the area, including 250 Fillmore and 262 Fillmore, and 242 and 246 Milwaukee. The company is considering plans to redevelop the Fillmore buildings, while those on Milwaukee will remain retail stores.

FirstBank also is opening a branch at 100 St. Paul, a new eight-story, 149,000-square-foot office and retail building.

"We strongly believe in these projects and are proud to have a stake in developments that will improve our community," says Tom Wright, market president of FirstBank Cherry Creek.

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

Elsy Studios buys Highland building

Interior design firm Elsy Studios has purchased a 4,000-square-foot office building at 3528 Tejon St. in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood for $1.25 million.

Elsy, which specializes in corporate interiors, will lease part of the two-story building to Seattle-based furniture manufacturer Watson Furniture. It will be Watson's first Denver showroom. 

Over the last two years, Elsy Studios has grown into a 10-person firm. The new space will allow Elsy to continue growing to accommodate up to 20 employees.

"Elsy Studios has built a strong reputation for creativity and project delivery over the last two years," says Lynn Coit, president and founder of Elsy Studios. "This new office space will allow us to grow and provide an even higher level of service to clients in a convenient and thriving location. By leasing part of our space to Watson Furniture, we can offer an atmosphere filled with design inspiration."

In addition to its LoHi location, the property was attractive to Elsy for its visual appeal. The building was designed in 2006 by Jim Bothwell and earned a Denver Mayor's Design Award for the core and shell.

The new space will include quiet rooms, height-adjustable work stations, custom LED lighting and a number of the fun and inspiring finishes that Elsy has become known for in its design projects. The firm's clients range from restaurants to retail establishments to corporate offices.

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

Shears Adkins Rockmore moves into new digs in LoDo

Shears Adkins Rockmore has blended the past with the present with the renovation the historic building at 1550 Wynkoop St. in Lower Downtown that it recently made its home. 

The architecture firm occupies 5,474 square feet of space in the building, which originally was completed in 1889 along with a series of interconnected buildings between 15th and 16th streets.

During the demolition, MAX Construction, Inc. uncovered steel beams that were installed in the building about 125 years ago.

"The beams are made of large angles and plates that are riveted together," says Dean Smith, an architect with the firm. "This structure was consistent with the new steel elements we had already designed for the space. Despite the challenges of bringing the old beams up to fire code, the team at MAX Construction was able to quickly adapt and deliver the project on our original timeline."

In addition to the steel  beams, MAX Construction was able to keep much of the original heavy timbers, flagstone foundation and brick, which helped the space retain the character of its original design.

"We see this space as the perfect blend of nostalgia and forward thinking," says Mark McGann, vice president at MAX. "A big part of what makes LoDo so special is the unique architecture of these historic buildings, so the MAX Construction team did everything we could to respect the building's past while incorporating modern features that reflect Shears Adkins Rockmore's focus on innovative design."

Some of that modernization included significant structural work to remove sections of the first floor to allow nature light into the basement level. A two-stage "floating" staircase from the first floor to the basement level was added to create a new access point. 

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

Downtown rooftop greenhouses nearly completed

Construction of the first greenhouse is underway at Groundwork Greens, a community-driven rooftop greenhouse at 2020 Lawrence St.

A project from Groundwork Denver, the 2,600-square-foot greenhouse will produce more than 15,000 pounds of fresh vegetables a year. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of March when growing systems will be installed and vegetables grown. Green Team youth employees will work at the greenhouse, learning about hydroponic growing, marketing, sales and distribution.

Less than 1 percent of food consumed in Denver is produced in Colorado, and one out of eight Denver families is "food insecure," meaning they don't have access to enough food. Groundwork Greens hopes to demonstrate a solution that captures the economic activity of local food consumption and provides healthy food for residents.

Groundwork Denver is non-profit organization that works with lower-income communities to address environmental problems, implement environmental improvement projects, build environmental leaders and support volunteerism and civic engagement. 

Developed by Zocalo Community Development, 2020 Lawrence is a 10-story, 231-unit apartment building, offering a rooftop health center overlooking the mountains; Barks & Rec, a rooftop pet exercise area with artificial grass; work space with conference center; demonstration kitchen; and rooftop lounge with a hot tub, outdoor kitchen and fire pit.

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

For-sale condos in the works at SLOANS

What may be the biggest condo project on the drawing board in the metro area was recently approved by the Denver City Council.

The 12-story building will be located on a 2.2-acre site at West 17th Avenue and Stuart Street in the SLOANS development. The project, being developed by NAVA Real Estate Development likely is the largest condo project because the state's construction-defects laws make it easy to sue developers.

The project will have 226 units of for-sale residential condominiums in eight and 12-story buildings with a three-level, 400-space parking garage. The average unit size is 1,000 square feet with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, as well as penthouses. Prices have not yet been determined.

The community is the first registered International WELL Building Institute multi-family project in Colorado. The WELL Building Standard marries best practices in design and construction with health and wellness interventions to create a built environment that support health, well-being and comfort.

Located on the former campus of St. Anthony's Hospital, the SLOANS development also will include an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, restaurants, market-rate apartments and a combination of for-sale and rental workforce and affordable housing.

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

Construction of Cherry Creek hotel underway

BMC Investments and Sage Hospitality have started construction on their $70 million hotel and retail development at 245 Columbine St. in Cherry Creek North. 

"We are very excited to deliver what we expect to be another transformative project not only in Cherry Creek, but for the Denver hospitality market as a whole," says Matt Joblon, chief executive of BMC Investments. 

The development will include 155 hotel rooms, a rooftop deck with a pool and bar, 5,000-square feet of meeting and banquet space and two ground-floor restaurants. Klipp is the architect and Mortenson is the builder.

Sage Restaurant Group will open Departure, a concept operated by Top Chef finalist Gregory Gourdet in its Nines hotel in Portland, Oregon. An additional 6,000 square feet of retail space is available for another restaurant operated by a third party. 

The hotel will be a luxury, independently branded experience unique to the Denver market. It will have 100 percent valet parking in two levels of below-grade parking. The hotel is expected to open in April 2016.

"This project will mirror the big changes that have been taking place in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood," says Walter Isenberg, president and chief executive of Sage. "The hotel and restaurant we have planned will deliver the luxury experience for locals and visitors."

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

Parade of Homes starts Aug. 13

The 2015 Denver Parade of Homes is slated for Aug. 13 through Labor Day.

New and never-lived-in homes throughout the Denver area will be on display to the public. 

"All home builders who participated in last year's Parade and new builders interested in participating in this year's edition are encouraged to sigh up now to take advantage of this unique marketing opportunity and to be part of one of Denver's favorite summer traditions," says Jeff Whiton, president and chief executive of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, which sponsors the event.

The HBA recently hosted an orientation meeting with more than 20 home builders, remodelers with unoccupied full-home remodels, community developers and real estate agents listing new homes who have expressed an interest in entering this year's parade.

Last year's Parade attracted more than 100,000 visitors who saw 74 homes located throughout the Front Range from Loveland to Castle Rock and from Central City to Aurora.

The HBA is a trade association representing business involved in the residential development, construction and remodeling industry in the Denver metro region. Members include home builders, land developers, remodelers, architects, mortgage lenders, building material suppliers and subcontractors.

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

Gravitas lands office tenant at LoHi building

San Francisco-based Delivery Agent has moved into 14,000 square feet of office space at 2930 Umatilla in Denver's Lower Highland neighborhood. 

Delivery Agent, which turns audiences into revenue-generating customers for the world's largest brands, will have up to 75 employees at the expanding technology and advertising business units Denver office.

"I have been living and working in Denver for many years, and feel strongly that this city has -- and will continue to be -- one of the top markets for tech innovation," says David Rudnick, chief technology officer of Delivery Agent. "As part of our company expansion plans we are excited to actively double our presence in Denver."

The new 23,000-square-foot building, located south of the restaurant Linger, is the latest development from Denver-based Gravitas Development Group. The building's top floor will be home to a restaurant from restaurateur Justin Cucci, chef/owner of Linger, Root Down and Root Down DIA. The ground floor will be occupied by a yet-to-be named restaurant.

"The addition of Delivery Agent to the tenant mix at 2930 Umatilla development underscores our mission of creating thoughtful urban infill," says Ryan Diggins, a partner in Gravitas. "With the tech sector hiring in Denver and outpacing that of Silicon Valley, we saw an immediate benefit and utility in leasing this space to an innovative and fast-growing company like Delivery Agent."

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

RiNo apartment project gets crowdfunding

A new 62-unit apartment project in Denver's River North (RiNo) neighborhood received a $1 million infusion from Washington, D.C.-based Fundrise, an online platform for real estate investments.

Similar to crowdfunding, Fundrise gives everyone the opportunity to invest in real estate. 

"It's almost like creating a stock exchange for small commercial real estate investments," says Brandon Jenkins, the company's chief operating officer. "In the same way you can go on eTrade and buy a share of Apple, you can buy a $5,000 chunk of a $50 million investment."

The $15 million project at Larimer and 35th streets is the first investment in Colorado for Fundrise, which started four years ago with investments in Washington, D.C. and New York City. People who invest $5,000 are expected to receive a 13.2 percent return.

"We really like the underlying fundamentals of the Denver market," Jenkins says. "If it had been New York City, there would have been a big slew of private equity groups bidding on it and competing for it."

Also financed by Littleton Capital Partners, the property is within four blocks of the 38th and Blake light-rail station -- the first stop from Union Station on the East Rail Line that will connect downtown to Denver International Airport. It's also just a block from the future 35th and Downing light-rail station, part of the planned Central Corridor extension that will connect the existing Central Rail Line to the East Rail line.

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

Nocturne jazz club opens in RiNo

Denver's newest jazz club has opened its doors in RiNo.

Nocturne, a modern take on the jazz and supper clubs of the 1940s, marries the culinary, cocktail and musical arts in a restored early 20th century factory building at 1330 27th St. 

The 3,500-square-foot, 105-seat venue embraces the industrial feel of RiNo, using materials such as raw steel and bronze melded with elements that evoke Atlantic coast Art Deco from the 1920s and 1930s. 

"With its wealth of street art, funky work spaces, independent restaurants, great music venues and art galleries, our goal was to create a room that complimented RiNo's culture while also looking to the underground jazz clubs of old Hollywood and New York for the inspiration of Nocturne's spirit," says Scott Mattson, who with his wife, Nicole, owns the club. 

At the core of Nocturne's venue is an artist-in-residence program. Residencies are awarded to musicians focusing on one of three concentrations: the study of a jazz icon, the exploration of a specific jazz genre or the performance of all-original material. During each residency period, six artists, each playing one night a week, will take the stage for a three-month run. Nocturne also will host nationally touring jazz musicians. 

A portion of the funds used to develop the club came from a small group of community supporters.

"Our crowdfunders' commitments to taking Nocturne from a dream to a reality really showcases this as something the RiNo community, and Denver, wants and needs," says Nicole Mattson. "You just don't see young people opening jazz clubs these days, but we were reassured that it's something that will not only work, but thrive in Denver when so many people step forward to contribute."

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

Demolition starts at 9th & Colorado

Abatement and demolition work on the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at East Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard is underway.

The demolition includes nearly all existing buildings on the site except for a 1,000-car parking structure, the former Nurses' Dormitory building and the five-story Research Bridge that spans Ninth Avenue. Razing the buildings is expected to take about 16 months. Vertical construction is expected to begin later this year, even as demolition continues.

"This is a significant milestone for the 9th & Colorado project," says Frank Cannon, development director for Continuum Partners, which is developing the project. "We're excited to be under way with the abatement and demolition. With buildings coming down we are one step closer to bringing the development plans to reality."

Plans for the redevelopment call for the creation of a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use environment that will complement and connect with the surrounding neighborhoods. The plan includes plazas and public space and the adaptive reuse of the Nurses' Dormitory and Research Bridge buildings.

"The neighborhood is excited to see that the project is moving ahead after years of dashed hopes and collapsed plans with prior groups," says Laurie Bogue of Colorado Boulevard Healthcare District. "We feel confident the 9th & Colorado project team will make this part of the process as seamless as possible."

Denver-based Continuum Partners is developing the project with Los Angeles-based CIM Group, a real estate and infrastructure investment firm.

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

Gonzales library branch opens in west Denver

The Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Branch Library is officially open at West Colfax Avenue and Irving Street. 

The two-story, 27,000-square-foot library is the last of three new libraries built with 2007 voter-approved Better Denver Bond funds. The new facility will serve west Denver neighborhoods that haven't had a library branch nearby.

"Our branch libraries reflect the individual spirit and diversity of their neighborhoods," says city librarian Shirley Amore. "The Gonzales Branch Library not only celebrates the diversity of west Denver, it is also a community space that will bring residents and visitors together in new and special ways."

The library is named for Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, a Denver native, poet, boxer and nationally recognized leader in the civil rights movement who advocated for the education, economic and political equality of the Latino community in Denver. 

Studiotrope Design Collective designed the library to support the community's vision of the library as an incubator for growth. 

"One of the primary goals of the project is to celebrate the diverse and culturally rich community of west Denver," says Joseph Montalbano, Studiotrope's principle architect for the project. 

The building facade is highlighted by a series of brightly colored horizontal "threads," each symbolizing the unique members of the community. "In this way, the building exterior showcases the transformational power of the neighborhood," Montalbano says.

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

Old Stapleton tower gets new use

More than 20 years after the last plane landed at Stapleton Airport, the old air traffic control tower complex is being redeveloped as the home to Denver's second Punch Bowl Social, as well as the company's corporate headquarters. 

Located at the intersection of Central Park Boulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard, the building is structurally sound, but the interior has degraded substantially. Plans for the new Punch Bowl Social include the removal of much of the interior structure while preserving the architecture of the exterior. 

"The control tower is a landmark in this community and the city of Denver," says Robert Thompson, founder of Punch Bowl Social. "As a company, we are intentional about seeking out locations that have historic roots but need a new purpose. There's a lot of interest in seeing the tower preserved, and we intend to retain the character that's so familiar and appealing to locals and visitors alike."

Punch Bowl Social's headquarters will occupy the third floor of office space. The lower two levels will be expanded by about 5,000 square feet in a manner consistent with the historic architecture.

"We have been searching for an adaptive reuse opportunity for quite some time and know Stapleton residents as well as the larger community will find this to be an exciting and invigorating use of the tower," says John Lehigh, president and chief operating officer of Forest City Stapleton, the master developer of the master-planned community.

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

Z Block starts construction

The renovation of the historic Windsor Dairy block in Lower Downtown is under way.

Known as Z Block, the project will be a mixed-use office, hospitality and retail development along Wazee Street between 18th and 19th streets. The 350,000-square-foot project includes 200,000 square feet of office space, a 172-room hotel, 30,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and a 400-car below-grade parking garage -- all integrated into three of the historic Windsor Dairy Block Buildings in LoDo.

Developed by the partnership of McWhinney, Sage Hospitality and Grand American, Z Block is designed to pay homage to Denver's past and keep an eye on its future. The project is being designed by Denver-based architecture firm Shear Adkins Rockmore.

"The rich history of the Windsor Dairy Block is remarkable and an important part of Denver's future," says Chad McWhinney, chief executive of McWhinney. "Our team looks forward to the enhancement of this block while preserving and respecting its significance in our city's history."

Z Block, expected to be completed in September 2016, is one block from Denver Union Station, the epicenter of the region's FasTracks mass transit system. It's one of the last remaining full-block development sites within historic LoDo.

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

RTD turns on rail power between downtown and airport

The Regional Transportation District is turning on the power lines along the East Rail Line between Union Station and Denver International Airport in anticipation of a year-long testing program starting this spring.

RTD is powering up the lines in sections as part of the electrification testing process.

"These wires hold 25,000 volts of electricity and can be extremely dangerous, even  fatal, if anyone comes close to them," says Brian Middleton, project director of the FasTracks East Rail Line. "We ask everyone to please stay away from the tracks and the wires, and never try to touch or throw anything at them."

Trains will begin to run under their own power this spring, si it is important to remember these other safety tips:
  • Never trespass on any train track.
  • Cross the tracks only at designated crossings, always follow safety signs and obey warning devices such as flashing red lights and gate arms.
  • Stay alert and look both ways for a train -- you may not hear them coming.
  • Never trespass onto construction sites, and stay off the train station platforms until they are open to the public.
FasTracks is RTD's voter-approved transit expansion program to build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county region.

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

New apartment tower under construction in Uptown

A 26-story luxury apartment tower is under construction in at the corner of Broadway and 18th Avenue in Denver's Uptown neighborhood.

SkyHouse Denver is a mixed-use project featuring 354 apartments ranging from studio to two-bedroom units. It also has 6,900 square feet of street-level retail space. The top floor of the building includes a club room, swimming pool and fitness center.

"We are excited to be working with Simpson Housing and Batson-Cook Development Co. to add SkyHouse Denver to the fabric of downtown," says Jim Borders, president and CEO of Novare Group, an Atlanta-based real estate development and investment company. "The Mile High City has been on our radar for several years, and we are thrilled to have an excellent location that fits perfectly with what our residents want."

The project will have vehicle charging stations, bike storage, kitchen, a dog walk area and a dog washing station. The apartments will have nine-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass, quartz countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and porcelain tile.

JP Morgan and US Bank are providing construction financing for the project, and Simpson Housing, Batson-Cook and NGI Investments LLC are providing equity. The architect is Atlanta's Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart.

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

Sun Valley to get Denver's largest building wrap

The Sun Valley neighborhood is about to get Denver's largest building wrap.

The wrap, created by Ink Monstr, will transform a blank concrete wall into four historic-looking storefronts, adding character to the company's headquarters in the Sun Valley neighborhood southwest of downtown.

Ink Monstr, which produces large-scale vinyl graphics and wraps, relocated to Sun Valley from Brighton Boulevard in RiNo just over a year ago and founder Reed Silberman has been actively involved in the community ever since.

"It's a really great up-and-coming neighborhood that has some future potential," says Silberman, who serves on the Sun Valley Community Coalition and has been working with the Denver Housing Authority on its community planning process. "I plan on really growing with Sun Valley and being part of the community."

Ink Monstr got some funding through Denver's Office of Economic Development for the jobs he's created in the area. The housing authority also has subsidized some of the company's trainees through its youth employment program.

"Our first trainee went from intern to junior production person," Silberman says. "Now he's a full-time salaried employee with benefits."

Silberman started the company in 2004 while he was living in his van in Aspen trying to make it as a professional snowboarder. 

"I was in search of the ultimate dream of if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life," Silberman says. "I got paid to snowboard, but it didn't pay a lot of money, so I started doing these print and wrap projects on the side to make some extra money."

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

Colorado Lending Source designated Community Advantage lender

Colorado Lending Source has been designated a Community Advantage lender by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Community Advantage loans are financed by mission-based lenders like Colorado Lending Source, rather than directly through a bank. Colorado Lending Source is partnering with Peoples Bank to process the $50,000 to $250,000 loans for a variety of business needs.

"We are very excited that Colorado Lending Source is one of the nation's newest Community Advantage lenders," says Mike O'Donnell, executive director of Colorado Lending Source. "We feel that the Community Advantage loan program will be huge for the state of Colorado. These loans are more flexible than conventional bank loans because the program is specifically focused on underserved small businesses from the perspective of accessing debt financing."

Colorado Lending Source prefers that at least 80 percent of small businesses be located within an underserved market, defined as low- to moderate-income communities where 50 percent of the workforce is low income or resides in a low- to moderate-income census tract.

A requirement for receiving a Community Advantage loan is that either a bank has referred the project or the small business can show that a bank has declined its loan request. The referring bank will maintain a relationship with the small business, which will be encouraged to refinance its Community Advantage loan through that bank.

"By providing a line of credit to Colorado Lending Source to make loans to underserved small businesses, we are not only helping local businesses expand but are creating a pipeline future Peoples Bank customers when they are ready to obtain traditional bank financing," says Brett Haigler, community bank president at Peoples Bank.

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

Urban Luxe moves to RiNo

Urban Luxe Real Estate has relocated from Cherry Creek to 3060 Larimer St. in Denver's RiNo neighborhood.

The boutique real estate firm, which focuses on Denver's urban areas, joins a neighborhood filled with artists and galleries, eclectic bars and restaurants and creative live-work dwellings.

"In today's robust real estate market where you need brokers to think creatively and push the boundaries of what is possible, their workspace shouldn't be a drab maze of beige cubicles," says Heidi Finn, broker/owner of Urban Luxe. "Creativity comes from our environment. That's why we wanted to create an inspiring workspace for our brokers and support staff. Our office is designed to make our brokers and clients feel more like they're in a trendy restaurant or a hip lounge than a real estate office."

To support RiNo's artist communities, Urban Luxe is hosting a rotating exhibition program designed to showcase artists in the Denver area. The artwork will rotate every three to six months, and an event will kick off each new artist on First Fridays. All proceeds for art sold will go directly to the artist, and Urban Luxe will not accept any compensation or charge fees to the artists to hang their work.

"As RiNo business owners, we wanted a way to give back to artists who inspire innovation and creativity in our community," Finn says. "Perhaps visitors to our office will become art buyers, and art buyers who come to our office will become clients."

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

Dual-branded hotels to add 491 rooms downtown

An Indiana-based developer is building a dual-branded hotel at 15th and California streets in downtown Denver.

White Lodging plans to start construction this spring, with opening of the AC Hotels by Marriott and Starwood-branded Le Meridien Hotel slated for early 2017.

"Denver continues to experience healthy and measured growth, and we believe these two unique hotels will bring fresh and unique lodging options to the downtown market," says Deno Yiankes, White Lodging's president and chief executive of investments and development.

The project will add 491 rooms to Denver's hotel inventory.

Newly introduced in the United States, the Denver AC Hotels by Marriott will be the lifestyle brand's first to open in Denver. The brand started in Europe in 2011 as a joint venture with Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalan and now has 72 hotels in Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.  The brand features simple, clean and crisp lines, blending sophisticated European style with approachable design for an urban feel. Growth plans for the brand include more than 50 new hotels within the next three years throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

Le Meridien Denver will have a 24-hour fitness facility, business center, lobby lounge and a full-service restaurant.  

"We are delighted to expand our partnership with White Lodging to introduce Le Meriddien to Denver in 2017," says Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Le Meridien and Westin Hotels.

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

Urban Ventures to develop cohousing project at Aria

Urban Ventures LLC plans to redevelop the 35,000-square-foot convent occupied by the Sisters of St. Francis for more than 60 years into 26 units of cohousing at the center of the Aria Denver campus at 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard.

The Aria Cohousing Community is similar to other cohousing developments in that residents will have private living spaces, as well as community-based common areas that allow them to share meals and interests. Cohousing members participate in the design and future governance of their community. 

So far, 10 households have joined the community and are participating in the design process. The group includes young families, as well as retirees. The goal of creating an intergenerational community is an important part of the values of this group, and design decisions are guided by the commitment to make the community welcoming to households of all ages. Common values related to community interaction, sustainability, inclusivity, intellectual growth and transparency also influence the design process.

"We are extremely excited to have this cohousing development ton the Aria Denver campus because it reflects he values that have guided us from the moment purchased the property from the Sisters of St. Francis to develop a community that attracted the kind of individuals who cared about their neighbors," says Susan Powers, president of Urban Ventures and manager of Marycrest Land LLC.

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

U.S. Green Building Council to host Rocky Mountain Green conference

The U.S. Green Building Council is hosting Rocky Mountain  Green at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center on April 2-3.

The conference comes as Colorado grows as a center of green construction expertise. The state is now recognized as No. 2 in the nation for LEED certifications up from No. 8 last year.

"Rocky Mountain Green is as much about gathering the most influential projects and professionals under one roof as it is about applying the lessons we've learned to our work in Colorado and the Mountain Region states," says Sharon Alton, executive director of U.S. Green Building Council Colorado. "The format of the event supports not only our educational and resource-sharing mission but also showcases the best the region has to offer in green building."

Panelists at the conference include Douglas Miller of the Rocky Mountain Institute; Adam Knoff, senior sustainability manager at Unico Properties; and Julie Edwards, director of sustainability at OZ Architecture.

In an effort to shine a light on Colorado's best stories, USGBC Colorado will host Inspire Colorado, a live storytelling contest at the conference. Colorado non-profit organizations may submit a five- to seven-minute video of their most compelling storyteller at the USGBC website. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 23. Three finalists will be announced on March 9 and will compete live for a $2,500 prize at the conference on April 2.

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

Construction defects bill introduced

A recently introduced construction-defects reform bill is geared toward relaunching a condominium market that has suffered  because developers and builders are afraid of being sued by homeowners.

Senate Bill 177 would change the existing law by requiring a majority of owners in condominium building, rather than just a majority of the homeowners association board members, to vote to proceed with a class-action defects lawsuit against builders. It also says an HOA can't remove requirements that disputes be settled through binding arbitration.

"This bill is designed to reduce the frequency of cases and magnitude of awards and to protect existing homeowners," says Tom Clark, chief executive of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.

Under current law, if an HOA sues a builder, homeowners in the project cannot sell or refinance their units.

"What happens to people who change jobs or people whose families break up because of divorce," Clark says. "They're stuck with a unit they can't pay for."

Clark says the legislation also is key to ensuring affordable, owner-occupied housing is built near transit stations.

"When we were campaigning for FasTracks, we pledged there would be communities on FasTracks," Clark says. "We are very frightened that there will not be any condos going up on FasTracks."

Last year, developers built 10,000 apartment units but just 360 condominiums in metro Denver, Clark says. Just 180 of those condos are in the affordable range.

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

Discover Denver launches citywide survey

A citywide survey to identify historic and architecturally significant structures will gather information about Denver's 160,000 buildings using public records, neighborhood canvassing, academic research and tips from the public.

The project, called Discover Denver, is a collaboration between Historic Denver Inc. and the city's Landmark Preservation staff. Findings from the survey will be available online so everyone from property owners to history buffs to real estate agents can learn about Denver's past building by building.

"The Discover Denver survey is an ambitious project, but there are huge benefits," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "It can help us make more informed decisions about places -- as a city and as individual property owners."

The survey comes on the heels of three recently completed pilot projects that looked at 3,000 buildings in five Denver neighborhoods:
  • Harvey Park in southwest Denver has a wealth of mid-century modern architecture, including the only Colorado homes designed by architect Cliff May.
  • Park Hill and Berkeley, the location of mainly small 1920s homes and homes that belonged to some of the city's earliest entrepreneurs, including Dave Cook and James Covillo.
  • Cole and Globeville, where buildings were built around streetcar corridors, provide insight into what life was like for Denverites before the automobile.
"Discover Denver is a way for all of us to discover vintage buildings that matter to our community," says Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver. "The pilots just scratched the surface of the treasures Denver's neighborhoods hold."

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

Report: Denver is nation's top real estate market

Denver is the nation's top commercial real estate market, according to a recent report by Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates.

More than 80 markets were ranked based on the percent change in vacancy and rental rates for the office, retail and multi-family sectors from the third quarter of 2013 through the third quarter of 2014, as well as population and unemployment changes over the same time period. Denver's top ranking is attributed to the city's record-breaking job growth, construction and economic expansion in energy, healthcare and technology, according to the Coldwell Banker Commercial Market Comparison Report.

"Denver has recovered from the Great Recession and moved into expansion mode with positive market absorption in every market segment," says Ben Gilliam, vice president of commercial sales at Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance Denver. "Investor confidence and activity from the east and west coasts has led to a resurgence in development with 13 new office projects, seven new industrial projects and two new retail projects in recent months."

With the recent grand opening of the new Union Station central transit hub, Gilliam says it's possible the Denver market could see its first $1,000 or more per square foot investment sale in the Central Business District.

Other markets ranked in the top 10 includes San Francisco; Houston; Dallas; San Jose, Calif.; Phoenix; San Antonio, Texas; Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; and Orange County, Calif.

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

250 Columbine dining and retail tenants announced

Two restaurants, an outerwear retailer and Starbucks have signed leases in Western Development Group's $100 million mixed-use development at 250 Columbine in Cherry Creek North.

At SOL Cocina, Executive Chef Deborah Schneider will feature modern interpretations of traditional coastal Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh sustainable ingredients. 

Blue Island Oyster Bar will deliver a "dock-to-dish" experience through an ever-changing list of seven to 10 oysters that will be offered daily. The concept is from the same team of designers, builders and chefs that created Humboldt, Rialto Cafe, Spruce and Stout Street Social.

Arc'Teryx, a global design and manufacturing company, specializes in high-performance outerwear and equipment. 

"We've had very strong interest in our retail space at 250 Columbine and will be announcing several more tenants soon," says Roy Kline, a partner at Western Development Group. "SOL Cocina and Blue Island Oyster Bar are exciting new concepts to the Denver area and will be great additions to our projects and the neighborhood. The addition of these fantastic restaurants reinforces Cherry Creek North's position as the ultimate dining destination. Arc'Teryx will provide outdoor enthusiasts with some of the best outerwear gear in the world, and Starbucks is a wonderful addition to any project."

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

Stanley Marketplace announces new retailers

When Stanley Marketplace opens later this year, Tootsies the Nail Shoppe, Kismet and wax will join the mix of retailers locating in the former Stanley Aviation headquarters at 2501 Dallas St. in Aurora.

The 100,000-square-foot marketplace in 22 acres will be home to a community park, indoor/outdoor event venue, office space and a variety of dining, shopping and recreational options. Other retailers locating in the marketplace include Stanley Beer Hall by Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group, Endorphin and Kindness Yoga.

"It's just thrilling to watch the pieces of this project fall into place," says Skip Noe, Aurora's city manager. "The anticipation for the Stanley Marketplace continues to build in the community, and we are counting down to opening day."

Stanley Marketplace is being developed by Flightline Ventures, a Stapleton-based firm comprised of neighborhood residents who saw a need for a community-based marketplace. Partners Mark Shaker, Lorin Ting and Megan Von Wald teamed up with the city of Aurora to make the project happen. 

"We're incredibly excited to announce these businesses as the most recent additions to the Stanley family," Shaker says. "Based on our research, the community definitely sees a need for their services, and we’re happy to welcome them to Stanley."

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

JG Johnson Architects recognized for gender equality

Denver-based JG Johnson Architects is one of four architecture firms featured as a champion of equity on The Missing 32 Percent Project's blog.

The Missing 32 Percent Project is a study of the equitable treatment of all architects across the gender gap. The American Institute of Architects reports that only 19 percent of its roughly 81,000 members were women as of June and only 12 percent of women architects serve as supervisors or licensed employers in architecture firms.

But JG Johnson Architects is bucking that trend. Of the firm's 31 employees, 58 percent are women, 62 percent are in leadership positions and 77 percent are licensed architects.

"We encourage recruitment and advancement of all staff on an equitable basis and have been very fortunate to recruit and promote such a large percentage of highly talented and qualified email architects," says Jim Johnson, the firm's founding principal.

Nicole Nathan, a part owner of the firm and a licensed architect in Colorado and Texas, says JG Johnson Architects supports a life-work balance that can be a pinch point for women in their middle careers.

"The understanding that you can have a family and maintain your identity and value as an architect is what sets this firm apart," Nathan says.

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

Three restaurants to open on South Broadway

Developer Jon Cook is adding three new restaurants to his collection of tenants in buildings he owns along South Broadway.

Marufuku Restaurant, a Ramen noodle and sushi concept from owner Masaki Ishitani, is under construction in the former Bear Frame & Axle building March at 2950 S. Broadway, just south of the Denver boundary in Englewood. It joins Trompeau Bakery, Billy's Hot Dogs and Jimano's Pizzeria in the building. "They are spending nearly $200,000 building out their kitchen," Cook says. "It's really going to be a neat place to visit."

A mile north at the shopping center at 2120 S. Broadway, Taste of Thailand will open a new restaurant. It's relocating to Denver after 22 years on East Hampden across from Swedish Hospital in Englewood. "It's going to have a great outside patio," says Cook. "We're upgrading that entire shopette."

Cook's son Steven is working with Mehdi and Crystal Mdouari on Eurocrepes, a concept with origins in Switzerland. The wood and brick restaurant at 1842 S. Broadway will feature a barrel roof in the rear portion of the building. The remainder of the building, formerly the showroom for Timberline Kitchen & Bath, will likely be partitioned to accommodate two additional tenants.

Cook says the restaurants are opening at a time with South Broadway is experiencing a renaissance that will only be enhanced by the redevelopment of the former Gates Rubber factory.

"If you drive Broadway at 8 or 9 at night now, it's vibrant," Cook says. 

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

Home Builders names first woman president

The Home Builders Association of Metro Denver has elected its first woman president.

Christina Presley, most recently division president of Meritage Homes, will lead the 73-year-old organization that represents the home construction industry in the eight counties of metro Denver. Presley tripled the size of Meritage's Colorado division within six years.

"I am honored to be the 2015 president of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and t he first woman it our prestigious history," Presley says. "I don't take this role lightly, and I am committed to doing all I can to promote both the HBA and the home-building industry at large, as well as represent the amazing women who are doing incredible things in our industry every day."

Presley plans to bring the Professional Women in Building Council to the Denver HBA and promote the professional development of women in the home-building industry. She says her vision is to drive the value proposition of the HBA to its members, as well as to elevate the public perception of the industry. For members, this includes education and event programming that increases knowledge and opportunities. To improve public perception, she plans to be an advocate at the local and state level to make a positive impact on the industry.

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

New York Times travel story highlights "36 Hours in Denver"

A story in The New York Times travel section features Denver as one of the cities in its 36 Hours series -- a collection of  stories that highlights what to do in a city when you've only got a weekend.

A video about Denver highlights restaurants such as Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs and Acorn at The Source, as well as the 28-foot-tall Little Man Ice Cream milk can. It also showcases Great Divide and TRVE breweries, as well as the Mayan Theatre, one of the three Art Deco theaters remaining in the country.

"We call it a city with benefits," developer Paul Tamburello says in the video.

The story, complete with a map describing various restaurants and attractions, provides a Friday through Sunday itinerary that includes the Art District on Santa Fe, South Broadway boutiques, The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station and a variety of restaurants scattered throughout the city.

"And there are the inconspicuous marijuana dispensaries that dot nearly every neighborhood, and more stunning public spaces -- from Washington Park to the Cherry Creek bike path -- than one city has a right to," Times reporter Freda Moon writes.

Other cities the Times has featured include Memphis, Santa Fe, Seattle, Naples, Fla., and Berkeley, Calif.

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

$800 million in projects under construction in downtown Denver

Nearly $800 million in projects are under construction in downtown Denver, according to the December development map update recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership.

The partnership estimates that 22 projects are expected to be completed this year, up from 16 projects in 2014. Developments include more than 1,600 hotel rooms planned or under construction; nearly 4,000 residential units planned or under construction; nearly 2.4 million square feet of office space planned or under construction; and 212,000 square feet of retail space.

"The map lists 34 existing public and private sector developments or infrastructure projects in downtown Denver, illustrating the robust private and public investments occurring in Denver's urban core," says Tami Door, president and chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

The map includes projects such as the Kirkland Museum, The ART Hotel, Triangle Building and Metropolitan State University of Denver athletic fields.

Of the residential projects under construction, 34 percent are in the Central Platte Valley's Commons Park neighborhood; 18 percent are in the commercial core; 18 percent are in the Golden Triangle; 12 percent are in the Central Platte Valley's Prospect neighborhood; 9 percent are in Ballpark; 7 percent in LoDo; and 1 percent in Arapahoe Square.

The development map, presented by Hensel Phelps and published by the Downtown Denver Partnership with the support of the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, is intended to inform developers, investors and brokers interested in downtown Denver and highlight key investments.
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver to get micro apartment project

The Nichols Partnership is redeveloping a former hotel next to Sports Authority Field into Denver's first micro apartment project.

Designed by JG Johnson Architects, Turntable Studios will have 179 units and is expected to be completed by the third quarter. Each unit will have a kitchen, full bathroom, city or mountain views, Juliet balconies and multiple built-in components to maximize the functionality and efficiency of the space. There will be 168 studios at 330 square feet, four one-bedroom units at 685 square feet and seven two-bedroom units at 820 square feet. Personal storage units also will be available. 

"While Denver has consistently been ranked as one of the top destination cities for Millennials since 2009, we have a disconnect with housing affordability for these young professionals," says Randy Nichols, principal at The Nichols Partnership. "We intend to change that at Turntable Studios with our efficiently designed studio apartments that will rent for less than $1,000 a month."

On-site amenities include more than 150 parking spaces, a swimming pool, workout facility, community room, a penthouse city-view lounge and outdoor green space. To increase access to alternate modes of transportation, there will be an on-site car-sharing program, as well as bike parking.

"Turntable Studios is perfectly located to access LoDo, Highlands, Platte Valley and the Platte River/Cherry Creek bike trails," Nichols says. "Proximity to the Sports Authority Field at Mile High light-rail station and immediate access to I-25 conveniently connect Turntable Studios to everything Denver has to offer."
 
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver TOD Fund expands to region

The Denver Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Fund is expanding to include the seven-county metro area.

The $24 million regional fund will be issued to finance property acquisition and pre-development loans for developers creating and preserving affordable homes along transit corridors in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties.

"Affordable housing is a critical issue not just for the city but for our entire metro area," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "The Denver TOD Fund has proven itself to be a successful tool in ensuring that low- and moderate-income families benefit from the buildout of our mass transit system."

The Denver Regional TOD Fund will focus on affordable housing preservation and development within a half mile of light and commuter rail and a quarter mile of high-frequency bus routes. The expanded fund aims to create 2,000 new affordable homes and other supportive community facilities near transit by 2014. Community developments financed through the fund will provide affordable for-sale homes for  families earning below 95 percent of area median income and affordable rental homes that will serve families earning below 60 percent of AMI, or $46,000 for a family of four. Typical monthly rents will range from $400 to $1,000, depending on unit size and household income.

The expansion of the fund was made possible by investments from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the Colorado Division of Housing. The first Denver TOD Fund, administered by Enterprise Community Partners Inc., launched in 2010 with $13.5 million in lending capital and $1.5 million of committed equity from the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) as sole borrower.

"Enterprise is extremely proud to be able to announced the Denver Regional TOD Fund," says Brad Weinig, who led the expansion effort on behalf of Enterprise. "We cannot express enough gratitude to our investors and partners who have trusted us to lead this work and to ULC for proving that this model can work."

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

Visit Denver relocates visitor information center

Visit Denver's downtown visitor information center is relocating to 1575 California St.

The new center will feature videos, touch screens and computers -- along with expert staff -- to provide information on Denver's arts, dining, nightlife, events and Colorado excursions. On-demand printers in the center will reduce the amount of paper used, while increasing the amount of information given out.

"We see tremendous use of our information centers from international visitors because they are more conditioned to seek out our visitor centers and get personal help and directions," says Richard Scharf, president and chief executive of Visit Denver. "Studies have shown that visitors who stop at an information center usually stay longer in the city and spend more money, so information centers are an important part of Denver's $4 billion travel industry."

About 30 percent of the 100,000 annual visitors who use the downtown center are from other countries. Visit Denver prints visitor brochures in nine languages. Visit Denver also produces the comprehensive Official Visitors Guide to Denver & Colorado, which is filled with maps and touring suggestions. 

Denver is coming off its best year ever for conventions in 2014 and building on a record year in 2013 that saw 14 million overnight visitors.

"The new center is on the principle route that convention delegates take between the Colorado Convention Center and their hotels and is just off the city's no. 1 tourism attraction -- the 16th Street Mall -- so we get a lot of foot traffic from out-of-towners," Scharf says.

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

Alliance Center adopts energy monitoring system

The Alliance Center will begin using a building performance monitoring and scoring platform early this year in an effort to change energy consumption behavior, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

The LEED Dynamic Plaque empowers landlords, tenants and guests to view energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience on an ongoing basis through electronic display screens located in buildings.

In collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council, data from The Alliance Center will upload to an online system that generates an up-to-the-minute LEED performance score. The score will allow building users to see how their actions impact the surrounding environment.

"The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado is leading the charge to implement and teach others about best sustainability practices," says Anna Zawisza, executive director of The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, which owns and operates The Alliance Center. "The LEED Dynamic Plaque will give us timely data and our building occupants information to change behaviors surrounding resource usage."

Buildings in other areas of the country are seeing significant results using the LEED Dynamic Plaque. For example, after using the system for a year, the U.S. Green Building Council experienced a 30 percent decrease in energy consumption, resulting in a savings of about $40,000.

"We are hopeful that this technology will educate our tenants and guests about their energy usage, reduce our building's carbon footprint and save money," Zawisza says.

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

Kent Denver gets new gymnasium

Semple Brown Design has completed the new $2 million gymnasium at Kent Denver School.

The 16,500-square-foot Yates Pavilion is an addition to the former gym and includes a competition court with more seating, two full-sized practice cross courts, locker rooms, lobby space and concessions area. The project is expected to earn LEED Gold certification.

"Public school buildings are often built based on low cost, low bid, bonds and industrialized design with very little architectural interest," says Jerry Walker, Kent Denver's head of school. "At Kent Denver, however, we've discovered that we can have a beautiful, highly sustainable, LEED-rated design that's actually affordable. Our stunning new Yates Pavilion is incredibly functional, yet was built within a very tight budget."

Since 2004, Semple Brown has completed five projects on the Kent Denver campus: the Student Center for the Arts, the El Pomar Renovation, the new LEED Platinum dining hall, the Duncan Center and the Yates Pavilion. The firm now currently is designing a renovation to the head of school's house, projected to be completed by the end of the year. 

"It has been a privilege to contribute tot he continued success of Kent Denver over the last 10 years," says Bryan Schmidt, a principal at Semple Brown and project designer. "The Yates Pavilion is our fifth project on the 200-acre campus, so our understanding of the school's needs, dreams and broader vision has greatly expanded over the years."

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

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.