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21 new buildings join Doors Open Denver this year

People who are curious about what’s behind closed doors at some of Denver’s best buildings won’t want to miss Doors Open Denver, an annual event showcasing the history of the city’s built environment.

Taking place Sept. 22-23, Doors Open Denver highlights more than 60 of Denver’s unique spaces and offers more than 58 Insider Tours.

Headquartered at Denver Union Station, with neighborhood anchor sites at The Rossonian in Five Points and The Kirk of Highland in the Highlands, the event will feature high-profile, historic and artistic feats of architecture and design.

Twenty-one buildings that have never been part of Doors Open Denver join the list of sites this year, including MSU’s Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Buidling, Sanctuary Downtown, North Highland Presbyterian Church, The Savoy and NINE dot ARTS. The sites are part of the list of more than 60 buildings that are free to explore.

“While Doors Open Denver always encourages walkability, the 2018 event is pedestrian focused, encouraging attendees to walk within neighborhoods featuring a high concentration of sites, including Five Points and the Highlands,” says Pauline Herrera Serianni, executive director of the Denver Architecture Foundation, which is presenting the event. “We invite the community and visitors to explore these and other neighborhoods from the inside out through our free open sites, arts and culture activities and ticketed Insider Tours.”

The Insider Tours provide engaging opportunities to view areas of Denver buildings and locales not frequently open to the public. Architects, landscape architects, historians and urban enthusiasts lead the Insider Tours. Nineteen of the 58 Insider Tours are new to Doors Open Denver this year. Tickets for Insider Tours will go on sale for $10 each for Denver Architecture Foundation members on Aug. 24 and for the public on Sept. 7.

More info at denverarchitecture.org.

With the support of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Doors Open Denver will present seven arts and culture experiences at unique architectural locations in the Five Points neighborhood.
 

17 of 28 cranes in Denver are for residential projects

Residential projects account for 17 of the 28 cranes dotting Denver’s skyline, according to Crane’s latest Quarterly Cost Report from Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB).

That’s a minor decline from the 29 cranes in the report’s previous count. Nationally, the number of tower cranes increased 10 percent, confirming the hot pace of urban building. Residential and mixed-use lead the activity.

“The increase in the net crane count indicates that the construction industry is prospering, despite a tight labor market and materials tariffs,” said Julian Anderson, president of RLB North America. “Our outlook for the industry through the end of the year remains positive.”

In Denver, Market Station, a $200 million complex of retail, residential and workplace buildings, is on track to revitalize the Lower Downtown neighborhood, according to RLB. The company predicts that construction in the downtown area is likely to grow as surface parking is replaced by mixed-use buildings designed to heighten the presence of retail and dining businesses in response to the increasing residential population.

NAVA to develop condos in Uptown neighborhood

NAVA Real Estate Development has unveiled plans for a new condominium development in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood.

The 12-story building at 575 East 20th Ave. will have 249 units. NAVA purchased the 1.06-acre site for $7.1M from the Denver Housing Authority.

“Our building will provide excellent access to downtown, the light rail, employment and entertainment, as well as the many wonderful restaurants in the neighborhood,” NAVA co-founder and President Brian Levitt said. “It is also being designed to achieve WELL Building Certification through the International WELL Building Institute. We are designing the community to be one of America’s healthiest residential projects.”

The building, designed by Davis Partnership Architects, will offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. Davis is focused on producing welcoming spaces that evoke a natural Colorado setting. Parking will be available for every residence. Sales are tentatively scheduled to begin in spring 2020.

The project is NAVA’s second residential development in Denver. The firm is currently developing Lakehouse, a 196-unit mixed-use community on the south shore of Sloan’s Lake. Like the Uptown site, Lakehouse is being designed to pilot and pursue WELL Building Certification. The international standard is the first to integrate health and wellness into the design, construction and operations of buildings to optimize the health of their residents and guests. Wellness features include the maximization of natural light, improved air quality, organic gardens and an array of fitness amenities to encourage residents to stay fit and engage with one another.

“We were drawn to the site as it offers true neighborhood living in an urban setting with great walkability,” NAVA co-founder Trevor Hines said. “There is a real lack of high-rise ownership opportunities in the neighborhood, and we hope to fill that gap by offering new condominiums with iconic architecture, high-quality finishes and a focus on health and wellness, woven into the design at every level.”




 

Affordable senior housing set for City Park West

The former nurses’ dormitory on the St. Joseph Hospital campus in Denver’s City Park West neighborhood is being converted into affordable independent senior housing.

The Neenan Co. has started work on renovating the historic Tammen Hall into 49 rental apartments for income-qualified seniors 62 years or older.

St. Joseph sold the building to MGL Partners/Solvera Advisors in 2017, with its parent organization SCL Health providing substantial investment to finance the redevelopment.

“The mission of SCL Health and St. Joseph Hospital is to improve the health of the people and communities we serve, especially those who are poor and vulnerable,” said St. Joseph Hospital President Jamie Smith. “We are so pleased to be a partner in this redevelopment effort that aligns with our mission and contributes toward finding a solution for the significant need for affordable housing in our community for seniors.”

Located at 1010 E. 19th Ave., the eight-story, 51,000-square-foot facility will feature common areas on the first floor and one- and two-bedroom apartments on the second through seventh levels. The top floor will include a common area and rooftop patio. The project is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

Originally built in 1930 as a nurse dormitory for Children’s Hospital Colorado, Tammen Hall was named after Harry Tammen, the first publisher of The Denver Post. The building later was converted into office space for Children’s Hospital Colorado until the hospital moved to the Anschutz Medical Campus in September 2007. Because it’s designated as a local historic landmark, the exterior and internal renovations must comply with National Park Service standards. Among the spaces to be preserved are a theater and a community room that will be available for neighborhood meetings and events, along with the historic entry and foyer.

Children’s Hospital Colorado has been overseeing the restoration of murals created by the historic Colorado muralist Allen Tupper True. The murals are original to Tammen Hall and will be returned to the building upon the project’s completion.

“We’re thrilled to support such a meaningful project among Denver’s thriving development scene, said David Shigekane, president of The Neenan Co. “Not only are we helping to preserve an important piece of Denver’s heritage, but the project will surely play a significant role in Denver’s future.”
 

CU Denver seeking development partner

The University of Colorado Denver is searching for a development partner to implement its Facilities Master Plan that was adopted in November.

CU Denver has hired JLL to consult on how to leverage existing real estate assets and realize master plan priorities, including building a new first-year residence hall and dining facility to meet the needs of its growing student body.

“As Colorado’s only public urban research university, CU Denver is committed to its home in the heart of this vibrant city,” CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell says. “We’ve hired JLL to help us determine how we can maximize our real estate assets to the benefit of our students now, while ensuring our land is preserved for the needs of our university in the future.”

JLL will be soliciting a private-sector partner for a development, operation and management opportunity at Walnut and Fourth streets near the intersection of Colfax Avenue and Auraria Parkway that includes the existing 700-bed Campus Village Apartments and an adjacent undeveloped parcel.

“The site offers an existing revenue stream from the ind-demand Campus Village Apartments, says Bob Hung, managing director with JLL’s Higher Education Group. “It’s located next to the Auraria Campus with nearly 50,000 students, as well as two light-rail stops — one of which provides direct access to Mile High Stadium. It’s an attractive development opportunity for a partner to activate under-utilized land with mixed-use development, enabling CU Denver to direct its focus and funding to its critical facility needs.”

The selected partner will also work with CU Denver to develop a first-year housing and dining facility on the Auraria Campus. The new facility will bring first-year students into the heart of CU Denver’s campus neighborhood and strengthen the university’s connection to downtown Denver.

An RFQ and RFP process will begin in August. A development partner is expected to be selected by March of next year.

Nominations sought for Mayor's Design Awards

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the city’s Community Planning and Development Department are seeking nominations for the 2018 Mayor’s Design Awards.

Since 2005, the Mayor’s Design Awards have honored projects throughout the city for excellence in architecture, exterior design and place making. The awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits and artists for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Many different types of projects are eligible. Previous award winners range from restaurants and galleries to private single-family homes to plazas and other shared public spaces. What each of the projects have in common is the imaginative and innovative way they enhance public spaces and create a sense of community.

“Every year, these awards are an opportunity to celebrate what’s special abou tthe character and community of our city,” Hancock said. “I look forward to seeing nominated projects from every corner of Denver.”

Nominations are due Sept. 7. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in late fall.

Craft brewery to open at STEAM on the Platte

The team of Urban Ventures and White Construction Group has landed a Latino-owned craft brewery to occupy a 6,062-square-foot former gas station at STEAM on the Platte, a mixed-use development on the South Platte River near Mile High Stadium.

Raíces Brewing Co. will also have 3,500 square of patio space on the South Platte River and an additional patio to the north of the existing structure that will have views of the Denver skyline.

The brewery is being designed by Rob Forsland. White Construction, Urban Ventures’ partner in STEAM on the Platte, will perform the core and shell work on the bowstring building, and Built Construction will complete the interior. The brewery is expected to open next spring.

A native of Costa Rica, José Beteta, Raíces chief executive, said he got the idea to start a brewery when he noticed minorities are not well-represented in the craft beer industry. His research found that Latinos account for 14 percent of beer consumed in the United States, but they owned less than 0.5 percent of the 6,372 U.S. breweries operating in 2017. Latino spending on beer amounts to $11 billion of the $26 billion market. And of that, 80 percent comes from imported beers like Corona, Pacifico and Tecate.

“A very small sliver of that is craft beer,” said Beteta. “There’s a huge opportunity here.”

And while Colorado has nearly 350 craft breweries, it’s rare to find Latinos in any of them, Beteta said. The key to getting Latinos into a craft brewery, Beteta said, is creating a culture and environment that’s comfortable and makes them feel included and welcome.

“They want to try craft beers, but they don’t have the correct environment,” he said. “You don’t see a lot of diversity in craft breweries.”

Raíces, which means roots, will take a three-pronged approach to the business to create that environment. The concept starts with high-quality beer and authentic Latin American and Caribbean food. There also will be a cultural component, which will include artwork, music, performances and events.

“We will be showcasing the Latino culture — not just for Latinos but for everyone,” Beteta said.

Award-winning brewer Martín Vargas, who was raised in Puerto Rico, will manage the brewery operations, production staff, quality control and product development at Raíces. In her role as vice president of development, Puerto Rico native Tamil Maldonado-Vega will handle front-of-house operations and programming.

“We will celebrate all the traditions of Latin America and the Caribbean in this space,” Maldonado-Vega said. “It’s very important for us to be authentic with what we do.”

Raíces location at STEAM on the Platte is just down the street another project that will celebrate Latino culture and heritage. Urban Ventures President Susan Powers is working with Adrianna Abarca to convert four buildings on Lower Colfax into the Latino Cultural Arts Center, which will include museum space displaying Latin American art, street-level retail, a cafe, full-service restaurant, a library, event space and a small auditorium.

“We were looking for the right operator to put in this building, and Raíces is the perfect fit,” Powers said. “With Raíces, the Latino Cultural Center and Meow Wolf all locating within a few blocks of one another, Sun Valley is shaping up to be a cultural hub.”

Urban Ventures and White Construction Group acquired the property in 2014. The site, originally settled by Russian-Jewish immigrants in the 1880s, once had 25 homes and several businesses on it. It housed the Johnson and Bremer Soap Factory and a rag-baling facility. When Urban Ventures and White Construction purchased the property, there were two illegal marijuana grows operating, and the Evil Souls motorcycle gang had taken over one of the buildings as its clubhouse.
 

Luckyleo dances into STEAM on the Platte

Custom ballerina garment company Luckyleo Dancewear is the latest company to sign a lease at STEAM on the Platte, a former warehouse that Urban Ventures and White Construction Group converted into office space in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood.

Luckyleo will occupy 3,253 square feet of space on the first level of STEAM, which is a short walk to two light-rail stations at Decatur-Federal and West Auraria and has easy access to Interstate 25 and Interstate 70.

“STEAM’s central location is a huge benefit for us, allowing us to reach fantastic employees within the radius of downtown and grow our business with the central Denver community in mind,” said Heather Walker, one of the company’s co-founders. “The Platte access and bike routes are ideal for us. We are so thankful to have found our company’s new home at STEAM in this period of growth.

Luckyleo joins rideshare company Lyft, technology consulting company NIMBL and Ohlson Lavoie Collborative + Davis Wince, LTD. Architecture as tenants at STEAM on the Platte. Girls Inc. of Metro Denver operates the Bold Beans coffee shop.

“Luckyleo is the perfect fit for our mix of entrepreneurial tenants,” Urban Ventures President Susan Powers said. “We’re delighted that the owners will be able to take their company to the next level at STEAM on the Platte.”

Walker, her sister Chelsea Early, both former professional ballerinas, and their mother, Karen Saari, founded the company in 2014 on the belief that each dancer is unique and deserves dance wear that is as distinct as they are. Every garment is entirely handmade in-house, a rarity in the industry. All of their prints and products are designed by Walker and Early and are exclusive to the Luckyleo brand.

The company, which has six employees, ships their handmade garments to individual buyers in more than 40 countries via its online platform. With their move to STEAM, they are anticipating expanding their wholesale business, which has garnered interest from the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets. The move to STEAM will enable Luckyleo to accommodate the expansion into Asia and double its number of employees.


“The move to STEAM has been a huge boon in projecting our company’s professional image,” Saari said. “What a perfect place for a growing, thriving business to build an enterprise in central Denver. By surrounding our continued growth with like-minded tenants who work alongside each other with mutual respect and a positive approach to business, STEAM is a daily shot in the arm for our entire company.”

Urban Ventures and White Construction Group acquired the property in 2014. The site, originally settled by Russian-Jewish immigrants in the 1880s, once had 25 homes and several businesses on it. It housed the Johnson and Bremer Soap Factory and a rag-baling facility. When Urban Ventures and White Construction purchased the property, there were two illegal marijuana grows operating, and the Evil Souls motorcycle gang had taken over one of the buildings as its clubhouse.

“We’re excited to be joining the community at STEAM,” Early said. “The history and dynamic of such an amazing space fits our business perfectly and provides a happy and energetic atmosphere where our growing design company can flourish.”
 

Denver condo market finally heating up; 40-unit project to break ground in LoHi

Bristlecone Construction will break ground May 30 on The Edge, a 40-unit condominium building at 1735 Central St. in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood.

The building, which will be constructed of steel and concrete, will have a dog spa, storage units, bike storage and repair room, a lobby lounge with a fireplace and coffee bar and two levels of secured parking with dedicated parking spaces.

"We're seeing what happens when you introduce a terrific new development in one of the best neighborhoods in the city and then allow people to select their home and lock in their price for as little as 5 percent down," says Stan Kniss, managing broker of  Slate Real Estate Advisors, which is listing the condos. "In just a few short weeks, we're already roughly 30 percent sold out."

The steel and concrete construction allows for higher 9-foot ceilings and 8-foot doors. It also provides superior sound protection compared with a wood-frame building. The concrete regulates heating and cooling for greater energy efficiency and prevents mold and termite issues, meaning fewer chemicals are needed in construction.

The living rooms in the units, which range in price from the low $400,000s to $1.75 million, have wide-plank oak flooring; built-in gas fireplaces; and unobstructed views of the Denver skyline through 8-foot acoustically engineered windows. Kitchens have Bosch stainless steel appliance packages that include French door refrigerators, freezers, gas ranges, dishwashers and built-in microwaves; solid quartz countertops; porcelain backsplashes; and solid-core shaker-style cabinets. The bathrooms have frameless glass shower enclosures; quartz vanity countertops; and large-format porcelain tile floors.

All units have private outdoor balconies or patios. 

 

Renovated Renaissance unveiled at Stapleton

The Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel unveiled the $15 million renovation last week at the Grand Re-Imagined Event.

The project included all 400 guest rooms; 40,000 square feet of meeting spaces, including the ballroom; lobby and public spaces; and a new restaurant concept called Fifty300, featuring American regional cuisine with an Italian influence.

“After much anticipation, we are thrilled to reveal the hotel’s reimagined look to both Denver and visiting guests,” says Brian Lenfestey, the hotel’s area general manager. “Offering the same high-quality service that Renaissance is known for, this renovation elevates the guest experience and gives us an edge in an ever-evolving city.”

Built in 1986 adjacent to Stapleton Airport, the Renaissance Stapleton Hotel began its life as a Stouffer Hotel intended to serve travelers to and from Denver. In 1993, the hotel was rebranded as a Renaissance, and in 1995, Denver retired the Stapleton Airport and unveiled Denver International Airport 20 miles to the northeast. In 1997, Marriott purchased the Renaissance brand.

With the renovation overseen by SANDdesign, Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel has been updated with a classic and subdued color scheme dominated by blue-gray tones and accented with mild earth tones and pops of orange. A sleek, modern design with strong geometric shapes compliments the architecture features of the hotels’ exterior.

The guest rooms were simplified and modernized with a white, silver and brown color scheme and now boast plush new beds and comforters, 50-inch Smart TVs mounted on a cushioned silver panel, silver geometric lamps and gray geometric carpet.

The meeting spaces have been revamped with new lighting fixtures, wall coverings, grayscale geometric carpet and top-of-the-line AV/TVs.

The menu at Fifty300 restaurant, which has a rustic feel reminiscent of a high-end ski resort cafe complete with pseudo ski-lift booths, is designed by Executive Chef Charles Fulton features items such as Duck Confit Egg Roll, Tuna Poke, Sesame Tuna Nicoise and Colorado Rack of Lamb.
 

Hilltop to get new senior living community

Focus Property Group and Ascent Living Communities are teaming up to bring a senior living community to Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood.

The project, which is yet to be named, will offer urban-style living on a 4.4-acre site at the corner of Hilly Street and Leetsdale Drive.

The property will have more than 200 apartments on three levels plus an underground garage. The apartments will be a mix of independent living apartments, assisted living suites and memory-care suites. The three floors of residences will be organized around three internal courtyards, and the building will be positioned along Leetsdale Drive. The courtyards will create a variety of activity choices and experiences, each with a unique set of amenities. A two-level courtyard will provide opportunities for strolls among rock formations and water features; and a more formally manicured courtyard will be equipped with lawn games and an amphitheater.

Residents also will have access to multiple recreational facilities, including a fitness and yoga center and a full aquatics center housing a lap pool, therapy pool, spa and a reverse-current resistance walking pool. Varied restaurant options also will be available, with a bistro offering chef-driven cuisine and al fresco dining with scenic views.

“It was important that this new community reflect the urban amenities and refined architecture that are characteristic of Hilltop,” says Josh Fine, executive vice president of Focus Property Group. “I live a few blocks away and our family has deep roots in the neighborhood, so we want this project to reflect all that is great about living in the area.”

Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019, with initial move-ins planned for summer 2020. Hord Coplan Macht is designing the project.

Downtown Denver award winners announced

The Downtown Denver Partnership recently announced the 57th Annual Downtown Denver Awards winners recognizing transformative projects in downtown Denver that contribute to an economically health, growing and vital center city.

The honorees, selected by a jury of key business leaders convened by the Downtown Denver Partnership, are businesses, projects and initiatives that have had the most significant economic impact on the center city in 2017. The winners were showcased at an event April 17 attended by nearly 1,000 business and civic leaders with videos produced by Comcast and Westworks Studios.

The award winners were:
  • Ashley Union Station
  • Confluence Park-Shoemaker Plaza Reconstruction
  • Le Meridien and AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown
  • The Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Initiative at Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Rocky Mountain Seed Buildings
  • Union Station Block A
“Tonight’s 57th annual Downtown Denver Awards dinner is about the brave, bold risk-takers who have shaped our city,” Downtown Denver Partnership President and Chief Executive Tami Door said during the dinner. “Thank you to the winners, the business community and all who help make this city stronger.”

In addition to recognizing the winners, the partnership also honored The Brown Palace for 125 years of service and hospitality and the Community College of Denver for 50 years of service to education.
 

More Laurel Cherry Creek condos released for sale

Kentwood Real Estate has released another phase of condominiums for sale at Laurel Cherry Creek.

The newly released collection of high-rise condos includes one of each floor plan and an 11th floor penthouse. Previews are available by appointment with Kentwood listing broker Dawn Raymond. Interested buyers can visit the sales gallery to view the finish packages, the 3D interactive model with views for each residence and interior, exterior and amenity renderings.

“Because our first phase of sales outpaced construction, the development and sales team have waited until now to come back to market, when we can present the final finishes and floor plans,” says Raymond, who specializes in luxury properties in and around Cherry Creek. “Interest has been high for Laurel Cherry Creek, and we look forward to welcoming potential buyers.”

Located at 215 St. Paul St., features for Laurel Cherry Creek include:
  • Private balcony or terrace with glass railings
  • Pella multi-panel sliding glass doors or folding glass NanaWall
  • Custom-designed, stained 8-foot walnut entry doors
  • 8-foot solid-core contemporary interior doors
  • Linear gas fireplaces
  • Up to 10-foot-8-inch ceiling heights throughout living areas
  • Looped-wool carpet in all bedrooms
  • Porcelain tile flooring in all bathrooms and laundry
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting
  • Natural gas BBQ service and hose bibs on balconies
  • Prewired with fiber-optic technology
“We have designed Laurel Cherry Creek to be the preeminent residential address in Cherry Creek,” says Paul Powers, president of Pauls Corp., which is developing the project. “Owners will enjoy upscale, maintenance-free living in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the United States.”

New Highland townhouses will have views of Denver skyline

Sagebrush Cos. has started construction of 29ZEN, a luxury townhome development at West 29th and Zenobia streets in Denver’s Highland neighborhood.

Designed by Sanzpont Architecture and S-Arch, 29ZEN will have 14 residences with prices starting at $649,999. There will be a mix of two- and three-bedroom units with an average size of 2,000 square feet. Some of the town homes will have rooftop decks with views of the Denver skyline and walkout basements. The general contractor is K2, and MileHi Modern is the listing brokerage.

“We have had the pleasure of delivering quality residential developments to people living and working in Denver’s urban core, and 29ZEN will be another development that meets our company’s very high standards,” says Robert “Jake” Jacobsen, founder and chief executive of Sagebrush. “We take a great deal of pride in identifying unique real estate opportunities that will bring success to our partners and, most importantly, the communities we intend to serve with our projects. 20ZEN will accomplish all those things.”
 

CU Denver team takes second in HUD competition

A student team from the University of Colorado-Denver College of Architecture and Planning took second place in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Affordable Housing competition.

The goal of the national competition was to advance the design and production of livable and sustainable housing for low- and moderate-income people through research and innovation. The competition asks teams to address social, economic and environmental issues in their response to a specific housing problem developed by an actual public housing agency.

The CU team, which included Stacy Ester, Joel Miller, Adam Buehler, Nora Bland and William Dolenshek, won a $10,000 prize.

The team’s project, entitled “Allied Living,” was designed to be a community grounded in safe, inclusive and connected spaces. Five guiding principles — identity, connectivity, accessibility, wellness and experience — informed the team’s design. The walkability and accessibility of the site connects larger community hubs through smaller social nodes, intentionally using everyday places to encourage interaction and place making. Sunlit spaces, community gardens and ease of access to nature support the overall wellness of the community’s residents.

Allied Living was envisioned to be a home where residents can express their own identities, branch out to experience new things and connect with empowering community partners as well as each other. Achieving the vision required proposing an inclusionary zoning provision to the existing zoning and balancing the project’s hard and soft costs with anticipated sources of funding and income.
335 Architecture Articles | Page: | Show All
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