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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.”
 

Barre3 opens in Highlands Square

Barre3 has opened its fourth location in the Denver area at the corner of 32nd and Lowell in the Highlands Square neighborhood.

“We have been looking for the perfect spot to expand the barre3 brand for quite some time,” says Julie Gordon, owner of barre3 Highlands Square and barre3 Cherry Creek. “When the space in Highlands Square became available, we knew it was the perfect fit. We are so excited to bring our dynamic workout and welcoming exercise studio to such a vibrant community.

Located at 3241 N. Lowell Blvd., the studio was designed by Nizar Khoury of Zar Designs and is in keeping with the brand’s airy, modern aesthetic. The new studio has cork flooring for the barefoot workout and full-length mirrors behind the ballet bar. The Highlands Square location has lockers and two private showers stocked with natural products, clean towels and a full dry bar.
 

Johnson Nathan Strohe designs City Park Golf clubhouse

Johnson Nathan Strohe has designed a view-oriented clubhouse to anchor the City Park Golf Course, which is being rebuilt.

The design’s stone, wood and glass materials will help to integrate the clubhouse into the new golf course. Its curvilinear form will allow for public functions with a panoramic facade that will capture course, city and mountain views.

Slated for completion in the spring of 2019, the 22,560-square-foot project includes an upper level for golf operations and entertainment, as well as a sunken lower level for golf cart storage. In addition to serving as an amenity space for golfers, the clubhouse is suited for events such as weddings, family reunions and other social gatherings.

The clubhouse also includes space for The First Tee of Denver golf program, which aims to educate and inspire youth academically, socially and physically through the game of golf. Adjacent new buildings will accommodate maintenance operations and a comfort station.

The project is part of a broader golf course redesign that will increase course yardage, create a driving range without netting, provide new sidewalks to improve connectivity and integrate storm water detention.

Johnson Nathan Strohe has previously designed public golf clubhouses for Indian Tree Golf Club, Riverdale Golf Club and The Greg Mastriona Golf Courses at Hyland Hills.

Punch Bowl Social is on Fast Company Innovative Companies list

Punch Bowl Social has landed on Fast Company’s 2018 edition of World’s Most Innovative Companies for “modernizing the gaming center with scratch cooking and a late-night club vibe.”

Founded by entrepreneur Robert Thompson, Punch Bowl Social has forged an entirely new “eatertainment” category, pairing social gaming with a primary focus on culinary and craft beverage operations.

The millennial-focused brand disrupts the traditional restaurant dining experience and raises the bar for the industry with its high-integrity culinary program and diner-inspired menu created by the company’s culinary partner, James Beard Award-winning chef and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson. Craft beverages, including the establishment’s signature punch program, and social activities like shuffleboard, Ping Pong, marbles bowling, and skee ball, create an interactive experiences for guests in a unique environment.

“We are honored and humbled to be selected by Fast Company as one of this year’s most innovative companies,” Thompson says. “To be recognized among the likes of Amazon and Apple is extraordinary. Our vision has always been to create a lifestyle brand, to innovate and evolve in our industry by creating a guest experience that’s communal, experiential and social.”

Punch Bowl Social currently has 11 locations across the country and plans to open six new locations this year, including Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego and the Washington, D.C., metro area.
 

Denver Tennis Park under construction

Construction has started on Denver Tennis Park at 1560 S. Franklin St. adjacent to Denver Public Schools All City Stadium complex.

The project, being built by PCL Construction, is the first publicly accessible youth-centered indoor/outdoor tennis facility in the Denver region. It will feature seven indoor courts and six outdoor courts. The project is expected to be completed in October.

The Denver Tennis Park is a new non-profit organization with a mission to foster whole child development for youth of all ages and abilities. The initiative is a collaboration of the Denver Tennis Park, the University of Denver and Denver Public Schools. The project has been funded philanthropically, and DPS has provided funds for a portion of the drainage work at the site. Fundraising efforts are under way as part of a capital campaign.

“This will be a tremendous addition to the Denver tennis community, as well as to student athletes for the Denver Public Schools and Denver University,” says Kerri Block, PCL’s project manager for the Denver Tennis Park. “PCL is looking forward to delivering an outstanding tennis complex to the people supporting this effort and everyone who plays — or wants to learn to play — a great lifelong sport.”

The project also includes regrading part of the surrounding athletic fields to divert storm runoff to a new 48,000 cubic foot underground retention system. The 279-space parking lot also will be preserved to serve sporting events, as well as the tennis park.

Improvements to JCC completed

After spending a year under construction, improvements to the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center are complete.

“We have been working hard over the last 12 months to update our main campus and some of our other facilities, including Ranch Camp and the Tennis Center, in a variety of areas that needed some attention,” says Lara Knuettel, CEO of the JCC Denver. “We are appreciative of our members and the community who has been patient with us as we made these much-needed updates. These renovations help ensure that our buildings are safe for the community and provide a better experience for members and their guests.”

The updates include:
  • Creating a new Early Childhood Center wing with five new classrooms and updating the existing wing with new paint, fixtures and lighting, as well as new landscaping on an existing playground.
  • Remodeling several areas of the Fitness & Wellness Center, including renovating the men’s and women’s locker rooms, creating a new childcare drop-off center with access to an outdoor space, adding massage rooms, purchasing new cardio equipment, creating a new group cycling room and updating the HVAC system and ventilation.
  • Opening up the lobby, including removing pillars, adding sliding doors to the entrance, enhancing security, adding energy-efficient lighting and new artwork.
  • Redoing the parking lots to add more parking spaces while making them larger.
  • Updating the exterior of the building including painting and adding new signage and landscaping.
  • Adding new artwork, paint and carpet in different areas of the building.
  • Adding new back drops, ceiling and LED lighting at the Tennis Center.
  • Updating the JCC”s Ranch Camp in Elbert by adding to new turf activity fields, updating the dining hall and adding new landscaping.

Ubergrippen climbing gym opens in northeast Denver

The Ubergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag has opened at 8610 E. 21st. Ave.

The 20,733-square-foot building, designed by OLC Architecture, features 16,000 square feet of indoor climbing surfaces and 40-foot-tall climbing walls designed at build by Vertical Solutions. There’s also a 3,000-square-foot fitness area with cardiovascular and strength-training equipment. 

Ubergrippen was created by 10-year Stapleton residents Jake and Kim Crine, who quit their full-time jobs to take on the venture.

The pre-engineered metal building was provided by Varco Pruden Buildings and installed by Lefever Building Systems. The project also includes the development of 73 parking spaces, bicycle and skateboarding racks and an outdoor bouldering rock. 

Built by White Construction Group, the building is designed as a place for the surrounding community to gather for youth programs, exercise and yoga classes, and a retail space. 

Ubergrippen offers daily and monthly memberships.

JCC renamed Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center

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

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

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

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

DAC starts $3 million improvement project

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edgy arcade opens at Pavilions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uniqlo opens on 16th Street Mall

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public invited to Denveright workshops to establish vision for city

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

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

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

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

Barre Forte to open in Central Platte Valley

Barre Forte is bringing its dance-inspired workout to Denver's Central Platte Valley this summer.

Since launching its original Denver studio in 2012, Barre Forte has opened two additional Colorado locations and expanded into Florida through a unique licensing model. Barre Forte's licensing model offers a more flexible and affordable option for studio owners than traditional franchising. Under the licensing agreement, owners receive significant branding, advertising and merchandising support from the Barre Forte team while retaining the ability to personalize the studio and class programming.

Fitness enthusiasts and certified barre instructors Sarah Brittenham and Amy O'Connell will own and operate the new studio at 1553 Platte St., bringing nearly 25 years of combined professional experience to their new business venture, which is the first licensed location in Colorado. 

"Fitness has always been a passion of ours, and after discovering Barre Forte's workouts and seeing the results in our own bodies, we instantly knew we had to open a studio so others could try it," O'Connell says. "Barre workouts are always challenging, but the Barre Forte classes and teachers take barre fitness to a whole other level."

In 60 minutes, Barre Forte's workouts can burn between 400 and 600 calories using a combination of interval training, strength training and isometric holds that exhaust the muscles. Each section of the workout is followed by stretching to result in a long, lean and sculpted physique. the workout is low impact and designed to benefit people of all fitness levels. 

"We feel like not enough fitness enthusiasts are aware of barre fitness and how it can transform your body," Brittenham says. "We want to introduce the workout to everyone from first-time gym-goers to athletes looking to become stronger and leaner using a method they haven't tried before."

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

Hyatt Regency Denver offers bike tour package

The Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center has launched a new Urban Explorer Bike Tour Package that guides travelers not only through Denver's most renowned and interesting sites, but also little-known and interesting insights along the way. 

Designed in conjunction with the Denver B-Cycle program, which has a station just across the street from the hotel, the bike tour package includes a B-Cycle day pass for two to go on a Denver journey. Guests are provided a map with options to take a route west of the hotel (15 sites) or east of the hotel (11 sites), all perfectly outlined and orchestrated. 

"Our guests tell us time and time again that when they visit a city, they are looking for more than the obvious," says Greg Leonard, Hyatt's general manager and an avid cyclist. "They want to delve into the destination and understand it better. This innovative bike tour package is packed with fun and humor, some of it frightful and all of it unique, promising to transport its participants to a different time, right at the very location where it all took place."

One example of a little-known locale included on the tour is the Cheeseburger Monument, the site of Louis Ballast's Humpty Dumpty where he invented the first-ever popular sandwich in 1935. Though he trademarked the term "cheeseburger," Ballast never sued anyone for using it. 

Guests can venture on to discover the most haunted buildings and the scary stories behind them and the historic places where the Old West unfolded.

The Urban Explorer Bike Tour Package starts at $185 a night and is subject to availability. Enter or ask for offer code: BIKE. To make a reservation, visit the offers page of denverregency.hyatt.com.

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

RNL launches employee bike-sharing program

International architecture, design and planning firm RNL has launched a bike-share program for employees at its Denver office. The company's intent is to promote a culture of wellness and healthy mobility choices.

"It's easy to see how riding a bike boosts health and wellness and can reduce community health costs," says Rob Ollett, project architect at RNL, who is spearheading the initiative. "With Denver's accelerated rate of growth, biking as a mode of transportation will also enable better connections to our community and reduce traffic and pollution. As a team, we are practicing what we preach; we take our responsibility as architects, designers and planners seriously, and we're committed to building a world with a brighter, greener future."

The program includes five branded bikes and helmets, which are stored in the main entry lobby to provide employees quick and convenient access outside to commute to and from work, to and from meetings, as well as for quick errands or rides around town for exercise.

"As a Certified B Corporation, RNL is committed to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance and improving the quality of life in our communities through our business," says Rachel Bannon-Godfrey, RNL's director of sustainability. "The bike share program is one more example of our commitment to sustainability and the wellness of our employees in action."

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