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Dandy Lion Coffee to open at Zeppelin Station

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

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

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

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

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


 

Affordable housing news: Proposals sought for Five Points condo project

A new mixed-income condo project is planned for Five Points. 

The Denver Office of Economic Development and the Regional Transportation District are seeking a development partner to build a transit-oriented, mixed-income condo project on an RTD-owned parcel at the northern corner of 29th and Welton streets. A request for qualifications (RFQ) will be issued beginning Aug. 15.

A portion of the condos will be priced to be affordable for income-qualified buyers earning 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), which is $47,000 for a one-person household or $67,100 for a four-person household. the development also may include commercial space such as retail on its ground floor. 

OED has entered into an option agreement with RTD for the purchase of the site, which it intends to assign to the selected development team. The .43-acre site is located within the Five Points Historic Cultural District and the Welton Corridor Urban Redevelopment Area. The site’s zoning allows for construction of a five-story, mixed-use building. 

A pre-bid meeting will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St. The deadline to submit RFQ entries is Oct. 17.

 

Sprouts to open in Stapleton, adding a needed grocery store to a growing neighborhood

Sprouts Farmer’s Market is taking root at Stapleton’s Central Park Station on the University of Colorado A Line that links Union Station to Denver International Airport.

The 30,000-square-foot store, being developed by D.H. Friedman Properties LLC, is projected to open in fall 2018 in the 3500 block of Central Park Boulevard, just one block from the train station. The Sprouts store will be located on the block immediately south of the transit-oriented development recently announced by Forest City Stapleton Inc., master developer of the Stapleton community.

“Sprouts will be a great addition to Forest City’s visionary plans for Central Park Station further solidifying its position as an exciting new alternative to downtown, both for urban-type residential and commercial opportunities,” says David Friedman of D.H. Friedman.

Friedman also is developing about 110 mixed-income condominiums and 12,000 square feet of additional retail space in the surrounding block, bordered on the north by 36th Avenue and on the west by Uinta Street. 

Denver City Councilman Chris Herndon called the Sprouts store one of the “key building blocks” that will lead to the successful development of one of Denver’s largest transit-oriented developments.

“When we think of TOD, we want it to include a mix of amenities folks want and need to access in their daily lives,” Herndon says. “The addition of Sprouts in this location is a benefit to people utilizing the A Line, as well as to neighborhood residents.”

Economic development in Denver strong in 2016

2016 was a good year for economic development in Denver.

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

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

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

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

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

RiNo Art District leases space at Zeppelin Station

The RiNo Art District will lease about 2,300 square feet of office and retail space at Zeppelin Station, the 25,000-square-foot ground-floor food and retail hall slated to open this fall at the 38th Street light-rail station in RiNo.

The new location will provide the art-centric organization with a more public face and a retail presence to support artists.

“The RiNo Art District’s primary responsibility is to ensure this neighborhood is a place that artists, creators and makers can work, live and thrive,” says Jamie Licko, president of the district. “As the neighborhood’s profile grows, so too does the cost of being here. If we are to serve the neighborhood, we must give artists the ecnomic platform to succeed. The retail store will serve as a ‘front of house’ for the RiNo offices, meaning this location will serve our organization and our neighborhood as a key entry point to exploring all of RiNo.”

Designed by architect Stephen Dynia, Zeppelin Station is characterized by its minimalist design that features a ground-floor food and retail hall and three floors of creative work spaces above, all taking advantage of views of downtown Denver and the Front Range. In addition to the RiNo Art District, the ground floor will feature six street food counters representing Vietnam, Japan and Mexico, as well as fashion and home goods retailers.

“At its core, Zeppelin Station is a place for diverse communities to engage with art and design,” says Kyle Zeppelin, principal at Zeppelin Development. “We jumped at the opportunity to showcase the RiNo Art District as a signature part of that program.”

Economic summit to address housing, food, entrepreneurship

Housing, food access, youth opportunities and entrepreneurship are among the issues that will be discussed at the inaugural Far Northeast Denver Economic Summit, a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at the Evie Garrett Dennis E-12 campus, 4800 Telluride St. 

The collaborative, grassroots event is a joint project of the City and County of Denver and a range of stake holders from Montbello and surrounding neighborhoods. A keynote speech on economic mobility will be presented by Dr. Jared Bernstein, a former chief ecnomist in the Obama Administration. The day also will include a community resource fair. 

“Our goal for the summit is to spur a bold conversation about economic opportunity, inviting the voices and perspectives of area residents and business owners, and also provide information on available services and tools,” says Amy Edinger, interim executive director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development.

The event will include three breakout sessions and a complimentary lunch. Spanish translation will be available on site. Sign language, CART services or other disability-related accommodations may be requested at oed.milehigh@denvergov.org or (720) 913-1999.

Commuters: Transit pass more valuable than parking space

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hotel Indigo opening near Union Station

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home2 Suites by Hilton opens at DIA

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

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

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

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

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

Zeppelin Station breaks ground

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners of Mayor's Design Awards announced

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

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

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

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

New affordable housing in Five Points available for rent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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