We’ve always known Denver was an incredible place to live, and sometime in the last few years, the rest of the country seemed to figure it out too. Population has increased by over 10% since 2010, in a report from Denver Urbanism.
As Denver’s population and popularity grow, so must the city.
The last few years have been filled with exciting developments, as a great city becomes even greater. With numerous projects in the works right now, here is an update on the ever-developing Denver.
Lightrail Introduces New Lines
“FasTracks is RTD’s voter-approved transit expansion program — the largest in the nation — transforming transportation through the Denver metro area,” reads the RTD website.
Union Station to Denver International Airport is set to open in late April. January promises the Flatiron Flyer Bus Rapid Transit to Boulder, and summer is expected to extend the Lightrail to Westminster and then to Wheat Ridge in the fall. The Lightrail expansion will continue through next winter, on I-225 from Nine Mile Station to I-70. By 2016 the Lightrail’s mileage will have more than tripled.
New Apartment Projects: One Belleview Station, The Den
One Belleview Station is a 330,000 square-foot office building slated to be finished by fall 2016. The office is part of Belleview Station, “a 42-acre, master planned, mixed-use, TOD campus…strategically located with direct access to the Belleview Station light rail platform.” With over 2.2 million square feet of office space, 2,000 apartments and condo units, 250,000 square feet of retail, and more, Belleview Station is intended to create a space where employees live, work, and play.
The Den is a 325 unit apartment project, anticipated to be open by summer 2016.
New Outdoor Music Venue
We all know Red Rocks can’t be beat, but Ruby Hill Park is looking forward to adding more outdoor music venues to the vibrant Denver music scene. It also aims to be a companion park to the popular Wash Park.
“We were walking around Washington Park one day, talking to people about the city’s plans for Ruby Hill Park,” said Kent Sondgerath, Senior Landscape Architect and Project Manager for the Denver Parks and Recreation Department. “Probably about 85 percent of the people we talked to had never heard of Ruby Hill, and it’s only a couple of miles away from Wash Park.”
The park began with new picnic tables, playground equipment, and a new pavilion, but the project’s glorious finale is an urban mountain bike course and 7,500 seat amphitheater.
The big unveiling is scheduled for July 1, 2017. It will be launched with five free concerts in the summer and fall. The Levitt Pavilion Denver Executive Director, Chris Zacher, says they plan to bring in acts to raise some money for the park as well.
The Source Gets a Hotel
If you haven’t been to The Source, you’re missing out. This beautiful, open space houses numerous vendors, from coffee and beer to a butcher shop and Mexican cuisine. It has been under renovations for a bit, working towards the addition of a hotel.
The hotel has “unconventional rooms,” and will also house a yoga/exercise studio, pool, and the tasting room from a ground-floor New Belgium pilot brewery, The Woods.
“It’s going to be a pretty lively space,” says architect Stephen Dynia.
More than just a hotel, it will also house retail space for The Source, with the addition of new places to dine and even a tattoo parlor and men’s clothing store.
Living Above Whole Foods
Formerly known as 17W, Pivot Denver is a 579-unit apartment complex joining the LoDo area in spring of 2017. It is part of a new trend in Denver, featuring a mixed-use building with apartment complexes above the ground-level Whole Foods.
The project is bigger than Pivot, and by its full completion in 2018 will have three towers, all looking out over a spectacular city view with Union Station as the backdrop.
“What’s really going to set us apart is our amenity package,” says senior development director, Peter Petricca.
He describes three quarter-acres of outdoor space featuring a pool, deck, firepits, and deck. An indoor common space provides 20,000 square feet of common space with a demo kitchen, meeting rooms, and more.
“It’s going to be second to none in the market,” he says.
New Collective Workspace
Collaboration is key in business, but it can be hard for people who freelance or work off-site. Shift Workspaces opened in 2012, a huge success. Creating space for collaboration and an inspiriting work environment, a new location is coming in May 2016 – Shift Bannock.
The new collaborative workspace actually has a little bit of everything – a gym with classes, coffee and beer, a kitchen, and mailboxes, not to mention the typical meeting rooms, internet, and events center.
SLOANS, New Urban Neighborhood
Previously the site of St. Anthony’s Hospital in West Colfax, the area is being redeveloped into SLOANS.
“SLOANS is a mainly residential, mixed-use development bringing new neighborhood serving retail to Denver’s West Colfax and South Sloan’s Lake neighborhoods,” the website explains.
Retail and residential will fill the mixed-use space, a trend growing in popularity, especially in Denver. Among the retail additions are a second location of the popular Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, as well as Highland Tap and Burger. Little Man Ice Cream is joining the party, bringing the new production and tasting room to West Colfax and SLOANS.
Fostering Student Community at Auraria Campus
The Auraria campus in downtown Denver is home to three universities. It is almost entirly a commuter school, often making community hard to find. The universities opted to charge each student an additional $5 per semester on their tuition fees, using these funds and funds from the Auraria Fund to build the Tivoli Park and Quad.
“The Tivoli Park/Quad will be an engaging and pleasant place for students to relax, study, and socialize. It will have a number of excellent features, making it a true upgrade to students’ campus experience,” says the Auraria Higher Education Center.
A patio, quad, coffee shop, and more will inhabit the space, making it an ideal place for students to hangout, have conversations, study, and meet.
“What it brings to the campus is a much needed student gathering and activity space,” says Auraria Highter Education Center CEO, Barbara Weiske. “This is something we’ve never had before.”
The park and quad should be open to use mid to late fall of 2016.
The Rebirth of Union Station
Union Station got a facelift, and it has continued to impress with the incredible restaurants, hotel, ambiance, and beauty. It is a popular place to grab a drink, dinner, or experience Denver, and is an iconic “Denver view.”
One of the last stages of its remodel is a 19-story, 342-unit condominium tower. It will be the first, and only, for-sale housing in popular downtown.
It will be the first of its kind to also offer affordable housing, a “mandatory” requirement for commercial real estate that is often opted out of or bypassed by building managers.
“Downtown is for everybody,” said East West managing partner Chris Frampton.
The managers aspire to foster a diverse and welcoming community and are excited for the new Union Station condos. Mayor Hancock is equally thrilled for the condos, calling its affordable housing piece the project’s “golden nugget.”
The condos plan to also include a fitness room, garden, rooftop pool, club room, 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and a 452-stall parking garage.