Golden TriangleMay 1, 2020The Edge LoHiOctober 18, 2019Condo Development in DenverJune 6, 2018Developer breaks groundMay 31, 2018Golden Triangle officeMay 28, 201848 condos in HighlandOct 31, 2017Condo development coming to Denver's LoHiOct 27, 2017Highlands school to officesOct 27, 2017Golden TriangleMay 1, 2020 Developers and city planners are looking to make Golden Triangle Denver’s next hot neighborhood Everyone wants to go to the coffee shops, the restaurants, the alley, to these different places. If you drop something like that in the Golden Triangle, everything changes. Changes are on the horizon for Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood. Drawn to the area for its largely untapped surface parking lots and a prime location just outside of downtown Denver, several development groups are planning thousands of new residential units in the neighborhood. At the same time, the city is currently working on an update to the neighborhood’s zoning and design standards, which could allow for taller buildings (albeit with other restrictions) and encourage more office and retail development to balance out the residential-heavy area. Bounded by Colfax Avenue to the north, Broadway and Lincoln Street to the east and Speer Boulevard to the west and south, the Golden Triangle “couldn’t be more well-located,” said Joe Vostrejs, a principal at Denver-based City Street Investors. If Vostrejs has his way, much of the neighborhood’s reinvention will center around the Evans School building, a 46,476-square-foot historic structure at 12th Avenue and Bannock Street that sat largely vacant for decades before it was purchased in late 2019 by City Street Investors, the group behind the redevelopment of the Union Station building. Just as the revitalization of the historic train station helped breathe new life into what is now one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods, City Street sees potential for the Evans School building to become a “center of gravity” for the Golden Triangle, with retail, food and beverage, outdoor gathering spaces and possibly office space included in early plans. The Golden Triangle is home to a museum district comprised of shops and galleries and anchored by the Denver Art Museum, which is itself in the midst of a $150 million renovation project. But as Vostrejs points out, those cultural amenities are clustered at the northern periphery of the neighborhood. He’s optimistic that the combination of the Evans School redevelopment and the rezoning effort could lead to more options for residents across the neighborhood. “Hopefully what comes out of this is we see galleries and offices and retail and food and beverage being stitched into the neighborhood, and that the neighborhood starts developing its own character and its own personality,” Vostrejs said. Lennar Multifamily Communities, a real estate investment and multifamily development arm of Miami-based homebuilder Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), also figures to be a major player in the neighborhood’s future. The developer has roughly 1,600 residential units in various stages of development across five lots in the Golden Triangle, three of which surround the Evans School building to the north, east, and west. One of those projects — a 17-story, 363-unit apartment project at 10th Avenue and Acoma Street — is already under construction. Nearby, Mill Creek Residential is under contract for the Rocky Mountain Public Media building with plans to build a 15-story, 420-unit apartment community. The coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic turmoil have cast new uncertainty on these plans, but developers and the city say they’re moving forward. Construction is still underway on LMC’s 10th and Acoma project, and the company is continuing to plan its four other residential projects in the area, according to LMC division president Scott Johnson. Vostrejs said City Street Investors still plans to submit a concept plan for the Evans School building to the city by the end of 2020. And the City of Denver has shifted to online meetings and surveys to gather input on the neighborhood rezoning, with plans to submit the proposed changes to City Council in late summer or early fall, as originally anticipated. New zoning The Golden Triangle’s current zoning, originally adopted in 1994, was meant to encourage more residential development, said Kristofer Johnson, the principal city planner heading up the rezoning efforts. “In all respects, it was actually quite successful in doing that,” Johnson said. “A lot of the projects over the past 15, 20 years have been residential. Now we’re interested in focusing on the other elements that make this really a complete neighborhood and implementing the recommendations of the Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan.”That neighborhood plan, created in 2014, calls for a range of uses and development types across the neighborhood, as well as diverse building forms and shapes. The plan is also intended to promote a “high-quality pedestrian experience” complete with public gathering spaces, which the neighborhood currently lacks.”Everybody really loves the variety of things that happen in the neighborhood,” Johnson said. “There’s old and new and large and small, and it’s OK to have a taller building next to a small historic home. We’re trying to perpetuate that going forward.”According to the city, the current zoning uses a “one-size-fits-all” approach, with the same standards applying to all projects regarding to scale or lot size. The proposed changes would implement stronger zoning standards as projects grow in size and scale to account for their increased influence on the surrounding area. The most significant change to building heights would come in the form of “point tower” buildings, which could stretch as high as 300 feet (current limits are set at 175 feet from the elevation at Broadway). Under the proposed framework, buildings that are similar in size and scale to what’s currently allowed would have height limits of 200 feet. The point tower format, which would only be allowed on wider lots, would feature more slender, taller towers on a wide base. “The reason we’re introducing that gets back to this desire for a variety of different building types and sizes,” Johnson said. “Bulkier buildings have a pretty significant impact on the street level and shadows and things like that. [The point tower] installer, more slender, but it’s basically the same area of the building. It’s just organized in a way that allows for better sunlight and better views.”Johnson said that overall, residents of the neighborhood have been “quite supportive” of the proposed zoning changes.”Certainly, there are some individual property owners or residents that have some hesitation about taller buildings in the neighborhood,” Johnson said. “They kind of like things the way they are.” Like the rest of Denver, the Golden Triangle will have to confront the challenges that come with a rapid influx of new residents. Johnson described parking as a “bit of a double-edged sword” for the area, as the vanishing surface parking lots also serve the museums and workers in the neighborhood and nearby downtown. But Johnson said the city is looking at ways to incorporate publicly accessible parking within new developments. “Certainly there is a need for parking that’s more on the public side given the cultural amenities in this neighborhood,” Johnson said. “At the same time, what we’ve seen in recent developments is there’s been quite a bit more parking that’s private that’s been provided to those developments and residents.” Office potential like most in the real estate industry with eyes on the Golden Triangle, JudsonRobertson has seen opportunity in the neighborhood’s central location for years. A managing director for Stream Realty Partners, Robertson is currently working on leasing out a 10-story office project at 955 Bannock St. being developed by Alpine Investments. Robertson said the project has all the necessary permits and is ready to begin construction — as soon as it can get a lease signed. “A lot of other developments have been put on hold or pushed pause,” Robertson said. “We are still actively negotiating, and we’re getting pretty darn close.” Robertson is hopeful that with the rezoning effort underway, the project at 955 Bannock will eventually be joined by other office projects to round out the neighborhood. “D-GT [the neighborhood’s current zoning] is actually really well thought out, but it overly incentivizes residential or multifamily development,” Robertson said. “To me, what really makes a community or area whole is having all the food groups.” Brian Hutt, a director at Cushman & Wakefield, said employers want spaces where their workers can walk to everything they need. The Golden Triangle could offer that. “The biggest benefit of the Golden Triangle is just location,” Hutt said. “It’s close to downtown, close to Cherry Creek, but you don’t really have the congestion of downtown. Rates have gone up there from an office perspective, but there’s still a discount compared to downtown.”What’s next for now, Johnson said projects that are already in the planning stages will likely be evaluated under the existing zoning. There will be additional opportunities for public input on the zoning changes throughout the summer, Johnson said, and a 30-day public review period when the changes are submitted to the Planning Board and City Council. Nearby Cherry Creek offers an example of what can happen to a neighborhood when zoning changes coincide with plenty of new development. A 2012 Cherry Creek Area Plan and rezoning initiative allowed developers to construct taller buildings along with First, Second, and Third avenues. The increased density is resulting in a more diverse workforce, more hotels, and more residences, according to previous Denver Business Journal reporting. Robertson of Stream Realty compared the potential impact of the Evans School redevelopment to that of the Dairy Block, an Instagram-friendly magnet for tourists and residents that also contributed to the development of the Union Station neighborhood. “Dairy Block was such a magnificent development because it gave not only that specific block, but the area around it, a place to call home,” Robertson said “Everyone wants to go to the coffee shops, the restaurants, the alley, to these different places. If you drop something like that in the Golden Triangle, everything changes.” The Edge LoHiOctober 18, 2019 In the middle of LoHi’s restaurant row, come explore a sophisticated approach to urban living, steps from downtown Within a 4-block walk of The Edge LoDo, you’ll have 21 dining/tavern options — Ale House, Linger, Avanti –- not to mention lobster-purveyor Maine Shack, which just opened. You’re not going to believe the range of dining/tavern options you’ll have within a 4-block walk if you’re among the 44 buyers that will move into The Edge LoHi sometime in the next few months. There’ll be at least 21 choices waiting — Ale House, Linger, Avanti, two sushi options, coffee places — not to mention lobster-purveyor Maine Shack. It just opened, 2 blocks south of The Edge. You can drive past the building nearing completion Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19-20, at 17th and Central, from where new arrivals will get a panorama of downtown’s skyline and of the Highland footbridge crossing over into Riverfront, LoDo and to Union Station. And you can visit The Edge’s sales center, 2 blocks south at 15th and Boulder Street, to see what’s still available to buy. Last week, the project’s super-sized penthouse sold for $1.9 million, taking it past the 60%-sold mark. But The Edge’s sales team can still serve up two units at prices under $500,000 and has a couple of two-bedroom units left with those showpiece views of downtown for under $800,000. This is particularly something to see if you’ve been looking around the scene in farther-out areas of Highland and Sloan’s, where new “slot home” product is so visible now. “At The Edge,” says veteran broker Stan Kniss, “you’re going to see a more sophisticated look at downtown living, for around the same price as those row-home products, that have nothing like The Edge’s access to dining and downtown.” Part of the difference, Kniss adds, is in the construction and finish quality. The Edge is a boutique scaled condo — about a sixth of the size of mega projects in downtown — but has steel-and-concrete construction, along with a more polished look to its lobby/lounge areas. There are walnut entry door frames of every unit and designer appliances (Viking in the penthouses, Bosch in the lower-priced homes). “The Edge LoHi project offers a new level of sophisticated living,” says Kniss, “that’s at the edge of downtown and in the heart of a real neighborhood.” All units are assigned covered parking — two spaces for two-bedroom homes. Among the offerings Kniss and his team will show you are a few remaining Upper Edge penthouse units, ones that each have dramatic high-ceiling entertainment areas with high-window walls, built-in fireplaces and a second-level mezzanine overhead, each with a wet bar with cabinets and a wine fridge, opening to private rooftop decks plumbed for a gas barbecue. Right now, they’re priced from the high $700s. Kniss and his team also have a luxury-sized two-bedroom still available at $1.125 million. You’ll get the whole picture from The Edge’s Presentation Center on the five-pointed corner of 15th, Boulder and Umatilla streets in LoHi, around the block from Linger and Little Man Ice Cream. You’re still a few weeks away from getting the first tours inside the building, but Kniss says you should be visiting now while the best selection of units and views is available. From downtown, take 15th Street west across I-25 into LoHi, a block to Boulder Street, and watch for the pink door. Condo Development in DenverJune 6, 2018 Alpine Investments Secures Financing for Condo Development in Denver HFF announces financing for condo development in Denver’s LoHi submarket June 6, 2018 – Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announces financing for the development of The Edge LoHi, a 44-unit, upscale condominium development in Denver’s Lower Highland (LoHi) submarket. The HFF team worked exclusively on behalf of the developer, Alpine Investments, to arrange the 36-month, floating-rate, non-recourse construction loan through a balance sheet lender. The Edge LoHi will be situated immediately north of Interstate 25 in the affluent LoHi neighborhood. Due for completion in 2019, the property’s for-sale homes will feature high-end finishes, unobstructed views of the Denver skyline and an outdoor space for every condo. Community amenities include a dog spa, storage units, bike storage and repair room, lobby lounge with a fireplace and coffee bar and secured building and garage access. Approximately 30 percent of the units were pre-sold at the time of closing. Developer breaks groundMay 31, 2018 Developer breaks ground on 40+ LoHi condos A developer broke ground Wednesday on a 44-unit condominium building in LoHi with plans to list the most expensive unit at $1.75 million. Denver-based Alpine Investments is building the six-story structure at the corner of 17th and Central streets, overlooking Interstate 25 toward downtown. It is slated to be completed in July 2019. The project is dubbed Edge LoHi, a change from earlier in the planning process, when it was branded Grandview LoHi. Alpine Investments is led by Churchill Bunn, who is converting a shuttered private school along Federal Boulevard into office space and also planning to build a 10-story office building in the Golden Triangle. “This project is my first break ground in Denver, so it’s really special,” said Bunn, who previously worked as senior director of development at California-based Irvine Co. Stan Kniss, Jorgen Jensen and Erin Luke of Slate Real Estate Advisors are marketing the condos. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday. (Thomas Gounley) The units will range from a 622-square-foot, one-bedroom unit to a 2,473-square-foot, three-bedroom unit spread across two stories. Kniss said they will list between $408,000 and $1.75 million. The building also will have 4,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Cory Dulberg of NAI Shames Makovsky is leasing that space. Cuningham Group Architecture designed the project. Bristlecone Construction is the general contractor. Bunn said the project is expected to cost $20 million. Alpine spent a total of $4.5 million in September securing the land for the site, according to county records: $2.74 million for 2501 17th St.; $825,000 for 1729 Central St. and $925,000 for 1731 Central St. Bunn said two of the lots had homes on them, one of which had been vacant. The third parcel was an empty lot. Golden Triangle officeMay 28, 2018 Developer plans to demo small Golden Triangle office; replace it with 65K SF of office A new office building is on tap for a part of town booming with new apartment towers and cranes. Denver-based Alpine Investments expects to close on the purchase of 955 Bannock St. in the Golden Triangle with plans for a 10-story structure. Managing principal Churchill Bunn said the building will have 65,000 square feet of office space across its top five floors. The ground floor will have about 1,200 square feet of retail space in addition to the building’s lobby. The four floors in between will be parking. “The Golden Triangle needs more office to round out the neighborhood,” Bunn said. The 0.36-acre lot is home to a two-story, 9,300-square-foot structure that dates to 1982, according to city records. It previously housed coffee shop Rooster and Moon, which closed in September 2016 after eight years, and cafe Anecdote, which moved out last month. Tenants still use the building’s office space. Bunn said Alpine would buy the property for $3.1 million from owner Bannock RE Partners LLC, which paid $2.9 million for it in February 2016. Bunn said he knows a member of Bannock RE Partners LLC, and reached out after the 2016 sale to discuss the possibility of redeveloping the property. “We’re surprised there’s not more office being built on the south side of downtown because it’s so accessible,” he said. Alpine hopes to begin construction in October and deliver the building in the fourth quarter 2019. No tenants have committed to the space yet, Bunn said. Pinnacle Real Estate brokers Blake Holcomb and Jeff Caldwell are handling the office leasing. “We’ve really been focused on full-floor or larger users,” Bunn said. “We really see this as a two-, three-, four-tenant project.” Hyder Construction is the general contractor and Gensler is the architect. The 955 Bannock St. parcel is surrounded by the multifamily development for which the Golden Triangle has become known. South of the lot, Houston-based Greystar is building a 16-story apartment complex with more than 300 units. The five-story vacant structure across the street, meanwhile, was purchased by Lennar Multifamily Communities, which paid $18.5 million for it and a large adjacent parking lot. Lennar has submitted project concepts to the city proposing two apartment towers. Alpine has two other projects underway in Denver. Last fall the company paid $3.85 million for the shuttered private school at 2949 N. Federal Blvd. and began converting it to office space. It’s also about to break ground on a condominium project at the corner of 17th and Central streets in LoHi. 48 condos in HighlandOct 31, 2017 Grandview LoHi to start construction on 48 condos in Highland next year Right next door to 302 luxury apartments, Alpine Investments Denver is planning to build 48 condos. Grandview LoHi has plenty of other new apartment neighbors — that’s part of the reason that developer Churchill Bunn decided to build condos. “You could make an argument that there’s more risk in building more apartments than there is risk with condo defects,” Bunn said. “Put it a better way: the market needs condos, the market doesn’t need any more apartments. I’d rather be building something that I know there’s a lot of demand for.” Alpine Investments Denver’s decision to build condos at 17th and Central Street, a 5-minute walk from the commercial hub that includes Linger and Little Man Ice Cream, predates changes to Colorado’s construction defect law. The 48 units range in size from 620 square feet to 1,500 square feet so that pricing can begin in the $300,000s. However, prices will top out near $1 million. The majority of the units, 20 of them, are what Bunn calls petite one-bedrooms with 620 square feet. Then there’s four corner one-bedrooms with 820 square feet. The “CityView” one-bedrooms get 950 square feet and then finally, 12 two-bedroom units have 1,200 to 1,300 square feet. “We try to keep the units at a manageable size so that we can keep our pricing at a manageable level, so that a younger buyer can still afford those units,” Bunn said. Another manageable element of the property is its amenities. There will be some community space, but no rooftop deck, pool, or other such amenity. That’s partly a function of the site’s size, but also reflects market research on other condo buildings. “There’s several buildings downtown that we looked at with outdoor space, and it wasn’t being used. It’s a good marketing tool upfront, but ultimately if your buyers aren’t going to use the public space, it doesn’t make sense to provide it.” Instead, Alpine Investments Denver has elected to give buyers their own individual outdoor space, with a deck in every unit. Plus, like many area developers, Bunn says the area is the real amenity. With construction slated to begin in 2018, Bunn says marketing of the units is just beginning and so it’s too early to say how potential buyers are responding to plans. Denver Business Journal reports that the units are expected to finish in 2019. Condo development coming to Denver's LoHiOct 27, 2017 For-sale condo development coming to Denver’s LoHi A new development is coming to Denver’s Lower Highlands (LoHi) neighborhood — and it will offer for-sale condominiums, a rarity in the city for newly constructed housing. GrandView LoHi — at 1717 Central St. in Denver — will offer condos ranging in size from 620 to 1,500 square feet and priced from the $300,000s to about $1 million. It will break ground sometime in the first quarter of 2018 and is slated for completion in spring 2019. The five-story project will cost an estimated $20 million, although developer Churchill Bunn said the project costs have not yet been finalized. “This is our first residential development in Denver,” said Bunn, who owns Alpine Investments Denver. “We’re looking forward to building a high-quality, for-sale project to the neighborhood.” The development announcement comes after the Colorado Legislature earlier this year passed a bill reforming the controversial construction-defects law, which business leaders said brought condo development in the city to a halt. The new law makes it harder for people in condos to file construction-defects lawsuits because it requires a majority of the condo owners, rather than the majority of the homeowners’ association board, to file suit. Bunn said navigating the law to create this development has required a multi-pronged approach. “Build it with quality and stand behind what you build,” Bunn said. “Ultimately, you have to design and build it to a certain standard. … It’s about not cutting corners, building something the owners can be proud of. That’s the cornerstone of it.” GrandView LoHi will also include 4,600 square feet of retail space on the first floor, as well as large rooftop terraces in the double-height top floor units and garage parking. Residences will be on floors two through five. Jan Nelsen, Christine Nicholson and Molly Weiss of Kentwood City Properties are the listing agents. “It’s just a short walk from [Denver] Union Station and the area’s wide variety of cafés, coffee shops, art galleries, shopping conveniences and all the excitement and ambiance that characterize downtown Denver,” Nicholson said. Highlands school to officesOct 27, 2017 New owner converting shuttered Highlands school to offices A shuttered private school in the Highlands has been sold, and the new owner plans to convert the building into offices. Alpine Investments Denver purchased 2949 Federal Blvd., the former site of K-12 school Escuela Tlatelolco, this week for $3.85 million, according to property records. Alpine owner Churchill Bunn said his firm plans to spend between $500,000 and $750,000 to renovate the 20,700-square-foot building, not counting the cost of tenant improvements. Bunn said Alpine initially will target medical users. He said tenant improvements could begin as early as first quarter 2018. “The Highlands area is only getting better and better,” Bunn said. “This building had really good bones.” Alpine’s other projects include a 48-unit condo development scheduled to break ground in March at 17th and Central streets. The Federal Boulevard property, previously owned by the school, was listed in May for $4.25 million. A month later, the price was reduced to $3.95 million. Chicano activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales started Escuela Tlatelolco at 1571 Downing St. in 1971. His daughter Nita later took over and relocated to Federal Boulevard. Property records indicate the school purchased the property in 1995 for $610,000. The school closed at the start of July, a year after Denver Public Schools pulled a contract that accounted for 75 percent of its funding. Michael Glade, a board member with Escuela Tlatelolco, said the organization has been focused on selling the property so it can pay creditors. Once that is taken care of, he said, the organization will ponder its future. Glade said that could take the form of opening a “much smaller” school in the region, or providing scholarships for low-income Hispanic students. “It’s a new chapter,” he said.