CREJ - page 7

August 19-September 1, 2015 —
— Page 7
by Jill Jamieson-Nichols
The developer of the Denver
Design District will transform
a 60,000-square-foot show-
room building into creative
office space, setting the stage
for office development in the
evolving mixed-use, transit-ori-
ented neighborhood between
Broadway and Interstate 25.
“We’re looking to reposition
this asset as a kind of sugges-
tion of where
we’re going
in the future,”
Waggett of
The build-
ing at 575 S.
B r o a d w a y
wide - open ,
sky-lit space with 24-foot ceil-
ings. D4 Urban will begin gut-
ting the interior next month.
The Denver Design District is
a 75-acre development on the
south side of Alameda Avenue
in the emerging South Broad-
way corridor, which is bud-
ding with new restaurants and
retailers, including two natural-
grocery stores. Known for an
iconic yellow sculpture on the
south side of the property, fac-
ing I-25, the design district cur-
rently has two light-rail stations
and 900,000 sf of space, includ-
ing interior design showrooms,
a major retail center – Broad-
way Marketplace – and com-
panies including Karsh Hagan
and Quest Diagnostics.
While it is ground zero for
design showrooms, drawing
interior designers, architects
and builders from a seven-state
region, the Internet is chang-
ing that industry. Design show-
rooms now are concentrated in
two large buildings, which are
95 to 100 percent leased.
That paves the way for rede-
velopment of 575 S. Broadway,
which Kittie Hook, manag-
tor of New-
mark Grubb
K n i g h t
marketing to
users that are
20,000 sf and
Over time,
the Denver
Design Cen-
ter will become a 10 million-
sf mixed-use, live-work-play
environment at downtown’s
southern edge. Ageneral devel-
opment plan, urban design
guidelines and a metropolitan
district are in place, and the
owners late last year bought
out a distressed loan on the
The design district’s first new
ground-up development – the
Denizen apartments – has been
wildly successful, delivering
the market’s first LEED Plati-
num units at the doorstep to
the Alameda light-rail station.
“The demand is insatiable. It’s
unbelievable,” said Waggett,
noting out-of-state renters are
leasing units off the Internet,
sight unseen.
ValleyCrest Design Group
is spearheading the district’s
dense, urban design, which
includes a future two-acre
central park, a plaza for farm-
ers markets and events, and a
linear park along the light-rail
While very much mixed-use
throughout, the plan concen-
trates residential uses on the
north, with office, including
1 million sf of new develop-
ment, on the south, all inter-
connected with surrounding
neighborhoods, the Broadway
and Alameda light-rail stations,
bus and car routes, and bike/
pedestrian paths.
“The way that bicycles move
through this area is very criti-
cal,” said ValleyCrest’s Eliot
Hoyt, who noted a bike/pedes-
trian bridge across the light-
rail tracks to the former RTD
bus barn, which D4 Urban has
under contract for 360-degree
transit-oriented development,
will allow bike access between
Broadway and the South Platte
River Trail.
West Dakota Avenue will
become a dense retail area,
while East Center Avenue
– which will become the 575
S. Broadway office building’s
front door – will be re-ener-
An effort to pursue LEED
Platinum for Neighborhood
Design certification is being
contemplated – achieving it
would make the Denver Design
District the largest Platinum
ND in the world.
While, “Everything we do is
signaling that the area is trans-
forming and changing,” said
Hoyt, the 575 S. Broadway
building will be an “identity-
Design elements, a new entry
or entries for tenants, and win-
dows will be created along
Center Avenue. Outdoor seat-
ing areas also will be provided,
helping activate the street.
“It really lends itself to a really
cool, creative space,” said Hook,
who anticipates interest from
architects, engineers and tech-
nology companies, for instance.
Asking rental rates are $20 to
$24 per sf triple net, a consid-
erable discount to downtown
rates, yet the district is close
enough for people to feel like
they’re part of downtown, Hook
Waggett said the Denver
Design District is a sort of south-
ern version of Denver’s River
North area, but with “better
bones” because it’s adjacent to
Broadway, across the street from
West Washington Park and the
Baker neighborhood and has
two light-rail stations within a
five-minute walk of anyplace on
the property. In fact, much of the
early interest in the 575 S. Broad-
way office building is from ten-
ants “feeling the heat” of rising
rents/prices and limited vacan-
cies in RiNo, he said.
“It (RiNo) is very appealing,
but it’s pretty constricted. We
think we offer a South Broad-
way alternative to that for the
right user,” Waggett said.
“I think anybody who comes
here is going to come here
because they understand the
broader story.”
A rendering by Davis Partnership shows a build-out scenario for the
office space at 575 S. Broadway.
Greater Denver
Chris Waggett
Kittie Hook
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