A Denver-based development firm is looking to take advantage of recent zoning changes that have paved the way for tall buildings in the Golden Triangle.
Urban Villages submitted concept plans to the city earlier this month, proposing two structures — one at 1149-1199 Bannock St. and one at 1115 Acoma St. — that would be 30 stories and 325 feet tall.
The 325-foot mark is the new maximum for “Point Towers” under updated zoning and building design standards approved by the Denver City Council in July. The changes were generally to diversify the neighborhood’s mix of real estate, which is currently heavily residential, and increase the amount of income-restricted housing.
“As far as we know, these will be the first two projects that will be executed under this,” John Burj, chief development officer at Urban Village, told BusinessDay.
The 30-story building along Bannock Street will house 275 apartments, as well as 4,680 square feet of retail space and 15,980 square feet of “indoor art” space. There will be 200 parking spaces.
The 30-story building at 1115 Acoma, meanwhile, houses hotel rooms and condominiums — the latter likely to be on top, Burj said. 99 condos and 164 hotel rooms, as well as approximately 4,500 square feet of retail/restaurant space and 175 parking space are planned.
That site, just north of the Evans School, is currently a parking lot. Across the street is the Denver Art Museum.
“It’s a really important site for the transition between civilian use and the rest of the Golden Triangle,” Burj said.
He said Urban Village is working with SHOP Architects out of New York, which has not previously designed a project in Denver.
“With rezoning, we’ve been able to do some really impressive buildings,” Burj said.
Urban Village is also planning a second hotel project not too far away, though technically outside the boundaries of the Golden Triangle. The 13-story Populous Hotel, with a unique design inspired by the markings on aspen trees, is likely to break ground at 270 14th St. early next year, Burj said.
Developers wishing to take advantage of the extended height limit in the Golden Triangle must meet certain requirements regarding income-restricted housing. Burj said urban villages are planning to incorporate those units within two structures.
Urban Village owns both development sites, after buying one of them this month.
The company bought 0.60 acres at the southwest corner of Bannock Street and 12th Avenue, currently home to a handful of office buildings, in 2019 for $7.6 million. Then, in early September, the company opened 1115 Acoma St. Paid $10 million for about 0.7 acres.
The seller in the latest deal was Charlotte-based Lenner Multifamily Communities, which paid $18.5 million for that lot and school in late 2019, then immediately sold the school building to Citi Street Investors and Columbia Group for $11 million. Those two firms have said they want to replace the school’s ground floor with office or hotel space on the two upper levels for restaurant use.
Lenner still owns parking lots to the west and northeast of the Evans School, which the company plans to develop itself.