Denver, have you forgotten Uptown?
Efforts to rename and reshape the city’s central business district were officially launched at the end of 2019.Downtown Denver Partnership Released a plan Focusing on bringing more public events and private investment to the area, the area has been overshadowed by fashionable downtown enclaves such as Xiacheng District and Beihe Art District for the past three decades or so.
The Central Business District is bounded by 14th, Champa, 20th, and Sherman Streets and is home to some of the tallest buildings on the Denver skyline. It has nearly 20 million square feet of office space, a large number of hotel rooms, and the Colorado Convention Center.
COVID-19 emerged shortly after the public unveiling, which emptied office buildings and compressed the business of the convention center. During the protest against the murder of George Floyd, the area also suffered extensive property damage last spring.
These incidents did not stop the rebranding efforts. During the revised Colorado Food Festival this weekend, officials hope visitors will take notice.
“What happened during the pandemic is certainly challenging, but they don’t define the downtown area,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the partnership.
Dole said this progress is reflected in several aspects at the street level. Timing is the key. The long-planned redevelopment of the 16th Street Mall will begin next year. This may bring a whole new set of complications to life in the city center and create more reasons for people to visit the area as a necessary lifeline.
There are new public gathering points in the upper city, such as Outer spaceThe former open space of 16th Street and Welton Street has been turned into a park, hosting a series of live music performances in spring and summer.
New public art, including murals by Denver artist Thomas “Detour” Evans in the outer space mentioned above, has sprung up like mushrooms. Partnership officials said that efforts to plant more trees in the area continue.
The introduction of new retailers is another important aspect of the revitalization effort.
Bob Pertierra, who took over as Senior Vice President of Economic Development for Partnerships in June of this year, said he is developing a plan to connect voluntary landlords with Denver, who may be interested in taking over space in high-traffic areas. Or regional brands. The partnership will seek help from the city in this regard.
One selling point: Door said that compared to retail rent requirements elsewhere in the city center, Shangcheng offers a price concession.
Partnership officials are touting the overhaul of the 410 17th St. office building as evidence of private sector support for their efforts in the area.
Real Estate Company SteelWave and Rialto Capital Management Peter Llorente, senior managing director of SteelWave in Denver, said that they cooperated in the purchase of the 24-story building, which was closed last year. Since then, the partners have invested $10 million in renovations.
This work eventually led to a major reform of the hall. Llorente said that working with a large team at the construction company Gensler, the renovation opened up the space, let in more natural light, and created more options for indoor and outdoor seating. A meeting room and fitness facility were added, but from the perspective of the Denver downtown partner, the biggest victory was the introduction of a retail tenant, inviting passersby to enter the space.
Little Owl Coffee is an ultra-fashionable bakery that has opened a coffee shop in LoDo for many years. It opened its second branch on 410 17th this summer. Llorente said that Little Owl already offers espresso drinks behind a long counter and hopes to get a liquor license soon and add beer, wine and spirits to its menu.
“Little Owls, with their reputation, they could have gone anywhere, but they really like what we are trying to do,” Llorente said. “They are a LoDo business, but they recognize what is happening in the upper city.”
Strong amenities are part of SteelWave’s appeal to potential office tenants, but so is the room for growth.Online marketing Building materials It shows that more than 117,000 square feet of its approximately 437,000 square feet are available. Door said that this growth space is a hallmark of many buildings in the Central Business District/Uptown.
Agents Chris Phenicie and Hilary Barnett from the real estate services company CBRE are working with SteelWave on leasing. Barnett said that it is valuable to be able to provide a name for the community and the context in which the property fits into the city’s grand plan, especially when pursuing potential tenants from out of states.
“I am very grateful for the effort to create the other end of the barbell in the city center,” Phenicie said of the rebranding of the city center. “The Central Business District is not a sexy name.”
One thing the Denver Downtown Partnership does not recognize is the acronym UpDo. Almost after the announcement of the Shangcheng brand in 2019, social media broke out using this shortened form of jokes, imitating the styles of nearby areas, such as LoDo, RiNo and LoHi, or Xia Gaodi.
The door insists that Shangcheng District is Shangcheng District.
Brands are as important to places as they are to products and services.
Melissa Akaka, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Denver’s Daniels School of Business, lives in Highland Ranch, or simply “ranch”. When it comes to “ranches,” people think of suburbs far from downtown Denver, where families are everywhere. According to Akaka’s experience, this is appropriate.
“I have three children and it turns out that this is an easier place to live for me,” she said. “It fulfilled everything it promised.”
Akaka said that just as the partnership and its supporters did in the transformation of the central business district into the upper city center, creating an identity around the community in real time sends a signal. She said this is an effort that can affect who wants to live there, and, most importantly, it can have an impact on the value of real estate.
“When I hear about Uptown, I think of places like New York,” she said. “This part is about identity; how do we connect our identity to where we live.”