Building a Newer (Cooler) Denver

The 20 commercial real estate projects you need to know about By: Spencer Campbell

Forget the mountains. The most inspiring view in Denver eight now may come courtesy of the towering cranes filling the skyline. Dynamic commercial projects are transforming the city into a denser, more function, and (arguably) more compelling place to live. How? Let us introduce you to some of the new buildings next door (organized by neighborhood).

Union Station

Build it, and the private sector will come.

More than one expert we spoke with called the $500 million renovation of downtown’s Union Station a “once-in-a-generation” project. They were talking about the quality of the work, sure, but also about the fact that the long underused station presented an opportunity to create a city-defining landmark. Open for a little less than two years, the refurbished depot has a hotel, restaurants, bars, and retail outlets, not to mention a bustling transit center. The hope was the project would spur investment—and it has done just that. “The developments happening in LoDo prove an axiom that there needs to be a there there,” says Chris Frampton, one of the master developers of the Union Station project. With Union Station serving as a people magnet, developers are blending millions of square feet of cubicle-ready office space with residences, shops, eateries, and hotels—rather than constructing single-use towers that would leave our streets stagnant at night.

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