Demolition finished, vertical construction underway at 9th and Colorado

By: Molly Armbrister

More than a year after demolition began at the Ninth and Colorado site — one of the most anticipated redevelopment sites in Denver — vertical construction is underway, the project’s developers said this week.

A joint venture between Continuum Partners and CIM Group is planning 2 million square feet of real estate spanning 12 city blocks at the $419 million project, which will be built on the site of the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center campus.

Demolition and abatement work on the site has been substantially completed, project officials said, and construction is underway on the first building in phase one of the project: Block 7, located at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

Block 7 is a 275-unit residential building with more than 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and is expected to be complete in 2018. Utility and road infrastructure construction for the larger Ninth and Colorado project has also commenced.

Roads and utilities on the northern half of the site are targeted for opening by the end of the year, while work on the southern half will be complete in 2017.

“The start of vertical construction is a major milestone for the Ninth and Colorado project,” said Frank Cannon, development director for Continuum Partners. “Our demolition work is substantially complete and now we’re focused on fulfilling the vision to create a dynamic neighborhood. It’s great to be bringing new buildings up instead of tearing old ones down.”

In December 2014, the Denver City Council approved $47.9 million in tax-increment financing for the redevelopment.

Demolition commenced in spring 2015 and involved tearing down nearly 2 million square feet of buildings, including the implosion of the Biomedical Research Building in August 2015. Some of the original structures remain, including one that will be renovated into a 1,000-space parking structure at 11th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

Construction has also begun on Ash Street Apartments, a 112-unit affordable housing project by Ash Street Affordable Housing, a joint venture between Koelbel & Co. and Mile High Development.

Molly Armbrister covers real estate and construction for the Denver Business Journal.