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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 5:38 AM
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DENVER | For fun: what five blocks would you redevelop?

I was walking through the Golden Triangle tonight and I was annoyed by a couple of blocks that are my personal pet peeves. I thought it would be fun for SSP forumers to hypothetically select five blocks in Denver for total redevelopment, regardless of cost, politics, land ownership, etc. Feel free to get totally Sim City on these blocks. Destroy buildings that are already there! I don't care. Feel free to choose any blocks based on metrics you think are valid, but I'd love to hear about your own pet peeve blocks in our city. What five blocks would you change if you could wave a magic wand and make it happen overnight?

Here are my choices:

I'm spending two votes on the same area. I think the Golden Triangle feels weird without some kind of major transition point between it and Civic Center Park. I want two 20+ floor mostly-residential towers on both of these blocks, with maybe a little bit of office in the lower floors and restaurant and retail in the ground floor. I feel like these blocks could even help Civic Center Park's problems as well by bringing some more uses to an area with mostly daytime uses. I feel like a well-done redevelopment of these blocks would make people do a double-take about this entire area:



The same story is true of my third choice, which i would also develop into a 20-ish story residential tower. I think the city is making a gigantic mistake by making every government building in this area daytime-use only rather than mixed use. A few large residential towers would help:



My fourth choice is personal. I walk by this block every day and it is like our own little Soviet Bloc over there. I don't have a good strategic reason why this should be transformed, apart from aesthetic reasons. I'd redevelop this as something akin to The Pinnacle in city park, with townhomes on the bottom level and residential (and perhaps some office?) up above.




Finally, I think a nice mix of office and residential would be great for this block, perhaps even being home to the famed Urban Target that we have all planned in our heads for Block 162. This area in particular could use a grocery store to inspire some more nearby development, and could end up being the hub of Arapahoe Square. Plus it would make the residents of One Lincoln Park not feel so goddamn lonely.



If you get a chance, please submit your own Top 5 ideas! This is just for fun, so if people start talking about logistics or feasibility, please shame them into letting loose and picking five of their own.

Last edited by denverryan; Aug 5, 2014 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Toned down the snark. I was being an asshole on the Internet, the worst kind of asshole.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 6:16 AM
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Are we allowed to repeat another's block idea?
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 6:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventwenty View Post
Are we allowed to repeat another's block idea?
Sure! I actually searched for Ken's old worst parking lot threads from 2007, which inspired my last choice.
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Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 6:50 AM
Brock Landers Brock Landers is online now
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Can't disagree with any of your suggestions. Here are mine:



17th and California & 17th and Welton

Two prime parcels along 17th, convenient to light rail, in the heart of the business district. These empty lots are especially offensive since the 17th and Welton parcel isn't even surface parking, just a field of dirt. I only suggest these because this thread is "for fun" - I see no chance of either of these being developed in the next decade.



Federal Reserve

I throw up in my mouth every time I walk by this piece of shit. Another block that probably has no shot of redevelopment any time soon.



Block C

Full block of surface parking right across the street from Coors Field and in the heart of LoDo - just seems unnecessary. Put something on top of a parking podium and be done with it.



Colfax and Grant

Not so much in the heart of downtown, but a street wall surrounding the Capitol building only seems right.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 7:47 AM
denconyny denconyny is online now
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[/URL][/IMG]

I think that the area along Broadway from about 18th Avenue going north is awful. Hopefully, Skyhouse will be built and start something along this immensity of surface parking lot hell of Broadway. One Lincoln Park looks so lonely.......

Although my circles probably represent about 11 or so blocks (the lowest big circle is could represent 5 blocks there by itself), this is the area that I would tackle. One could even go up north a few more blocks between 21st and 24th and have at least another dozen or so blocks to work on, and probably more than a couple of dozen going another block both east and west of Broadway.

I feel like I'm in surface parking lots driving along that section of Broadway, an especially important part of this city where the neighborhoods of upper DT, central DT, CapHill, AS and ••••• all merge.........

just my

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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 1:13 PM
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Brock - the lot at 17th & California is for sale so you never know. I agree about 17th & Welton though and if its owners are content with a gravel lot then they are probably land banking for another decade.

For me it's Federal Reserve, which would be demolished and turned into an urban park space with public parking below. I've seen all the kids playing around in the DUS fountain and thought about a larger space at 16th & Arapahoe that could have more water features, sculptures and garden areas like Millennium Park in Chicago as well space for food trucks to set up shop throughout the year. Some areas would be completely natural with tons of new trees planted. Once 1144 15th is built this would be an even more active area with tall high rises on all sides.

The Federal Reserve would then move into a new building at either 17th & California or Welton.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 3:42 PM
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I'm willing to sacrifice some prime land for a parking garage to get this:

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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 5:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanD View Post
I'm willing to sacrifice some prime land for a parking garage to get this:

I like this building a lot, myself.

As to the five blocks:

Anything near Coors field would be a hard sell. I am not sure what a lot across from Coors Field might be able to rent for baseball games, but, if I owned such a parking lot, I would have in BOLD signage a date calendar when cars would either be towed out, or pay far higher rates.

I am not sure how the parking works for State Employees clustered around the Capital. There might be considerable political risk in developing parking lots near the Capital and assorted State Agency headquarters.

I would put my choice outside the Capital - DUS axis. But then again, I would want a realistic chance of making money on the deal.
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Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 7:35 PM
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I'd pull Boulder out of its self-imposed NIMBY environmental catastrophe and do something to actually slow down sprawl. 20 story towers here:

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Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 9:13 PM
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Around the tea house, really? That's a bunt-magnitude middle finger to Boulder there.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 9:21 PM
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Posted this in the wrong place originally...

If Denver wants large-scale Downtown retail, the best opportunity by far appears to be the Federal Reserve block.

FRBs have upped their security standards in recent years. The one in my city (a branch) moved to the suburbs for this reason, with a large security perimeter. Is Denver's location in question? It looks pretty close to the street. If they've renovated for blast protection that would suggest it's staying.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 10:11 PM
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What?? No 1800 Market?? And the shit lot across the street?? Come on now...

Last edited by DownhomeDenver; Aug 6, 2014 at 2:41 AM. Reason: Too many shits in one sentence
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 12:43 AM
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I wouldn't mind if this came back!

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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 3:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownhomeDenver View Post
What?? No 1800 Market?? And the shit lot across the street?? Come on now...
1) I didn't include this because I feel like Lodo/Ballpark's momentum is going to fill in this block soon, where ones I picked feel like they would surprise absolutely nobody if they were parking lots in 5 years. I'd be stunned if 1800 Market had 5 years left as a parking lot.

2) You should consider doing your own list of five and include whatever blocks you want!
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 3:33 AM
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Out of all the 80's chunkers we were supposed to get, this is one I wouldn't have ever minded to see on Lincoln (57-ish floors?). Obviously demo happened for it back in the day. So sad, I'm sure something beautiful stood here at one point.



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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 4:51 AM
Brock Landers Brock Landers is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanD View Post
Out of all the 80's chunkers we were supposed to get, this is one I wouldn't have ever minded to see on Lincoln (57-ish floors?). Obviously demo happened for it back in the day. So sad, I'm sure something beautiful stood here at one point.
I walk by here occasionally. You can still easily spot the remnants/foundation of whatever used to be here. Such a depressing block.

Agreed on the 1800 block of Market - that is a horrendous stretch. Hopefully something will go in there soon.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 7:10 AM
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So sad, I'm sure something beautiful stood here at one point.


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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverryan View Post
1) I didn't include this because I feel like Lodo/Ballpark's momentum is going to fill in this block soon, where ones I picked feel like they would surprise absolutely nobody if they were parking lots in 5 years. I'd be stunned if 1800 Market had 5 years left as a parking lot.
Prepare yourself to be stunned. I'm pretty sure somebody said the exact same thing on this forum 10 years ago. And at that time, Lodo proper probably had more momentum than it has today. I myself would be shocked if those two blocks in particular get developed any time soon.

Also, 10 years ago was 2004. Damn.
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 4:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
Around the tea house, really? That's a bunt-magnitude middle finger to Boulder there.
Aw come on, I carved out a little niche to save the tea house. Move it to the block between city hall and the library if we absolutely can't have other development surrounding it.

Quote:
Also, 10 years ago was 2004. Damn.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2014, 4:04 AM
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Prepare yourself to be stunned. I'm pretty sure somebody said the exact same thing on this forum 10 years ago. And at that time, Lodo proper probably had more momentum than it has today.
Perhaps, but the economic crisis in 2008 was relatively unusual. We've obviously had recessions before, but this was a case where people generally didn't grasp why the recession was happening in the first place. Credit and derivatives markets are complex and confusing. Do you think this block would still be a parking lot of the economy moved from 2004 to 2014 without such a massive crisis right in the middle?
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