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Six Transformational Center City Projects Honored by the Downtown Denver Partnership

DENVER The Downtown Denver Partnership presented six awards on April 17, to transformational projects in Downtown Denver that contribute to an economically healthy, growing and vital center city, at the 57th Annual Downtown Denver Awards Dinner, sponsored by Polsinelli.

The honorees, selected by a jury of key business leaders convened by the Downtown Denver Partnership, are businesses, projects and initiatives that had the most significant economic impact on the center city in 2017. The winners were showcased at the event attended by nearly 1,000 business and civic leaders with videos produced by Comcast and Westworks Studios.

The 57th Annual Downtown Denver Awards winners are:

  • Ashley Union Station (video)
  • Confluence Park-Shoemaker Plaza Reconstruction (video)
  • Le Méridien and AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown (video)
  • The Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Initiative at Metropolitan State University of Denver (video)
  • Rocky Mountain Seed Buildings (video)
  • Union Station Block A (video)

“Tonight’s 57th annual Downtown Denver Awards Dinner is about the brave, bold, risk-takers who have shaped our city,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “Thank you to the winners, the business community and all who help make this city stronger.”

In addition to recognizing the winners, the Partnership also honored The Brown Palace for 125 years of service and hospitality and the Community College of Denver for 50 years of service to education.

Ashley Union Station

Ashley Union Station is the first and only truly mixed-income property in the Union Station development. Higher rents — particularly in popular areas like the revitalized Union Station neighborhood — mean that, in many cases, the people who work in the new restaurants, boutiques and grocery stores that make the area a desirable destination aren’t able to afford to live where they work. At least, they couldn’t until recently. Ashley Union Station is a four-story, 107-unit apartment complex at 18th Street and Chestnut Place offering 75 income-restricted units just blocks from Union Station. The $30 million development offers 34 units to households making no more than 60 percent of area median income (AMI); 34 are available to households making up to 50 percent of AMI; and an additional seven units are set aside for residents making 30 percent or less of AMI. The remainder of the units are rented at market rate.

Confluence Park-Shoemaker Plaza Reconstruction

Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence Park sits in the heart of our center city, symbolizing the birthplace of Denver. This project, completed in 2017, provides recreation and public space access to Denver’s entire community, fostering a diverse and livable downtown. A 2012 master plan for all of Confluence Park established a shared vision to re-invent the park for the 21st Century: creating spaces for Denver residents and visitors to gather, relax, and enjoy themselves in a signature urban park. When Shoemaker Plaza was built in 1974, it was the first major public park space along the river, and marked the beginning of Denver’s reclaiming of the South Platte as an important amenity for the City.  40 years later, The new design expands on the spirit of the original plaza, while widening the SPR Trail, improving bike and pedestrian flow, creating better access to the river and developing vibrant new gathering spaces at Denver’s birthplace.

Le Méridien and AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown

The Le Meridien / AC Hotel not only embodies the culture of Denver but has already had a significant economic impact on Downtown Denver. The project was responsible for creating 300+ jobs in the central business district, and brought several inbound management transfers from across the country. In the first 109 days of operations, the hotel has created over $1M in sales and occupancy tax, showcasing the economic impact of this multifaceted addition to downtown. The Hotel has shown to be a great amenity for all of Downtown Denver, not only hotel guests. The complex features multiple food and beverage venues including Corinne Neighborhood Bar & Grill, 54thirty Rooftop, Lobbyist, AC Kitchen, AC Lounge, and dynamic meeting space on the corner of 15th & California.  The thoughtful design of the building engages the streetscape, with a highly visible and permeable exterior that brings the public in to enjoy all that the hotel has to offer.

The Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Initiative at Metropolitan State University of Denver

The AES Building is a hub for innovation at MSU. Inside its 117,000 square feet of learning space, students from across the state and country are trained in two top industry sectors – aerospace science and advanced manufacturing. Those students come to the University, and downtown Denver, for an opportunity to better their own lives and those of their families. The majority of the students stay in Denver and Colorado after they graduate, making an impact on the local community and adding to the diversity and vitality of our city. A final distinct feature of the building is the Public-Private Partnership-focused Enterprise Floor, home to four small and medium-sized advanced manufacturing businesses. These companies are both tenants and partners. Not only do their rent payments help offset the cost of the building, but each company signs a partnership agreement that allows for student internships and jobs, as well as joint research projects.

Rocky Mountain Seed Buildings

Where there was once a surface parking lot welcoming you to Downtown Denver’s Lower Downtown neighborhood, now sits a building that is a jewel of the neighborhood. The addition of this building at the intersection of 15th and Market will forever change the perception and experience of pedestrians and others as they enter downtown.  It is a dramatic building that raises the bar on the quality of architecture in downtown.  It took significant vision and investment to ring forward this signature building. The GoSpotCheck Headquarters at 1500 Market Street represents a $5.1M investment. This investment contributed to a booming local tech startup remaining in Downtown, while preserving the historic character of the Lower Downtown District–the hallmark of LoDo’s success. Contributing to a Distinctive City and the Evolution of LoDo, the project is a case study in maintaining the historic character of the district while integrating new development. The resulting building represents how a principled approach to historic urban infill can work at any scale while making use of modern materials and methods.

Union Station Block A

Sitting at the intersection of 16th and Wewatta Streets, Block A energizes the commercial core by enhancing the pedestrian experience and bolstering the economy. These two new buildings were strategically placed to enhance the pedestrian experience surrounding Union Station. The buildings have two prominent pedestrian ways providing rich experiences as you approach and depart from the train platform at Union Station. These pedestrian ways are enlivened with public access to a hotel lobby and two lively locally managed restaurants. These enhancements create a vibrant and welcoming experience as you arrive to Denver’s central core. The Union Station Neighborhood is organized around a half a billion dollar train station which is the hub of a new $12 billion regional transit system connecting all the fast growing edges of Denver’s ever expanding metropolitan area to its historic center. The centerpiece of this soaring new station is a high-speed rail connection to Denver’s world class Denver International Airport. The entrance to the Hotel Born is right at the foot of RTD’s University of Colorado A-Line Train platform.

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