DENVER – The Downtown Denver Partnership presented six awards to transformational projects in Downtown Denver that contribute to an economically healthy, growing and vital city center, at the 56th 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 city in 2016. The winners were showcased at an event on May 18 attended by nearly 1,000 business and civic leaders with videos produced by Comcast and Westworks Studios.
The 56th Annual Downtown Denver Awards winners are:
- Tivoli Quadrangle (video)
- University of Colorado A Line (video)
- Gusto (video)
- Rose Andom Center (video)
- The Wheatley (video)
- The Triangle Building (video)
“Great cities don’t happen by accident, they thrive because of collaboration and commitment that is exemplified by our 56th Annual Downtown Denver Award Winners,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “Thank you to the winners, the business community and all who commit to helping achieve our bold vision for the center city.”
In addition to recognizing the winners, the Partnership also honored the Emily Griffith Technical College for 100 years of commitment that has prepared more than 2 million students with the language and job skills they need to contribute to the workforce and community.
The Tivoli Quadrangle helps fulfill one of the 2007 Downtown Area Plan’s seven transformative projects by strengthening physical, social, economic and programmatic connections with the Auraria Campus, one of Downtown’s largest and most diverse economic engines. The Auraria Foundation Board of Directors secured $3.3 million in funding for the project, and in 2015, the Student Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board led a tri-institutional, student driven initiative to assess a $5 dollar fee on students each semester to fund the completion of the project. The resulting extension of Larimer Street, designed by Wenk Associates, Inc. with Anderson Mason Dale Architects, and built by Pinkard Construction and Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers, creates new green space to support an exciting array of events, festivals and social gatherings that can accommodate up to 11,000 visitors.
University of Colorado A Line
The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) University of Colorado A Line is a powerful economic driver that connects Downtown Denver, Denver International Airport, and the communities along its corridor with the region’s first commuter rail line to enhance the competitiveness of Downtown Denver for business and visitor travel alike. Eagle P3, the visionary public-private partnership behind the project, was established in 2009 as part of RTD’s broader transit program known as FasTracks that helps fulfill several 2007 Downtown Area Plan goals including establishing Downtown as the epicenter of transportation for the region. Since announcing the CU A Line, the Union Station area has been infused with more than $2 billion in private investment, creating one of the most premier Transit Oriented Communities in the nation. Downtown commuters are also benefiting from the connection, reducing the need for parking and helping alleviate road congestion and pollution. In its first year of operation, the University of Colorado A Line provided more than 5 million passenger trips with an on-time performance of 90 percent.
San Francisco-based startup Gusto sent a powerful message that Downtown Denver is one of the best places in the country to start and grow a business when they expanded to Downtown. Opening its “co-headquarters” in 2016, Gusto now employs more than 150 people, with plans to scale to more than 1,000 employees in the coming years, to serve the payroll, HR and benefits needs of more than 40,000 small businesses. Gusto’s location on the 16th Street Mall allows employees to easily access Downtown’s amenities and transit options, with exterior signage and thriving office culture extending to the Mall below to highlight Downtown’s growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. The $1 million renovation of the 37,000 square-foot-space in the Tabor Center was designed by IA Interior Architects and built by i2 Construction.
Rose Andom Center
As a centralized location of community resources to support victims of domestic violence, the Rose Andom Center helps empower victims to make the best decisions for the families by leveraging a nationally-recognized “Family Justice Center” model to co-locate dozens of community and government services. The co-location of services, including the Denver Police Department’s Domestic Violence Investigation Unit as well as a city and district attorney, has resulted in increased collaboration to help ensure the best possible client outcome. A land exchange between the City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools allowed the center to secure a long-term lease, with renovation led by contractor Milender White and architects Oz Architecture. Rose Andom, a domestic violence survivor, provided the lead $1 million gift for the $12 million project, which saw significant support from the business community including Arrow Electronics and Hogan Lovells and several community foundations.
The Wheatley is the first major development in the Five Points neighborhood in more than a decade, and the first since being named the city center’s first cultural historic district. The development brings a vibrant, mixed-use community to the Welton Corridor that includes 82 apartments, including 18 units of affordable housing deed guaranteed for 20 years, 14 for sale townhomes, and 3,500-square-feet of ground-floor office space. With a community focus and desire to blend historic and modern features, developer Palisade Partners and architect Craine Architecture made several design changes following meetings with neighborhood groups, including lowering the height of the building from eight to five stories to be contextual with the rest of the block, adding commercial space, and including both market rate and for sale housing. The project was funded by a loan from the Denver Office of Economic Development, a $100,000 grant from the Welton Challenge, and $1.35 million in TIF funding from the Denver Urban Renwal Authority. The Wheatley has inspired $300 million in additional development in the neighborhood.
The Triangle Building
The Triangle Building is an iconic culmination of East West Partners’ vision for an economically vibrant Central Platte Valley, and brings a powerful mix of tenants and ground floor amenities to enhance Downtown’s vitality. The building’s three shimmering, all-glass facades rise above a triangular parcel formed by the 16th Street Mall, Wewatta Street and the newly-constructed Tail Tracks Plaza, creating direct pedestrian connections between the Pepsi Center and Denver Union Station. The $86 million privately-funded development, designed by Anderson Mason Dale Architects and built by Saunders Construction, encouraged several economically impactful companies to place their stake in Downtown for the first time, including Liberty Global, WeWork, Autodesk, the Capital One Café.
Images courtesy of The Wheatley, Rose Andom Center, Tivoli Quadrangle, The Triangle Building, RTD, Rose Andom Center and Gusto.