2M Square Feet of Office Planned for RiNo

Watershed, a nine-story, 180,000-square-foot, WELL Certified office building in RiNo will offer more than 9,000 square feet of dedicated/private outdoor space. (Photo: Koelbel)

By Katie Rapone, editor, Mile High CRE

Adding to the 1 million square feet of recently completed office development in RiNo, approximately 1.5 to 2 million square feet of additional office development is planned for Denver’s burgeoning River North Art District, firmly placing it on the right track to becoming Denver’s most iconic business district.

Andrew Feinstein, chief executive officer and president, EXDO Development, and his team, have spearheaded the redevelopment of RiNo from a low-dense, industrial warehouse district into one of the most exciting urban development opportunities in the United States. In 2000, EXDO Development acquired the block where the EXDO Event Center and Tracks night club are located, between 35th and 36th/Walnut and Larimer. Since then, Feinstein and his team have embarked on a curation process for their property to ensure that RiNo evolves into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood and community, with many different and iconic real estate product types.

“After we opened our doors as a hospitality operation in 2002, we began to acquire surrounding property between the mid-2000s through the early 2010s for event center parking, as well as long term investment property, knowing, maybe more hoping, that this corner of Denver would be primed for development some day. By the end of 2013, we controlled over 23 acres of property in RiNo on the east side of the 38th and Blake Commuter Rail Station,” said Feinstein.

The recently completed office projects in RiNo include HUB from Elevation Development (sold to Beacon Capital), Flight and Zeppelin Station from Zeppelin Development, Catalyst from Koelbel, Industry RiNo Station from Q Factor, LLC, and Enterprise coworking from Focus Corporation.

From 2015 to 2018, the RiNo community board worked in collaboration with former City Councilman Albus Brooks and the Mayor’s community planning and development team, to re-zone a majority of RiNo to allow for greater density but require “active ground floor commercial use” on ALL new development projects.

“We believe RiNo will actually rival Cherry Creek and/or the CBD as Denver’s most walkable neighborhood. When RiNo is “complete”, the office worker, resident or visitor in RiNo will have something to walk to at the base of every building – and we’re quite proud of that,” said Feinstein.

There is growing concern from many developers that Denver could become oversaturated with coworking space. According to Feintstein, co-working makes up about 30-40 percent of the collective space in RiNo, including newly constructed and under construction office projects. Many of the planned projects — Hines/McCaffrey’s T3, Schnitzer West’s The Current and Koelbel’s Watershed — don’t appear to have any emphasis or incorporation of co-working.

“They seem to have a focus on private offices built out like creative, open co-working space, which is really great to see and hopefully will continue RiNo’s story as Denver’s epicenter for creative business development,” added Feinstein.

Next in the construction pipeline are the following office developments that were recently featured as part of NAIOP and Newmark Knight Frank’s 2019 Property Tour:


Slated to break ground next year, Koelbel and Company intends to capitalize on the success of the 100 percent leased Catalyst HTI development. A look at the latest rendering suggests that the nine-story, 180,000-square-foot, WELL Certified building stands to architecturally break the mold of traditional office buildings.

L&M Capital Investments is partnering with Koelbel on the Watershed project. The architect is Gensler and the general contractor is JE Dunn.

Uniquely, Watershed will offer more than 9,000 square feet of dedicated/private outdoor space — a rare commodity in the Denver commercial landscape. The building’s design integrates a series of eight stepping patio outdoor spaces cascading toward the Platte River. Experiential retail located along the “paseo” – from Brighton Boulevard into the activated alley – will be a draw for the building’s tenants and visitors alike.

“Watershed provides a more sophisticated mature feel than you typically see in RiNo. This is a pivotal transition period for the neighborhood — RiNo has definitely elevated over the past three or four years and we feel it is at a turning point where you are starting to see a lot more sophisticated and higher dense developments,” says Dean Koelbel.

Watch the video here

The Current

Seattle-based Schnitzer West and Crafts Cos., a Denver-based real estate firm, will develop a 12-story, Class-A office building at 3615 Delgany St. that will feature 200,000 square feet of office and retail space.

Set to be completed Fall 2021, the building will feature two levels of underground parking, three levels of above-grade podium parking and eight floors of office space. Infinitely flexible floor plates, each averaging approx. 29,000 square feet, will offer tenants the opportunity to design a space that works for their unique needs. Floors 11 and 12 will feature a 32 foot clear “great room” working and leisure space, conference center and a rooftop terrace featuring panoramic views of the Front Range.

“One of the hallmarks of the Schnitzer West brand is the development of great rooms. We initiated this concept into all of our office buildings 22 years ago. We wanted to provide the greatest space in the building for all of the tenants to use and for the first time we will be moving the great room up to the top floor,” says Doug Zabel, managing investment partner for Schnitzer West in Denver.

The building will also provide 24/7 secured parking located within the building envelope, including subterranean parking.

Watch the video here

3060 Brighton Blvd

Part of Vario, Mass Equities’ (MEQ) 7.8-acre development project, 3060 Brighton Blvd encompasses the repositioning of an existing 65-year-old, 64,000-square-foot manufacturing/industrial building into a state-of-the-art, 74,000-square-foot, 2-story, creative office building.

Adjacent to MEQ’s 2900 Brighton multitenant residential and retail project, 3060 will feature 22 foot ceilings and 19 skylights. Amenities will include a new flagship restaurant and retail with prominent frontage on Brighton Blvd. Tenants will have direct access to LoDo and Union Station’s intermodal light rail and bus hub.

“We are taking the old brick building and putting an incredible glass jewel box on the corner for a mix of old and new,” says Brian Bair, MEQ.

Watch the video here

The Hub North

Located right next to the 38th and Blake Lightrail station, The Hub North, owned by Beacon Capital Partners, offers a boutique Class A modern workspace experience designed in direct conversation with the adjacent Hub South building, and completes the two-building creative campus. 

Floor plans are offered from 3,000 -14,000 RSF and are highly adaptable, meeting the needs of both single tenant and multi-tenant scenarios. The building’s efficient structural grid and offset core create a column-free framework for maximum flexibility while affording an excellent window line with mountain views.

Watch the video here

North Wynkoop

Westfield Company, a Denver-based real estate investment, development and management company, purchased a 14-acre site in North RiNo in May of 2014. Westfield is planning a mixed-use community including a 90,000 square foot office and retail building, anchored by Westfield’s new Mission Ballroom music venue.

“We knew that we were a bookend for the edge of RiNo that hadn’t seen any redevelopment. We played an important part in creating synergy with the National Western and making sure that we were bringing uses that hadn’t yet been seen in the neighborhood. That’s what ultimately led us to bring s large scale music venue to the project,” says Jonathan Alpert, partner for Westfield Company.

Watch the video here

Videos courtesy of NAIOP

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