UPDATED: Proposed skyscraper would be Denver's tallest building

Our report on September 26 did not have the most up-to-date info or news from the city.

DENVER - A developer on Wednesday announced detailed plans about its proposal to build what would be Denver’s tallest skyscraper – a 90-story spire featuring luxury condominiums, a boutique hotel, retail space and parking.

New York-based Greenwich Realty Capital, in a press release, said the building would include more than 1 million square feet of space and offer “unparalleled mountain and city views from the residences, all of which will occupy the uppermost floors.”

Although it’s not clear when ground could be broken, the project at 650 17th St. is on track, despite confusion sparked when officials in Denver’s Community Planning and Development office said it was dead.

It’s not, according to GRC and others involved in the proposal.

“The project is in design,” said Brit Probst of Davis Partnership Architects, a Denver firm heavily involved in the project. “We have been in formal meetings with the city.”

According to GRC’s release, the building would include 248 luxury condominium residences, 22,000 square feet of retail space and 500 parking spots.

Currently, the 56-story, 714-foot tall Republic Plaza, opened in 1984, is Denver’s tallest building, according to Emporis, a company that maintains a global database of skyscrapers and other “high” value structures.

The Greenwich Realty Capital project was the subject of a report Tuesday by 9NEWS. Wednesday morning, Andrea Burns, a spokeswoman for the city’s planning office, said that the project was not going forward in response to that story. Burns said that a preliminary application had been filed Dec. 27, 2016, but had lapsed in February because no progress had been made.

“They verbally indicated the plan is not going forward,” Burns told 9NEWS.

It turns out that the project that’s not going forward was proposed by a different developer. That application, provided to 9NEWS by the city, lists the name of a Miami developer and describes a building similar to, but not exactly like what Greenwich Realty Capital has proposed in the same location.

In fact, GRC has yet to file paperwork with the city but Probst said the company’s representatives have had multiple meetings with Brad Buchanan, Denver’s planning director. Burns, confirmed that meetings have taken place, describing them as “conceptual” discussions about the project.

“Generally speaking, I think the city has been supportive of this building,” Probst told 9NEWS. “The meetings have been productive.”

According to the release, GRC hired Carlos Ott, an internationally recognized architect, to design the tower. Ott won a worldwide competition in 1983 to design Paris’ new opera house.

Ott’s firm, which has offices in multiple countries, in turn retained Davis Partnership Architects. The Denver firm will be the architect of record on the project.

“Denver is at an exciting moment in its history and we believe our development plan for 650 17th St. will help further catalyze the evolution of downtown while respecting the essential character of the city,” Michael Ursini, a co-founder and managing partner of GRC, said, according to the release.

The land where the company proposed to build the skyscraper is currently a parking lot at the corner of 17th and California Streets. According to Denver property records, it is owned by Paradise Investment Properties.

Richard Geller, the company’s registered agent, could not be reached Wednesday. However, Probst said that GRC has a contract to purchase the land.

Probst said he expected the company to formally file an application for the project later this year or early in 2018.

Once ground is broken, construction could take about three years, Probst said.

Editor’s note: An earlier report on this project was based on information from a presentation by Greenwich Realty Capital that was posted online. That report was the subject of a correction filed by 9NEWS following information provided by an official in Denver’s planning office suggesting that the project had been withdrawn from consideration. An examination of Denver planning documents, however, showed that the project that had been withdrawn was actually an earlier proposal to build a skyscraper on the same plot of land.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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