Dirt dominates one of Denver's largest development projects

It's expected to be the city's 'next big development.'

In the span of two years, the 26 acres between 9th Avenue and 11th Avenue along Colorado Boulevard have gone from empty hospital buildings to a destruction site to a pile of dirt.

“Oh I've been looking at the dirt since about mid-May last year,” said Mark Thompson who owns Congress Park Tavern on Colorado Boulevard. “I've seen a lot of dirt piles moved around here.”

Thompson has seen 9th and Colorado’s life cycle from when it was the vacant University of Colorado Health Center, to its demolition in August of 2015, to its current state as a construction site for 26 acres of mixed use.

“The big question is just when will it be done?” Thompson said. “When will it be done and what's going to be there? That's what we're all waiting for.”

What we do know is developers plan to use 7 acres for retail, 4 will be open space, another 4 will be offices, and the rest will be a mix of affordable and standard apartments.

Continuum Partners, the lead developer, would not delve into what could fill those spaces but said “big announcements” will be coming in the next few weeks.

“Just the fact that it's going to be 1,500 to 2,000 people moving in across the street is really going to help us out,” Thompson said of his business. “And maybe a hotel? I've heard yes, no, on a hotel which also would be really nice to have too.”

Continuum adds there will be plenty of parking for retail and residents. There is an existing parking structure from the University of Colorado hospital campus that will be reused which accommodates approximately 1,100 cars.

Continuum is also building a new garage south of 9th Avenue to support the retail and office elements. The parking cost structure is still being evaluated for residents, but commercial parking supporting retail and office is anticipated to be free.

There is no specific timeline on the project, but according to Continuum the first residential building is anticipated to open Spring 2018 (275 residential units, 40k square feet of retail).

The second phase of residential (319 residential units) will be opening in mid-2019.

The next phase of commercial (retail and office) is anticipated to start construction this fall and be complete by fall of 2019.

Total project completion including future residential phases is anticipated in 2020.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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