Denver officials give initial OK to doubling Dr. Foster building height on the 16th Street Mall

Developers can continue with their plans to stack six stories on a more than 100-year-old building along the 16th Street Mall and create a nearby two-story hotel where a popcorn store and pot shop currently sit.

A project proposed for 910 16th St. (City and County of Denver)
A project proposed for 910 16th St. (City and County of Denver)
A project proposed for 910 16th St. (City and County of Denver)

Developers can continue with their plans to stack six stories on a more than 100-year-old building along the 16th Street Mall and create a nearby two-story hotel where a popcorn store and pot shop currently sit.

Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission approved the overall scope of the project as well as the demolition of 1555 Champa St. on Tuesday. The commission will have to weigh in on final details of the project before construction starts.

Jim Johnson, a founding partner with the architecture firm Johnson Nathan Strohe presented the plan Tuesday along with Bill Walsh, the president Walsh Associates Inc. The New York-based firm has managed several hotel projects throughout the United States, according to its website.

Initial details show the companies are proposing knocking down the so-called “popcorn building” at 1555 Champa St. The one-story building that houses City Pop and Native Roots was constructed in 1936.

Directly northwest of the “popcorn building,” the project team proposes adding six stories on top of the Dr. Foster addition building at 1910 16th St. That would make the building, originally built in 1911, 12 stories and on par with the existing A.C. Forster Building that fronts 16th Street, their plan shows.

The layout of the 910 16th St. project. (City of Denver)
The layout of the 910 16th St. project. (City of Denver)

Johnson declined after the meeting to tell Denverite when 1555 Champa St. would be demolished or give a timeline for the overall project. He said that floors two through 12 could “potentially” be used as a hotel.

Walsh told the commission he’s unsure if the “popcorn” building or the iconic pencil-painted coal stack, “Pencil Coal Stack,” will have to be removed for the project, but that the project team wanted permission for the demolition and removal in case that proved to be the easier route.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or@adriandgarcia on Twitter.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was recently elected to the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.