New construction creeping up from Highland means rapid growth for Sunnyside

New development is already spreading from Highland to its traditionally working-class sister community, Sunnyside. Here’s a look at 12 projects.

Denver on a very cold day. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Denver on a very cold day. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; highland; development; cowx; snow; winter;
The Highland neighborhood in Denver on a cold November day. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The narrative about Sunnyside being the next hot spot for developers to invade is old news, according to residents who live in the northwest Denver neighborhood.

New residential and commercial development is already creeping up from the trendy Highland neighborhood to its traditionally working-class sister community, Sunnyside. Residents and builders believe the overdue opening of the railway station at 41st Avenue and Fox Street will only accelerate growth in the area.

“There’s been a lot of things that have been happening beneath the surface, meaning developers acquiring properties and doing rezonings and things like that,” said Niles Emerick. “We’re at a point to where that change is going to start to be noticed in a visible way.”

Emerick lives near West 40th Avenue and North Pecos Street in a 19th Century, Victorian home. He and Bill Hare, who owns the woodworking shop Little Colorado, co-chair the planning and community development committee for Sunnyside United Neighbors Inc.

Emerick and Hare said like other changing communities throughout the city, Sunnyside residents are grappling with displacement, community identity and other challenges that come with a wave new development projects. They hope the area will remain a place where teachers, police officers, chefs and other middle-income earners can live with easy access to downtown.

Residents in Sunnyside tend to be more racially diverse and less wealthy than the rest of the metro area. The same isn’t true for those living in Highland to the south.

The rail station near West 41st Avenue and Fox Street is anticipated to be an access point for workers to travel to and from downtown Denver and Westminster or Wheat Ridge. The Regional Transportation District did not immediately say Wednesday when the station in Globeville is anticipated to open. A bridge is already in place to get residents over the rail lines.

The pedestrian bridge that opened in 2006 connected Highland to downtown Denver and played a key role spurring development west of Interstate 25, said Ann Hershfeldt. Hershfeldt who has lived in Highland near West 35th Avenue and Quivas Street since 2009, and worked in the area even longer, serves on the board of Highland United Neighbors Inc.

She said that it’s easy to see Highland recognized for its high-rated restaurants, speakeasies and other trendy businesses. It’s harder to realize, she said, there’s a core group of residents trying to bring more diversity, keep families rooted and continually improve Denver’s North High.

The futures of Sunnyside and Highland are scheduled to be mapped out during the next round of neighborhood plans Denver Community Planning and Development undertakes, said Laura Swartz, a spokeswoman for the planning and development department.

City officials are also expecting to start reaching out to the public next year to talk about how east Sunnyside could be one the first neighborhoods in Denver to have parking maximums. Limiting the number of spaces allowed for cars could reduce traffic congestion, Swartz said.

Parking maximums could also, as Streetsblog notes, spur development other than parking lots and monolithic garages.

Development is already in full swing, said Ben Maxwell, president of HM Capital. The Denver-based developer is in the process of converting the Catholic Charities building and parking lots, less than a mile west of the station, into townhomes, duplexes and offices.

“I’m always amazed every time I drive through the neighborhood on the back streets how many new projects are popping up over there. I think it’s already become a hot spot,” Maxwell said. “LoHi and highlands have gotten so expensive, and Sunnyside is kind of the next step in the progression.”


Zia — 4001 Inca St.

The Zia apartments planned near 4001 Inca St. in Denver. (Courtesy of Confluence Co.)
The Zia apartments planned near 4001 Inca St. in Denver. (Courtesy of Confluence Co.)

Denver Office of Economic Development is putting up a $3 million loan to help bring 431 residential units southwest of West 41st Avenue and Inca Street in Sunnyside. The project, Zia by Confluence Cos., is expected to cost $110 million and break ground during spring 2018. At least 20 percent of both the for-sale and for-rent units in Zia would be priced for families making between 80 percent and 95 percent of the average median income in Denver.

Forty 45 — 4045 Pecos St.

A rendering of the Forty 45 development plan in Sunnyside. (Courtesy of HM Capital)
A rendering of the Forty 45 development plan in Sunnyside. (Courtesy of HM Capital)

HM Capital is in the process of converting the Catholic Charities building and parking lots in Sunnyside into Forty 45, a block-long project that includes townhomes, duplexes and commercial space. Most of the redevelopment is expected to be completed early next year.

Barrel Lofts — 3616 Tejon St.

Barrel Lofts, 3616 Tejon St. (Zakhem Real Estate Group)
Barrel Lofts, 3616 Tejon St. (Zakhem Real Estate Group)

The Zakhem Real Estate Group plans to wrap up work this month on the three-story Barrel Lofts at 3616 Tejon St. in Highland. The project across the street from Lechuga’s Italian Restaurant includes 32 apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space.  Rent for the units ranges from $1,200 for the smaller units to $2,900 for the largest two-bedroom which includes a loft, said John Zakhem, managing partner of the Denver-based real estate firm.

In January, Zakhem Real Estate Group plans to work with the CEO of Larimer Associates, Jeff Hermanson, to add 40 units to 5000 W. 38th Ave. in West Highland, Zakhem said.

Alexan LoHi at Dickenson Plaza — 2001 W. 32nd Ave.

2001 W. 32nd Ave. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) development; highland; denverite; kevinjbeaty; colorado; denver;
2001 W. 32nd Ave. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Construction on the 106-unit Alexan LoHi at Dickinson Plaza is slated to wrap up in 2018, according to Tramell Crow Residential. The five-story boutique apartments at 2001 W. 32nd Ave. in Highland are anticipated to include a central courtyard, outdoor fireplace, street-level retail space and a resident lounge with a Scrabble wall, according to the website for Alexan LoHi.

Coworking office — Vallejo Street and 32nd Avenue

An office building planned at the southeast corner of West 32nd Avenue and Vallejo Street. (Courtesy of Elevate Architecture)
An office building planned at the southeast corner of West 32nd Avenue and Vallejo Street. (Courtesy of Elevate Architecture)

A three-story office could pop up next year along West 32nd Avenue in Highland. Developers submitted plans this summer to replace the former Pic’s Corner Bar and adjacent 124-year-old residential building at 2122 and 2128 W. 32nd Avenue with an office building. The project is tentatively set to break ground in spring 2018.

Revesco office — 2721 17th St.

A rendering of Revesco Properties office planned for Highland, 2721 17th St. (Courtesy of Revesco Properties)
A rendering of Revesco Properties office planned for Highland, 2721 17th St. (Courtesy of Revesco Properties)

Revesco Properties broke ground earlier this year on a spot at 2721 W. 17th St., between Williams & Graham and Postino, in Highland. The real estate company anticipates wrapping up construction in August. Revesco will likely occupy the top floor of the three-story building and fill the extra space with others looking for office space or perhaps a retailer.

The Kasserman — 2680 18th St.

2680 18th St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; highland; development;
2680 18th St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Corum Real Estate Group expects to wrap up work by September 2018 on the 100-unit apartment project near 18th and Erie streets in Highland, said Mark Lindgren, associate of development and finance at the Glendale-based firm.

The three-story project is being dubbed The Kasserman after the former area carpentry shop Kasserman & Co.

Modera LoHi — 2525 16th St.

2525 16th St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; highland; development;
2525 16th St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Mill Creek Residential submitted plans in March to develop the five-story, 129-unit Modera LoHi apartments near Boulder and 16th streets in Highland. The Dallas-based real estate firm did not return an inquiry about the project.

Platte Fifteen — 2373 15th St.

The Platte Fifteen office building planned for 2375 15th St. (Courtesy of Legend Partners)
The Platte Fifteen office building planned for 2375 15th St. (Courtesy of Legend Partners)

The five-story office building Platte Fifteen will replace the Natural Grocers near Platte and 15th streets in Highland. Crescent Real Estate and MDC Property Services are developing the project. The building is scheduled to open before the end of next year.

Circa — 1615 Platte St.

1615 Platte St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; highland; development;
1615 Platte St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Seattle-based Unico Properties LLC is developing the four-story, 96,000-square-foot Circa Building along Platte Street in Highland. The building is expected to be occupied in spring 2018 and include restaurant space on the ground floor, according to the website for the project.

Riverview at 1700 Platte — 1710 Platte St.

1710 Platte St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; highland; development;
1710 Platte St. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Riverview at 1700 Platte is a massive, 213,713-square-foot office building under construction along Platte Street in Highland. The four- and five-story project is expected to be home to BP Lower 48 headquarters. The project includes additional space for other offices as well as retail space, according to the Trammell Crow Co.

Construction on Riverview is anticipated to wrap up during the first half of 2018. Workers will be able to ride their bike along the South Platte River right up to the back of the building, said Bill Mosher, senior managing director with Trammell Crow in Denver.

Lighthouse Lofts — West 29th Avenue and Zuni Street

The corner of West 29th Avenue and Zuni Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; highland; development;
The corner of West 29th Avenue and Zuni Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Urban Green Development has filed plans to build a five-story condominium building near the southeast corner of West 29th Avenue and Zuni Street in the Highland. The Lighthouse Lofts would include 44 units ranging from about 650 square feet to 1,400 square feet. The condos will be sold starting in the $400,000 price range, said Carmelo Paglialunga, a listing agent with Mile Hi Modern.

Developers hope to break ground early next year and deliver the project in 2019, Paglialunga said. The plan filed with the city shows retail or commercial space could be set aside on the ground floor.

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

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 on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.