The High Life

As Denver starts to embrace penthouse living, we give you a tour of the city’s crown jewel.

May 2007

In a market downturn such as we’re experiencing, conventional real estate wisdom tells you to be cautious—minimize your expectations, reel in your spending, sit tight where you are, and wait for the whole thing to blow over. But flying in the face of this admonitory advice are a slew of for-sale signs swinging in the breeze at some of the toniest addresses downtown. (And we’re not just talking about Denver Country Club.)

Take, for example, Christian Anschutz’s new project at the intersection of Fillmore Street and First Avenue, in the heart of the Cherry Creek North shopping district. The seven-story, luxury condo tower comes with a hefty $800-per-square-foot price tag. And it’s not an anomaly. In the next year, there will be a half dozen über-luxury condo projects for sale downtown. East West’s new units at One Riverfront are starting at $1 million. Great Gulf’s 1401 Lawrence expects to go for top dollar. Even the venerable Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons are throwing their hats in the ring (with rumored price tags in the $850-per-square-foot range).

If 2006 is any indication of what’s to come, it seems that Denver’s top buyers are ready to play ball. Jan Nelsen, partner at The Kentwood Company, tells us that of the 20 or so $2 million-and-up downtown properties on the market last year, most have already sold.