It has been almost three years since the building implosion on the former campus of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center kicked off a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project with a bang. This spring, the new development at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard reached a major milestone as the first residents moved into the Theo luxury residences, a joint venture between Continuum Partners and CIM Group. This nine-story building, offering 275 rental units atop 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, is the first piece of the high-profile, 26-acre, urban-infill project to reach completion.
With Scandinavian design touches, an outdoor pool, and great mountain views, the Theo—designed by Denver architecture firm Shears Adkins Rockmore and managed by Gables Residential—offers rental apartments in studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom layouts. Monthly rentals start at $1,345 a month for studios, $1,520 for one-bedrooms, $2,110 for two-bedrooms, and $4,160 for three-bedrooms. Currently, the Theo is over 10-percent leased, with about two new residents signing on each week, according to Heidi Kaeten, community manager for Gables Residential.
The apartments offer open-plan living, with large kitchens equipped with stainless-steel appliances and honed-quartz countertops; bedrooms with coffered ceilings and walk-in closets; and massive windows in living rooms and bedrooms. But it’s the amenities that really make the building stand out. You’ll find everything from refrigerated delivery lockers to a large indoor bike-storage facility (plus a nearby workshop where residents can tune up their rides) and a state-of-the-art workout center—complete with a studio where personalized workouts, from spin classes to yoga, are available on demand. The Theo also includes electric-vehicle charging stations and an onsite pet spa. Poolside, there’s a big hot tub and pergola-shaded entertainment area furnished with sofas and a TV. And then there’s our favorite spot: a ninth-floor lounge with breathtaking mountain views, outdoor seating, and an indoor niche that’s perfect for poker night.
Named after Colorado geneticist Dr. Theodore Puck, a faculty member of the University of Colorado Medical School for more than 50 years (his work laid the foundation for the Human Genome Project), the building pays homage to the site’s history while blending with the established neighborhoods nearby. “The University hospital site is surrounded by Denver’s premier pre-war neighborhoods,” says Mark Falcone, founder and CEO of Continuum Partners, the Denver-based firm best known as the master developer for the Union Station redevelopment project, as well as the Belmar shopping district. “[Surrounded by] Park Hill, Montclair/Hale, Hilltop, Congress Park, and Country Club, and with City Park and Cheesman Park right there too, you can’t re-create a location like this.”
The mixed-use 9th and Colorado project will eventually offer more than 2 million square feet of development, including more apartments, retail, restaurants, and a 10-screen AMC movie theater, as well as several green spaces. To date, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Zoës Kitchen, Postino Winecafé, Chase Bank, and Bellco Credit Union have all signed on. (We’re looking forward to seeing the plan for the 60,000-square-foot bridge that spans 9th Avenue, which is still in the works).
According to Falcone, such a broad array of offerings is crucial to the success of the development. “We have learned over the years how to take these large-scale, multi-phase sites and create new centers of activity with them,” he says. “We know that real estate values around these types of centers appreciate at a faster pace than for properties not served by these amenities.”
Which means that while Theo’s first residents will have to contend with the hassles of construction for the next few years, they’ll soon be reaping the benefits of living in what may well become one of Denver’s most vibrant new neighborhoods.