The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
If you’ve spent time recently outside Coors Field near 20th street, you’ve probably noticed a sizable hole in the ground where there once was a parking lot. You might even have noticed cranes adorned with Rockies banners looming over that hole. We’ve known since late 2017 that a massive mixed-use development was coming to the site of what was formerly the West Lot, but more details about the design have since emerged. At an event Thursday afternoon, Rockies owner Dick Monfort revealed the development will be called McGregor Square, honoring former Rockies President Keli McGregor, who died unexpectedly in 2010.
The nearly 700,000 square-foot development, which will be built between Wynkoop and Wazee streets, should be completed in January 2021. It’s being billed as a way to enhance the Ballpark neighborhood, even during the months when no baseball is being played at Coors Field.
“We want to make it relevant year-round. We want to activate this area on more than just game days,” says John Yonushewski, senior principal at Stantec, the firm responsible for designing McGregor Square. “I think it will be a win not just for this particular project, but also it will be a win for the adjacent property owners, as well.”
According to Yonushewski, the teams from Stantec and the Rockies engaged with neighborhood stakeholders and community groups to get a sense of what the neighborhood needed. From those conversations it became clear that open space was a priority, which is why the square was designed with an outdoor “content plaza” at its center—a 25,000 square-foot public gathering spot with a grass berm and a multimedia screen. The space could be used for festivals and small concerts, as well as a spot for people in the neighborhood to relax during the day, Yonushewski says.
To create more openness and public space, McGregor Square will abut the already-existing but underutilized Wynkoop Plaza, a 25,000 square-foot promenade between 19th and 20th streets just outside of the stadium. Additionally, another 75,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space will be open to the public, though it’s still unclear what businesses will occupy that space.
Still, the majority of the 655,000 above-ground square footage will be comprised of a luxury hotel, private residences, and office space. The hotel, which will be operated by Sage Hospitality (the company behind Denver hotels like the Oxford, Maven, and Halcyon) is expected to contain about 175 rooms and will be linked via a sky bridge to a complex of more than 100 private residences. The sky bridge will contain a shared workout space for residents of the apartments and hotel guests, and atop the apartment building will be a shared swimming pool.
McGregor Square will be sitting in place of what was nearly 300 parking spots, so underneath the development contractors are building a two story parking garage which will feature approximately 400 spots, some of which will be reserved for hotel guests and private residents.
The heart of the project is still baseball, and the vision for the square parallels what other ballparks are developing across the country. McGregor Square will feature a Colorado Rockies Hall of Fame and will serve as a natural extension from Coors Field, something Yonushewski says will extend the game day experience for fans who are visiting the restaurants and retail spaces before and after games.
How the development will affect nearby business remains to be seen, but Yonushewski says he expects that local restaurants and retailers will reap the rewards of more people to the area, too.