The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Manhattan-based development firm Greenwich Realty Capital announced plans this week to build an approximately 1,000-foot-tall skyscraper in downtown Denver that would tower over the rest of city’s skyline. The $400 million project, slated for 650 17th Street, will need approval from the city but has already been dubbed “Denver’s first iconic skyscraper” by the developers.
The one million-square-foot building would include 248 luxury condominiums, a boutique hotel, 22,000 square feet of retail space and more than 500 parking spaces for both residents and community members, according to Michael Ursini, co-founder and managing director of Greenwich Realty Capital. The project also promises “unprecedented amenities,” including multiple terraces and pools, a spa, and a fitness center.
“We’re talking about a huge, gigantic, monster building,” Ursini says. “It will be unlike anything ever built in Colorado.”
Ursini’s firm is in the process of purchasing the 25,000 square-foot lot where the tower would be built. But before construction can begin, the project must be reviewed by the Denver Community Planning and Development Department. Ursini says he expects the city to approve the project, because zoning doesn’t restrict height and the tower will be built in accordance with city code. While he has no time table on when the city might approve the project, he hopes to break ground during the summer of 2018. He expects construction to last about three years.
Still, Ursini concedes that building in Colorado is uncharted territory for him. “Everything about this building is more expensive, more time consuming, more difficult, because the eyes of Colorado have never seen something like this,” he says. “I’ve never built a building of this magnitude.”
The building is being designed by Carlos Ott, an internationally acclaimed architect from Uruguay who is working in conjunction with New York-based Crown Architecture and with Denver-based Davis Partnership Architects. But the specifics of the design are yet to be established. A 42-page media kit released by Crown says the tower will be 75 stories and 800-feet tall, whereas Ursini says the building will be “approximately 1,000 feet tall” and the Greenwich website says it will contain 90 stories. Regardless of the final height—if this tower comes to fruition—it will loom higher than any other building in the Mile High City. Currently, the tallest building is the 714-foot Republic Plaza at 370 17th street.
So, does Ursini think the skyscraper will appeal to Denver residents? “I wouldn’t spend $400 million if I didn’t think that,” Ursini says. “Why would I build it if people weren’t going to like it? We chose to come to Denver after doing extensive homework and a lot of due diligence. The answer is unequivocally, yes, we believe this will be a success.”