University of Denver plans massive construction project to convert campus core into college town in the city

The University of Denver Wednesday unveiled plans to transform the core of its campus into a bustling area for shopping and restaurants, starting with a $143 million construction project that will include a new freshman dorm and community commons area.

The initiative — called the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan — is a 10-year bid to turn the 125-acre DU campus into a vibrant college town in the heart of the city, Chancellor Rebecca Chopp said. It calls for bringing in more retail, affordable housing and restaurants to the campus and even a hotel on its north side.

DU wants to blur its campus boundaries while being more visitor friendly to surrounding neighborhoods, Chopp said. The school also will partner with the City of Denver on a variety of sustainable transportation options, she said.

“The needs of our campus and neighboring communities continue to evolve,” Chopp said. “We thought long and hard about what it means to plan for the future while keeping our core university values at the forefront. Education, the student experience and financial access remain our top priorities. To fulfill that promise, we’re creating spaces where people can establish a sense of belonging and build community.”

The first step in DU’s revamping is the construction of three new buildings, which are set to open in fall 2020.

They are:

• The $72.5 million Community Commons, which will include classrooms and study spaces, as well as places for programming, collaboration, activities and dining.

• A $55.5 million first-year, 500-bed dorm.

• A $15 million Career Achievement and Global Alumni Center that will help first-year students network for career advice and mentors.

The new dorm will be paid for by room and board charges, while the Community Commons and Career Achievement Center will be paid for, in part, by philanthropy and partnerships. Once the buildings are open in summer 2020, all undergraduate and graduate students will pay a new fee of $6.50 per credit hour to support the Commons, the university said.

As far as transportation around the campus, DU has already launched a pilot bike-share program and in July, the school will start a program with Chariot Shuttles. Chariot will provide a shuttle service for the campus with stops at the light rail and other designated route stops, DU said.

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Office Evolution leases Central Perimeter space for 2nd Atlanta location (Photos) – Atlanta Business Chronicle

A Denver co-working company that has targeted metro Atlanta for 10 locations has leased space in the Central Perimeter for its second location.

Office Evolution has leased 6,900 square feet on the first floor of the 94,575-square-foot, six-story Perimeter Center East building in Dunwoody. The location is expected to open in fall 2018. Andy Bean and Scott Thompson are the lessors through their franchise Atlanta Office Ventures LLC.

The company’s first Atlanta area location, located in Alpharetta near the Avalon mixed-use development, had a soft opening April 27. A grand opening is set for June 6.

The Perimeter location lease is for about seven years, at an annual rate between $20-$25 a square foot, said Andy Bean, area director for Atlanta, Office Evolution, and part of a franchisee group that also includes Scott Thompson and Joe Casey. The franchise group expects to open the second location in August or September.

Like the Alpharetta location at 11720 Amber Park Drive, Building 2 in Parkway 400, the Perimeter location is on the ground floor to the left of the building entrance. What Bean likes about Perimeter Center East is that there are signalized intersections to the left or the right of the building, making access to Interstate 285 easier.

Trey Dove of Cushman & Wakefield represented Office Evolution in the transaction. Perimeter Center East was represented by Michael Howell, senior vice president – office at Lincoln Property Co.

In Central Perimeter, office space overall is leasing at $27.67 a foot full service, according to Scott Amoson, vice president and director of research for Colliers International Atlanta. Class A space is leasing at $29.99 per square foot full service. Central Perimeter had the highest quarterly increase in its average rental rate in the fist quarter, up 6 percent, Amoson said in an email. "This is mostly due to the delivery of 4004 Perimeter Summit, but also due to an increase in recent demand for space in the submarket."

The local Office Evolution franchise group owns the rights to open locations in metro Atlanta from the northern suburbs down to nearly the airport, Bean said. They are on the lookout for the third and subsequent locations, while at the same time keeping an eye on the local co-working market as more companies come in.

"I am always looking" for good locations, Bean said. But "It needs to be the right thing before we do it."

The Alpharetta location is "ahead of projections" as far as memberships, but Bean declined to give specific numbers. "We have a lot of traction now that we are open and people can see the space," he said, although the interior decor is not completedly finished. The company is adding art and furnishings prior to the grand opening, he said.

Office Evolution, which works with Cushman & Wakefield Inc. to locate real estate, had 35 locations open around the country as of January 2018 and planned to open another 30 through 2018, expecting to end the year with around 65 locations, founder and CEO Mark Hemmeter said.

Startup locations are usually 7,000–10,000 square feet, while conversions (Office Evolution buys an independent operator and converts it to the Office Evolution brand) can be up to 25,000 square feet.

The franchisee is the owner of the business, while Office Evolution supports the franchise with design, construction and site location real estate services; website; sales training; a national call center based in Denver; and office technology support. For that support, the franchisee pays the franchisor a royalty fee of 7.5 percent of revenue, Hemmeter said. Because it’s a suburban operation, Office Evolution "has to be more efficient," with centralized technology, billing and call center.

Office Evolution charges about $150 per month for open co-working space on a drop-in basis; $299 a month for the professional plan, which gives 24/7 access to the local office as well as all other Office Evolution locations across the country plus a virtual receptionist; and $1,100 a month (billed annually) for private office space, which comes with all of the professional plan amenities, said Andy Bean, area director for Atlanta, Office Evolution, and part of a franchisee group that also includes Scott Thompson and Joe Casey. A tiered payment structure ranges from month-to-month up to an annual contract, with better terms for longer commitments.

The Alpharetta location was slated to have 33 offices for permanent members, with the smallest office at 200 square feet, and drop-in space for up to 25.

Atlanta is the fifth largest co-working market in the United States behind Manhattan, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, according to a Nov. 28, 2017, Cushman & Wakefield blog.

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Element Properties Opens Denver-Area Affordable Housing Community

Element Properties has opened the doors of SPARKwest, a 45-unit affordable housing community in Boulder, Colo. Developed in partnership with Boulder Housing Partners and Thistle, a management and leasing services provider, SPARKwest is part of the larger SPARK development—an 11-acre mixed-use project that will eventually feature 273 mixed-income units. In fall last year, Element Properties invested in another property in the same city. In a joint venture with Signature Partners, the company closed $11 million in financing for a 60-unit community in Boulder.

Located at 3215 Bluff St., SPARKwest is just north of the Steel Yards neighborhood. The property features 19 three- and 26 two-bedroom units, all equipped with washers and dryers. Amenities include complimentary RTD bus EcoPasses for all residents and bike path access. Additionally, the community has a 116-kilowatt solar system. Sopher-Sparn Architects designed the property to meet LEED standards.

A public-private effort

The City of Boulder contributed $3.8 million for the project, while the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) provided the Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits. SPARKwest was also funded by the proceeds from the sale of tax-exempt private activity bonds issued by the CHFA.

SPARKwest is currently fully occupied, following almost two months of intense leasing activity. Nine apartments are restricted to residents earning 60 percent of the area’s median income, while the remaining 36 residences are set aside for residents making no more than 50 percent of the area’s median income.

“The overwhelming demand we saw for the 45 homes at SPARKwest is a sign of how much work remains to develop an array of meaningful solutions for our community’s housing challenges,” said Element Properties Principal of Community Development Kevin Knapp, in prepared remarks.

Images courtesy of Element Properties

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DURA assistance keeps family in longtime Denver home

Copyright 2018 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

DENVER— The Denver Urban Renewal Authority’s (DURA) Housing Rehabilitation program helped 50 homeowners across the city and county of Denver with home repairs in 2017.

Myron Tanenbaum, a Colorado homeowner, told Denver7 he doesn’t know where his family would be without the program’s help.

Some background: The Housing Rehabilitation programs match low-income and moderate-income residents with grants and low-interest loans for emergency repairs. According to DURA officials, this includes hot water heater replacement, installing a new roof or replacing sewer lines.

Tanenbaum said he received notice from the City of Denver, alerting him about a crack in an underground pipe that was running through his property.

He said the notice required he take care of the issue in a timely manner.

Tanenbaum told Denver7 about the financial hardship his family has faced, since his daughter was diagnosed with cancer. He said paying for treatment has made it close to impossible for his family to afford any repair work.

He said he explained this difficulty to the city worker who did the inspection on the pipe. Tanenbaum said that’s when he was directed to DURA.

“We have resources ready to spend,” Tracy Huggins told Denver7.

Huggins is DURA’s executive director.

She referred to resources that ultimately provided contractors and construction to Tanenbaum.

Huggins added these are resources that are available to those who “income qualify.”

“To be able to come in and have someone manage the entire construction project with you, and be able to look up and have your home be really safe and much more enjoyable,” Huggins said as she explained the impact of the program. “[It’s] a program that doesn’t require you to make a payment – if you income qualify at that level – until you sell the house.”

Huggins explained what the programs provide and who they help. She said particularly those who are elderly or who have fixed incomes.

She said this assistance is “not just a loan program,” but that DURA provides wrap-around services for those earning at-or-below 80 percent of the area median income.

Loan staff determine eligibility, then a rehabilitation team inspects the property and puts together a list of what work needs to be addressed.

The work is then coordinated with the homeowner.

Denver7 followed Tanenbaum around his property as he pointed out areas where work was done on the pipe.

As he walked through his yard, he sighed and said, “It’s hard keeping up with this place.”

A place Tanenbaum has called home for the last 31 years.

“Without DURA I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” he said.

Copyright 2018 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Polsinelli grows in Denver, adds 20 lawyers since November and new practice area – Denver Business Journal

The Polsinelli law firm has been expanding its Denver office, adding 20 lawyers over the winter and recently adding a high-profile intellectual property attorney who helped bring the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to the city.

John Posthumus, formerly of Denver-based Sheridan Ross, joined Polsinelli as a partner in its growing intellectual property practice two weeks ago.

Kansas City-based Polsinelli PC, which moved its Denver office into a new 22-story tower at 1401 Lawrence St. a year ago, now has 91 lawyers in Denver, with a couple more joining in coming days, said Jennifer Evans, managing partner in Denver for Polsinelli.

Gallery: Polsinelli law firm shows off new office in new downtown Denver building

Kansas City-based Polsinelli Denver office moved into its new office at 1401 Lawrence St. in December. The firm has the naming rights on the newly erected building and hosted a party March 2 to celebrate.

VIEW SLIDESHOW 14 photos

“We are filling up faster than I anticipated,” said Evans, adding that it’s making the entire four-floor office a busy place.

Polsinelli’s growth in Denver is part of an ongoing national expansion that has included adding offices in Houston and Palo Alto, California, she said.

The 900-attorney firm manages the business by practice areas; it’s growth isn’t primarily led by geography, but by where client demand is for specific legal areas and where it can attract the relevant attorneys, Evans said.

Denver’s booming economy has helped spur the law firm’s local growth.

“We have so many clients in Denver, or in this part of the country, who either have their whole business here or their clients are in this part of the country.” Evans said. “Like everyone, we’ve benefited from that infusion of capital, people and energy.”

The fastest growing parts of the Denver office include Polsinelli’s global franchise business supply chain legal practice, its corporate M&A law practice and its intellectual property practice.

The company’s adding a Denver- and Dallas-based practice in franchise supply chain law, based on the hiring of attorneys Joyce Mazero and Len MacPhee who will be co-chairs of the practice.

In addition to having clients here, lawyers in the M&A practice benefit by being located centrally with easy access to coastal business centers and other parts of the country, Evans said.

The way Polsinelli’s been shaping its practice to attract and retain clients as it has grown helped convince Posthumus to join its IP practice, he said.

“I’ve been watching them for a while and noticing what they were doing, which was quite a bit different from other firms in town,” said Posthumus, who had spent eight years at Sheridan Ross, a boutique that specializes in intellectual property work, but previously had worked at other national law firms with a presence in Denver.

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John Posthumus, an Denver intellectual property lawyer, recently joined Polsinelli PC’s expanding IP law practice.

Polsinelli has big law firm resources and legal capability, Posthumus said, but it makes itself accessible to clients of all sizes with a mid-market rate structure and a flexibility to pull resources from different practice areas across the organization as needed, he said.

“It’s nice sweet spot, I think,” he said.

Posthumus was one of the main lawyers that led a several-year effort to convince the federal government to open U.S. Patent and Trademark Office satellite locations outside Washington D.C., and to put one of them in Denver.

The Denver USPTO office opened in 2014 — one of four regional offices created nationwide — and made the city the patent hub for a nine-state region.

It has between 125-150 federal patent examiners now, and there’s a growing awareness in the regional business community of the services the USPTO offers, Posthumus said.

He said he hopes to start work on convincing the newly-appointed USPTO chief in Washington, D.C. to expand the staffing at all the regional USPTO offices — maybe having as many as 2,000 examiners in Denver by 2024 — in the hope of alleviating the longstanding backlog of patent applications filed by companies, entrepreneurs and inventors.

2018 Largest Denver-Area Law Firms

Ranked by No. of attorneys in Denver-area as of Oct. 1, 2018

Rank Business name No. of attorneys in Denver-area as of Oct. 1, 2018 1 Holland & Hart LLP 218 2 Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP 151 3 Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 141 View This List

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$55 million building continues the growth of major bioscience campus in metro Denver (Photos) – Denver Business Journal

A 125-acre, ongoing medical-themed development in Aurora is growing with the addition of a $55 million bioscience building.

The three-story, 115,000-square-foot Bioscience 3 building will join two others already on the Fitzsimons Innovation Community.

The community is a continued build-out of the northern part of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, which moved to the area from East 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard after the Fitzsimons Army base closed there in the late 1990s. The CU Anschutz Medical Campus is a sprawling, multi-building campus that houses hospitals, the university med school, tech and medical startups, hotels, apartments and more.

At the time the CU Anschutz Medical Campus moved there, the city of Aurora and CU partnered to create the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, an organization to lead the development of the campus.

In addition to the new Bioscience 3 building, plans are underway for a Bioscience 4, 5 and 6, as well as a science and technology middle and high school. Aurora Public Schools is partnering with DSST Public Schools — which operates open enrollment for STEM charter schools for Denver Public Schools — to build that school.

Steve VanNurden, president and CEO of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, said the organization is also working with Denver-based developer AIMCO to bring 240 more apartments to the 600-unit "Fitzsimons 21" building already there. And it plans to add a hotel and restaurants, breaking ground in late 2018 or early 2019.

"What we’re really trying to do is building a community," VanNurden said. "We’re not going to build out the campus just to build it out. We want to be strategic about it. It’s more strategic growth."

The two buildings currently on the Fitzsimons Innovation Community — Bioscience 1 (built in the late 1990s) and Bioscience 2 (built in 2015) — house more than 65 companies and are typically at capacity.

Bioscience 3 will house laboratories, research bays, open offices, office suites, flexible warehouse and distribution space. Amenities will include a 100-seat flexible auditorium, shared conference facilities, a café with outdoor seating and covered parking. It is scheduled to open in 2019 at an estimated cost of about $55 million.

CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman said the new building provides a clear path for faculty to take ideas into the commercial realm, which "enables us to attract top talent, who generate further innovation — all for the ultimate benefit of the health of people in Colorado and beyond."

"This building and others to come represent what makes us unique among research communities,” VanNurden said. “A physician here can see a patient at 9 a.m., teach a class at 11 a.m., go work in their lab at 1 p.m. and visit their company at 3 p.m., never once having to get in their car to leave campus.”

Denver-based Mortenson — which has developed other biotech communities, such as Discovery Square adjacent to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota — will serve as the developer and design/builder.

Tabor Sweet, director of development at Mortenson, said the company is looking at unique options such as "co-labbing" and incubator spaces that "will help provide the biotech community with the top level tools and support they need to do their most innovative and best work."

2017 Hospitals by Licensed beds

Ranked by Number of licensed beds as of Jan. 1, 2017

Rank Business name Number of licensed beds as of Jan. 1, 2017 1 Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center 680 2 University of Colorado Hospital 673 3 Denver Health 525 View This List

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A Historic Toke at the Coffee Joint, Denver’s First Licensed Pot Lounge

The Coffee Joint opened for cannabis consumption in mid-March.

While there have been a few private clubs sprinkled around the state that allow pot consumption upon membership, they’re largely unregulated, walk a thin line with local law enforcement, and are off the beaten path, making them difficult to access for average and novice users. The Coffee Joint, owned by a group that co-owns the dispensary next door, provides a social experience that’s supposed to be different, selling customers small drinks and snacks while they consume cannabis that they must bring in to the licensed establishment. Continue reading “A Historic Toke at the Coffee Joint, Denver’s First Licensed Pot Lounge”

Colorado growth-control measure is a non-starter with candidates for governor – Denver Business Journal

If veteran activist Daniel Hayes can get a growth-limitation initiative on the November ballot, he’ll not only have to contend with Colorado business and municipal groups that are expected to oppose it, but also with gubernatorial candidates from both major parties.

Every significant candidate for Colorado governor has come out against the proposal already. Continue reading “Colorado growth-control measure is a non-starter with candidates for governor – Denver Business Journal”