The developer of the location, where the Denver Post’s print shop was once located at the intersection of Interstates 25 and 70, has taken the new campus of the World Trade Center Denver, which originally had a location in the RiNo district as an anchor, as an anchor.
“While it was a difficult decision to move, it was an obvious one,” said Karen Gerwitz, president and
WTC Denver CEO on the decision to leave a 2.1 acre development at the factories on 38th Avenue and between Blake and Walnut Streets.
For 27 years, WTC Denver called two towers home on 16th Street and Broadway. However, the skyscrapers could not fulfill a larger vision of the group of offering common rooms, cultural facilities, accommodation, restaurants and meeting rooms to an internationally oriented public in one central location.
After WTC Denver had narrowed down a field with more than two dozen potential customers, it joined forces in early 2016 with the developers Sean Campbell and FORMATIV, who had previously developed INDUSTRY. However, the project took much longer than expected and the scope of the original proposal has been narrowed, especially after the pandemic.
“We had originally hoped that this would open by 2019. We are hungry for it,” said Gerwitz. When she learned what Jose Carredano, director of the Denver arm of Pure Development, was up to at Fox Park, she found that his vision was 100% what her group had hoped for.
At 41 acres, he had a lot more space to accomplish this, and he’s not afraid to move forward in commercial real estate despite the recession. It also helps that the location had a transit train stop that provides easy access to downtown Denver and the airport.
“They were so focused on what we thought,” said Carredano. “It fits very well. We are happy that this is showing the world community how something can happen. “
Born in Mexico City, Carredano and his family have completed projects in World Trade Centers in other countries. He gave Fox Park a global focus that would have put it in competition with what FORMATIV had planned.
The former 327,000-square-foot facility, where the postal presses once buzzed, is being converted and expanded to house the World Trade Center Denver Complex, which is slated to open next year. It will include a cultural center, international exhibition hall, boutique hotel, performing arts center, conference center, as well as international themed restaurants, retail, fitness center, maker space and art galleries.
The complex will be the centerpiece and the first phase of a four-phase development that will include 2.2 million square meters of office space and 3,400 residential units. While the market will determine how quickly it can be set up, Carredano hopes it will be ready within 10 years.
Kathleen Fogler of Tryba Architects designed the master plan for the development, and the Denver Botanic Gardens will design and maintain 14 acres of public parks and open spaces, including an outdoor amphitheater and an on-site kindergarten.
Alison Nestel-Patt, a spokeswoman for FORMATIV and Golub, the developers of 3800 Blake Street Station, said they are still committed to office development at the location and wished WTC Denver all the best.
“We know that project delays due to the COVID pandemic have created a schedule that doesn’t align with the organization’s need for a more immediate home. We wish them all the best and look forward to celebrating the opening of their new headquarters, ”she said in an email.
The name of the developer of the 3800 Blake Street Station was wrong in the original version. A comment from FORMATIV was added. A note from a source that Metropolitan State University would use Fox Park facilities for its performing arts program has been removed. No formal agreement was signed.