With residential properties becoming less affordable, and inventory remaining tight across the country, young professionals are flocking to mixed use rental communities in the city, where they can be close to work and play. This trend gives commercial developers a unique opportunity. Rather than being seen as adversarial outsiders, they can work to build collaborative communities and position themselves on the cutting edge of urban revitalization.
The Case of LoDo
Denver's "LoDo" (Lower Downtown) district shows how new mixed-use building projects have the potential to strengthen communities while at the same time enhancing the city's historic appeal. This 29-block section of brew pubs, galleries, restaurants, and museums is the oldest neighborhood in the city, home to Union Station, Coors Field and Larimer Square. Since Coors Field arrived on the scene in 1995, renewed interest in the neighborhood has made LoDo one of the most desirable places to live in Denver, creating a demand for more housing and for businesses that are close to the action.
The solution has been an influx of mixed-use and other development properties, the most recent of which will be Market Station, a $200M project in the works on the block fronting the 16th Street Mall. The developer's spokesperson, Roger Pecsok, demonstrates that he understands how important it is to find the right community niche. "The energy at [nearby] Union Station is largely food-oriented,” Pecsok says in an interview with 5280 Magazine. “We’re going to provide a lot larger retail base.”
Providing What the Community Needs
Another great example of how development can anticipate the community's needs is the Class AA high rise office building at 1401 Lawrence, home of FIRMSPACE and other companies. Its spare and refined aesthetic have garnered 1401 Lawrence the Design-Build Institute of America's National Award of Merit and the NAIOP Colorado Office Development of the Year Award.
From the outside, the green construction contributes gracefully to the city's skyline, its glass facade reflecting the historic buildings of LoDo rather than overshadowing them. Even the smallest details of the building, such as the glass monument sign outside, are designed to appeal to passersby and anchor the building.
The new build occupies a prime location, bridging LoDo and Denver's Central Business District, and it has taken that spot to heart, providing timely business space for the residents of LoDo so that they can live where they work. This responsiveness to neighborhood demand is key to urban revitalization. Businesses, and the buildings that host them, become like missing pieces of a puzzle that fit into place and complete it.
You Can Have It All
FIRMSPACE, the luxury flexible office space for professionals, puts your business into a space that reflects your ethos without forcing you into an untenable long-term lease commitment. Since its launch in 2017, the company has opened locations in Austin and at 1401 Lawrence in Denver. Book a conference room or take a tour to learn how the amenities of some of the country's most beautiful buildings can be available to house your business.