Den­ver de­vel­op­ers buy into the Mar­ket

Cov­eted 13 acres at old De­nargo site get snapped up

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Em­i­lie Rusch

The last ma­jor un­de­vel­oped chunk of the old De­nargo Mar­ket site in Den­ver’s River North neigh­bor­hood has been sold to a trio of lo­cal in­vestors that in­cludes the founder of CorePower Yoga.

And with the white­hot con­di­tions of RiNo’s real es­tate mar­ket, they’ve al­ready re­ceived sev­eral un­so­licited bids to take part of the 13 acres off their hands.

“Peo­ple got wind of it when we were un­der con­tract,” said Katie Abrams, pres­i­dent of KAGE Part­ners, onethird of the part­ner­ship that pur­chased the land in late De­cem­ber. “It’s such a phe­nom­e­nal site that a lot of peo­ple have been in­ter­ested in de­vel­op­ing it.”

KAGE Part­ners — along with Brue Cap­i­tal Part­ners and Tice Cap­i­tal, as in CorePower founder Trevor Tice — paid $32 mil­lion for the prop­erty, owned by Texas-based Cy­press Real Es­tate Ad­vi­sors since 2006.

The new own­ers have yet to de­cide on their plans for the land, but Abrams said the zon­ing al­lows for-sale res­i­den­tial, apart­ments, retail or of­fice de­vel­op­ment. The largest par­cel, 2809 Del­gany St., is a lit­tle over 11 acres.

“We’re work­ing through all of our op­tions at this point,” Abrams said. “In nearly all cases, we in­tend to pay homage to its his­tory while help­ing con­trib­ute to the area’s re­vi­tal­iza­tion.”

Right at Broad­way as it turns into Brighton Boule­vard, the for­mer pro­duce mar­ket site has been the fo­cus of re­de­vel­op­ment ef­forts for the bet­ter part of a decade.

Cy­press opened its first build­ing on the site, the 301-unit Yards at De­nargo Mar­ket apart­ment com­plex at 28th Street and Brighton, in 2013. Now called the Marq at RiNo, it sold in 2015 to CWS Apart­ment Homes for $72.5 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to city records.

A se­cond Cy­press de­vel­op­ment next door, the 321-unit Cross­ing at De­nargo Mar­ket, is ex­pected to be­gin leas­ing apart­ments in March, a

com­pany of­fi­cial said.

Mill Creek Res­i­den­tial re­cently be­gan con­struc­tion on the site’s third apart­ment build­ing, the 362-unit Mod­era River North at 29th Street and Brighton. Mill Creek pur­chased the 2.9-acre tract from Cy­press in 2015 for $14.65 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to city records.

Cy­press also still owns a 107,520-square-foot par­cel at 3206 De­nargo St. for fu­ture apart­ment de­vel­op­ment, Abrams said.

The gen­eral de­vel­op­ment plan filed with the city — which stays with the land re­gard­less of own­er­ship, ac­cord­ing to a city spokes­woman — calls for a to­tal of 2,000-2,500 res­i­den­tial units and 125,000-200,000 square feet of retail space across the en­tire site.

A tower up to 220 feet tall could also be built at 28th and Del­gany, ac­cord­ing to the plan. A mostly pedes­trian ex­ten­sion of 28th Street would link Brighton Boule­vard through the de­vel­op­ment to the South Platte River Trail.

The orig­i­nal De­nargo Mar­ket opened in 1939, a vi­brant pro­duce mar­ket with more than 500 stalls for area grow­ers, ac­cess to the Union Pa­cific rail­way, re­frig­er­a­tion plant, restau­rant, even its own bar­ber shop.

By the time Cy­press pur­chased the prop­erty for re­de­vel­op­ment in 2006, though, the pro­duce mar­ket was long gone and di­lap­i­dated build­ings were be­ing leased to a va­ri­ety of small busi­nesses.

“The re­de­vel­op­ment of the RiNo neigh­bor­hood co­in­cides with what I be­lieve is a new golden age for the greater down­town Den­ver area,” Abrams said. “De­nargo is a quin­tes­sen­tial ex­am­ple of how we can usher in that new era by si­mul­ta­ne­ously up­dat­ing and preserving a once and fu­ture gath­er­ing place.”

“We were par­tic­u­larly ex­cited to buy a site that has played such an im­por­tant role in our city’s his­tory,” Brue Cap­i­tal Part­ners owner Chad Brue said. “We are very proud of our city, and it’s al­ways vi­tal to us that our prop­er­ties con­trib­ute to Den­ver’s unique cul­ture.”

AAron On­tiveroz, The Den­ver Post

Pro­ject en­gi­neer Charles Arnold stands in a cor­ner apart­ment over­look­ing the city, in­clud­ing Coors Field. The 321-unit Cross­ing at De­nargo Mar­ket is ex­pected to be­gin leas­ing in March.

Pro­ject en­gi­neer Charles Arnold walks through the pool area at the con­struc­tion site of a new hous­ing com­plex on We­watta Way. AAron On­tiveroz, The Den­ver Post

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