Denver developers buy into the Market
Coveted 13 acres at old Denargo site get snapped up
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.”
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