Offices rise between I-25, Denver Beer Co.

Photo by Burl Rolett.

A new office building is going up behind Denver Beer Co. Photo by Burl Rolett.

A pair of Denver development firms is adding 78,000 square feet to one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods.

The steel structure is up at The Lab, a new four-story office building off of Platte Street between the Denver Beer Co. and Interstate 25. It’s a joint venture between development firms Confluent Holdings and Brue Capital Partners that Confluent head Marshall Burton said should open in June.

The Lab, Burton said, will appeal to businesses looking to lure to employees from the Highlands and LoHi who commute into the middle of downtown Denver.

“A lot of the folks we’re talking to are saying all of their employees are coming across the bridge to work,” he said. “We’d like to catch them at Platte Street.”

Plans call for three stories of office space with a covered parking lot and a small retail space on the first floor. Burton declined to offer an exact construction budget but said the project would cost tens of millions of dollars to build. FirstBank in Denver is financing the build.

Asking rate for the office space is $25 per square foot per year, Burton said.

The developers broke ground on The Lab on speculation and don’t yet have any leases in hand. But Burton said the building is drawing interest from potential tenants, and he hopes to begin finalizing leases early this year.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank brokers Jamie Gard and Courtney Hasson are handling leasing for the building. Gard said the building is drawing interest from tech and creative-type firms, and they’re eyeing bigger chunks than he had anticipated.

Gard said at first he guessed the building would fill with about a dozen different tenants, but The Lab has caught the eye of businesses looking for entire floors.

“We thought we’d attract more of the smaller to midsize tenants, but as it turned out there was pent-up demand from larger tenants who wanted to be on that street but just didn’t have the opportunity,” he said.

The Lab is the first project Brue Capital and Confluent Holdings have teamed up on, but Burton said he has worked with Brue Capital’s Chad Brue on different real estate deals around town over the last 15 years.

The development team, acting as Platte Land LLC, bought the property in March for $270,000. Burton said it was a plot that was well-placed between several hot Denver neighborhoods, calling it a “keystone street” running near LoDo, LoHi and the Platte Valley.

He added that nearby businesses, including several restaurants and locally owned apparel shops, will be appealing amenities for businesses looking to relocate.

“What we’ve found is there is a group of occupants out there that want an authentic street like Platte Street that speaks to the millennial associates they want to hire,” Burton said. “It’s a really local, cool street.”

Open Studio Architecture’s Blake Mourer was the architect for The Lab, and Opus Design Build is the general contractor.

The Lab is one of three new office projects rising in a three-block span along Platte Street. The Nichols Partnership is working on an 80,000-square-foot office building across the street at 1644 Platte St. Co-working space Galvanize has signed on to lease space in that building.

The Boathouse, a 10,000-square-foot office building, is also nearing completion at 1850 Platte St.

And Confluent Holdings is working on the 300,000-square-foot Village Center at DTC office project in Greenwood Village. Burton said he expects to break ground on that development next year.

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