Canadian developer proposes 38-story condo project downtown

Amacon purchased the site of the proposed development in March for $8.8 million. (Thomas Gounley)

A Canadian developer’s plans for a parking lot at the edge of Denver’s Central Business District are now public.

Vancouver-based Amacon wants to build two condominium towers along Glenarm Place between Broadway and 18th Avenue, according to a site-development plan submitted to the city this week.

The taller south tower would top out at 38 stories, while the north tower would be 32.

The project would have an eight-story podium, according to the plans. The ground floor would have 12,082 square feet of retail space. The second through eighth floors, along with two below-grade levels, would have a total of 530 parking spaces.

The two towers would extend upward from the podium and include all the condos.

The site plan calls for 477 units, but Steve Featherston, Amacon’s vice president for development and construction, said in a statement that the company actually is planning for 463.

“This project offers a tremendous opportunity to add to the vibrancy of downtown Denver with a new mixed-use community,” Featherston said. “Amacon has extensive experience in designing and building high-rise condominium towers across Canada, and we are excited to collaborate with Denver-based Davis Partnership Architects for this project.”

Amacon’s plans still need city approval and are subject to change.

Shelby’s Bar & Grill on the way out

The bulk of the site of the proposed condo project is currently a parking lot, but it also includes the Shelby’s Bar & Grill building at 519 18th St. (Thomas Gounley)

The company purchased the 0.69-acre site in March for $8.8 million. While the bulk of the site is currently a parking lot, the deal also included the one-story building at 519 18th St. that houses Shelby’s Bar & Grill. That structure would be demolished to make way for the condo project.

Shelby’s owner Howard Nelson said his new landlord hasn’t given him a timeline for when he’ll need to vacate, except to say that he’ll be able to stay through the next Super Bowl, in early February.

“We’re hoping for longer, naturally,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he and his wife Nanette bought the bar in 1991, but the Shelby’s name goes back to the 1970s, and a bar called the Pink Lady Lounge operated in the space for decades before that.

Nelson said he and his wife are not looking to relocate, and that “unless my kids want to do something, Shelby’s lives and dies with us.”

“I’m getting a little older, and it’s a young person’s game,” Nelson, 71, said. “Money is made between midnight and 2 a.m., or not made, and I’m not there at that time.”

Inaugural U.S. project

The project is slated to be Amacon’s first ground-up development in the United States. The developments section of the company’s website lists 40 projects in Canada, some as tall as 48 stories.

Amacon owns a handful of commercial buildings in the Denver area, which are the company’s only other U.S. holdings. The company paid $5.15 million in 2017 for the three-story office building at 800 18th St., known as the Ghost building. Amacon also owns a pair of office and showroom buildings at 14818 and 15000 W. 6th Ave. in Golden.

Elsewhere in the downtown core:

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