The developer behind Denver’s newest skyscraper has moved on to RiNo.
Houston-based Hines, which completed the 40-story office tower at 1144 15th St. in 2018, held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon for its planned T3 office building at 3500 Blake St.
Hines is developing the six-story, 240,000-square-foot structure in partnership with Chicago-based McCaffery and Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge. Tuesday’s groundbreaking was the first of a wave of construction starts expected this year for major RiNo office projects.
Jonathan Pearce, Ivanhoe Cambridge’s executive vice president for North American office and industrial leasing and development, told BusinessDen the project is being developed on spec, meaning no leases have been signed. But he said early interest isn’t just from RiNo’s usual suspects, such as tech companies.
“We’re seeing professional services firms … it’s typical of a market that is moving from aspirational to real,” he said.
Decisions about where companies should locate are being made by a different department than in the past, due to the need to attract talent in a hot economy, Pearce said.
“It’s normally HR who is the driving force behind it,” he said. “And as recently as five years ago, it was finance, the CFO.”
Pearce said his firm sees the building “helping to fill in” the neighborhood, citing the nearby commuter rail station and the host of residential units added in recent years.
BusinessDen was first to report in August 2018 that Hines was under contract to purchase 3500 Blake St. The companies closed on the land that November, paying $11.25 million, or $225 a square foot. The 1.15-acre property has a soon-to-be-demolished industrial building on it, which previously was used by Vitraform, a glass sink manufacturer.
Hines’ inaugural T3 building was built in Minneapolis and completed in 2016. The name stands for timber, technology and transit. But a representative for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joked Tuesday that the RiNo building should have a slightly different name, citing the expected effect on the area.
“I think officially we’ll have to name this T4, for the transformation,” said Anthony Graves, director of external affairs for Denver Economic Development and Opportunity.
The building was designed by Pickard Chilton Architects and DLR Group. Amenities will include large, private tenant terraces on each floor, a fitness center and a bicycle facility.
Jamie Roupp and John Beason of JLL are handling the office leasing. Glen Sibley, Andrew Hanna and Andrew Macafee are marketing the building’s 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Other major office projects expected to break ground in RiNo this year are Schnitzer West’s The Current, Koelbel & Co.’s Watershed, Jordon Perlmutter & Co.’s Paradigm and Formativ and Golub’s World Trade Center.