Developer scraps Golden Triangle office project and plans apartments instead

The structure at 955 Bannock St., seen here in 2018, would be replaced by an apartment building. (BusinessDen file)

A local developer’s plans for a lot in the Golden Triangle have changed from office to residential.

Denver-based Alpine Investments, led by Churchill Bunn, last week submitted plans to the city proposing a 12-story, 109-unit apartment project at 955 Bannock St.

The company had previously proposed a 10-story office building on the 0.36-acre lot, which currently has a two-story office and retail building on it.

“Given the uncertainty in the office leasing market, and for financing new office projects, we saw switching gears as a prudent decision given the location will support a variety of uses,” Bunn said in an email Monday. “Pending city feedback, we’re targeting groundbreaking Q1 2022.”

Office leasing has been slow since the coronavirus pandemic began. In October 2019, prior to the pandemic, Bunn told BusinessDen that coworking firm WeWork had expressed interest in leasing all 67,000 square feet of office space in his proposed building. But he said he backed away from the deal because of disclosures in the company’s IPO prospectus.

The Golden Triangle, just south of downtown, is a heavily residential neighborhood. The city has been working on a zoning update that, among other things, seeks to encourage the development of non-residential projects there.

Alpine’s office building was one of two already proposed non-residential projects in the neighborhood, along with the repurposing of the former Evans School at 1115 Acoma St. by Denver-based development firms City Street Investors and Columbia Group.

Alpine’s newly proposed residential building would have 82 parking spaces on floors one through four. Apartments would begin on the fifth floor. The first floor would feature a lobby, but no dedicated retail space, according to the plans.

Just south of Alpine’s Bannock Street lot is Parq on Speer, a 16-story apartment building completed in 2019 by South Carolina-based Greystar. Earlier this year, the company proposed a second similarly sized project just north of Alpine’s lot.

Charlotte-based Lennar Multifamily Communities is the developer that’s putting the biggest bet on the Golden Triangle. The company has paid about $50 million for land over the past two-and-a-half years.

 

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