A local condo developer is making the jump into the office sector with a small infill project in LoHi.
Denver-based Generation Development, led by President Chris Lonigro, is breaking ground this week on a five-story office building at 2926 Umatilla St.
The structure — expected to be completed early next year — will be 33,000 square feet, about 25,000 square feet of that leasable space.
“We looked at a bunch of direct uses for that site, and felt like office was the most underserved,” Lonigro told BusinessDen. “Lower Highland has a lot of residential.”
The lot, formerly used for parking, is just 6,813 square feet, or 0.16 acres. The bulk of the block is residential, but the property is adjacent to another five-story office building developed by Denver’s Gravitas Development Group, whose tenants include the restaurant El Five and Shinesty.
Generation purchased the property in December 2018 from Dan Strammiello, president of Denver-based Westbrook Development Partners; the deed does not show a sale price. Strammiello is an investor in the office project, Lonigro said.
Generation’s new office building, dubbed 2926 LoHi, will have floor plates ranging from 3,500 to 5,200 square feet. There will be multiple terraces, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking east and west. Lonigro said the upper floors will have a “loft-like industrial feel.”
A stacked mechanical parking system underground will be able to fit 30 vehicles.
Lonigro said Generation got permits allowing it to begin work on the project in May 2020, but sat on the project for a while, given the overall uncertainty around office leasing.
The building is breaking ground on spec, meaning there are no signed leases. JLL brokers James Roupp and Maddy Stevenson have the listing.
Lonigro said the building wasn’t specifically designed to have retail space, although there is ground-floor space that could be used that way or by an office user that regularly meets with clients.
Denver’s Boss Architecture designed the building. Generation Constructors, which is affiliated with Generation Development, is the general contractor.
Lonigro, a Colorado State University grad, founded Generation in 2009. The firm has specialized in small-to-midsize condominium projects in Denver. Its first project, completed in 2011, was a nine-unit building at 2640 Central Court, about a quarter-mile away from the Umatilla property.
Generation is currently building a 41-unit project at 1601 Park Ave. in City Park West, aiming for a September completion. Units within The Arbory hit the market last month, with asking prices ranging from $325,000 to $1.1 million.
Right now, Generation’s offices are in The Victor, a project the firm completed in City Park West in 2020. The company planned it to be condos, but converted it to apartments in part due to the pandemic.
Lonigro said the company might move its offices to the LoHi project once completed, although nothing has been decided.
“The thought has crossed our mind,” he said.
Depending on how the LoHi project goes, Lonigro said, there could be more office projects in the future for Generation.
“We really like that boutique office in highly walkable locations,” he said. “You want to be able to walk down the street and have lunch, and have that neighborhood feel.”