Site across from Coors Field rezoned as developer allays Rockies’ concerns

Rezoning for mixed-use project in Denver approved

A rendering of Fillmore Capital Partners’ planned mixed-use project at 2000 Blake St. (Courtesy of Fillmore Properties and JNS Architecture + Interior Design)

The Denver City Council unanimously approved rezoning for a lot across from Coors Field after the property owner addressed concerns expressed by the Colorado Rockies.

The 0.29-acre 2000 Blake St. lot, currently used for parking, was rezoned Monday evening to allow for a mixed-use project of up to eight stories at the request of San Francisco-based Fillmore Capital Partners.

Fillmore purchased the lot for $4.4 million in February 2019, at the same time the firm purchased a number of buildings a block away, from Tavern Hospitality Group owner Frank Schultz. It opened three new bar-and-restaurant concepts in those buildings last year.

CEO Ron Silva told BusinessDen in a Tuesday interview that the company originally purchased the 2000 Blake Street lot intending to build a hotel. Fillmore has since mostly gotten out of the hotel business, he said, so its thinking for the site has been gravitating more toward residential. But a hotel hasn’t completely been ruled out.

“If it was a hotel, it would be more residential in nature, which is what I call ‘hotel lite,’ where you don’t even have a lobby,” Silva said.

If Fillmore does build residences, the company has voluntarily agreed to reserve 12.5 percent of the units to those making up to 80 percent of the area median income.

Either way, Silva said, the bottom two floors will be commercial space. He wants it to be something more than just a sports bar.

“I’m trying to bring an entertainment portion, not just another bar,” he said. “You guys have enough bars in Denver already.”

Denver-based JNS is the architect on the project. Fillmore has yet to submit development plans to the city for the site, but will do so in the near future, Silva said.

“We’re going to spend the next 30 days really dialing in the usages,” he said.

Silva said he’d love to be breaking ground in the summer of 2023, but noted that broader market conditions could affect the development timeline.

The rezoning approval comes two-and-a-half months after Rockies President and Chief Operating Officer Gregory Feasel sent the city a letter expressing concerns.

Ballpark1 scaled 1

Developers are planning to put a building up to eight stories tall with residential units and commercial space on the bottom two floors across the street from Coors Field. (BusinessDen file)

Feasel wrote that, for those traveling west down 20th Street, the building could potentially eliminate the view of the large clock that looms over the main entrance to Coors Field.

“Given this highly unique location, we are surprised and disappointed the application contains no supplemental design outcomes, agreements or standard,” Feasel wrote. “On the contrary, the application simply proposes the generic base C-MX-8 zone district which permits lot-line to lot-line development with 0’ setbacks, no upper story step-backs or mass reduction, and zero enhanced landscaping or streetscape features.”

The LoDo District, a registered neighborhood organization, told the city in a separate letter in mid-January that its understanding was that the Rockies had not even been contacted about the rezoning or the project.

Silva pushed back on that characterization.

“Through our various consultants, we had a dialogue with everyone,” he said.

But Silva said he recognized the need for better communication with the Rockies in late December, and stepped in personally to make it happen.

“I said, ‘Look, I’ve never built a cheap building. I wouldn’t know how to do it,’” Silva said. “I think they got the feeling these guys are for real. It was just really speaking to them in a way they understand.”

Earlier this month, Fillmore signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the site with the Rockies.

Among other things, the document states that the building height will not exceed 102 feet, and that the stadium’s literal field will not be visible from the project’s upper floors. It calls for the building to use brick similar in color to the brick used in Coors Field, and states that the structure “shall not be largely composed of glass curtainwall materials.”

The memorandum also includes details regarding setbacks and mandates that Fillmore take reasonable steps to avoid “disruptive construction activities” on game days.

The project isn’t the only one in the works for the 2000 block of Blake Street. Immediately north of the site, the Rockies want to create a multi-purpose plaza that can be used for both parking and special events.

No one from the Rockies spoke in support at the Monday meeting, although the executive director of The LoDo District did.

“We believe that they’re going to be a great neighbor and that this is going to be a positive activation that fits in well with the project that the Rockies have proposed,” Matt Van Sistine said. “It’s going to activate a very dead corner in a very key spot.”

Rezoning for mixed-use project in Denver approved

A rendering of Fillmore Capital Partners’ planned mixed-use project at 2000 Blake St. (Courtesy of Fillmore Properties and JNS Architecture + Interior Design)

A parking lot can become a building up to eight stories, but a deal limits the height to 102 feet and requires that the stadium’s field not be visible from the upper floors.

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