Another apartment project is in the works near RTD’s 38th and Blake rail station in RiNo.
Denver-based Forbes Partnership, led by Mike Mathieson, recently submitted its site-development plan to the city for a 17-story, 292-unit project at 3900-3926 Blake St.
Mathieson, who is also fighting a landmark designation application for a property he owns in City Park West, said he hopes to break ground on the RiNo project in mid-2024.
“There’s a need for housing,” he said. “You have a tremendous amount of retail and entertainment in that area.”
The area around the RTD station is one of the city’s redevelopment hotspots, and hundreds of apartments are already slated to come on line in the coming months. Charlotte-based Crescent Communities is building the 483-unit Novel RiNo complex at 1300 40th St. and McWhinney will deliver its 348-unit FoundryLine building this year.
Next door to Mathieson’s development site is One River North, a 187-unit project whose design calls for a gash of greenery through its 16 stories.
Mathieson said he was also intentional with his project’s design, creating a building that would allow lots of light into units. The brick of the bottom two floors is intended “to mirror the RiNo warehouses and have a link to the past there,” he said.
“We wanted to make a cool, intentional modern building in an area that we view as the new downtown of RiNo,” Mathieson said.
ZDP+A is the architect on the project. Mathieson purchased the 0.58-acre development site in two deals: $900,000 for 3926 Blake St. in December 2015 and $1.78 million for 3900 Blake St. in December 2016, records show.
While it’s being designed as an apartment building, the RiNo project could end up as something of a hybrid. Mathieson is currently developing his second Denver project for San Francisco-based hotel company Sonder, which leases blocks of rooms and rents them out for as little as one night. He said he’s talking to the company about whether it wants to take a chunk of units in the RiNo project.
“We are talking to them,” he said. “There’s no agreement signed yet.”
Mathieson said he specifically designed the building with two elevator bays so that one could be reserved for a hotel operator.
Prior to the pandemic, Denver-based Formativ and Tennessee-based Kemmons Wilson Cos. announced they planned to build a hotel adjacent to Mathieson’s site, as part of a project at the time slated to be called World Trade Center Denver. But the development plans for the project were amended last year, changing the planned hotel to a multifamily building.
The 38th and Blake project is one of two Mathieson has in the works in Denver. He also plans to turn a former salvage yard at 3134 Walnut St. into a distillery.