Denver is preparing to renovate its Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building for the first time since it was completed two decades ago, and G.H. Phipps has been tapped to oversee the project.
The changes to the 12-story building at 201 W. Colfax Ave. are expected to cost $133.5 million, Denver City Council members were told Tuesday.
Greenwood Village-based G.H. Phipps, which will serve as construction manager and general contractor, is slated to be paid up to $92.3 million of that.
Lisa Lumley, the city’s director of real estate, said the changes will include new carpet, paint and furniture.
“The furniture is original,” Lumley said. “It is no longer manufactured. We no longer have any parts for it.”
Other components of the project will include elevator modernization and upgrading to current ADA standards.
OfficeScapes of Denver, Teammates Commercial Interiors and Resource Group have pending contracts to supply furniture and fixtures. Those contracts, as well as the one with G.H. Phipps, still need council approval.
Physical work on the project is expected to take two years, beginning this October and wrapping up in September 2025, according to city officials. The city expects to vacate and work on about three floors at a time, while using the other floors as normal.
Lumley said about 2,200 employees worked from the Webb building about two years ago, and another 450 have been working from the former Denver Post building at 101 W. Colfax Ave., where the city subleases multiple floors.
The Webb building is about 800,000 square feet gross, or 600,000 square feet net, according to city officials. It is one of the city’s main office buildings, along with the City and County Building across the street.
“I hope I never get to the point where $133 million to spruce something up isn’t a whole lot of dough, but as you noted it’s a whole lot of square feet,” Councilman Paul Kashmann said at a Tuesday council committee meeting.
The renovations are part of a broader series of changes to the city’s real estate footprint. The city plans to lease 74,000 square feet across multiple floors at the top of Republic Plaza for the Office of the Denver District Attorney, which currently works from the Webb building.
That will allow the city to vacate the former Denver Post building when its subleases there expire starting in 2025, according to city officials.