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Look at last Union Station development site

Offers are due Thursday for 19th & Chestnut, the last developable parcel available near Union Station. Photo Credit: ARA, a Newmark company.

The clock is ticking on an opportunity to buy a parking lot at 19th Street and Walnut Place that is described as the last development parcel available near Denver Union Station.

Offer are due this Thursday, Sept. 27, for the 16,091-square-foot parking lot at 2001 19th St. and 1903 Chestnut Place.

The property, which is zoned for a 140-foot-tall building, is being listed by the ARA team of Chris Cowan, Bryon Stevenson, Steve O’Dell and Jessica Graham.

The 19th and Walnut site, which according to public records is owned by Block 11 LLC,  an entity created by Focus Property Group, has a lot going for it, according to ARA, a Newmark company.

19th & Chestnut

The southeast view from 140 feet at the 19th & Chestnut site. Photo credit: ARA

For one thing, the Denver Union Station neighborhood has been a hotbed of activity, experiencing more than 8 million sf of development since 2011, ARA points out.

Other highlights of the 19th and Walnut site, according to ARA:

  • It is two blocks from the Whole Foods flagship store and Commons Park, downtown’s largest green space, which connects to an extensive trail system.
  • Nearby businesses, many of them providing high-paying jobs, include DaVita, Facebook, Deloitte, PWC, Facebook and VF Corp.
  • There is 4.59 million sf of occupied office space in the Union Station/LoDo area and 1.34 million sf of vacant or new offices. That equates to a demand for 39,255 jobs.
  • There are 3,482 occupied apartments in the area with 1,626 multifamily units that are either vacant or new.

The amount of office space and multifamily units indicates there is a need for another 1,545 apartment units in the area, according to an analysis by ARA.

Demand is strong for 19th and Walnut from prospective buyers.


Chris Cowan

“There has been a strong appetite from hotel and micro-housing groups,” Cowan said.

He said given the size of the parcel at 19th and Walnut, the development will be driven by parking.

“Key is to find the use that places the lease amount of value/priority in parking … hence, hotel and micro-housing,” Cowan explained.

For some prospective buyers not familiar with downtown Denver and especially the Union Station neighborhood, it is hard to understand the opportunity 19th and Walnut provides.

19th & Chestnut

The deadline is Thursday to get in an offer to ARA for the 19th & Chestnut parking lot, the last development site near Union Station. Photo credit: ARA

“Being two blocks from Denver’s transit hub, it should be a no-brainer, but it’s hard to demonstrate to the market a global concept when they have Western-driver-dominated glasses on,” Cowan said.

Interest fhas been split evenly between prospective local and national buyers, he said. Some of the out-of-state buyers would be new to the Denver market and some already have a presence here. “We’ve even had a few international groups inquire,” Cowan said.

“The most common (would-be) buyer is a developer new to micro-housing space but who believes in its future,” Cowan said.

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

Kris Oppermann Stern is publisher and editor of Building Dialogue, a Colorado Real Estate Journal publication, and editor of CREJ's construction, design, and engineering section, including news and bylined articles. Building Dialogue is a quarterly, four-color magazine that caters specifically to the AEC industry, including features on projects and people, as well as covering trends…