Sage Hospitality, partners break ground on River North hotel project

The building’s design was primarily driven by its unique site configuration, the spearheaded point of a key intersection in RiNo.

Sage Hospitality, along with Walnut Development Partners and EXDO Development, recently broke ground on a new hotel development in Denver’s River North Art District. The unnamed hotel is located at 3770 Walnut St., steps from the 38th and Blake commuter rail station.

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“The explosive growth of the RiNo Art District has been a dynamic change for the city of Denver, and we are excited to be a part of that growth,” said Walter Isenberg, president and CEO of Sage Hospitality.

This independent brand will join Sage’s portfolio of independent hotels like The Maven, The Crawford and The Oxford. The property is tentatively scheduled to open in early 2021.

“The creative environment and culture in RiNo have perfectly set the stage for us to develop a unique concept at this location. By merging the comfort of your apartment with the high-level service, experience and flexibility of a hotel, we believe the property will be very complementary to the growth currently underway in the neighborhood,” said Jason Kaplan of Walnut Development Partners.

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The building’s design was primarily driven by its unique site configuration, the spearheaded point of a key intersection in RiNo, according to Kristen Rutledge, associate at Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects, which is designing the hotel.

In addition to the site’s shape, the ownership group elected to keep the existing structure and wrap the new building around it.

“The character of the RiNo neighborhood is experiencing a new renaissance,” Rutledge said. “No longer will it be known for warehouses and dilapidated structures. The architectural style responds to those industrial roots with a raw, exposed concrete and corrugated metal skin with a contrasting, refined and tailored interior.”

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The neighborhood is quickly becoming the new hip center of Denver and this hotel is positioned at the forefront of the movement, according to Rutledge.

“This hotel blurs the line between traditional apartments and hotels typologies,” she said. Each guest room can be rented for a single day or an entire year.”

The seven-story hotel will feature 165 high-design guest rooms that will include residential amenities such as a multifunctional lofted bed, pull-out sofa and a coffee table/ottoman. All rooms will be equipped with full kitchens, business-friendly features and high-tech entertainment equipment. Each guest floor will feature complimentary laundry services as well as a water filling station that dispenses still, sparkling and hot water. In addition to guest rooms, a 3,600-square-foot, four-bedroom historic home on the property, which originally was built in 1890, will be preserved and updated for guests to reserve.

The ground floor of the hotel is slated for a 5,000-sf lobby and restaurant as well as a gear locker stocked with bikes, skateboards, scooters, cameras and other items that will all be available for guests to borrow and use as they explore Denver. The rooftop will feature a “stunning” indoor bar with adjoining outdoor deck, complete with lounge seating and firepits.

The rooftop also will be home to an additional 3,300-sf deck that will be dedicated to hosting corporate and social events. Rounding out the rooftop offerings will be two jacuzzi tubs and green grass for yoga.

In addition to design by SA+R, general construction will be led by Katerra Construction LLC and Farrington Construction Management. Guest room interior design will be led by DLR Group, whose work includes countless properties in Denver and across the globe. Brand concept and design is being led by Portland-based Omfgco, known for its internationally influential work in the hospitality space and beyond. Sage and its partners also plan to include a robust art program as well as events programming that will be open to both hotel guests and the public.

Published in the Dec. 4-17, 2019, issue of CREJ.

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…