Proposed condo tower would be Denver's tallest building by far

DENVER – A new condo tower proposed for downtown Denver would become the Mile High City’s new tallest building.

New York-based Greenwich Realty Capital is proposing an ambitious new skyscraper at 17th and California streets, just one block north of the 16th Street Mall. That site currently houses a surface parking lot.

While plans for the building are still being worked out and could change by the time shovels hit dirt, the developer said 650 17th Street will be in excess of 75 stories.

The proposed building would include more than 1 million square feet of interior space that would house 248 luxury condos, 22,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, more than 500 parking spaces and potentially a hotel.

Project renderings show a slim, angular glass tower atop a larger base that includes a rooftop terrace and pool. The developer is planning a number of amenities, including a spa, fitness center, basketball court, bowling alley, game lounge, children’s playroom and even butler service and day care.

The developer said the goal is to build an iconic new tower that would have more of a “New York” feel than what Denver is used to.

“We envision a contemporary tower where residents and hotel guests wake up to panoramic mountain and city views, relax on terraces surrounded by those views, walk to work downtown, and easily jump in their car to go skiing or mountain-biking,” said GRC co-founder and Managing Partner Stephen Drew.

The building would be designed by architect Carlos Ott, who has designed buildings all over the world. The architect of record will be Denver-based Davis Partnership Architects.

At 75 stories or more, 650 17th Street would tower over every other skyscraper in downtown Denver, including Republic Plaza, which has been the city’s tallest since it was completed in the mid-1980s. That building is 56 stories tall for a total height of 714 feet.

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It isn’t clear when construction on the building could begin but the developers said they’re working with local officials to make sure the building is a good fit for the area.

“Over the past year, we have met with Denver city officials, civic leaders, and business people to ensure that we take local priorities into account,” said GRC co-founder and Managing Partner Michael Ursini. “Establishing strong working relationships in Denver is of paramount importance to us – not just for 650 17th Street, but also because we plan to make more investments in Denver in coming years.”

The project’s cost would be “in the neighborhood of $350 million,” Ursini said.

A spokeswoman for Denver's Community Planning and Development department said the developer originally submitted plans for that site months ago but then withdrew the project. The developer has not yet submitted the current proposal.

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