Developers go through lengthy process to plan & build on land in downtown Denver

Our Colorado: Timelines span from months to years

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DENVER -- More cranes and buildings are going up in our growing Colorado, With the rapid development we are seeing, you may think the process to get everything squared away is getting faster to keep up. That is not the case. In fact, there are quite a few steps and hoops developers have to jump through in order to break ground.

Denver7 got a tour inside a new development called The Circa Building on Platte Street in Denver. Plans for the project started back in 2013 and developers are finally just a month away from opening to the public.

Unico Properties took into account what Platte Street has been historically and what it will become. A planning process most of us never see.

“The years of planning, of meetings, of consensus building all of these things that go into the process,” said Austin Kane, Vice President and Regional Director of Unico Properties. “Yes, the process can take time, but it’s necessary that the project takes time and the process takes time."

The first step for developers in the city of Denver is to submit a concept to the Community Planning and Development Department.

“Where we get the very early ideas and vision for the project and that's the beginning of a fairly lengthy, intense and detailed process,” said Brad Buchanan, Executive Director of Denver Community Planning and Development.

Before any of construction gets the green light developers have to go to the drawing board, working on projects including entitlements, zoning and the design work. A majority of the review time happens in the building permit stage.

“Water, sewer, gas, electric, data, all of those things have to be connected,” said Buchanan.

The timeline to get a development completed varies from project to project. While houses may only take a few months, larger buildings can take up to a few years. When the Circa Building opens on Platte Street in August, it will have been five years in the making.

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