Denver’s Highland Bridge Lofts a First for Developer
- Nov 16, 2011
Denver—When ground was broken for the Highland Bridge Lofts project in Denver in early November, it marked the official start of the first development in the Denver area for Vancouver, Wash.-based developer Holland Partners Group.
Housed in one building, Highland Bridge Lofts is a mixed-use, market-rate, 130-unit development situated in the lower Highlands neighborhood. The LoHi nook attracts residents who want to live close to public transit, work, shopping and entertainment. It is a walkable area located just two blocks west of Interstate 25 and one-half mile from the Downtown Denver Light Rail Station and Union Station, the latter having been refreshed by a recent $5 billion redevelopment.
“When I joined the company early this year, I wanted to make sure we had the best property for our first development here,” Holland chief operating officer of development Erik Hagevik tells MHN. “We have designed the building to have mountain views, as well as views of the downtown Denver skyline. We have a U-shaped building with an interior courtyard that faces southwest, so our pool deck will gain the maximum from Denver’s 300-plus days of yearly sunshine.”
Highland Bridge Lofts’ 130 units will feature studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedroom apartment homes. Residents will be able to kick back on the pool deck with its outdoor fireplace and seating, a fitness center with large, roll-up door opening on the pool deck, clubhouse with full production kitchen and Hagevik’s favorite feature, a rooftop deck with “Sky Bar” overlooking downtown Denver’s skyline and the distant mountains. The building features two parts, one four-stories tall and the other five stories, with the rooftop deck atop the four-story section. Denver-based Sprocket Design-Build designed the building.
The average unit size will be “on the smaller side,” at 695 square feet, Hagevik says. That is by design. Colorado has witnessed a one percent population growth each year over the last 20 years, and “people are moving to Colorado for the lifestyle,” he says. “This project will provide the younger generation a chance to experience Denver in the urban environment, without being in the central business district. I don’t [envision] baby boomers in this building.”
“It’s going to be younger professionals,” Hagevik adds.
Despite the fact LoHi is situated near public transit, and even boasts a bicycle rental service right across the street from Highland Bridge Lofts, the enclave faces increasing parking worries resulting from its burgeoning restaurant scene. As a result, 45 parking spaces were added to the Highland Bridge Lofts parking garage, to provide additional public parking.
At the groundbreaking, City of Denver Planning Department and mayor’s staff officials spoke about the re-emergence of the city’s real estate market. That is a market Holland Partners Group plans to tap into.
“We are positioned to take advantage of the rebounding real estate market,” Holland Partners Group CEO Clyde Holland says. “We are pursuing a number of opportunities in Denver, and are confident in the strength of this market.”
More than 10,000 apartments have been financed by Holland Partners Group in the past decade. As described by firm official Tom Parsons, Holland Partners Group is a full service apartment developer, builder, owner and manager.
LoHi has been filling with condominiums for some time. But Highland Bridge Lofts is one of the first rental buildings. “And we will be taking this neighborhood to the next level with the size and quality of this building,” Hagevik says. “It’s a very high-end building with a lot of amenities.”