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Downtown Continues to Rise

The urban revitalization that allowed for downtown Denver to take the form of rows of skyscrapers is still at work as Denver continues to rise in its most central location.

An Explanation of Form

Many decades ago, the majority of what is now the Central Business District, or “Downtown” Denver, had a very different form than what is seen today. Through a process called urban revitalization, the original buildings were cleared to make room for several rows of skyscrapers along the central city’s principal diagonals – those streets numbered 14 through 20. Obviously, the initiative was successful as today Denver has one of the most physically extensive skylines of any American city. Decades later, Downtown continues to rise.

No longer is the process of high rise construction revitalization in Denver, but rather it takes the form of infill development. Because the Downtown grid is quite full of structures, new development occurs on the remaining available parcels, which typically are parking lots. So, when viewed from afar, the skyline would become more dense or “filled-in” with continued development on the downtown grid. As Downtown continues to rise, modern technology allows for the construction of buildings with new architecture styles, giving the skyline a more diverse look – truly the mark of a desirable and growing city. And, boy, is Denver growing!

In the Pipeline

Downtown Denver is enjoying some of the most intensive infill development of any American city its size. Dozens of projects are currently being built or are in the pipeline throughout Downtown. In addition the rise of Union Station and other districts on the periphery of Downtown, the Central Business District (CBD) has quite of bit of planned development itself. Here are some examples:

  • Two Tabor Center – This new tower is slated to be built next to the existing One Tabor Center at Lawrence Street and the 16th Street Mall. Originally intended to be similar in design to its sister tower, Two Tabor Center will be a new, post-modern styled skyscraper; a sign of the change in architecture preferences since the 1980s.
  • 999 17th Street – What is currently a parking lot in the heart of the CBD along Curtis Street between 17th and 18th Streets will soon become a multi-tower mixed-use development. An apartment tower with a full amenities deck and an adjacent office tower will give life to the currently underused parcel (pictured) in this prime location.
Aerial View Of Denver
  • 1401 Lawrence Street –By sitting in between them, this eye catching new office tower will provide some density and a ‘big city’ feel to the area where the CU Denver Business and Architecture and Planning buildings are located.
  • 16M – This 10-story mixed use building at 16th Street Mall and Market Street will add more of an urban feel to the block where a single-level Office Depot once stood.

These projects really are just a sampling of what’s to come. To find out what other projects are planned for Downtown as it continues to rise, visit Those guys really know the scoop!