It looks like LoHi won’t be getting a boutique hotel. But there’s plenty of room if you’re willing to pay by the month.
Mill Creek Residential bought a 16th Street site in LoHi from developer Charlie Woolley for $10 million, according to city records. The Texas-based company wants to build 129 apartments on the same dirt where Woolley had said he wanted to build a hotel.
In February last year, Woolley announced a $65 million project that would have been his firm’s first foray into the nightly room rental business. Plans called for a restaurant, rooftop deck, and ground-floor retail space, he told BusinessDen.
The parcel Woolley sold covers most of the 16th Street frontage between Boulder and Central streets. It hosts a 15,000-square-foot office building.
Woolley pieced together the property in at least three acquisitions between 2012 and 2013, city records show. Deals between Woolley’s firm and three different sellers over about 10 months totaled roughly $4.5 million.
Woolley did not return phone calls or an email requesting comment.
A lone site plan submitted in February 2016 is the last trace of Woolley’s hotel plans with the city planning department. Mill Creek, meanwhile, turned in its concept plan for a five-story apartment building in November 2016.
Its building would add 129 apartments to LoHi. Plans list 138 parking spaces, mostly in an underground deck. Mill Creek valued the project at $25 million and estimated a start date in September 2017.
Shears Adkins Rockmore is the architect listed on Mill Creek’s plans. Kimley-Horn is the engineer. Mill Creek’s Chris Schramm was on the plans submitted with the city, and Brian Wynne signed a pair of documents on behalf of the LLC that bought the LoHi parcel.
Neither returned phone messages by press time.
Mill Creek is busy in Denver, with at least two developments in the works in the RiNo area. And its LoHi project would be at least the second jumbo apartment complex by a major developer to fill the tight neighborhood overlooking Interstate 25.
The Dallas-based firm is building about three blocks from the former United Way site, where Southern Land Co. is constructing a 300-plus-unit complex. That building is rising at the corner of 18th and Central streets.
Corum Real Estate also is planning a 100-unit apartment building at the corner of Erie and 18th streets, about five blocks from Mill Creek’s site.
Another developer is getting ready to dig into LoHi.
Corum Real Estate plans to tear down a 40-year-old office building next month to make way for 100 new apartments. Vice president Eric Komppa hopes the $34 million complex will draw renters who want to live in LoHi without moving into a massive new building.
“We’re not trying to overwhelm the neighborhood, we’re trying to blend in,” Komppa said. “It’s a highly amenitized, smaller development that we think will be in a good position relative to other projects in the neighborhood.”
Corum will build on a 0.84-acre site at the corner of Erie and 18th streets. The firm bought the real estate for $6.2 million this week. The property includes an 18,000-square-foot office building built in 1972, according to city records.
Avanti Food & Beverage is getting a new hot tenant: Chow Morso. Brainchild of Ryan Fletter of the iconic Barolo Grill, the casual eatery will bring Italian street food to the first floor space that is still Bixo Mexiterranean Bites. Fletter's partners in the venture are Darrel Truett, executive chef at Barolo, and Don Gragg, who worked at Barolo at its inception and has since worked at nationally recognized restaurants including Chez Panisse in Berkley, Calif. and Gramercy Tavern in New York City. At Chow Morso, Truett will serve as executive culinary director and Gragg will lead the Chow Morso team as executive chef.
Is the space at 1575 Boulder Street in the Olinger Mortuary complex haunted? That's what some neighbors wondered as they walked past the crowds lined up at Little Man Ice Cream, or waited for a table at Linger or Lola. Meanwhile, just down the street, Vita often seemed as quiet as a tomb — despite coming on the scene with Max MacKissock as its opening chef, despite that lovely rooftop patio, despite trying live music and many menu variations.
Jezebel’s shutters in Highland
After four years at the corner of 33rd Avenue and Tejon Street, Jezebel’s Southern Bistro & Bar closed its doors on Oct. 9. The announcement was made by chef-owner Scott Durrah on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Durrah cited a decision to refocus his culinary efforts on a different endeavor. “This is not the end of our love affair with food, it is another beginning. Wanda and I have decided to focus entirely on changing the world through food and cannabis,” Durrah said in the post, by way of announcing the Simply Cooking Catering and Cooking School.
Perhaps there are no two eateries in Denver as disparate as Barolo Grill and Avanti Food and Beverage. The former is more than 20 years old; the latter just celebrated its first birthday. Barolo offers special-occasion, high-end Italian fare and wine; Avanti’s food hall atmosphere skews more bustling bar and strolling dinner party with seven restaurant tenants.
—Photo by Rachel Adams
A Summer for Sliders: In a summer profile by 5280 Magazine, Callie Sumlin urges Denver diners to "go now" to the humble walk-up in LoHi. The succinct menu is crafted in testament to owner Louie Colburn's Japanese-Hawaiian heritage with light, "vibrant, summery fare" like mango-kale-quinoa salad and Spam musubi. Sumlin contends that diners line-up for the kalua pork sliders - complied of "tender pork, a crunchy corn and purple cabbage slaw, and Sriracha aioili" - as soon as they can: "make sure to go soon, as the Colburns haven't quite decided if they'll keep the Ohana window open when the weather gets colder."