Wheat Ridge has become a hotbed of development activity recently, with new housing and commercial projects garnering buzz and attracting headlines. After going years without adding any new inventory to the city’s housing stock, two new housing projects are under construction and another should break ground soon.

Officials from the City of Wheat Ridge and New Town Builders pose before “breaking ground” on Perrin’s Row

New Town Builders broke ground in March on Perrin’s Row,  a rowhome development located at 38th Avenue and Depew Street. The community will include 26 two-and-three bedroom row homes priced from the mid-$200s. Meanwhile, at 38th and Fenton Street, Urban Green Development is planning a sustainable development featuring paired homes, single-family patio homes and row homes. Standard Pacific Homes will offer a more traditional, upscale option, with a 48-homesite community in the city’s Applewood neighborhood.

Rendering of a model home in the upcoming Fireside at Applewood development

The city is also picking up steam when it comes to commercial development. While incentives have helped lured new, unique businesses to the city’s emerging downtown area, known as The Ridge at 38, developers are also aiming to attract larger retailers. A mixed-use development is taking shape at 38th Avenue and Kipling Street that will include a 64-unit senior living facility and a 27,000-square-foot Sprouts store. Another large grocer could land at the southwest corner of 38th and Wadsworth, where Governor John Hickenlooper recently signed a bill that would provide tax credits for environmental clean-up projects. The Wheat Ride Urban Renewal Authority, which owns a portion of that site, could transfer tax credits to a developer to help cover the $300,000 in environmental remediation needed at the site.

Governor Hickenlooper signs Senate Bill 73 at a development site in Wheat Ridge

The developments have captured the attention of local media outlets, who have been closely following Wheat Ridge’s growth. The Denver Post covered the building boom in March and did another story examining redevelopment efforts in April. The Denver Business Journal also wrote about the Sprouts development and the recent bill signing.

While the city’s economic development efforts are in the spotlight, officials also continue to work hard to build community among residents through unique gatherings and events. On June 22nd, Wheat Ridge and the Ridge at 38 hosted its first Criterium – a Bronze level Rocky Mountain Road Cup race. In addition to high-speed bicycle racing, the Criterium also featured food trucks, a craft beer garden, kids activities and live bluegrass music.


Congratulations to Zocalo Community Development, a longtime client of The Stasko Agency, which  sold its Cadence Union Station apartment community last month to an institutional client of Invesco Real Estate. Located at 17th and Chestnut Street, the 219-unit development was the first multi-family project to open in the emerging Union Station neighborhood. Cadence began welcoming its first residents in December and was already 20 percent leased at the time of the sale.

We were lucky enough to tour the building last fall and we’re excited to see Cadence’s upscale amenities – such as a rooftop pool and fitness center and jazz-themed lobby lounge area – take shape. The development also boasts a number of green features, including high-efficiency water fixtures, Energy Star appliances and a recycling and composting program.

The building’s sale captured the attention of both local and national media, including the Denver Business Journal, Denver Post and Multi-Housing News. Zocalo will continue to manage and lease Cadence, which includes studios, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units, with an average monthly rent of $1,892.

Never a company to rest on its laurels, Zocalo continues to add to the city’s landscape, with the development of 1st and Steele, a new 185-unit apartment community in Cherry Creek and The Grove at Stapleton, a 150-unit project in northeast Denver. Both projects are slated for completion in 2015.

We look forward to working with Zocalo as the company continues to make its mark on Denver.

We were quite excited to open the Denver Post this past Sunday to find one of our favorite developers, Ray Kawano, smiling back at us from the front page of the paper’s business section. Ray’s River Meadow development company is behind Tejon34, one of the upscale condominium/townhome projects featured in the article as proof of the Highland neighborhood’s resurgence. The development, located in the heart of Highland at 34th and Tejon Streets, launched in 2011 with an initial phase featuring five, three-bedroom townhomes.

Last summer, River Meadow broke ground on the second and third phases of the development, which will add five townhomes and eight condos to an area that is very much in demand, according to the article. In fact, two of the townhomes area already under contract, even though they aren’t slated for completion until later in the first quarter. The condo should be available sometime in the second quarter.

Paul Tamburello of Red Chair Realty Advisors, which is marketing Tejon34, notes that even with the uptick in luxury developments, Highland still suffers from a lack of inventory. Many of the new buyers looking to snap up property in the neighborhood are empty nesters, who are drawn to Highland’s restaurants, art galleries and community gatherings.

A view of the living room in one of the townhomes built in Tejon34’s first phase.

That demographic could be a perfect fit for Tejon34’s units, particularly the new townhomes, which will feature private, rooftop decks, European kitchen designs and customizable basements. The project will eventually include a total of 28 homes.

If you get a moment, take a look at the Denver Post article, or if you’d like to learn more about Tejon34 and all that’s happening in Highland, check out the Tejon34 blog here.

We were lucky enough to be on site last month to see Swinerton Builders Colorado break ground on a new parking structure for the Regional Transportation District’s FasTracks West Rail line. The 1,000-space garage, located at 14th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard in Lakewood, is expected to be complete next year. The garage will serve more than 5,000 riders each weekday, who will use the new light rail line to travel between Denver, Lakewood, Golden and Jefferson County.

A rendering of the completed garage

More than 150 people turned out for the groundbreaking, including Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy, who cited the project as a major step forward in the city’s revitalization efforts. Scott Conrad, Swinerton Builders Colorado Division Manager, also shared information about the economic impact of the development, which is expected to employ an estimated 300 people. News of the project’s start also drew the attention of 9News, 7News and The Denver Post.

Here are a few shots of the event:

Scott Conrad, Mayor Bob Murphy and RTD General Manager Phil Washington

7News on the scene

RTD’s Color Guard.

Scott Conrad addressing the crowd.

Speaking of jobs, the Post also interviewed Scott about boom in construction employment in Colorado. You can read about it here.  Swinerton is on the leading edge of that boom, thanks to several high-profile projects, including a renovation of the Agilent Technologies campus in Colorado Springs and a recently completed office project for Google in Boulder. Swinerton plans to increase its professional staff by 20 percent this year.

The company will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in Colorado this year, so stayed tuned for more news about how Swinerton will mark this special milestone.

Last month, a group of local media gathered at Cellar Wine Bar in Lower Highland to sample the venue’s impressive menu of newly crafted cocktails. Known as the Sake infusion series, the cocktails feature fresh fruits, herbs and other seasonal ingredients and are the brainchild of Erik Catelle, an award-winning mixologist who recently joined Cellar’s staff.

We were excited to get feedback on the new concoctions from our media panel, who agreed to rate their favorites from a field of six contenders. The judges included: Margaret Jackson and Penny Parker of the Denver Post; North Denver Tribune Editor Elisa Cohen and writer Basha Cohen; Downtown Denver News Publisher Samantha Martel, Wine Spectator Writer Jayne Russell, Denver By the Slice blogger David Huntress and his wife, photographer Diane Huntress and Piper Vitale of Colorado Expression. Here’s a look at the lovely Natsu Kyurri – a summertime spritzer cocktail with muddled cucumber, a ginger basil infused simple syrup, Sake and a splash of soda served on the rocks.

The Natsu Kyurri looked pretty, but the Lychee Colada – a fruity blend of fresh-muddled lychee, coconut milk, fresh squeezed lime, Sake and a dash of soda – proved most popular. Coming in a close second was the cleverly named Sake Tini, a modern take on the martini which mixes Sake, vermouth, olive juice and star fruit. Third place went to the simple yet sophisticated Blooming Champagne, a beautiful pink drink featuring hibiscus flower, champagne and bitters. Thanks to our judges for serving as a taste testers. Here they are hard at work.

The three media faves are now fixtures on Cellar’s menu. True to its name, the bar also offers more than 40 wines by the glass. If you’d like to sample some of their selection, consider attending Cellar’s next wine tasting on September 7th. The event, which showcases Infinite Monkey Theorem’s wines, will run from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can find more information about the tasting here.

Even before we landed urbandwellers™ as a client, we were big fans of their creative and cool home furnishings and accessories. So as long-time admirers, we’re happy to see them generating lots of buzz for their new flagship showroom. The 1,000-square-foot space opened in the historic Water Tower Lofts in downtown Denver earlier this month and has already scored mentions in The Denver Post, the Denver Daily News and the online version of Denver Life Magazine.

The showroom allows urbandwellers™ co-founders Bruce Littlehorn and Larry Beard, Jr. to illustrate just how well their designs function in a small, urban space. The company’s three main collections— hōm™, flō™, and shīn™—feature products that solve challenges in the urban environment, such as limited space, noise, storage and privacy. Their pieces, which range from custom wall systems to self-contained water features, balance aesthetic beauty with practical lifestyle application. The photos below provide a peek at their innovative furnishings.

Modern in Denver Magazine also lauded urbandwellers’ unique water fountains in its Spring issue, praising the company for “mixing engineering skills with a dose of practicality.”

We encourage you to check out urbandwellers yourself. Tours of the showroom are available by appointment and can be scheduled online or by calling urbandwellers™ at 303-536-5040. Located at 2960 Inca Street, Unit 214 in downtown Denver, the showroom is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Last month, we were lucky enough to spend an evening at Root Down sampling an array of creative cocktails with some of our favorite media gal pals. But this was no ordinary ladies’ night. Our task was to choose Root Down’s official Winter Cocktail, grading nine unique drinks on such important criteria as taste, aroma and presentation.

Our lovely judging panel included: Westword Staffers Patty Calhoun, Lori Midson and Nancy Levine; Denver Post Business Writers Penny Parker and Margaret Jackson; Heidi McGuire of 9News/Metromix and Denver Daily News Publisher Kristie Hannon.

Check us out listening to Root Down’s master mixologists Anika Zappe, John Manwaring and Allie Geppert explain their approach to crafting cold-season cocktails. (Can you see how eager we are to perform our duty)?

Anika, John and Allie concocted three cocktails each for the competition. The holiday-themed drinks, such as Red Rider, (named after the BB gun Ralphie pined for in A Christmas Story) and Silent Sigh, had us feeling pretty festive.

While we enjoyed many of the offerings, our favorites were drinks that distinguished themselves with hot and hearty flavors. The Dama Lama, a spicy drink featuring Espolon Tequila, Habanero pepper-infused agave and cilantro tied for the top spot with the ginger and duck-flavored Duck a la Orange. Both drinks will be featured on Root Down’s winter menu, along with the runners up – Red Rider and Silent Sigh.

You can read about the contest in the Denver Daily News!

Thanks to all of the judges and to Anika, John and Allie for crafting such tasty contenders!