Two new projects break ground downtown

Origin Hotel, Alamo Drafthouse kick off construction

Posted 8/13/18

It’s not often private developers get to be at the table when a city development is designed, David Kennedy said Aug. 9, but that’s just what’s happened in Westminster. Kennedy, co-founder of …

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Two new projects break ground downtown

Origin Hotel, Alamo Drafthouse kick off construction

Posted

It’s not often private developers get to be at the table when a city development is designed, David Kennedy said Aug. 9, but that’s just what’s happened in Westminster.

Kennedy, co-founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain, said the Westminster Downtown development has a special feel to it.

“When the city got involved as the master developer we realized this development had passion and heart and soul and was going to be a living breathing community.”

Kennedy and a group from the cinema’s other Denver-area operations joined developers from the Thrash Group and city of Westminster officials to break ground on two downtown projects — the cinema and Thrash’s luxury 125 room Origin Hotel Westminster.

The projects are now the third and the fourth developments under construction at Westminster Downtown. Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison said it’s taken a long time to get the development to this point, but it’s been worth it.

“We’ve been at this for almost 16 years trying to get this project down and make it right,” Atchison said. “Our citizens have said year after year, `Don’t get in a hurry. Plan it right and execute it once.’”

Luxury hotel

The 125-room Origin Westminster will offer corner suites overlooking the Westminster Downtown’s central plaza, a fully-equipped fitness center, a new, independent restaurant concept, retail space and 3,000 square feet of meeting space.

The new hotel and its first floor retail will replace the parking lot at about 89th and Eaton, just west of JC Penney department store.

Crews were already digging and moving dirt just north of the hotel’s eventual home. That lot will become the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which is scheduled to be finished in June 2019.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Westminster will feature luxury recliners and ten screens, including a large-format big “Alamo Big Show” screen.

It has less to do with the theater’s building than the people and what it shows. It includes special screenings with producers and directors and community events.

“Our programming is spectacular,” Tom DeFrancia, Alamo partner. “Not only will we have the first-run movies and the Hollywood blockbusters, but we’ve got theater dinners, quote-alongs and sing-alongs,” DeFrancia said. “We call them movie parties because it was too hard to list all the different things we offer.”

Construction of the theater will be handled by Bailey Construction with architectural design by Hodges Architect.

This marks Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s third Denver-area theater and the fourth property nationally for the Origin Hotel Collection.

The Thrash Group cut the ribbon  Aug. 10 on a second high end hotel near Interstate 70 near Red Rocks Amphitheater.

The developers describe Origin Hotels as an independent hotel collection with experience-driven culture for explorers, travelers, and experience junkies.

Redevelopment in progress

It’s part of the overall redevelopment for the 105 acre site that housed the Westminster Mall, between 88th and 92nd and Sheridan and Harlan. The city has been working to redevelop the 105 acre former mall site since the mall itself was torn down beginning in the summer of 2011, leaving the JC Penney’s, Olive Garden restaurant, a bowling alley and dental offices. Developers and Westminster officials official broke ground Dec. 19 on the Eaton Street Apartments, a mixed retail and housing project with 118 affordable apartments which joins construction of developer Sherman Company’s 255 residential unit Ascent project along 88th Avenue that began Aug. 2017.

Sherman Company is set to begin work on Aspire, a second residential project with 226 apartments, underground parking and 34,000 square feet of retail space. That construction should start in September.

A civic central square on the site is currently under construction as well.

The Thrash Group, a family-owned group based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, will also manage the construction. That’s .

Tryba Architects, a local Denver architecture firm, have designed the project.

Energy downtown

Walker Thrash said there’s an energy in the overall development he appreciates.

“The vision for this project has been so special,” Thrash said. “More effort has gone into place-making here than in any development we’ve ever been involved in.”

The people he’s worked with have been more concerned about creating a lasting project than getting something built quickly, and he appreciates that.

“Typically, you have that conversation at the first meeting or two and then it’s all about `profitability',” Thrash said. “But here,it hasn’t been about if it’s going to happen. It’s a question of finding the right person to get the right fit.”

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