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The Last Parcel at Riverfront Park

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It’s pretty amazing how fast time flies. It doesn’t feel like yesterday, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been more than a decade since the only building at Riverfront Park was a slim little trailer used as an office amidst huge construction vehicles working to build what would later become the Plaza space and roads in Riverfront Park. That same plaza is shown above during one of the Riverfront Park Fashion Shows.

Just over 10 years, and look how much has been built.

Riverfront Park started with just three main buildings around the Plaza space. Those buildings were the Promenade Lofts, Park Place Lofts, and Riverfront Tower.

Those buildings sold out quickly, tenants began occupying the ground floor retail, and things kept growing.

What followed was the height of Real Estate conditions. Creekside Lofts and Flats, The Delgany Lofts, The Brownstones, ONE Riverfront and the Park at ONE Riverfront, and of course we all remember the huge excitement surrounding the Glass House.

At the same time several parcels were sold to apartment developers. Monarch Mills put in an affordable housing project. The Station (as it is currently known) and the Manhattan opened their doors.

By 2008 the neighborhood was thriving and the secret was out. With plans laid out for the New Union Station everyone had their eyes on Riverfront Park. Many expressed intentions of buying in the next new development to appear in this hot neighborhood.

But that may not happy, at least not anytime soon.

In the past few years the Manhattan expanded their apartment offerings by taking the parcel across the street (behind the Brownstones). Balfour Senior Living finally took the leap on their large project occupying the land adjacent to 15th street behind the Promenade and Riverfront Tower (they had looked at starting years earlier but held off, we are guessing, for reasons tied to the market drop in late 2000’s). Then AMLI built their own new apartment building across from the Skate Park and adjacent to the dog park (on 20th and Little Raven).

Very quickly a lot of land was spoken for.

And now it appears that the parcel in front of Glass House (Between Glass House and Little Raven Street) will be almost entirely apartment development. We reported earlier that sampling and testing vehicles were on the site with. While many hoped for a chance to buy into a new Riverfront Park project our sources are now sharing that the parcel is being planned as a rental, with the exception of the tip of that triangle which is privately held and could one day be the location of a single family home (what a great spot).

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So… if this turns out to be the case that leaves one Last Parcel at Riverfront Park. There is a vacant parcel located next to the Brownstones, across the street from the AMLI apartment, and directly on Little Raven. Since it is on Little Raven the zoning will probably limit what could be built there. If we look at what has been planned on Little Raven it might be fair to expect another townhome project (perhaps Brownstones Phase II) or a more affordable offering. Or, it could be another rental project.

Either way it is interesting to stop and consider the implications off all this development. Riverfront Park just became a neighborhood of a very fixed supply. There is no new high rise coming out of the ground, there may not be any new developments coming that will be for sale.

But that limited supply situation may be the spark that allows a developer to put something on Riverfront Park’s last unclaimed parcel. If they wait just long enough for the certainty on all the other parcels be solidified (i.e. the apartments in front of Glass House are underway) the demand for something (anything) new in Riverfront Park could support doing that last parcel as a high end residential project.

If not, then the inventory that exists may be all there will ever be.

That kind of perspective gives a new value to living and owning a Denver Urban residence in Riverfront Park. Because if you follow a love of great locations Riverfront Park is hard to beat. It has it’s own park at the front door, the great downtown and Union Station transportation hub in the back yard, and a central location surrounded by hundreds of restaurants, shops, sporting events, theater, and the list goes on from there.

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