Life on Capitol Hill: September Business Matters

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Business Matters is a monthly column on the changing landscape of business and development in central Denver. If there are any inquires on new developments in your area, or if you are a local business wishing to highlight an upcoming milestone, email Kailyn Lamb at klamb@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

Development

260 N. Josephine St.

Elevation Development Group broke ground in mid-July for a six-story project in Cherry Creek North. The building is set to be 70,000 square feet of mixed-use space including retail and office spaces. The building will also include parking levels. Elevation is based in Denver. The company estimated the project will take approximately one year to build.

Colburn Hotel

Since 1990, the former hotel at 980 Grant St. has been run as an affordable-housing apartment building. Gorman & Company purchased the building last month and will begin renovating the apartments in 2019.

The 10-story building has 91 low-income units. Gorman plans to continue leasing the space as affordable housing. Construction will happen in phases so current tenants will not be displaced.

In May, Gorman received $6.3 million from federal and Colorado low-income housing tax credits, which helped to fund the purchase of the building.

“Similar properties have already been sold to private developers for conversion into market-rate properties, while restrictions on another 2,000 homes are set to expire in Denver,” Kimball Crangle, Gorman & Company’s Colorado market president, said in a news release. “If we don’t act now, we lose these apartment homes for our most vulnerable community members forever.”

The Colburn Hotel was built in 1925. Charlie Brown’s, a neighborhood bar, and Cynergy Chiropractic Center will remain on the first floor.

Denver Health

The Lincoln Park hospital has two building projects underway, with a recent groundbreaking for a new Outpatient Medical Center and an upcoming parking garage.

The outpatient center received $45 million in funding from the 2017 Denver’s General Obligation Bond. The 300,000-square-foot facility at 660 Bannock St. will replace a building that used to house administration and office space. Wade Ebersole, assistant chief operating officer at Denver Health, said the new outpatient center will help make things more efficient. Patients have to visit several different buildings across the hospital’s campus for various outpatient services. Once this building is complete in 2020, patients will be able to go to one building for all their needs, including a pharmacy. The current buildings are also not current with medical standards, Ebersole said. “These buildings that they’re practicing in are well beyond their useful life.”

It would be cost-prohibitive for Denver Health to reconstruct the buildings to fit those standards. Instead, the hospital will use the building for support staff such as the IT team, who do not require the same strict medical standard.

The parking garage will replace support staff buildings at 530 and 550 Acoma St. and will have more than 1,200 spaces. The hospital will demolish the current buildings later this year, with construction on the parking garage starting in early 2019. Ebersole said the hospital is aiming to have the garage open before the Outpatient Medical Center since the new facility will require increased parking.

Business

Openings

PuppComm

Denver native William Loopesko created a new app for dog owners to help check on their pet’s well-being in cars.

Loopekso said he came up with idea when he got a dog in 2014. He frequently took his dog on hikes. But when he had to make a quick stop in a store, he worried about his pup. PuppComm is a device that sits in the car with a dog and tracks the vehicle’s temperature, humidity and location. Owners can then check those stats via an app to ensure their four-legged friends are doing alright.

“This is a problem that a lot of dog owners deal with and a real concern they have on a regular basis,” Loopesko said.

The app is meant for quick errands, he added, and he doesn’t advocate owners leave their dogs in the car for long periods of time. The app comes with a sticker that owners can place on their car. Passersby can use the sticker to put a code into the PuppComm site to check on dogs as well.

PuppComm launched on Indiegogo at the end of July with a goal to raise $20,000. As of Aug. 28, PuppComm had raised more than $32,000.

Mila

The Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group is expanding to add a new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant at 999 18th St. The company is aiming to open Mila this fall. The restaurant is replacing Urban Roadhouse Downtown.

In September, Kevin Taylor closed Palettes, its restaurant housed in the Denver Art Museum. The DAM is currently renovating the north building and demolished the portion where Palettes was located. Palettes’ chef Austin Cueto will continue working for Kevin Taylor as the head chef of Mila.

Liberati Denver

The authentic Italian restaurant and brewery at 2403 Champa St. will offer 42 beer taps as well as eight Italian-style cocktails on tap. Alex Liberati, an Italian brewer, has his sights set on mastering beer made with grapes. But the technique is tricky, and little has been done to put such an acidic fruit in beer, Liberati said.

“This has not yet been explored,” he said.

The beers, called oeno, will be made using beer methods as well as some traditional wine-making methods.

The restaurant will feature house-made pastas, breads, charcuterie and Italian gelato. Liberati said he is finishing up inspections with the city and plans to begin brewing as soon as he has a certificate of occupancy. From there it will take more than a month for the grape beers to brew and ferment. He is hoping to open Liberati around the Great American Beer Fest, which opens on Sept. 20.

Rye Society

The new Jewish deli honoring the roots of a longtime Denver family made its debut in River North at the end of July. Rye Society took over the Hutch and Spoon Café space at 3090 Larimer St.

Jerrod Rosen, a fourth-generation Coloradan, wanted to open the restaurant to bring traditional New York deli food to the area. The restaurant uses recipes going back generations within his family.

Closings

Delhi Darbar

Less than a year after opening at 100 E. 20th Ave., Delhi Darbar officially shut its doors in mid-August. The restaurant opened in January.

The restaurant had a rocky start. In late December 2017, the space opened as Gumba’s Italian Kitchen. The restaurant was a brick-and-mortar location for a food truck of the same name. Westword reported in January that the main partner behind the Italian restaurant left the business and the remaining owners decided to convert to Indian food.

The group had formerly opened a restaurant under the name Delhi Darbar at 1514 Blake St., which closed 10 years ago, according to Westword.

Rebel Restaurant

Rebel Restaurant, at 3763 Wynkoop St., closed in River North on Aug. 4. The restaurant was open for three years and was known for serving whole hog heads and pierogis.

Noble Riot, a new wine bar, is set to open in its place this month.

Changes

Hot Mamas Exercise

Hot Mamas is moving from its home of more than 10 years in West Washington Park to a new studio at 2260 E. Colfax Ave. in the Cheesman Park neighborhood.

The move was first reported by BusinessDen.

Hot Mamas focuses on fitness classes for women. According to the website, founder Teddi Bryant started Hot Mamas after working on fitness routines with new moms. The studio offers classes that focus on a particular area, such as legs and waist, or full-body strength classes.

LaLa’s Wine Bar

LaLa’s will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary on Sept. 5. The bar will have happy hour all day, and there will be live music from 6 to 9 p.m. The restaurant will be donating 10 percent of the dinner sales to Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods.

Jazzercise

A three-decade-old exercise studio changed hands last month after Linda Viray took over Jazzercise on Capitol Hill. The studio is just north of City Park at 3435 E. 28th Ave.

Kathy Zimmer sold the studio to Viray, who took over on Aug. 1. Zimmer said she wanted to see the business continue, but that she wanted to step back and spend more time with her three children.

“We just couldn’t see it go away,” she said.

Zimmer will continue teaching at the studio, which will remain at its East 28th Avenue location.

Viray has been teaching Jazzercise for the past 14 years. She said she loves the community of people who come to classes regularly at this location.

Zephyr Brewing

A former River North brewery is closing after a year in north Denver. Zephyr Brewing first opened in RiNo in 2014, but after rising rent costs, closed up shop and moved to a new facility at 1609 E. 58th Ave. last summer. The business reopened as a taproom there earlier this year.

Zephyr officially closed its doors on July 20. Owner Brian Wood sold the brewery and equipment to former assistant brewer Nick Crown, who will reopen the business as Blue Tile Brewing. The new brewery will open this fall.

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