New York City–based developer Greenwich Realty Capital is planning to build a 90-story, $400 million residential mixed-use tower in downtown Denver, according to The Denver Post. If the city approves the project, it will be the tallest in Denver by 34 stories.
Greenwich said the 1 million-square-foot skyscraper, which has not yet been submitted to Denver's Community Planning and Development office for review, will feature 284 luxury condos, a hotel, 22,000 square feet of retail and onsite parking.
The city does not impose a building height limit but it does have a floor area ratio requirement, which a city spokesperson told The Post means "the taller you make your building, the skinnier it has to get." The developer is working toward a summer 2018 groundbreaking.
Condo development in Denver and elsewhere in the state is slowly coming back after grinding to a near halt since 2005, when the state passed a construction defects law giving homeowners' associations almost unlimited authority to sue builders on residents' behalf.
Once representing 20% of the state's real estate market, condos dwindled to a share of 2% to 3% during that time. Denver officials said a major driver of the decline was the increased liability, which added $15,000 to the cost to build each unit. This has put stress on a housing market already tight from the recent growth.
Advocates of the defects law said it protected condo owners from substandard construction work and ensured that builders would return to make any necessary repairs.
Responding to citizens who couldn't find affordable housing, as well as to a homebuilding and real estate community screaming for relief, the Colorado legislature changed some provisions of the law earlier this year. However, observers say it will take some time before condo construction kicks back into higher gear.
Barring an affordable set-aside component, the high-end Greenwich project would not provide the affordable entry to homeownership for which the condo market is known.
A Miami developer has also proposed a condo project for downtown Denver with almost triple the number of units to be offered by the Greenwich tower. Renzo Renzi said he will build a $500 million condo project featuring two towers that would offer up 800 condos across 1 million square feet.