Last week I went on a tour of the future University of Colorado Denver Business School located at 1475 Lawrence Strett. The CU Foundation on behalf of UC Denver purchased the building, the former headquarters for Quiznos, in March 2008 for $24 million. Our tour showed us what eventually will be new classrooms, common areas, meeting rooms, a market cafe and faculty offices for the school.
UC Denver will be consolidating eight different locations for their current business program into this facility including the Bard Center which currently is on the 16th Street Mall. I really enjoyed seeing the raw “before” space and it was easy to see the potential each floor holds. My favorite part of the tour was getting to check out the numerous decks throughout the building each with awesome views of Downtown. As we walked each floor we got to see a number of renderings which helped illustrate what each space will eventually look like.
Ultimately this will be a three phase project. Phase one will be a $15 million renovation of the entire building including enclosing and expanding the main lobby as well as installing a multi-level signature staircase in the center of the school. Future phases could expand the ground floor further and eventually create a grand six story enclosed glass atrium where the fountain sits now behind the Capital Grille. Fundraising efforts for the first phase are well underway. Tentatively, the first classes held in the facility will be in late 2010.
Projects like this are critical to the future of Downtown and I think this school (along with the activity it will create on this corner) will be a tremendous asset when completed. I look forward to touring the completed school next year.