In this past weekend’s Denver Post an article titled “Sprucing up 16th” touched upon a number of projects at the upper end of the mall that I have been posting about over the past few months. Katie Mullen’s, the Downtown Sheraton, McDonald’s at Cleveland Place and the Denver Pavilions were all featured in the story. I found it gratifying that other people are starting to take notice of this part of the city and it ongoing transformation.
My speculation about the McDonald’s at Cleveland Place is over - opening in April, it will feature a patio along Cleveland, a double sided stone fireplace and seven plasma-screen televisions. Facade changes aside this is really exciting news! I know it seems geeky to care this much about a McDonald’s but given what was there before this is the beginning of a great new chapter for this space.
I also learned that the long awaited $25 million renovation of the Denver Pavilions will begin next month. Mark Sidell with Gart Properties confirmed that they will be making the Pavilions more accessible from the mall by transforming the entrances as well as adding new flooring and revamping the landscaping. Also part of that renovation will be securing new tenants which I hope are “first to market” retailers as well as a restaurant.
Finally Paul Maye shared further details about his decision to open the first Katie Mullen’s in the U.S. in Downtown Denver:
“Denver stood out.” he said. “You have wonderful people, a cosmopolitan city, young people, and its a good sports city as well.” “We learned that 60 to 70 percent of the (downtown) office space is on this end of the mall,” Maye said. “We want to become a destination for locals and tourists. We’re not trying to take anybody’s place. We are adding to downtown.”
Given the economy it was a pleasant change to read about good things happening in Downtown Denver in the paper instead of another doomsday/the world is ending piece. I think it speaks volumes about the strength of the Downtown market when private developers are willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in these kinds of projects.