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90-story tower in Denver would be city's first supertall

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If approved, the $400M project would transform the city’s skyline

A proposed supertall skyscraper in Denver, Colorado.
All photos courtesy of Six Fifty 17

Denver may be known for many things—like craft beer, the Broncos, and access to skiing—but skyscrapers is not one of them. A Manhattan developer wants to change that, however, with plans for a 90-story high-rise in downtown Denver that would become the city’s tallest skyscraper.

Greenwich Realty Capital on Wednesday released details for a 1,000-foot high-rise it plans to construct at 650 17th St., in the center of the city’s central business district. Called Six Fifty 17, the mixed-use building would measure more than 1 million square feet and would include plans for 284 luxury condos, a hotel, 22,000 square feet of retail space, and 500 parking spots.

A 90-story building would exceed the 984-foot limit that takes a building from merely tall to supertall. Cities like New York City are in the midst of a supertall boom, with 24 different supertall skyscrapers either completed, under construction, or in the development phrase.

Denver, however, currently doesn’t have any supertall skyscrapers. If built, the proposed 1,000-foot Greenwich Realty Capital building would dwarf its competitors and climb 286 feet taller than Denver’s current tallest building, the 714-foot, 56-story Republic Plaza.

Before it can be built Six Fifty 17 will have to clear the city’s approval process. While Greenwich co-founder and managing partner Michael Ursini told the Denver Post that the project is “100 percent going forward” at a price tag of around $400 million, there are no formal site plans currently under review by the city.

The building is being designed by Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, most famous for his design of the Opera de la Bastille in Paris. According to its website, Six Fifty 17’s design will take advantage of “breathtaking views” and offer “unprecedented amenities.” Plans include multiple terraces and pools, a spa, fitness center, a basketball court, bowling alley, and children’s climbing gym.

Currently, the 25,000-square-foot site in downtown is a parking lot owned by Paradise Land Co. The property is under contract to sell to Greenwich, and the deal should close soon. This particular site in downtown has no height limit, and ideally, the company hopes to break ground in the summer of 2018. Construction would take around three years.