From a Brownfield Site to a RevitalizedTransit Oriented Arts District

Posted: March 17, 2020

(Image: Before 2015, birds-eye of 36th & Brighton)
(Image: After, View looking with the Ride at RiNo in the foreground

The Ride at RiNo, an 84 unit mixed-use micro residence infill project located in the River North District of Denver, a historically industrial neighborhood, characterized by its eclectic urban feel. Industrial buildings with simple massing and minimalist use of materials, it is a diverse community of artists, manufacturing, design professionals, galleries and young entrepreneurs. Located just 2 blocks from the 38th and Blake Street RTD Light Rail station on the ‘A’ Line to Denver International Airport making “The Ride at RiNo” micro-unit and live-work living options attractive to both Millennial and Gen-Z generations looking for mobility, convenience and a central location in a innovative zone within the RiNo District.

In addition, the City of Denver has announced $47 million dollars of infrastructure improvements that are now underway including the reconstruction of Brighton Boulevard (just one block away) which boasts Denver’s first elevated cycle tracks as well as wide sidewalks and green stormwater filtration by 2018. Also RiNo Park on the South Platte River, beginning construction in 2017 with it’s signature makers plaza just 4 blocks away.

With a total of 84 units ranging in size from 375 sf to 480 sf for upper floor units on levels two through five and live-work units on the developments first floors facing Wynkoop and 36th Streets vary in size between 650 sf and 850 sf, typically. Above the podium level 4 levels plus a rooftop terrace on level six offer wide expanses of glass, high ceilings, glass garage doors, and a green terrace on top overlooking the Denver Skyline and the Rocky Mountains – developed by an award winning Denver firm: Christopher Carvell Architects.

There will be several “neighborhoods” developed throughout the building which will be supported by a commons lounge on the level five, rooftop terrace on level six, a common laundry on level two, a fitness center on level two, and a common entry lobby and conference facility on level one with bike share rentals and a combination of surface, rideshare, and below grade secure parking.

In many of the micro-units there is an open pantry storage niche to accommodate the Millennial / Gen-X’s for having bikes, ski’s snowboards, golf clubs, and other outdoor gear. In the parking garage
and throughout the building there are accommodations for secure storage lockers available for rent. The unit mix also allows for some larger apartments.

City officials have said these apartments can contribute to and help ease the affordable housing crisis by providing units that will rent in the $1,200-$1,800 range per month. These units will have all the
accommodations of a full sized apartment with private bathrooms, hotel style open vanities, full kitchens with micro-appliances and bed niches that become part of the living room zone.
According to U.S. and World News, Denver is one of the faster growing cities attracting young technology entrepreneurs to its Silicon Valley version of digital / social media and high tech companies.
Therefore – the design anticipates housing young tech workers, recently of digital / social media and high tech companies. This could be launching space as they get established.

Prototype ‘ Smart Unit’:
Every inch counts, flexibility is paramount – such as compartment bathrooms – with oversized showers and separate floating vanity sinks as well as modular / compact kitchen appliances. With a distinct foyer and storage pantry with these units sport 11’-6” high ceiling and a large bay window – thus creating a volumetric feeling – certainly a sustainable one with an abundance of layered transparency / daylight – combined with a high performance energy saving exterior envelope. Thus the developer believes there is a large and unmet need for entry level housing in a transit rich and culturally rich city like Denver.