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This mixed use project across from Coors Field would include a Rockies hall of fame, offices, residential units, and an audio visually equipped public plaza.
Rendering provided by Stantec
This mixed use project across from Coors Field would include a Rockies hall of fame, offices, residential units, and an audio visually equipped public plaza.
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Another downtown Denver parking lot will soon be plowed under to make way for a mixed-use development. This project has the potential to be particularly different. A purple triceratops named Dinger may be sighted there.

Architects this week released renderings and details of a forthcoming outdoor plaza complex it is designing on behalf of the Colorado Rockies. The structure, which is expected to include restaurants, offices, a hotel and residences revolving around a screen-laden public plaza, will rise where a parking lot now sits at 19th and Wazee streets. The project’s chief attraction, according to the designer, will be all about baseball: the Rockies’ team hall of fame.

“The plaza is designed as a pre- and post-game gathering place for Rockies fans, complete with unique restaurants and state of the art audio and visual systems,” Larry Weeks, a principal with multinational architectural design firm Stantec, said in a news release.

“Beyond baseball, the plaza will serve as Denver’s ‘outdoor room,’ a year-round space that can accommodate neighborhood concerts, festivals and other activities,” said Daniel Aizenman, the Edmonton, Alberta-based company’s senior principal.

A rendering of what the public plaza at the center of the multi-use project planned for the "West Lot" next door to Coors Field might look like. The Colorado Rockies are developing the project which will include the team's hall of fame among other uses.
Rendering provided by Stantec
A rendering of what the public plaza at the center of the multi-use project planned for the “West Lot” next door to Coors Field might look like. The Colorado Rockies are developing the project which will include the team’s hall of fame among other uses.

The parking lot, known as the “west lot,” sits just across 20th Street southwest of Coors Field, wedged between longtime LoDo establishments Jackson’s Denver and the Denver ChopHouse Brewery. The Rockies secured a 99-year lease for the lot as part of the $200 million agreement the team signed this spring to keep Coors Field as its home for the next 30 years. The lot and the ballpark are owned by the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, a division of the state.

“I’m not a developer by any means, so I’ll have to forge forward,” team owner Dick Monfort said in March after the Rockies finalized the lease. “We have a great park already. If we can enhance it, then I’m excited. Our goal is to have it be the most unique experience in baseball.”

Stantec officials say the goal is to pull building permits in the summer. They did not disclose how much it will cost to develop the property.

A summary of the team’s lease shows payments for the lot make up a substantial amount of the agreement’s $200 million total. The Rockies paid the stadium district $7.5 million to rent the lot in the first year of the agreement that commenced March 31, and they will pay $7.5 million each of the next four years. Annual payments then decrease to $5 million for 15 years and then $1.25 million for 10. In total, the team will shell out $125 million for use of the space for just under a century.

That is substantially more than the $1 million in rent paid for the ballpark across the street and $1.5 million in contributions to the park’s capital fund that the team is paying in each of the next 30 years.

The lease also leaves the door open for the team and district to work together to develop the surface lots north of the ballpark.

The payments provide upfront financial support for the publicly owned ballpark, stadium district spokesman Matt Sugar said, and add to the fan experience. Sugar, who is also spokesman for the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, said there is substantial interest in creating an entertainment district near Sports Authority Field at Mile High — both from the district and the Denver Broncos– although no formal plans have been drawn up as of yet.

The Rockies and Stantec have indicated the new project will have a parking component to offset the loss of the surface lot, but a total spot count has not been decided upon.

The Rockies are hardly the only sports franchise investing in complementary uses near their stadium/area/field to entertain — and capitalize — on the fans they attract on game days. Stantec’s Aizenman, who works in the company’s Boulder office, has worked on projects in downtown Dallas near the American Airlines Center and in Los Angeles near Staples Center. He also worked on the vision for the Park at Wrigley, a new project by the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, that will open in the spring across from Wrigley Field.

“If you think about sports venues, they are a very popular thing in the history of our country and they bring a lot of foot traffic,” Aizenman said. “The Rockies got married with Denver 25 years ago. This is closing that loop.”

A rendering of what the public plaza at the center of the multi-use project planned for the "West Lot" next door to Coors Field might look like. The Colorado Rockies are developing the project which will include the team's hall of fame among other uses.
Rendering provided by Stantec
A rendering of what the public plaza at the center of the multi-use project planned for the “West Lot” next door to Coors Field might look like. The Colorado Rockies are developing the project, which will include the team’s hall of fame among other uses.

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