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Denver’s new World Trade Center campus in RiNo could cost $175 million to $200 million — for just the first phase

World Trade Center Denver president Karen Gerwitz likes to say the group’s new River North campus won’t be “your grandfather’s World Trade Center.”

What it will be is now coming into focus.

Construction is still more than a year away, but the development team this week will start meeting with prospective tenants and stakeholders to share its globally minded vision and increasingly concrete plans for the project.

“This is going to be the most diverse ecosystem in Denver but with one singular focus and that focus is global connectivity,” Gerwitz said. “It’s going to be very global, very diverse but uniquely Denver, too.”

The day-night campus could also house 30,000 square feet  of retail and restaurants with a global focus, on-site parking and a public plaza that could host international movie nights, festivals and other events.

Construction could begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, with the first 1.5 acres of the campus, at 38th and Walnuts streets near the new train station, opening in the fourth quarter of 2019. Several more acres are available for future expansion. Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank are handling the leasing.

“We want our best and most talented global-minded businesses and entrepreneurs,” said developer Sean Campbell, whose past work includes Industry at 3001 Brighton Blvd. “The idea is from top to bottom, you’ll get a global flair from small and emerging born-global companies to multi-nationals and really strong Colorado-based companies that are doing or growing their global footprint.”

WTC Denver moved out of its longtime downtown Denver home in 2015 in part because of limited space to host events and to bring in other trade-focused groups. Earlier this year, the group announced it had chosen the red-hot River North Art District for its new campus, joining forces with Campbell and Andrew Feinstein, a co-managing partner of the EXDO Event Center and an owner of some of the land proposed for the campus development.

Campbell said he will begin meeting in earnest with interested capital partners in the coming weeks and months to put the financing together.

The new campus will allow WTC Denver to expand from about 100 events a year to daily programming in conjunction with its partners in residence, Gerwitz said.

“If you have a global mindset and you’re in Denver, this is the place you’ll want to be,” she said. “It’s very much a global community, a hub, a magnet for global business and global business engagement. It will be a welcome center for international visitors where they can get off the plane, jump on the train and stop here, one stop before Union Station, and check in with our concierge desk, get some assistance and connections to the local business community, attend their conference here and stay on site at our business-friendly hotel.”

Campbell said they spent a lot of time thinking not only about what kind of offices people will want in 2019 but also in 2030 and 2040. OZ Architecture is leading the design process for the campus.

“If we do our jobs well, this will be essentially turned back over to our global business community as a resource, as a beacon, as a platform for everybody to succeed,” Campbell said.

Even as technology advances, having that physical space where “collisions in the hallway” can happen remains important in the world of global business, Gerwitz said.

“People think I can connect on the internet and find partners, but to be honest, global business is so different than doing business domestically. It’s all about building relationships and it’s all about knowing those connections,” Gerwitz said. “You might bump into someone who says, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve done business in Indonesia. I’ve got a distributor there already. Why don’t you contact them?’ That’s typically how international business works.”

 

Denver’s new World Trade Center campus in RiNo could cost $175 million to $200 million — for just the first phase” Denver Post, 19 Sept. 2016, http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/19/world-trade-center-denver-new-rino-campus/

Amazing FREE things to do in Denver!

You don’t have to break the bank to have a great time in Denver. Throughout the city, there are countless attractions and activities that will cost you absolutely nothing, including museums, festivals and tours. 

HEART OF ART

Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood brims with more than 30 innovative art galleries and artists’ studios showcasing the innovative wares of nationally renowned talent and regional up-and-comers. First Friday Art Walk, a shuttled gallery tour that takes place the first Friday of each month, is a terrific way to tour art marts like Walker Fine Art (300 W. 11th St.). The Golden Triangle art galleries are bordered by Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue and Lincoln Street. Shuttle tours begin at the Osage Street Light Rail Station.

COLORADO STATE CAPITOL TOUR

200 E. Colfax Ave. 
The Colorado State Capitol, modeled after the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., is a stunning spectacle embellished with stained glass depicting events and people inherent to Colorado, coupled with gorgeous Colorado white granite, rose onyx and yule marble. To see if you’ve got what it takes to adjust to the altitude, climb the 99-step spiral staircase to an open-air deck affording jaw-dropping views of the city skyline and Rocky Mountains. The Corinthian-styled building, famed for its gold-plated dome rising 272 feet above the ground, offers temporary exhibits, visitor galleries, and complimentary tours by reservation. Note: The Capitol Dome will be undergoing major structural renovations for 2-3 years and not offering tours during that time-frame.

TATTERED COVER BOOK STORE

2526 E. Colfax Ave. 
No visit to Denver would be complete without a journey through the Tattered Cover Book Store, one of the top independent booksellers in the country. This astounding literary marvel boasts several metro Denver locations, but the store in the renovated Lowenstein Theater on a burgeoning stretch of East Colfax is the talk of the town. Grab a latte from the in-house java joint, plop down in one of the overstuffed chairs or sofas to wrap your hands around the latest best seller, or attend a free book signing or author lecture from big-names like John Gray, Al Gore, Annie Leibovitz and Garrison Keillor. Tattered Cover’s newest location is at Denver Union Station.

Aurora Passed Short-term Rental Regulations

AURORA | City officials have agreed to allow residents to rent out their homes as vacation rentals using services like Air BnB, but  hosts of the increasingly popular short-term rentals must obtain business licenses and pay municipal lodger’s tax, ending a months-long logistical quagmire.

On Friday, Nov. 6, the city issued its first vacation rental business license to Saurabh Chawlah, an active Airbnb host who was barred from renting out his home on East Dry Creek Place in April after a neighbor complained about the amount of people frequently coming in and out of his east Aurora home.


“It was a long road, but I’m glad we got to this point,” Chawlah said. “
I’m glad that (the city) made this a priority over the past seven months — they did a pretty good job and they listened.”

The decision means that all vacation rental hosts with an Aurora address will have to apply for a $38 Aurora business license and collect an 8-percent lodger’s tax from each guest they host, according to Trevor Vaughn, manger of the city’s tax and licensing division. The business licenses must be renewed every two years for a $25 fee.

“It’s going to be an allowed home occupation,” Vaughn said.

He added that people who rent out all or a portion of their home to travelers may still be subject to a separate, state lodger’s tax of 4.25 percent.

Had the city not elected to pursue the current plan, Chawlah and his wife, Neha, would have had to pay upward of $4,000 for a conditional use permit and attend a public hearing to receive the approval of all residents and Homeowners Associations within one mile of their home.

The Chawlah’s re-listed their house on Airbnb early Friday, and Saurabh said that he plans on charging guests $45 per night. That price includes the now-mandatory lodger’s tax, which he will remit to the city on his own — not through the Airbnb website.

Vaughn said that the city has continuously pursued negotiations with sites like Airbnb to get them to agree to charging the required taxes at the point of sale instead of having individual hosts remit the city fees themselves on a monthly or quarterly basis.

“At this point, we are looking for more cooperation form the website providers in collecting and remitting the tax,” he said. “That’s something that we’ve been in touch with Airbnb about, but they haven’t cooperated yet. But I think that would be easier for all parties involved.”

Saurabh said that he’s proud of Aurora’s decision to allow vacation rentals by owners in the city, although he’s not certain how cozy other area Airbnb hosts will be to the notion of having to apply for a business license and charge guests an additional fee.

“Other hosts may not be too happy, but at least it will be an even playing field at that point,” he said.

There were about 40 Airbnb hosts serving Aurora visitors as of July, according to anecdotal data collected by the tax and licensing division. That’s a number nearly 10 times what it was early last year.

Prior to being shut down this spring, the Chawlahs had hosted about 55 guests in their Aurora home, according to Saurabh. He said that the majority of their visitors were people looking to stay close to Denver International Airport, students in town to interview at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and younger professionals flying in for job interviews at in Downtown Denver.

Saurabh said that barring any loud or cantankerous behavior, city officials have told him that any future grievances from the next-door neighbor who lodged the initial complaint will be ignored.

“In regard to who’s coming in and out of our driveway, that’s not really that person’s concern,” he said. “We’ve been told that if they do complain it will be ignored unless something crazy happens with loud noise, music or a party. But just with people coming in and out, we’re free to do it.”

Despite Aurora’s new plan regarding Airbnb, a slew of other cities around the state and the country are still wrestling with how to regulate the ballooning sharing economy. Following a months-long moratorium on the practice, Boulder voters approved a 7.5 percent tax on short-term rentals in the city earlier this week. In the metro area, the Denver City Council is in the process of considering its own regulations on Airbnb and other vacation rentals by owner there.

Written by Quincy Snowdon, Reported by the Aurora Sentinel

http://www.aurorasentinel.com/news/aurora-reaches-accord-vacation-rental-owners-biz-licenses-taxes/