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Feb 21, 2017

New Denver World Trade Center to Symbolize International Coming-Together

When Karen Gerwitz visualizes the how the new, planned $200 million World Trade Center campus in Denver is going to function and look, she thinks of an eco-system.

“It will be a place where we can gather and convene and learn from each other,” says Gerwitz, who is the president of the WTC Denver.

The new center, to be built in Denver’s trendy River North Art District, will also be inviting.

Architectural rendering courtesy Oz Architecture

Unlike other previous fortress-like World Trade Center structures in New York and New Orleans, the Denver version, says Gerwitz, “will be very accessible and very active.”

“It will not be a corporate tower,” insists Gerwitz, “but more of a gathering place for international business, as well as the cultural community.”

If Gerwitz’s ideas for the three-phase project stand out, that’s because the building itself, in a part of Denver not known for particularly large structures, promises to stand out, too.

Set to include around 200,000 square feet of corporate office space as well as 50,000 square feet of shared working space; 30,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space; and another 20,000 square feet of conference center space, the new building will live and breathe around the singular theme of promoting today’s global economy.

“Like any sort of real estate development project, this one has its challenges,” says developer Sean Campbell.

Architectural rendering courtesy Oz Architecture

But Campbell is also excited about the eclectic blend of businesses expected to call the new building home.

 “We’ll have early stage, very entrepreneurial new companies, to mid-size and strong-growth companies, all the way up to the really large-scale Fortune 500s,” he says.

There are today more than 50 individual World Trade Centers in the U.S., and upwards of 330 such facilities across the world. All of them are dedicated to the goal of bringing together government agencies and corporations in an ongoing effort to foster international trade.

The Denver WTC was launched in 1987 and was for nearly three decades housed in two 29-story gleaming glass towers in downtown Denver in the 1600 block of Broadway on the 16th Street Mall.

In early 2016, the organization announced its decision to build at a new location, just over two miles to the northeast, in part due to space issues.

“We needed something more conducive to gathering and convening our community,” says Gerwitz.

City officials, in response, said they were excited about the prospects of a new Denver WTC, not least of which for what it can do for Denver:

“It will allow us to easily showcase the best of Denver on a global scale,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a statement.

Architectural rendering courtesy Oz Architecture

As currently envisioned, the new Denver WTC will encompass a “multi-use campus,” says Gerwitz, “with corporate office space, a hotel, conference center, global restaurant space and retail, where we can attract all of our members and any other firms doing global business.”

That means visitors and tenants in the new complex will be in touch not only with any number of multinational companies and organizations calling the Denver WTC home, but partaking of international-themed restaurants and retail space.

“We want this to be a truly different place and experience for anyone who comes here,” enthuses Campbell.

Designed by the Denver-based Oz Architecture, the campus and buildings will also be commuter friendly, located conveniently on the city’s busy light rail line connecting the downtown Union Station with the Denver International Airport.

First phase construction on the new center and campus is scheduled to launch by the end of this year, with a completion date of late 2019.

 

By Garry Boulard

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