New hotel to anchor DU transformation

Photo:DU has plans to develop this parcel at South University and Buchtel Avenue. Options under consideration include a hotel, retail, welcome center, and graduate student housing.

The gateway to the University of Denver is going to change dramatically in the next five years. As part of DU’s vision to open up the campus to visitors, the Denver community and students, DU has assembled the parcels (pictured below – red)  necessary to move forward on a major 5-year capital project at the southwest corner of Buchtel and University. The property, bordered by Buchtel Blvd, South University, and Asbury is located to the east of the Ritchie Center, will be redeveloped in Phase II of a 5-year development plan. We have discussed Phase 1 which will include a new career achievement center & global alumni center, student union and new dorm (pictured below – Yellow) and is scheduled to be completed in the next three years. Construction may start as early as summer, 2018.

Site Plan 2017

These capital projects are part of an overall plan called The Denver Advantage. Phase I is being financed by the issuance of bonds instead of self-funding – the preferred option under former Chancellor Dan Ritchie.

Phase II will likely include a much-needed hotel at the corner of Buchtel Boulevard and University Avenue. It has been suggested that it will be operated by an outside hotel operator with a moderately sized 150-160 room facility with a ballroom for large university-wide meetings. A welcome center along with retail and graduate student housing above is an option under consideration as well. Final building design, site layout, and tenants are still under study and recommendations will require final trustee review and approval.

Concurrently, there are ongoing efforts to create a university district with visual queues, transportation, and neighboring retail studies to make the campus more accessible, convenient and visible to visitors, guests and students.

13 thoughts on “New hotel to anchor DU transformation”

  1. This is great news. Yes, that location truly is the “Gateway” to our school. The school was essentially blocked from view by those two non descript apartment buildings as cars entered from N University. It always bothered me when driving in. Now we can have a signature introduction as cars enter.

    I hope they arrange with an upscale hotel chain to build something unique to D.U. and properly titled as such. Please not a cookie cutter design ala Ramada or similar. This will be an important addition to D.U. Dan Ritchie started it all.Our debt to him is huge. The beat goes on!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fantastic for DU. The transformation continues to be incredible. It’ll be interesting to see how the campus develops over the next several decades and how it will fit with an ever-urbanizing Denver.
    I hope they find feasibility in a medical school. The research component that comes with that could greatly elevate the stature of the university as a whole. The South of campus needs a boost…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The hotel is a must-do and has been needed on campus for 70 years now. DU should work with a hotel brand that aligns with it’s own brand – upscale and unique, but not like out of reach Ritz-Carlton, either. Hilton has two newer brands that might fit – Curio or Canopy. Marriott has two similar upscale but not outrageous brands in AC Hotels and Autograph Collection. Both are somewhat unique and stylish, without being soulless convention-style hotels.

    The medical school idea has died for now. They looked at at in 2011 or so, but took a pass due to the $100+ million they’d need to make it work, plus the huge hassle on recruiting and regulatory side…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I agree with the Autograph collection reference–I stayed at one of their hotels in Tampa, and it had a great culinary theme going on. Please, not some shitbox, for fuck’s sake. (See the fucking bank and 7-11 that took over some of the space near the DU campus for a horrible example of what can happen if there is no oversight.) Make sure it is of equal quality construction and materials as the Ritchie Center. I always thought that redeveloping that corner would be good for DU, and I’m glad to see that it is happening. (Cool hockey history notwithstanding…)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know the hospitality management school has been trying to put a hotel on campus for at least 10 years now. The proposed location has become the most likely spot. The brand of the hotel has been dependent on who the school could get to donate/sponsor the hotel project. Personally I would love to see it run in a similar way to how Metro runs theirs-a management company runs the hotel with the school using mostly students. I would also like to see it not as a national brand, but an indespentend boutique hotel (ie. The Pioneer Inn or something similar).


  6. Lovely idea! FYI, the press release states that the development parcel is on the northeast corner of buchtel and university, but it is in fact on the southwest corner of buchtel and university. Might want to clear that up in future releases.


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