Bernard Hurley, the ex-con turned millionaire Denver developer, is ready to embark on the first phase of a project he’s envisioned for decades – a mixed-use development along the South Platte River in RiNo.
The first phase of Hurley Place — two 12-story towers — will be built on the patch of land between the Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Ironton Distillery and Crafthouse. The towers will feature 300,000 square feet of office space and 198,000 square feet of apartments. A path between the two buildings, running from Delgany to Chestnut, will be flanked by 25,000 square feet of retail space at the base of the buildings.
“We’re trying to draw a connection to the river,” Hurley said of the path, which will eventually lead to what could someday be a riverside promenade — a public park and pedestrian infrastructure project that has been on the city’s agenda since at least 2017. “We’re making the river the front door of the project.”
Hurley’s development company, Menalto, along with the Chicago-based developer The John Buck Company are in the final stages of creating a site development plan, which will then move to the city for approval. They hope to begin construction in the first three months of 2022.
The 38th and Blake streets area has specific regulations, like requiring buildings that reach certain heights to offer affordable housing or other “social benefits.”
“One aspect of the city’s review is ensuring that the project will provide new affordable housing… which it appears Hurley Place intends to do,” Laura Swartz, a city spokesperson, said in an email.
Hurley said the developers aim to meet or exceed the affordable housing requirements. “We’re working with the Office of Economic Development and with the city of Denver to deliver the social benefit as well,” he continued.
Hurley hinted at the “social benefit” projects, which may include a workforce training for people transitioning out of prison.
The parcels across the street, between Chestnut and Arkins, also belong to Hurley, and will be part of the next two phases of construction. He bought the land decades ago, originally spending $4.2 million to buy the 6 total acres’ worth of RiNo real estate he owns today.
Two buildings currently stand in the construction zone, between Blue Moon and Ironton: the original offices of the environmental company Hurley founded in 1992 and a space Hurley has allowed artists to move into. He said they will be allowed to stay until construction starts.