Edens closes land deal in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood; sets stage for residential redevelopment

Edens, the major RiNo landlord, has closed on its purchase of nearly a full city block in the neighborhood.

The firm, which specializes in retail real estate, acquired the majority of the block formed by Larimer and Lawrence streets between 26th and 27th streets from the nonprofit Volunteers of America Colorado this week.

Edens paid $18.4 million, according to brokerage NAI Shames Makovsky, which represented the firm in the deal. That works out to about $180 a square foot for the land.

The sale, however, was just one step of a complicated deal between the two parties.

Edens also paid $5.5 million in December 2020 for an industrial building in Commerce City. The nonprofit will move its kitchen and warehouse operations, which have been housed in RiNo, to that site.

That will enable Edens to demolish the existing structures on the RiNo block and undertake its first ground-up development in the city. Plans call for about 85,000 square feet of retail space topped with about 380 residential units in multiple five- to seven-story structures. The Denver City Council approved the necessary rezoning for the project in June.

“This block is an important block,” Tom Kiler, a local executive with Edens, told BusinessDen in February. “It’s a bridge between a commercial area and a more residential area.”

One structure on the block will remain standing, however: VOA’s approximately 20,000-square-foot headquarters building at the corner of Larimer and 27th.

Edens has also agreed to renovate the structure, which VOA continues to own. Changes will include adding a museum about the nonprofit’s past on the ground floor.

“It’s a true partnership,” VOA President and CEO Dave Schunk said of the arrangement in February.

VOA Colorado is expected to move into its new Commerce City space in the spring of 2023, and Edens will break ground on its development around the same time, according to Shames Makovsky. Headquarters renovations are expected to finish in late 2023.

Dorit Fischer and Hayden Hirschfeld of NAI Shames Makovsky represented Edens. Bryon Stevenson of Newmark represented Volunteers of America.

Edens has now spent approximately $100 million on real estate in RiNo since 2019, when it entered the market by purchasing a number of buildings from developer Ken Wolf. Its holdings, which include the Denver Central Market building, are all located within two blocks of the VOA property. The company has lured retailers like Patagonia and Burton as tenants.

This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.

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