Editor’s note: This report first appeared at BusinessDen.com, a BizWest news partner.
DENVER — The owner of a parking lot next to Coors Field says economic conditions have pushed back plans to build on it, so he hopes to use shipping containers to turn the lot into an “outdoor gathering space” for now.
San Francisco-based Fillmore Capital Partners paid $4.4 million in 2019 for the 0.29-acre lot at 2000 Blake St., and last year successfully got the city to rezone the property to allow eight stories.
But Fillmore CEO Ron Silva told BusinessDen Tuesday that plans to build on the lot have been paused.
“Given where the Federal Reserve is, interest rates, the business environment — doing vertical development is simply not economically possible right now,” he said.
In March 2022, Silva said he hoped to break ground on a mixed-use project at the site as early as this summer. But on Tuesday, he said that likely won’t happen for at least a few years.
In the meantime, Silva wants to do more than just parking cars.
“We’d really like to enhance the experience, eliminate the parking lot that serves very few people, and make it a family-focused venue,” Silva said.
Fillmore hopes to put a number of 10-foot-by-40-foot shipping containers on the site, which would be used as retail space and house food and liquor vendors. Plans submitted to the city last week also show picnic tables and a play area for kids.
“It’ll be very tastefully done; it fits the environment,” Silva said of the shipping containers. “It’s an old industrial area so it’ll have a good feel against the historic brick buildings.”
The space won’t just be open for game days. Silva said Fillmore will keep the venue flexible, with room to host different chefs, food trucks and entertainment from the morning crowd through the night scene.
Right now, Silva expects to invest roughly $3 million in the project, most of which will go toward setting up plumbing, power and bathrooms. Silva said he’s hopeful the redesigned space will be open by this time next year.
“Structurally we could do it, but approval is where the issues are,” Silva said.
Fillmore hired Meridian 105 Architecture for the project.
Fillmore’s plans for the 2000 Blake St. lot are similar to what the Colorado Rockies plan to do on an adjacent parking lot. The Denver City Council rezoned 2030 and 2032 Blake St. this month to allow the team to create a colorful “plaza” that would allow for events while maintaining the ability to park vehicles as needed.
But Silva said the concepts are different and creative enough.
“We’re hoping to get a lot of support,” he said. “We know the Rockies are in support of it; we shared our thoughts with them months ago.”