New Adaptive Reuse Project: Steam on the Platte

Tucked away in the industrial stretch along the South Platte River below Mile High Stadium is a new adaptive reuse project, Steam on the Platte, which will bring urban energy to a part of Denver near downtown that hasn’t seen a lot of private-sector investment in the past century. Steam on the Platte is being developed by Urban Ventures and White Construction Group.

Located at West 14th Avenue and Zuni Street, Steam on the Platte is technically in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood. However, because it lies in a narrow zone of land east of the river but west of Interstate 25, the location feels less La Alma/Lincoln Park and more Sun Valley, the neighborhood located on the west side of the river. The 3.2-acre site lies approximately half way between RTD’s Decatur-Federal and Auraria West Campus light rail stations and, just to the south, is Xcel Energy’s Zuni plant, which is planned for decommissioning in the near future.


In Phase 1, Steam on the Platte includes the restoration and reuse of four buildings, the largest of which is a 65,000 square foot brick-and-timber warehouse at 1401 Zuni constructed in 1928. Here’s a site plan, courtesy of Urban Ventures:


The new uses will include work space for tech and creative companies and a café. Here’s a before-and-after shot (courtesy of Urban Ventures) of the historic warehouse:


Below are a few renderings of what the inside of the historic warehouse will look like after the project is finished. These images are courtesy of tres birds workshop, the architect for the 1401 Zuni building renovation:



One of the other existing buildings that’s located right next to the river will be converted into a signature restaurant space. Several landscaped plazas and gardens will tie the entire complex together and link the development to the river. This rendering, courtesy of Wenk Associates, the project’s landscape architect, shows the proposed plaza space adjacent to the historic warehouse:


Phase 2 of the project envisions adding several new buildings for more office space and to bring multi-family residential uses to the development. This final rendering shows the vision for Steam on the Platte after Phase 2, as viewed from across the river. Click to embiggen!


Phase 1 should be complete by Fall 2016.

By | 2015-11-21T10:32:12+00:00 November 21, 2015|Categories: Adaptive Reuse, Historic Preservation, Revitalization, Transit-Oriented|Tags: |8 Comments


  1. Joey November 21, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    That seems like a cool and ambitious (re)-use for a high visibility site. I wish them good luck to accomplish the plan. I’d love to see the Platte River valley flourish in all respects.

  2. Kyle November 23, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    This looks AWESOME!

  3. Ballpark Resident November 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Very cool project in an area that is in a tough area for redevelopment. I’d be curious to see what types of plans are in store for the Xcel plant once it’s decommissioned. What a huge undertaking!

    • mckillio November 30, 2015 at 11:01 am

      I believe the plant is getting rebuilt.

  4. Tyler November 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Its great that they aren’t tearing down that cool warehouse. And its cool that the one by the river will become a restaurant. But unfortunately, they do plan on tearing down a pretty cool looking existing building to build surface parking. So that makes me like this project a little bit less. However, this project will certainly have a snowball effect on the surrounding area. Look for this area to explode with new development in the near future.

  5. Pickles November 25, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Awesome looking project. Is there any thought on how to provide affordable housing? Seems like yet another area that will be out of reach for the majority of the populace. Plus, how will the dangers of lead poisoning be communicated to the public now?

  6. Mark December 7, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Will there be widening of sidewalks? Dedicated bike infra? Hmmm…

  7. Brian December 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Do you have any good links for information on the decommissioning of the Zuni plant? My understanding is that Xcel is essentially blocking development along that stretch of 13th (really the 13th-ave realignment study that came out of the GDP for the Decatur/Federal station area), by motioning the PUC for more and more time to evaluate alternatives for the plant. It would be nice to have any solid information on the time frame for the issues with the plant to be resolved so the path to redevelopment in Sun Valley would be clearer.

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