Honoring history with timeless design
Sugar Block - Denver, Colorado
The Sugar Block is home to the former headquarters of the Great Western Sugar Company, one of the 10 most historically relevant buildings in Denver. This robust and richly detailed brick and timber structure bustled with activity until company’s exit in the late 1960s, when it began to decline. We acquired the distressed asset in 2004, along with two adjacent surface parking lots. Working closely with our investor-partner, we created a vision to renovate the historic building and develop two new ground-up projects to hold as a long-term investment.
After refurbishing and stabilizing the 1906-era Sugar Building, we constructed the SugarCube, a 10-story mixed-use building with office space, retail, and 37 luxury residences. We directed and oversaw development and management from the initial purchase through the financing and completion of the third project, SugarSquare.
All three entities benefit from some of the highest rents and lowest turnover in downtown Denver. The thoughtful development of this iconic block exemplifies our approach to urban stewardship, resilient financial performance, and neighborhood regeneration. It also highlights our ability to blend historic architecture with new construction. Despite strong offers over the years, our investor-partner has maintained ownership of the entire block as a legacy asset, and we remain the property manager.
Gross Square Feet: 189,000
Office: 119,000 / Residential: 51,000 /Retail: 19,000
Class AA mixed-use
Three projects: Adaptive re-use, new construction, integration (2003-currently held)
Historic Sugar Building
This Denver Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places still houses a classic — and rare — Otis birdcage elevator behind its buff brick and terra cotta front. It’s one example of our many adaptive re-use projects. Designed in 1906 by Grove and Walsh architects, it was renovated in 2000 and expanded with the Semple Brown-designed SugarSquare addition in 2019.
6 + basement
Grove and Walsh 1906
Designed by world-renowned architect Bruce Kuwabara, the SugarCube building showcases our ability to transform an underutilized parking lot into a modern yet historically respectful paradigm. A state-of-the-art development with restaurants, three levels of office, and six floors of residential, SugarCube was the first building in LoDo to utilize solar energy. It also received the Design of the Year award from the City of Denver, and commands some of the highest lease rates of any mixed-use building in Downtown Denver.
10 + 3 underground parking
KPMB Architects, Toronto
Pre-leased before its completion in 2019, SugarSquare was the final phase of SugarBlock. This five-story glass and steel infill building, integrated with two adjacent historic buildings, added office space, a green roof deck, and an eclectic flair. It’s also the smallest building ever to receive the Mayor’s Design of the Year award.
4 + basement and roof deck
We searched for tenants compatible with the specific location. These included ChoLon and Little Owl Coffee, which add to the vivid mix in the area.
Little Owl Coffee adds vitality to the adjacent SugarCube lobby, where patrons relax and socialize with office tenants and residents. The boutique roaster has garnered a cult following.