Miami developer planning 2 condominium high-rises for downtown Denver

DENVER -- A proposal to build two condominium high-rises on the corner of 19th and Arapahoe streets could forever change the Mile High skyline.

Renzo Renzi, a developer from Miami, has put in motion a $500 million project that would take approximately three years to complete.

“The Denver economy is thriving and there is a lot of jobs in this market,” Renzi said. “It’s a healthy economy and I believe Denver is a good place for mass development.”

Paradise Living will feature two 40-story buildings and have 800 condominiums. Units will vary from studios to penthouses, starting in the $200,000s up to $1 million apiece.

The land, currently a public parking lot, was purchased by Renzi and his partners for $22 million, an average of $400 per square foot.

Buzz Geller is in the process of selling the land to Renzi. Geller said he purchased the plot of land in 1998 for about $3.2 million, an average of $57 per square foot.

The final investment of the project is projected to be about $500 million.

“I think it’s a good value for the price,” Renzi said. “I don’t think we overpaid.”

“There is an extreme shortage of condos in Denver,” said Treva Fulton of Denver Realty Experts and has been in the Denver real estate market for nearly 20 years.

She said the potential powerhouse property could change the buying landscape in the Mile High City.

“Because of the construction defect laws in Colorado, builders have had a problem coming into the market,” Fulton said. “Now with this new 800-unit building, it should help the inventory a great deal, and hopefully inspire new builders to come and develop here as well.”

Renzi is well aware of the shortage, and while he said it was not the sole reason he and his partners chose this project in Denver, he believes it will lead to a bright future.

“Obviously, when you have a shortage of something, it makes numbers better and minimizes the risk,” Renzi said. "Denver will always be Denver. It’s an awesome city and will keep growing.”