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Posted: August 01, 2013

State of the state: Green design

Modern retail concept moves to five points

“You work in a trailer? Cool!” File that under most uncommon overheard utterances ever.

How about: “You take your daily coffee in a pile of recycled shipping containers; containers that were rescued from sordid past lives at sea weathering menacing storms to bring Americans treasures from the Orient?!” Yep, that has a decidedly edgier ring to it.

Great news for Five Points – the downtown neighborhood that seems to push the edges of edgy with each new buzzing bar and hip restaurant it spawns: As of this summer, the block at 25th and Larimer streets will be home to a new boutique real estate development composed of 29 recycled shipping containers.

The multi-use complex will house nine businesses with the collaborative aim, according to Denver developer, Gravitas Development Group, to provide Five Points with a collection of retailers “who value honest, simple craftsmanship and excellence above all else.”

Gravitas trusts the Ballpark neighborhood will be the ideal spot for the forward-thinking design and eclectic bunch of tenants. To solicit the innovative group it envisioned, Gravitas bypassed hiring a commercial real estate firm, and instead hand-selected businesses it believes are “hell-bent on excellence.”

— Tess Ford

A few of the businesses already slated to occupy the complex:

Huckleberry Roasters:

This Denver-based coffee roasting company toasts its own beans purchased from South America and Africa. Huckleberry owners Koan Goedman and Mark Mann say the new space is “amazing” and they are confident the innovative idea will be the ideal spot to grow their café concept into a “gathering place, encouraging discussion and interaction.”

Work & Class:

Co-owner Delores Tronco says she was drawn to 25th and Larimer for its character. Work & Class, the new restaurant and bar from the founder of Denver’s Justice League of Street Food – the gang to thank in large part for the Denver food-truck craze – will offer the neighborhood an “affordable and approachable restaurant, serving everyday food.”

Topo Designs:

This will be the flagship retail location for the Colorado-based outdoor apparel and equipment company. Co-founder Mark Hansen says there is a “unique energy and friction” in the Upper Larimer area that appeals to his customers – people who hop between working downtown and playing in RiNo – who are as likely to tackle fourteeners as business meetings.

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