Denver Club Building to add bowling alley as part of $10M renovation Chapel built for Mamie Eisenhower will be turned into co-working space

June 06, 2016 / Posted in Denver, Developments, Downtown, Real Estate

In the downtown office building amenity race, fitness centers, co-working lounges, bike storage and outdoor terraces have become almost commonplace.

But a bowling alley just for tenants? The owners of the Denver Club Building, 518 17th St.,  are hoping to throw a strike with companies in the market for a new office home.

Seattle-based Unico Properties, which purchased the 24-story midcentury modern office building last year, plans to invest more than $10 million to repositioning the 231,454-square-foot tower, updating both its common areas and tenant spaces.

That includes a new “industrial luxe” tenant lounge with a two-lane bowling alley and bar, fitness center, shower and locker facilities, bike storage and new lobby, restrooms and common corridors.

A chapel that was built for Mamie Eisenhower, the wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for use during her visits to the Brown Palace, will be converted into a co-working space for tenants. Unico plans to donate the chapel’s artifacts to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kan., Unico vice president and regional director Austin Kane said in an e-mail Monday.

The property, which is about 77 percent occupied, is also being re-branded as the DC Building. The high rise’s original namesake, the private Denver Club, has resided on the site since 1888. The current building dates back to 1954. Other tenants include Xerox, Dividend Capital and DCT Industrial Trust.

“The building has very good bones, an efficient floor plate, and an exceptional location next to light rail,”  Kane said. “I think the market has known for years that the building has great potential, it just needed an owner with a clear vision of the needs of 21st-century tenants, an ability to execute on a project of this scale and the capital to do so.”

Renovations will be completed in phases, with the majority of work expected to be done by this fall. Gensler and Interior Architects are overseeing the amenity and interior design.

Cushman & Wakefield is handling the leasing and senior director Ryan Stout said at least for now, the DC Building is the only office building in the Central Business District to offer a bowling alley to its tenants.

“The bowling alley is a very unique amenity for Denver,” Stout said.

The idea was inspired by the physical shape of the space Unico had to work with, essentially a long alley, Kane said.

“We knew we wanted to create an area for tenants to use for social gatherings, but also a collaborative work space that didn’t feel like an office building,” Kane said. “Scott Brucker, our senior asset manager, pointed out that this strip of space would be perfect for a bowling alley and we went from there.”

“We think the bowling alley is an amenity that serves many purposes for tenants and when we realized we had the opportunity to create something that didn’t exist in Denver, we jumped at the opportunity,” he said.