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Downtown living with a vision behind it

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An artist's rendering of Balfour at Riverside, scheduled for completion at the end of the summer.A vision stands behind every landmark.

Stones and glass and steel, angles and peaks and curves — if they are striking — do not just casually emerge on an architect’s drawing board.

And if what transpires inside that landmark — within the walls of these raw materials carefully crafted into something stunning —  speaks its own language of human succor or human excitement, then it’s doubly clear that a vision stood behind it all.

Add to this a destabilizing Great Recession and an uncertain post-Great Recession business environment, and the vision becomes all the more impressive.

Decades after the moment of creation, perhaps only the physical landmark will remain imposing, all the rest lost to the vagaries of memory.

But the moment of creation for Balfour at Riverside Park — down near the Platte River — is now.

It is possible to capture the story.

And the vision.

Of many people, to be sure; of architects, of construction supervisors, of individual artisans and blue collar workers; of city planners and zoning regulators; of rental agents; of investors in Denver and Boston.

But behind it all is primarily the vision of one man: Michael K. Shonbrun.

The project is his dream: the type of place he wishes were available when his late mother needed it.

Not every building becomes a landmark, even if it houses a worthy enterprise, and not every enterprise leaves a mark, even if it is housed in a landmark. Balfour at Riverside Park is poised to become both.

To which an obvious qualification needs to be made: Balfour at Riverside Park is still a few weeks from opening, so it is, definitely speaking, premature to confer upon it the status of something that will be not only enjoyed but remembered far into the future.

The rest of this article is available in the July 11, 2014 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

 

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