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Mike Halliburton

Groundbreaking: The Source

Groundbreaking: The Source

It didn’t feel like any groundbreaking event I’d ever been to—and certainly not one for a BRS project.

There were gold shovels and hard hats all lined up in a row, but no one even planted a spade in the soil to ceremoniously “break ground” as is customary at these events (to be fair, the ground was mostly concrete). Perhaps the only things broken that day, at least from my perspective, were the trend of projects Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture typically pursues and the unsophisticated image of the industrial neighborhood surrounding this destined diamond in the rough.

I’m talking about the much-hyped groundbreaking of The Source, a massive, now-vacant brick warehouse located at 3350 Brighton Boulevard, which took place on Friday, February 1. With a delectable assortment of gourmet food items and libations flowing freely from the new-generation market’s future tenants, a live DJ, and vibrant graffiti art abound, the affair more than lived up to the hype. In between snapping photos and chatting up industry colleagues, I had the pleasure of sampling one of the smooth artisan beer offerings from Crooked Stave; savory fish tacos and rich chocolate-dipped churros by Comida Cantina; a refreshing, locally-sourced gin cocktail by Cap Rock Spirits; and a plateful of Mondo Food’s pleasantly overwhelming variety of imported aged cheeses, cured meats and distinctive spreads.

When renovation of the former 19th-century foundry is complete in June this year, the space will be filled by hip and innovative restaurants, specialty food and alcohol distributors, a whole-animal butcher and a 3,000-bottle wine cellar, to name just a few. The European-style open market concept seen frequently in other parts of the world and even some U.S. metropolises, but thus far foreign to Denverites, is sure to draw foodies, beer geeks and other hipsteresque life forms from all corners of the city to this raw and still largely undiscovered enclave known as the RiNo Art District. If the Zeppelin’s audacious TAXI development hasn’t already done enough to change the face of the up-and-coming neighborhood, I’d say The Source is just the undertaking to seal the deal.

I’m proud of BRS, too. Taking on this project, vastly different from anything in the firm’s current portfolio, shows forward-thinking leadership that sees opportunity in risk. Having just bought my first home in Whittier, a mere five-minute bike ride from The Source, the June grand opening can’t come soon enough for me.

Note: Stephen Dynia Architects is the design architect and Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture is the architect of record for The Source.

Posted by Mike Halliburton on February 28, 2013 at 01:18pm

Tags: the source (1), historic preservation (2), groundbreaking (3), adaptive reuse (2)

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