Clayton Lane

Denver, CO
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Located at First Avenue and University Boulevard in the heart of Denver’s upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood, Clayton Lane, completed in 2005, transformed a suburban-style 1954 Sears store with a 650-car surface parking lot into urban blocks with a luxury hotel, offices, shops, restaurants, condominiums, a Whole Foods market, and a Sears auto center, anchored by a private street called Clayton Lane. The development team— Clayton Street Associates, LLC, a joint venture between Sears, Roebuck & Co. and The Nichols Partnership in Denver—worked with the city and neighborhood groups for over three years to get the site rezoned and acquire entitlements and variances to allow for the height and density needed for an office building and luxury hotel.1

As the last large development parcel in landconstrained Cherry Creek, the 9.5-acre Clayton Lane added density, housing, and much-needed structured parking in six architecturally discrete yet complementary structures. High-visibility, high-end retail spaces are located on the ground floor of every building, and 1,647 parking spaces were added in underground garages and an above-ground parking structure. The lively street life reflects the influence of pedestrian-friendly design elements, such as plazas, courtyards, lighting, benches, and planters. The design team was led by Tryba Architects with ShearsAdkins, RNL, and Studio INSITE.2

Clayton Lane has earned numerous awards, including the 2004 Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence Award and the 2005 Mayor’s Design Award, in part because of a featured service, the Cherry Creek Bike Rack. Located on bus transit routes and near the Cherry Creek Bike Path, Clayton Lane encourages alternative travel, especially by bicycle. The Bike Rack provides commuters free indoor bike parking, repair/maintenance, changing facilities, a guaranteed-ride-home program for personal needs or inclement weather, and bike rentals for visitors and hotel guests to access the bike path. The Bike Rack is credited with reducing pollution and lowering vehicle miles traveled by an estimated 6,500 miles a day.3

  • 1. Cheney Ferguson and Kathleen McCormick. Colorado Urbanizing: Experiencing New Urbanism. Colorado Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism. CNU 17.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • Clayton Lane

    Clayton Lane

    This view of Clayton Lane from 1st Avenue, which shows the luxury hotel in the background, demonstrates this development's superiority over the previous big-box department store and associated parking lot. Courtesy of Tryba Architects.

  • Mixed-use at Clayton Lane

    Mixed-use at Clayton Lane

    This view from the other end of Clayton Lane, on 2nd Avenue, shows how residential units are incorporated into the primarily commercial design. Courtesy of Tryba Architects.