Looks for Land in Denver to Build Condo Hotel
abandons plan for one of city's tallest towers on
El Jebel site
John Rebchook, Rocky Mountain News July 8, 2006
Trump is not pursuing the historic El Jebel site
at the edge of Denver, but the New York City real
estate mogul is still interested in developing a
luxury hotel and condos in downtown.
El Jebel building located at 1770 Sherman St. had
been targeted by Donald Trump for the five-star
condo hotel project but the plan fell through, and
the property is back on the market.
"We are looking for a fantastic site and plan
to deliver the best product ever seen in Denver,"
Felix Satter, principal of the Bayrock Group, Trump's
development partner, said Friday.
"I personally think Colorado is the most beautiful
state in the U.S.," he said. "You have
these unobstructed mountain views that go on forever."
Bayrock, headquartered in the Trump Tower in New
York City, is Trump's partner for the proposed Denver
development, as well as other high-end projects
in New York City and throughout the U.S.
Satter said Trump and Bayrock are about to start
construction on the 45-story Trump SoHo, a luxury
hotel and condo development in New York City. The
most recent winner of The Apprentice TV show, Sean
Yazbeck, chose to lead the project over the Trump
International Hotel and Tower in Honolulu.
Earlier in the year, the Trump team had the El Jebel
site under contract at 1770 Sherman St., where it
hoped to build a five-star hotel and condo development
that would be 715 feet high to the tip of a spire,
making it the tallest building in downtown Denver
by that measure.
The actual building - without the spire - would
be a maximum of 650 feet tall, making it the fourth-tallest
building after Republic Plaza, 1801 California St.
and the Wells Fargo Center.
Because of a partnership dispute, the owners of
the El Jebel were prevented from selling it to the
Trump/Bayrock team. Instead, they are now listing
it with CB Richard Ellis Hotels. There is no asking
price, but the Trump team had it under contract
for $22 million, according to court documents.
"The property represents a unique opportunity
to acquire (a) one-of-a-kind shrine, El Jebel Temple,
develop a hotel and create the ultimate standard
of living in the heart of downtown," according
to its 16-page brochure.
The CBRE brochure includes drawings by Denver architect
David Tryba of a proposed 760,000-square-foot, 150-room
hotel that would include 125 to 150 condo units,
five floors of penthouses, 469 parking spaces and
5,000 square feet of retail. The historic temple
building would be incorporated into the new high-rise.
The three out-of-state brokers listing the project
couldn't be reached Friday.
Satter, who along with Trump was eliminated from
the $1 billion Denver Union Station redevelopment
for submitting an inadequate request for qualifications,
said brokers have presented about 20 sites downtown
to him, but he has only seriously considered three
or four. He said he hopes to look at more potential
"As of yet, we have not identified something
that we are moving forward on right now," he
He said he isn't worried about overbuilding, even
though there is a Ritz-Carlton under construction
and there are plans for a Four Seasons and a W hotel,
all of which would include luxury condos.
"If the market softens, some of them will drop
off," Satter said. "The market will correct
He said he is bullish on Denver's long-term prospects.
"Denver is a very vibrant city," he said.
"If I bought a piece of land today, the building
wouldn't open for another three years. I think Denver
is going to be very strong 10 years from now and
even three years from now. Where it is going to
be six months from now, I have no idea."