Long a fixture of Denver’s city skyline, TIAA will soon have a presence at street level, too.

The financial services giant, previously known as TIAA-CREF, will open a ground-level retail space at 1670 Broadway in the fall of 2018 as part of a larger renovation that’s changing the downtown skyscraper’s street presence.

The tower’s three-story podium/atrium is gone, and construction is underway on a more modern four-story podium in its place. The structure will house a new building entrance and TIAA’s retail space, as well as a fitness center, expanded cafeteria dining area, sundry store, collaborative work area and outdoor terrace.

In early 2016, TIAA announced plans to renovate and expand its offices at 1670 Broadway, in part to accommodate expected growth of its downtown workforce. The company’s footprint takes up roughly half of the 700,000-square-foot, 36-story building.

“We have a Boulder office, we have a Fort Collins office, but in Denver, our customers right now are going up to our 33rd floor, which isn’t an ideal customer experience,” said Adeeb Khan, director of corporate social responsibility for TIAA. “The idea of having that first-floor space is vital to us being able to deliver our services in the best possible way. It’s going to be a real new face for us in the Denver community.”

Designed by Alan Colussy Architecture and Open Studio Architecture, the high-efficiency podium replaces a “winter garden”-style atrium that was pretty novel when the building opened in 1980, architect Alan Colussy said.

“It was successful when it first came to be, but through time, it was showing a little bit as far as aging, how well it performs,” Colussy said. “It wasn’t up to its potential.”

The podium — a horizontal structure at the base of a skyscraper — was designed to both better activate the building’s ground-floor pedestrian experience and provide a large rooftop space just for TIAA employees, he said.

“We really wanted to be able to celebrate that and use that as a strong amenity, to really have a memorable outdoor urban experience,” Colussy said.

Downtown office tower 1670 Broadway is building a four-story addition that will house a TIAA retail space, fitness center, expanded cafeteria dining area and rooftop deck.
Rendering courtesy of UBS Asset Management

Downtown office tower 1670 Broadway is building a four-story addition that will house a TIAA retail space, fitness center, expanded cafeteria dining area and rooftop deck.

The Starbucks that was previously inside in the atrium has already moved to its own storefront facing Broadway.

TIAA staying in the building was a “huge win” for downtown Denver, said Nicholas Pavlakovich, vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield, the building’s property manager.

“TIAA initially thought their needs would only be achievable in a build-to-suit location and potentially the suburbs,” Pavlakovich said in an email.

All of the new amenities, including the fitness center that will be exclusively for TIAA employees, have been well received by the company’s 1,500 downtown workers, Khan said. TIAA is also renovating all 18 of its floors in the building.

The tower at 1670 Broadway joins a growing wave of older downtown office buildings that are reinvesting to better meet the needs of today’s workforce. Just last year, Denver’s tallest building, Republic Plaza, unveiled a $5 million overhaul that included a tenant-only lounge, co-working area and fitness center.

At 1670 Broadway, the team has been working for a number of years to improve the building’s sustainability and energy efficiency. Recent upgrades resulted in more than $390,000 in electrical and steam cost savings from 2013 to 2016, according to a recent article in Building Owners and Managers Association’s magazine

“Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but has become a ‘need to have’ for successful real estate investment managers,” said Matthew Lynch, head of U.S. real estate and private markets at UBS Asset Management, which advises the investment fund that owns the building. “We have placed a tremendous focus on sustainability in our investment process over the years.”