From The Denver Post

BP’s Lower 48 HQ features unique spaces like ‘The Nest’, which is on the second floor, and is where employees can gather and work out of their offices in a relaxed atmosphere in the new U.S. headquarters of BP’s Lower 48 business operations.

New BP Lower 48 HQ in Denver. Photo: Crescent

In the grand scheme of Denver’s transformation over the last decade, it’s just a couple blocks. But it’s hard to overlook Platte Street when more than 450,000 square feet of new commercial space has risen there in the past four years alone.

The street, in the Lower Highland neighborhood, hosted its latest grand opening event Thursday when BP unveiled its Lower 48 U.S. headquarters there.

Occupying the top three floors and 160,000-square-feet of the Riverview building, 1700 Platte St., the space features 240 glass-enclosed private offices, a three-story, X-shaped staircase and a 52-foot-long table made from a lighting-felled pine tree, among dozens of eye-popping features. Stantec was the architect for the space.

For BP, it’s what’s outside the counts.

“We wanted our employees to have access to a fantastic work-life balance,” CEO Dave Lawler said. “We’re on, I think, 500 miles of walking and biking trails right here on the Platte River. A lot of employees can walk to work from (Lower Highland) over here.”

The Unity Caf where all employees can gather for meals, conversation and collaboration is designed with a 52-foot lodgepole pine tree Unity Table that was struck by lightning over 30 years ago with varied chairs around the table to reflect diversity in the new U.S. headquarters of BP’s Lower 48 business operations Sept. 12, 2018 in Denver.

The space is a 10-minute walk from the Union Station light rail stop, easily reachable from Interstate 25 and close to dining options like neighborhood classic My Brother’s Bar. The street is also home to a collection of 19th and early 20th century buildings that add some historic authenticity, though some of those have not survived its rebirth.

BP touted a lot of the things real estate pros say has made Platte Street attractive to companies like tech-educator Galvanize (which has a space atop the Nichols Building at 1644 Platte St.) and Xero (an online accounting business that opened its Americas headquarters in the Circa Building at 1615 Platte St. last week).

[See photo gallery of the BP offices here.]

“Platte Street really is the hottest sub-market that we have in Denver right now,” David Hart, a director with real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank, said. “It’s got a unique energy. I think it’s the fact that there are local retailers, not big national chain types. It’s very walkable. You’ve got not only office users down there but you have residential users who are frequenting the retail.”

Hart is working with Crescent Real Estate on its Platte Fifteen building, a five-story office building with ground floor retail set to open on the corner of Platte and 15th streets next September. The building is just one parcel the company owns in the area. It also holds the Riverpoint Building at 2300 15th St. and a neighboring parking lot. It could develop a 350,000-square-foot campus in the area if the right tenant came along, Hart said.

A rendering of the Platte Fifteen building under construction now at 15th and Platte street. The roughly 156,000-square-foot office building from Crescent Real Estate is using a cross-laminated timber construction method that developers say is new to Denver. It is set to deliver in September 2019.

Crescent started working to cobble together a Platte Street portfolio in 2013, senior vice president Steve Eaton said. WeWork’s lease in The Lab building and other tenant announcements confirmed to company officials the area was worth the effort.

“We view the river as really the best amenity that you can have for an office user,” Eaton said.

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