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DENVER-Denver architectural firms, RNL Design and Shears & Leese Architects LLC, have garnered a citation award for Excellence in Urban Design at the AIA Denver 2000 annual gala and awards ceremony.

The firms’ award is for the $11.2-million, 260,00-sf, mixed-use facility in the heart of Downtown Boulder. The structure, which opened in August 1999, features 7,500 sf of first-floor retail and 7,500 sf of second-floor office space. It also includes an eight-level, post-tensioned concrete garage for about 700 vehicles. Two levels are below grade.

The awards jury has praised the firms for designing a structure that melds with surrounding historic storefronts along Pearl Street. Additionally, the parking garage bulk is well-disguised, featuring open stair towers and a glass-enclosed elevator.

The garage fills a pressing need in Downtown Boulder, where parking is increasingly difficult to find with a growing amount of retail and office workers. Property owners around the Downtown submarket have expressed frustration over their streets being used as a parking reservoir by transient parkers.

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