DENVER-The Rocky Mountain Region of the US General Services Administration awarded a contract to Opus Northwest LLC to construct the new Region 8 headquarters for the Environmental Protection Agency. The build-to-suit tower will be on the site of the former US Post Office Annex building at 16th and Wynkoop streets, next to Union Station.

The nine-story building will have more than 250,000 sf and house more than 900 EPA employees. “We’re extremely elated to land this,” John Shaw, who heads Denver’s Opus Northwest office, tells “This is a wonderful project for us.”

Shaw puts the completed value of the building at $65 million. Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, or ZFG, is the architect. ZFG is based out of Portland, OR.

“They also are the design architect for Children’s Hospital,” which is moving from east of Downtown to Fitzsimons in Aurora, Shaw notes. Shaw is heading the development of Children’s new hospital at Fitzsimons, a former Army hospital.

The GSA and EPA are requiring the building meet the Silver Certification level under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. “This will be the ‘greenest’ building Downtown,” Shaw tells “We have to reach certification for Silver and we’re trying to get Gold.”

Shaw says he was informed that they won by a two-paragraph note. No detailed explanation was given. “I think what impressed them was the Department of Transportation building we did in Lakewood,” he tells “We built a 120,000-sf building for them. We’re going through the LEED certification program for that one. It takes six months or so to get it.”

The EPA will have a 10-year lease with the new building. Under the deal, Hines, which controls the land, will demolish the terminal annex building. That is expected to begin in October.

Construction of the new building is expected to start next spring. The building is scheduled to open in the summer of 2006. The site was chosen for its close access to public transit, which meets one of the EPA’s requirements for their new location. The City of Denver collaborated with GSA through the selection process.


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