DENVER-All 56 luxury condo units in the long-awaited Museum Residences will go on sale later this month. The Museum Residences marks the first residential project designed by Daniel Libeskind, who is best known for creating the master plan for the World Trade Center replacement in New York City.

The Museum Residences is a $45-million development at West 12th Avenue along the new Acoma Plaza, wrapped around a 980-car parking garage. A second phase will include a 17-story, 200-foot-high condo tower at Broadway and 12th Avenue.

The units in the first phase will range in size from 800 sf to 4,500 sf and will be priced from $350,000 to more than $1.5 million. Construction starts in February 2005 with an opening of spring of 2006. The project is being developed by George Thorn’s Mile High Properties in a joint venture with Corporex Colorado.

Libeskind, who is working with the Davis Partnership of Denver on the Museum Residences, says he has designed residential projects in Europe, but this is his first one in the US. Libeskind also is designing the titanium-framed addition to the Denver Art Museum.

“For example, right now I am building housing for the elderly in Switzerland, which is quite large,” Libeskind tells GlobeSt.com. He was unanimously picked four years ago by a committee that included John Hickenlooper, who is now the city’s mayor.

“I like to say I was the deciding vote, because I was the sixth vote on a 11-person selection committee,” Hickenlooper says.

Libeskind says he believes the Museum Residences will be unique in theworld, although it can serve as a template for other developments around the country. “Actually, I do not know of another contemporary museum anywhere in the world where you can live by it and enjoy the public space at your doorstep,” Libeskind tells GlobeSt.com. He says the closest might be units around museums in New York City. “But that is high-rise living, and here you are on the ground and really part of the Golden Triangle neighborhood.”

The units are largely glass and steel with zinc finishes to complement the titanium frame at the art museum addition. “My intention here is to design a vibrant building in a vibrant neighborhood,” Libeskind tells GlobeSt.com. “I was very well aware of the art of living. You could not just use a design that you pulled out of a drawer. It has to have a true relationship with the space. The space is the garage and the plaza and how it relates to the museum.”

Thorn, while standing on the roof of the parking garage, notes that many residences also will enjoy “magnificent views,” of the Rocky Mountains. “And, of course, those were designed by the ultimate architect,” Thorn tells GlobeSt.com.

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