Law is what we do and a part of who we are, but our lives are fully immersed in the people, places and perspectives that create Denver’s identity.  Deeply entwined with our legal practice is our love of place.  This is our opportunity to share our personal insights.

Office environments are not exactly known for cultivating creativity.  However, well‑placed artwork has the power to create unexpected moments of reflection and imagination.  Before Otten Johnson’s renovation a couple years ago, these moments were few and far between.  There were several gems in our art collection, but they were relegated to the oft-ignored corners and corridors of the office.  With the help of Nine Dot Arts, we breathed new life into our existing collection and selected new pieces that captured the firm’s local and approachable culture.  Here are a few highlights from our art collection:

Echoes in the Distance by Craig Robb

It is hard to ignore this masterpiece when you first walk into Otten Johnson’s offices.  With intertwined wood and steel elements, it captures both the movement and stability of various landscapes, in both practical and creative contexts.  A closer look reveals smaller found elements that make subtle references to the firm’s real estate and land use practices.  This imaginative 3-D installation from a local Colorado artist sets the creative vibe for the rest of the Otten Johnson office space.

Architectural Drawings series by Frank Lloyd Wright

Artwork does not need to be expensive in order to be impactful.  This collection of Frank Lloyd Wright sketches was cut out from an old calendar (really!).  While the drawings felt drab when hung in a horizontal stripe down the office hallways, grouping them together in a gallery wall created a worthy tribute to the famous architect.  By drawing your eye to multiple sketches at once, it allows you to appreciate the innovative elements of Wright’s architectural designs.

The Drift by Georgia Amar

Otten Johnson has an impressive collection of artwork by Denver artist Georgia Amar, thanks to her husband and former Otten Johnson attorney Jack Pappalardo.  While our collection mainly features her signature landscapes with surrealist elements and soothing color palettes, The Drift presents an intriguing departure.  This abstract painting draws you in with an unexpected combination of blue, green and orange hues against an inky black backdrop.  The biomorphic forms echo butterfly wings, river patterns or whatever your Rorschach test says about you.  For me, it reflects the essence of abstract art—it can be whatever you want (or need) it to be at any given moment.

Otherscape Series by Tyler Beard

This inconspicuous collage series by Tyler Beard is my personal favorite.  Starting with double-page spreads from a 1950s book about national parks, Beard cut out geometric shapes from one page and transposed them onto the other page.  The landscapes are subtly transformed by layering unexpected dimensions.  The artwork encourages you to admire the picturesque scenery while reflecting on how your own perceptions can alter your surroundings.

Welcome to the first installation of City Prism.  Law is what we do and a part of who we are, but our lives are fully immersed in the people, places and perspectives that create Denver’s identity.  Deeply entwined with our legal practice is our love of place.  This is our opportunity to share our personal insights.

The Golden Triangle neighborhood has officially welcomed a long-anticipated resident–the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.  With a sleek $22 million building that seamlessly integrates a century-old studio (the relocation process being its own story), the newly reopened museum now has the capacity to exhibit about 6,000 art objects (still only 1/5 of the entire collection).  The gallery rooms are similar to visiting the home of an eccentric and extremely rich aunt, with paintings hanging over the furniture from the same time period.  It would be downright impossible to focus on every single object.  Better to focus on the objects that capture your imagination–whether it is the intricate china sets, funky lamps, or highly impractical chairs–and ruminate on what you would pick out for your own living room. Continue Reading City Prism: Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art Reopens in Golden Triangle

Colorado’s growing high-tech scene is currently driving the office leasing activities in metro Denver.  According to CBRE’s Colorado Tech Book 2016, high-tech companies leased 1.1 million square feet of office space, or 16.5% of the total leased space, in metro Denver last year, making it the largest industry represented in the market. Overall, technology firms are leasing approximately 9.8 million square feet in metro Denver and 15.5 million square feet in Colorado.

Continue Reading High-Tech Companies Continue to Lease Office Space in Denver

The Denver real estate market has experienced steady growth in the last couple of years, but will it continue into the new year?

It appears so, according to an emerging trends report released by Urban Land Institute and PwC.  The report ranked Denver in the top five real estate markets in the United States based on three broad categories of investment, development and homebuilding.  Only three cities ranked higher than Denver—Houston, Austin and San Francisco.  On account of the significant growth of the millennial population, industry exposure to the technology and energy industries and a strong overall economy, the report predicts that Denver will continue to be a sustainable real estate market.

Notwithstanding the optimistic predictions for 2015, Colorado seems to have some New Year’s resolutions in mind.  Here are some things to watch:

  •  Despite the demand for owner‑occupied, multi‑family housing, condominium development in Colorado has been at a near standstill.  This is largely due to fear of litigation under Colorado’s existing construction defect law.  In 2015, a legislative bill will likely be introduced again to address the existing problems.  Reform may encourage new condominium development in Colorado.
  • In September 2014, the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) was amended to exempt condominium developments from certain ILSA requirements (for more detailed information, click here.)  This amendment, which takes effect in March 2015, may also help jumpstart condominium development in Colorado.
  •  New legislation may be introduced regarding oil and gas drilling restrictions in Colorado this year.  Governor John Hickenlooper has created a 19-member oil and gas task force to provide recommendations regarding local government control of oil and gas drilling.  The recommendations are expected to be published by March 2015.  Legislative responses to the task force’s findings may ultimately have an impact on the energy industry’s long‑term investment in Colorado.

DenverInfill Map

Downtown Denver residents are getting new neighbors—lots of them.  The DenverInfill Blog has released an updated map of the multi-family residential projects that are recently completed, under construction or proposed within a 1.5-mile radius of 17th and Arapahoe.  By DenverInfill’s count, almost 3,000 units have been completed since January 2012, more than 4,400 units are currently under construction and almost 3,000 additional units are proposed.  If all of these projects are completed as planned, this translates to over 10,000 new residential units and $1.5 billion of residential investment in Downtown Denver.  Cup of sugar anyone?

For more information, click here.