Shipping news: container storefronts on Larimer


  • Developer using shipping containers for retailer on Larimer Street.
  • Three tenants already on board.
  • Unique development opens this summer.

Denver-based Gravitas Development Group today announced it has broken ground on an innovative retail development constructed out of 29 reclaimed shipping containers in the Upper Larimer area.

The nine commercial spaces, with a total 7,360 square feet, is built with containers at 25th and Larimer streets that previously had been used for transporting goods around the world.

Individual spaces range from 320 to 1,280 square feet. Gravitas was inspired by similar developments in London and New Zealand.

“Gravitas’ development philosophy has always been to seek boutique real estate opportunities within Denver ⎯ either in the form of raw land or outdated buildings ⎯ and transform them into thoughtful neighborhood enhancers,” said Ryan Diggins, a Gravitas partner.

Rather than hiring a commercial real estate firm to market the space, Gravitas has enlisted neighborhood branding experts to cultivate a collection of tenants that share the same ethos.

“The success of this project will ultimately be decided by the innovators and impactful thinkers within it,” said Diggins.

“Denver-based branding strategist, Mackey Saturday and the cultural infrastructure experts at Drumbeat have been instrumental in seeking out the right collection of offerings to showcase at 25 & Larimer ⎯ businesses with a similar mindset and work ethic, who value honest, simple craftsmanship and excellence above all else,” he added.

Three of the first businesses to lease space at 25 & Larimer home include:

  • A new cafe concept from Denver-based Huckleberry Roasters, serving high-end coffee and light fare.
  • The flagship retail location for Colorado-based outdoor apparel and equipment company, Topo Designs.
  • Work & Class, a new restaurant and bar from the founder of Denver’s Justice League of Street Food.

“What appealed to us about this space was its focus on bringing together quality purveyors and creative minds, then making their products accessible to the community, and Denver as a whole,” said Koan Goedman, Huckleberry Roasters co-founder.

“We were very much seeking a location that would become a gathering place, encouraging discussion and interaction, and allowing people to foster new relationships, and we feel Like this is it.”

Mark Hansen, co-founder of Top Designs, was as equally as enthused.

“Just as our products are transitional, and can be utilized for everything from attending a business meeting to climbing a fourteener, the Upper Larimer neighborhood is transitional as well,” Hansen said.

“Located between both the traditional offices of the downtown Denver business district, and the unconventional warehouse and loft­ based businesses of the RiNo neighborhood, there is a unique energy and friction present here.”

Delores Tronco, an owner of Work & Class, said the neighborhood has “long embraced the entrepreneurial and creative spirit. We love its character and feel that Work & Class will add a dining option that will be embraced by residents and visitors from all walks of life, as an affordable and approachable restaurant , serving everyday food that people like to eat.”

Gravitas has undertaken a number of other infill projects in West Highland, Highland and other neighborhoods. Other developments by Gravitas include:

  • Gravitas32 Retail at West 32nd and Irving streets
  • The nearby Boardwalk31, which sold out in January
  • 2450 Larimer
  • 660 S. Broadway
  • The Creamery Lofts
  • 2930 Umatilla
  • Welker Crossing

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.




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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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