In the most recent example of urban infill, a groundbreaking ceremony was held yesterday at 18th and Wazee streets for a new mixed-used development called Z Block, which will add office, hotel and retail space to a stretch that's now mostly parking lots and office space. The project is a joint venture of current property owner Grand American Inc., Colorado-based developer McWhinney and Sage Hospitality, a hotel management group that already runs multiple properties in the Denver area and, along with McWhinney, partnered on the Union Station redevelopment. When completed, Z Block will include space for several restaurants; Sage will oversee a 172-room independent hotel with a restaurant that the company confirms will be a second location of Kachina Southwestern Grill.
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The original Kachina is located in the Sage-operated Westin Westminster; two years ago, our restaurant critic,Gretchen Kurtz, wrote that "the only concept represented at Kachina seems to be a Southwestern cliché straight out of Epcot" — and shortly thereafter, both the chef and the menu were changed. Sage also runs the Crawford in Union Station, the Curtis, the Oxford and the Cherry Creek JW Marriott, as well as twenty more hotels; the group's other restaurants include the Corner Office, Second Home and the soon-to-open Departure in Cherry Creek's 245 Columbine development.