Colorado History

Sweet Changes for Historic Sugar Refinery Headquarters Block in LoDo

A rendering of SugarSquare.
A rendering of SugarSquare. Semple Brown Designs
Jordy Construction has broken ground on SugarSquare, a new office building between the historic Sugar Building and SugarCube on the 16th Street Mall in lower downtown.

Designed by architect Semple Brown Design, the four-story, 10,800-square-foot building being developed by Urban Villages will feature an exterior facade of glass and blackened stainless steel with a green roof and amenities deck on top. Each floor will also be connected to the Sugar Building, built in 1906 as the headquarters of the Great Western Sugar Company, which converted beets into refined sugar.

“We’re committed to maintaining the integrity of the area and delivering the project in a way that meets our clients' needs,” says Sean Wardroup, president of Jordy Construction.

The Sugar Building's historic-designation application, filed in 1977, provides a deeper look into the 111-year-old structure and its ties to the economic growth of northern Colorado.
"The history of G.W. Sugar is inextricably linked with the history of northern Colo­rado. As sugar beet acreage increased, reservoirs were created to irrigate the land, factories were built to process the beets, feed lots grew up to use the beet by-products as livestock feed, and railroads were laid to connect these enterprises. Towns expanded as payrolls were spent and growers and factory employees dedicated themselves to civic endeavors. The transition of the northern plains from stock grazing territory to sugar beet acreage was accomplished near the turn of the century as the beets proved their worth."
Urban Villages refurbished the historic Sugar Building, 1530 16th Street, in 2008. An additional two floors were added to the top of the original four-story tan-brick structure building in 1912, bringing the building to its current six-story height with 64,000 square feet of space. Urban Villages also opened the SugarCube office and apartment building in 2008.

Project: SugarSquare
Developer: Urban Villages

This is the twelfth in a series of stories about building projects around town. Read more about development in Denver on our Construction Watch page.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.