Burnham Helps WeWork Soar in The Mile High City

Commercial Real Estate Development

Burnham Helps WeWork Soar in the Mile High City

WeWork is a New York based company started in 2010 that creates co-working spaces. It currently has 283 shared office spaces throughout the United States and a global footprint of 700 total spaces as of August 2022. WeWork decided to place one of its first Denver offices in the new Triangle Building.

The Triangle Building, located at 16th Street Mall and Union Station, is part of the Union Station Redevelopment Project. Opened in 2015, the 10-story office building is comprised of three glass facades to allow for more window offices than a traditional building. The Triangle Building uses green building design and is LEED BD+C Gold Certified &  Energy Star Rated.

WeWork at The Triangle Building  (See Photos) occupies three floors of this unique building.

WeWork had Short Timelines and was Unfamiliar with the Denver Building Permit Process

Denver’s population has grown by almost 18% since 2010 as of 2022, resulting in a surge in building and urban development. Unfortunately, Denver Development Services, responsible for all building permits, became overwhelmed by the number of projects requiring review, only being able to review a limited number of permits on a daily basis which is resulting in a building permit backlog.

In 2015, the only way to have a permit application reviewed the same day is to sign up for a review when Denver Development Service opens first thing in the morning, with the day's slots filling in the first few minutes. If the building plans don’t meet certain department requirements upon submittal, they would not be accepted. Also, same day review may not be used for larger projects that are over $300,000 in value, require structural work, or need more than 15 minutes for the plan examiner to review. The lengthier log-in review process must be followed which can take a minimum of eight weeks.

WeWork, as a New York-based company using New York and Cleveland architects, was unaware of the lengthy Denver building permit process and had short timelines for getting their office buildout completed. Also, the buildout design called for internal stairs between WeWork’s floors that required cutting out a section of the floor. Structural calculations were required for this staircase design that had the potential to delay the permit approval.

Burnham Pilots Expedited Denver Permit Process with the City

Burnham helped WeWork avoid the lengthy Denver building permit process by working with the City of Denver to develop the Preparatory Demolition and Non-Structural Framing Permit. These types of permits are used in other cities when a space is new and there has not been a prior tenant. However, Denver had no experience with issuing an early demolition and framing permit.

Drawing on its knowledge and experience with building permits across the country, Burnham coordinated meetings between WeWork, the architects, and Denver plan examiners to work out details of this new type of Denver permit. Burnham helped WeWork avoid months of delay by assisting WeWork obtain this expedited permit, and Denver now has an official policy on the Preparatory Demolition and Non-Structural Framing Permits.

Burnham also helped WeWork avoid potential delay caused by the staircase design. The staircase structural calculations were not ready when WeWork was prepared to submit the rest of the plans. To avoid delay, Burnham was able to facilitate submitting the components of the stair plans as a deferred submittal after the rest of the plans were filed.

WeWork Offices in Denver

WeWork now has a beautiful co-working space in the Triangle Building known as its Union Station location. Burnham also expedited Denver permits for WeWork’s other location in the city, the Lab on 17th Street in the LoHi (Lower Highlands) area. To learn more about Denver building permits read our recent post or Contact Us.


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