Dick Monfort, Chairman and CEO of the Colorado Rockies baseball franchise, still spends a great deal of time at Coors Field. Except nowadays he can be spotted outside the confines of the ballpark. His focus is on the team working on what was once a vacant parking lot across 20th Street from the stadium, diligently constructing McGregor Square, an 860,000 square foot mixed use project a baseball-throw away from the Major League venue that helped spawn modern-day LoDo.
Mr. Monfort readily admits to not being a fan of heights, and when asked what his choice job might be on a construction site, he turned down the possibility of operating a crane hundreds of feet in the air.
“I’m not a big ‘heights’ guy, so I’d have to say no to the crane!” he made clear when asked what his “dream construction job” would be in a recent Q&A. He spoke candidly about McGregor Square and the construction team building the office, residential, hotel and retail spaces that will further elevate the downtown Denver lifestyle.
He did, however, point out his admiration for the some of the true artisans on the site, along with his respect for the architects, contractors and subcontractors at work on a daily basis to deliver McGregor Square to the people who love the city, the Colorado Rockies and experiencing all the great things LoDo has to offer.
What are some of the things you admire most about the design and construction industry?
The way the team “drags” the vision out of people is amazing to me. The design and construction professionals need information “now” so they can make sure things work ahead of time and avoid delays and changes. When they were working on pouring the second floor of a building, the team was already seeking answers to questions about the 12th floor. There is a lot of envisioning involved. To get where we want to be, the team was able to take our vision and put it on paper so that the engineers, architects and construction professionals could make it all line-up and make everything look that way we want things to look.
What has been the most challenging part of building McGregor Square?
Probably the amount of advanced notice and the questions that were being asked far in advance of the work that was yet to be done. There is an incredible amount of planning and coordination taking place, and nobody wants to make a mistake and add unnecessary costs. Everyone worked together to sort out problems and keep everyone on the same page. Everyone on the team understands the times we’re in and we all want McGregor Square to be a special place the people who live and visit here can celebrate and take joy in once it’s complete.
What has been the most pleasing part of building McGregor Square?
That is yet to come. It’s great to watch McGregor Square take on a character as windows are installed and brick is laid. Seeing what years of planning is creating is fascinating and very rewarding. All of the people working on the project have forged strong relationships based on the pride of sharing a common goal. The “secret sauce” of the project has been the belief throughout the team that McGregor Square belongs to all of us.