Sonia Danielsen is a longtime Denver resident, successful business owner and real estate developer in the River North District (RiNo). Her thoughtful approach to development respects the history of a place while also recognizing the changing needs of today’s tenants. Together with her husband Barry, Sonia owns and operates real estate investment company Danielsen Investments, LLC, which specializes in commercial and residential properties in the RiNo area, including Bindery on Blake.
Bindery on Blake is comprised of the structures at 2901 Blake and 2875 Blake as well as the 106,000 square feet of land the building sits on. The property has been in Sonia’s family for nearly 40 years. Sonia’s father, Noah Siegel, bought the building and land surrounding 2901 Blake St. in 1976 to house Eastwood Printing, which had been his family’s business since 1947. Sonia joined Eastwood Printing in 1983. She worked her way up to managing operations for company before purchasing it in 1992. She then purchased the building and the surrounding land, which she used to build a new warehouse (2875 Blake St.) to house the company’s bindery equipment. Under Sonia’s leadership, Eastwood Printing grew from $5 million in sales to more than $10 million and doubled in staff. In 2004, Sonia sold the printing business.
In 2006, Sonia developed Rail Yard Lofts, an award-winning authentic loft project that converted a 45,000 sq. ft. RiNo warehouse into 29 loft units. Sonia and Barry Danielsens went on to manage various family-owned real estate projects, including four commercial buildings on Larimer Street and six loft units – all located in the RiNo neighborhood.
In 2014, the buildings at 2901 Blake St. and 2875 Blake St. became vacant at the same time. Sonia received several offers to sell the property, as the RiNo area was experiencing a renaissance, but everyone wanted to tear down the buildings and develop new. Sonia and Barry saw the potential as well as the rich history in the spaces, and decided to keep the buildings and renovate them for a new generation of tenants. They started renovations in 2014 and the buildings became known as Bindery on Blake. The Bindery on Blake is home to 7 creative businesses.
The Danielsen’s believe that working artists are important to the fabric of RiNo. As the neighborhood has evolved, studio space has become unaffordable for artists. They are personally underwriting The Studios on Blake, 14 affordable studios.
In January of 2017, Sonia founded DRiNk RiNo, a collective of Independent Craft Adult Beverage Producers in the RiNo neighborhood. She brought the group together to collaborate on sponsorships, events, marketing and products.
In addition to her work in real estate development, Sonia is a passionate advocate for the RiNo neighborhood. She currently serves as the secretary for the RiNo Business Improvement District (BID) Board of Directors, which works to strategically manage growth and change in the area and help RiNo retain its vibrant, creative core. She serves on the RiNo Art District Board and is currently Past Chairman for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of YPO Gold. Sonia received a Bachelor of Science in Printing Systems Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Neighborhood Spotlight: RiNo Art District
GA recently moved into our new digs inside INDUSTRY RiNo Station. We want to honor our neighbors, celebrate the area’s heritage and learn more about this charming corner of Denver.