Late last year, Bloomington-based Doran Cos. expanded out of state by opening a development office in Denver. This week, the company said it started construction on its first project in that market — and it’s for another Minnesota company.

Doran is building the Ascent, a 255-unit apartment and retail project, for Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates in the Denver suburb of Westminster. The $86 million project will have 24,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and about 10 percent of the apartments will be income-restricted.

Doran has already leased office space and has assembled a team to manage the company’s Denver operations. Anne Behrendt, Doran COO, said that in addition to projects it will build for other developers, the company is pursuing its own projects there and expects to propose a multifamily project later this year.

Scott Stenman, the CEO of construction and architecture, is leading the westward expansion of the company. In a previous role for another company, he played a leading role in the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Doran was founded in 2007 by Kelly Doran and has grown quickly. The company does development, construction, design and management work in the Twin Cities and beyond. The company has developed several commercial projects, but the bulk of its business has been multifamily, mostly luxury, rental apartments. After building hundreds of units near the University of Minnesota, the company shifted its own development efforts to suburban markets. Doran has projects underway in Brooklyn Park, Hopkins and Maple Grove. In addition to its work for Sherman, the company is general contractor for several apartment buildings for Graves Hospitality and Bigos Management.

During the past five years the company has grown from 30 to more than 140 employees who are divided among several entities, including those who focus on development, architecture, construction and management. It is looking at other markets for expansion, including Tampa, Fla.