DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s Union Station is at the crossroads of downtown Denver with easy access to Elitch Gardens, Coors Field, the 16th Street Mall, and so much more.
“We chose this area for primarily freeway access. My husband works down on the 16th Street Mall … but just the area in general. It’s close to a park, shopping, the night life, the Rockies … everything. It’s a perfect location,” Tanya told CBS4 as she was leaving her new apartment with her daughter.
City planners and private developers have been working on the Union Station redevelopment and the neighborhood build-out for decades. The idea was to use the station as the centerpiece but also create new living, working, shopping and entertainment opportunities.
“Focusing on how that train station energy can create opportunities for all the other great stuff to make a city happen was really the goal from day one,” said Chris Frampton, managing partner for East West Partners Denver.
“Why is this so important when you start talking about neighborhoods … to do something like this … build out a neighborhood?” asked CBS4’s Gloria Neal.
“There are train stations in Philadelphia and Los Angeles where they built really great train stations, but no development happened around them. Union Station in Washington D.C., which is an incredible success story, at the same time hasn’t spurred a revitalization,” Frampton replied.
Denver is revitalizing an area that used to be a train yard. There were tracks spanning from the station itself all the way back to the Platte River. City planners moved the train yard 30 years ago, making way for an entire new neighborhood. There will be new condos and apartments, new shops, two new grocery stores, and several parks and public spaces.
“Every person in the city of Denver can probably claim they had something to do with it,” Frampton said.
Frampton says developers drew on what they know Coloradans love, and the new neighborhood will have all those attributes. It’s anchored by the 23-acre Riverfront Park, there are three public plazas that will host farmers’ and art markets, and it’s right at Union Station, which will be a transportation hub to the entire metro area.
“People are coming because of the activity. They stay because of the activity, and they themselves create the activity,” Frampton said.
The development at Union Station has city planners and investors from around the world looking at Denver as a model for the future.
– Written for CBSDenver.com by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith
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