DENVER (CBS4) – The redevelopment of Denver’s Union Station is a $1.7 billion project, funded with public and private money. The public and private partnership that’s working on the project is turning Union Station into a transportation hub for the entire metro area, but it’s also guiding development of a whole new neighborhood behind the station.
“It’s a huge addition to downtown and a transformational project for the entire metro area, not just for downtown,” said John Desmond, the executive vice president of urban planning for the Downtown Denver Partnership.
Developers are adding 3,500 residential units. There will be two grocery stores and 1.5 million square feet of office space. Union Station will be a hub for buses, light rail and traditional trains. Planners estimate the station will attract 200,000 people every day by 2030.
“Anybody who comes to downtown is going to spend a certain amount of money,” Desmond explained.
“Obviously with people all over the country and the world coming into DIA, they want an affordable, convenient way to get into downtown, and this is a big part of that, isn’t it?” CBS4’s Jim Benemann asked.
“It’s a portal directly from DIA right to downtown and you don’t need the car to travel there,” Desmond replied.
The goal of the redevelopment is to make Union Station more than just a place to pass through. The design encourages people to stop, shop and enjoy dinner out.
“For so many reasons, it’s an exciting project. For you, personally, what’s the biggest reason?” Benemann asked.
“I think the biggest reason for me, personally, is it brings us into the 21st century as a major urban center with lots of different transportation choices,” Desmond replied.
– Written for CBSDenver.com by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith
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