DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s Union Station is now closed as crews prepare to renovate the historic landmark.

The building is expected to reopen in the middle of 2014 as an urban transit center and tourist attraction.

Construction will begin this week.

“For the last many decades it has been underutilized; two trains a day with Amtrak going in and out of there, and now it is really going to be the new center of downtown Denver,” Walter Isenberg with Sage Hospitality said.

Behind the building crews are already making way for Amtrak, a commuter rail station and an underground bus facility. That phase is on the fast track and is about 70 percent complete.

As focus now shifts inside, the transit-oriented hub will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with a 110-room hotel on the upper levels and 10 retail and restaurant outlets within the great hall.

The cost of the Union Station project alone is about $50 million. There is no word yet on what retailers will sign on.


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