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Denver Union Station: Final Update – Grand Opening

Here we are. After all these years we have finally made it to our final updates on the huge and incredible, Denver Union Station project. So how exactly do you wrap a project up of this scale? Instead of just wrapping up in a single post, we will have multiple posts throughout the week: revisiting some milestones of the project, sharing personal experiences, and of course providing ample amounts of photos in each post! To kick off the week, let’s start with the grand opening ceremonies that took place this last weekend!

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Fountains! The new fountains on Wynkoop Plaza were a huge hit on Saturday. Throughout the day, children played in the water and ran back and forth on Wynkoop Plaza as the jets shot water high and low.

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Wynkoop Street between 16th Street and 18th Street was closed allowing for tents, food trucks, and a stage. The activation of this entire space was as great as everyone would have hoped; pedestrians activating both the plaza and the street.

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Here are some above views of the opening ceremonies. Most of the attention was focused toward the south and central part of Wynkoop Plaza, asking the question, what’s going on with the north end of the plaza? There are two main reasons for the lack of activation. One, the 18th Street Pedestrian bridge is still not open and two, finishing touches are still underway such as adding movable tables and chairs. There is no set timeframe for these two things however, like all newly completed projects, things can only get better.

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Dana Crawford front and center! The short ceremony attracted a big crowd and as soon as the speeches were over, people lined up with their tickets to check out the inside of the historic station.

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As expected, there were waves of people moving throughout the station. Visitors had full access to the ground floor with all of the retail in the Great Hall open. For a complete look around the historic station, head on over to our coverage from the soft opening!

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What exactly is going on in the historic station? It’s part train station and part living room. There are benches, couches, and comfy chairs for passengers and passerby to relax, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy a refreshing drink. This is a concept that has never been done and is completely experimental. Time will tell how well this concept will work in the historic station but for the time being, it is incredibly neat!

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Here is a sampling of the retail spaces along the Great Hall. The spaces are small yet very functional with a very large variety of commodities, from food to books to boutique outlets.

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Because there are so many retail spaces around the station, there is a lot to explore! Have you found this awesome sign yet?

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That’s a wrap on our grand opening coverage! Stay tuned for many more pictures, and posts throughout the week!


Denver Union Station Update #129: Final Grand Opening Preview

Like many large, complex, redevelopment and infrastructure projects, certain elements are completed before others, providing opportunities to celebrate more than one grand opening. This is the case with Denver’s Union Station project.

Construction began in early 2010. Here’s a photo from our Denver Union Station Update #1 on March 22, 2010, when excavation was just getting started (seems like ages ago, doesn’t it?):

A year and a half later, the new (relocated) Union Station Light Rail Station was the first major component of the half-billion dollar project to be finished, resulting in Union Station’s first grand opening celebration on August 15, 2011. That was followed by 32 additional months of construction after which the project’s two largest transit components, the 22-gate underground Union Station Bus Concourse and the 8-track Union Station Commuter Rail Station opened on May 9, 2014, which we covered here at DenverInfill with six very special grand opening posts and three bonus posts at DenverUrbanism. In the interim, there was also the first Amtrak train to arrive into the new Commuter Rail Station in March 2014. Then, there was the “soft” opening of the historic station on June 12, 2014, with the Crawford Hotel and a few of the station’s new restaurant and retail spaces welcoming their first customers. 

But now, the time has finally arrived for the grand finale of Union Station’s grand opening events! This SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2014, is the public’s chance to celebrate the completion of the whole project, with tours of the restored historic station and a major party—food, drink, music and entertainment—on the new (and quite fabulous!) Wynkoop Plaza. The party begins at 10AM, the official ceremony is at NOON, and the festivities run through 3 PM. Here’s a link to the official Union Station grand opening page. PLEASE NOTE, if you want to take a tour of the historic station, you must have a ticket. Use this link which can also be found at the bottom of the official event page to reserve your tour tickets. Again, the final Union Station grand opening event is:

SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2014
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
17TH & WYNKOOP, LOWER DOWNTOWN DENVER

DenverInfill will be there to photograph the festivities so, if you can’t make it, look for a special Union Station Grand Opening blog post soon after Saturday’s party!


Downtown Denver Residential Developments: July 2014 Update

It’s been six months since our January 2014 review of the status of Downtown Denver’s many multifamily residential projects, so it’s time for an update!

First, a quick note about our tracking criteria: Projects included in the map and tables below are those that are (a.) new construction multifamily residential—rental or for-sale, (b.) ten units or more, (c.) completed, under construction, or proposed since January 2012, and (d.) located within a 1.5-mile radius of a geographic central point (17th and Arapahoe) in Downtown Denver. Projects outside of the green circle but within the extent of the Google Earth aerial image are not shown. A project is included in the Proposed category if (a.) a development application has been filed with the city, (b.) the specific project location is known, and (c.) the number of units is known. We have not blogged yet about several of the projects in the Proposed list as renderings and other details are not yet available. Don’t forget to check out our Project Map on the right sidebar for all the infill projects we’re tracking here at DenverInfill.

Below is our July 2014 Downtown Denver New Multifamily Residential Developments map. Click on the map image below to view in a new window at full size (2400 pixels wide), or use the following link to view and download the map as a high-resolution PDF file (about 3 MB) that you can share with your friends: July 2014 Downtown Denver New Multifamily Residential Developments Map

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Next is our table with the project details. Click on the table to view at full size or click here for a PDF version.

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Since our January 2014 update, six projects (light blue) totaling 674 units have been completed. This results in a sum of 3,656 multifamily residential units that have been completed within a 1.5-mile radius of the center of Downtown since January 2012.

Only two townhome projects (light green) totaling 32 units moved from Proposed to Under Construction within the past six months. Nevertheless, there are still 3,764 units currently under construction in Downtown, so a slowdown in the number of new projects breaking ground within the past six months may be a reasonable “wait and see” reaction by the market. Assuming all of the developments under construction are completed by mid-2015, the Downtown Denver area will have gained almost 7,500 new housing units in a 3.5-year timeframe.

Nevertheless, while the number of recent project groundbreakings has been minimal, there was no shortage of new proposed projects since January. Highlighted in light purple, twelve new multifamily developments totaling 2,203 units were either publicly announced (such as 17W and SkyHouse) and/or have been submitted to the city planning department, giving us a total of 5,113 residential units on the drawing board for Downtown Denver. Not included in this total (or in our list) are several more multifamily housing projects that have been submitted to the city for review, but for which we haven’t yet confirmed either the exact location or the unit count. That means the number of proposed units in our 1.5-mile radius area may be closer to 6,000. Of course, some of these developments are destined to never get off the drawing board. It will be interesting to observe over the next six months which of these proposed projects break ground!


Lower Highland: Galvanize 2.0 Update #3

Construction on Galvanize 2.0 on historic Platte Street is coming along nicely. In our last update in November, the building foundation was being excavated. Since then, the project has topped off at its four-story height!

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Featuring around 70,000 square feet for offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces plus a ground-floor restaurant, Galvanize 2.0 is aiming for an early 2015 opening.


Lower Highland: The Lab on Platte Update #2

In our first update on The Lab on Platte, a 73,000 square foot, four story office building being developed at 17th and Platte behind the Denver Beer Company, we noted that the old janitorial supplies building that occupied the site was under demolition.

With this short update, we can report that construction of the building’s foundation is now underway!

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As can be seen in the images above, excavation and the shoring walls are now underway. We’ll stop by The Lab on Platte in a few months when it starts to go vertical. The project is slated for opening in April 2015.


Lower Highland: The Boathouse Update #1

In our first post on The Boathouse, I mentioned that construction was already well underway. Here’s some proof!

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The Boathouse is planned to be completed by January 2015.


Cherry Creek: 1st and Steele Apartments Update #1

Recently, a new high-rise project has broken ground in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. Back in December, we announced the 1st and Steele Apartments getting developed by Zocalo Community Development, the same developers of Cadence, 2020 Lawrence, and Solera. This is a 12-story, LEED-Gold building, that will provide the Cherry Creek neighborhood with 185 rental units. Here’s the rendering for a refresher.

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Currently, site excavation has commenced for the underground parking structure. Here are a couple of pictures I snapped on the way home today. Across the street, in the first photo, is the Steele Creek Apartments project, also rising 12-stories.

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The intersection of First Avenue and Steele Street is going through an incredible transformation. Around the 1st and Steele Apartments, there are two other major projects currently under construction: a 12-story apartment building, the Steele Creek Apartments, and an 8-story office building, 100 Saint Paul. That’s 149,000 square feet of new office space and 435 residential units getting added to this one intersection. That’s pretty incredible, especially for Cherry Creek! Completion for this project will be around the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2015.


Denver Union Station Update #128: The Historic Station Opens!

As we near our final update on the Denver Union Station redevelopment, there is one final milestone in the project that has been reached: the historic station is now open to the public! On Saturday July 12th, Union Station had a soft opening, meaning only a portion of the ground floor retail and amenities inside the building are open. The grand opening and block party will be on July 26th!

To sum it up in a few words, the inside of the historic station looks absolutely incredible. Everything from the new benches and couches, to the historically accurate chandeliers, this building has gone through a complete transformation. I encourage you to head to our post from December 2012 to see the before photos!

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There will be two bars in the station. One on the ground floor and the other on the mezzanine level. The ‘Terminal Bar’ on the ground floor will feature benches on the outside as well as a seating room inside the bar.

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The second level bar will feature multiple couches and chairs along the eastern portion of the mezzanine. Bar seating is also available with a great view of 17th Street!

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The ground floor retail outside the station is done incredibly well. The patios hug the station closely with entrances scattered throughout the wing buildings.

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Last but not least, here are two views I was able to capture from the mezzanine level; one from a hotel room looking towards the Union Station neighborhood and the other from the mezzanine bar!

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This project will be complete by July 26th! We will see you at the grand opening! As the date nears, we will provide you with more information and details about the event.