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Archive of posts filed under the Transit-Oriented category.

Denver International Airport South Terminal Expansion Final Update

As we all know, the A-Line from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport opened over the weekend. We, here at DenverInfill / DenverUrbanism, took the opportunity to photograph the great new transit line along with the south terminal expansion over at DIA.

Back in February 2012, we provided the renderings for the project but never did any construction updates. Now that this project is complete, it is definitely worth covering.

The signature structure in the expansion is the 500-room Westin Hotel. Resembling wings, or how ever else you would like to interpret it, the 15-story building creates a whole new look for the airport. Here are a few photos looking at it from the new Denver Airport commuter rail station.

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Also included in the expansion is a 60,000 square foot plaza that connects the Jeppesen Terminal with the new hotel and rail station. Once you leave the Jeppesen Terminal, also known as the great hall, you are greeted by a glass canopy that protects you from the elements. It also covers the escalator that goes down to the rail station.

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The plaza is a great public space where the airport can hold events, live music, and festivals. In these photos, everyone was gathered for the A-Line grand opening ceremonies.

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Back under the glass canopy, there is enough room for a stage and ample seating.

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The south end of the plaza looks over the rail station canopy and offers views of the mountains on a clear day.

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A balcony runs along the entire hotel and features patio space for the retail that lines the plaza. This space will be open 24 hours which will be great for passengers and visitors!

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The hotel lobby is a spectacular sight with an arched ceiling and glass curtain walls on both ends.

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The hotel lobby also features a bar with ample seating around the room.

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What a great view of the commuter rail station!

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That wraps up the South Terminal Expansion. Keep your eye on DenverUrbanism this week for all of the great A-Line festivities that went on over the weekend.


Union Station: 16th & Wewatta Hotel/Office Complex Update #5

Talk about quick progress! The 16th and Wewatta Hotel and Office Complex is rapidly rising. As I was in the area, I decided to take a few photos of the progress. Another update never hurts, right?

The hotel structure is now over halfway up, at seven stories. It will eventually top out at a total of 12 stories and feature a dark brick and glass facade.

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For the sake of comparison, the 12-story Hotel Born will be roughly as tall as the Triangle Building, and the grey blank wall of The Platform.

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The office portion is currently up four stories and will top out at five stories. You can also now clearly see the opening between the two buildings which will be used by pedestrians to access the commuter rail platforms.

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To wrap up, here are four shots of the project from the commuter rail canopy. This project is just starting to close in the space between the canopy and the 16th Street Mall. Ground floor retail will be featured along the inside of the commuter rail canopy.

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We should see this project topped off by mid-summer with the facade following behind. Tomorrow, we have an exciting post coming up. Stay tuned!


New Colorado Center Project: Colorado Center Phase 3

Every once in a while, there are projects just outside of our usual ‘DenverInfill territory’ that catch our attention and are worthy of a mention. In the past we covered projects such as Aria Denver, and One Observatory Park, which break the mold of their surroundings adding quality, urban development to the area.

Today, we are going to head on over to the Colorado Center, located on Colorado Boulevard and Buchtel. The Colorado Center is the southernmost dense pocket on the Colorado Boulevard corridor and has been ripe for more density ever since the light rail station opened just south of it. At an occupancy of 96%, the Colorado Center has a third phase now under construction.

I’ve had this post drafted since August, but it got buried with all of the crazy infill that’s been going on around Downtown Denver. As I visited this project a couple of weeks ago, I decided that it’s time to finally dig up this post and update you on what’s going on.

Let’s start off with an aerial with the site in question outlined. I zoomed out a little bit to show the pattern of density in this area. Colorado Boulevard is a fairly large and dense commercial corridor with low-density/single family homes surrounding it on both sides.

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The third phase of this project will consist of a retail, residential and office component. Here is an overview rendering of the third phase, courtesy of Tryba Architects. We will break down the details of each project element below, with additional renderings.

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The residential and retail component will be on the south side of the project, closest to the transit station. These buildings will consist of 269 apartment units and 40,000 square feet of new retail space.

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Here is an additional rendering of the planned 15-story residential tower.

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The second 15-story tower will contain 210,000 square feet of class AA office space over a 7-story parking structure.

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So what is going on today? Back in August, there was an official groundbreaking ceremony for the office portion of this project. Since then, excavation, foundation, and the cores have been completed with the main structure starting to go up. Here are some photos from two weekends ago.

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The cores for the office building have topped out at 15 stories, which gives us a good gauge on how tall this building is going to be. This will definitely add some significant height to this already dense area.

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I’m sure we can all agree that this is much better than the surface parking lot that’s been on this site for many years!

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This is only the beginning of the Colorado Center expansion. With office and residential components so close to the Colorado Boulevard light-rail station, this project is a great TOD win for Denver!


Denver Union Station: Final Update – After Dark

This is it. The last ‘final update’ of the incredible Denver Union Station project. Today, we will be looking at each element of this project at night. Denver Union Station is great to see during the daytime, but it’s even better when the sun is down and the lights are on! So whether you are…

A kid (or adult) playing in the fountains at Wynkoop Plaza…

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An observer watching the fountains from above…

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A passenger catching the California Zephyr headed for Chicago…

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Or a passenger getting off the California Zephyr in Denver …

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And are having your first drink at the Terminal Bar….

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Or a late night commuter taking the light rail home, or to work…

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Or a pedestrian, talking a night stroll through the city…

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This is what you see. Brilliant lights, illuminating a grand project. As I’ve said many times in the past: Union Station, you look absolutely incredible. I and many others are very happy with the outcome and are looking forward to the many great decades ahead!


Denver Union Station: Final Update – A Look Back

I didn’t start posting on Denver Union Station until Update 103, when construction of the project was in full swing. Before that, Rick Anstey was the Denver Union Station guru and avid poster. At the time Update 103 came out, the underground bus facility was capped from Chestnut to Wewatta, the old light rail station was long gone, the parking lots were torn up along Wynkoop Street, and construction for the North Wing Building had just started. It was still a whole different story than it is today; there was still a lot of dirt and not much vertical construction, as everything was still underground. In this post every ‘before’ picture will be accompanied by a present day photo. Let’s begin!

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Update 103 was also the last time we had a look inside the historic station. Remember Ken’s Union Station tours? That particular day attracted a large crowd as he and Dana Crawford discussed the future of the historic station.

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Fast forward to Update 105 and 106. I had my first hard hat tour of the project, which was very exciting for both DenverInfill readers and me personally. The foundation for the canopy had just started to go in and the underground bus facility was still a concrete shell.

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Then things started to get exciting above ground. My favorite piece in the whole project, the commuter rail station canopy, started to go vertical.

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As months passed, there was a lot of visible construction which made for some exciting photos. In Update 115, Ken snapped a great picture of the first fabric pieces getting installed to the commuter rail station canopy.

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Jumping to Update 121, the plazas were starting to take shape and the historic station was wrapped in scaffolding while it was undergoing a full restoration. The North Wing building had just topped out and the glass facade was peeking out from under the plastic.

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Then the most exciting aspects of the project came around: sections were starting to open to the public. It was before my time reporting on Union Station when the light-rail station opened back in May 2012 however, I did get to witness the 17th Street Gardens, commuter rail train station, underground bus facility, historic station, and Wynkoop Plaza opening!

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This project has completely transformed what was once a barren wasteland situated between two great neighborhoods. Denver Union Station is now the new hot spot in Downtown Denver and will continue thriving as the private sector developments keep rolling in. This was my personal experience from when I started covering this project to sitting here tonight typing up this post. Needless to say, it has been quite a ride. Welcome back to Downtown Denver, we are so glad you are back! I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences and stories during this project’s journey!


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!


Denver Union Station: Transit Center Grand Opening Part 5

For the final part of our Denver Union Station Transit Center grand opening coverage, we are going to head back under the very impressive commuter rail train canopy. This was the first completed piece of the transit center when it opened to Amtrak back in February, however our coverage would not be complete if we didn’t photograph it at grand opening!

There are a total of eight tracks, with six of them under the canopy. Tracks 4 and 5 will be used for Amtrak and private excursion trains. These tracks are also more shallow in the ground than the other tracks. As previously mentioned, Tracks 4 and 5 also provide access to the underground bus terminal.

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The other tracks, which will be used for the commuter rail trains, are deeper; much like your typical subway track.

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Here are a couple more pictures from under the canopy. The pedestrian bridge is still closed, but we suspect it will be open by the time the historic station opens on July 12th.

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That’s a wrap on our grand opening coverage! You are now up to speed on the grand opening festivities, underground bus facility, Wynkoop Plaza, and now the new commuter rail train station. As a great bonus, we even got some awesome aerial shots from Shawn Murry of CloudBase Aerial Imaging. The next time we cover the Union Station redevelopment will be when the historic station opens on July 12th. We’ll see you then!


Denver Union Station: Transit Center Grand Opening Part 4 (Above the Infill Edition)

Yes that’s right, Above the Infill edition. DenverInfill is happy to announce our collaboration with Shawn Murry at CloudBase Aerial Imaging, who took some spectacular aerial photos as Friday’s grand opening ceremony of the new Denver Union Station Transit Center was coming to a close. Periodically, Shawn will be providing DenverInfill with shots from high above select infill sites and aerial panoramas of Denver’s growing city center neighborhoods.

Without further ado, here are the photos. Thanks, Shawn!

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Denver’s own CloudBase Aerial Imaging specializes in low altitude aerial photography and filming for land planning, real estate development, and other industries. For more information, please contact CloudBase at www.cloudbaseheli.com.


Denver Union Station: Transit Center Grand Opening Part 3

Today, for the third part of our grand opening coverage, we are going to head to the front of the station to take a look at the progress being made at Wynkoop Plaza. On DenverInfill, the last time we covered Wynkoop Plaza was back in September, when the granite pavers were not even in place yet. A lot has changed in eight months!

The passageway between the commuter rail train hall and Wynkoop Plaza is now open. On the South Wing building, there are two patio spaces along this passageway along with a patio space on the plaza itself. The patio with the red umbrellas belongs to the Thirsty Lion and the other patio, that is currently empty, is for a future tenant who should be occupying the space within the next few months.

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The fountain portion of the plaza is not yet complete but has made some great progress. Granite pavers are now in place and the entire fountain system has been capped. This portion of the plaza will be complete when the historic station opens on July 12th.

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The north side of Wynkoop Plaza is in a similar situation. The portion in front of the North Wing building is complete and work is wrapping up in front of the historic station.

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Later this week, we will be looking at the two wing buildings exclusively so you will be able to see, in more detail, how the buildings interact with the plaza. We still have more grand opening coverage coming your way; up next: a unique perspective of the grand opening ceremonies!