SOM – Denver Union Station
Traveling Exhibition Selected Entry
The $500 million multimodal hub project, involving five public/private partners and nine financing sources, is two-thirds finished and on schedule for completion in April 2014. Redevelopment of the station and the new neighborhood around it is projected to create thousands of jobs and boost the Colorado economy by $3 billion through 2020, according to Governor John Hickenlooper, a former mayor of Denver. Kiewit Western Company began project construction in May 2009.
Today, a new light-rail station and plaza are open on the site, and a local and regional bus facility is under construction. The nearly 40 acres (16 ha) of land available for development on and around the transit site are creating the hottest downtown real estate market seen in Denver in decades.
The area under construction has historically been the transit hub for the City of Denver. Historic Union Station was home to inter-city and freight rail at the turn of the century and in more recent times with bus transportation. As the city expanded west across the freight tracks, a large urban void formed along with disconnected neighborhoods. A desire grew from the community to link the Central Platte Valley to the thriving Lower Downtown CBD and transit network to form an interlinked community.
At the regional scale, suburbs and connections with nearby important cities such as Boulder further cemented not only the desire, but the need to bring the region and city together through a redeveloped Union Station.
In 2001, the RTD purchased 20 acres (8 ha) around and behind that station in the Central Platte valley, including the station building itself, a deal made possible by an agreement involving the Denver city/county government, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and the Colorado Department of Transportation. These partner agencies in 2004 adopted the Denver Union Station “Vision Plan,” a blueprint for combining as many as 16 modes of public and private transportation at one site, using the historic station as a hub. The master plan envisioned restoring Denver Union Station to its historic role as the gateway to downtown Denver and the region.