Our members are local business and civic leaders dedicated to the success of Downtown Denver. They believe that the strength of a region depends on the success of its urban center. Our members recognize that the Downtown Denver Partnership is an organization where they can become informed on topics important to our center city, get connected to respected Downtown business leaders and be heard by getting engaging with one of the Partnership’s many committees and councils.
Is there an area of our work that you’re particularly passionate about? Joining a committee or council could be the perfect way for you to engage in issues of importance to you and your company. Chaired by members just like you, our committees and councils span a broad range of topics and are open to members throughout the year.
Our current committee and council offerings are:
Economic Development Council
Identifies, develops and facilitates the Partnership’s role in city, regional and state economic development activities to enhance and maintain the economic vitality of Downtown Denver.
Chair: Kristin Bronson, Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP Staff Contact: Brittany Morris Saunders, email@example.com
Meetings occur on the fourth Thursday of the month, 12:00–1:30 p.m.
Downtown Hospitality Committee
Provides an environment for members to share, leverage and implement cross-promotional strategies between restaurants, retail, lodging and attractions.
Chair: Dawne Hostetter, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery Staff Contact: Brittany Morris Saunders, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings on the second Tuesday, bimonthly, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Member Experience Committee
Establishes strategies and policy recommendations to ensure that the DDP recruits and retains business members from diverse industries representing Downtown. The committee is also responsible for the review and analysis of member benefits and dues.
Chair: Marc Spritzer, CoBiz Financial Staff Contact: Jim Kirchheimer, email@example.com
Meetings occur on the first Thursday of the month, 8:00–9:00 a.m.
Transportation and Development Council
Promotes the coordination of land use and transportation in planning and development endeavors in Downtown. The committee also works to promote high quality, successful transit oriented development throughout Downtown.
Chair: Jennifer Johnson, HKS Architects Staff Contact: Aylene McCallum,firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings occur on the fourth Wednesday of the month, 12:00–1:30 p.m.
Pursues the goal of making Downtown Denver a metro and regional shopping destination by attracting national and first-to-market retailers to Downtown.
Chair: Joe Vostrejs, City Street Investors Staff Contact: Brittany Morris Saunders, email@example.com
Meetings occur on the second Tuesday, bimonthly, 12:00- 1:30 p.m.
Engages the next generation of leaders in various events that educate, engage and inspire the community to shape and create a better center city.
Chair: Brianna Borin, Snooze AM Eatery
Staff Contact: Chloe Rekow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings occur on the first Tuesday, monthly, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
To learn more about the Partnerships committees and councils, as well as additional opportunities to get involved with our organization, contact Bonnie Gross at 303.534.6161 or email@example.com.
The 2016 Class Project is The 16th Street Mall: A Space in Transition
From design to activation, people to retail and infrastructure to security, the 16th Street Mall represents a mile-long Downtown Denver gathering place that is in a state of transition. This year’s Leadership Program class project will research all aspects of Downtown Denver’s Main Street and make observations and recommendations to ensure the Mall’s success and popularity for the next 30 years.
For questions or additional information, please contact Bonnie Gross, Senior Member Relationship Specialist, at 303.534.6161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Program
The Downtown Denver Leadership Program provides an intense immersion in urban issues, policies and practices through an annual project that challenges the participants’ ability to research, analyze and collaborate. Throughout the work on the project, participants are also challenged to set goals and enhance their skills as leaders.
Participants selected for the Downtown Denver Leadership Program represent a cross-section of metro-area employees and public, private and non-profit employers. Participants have demonstrated strong initiative and leadership skills in both their professional and personal lives. Participants form lasting connections and are invited to participate in the Downtown Denver Leadership Program Alumni Association.
2015: Keo Frazier, Shaw Construction
2014: Eric Lazarri, Civic Center Conservancy
2013: Dave Momper, Zenman
2012: Brianna Borin, Snooze
2011: Chris Murray, Hogan Lovells
2010: Meredith Wenskoski, Design Workshop, Inc.
2009: Chris Geddes, StudioINSITE
2008: Megan Lane, Colorado Health Institute
2007: Jennifer Kaufman, US Bank
2006: Sydney Hamilton, RNL
2005: Laurel Kenny, Green Manning & Bunch
2004: Alan Robinson, FirstBank
The alumni of the Downtown Denver Leadership Program are an exceptional group of professionals. More than 600 people have completed the program since it was founded in 2004, representing a highly-connected cross section of Denver-area business leaders.
If you’re a graduate of the Downtown Denver Leadership Program, contact Bonnie Gross at 303.534.6161 or email@example.com to learn how you can become engaged with the Alumni Association.
This year marks Channel 9 News Parade of Light’s 41st year and it’s time for the DDLP Alumni Association to get involved!
Nominate a fellow alumni to dress up as Major Waddles, the parade mascot, for $50 (or for $250, you can buy yourself out of a nomination!). All donations benefit The Parade of Lights. Click the donations page here and note who you are nominating in the “Special Instruction/Comments” Section.
Major Waddles Details: Dress up as Major Waddles for 1-2 hours of walking and waving at one of the following events:
Denver Pavilions -Tree Lighting, Nov 20th, 5:00pm-6:00pm
Rock Bottom Wicked Elf Ale Tapping, Dec 2, at 6:00pm (1-hour appearance)
Hard Rock Café Breakfast with Santa, Dec 5th & 6th, 9:00am – 11:00am (1-hour appearance)
Parade of Lights, Dec 4th, 8:00pm
Parade of Lights, Dec 5th, 6:00pm
Post your challenge on the Facebook page by tagging the alumni you’d like to nominate and your wager. The challenge closes November 20 so don’t delay with your wager. Don’t forget to use our hashtag #waddlewager – Let the challenges begin!
The Downtown Denver Partnership organizes presentations to keep you up to speed on the topics that affect Downtown residents, businesses and visitors alike. These breakfast presentations are $25 for all Partnership members ($45 for non-members) and provide wonderful opportunities for members to connect with each other.
Downtown Denver Partnership’s Member Experience Events are a series of presentations, discussions and tours designed to bring our members together every month. Each Member Experience Event is different, giving members the opportunity to learn something new, check out a different venue and connect with 40-50 Partnership members.
Previous events have examined the artistic and cultural scene in Downtown Denver, discussed the City’s culinary trends and explored LoDo’s rich history. Events are free for all Partnership members.
The Downtown Denver Partnership’s Lunch ‘n Learn events provide new members, existing members and key member prospects the chance to learn about the Partnership’s work and how they can meaningfully contribute to the success of Downtown Denver. Lunch & Learn events are held quarterly at the Partnership’s office and include time to connect with members and staff as well as enjoy complimentary lunch.
The Rocky Mountain CitySummit (formerly known as the Urban Leadership Symposium) made its inaugural debut on November 9, 2010. Due to its overwhelming success, the Downtown Denver Partnership, with the help of generous sponsors, hosted its second Symposium in 2012, its third on February 27, 2013 and fourth on March 4, 2014.
The Rocky Mountain CitySummit is an invitation only, day-long event designed to bring elected officials, business executives and civic leaders from the eight Rocky Mountain States together to explore common challenges and opportunities that influence urban policy in the Rocky Mountain West region. The summit consists of a series of presentations and panels by inspiring experts to encourage innovation, engagement and collaboration.
Rocky Mountain CitySummit 2015
Thursday, April 23
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
The perception that living Downtown is too expensive may not be entirely true in Denver.
There are a number of policies in place to help provide and preserve affordable housing throughout the core and city center neighborhoods. There are also a number of developers committed to providing and building reasonably-priced homes and apartments. Before you rule out the exciting neighborhoods in Downtown Denver, read about the options that are currently available. You may be surprised; learn more about affordable housing options in Downtown and its neighborhoods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is considered “affordable” housing?
A: Generally speaking, “affordable” housing refers to housing that is affordable to households that make below 80 percent of the Denver area median income (AMI). For context, a one-person household, 80 percent of the area median income is $43,600; for a four-person household, 80 percent of the AMI is $62,250. “Workforce” housing is a term used to describe units affordable to households that make 60–80 percent of the area median income. The recommended standard is that a household should spend no more than 30 percent of their household income on their mortgage or rent. Income-qualifying buyers can purchase housing units at discounted prices below market rates, usually with down payment assistance and affordable mortgage programs. Housing in Downtown and the adjacent center city neighborhoods offers a variety of affordable rental and for sale options.
Q: How do I know if I qualify for affordable housing? What are the income restrictions on affordable housing?
A: There are a number of developments that offer a spectrum of affordable housing options in Downtown in which a percentage of the total number of units are set aside as “affordable” (non-market rate) units for a variety of income levels. Each community that has affordable housing units has to comply with regulations and specific requirements that vary from building to building depending on the targeted AMI level they are serving. To know if you qualify and get the most up-to-date information, it is best to contact the individual properties directly.
Income limits vary by county. For the City and County of Denver, the limits (based on HUD requirements) are as follows:
Q: What is low-income housing?
A: Low-income housing is generally defined as housing affordable to households that make below 50 percent of the area median income. For a one-person household, 50 percent of the median income is $27,250. Housing available for these households is primarily in multifamily rental projects.
Housing affordability for households that meet this criteria is made possible by assistance that comes in the form of a public subsidy, either through direct payment to the project owner or through vouchers and certificates that allow tenants to find affordable housing in their targeted community. In voucher programs (such as HUD’s Section 8 housing program), a tenant pays no more than 30 percent of their household income for rent and utilities; the government pays the balance directly to the landlord that accepts the voucher.
In Downtown Denver, Halcyon House (1955 Arapahoe Street), The Barth Hotel (1514 17th Street) and Sunset Village (1865 Larimer Street) are examples of housing in which all units are below-market rate subsidized housing and reserved for elderly and disabled residents. The Forum Apartments (250 West 14th Street) are 100 low-cost single-room occupancy (SRO) units for homeless individuals transitioning off the streets; tenants pay 30 percent of their income for rent.
Q: What is the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance?
A: Denver’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) was adopted by Denver City Council in September 2002. It requires developers of new for sale projects with 30 or more units to offer 10 percent of the total units in the development as “affordable” to households that earn less than 60–80 percent of the area median income. In projects that have three or more stories, elevators and structured parking, the average qualifying household income is raised to 95 percent of the AMI, which is $51,775 for a one-person household and $73,910 for a four-person household). For example, a 50-unit development would be required to offer five units to buyers that fit the AMI criteria. The IHO does not apply to rental projects.
The 16th Street Mall, with its busy sidewalk cafes and FREE Mall Ride, opened in 1982. It’s considered one of the most successful pedestrian malls in the country. But it’s showing its age. Many of the mall’s granite pavers—especially in the bus lanes—are cracked and chipped, and their once-bright colors have faded. The BID and the Downtown Denver Partnership have been working to renovate and maintain the mall by collaborating with various partners.
Costs to upgrade 16 blocks (from Broadway to Wynkoop Street) of the 30 year-old Mall infrastructure, based on the recommendations of the 16th Street Mall Technical Assessment and Rehabilitation Study (2009) and the 16th Street Urban Design Plan (2010), have been estimated at $65 million.
The most pressing infrastructure issue facing the Mall is the deterioration of the paving system in the transit lanes. Two pilot infrastructure upgrade projects – reconfiguring the intersection at 16th Street and Larimer, and reconstructing portions of the transit lane between Court and Tremont, were completed in 2011.
In 2012 the Regional Transportation District (RTD) applied to the Federal Transit Administration for a $16.1 million grant ($12.9 million in federal funds matched by $2.3 million in local funds) from the FTA and was granted $10.0 million ($8.0 million in federal funds matched by $2.0 million in local funds, split between RTD, the City and County of Denver and DDP/BID) in July 2012. This funding will pay for upgrades consistent with the two plans mentioned above on up to 3½ blocks of the Mall – two blocks between Market and Lawrence and 1.5 blocks between Court and Broadway (the “project area”). These blocks were chosen because they have experienced the most serious deterioration in quality of the transit lane paving.
Detailed design for the project area is scheduled to commence in late spring 2013, with completion of design at the end of 2013. Construction is scheduled for the spring and summer of 2014.
RTD will be ceasing bus operations at Market Street Station when the underground bus facility at Denver Union Station opens in 2014, and as part of that shift, will reconfigure the 16th Street Mall adjacent to Market Street Station, between Blake Street and Market Street, consistent with the recommendations of the 16th Street Urban Design Plan. In 2013, RTD is funding design services for the reconfiguration, and reconstruction is scheduled to occur in mid- to late-2014, with a budget of up to $1 million.
“Marketplace on the Mall” is a program that manages vending, special events and performances on the 16th Street Mall. Special Events make up a vibrant and enjoyable part of the 16th Street Mall. Whether it’s a fair to sell handmade goods, a brand promotion celebrating a new product launch or a school’s choir and music event, the Mall is a powerful venue to promote a business, cause or event.
The program, managed by the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID), supports an assortment of local and national businesses via its long-term vending opportunities as well as short-term special events. Numerous opportunities exist to create brand awareness, introduce new products or services, conduct shows and fairs or otherwise interact with customers on the 16th Street Mall. To see the most recent 16th Street Mall pedestrian counts, click here.
What Is a Special Event on the 16th Street Mall?
A promotion of a business, cause or event; distribution of non-tangible items with the use of furnishings or fixtures in a specified location on the Mall; an activity hosted to create awareness of a business, cause or event.
What Is a Sampling Event?
The free distribution (or retail sale of) of a tangible product, with or without the use of furnishings or fixtures.
How to Hold a Special Event on the Mall
Fill out the application completely and accurately and return to the BID office with a $25 application fee.
The application can be printed and scanned, faxed, mailed or delivered to the address below.
The application can be edited, saved and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos, brochures and renderings may be included if available. (Only items that may be kept on file and not returned. Originals should be kept.)
The application is submitted for committee review and selection.
This review typically occurs the third Thursday of each month.
Applicants will be contacted if selected to conduct their event on the 16th Street Mall.
If selected, a License Agreement/Permit will be issued after:
A Special Events or Sampling License Agreement Permit is required to place temporary furnishings on the 16th Street Mall for all promotional, sampling and sales events.
All requests must be submitted for approval by the Mall Use Committee.
Upon approval by the Mall Use Committee, a Special Event or Sampling License Agreement/Permit will be issued.
A certificate of liability insurance is required for all permits. The certificate must name as additionally insured: Downtown Denver Business Improvement District; Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc.; City and County of Denver and all owned, managed, controlled, non-controlled and subsidiary companies, corporations, entities, joint ventures, LLC’s and partnerships and all of their constituent partners and members.
Special Events License Agreements must be signed by Licensor (the BID) and the Licensee (the permit holder).
The agreement states the approved dates and is valid only for stated dates. Additional dates require additional permits.
The agreement describes the approved activity; no other activities are allowed unless a separate request is submitted and approved.
Maximum set-up size for any one event location is 10 feet x 10 feet.
Multiple location events (mall-wide shows from 3–30 locations/tents) are generally limited to 8 x 8 feet (tents).
All tables must be skirted.
Amplification is not allowed unless specifically approved by Licensor.
Vehicles are not allowed except under specific circumstances and as specifically approved by Licensor.
Temporary signs (sandwich board signs or other) are not allowed on the public right-of-way (median or sidewalk), but may be attached to permit holder’s furnishings, awnings, tables if desired.
Licensees may not use Mall fixtures and furnishings.
For multi-day events, all event elements must be removed daily.
Licensee is responsible for providing all elements, their set-up and breakdown and clean-up of permitted location.
If vehicles are used to deliver props or tents, they may be driven briefly onto the median at the permitted location and then must be immediately removed after unloading materials.
For safety reasons, nothing can be placed closer to the intersection than the first light pole or tree at the end of the block.
The event cannot obstruct pedestrian traffic. A walkway must be left for pedestrians to pass safely beside the event and (at corner locations) must be able to safely cross the street.
Licensees must not in any way block the entrance to any building nor may they reduce the pedestrian right-of-way to less than 10 feet. A 10-foot clearance must be maintained at all times.
Licensees may not interfere with special events taking place on private plazas, nor interfere with vending activities.
“Marketplace on the Mall” is an ever-changing mix of eclectic street food, retail vendors and Sampling and Special Events on the 16th Street Mall. The program, managed by the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID), supports an assortment of local and national businesses.
With the number of vendors operating on the 16th Street Mall, ranging between 20 and 40 depending on season, the goal is to continue to add more quality, unique and diverse local businesses to the mix. While numerous opportunities exist, strong efforts are taken not to duplicate uses and product.
Marketplace on the Mall opportunities include Food Vending, Merchandise/Retail Sales, Experiential/Floral/Art Sales, BID-owned Kiosks and Sampling and Special Event Permits. The steps for applying and selection criteria for vending are identified below.
Food carts and food trailers are provided by the business owner.
Six-month (summer) and one-year terms are available.
Maximum footprint is 5’ x 9’; nothing may be outside of this footprint including trailer hitch and coolers.
All carts and trailers, including branding, must be approved by the BID.
Retail Merchandising Units (RMUs) are provided by the BID.
All RMUs are located between Welton Street and California Street.
Conforming hours of operation apply: 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, May through October.
RMUs are open-sided retailing structures similar to a cart in which an employee operates from outside the unit.
Each RMU is approximately 8’ x 3.5’.
Limited to eight RMUs, these are currently offered for summertime retailing only.
Traditional wooden pushcart applications are not being accepted (with few exceptions such as flower carts).
In 2013, applicants will be offered one or two month operating terms in which to test the success of their merchandise.
Examples include caricatures, portraits, henna tattoos, face painting.
Six-month (summer) and one-year terms are available.
Operating units are provided by the business owner, pending approval.
Hours of operation must be consistent and posted but may be outside of standard conforming hours.
The BID owns four enclosed kiosks; one kiosk is an Information-Customer Service Center.
One-year terms are preferred.
These structures are best suited for point-of-sale transactions whereby business is conducted by an employee inside the kiosk serving the customer through a service window.
Prepackaged food may be sold from the kiosks; however, in general, food cannot be prepared in the kiosk.
Hours of Operation
Business owners and entrepreneurs who can offer great customer service and consistency are vital in growing the Marketplace on the Mall food and retail program on 16th Street Mall. For this reason, conforming hours of operation have been established for food and merchandise throughout most of the Mall. The conforming hours of operation area between Lawrence Street and Tremont Place can be viewed on the Tiers and Hours of Operation Map.
The conforming hours of operation for this area are 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday through Saturday from May through October and 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, November through April.
There are a limited number of blocks where flexible hours of operation are allowed. These flexible hours are as follows: Minimum of four days a week and four hours per day, requiring operation between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. per Denver Revised Municipal Code, Section 49-538. Please see the attached map. Individuals who prefer to operate a part-time vending business may be better suited for other areas of Downtown Denver where these flexible hours of operation are also in place. Learn more at City of Denver Vending.
Vending businesses may not operate between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Summer-only rates range between $300 and $600 per month. Annual rates range between $350 and $500 per month from May through October and between $200 and $350 per month from November through April.
How To Apply
Fill out the application completely and accurately and return to the BID office for consideration.
The application can be printed and scanned, faxed, mailed or delivered to the address below.
The application can be edited, saved and emailed to email@example.com.
Photos, menus, brochures and renderings may be included if available. (Only items that may be kept on file and not returned. Originals should be kept.)
The application is submitted for committee review and selection.
This review typically occurs on the third Thursday of each month.
Applicants will be contacted if selected to open their business on the 16th Street Mall.
The BID receives more applications than could possibly be placed on the 16th Street Mall. Therefore, applicants must be carefully selected. A committee will determine the applicants best suited for placement on the 16th Street Mall based on the needs and desires of the area within the Downtown Denver BID, including in part, the following factors:
Product uniqueness, diversity and quality
Commitment to program/hours of operation
Successful business experience
Competition/existing similar businesses on or near the Mall
Financial resources of the business
Reasonable likelihood of success of the business
Visual merchandising/quality of design/display
Completeness of business plan
Overall benefit of the business to the 16th Street Mall retail environment
Potential detriment to the 16th Street Mall retail environment
Steps After Selection
If selected to become a vendor on the Mall, the next step is review and approval of cart/kiosk or trailer structure and design in addition to:
Food vendors only: Obtaining Stand-Up Restaurant License (and fire department approval for food carts with propane).
Obtaining required certificate of insurance including $1 million General Liability Insurance and worker’s compensation as required by the state of Colorado. See insurance criteria.
Copies of Articles of Incorporation or Social Security number and driver’s license/picture ID will be required if applicant is selected.
The primary goal is to have full-time business commitment of 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday through Saturday for most of the Mall (weather permitting) except in specific blocks that allow flexibility.
The BID makes no guarantees or promises in regard to potential sales or success.
The business owner is responsible to create a successful business model, which includes marketing strategies, community outreach and social media.
The Temporary Revocable License Agreement may be revoked with or without cause.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I hear back?
Applicants should generally expect to receive a response within 60 days of application submission.
After notification that an application has been selected, the next step is location assignment and unit (structure), branding and display approval. Final approval is contingent upon finding an agreeable location and approval of the structure and all branding. No changes can be implemented by applicant after final approval.
If not selected:
Applications are valid only through December 31 of the year in which they are submitted. There is no waiting list. Selection is based on the specific factors listed within this document and for the time period in which it is received. Applicants may apply in subsequent years if not selected.
The attached is an APPLICATION FOR CONSIDERATION OF A TEMPORARY REVOCABLE LICENSE AGREEMENT (AGREEMENT). THE COMPLETION AND SUBMITTAL OF THIS APPLICATION AND/OR THE PAYMENT OF A FEE WITH THIS APPLICATION DOES NOT GRANT ANY RIGHTS TO THE APPLICANT AND DOES NOT GRANT, RESERVE, PRIORITIZE, ALLOCATE, PROMISE, WARRANT OR GUARANTEE THAT AN AGREEMENT MAY BE GIVEN BY THE DOWNTOWN DENVER BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (LICENSOR). THE DATE OF FILING THIS APPLICATION HAS NO SIGNIFICANCE IN WHETHER THE APPLICATION WILL BE APPROVED OR DENIED.
THE APPLICATION IS TO BE COMPLETED BY EACH INDIVIDUAL APPLICANT, A GENERAL PARTNER OF A PARTNERSHIP, AN OFFICER OR DIRECTOR OF A CORPORATION OR A MANAGING MEMBER OF A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. INCOMPLETE OR ILLEGIBLE APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE REVIEWED OR CONSIDERED.
Acceptance of the application by Downtown Denver Business Improvement District does not constitute approval or acceptance of the applicant or proposed Licensee into the 16th Street vending program nor does it grant, reserve, obligate, license, lease, warrant or guarantee that a location on the 16th Street Pedestrian and Transit Mall will ever be approved.
Licensor reserves the right to simultaneously negotiate with other prospective applicants regardless of similarity in products. Licensor is not obligated to license a location to the Applicant unless and until such time as a License Agreement has been fully executed by both parties, the fees have been submitted in an acceptable form for the location agreed upon by both parties, and the Licensee is in continuous compliance with all applicable rules and regulations for use of the Mall.
The Downtown Denver Partnership, with funding support from the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) and numerous other public and private sector entities, worked in partnership with the City and County of Denver to produce the 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan. The plan reflects the community’s vision for a livable, healthy, economically vibrant and exciting Downtown and provides a foundation for strategic actions that shape Downtown’s future development, enhance connections to surrounding neighborhoods and strengthen Downtown’s role as the heart of the region.
The Denver City Council adopted the 2007 Downtown Area Plan in July 2007. The plan serves as a benchmark for public and private decisions that affect the form and function of Downtown. Downtown Denver must solidify its reputation as the region’s economic, cultural and recreational capital. To accomplish this overarching goal, the Downtown Area Plan establishes five vision elements and 19 strategy elements of which seven are major “transformative” projects.
The five vision elements that support the overarching vision of a vibrant Downtown are:
1. A prosperous city
2. A walkable city
3. A diverse city
4. A distinctive city
5. A green city
Within the 19 strategies and projects, seven transformative projects are highlighted for extra emphasis. While all 19 strategy elements are essential to achieving the plan’s vision, seven of them are critical, because without early concentrated effort in these area, the other elements of the plan will not be as successful. These seven strategies and projects include:
1. Energizing the commercial core
2. Building on transit
3. Creating grand boulevards
4. Embracing adjacent neighborhoods
5. Connecting the Auraria Campus
6. Downtown’s new neighborhood Arapahoe Square
7. A rejuvenated Civic Center
To download individual chapters from the Denver Downtown Area Plan, simply click the chapter title.
This plan seeks to activate the central, or “core,” blocks of the 16th Street Mall between Welton Street and Curtis Street and consists of multiple strategies and individual projects. It is based on the 2007 Downtown Area Plan recommendation to “create and enhance recognized sub-districts along the Mall.” It is primarily focused on the median space in these blocks and looks for opportunities to reinforce the Mall as the heart of Downtown Denver. Traditionally, these central blocks have faced challenges in terms of a lack of activation and positive uses, no sense of place, a perceived lack of safety, aging infrastructure and the logistics of programming the narrow median adjacent to the FREE MallRide shuttle lanes. This plan is based on extensive research around the country showing that high-quality public spaces are good for business.
“Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire and be inspired. In turn, these creative locales foster entrepreneurs and cultural industries that generate jobs and income, spin off new products and services and attract and retain unrelated businesses and skilled workers.”
(Markusen, Ann and Anne Gadwa. 2010. Creative Placemaking. Mayor’s Institute on City Design, 4.)
This initiative is comprised of several unique projects and programs that will be launched in the summer of 2013 along the five core blocks of the 16th Street Mall. The Historic Facade Lighting Project, between Glenarm Place and Curtis Street, seeks to use various lighting strategies to activate, enhance and improve the visibility along the Mall.
Several new and concentrated vending strategies will promote quality over quantity on the core blocks. The goal of these new projects is to augment Downtown businesses with high-quality vendors, to add value to the Downtown experience and to activate the medians with positive activity and commerce.
These vending strategies include:
The Retail and Event Block will cluster eight retail merchandising units on one block to create a critical mass of fresh, rotating product, while also hosting summer market events between May and October.
The Food Vending Block will concentrate a wide variety of new, high-quality food vendors and provide ample seating for people who wish to enjoy their meal on the Mall.
The Mixed Opportunity Block will employs a combination of strategies for organic growth of activities based on demand and need and includes additional food vending space, flexible event space, as well as potential projects for the 2013 Biennial of the Americas.
Between Champa Street and Curtis Street, the Garden Block is a joint project between the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) and the Denver Botanic Gardens that will create a unique landscape experience for people to wander, relax and enjoy the Mall in an entirely new way. This project will include smaller versions of the Denver Botanic Gardens unique garden environments, recognizable branding and entry features and an activity zone featuring rotating displays, events and other activities. For more information on the Garden Block, click here.
The Core Blocks Plan seeks to establish a new, highly visible district on the 16th Street Mall. This new district will help to establish a sense of place along the central section of the Mall, give people a reason to stay, reinforce the core blocks and the median, particularly focusing on the connections between the blocks, create a central gathering space for Downtown and provide a place for people to experience the best the city has to offer through art, culture, light, entertainment, retail, food and most importantly, other people.
The Downtown Denver Partnership believes that we can learn a great deal from the successes of other downtowns throughout the country. For this reason, we created the Urban Exploration Program in 2008, bringing city leaders and public and private sector stakeholders in Downtown Denver together to learn about the best practices of other cities.
The 2007 Downtown Area Plan – the 20-year vision for Downtown Denver’s development, passed by Denver City Council – provides the foundation upon which the trip is organized. In addition, the trip provides a wonderful opportunity for these community leaders to network and immerse themselves in an educational setting where they can learn about infrastructure, economic development, transit and transportation and public private partnerships in other cities.
For more information regarding the 2016 Urban Exploration Trip to Brooklyn, click here.
Previous Cities Visited Include:
2015 – San Francisco
2014 – Seattle
2013 – Toronto
2012 – Chicago
2011 – Philadelphia
2010 – Vancouver
2009 – Washington, D.C.
2008 – Portland
Since 1962, Downtown Denver has flourished thanks to the contributions of many. The Downtown Denver Annual Awards dinner, presented by Polsinelli, allows us to recognize the accomplishments that have transformed our Downtown by making it stronger, more vibrant and prosperous. Each year, this event promotes public awareness of and interest in Downtown, recognizing the success and significant contributions that have made a lasting and positive impact on Downtown.
55th Annual Downtown Denver Awards
Thursday, April 7
Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center Purchase Tickets Today!
Downtown Denver Partnership Management Group, Inc.
The Partnership’s Management Group, made up of representatives from Denver Civic Ventures and Downtown Denver, Inc., is the executive committee for the Partnership and ensures consistency and clarity of policy and public positions. It is also responsible for the fiscal policy and financial reporting for the organization.
DCV is the Partnership’s charitable, public purpose board. DCV focuses on community planning and development, provides educational forums to enhance the Downtown neighborhood and raises funds through charitable contributions, grants, sponsorships and events.
Just to the east of Downtown Denver lies a neighborhood that spans the entire spectrum of housing styles, businesses and personalities. This diverse neighborhood is lovingly referred to as Uptown, and it is growing in popularity each year.
Part of the neighborhood’s dynamic personality is its array of great restaurants, from fancy dinner fare to funky breakfast nooks. Mix the good eating with some delightful boutique shopping, a spa or two, office buildings and two of the best small entertainment venues in Denver and you have a little something for everyone. Plus, it’s all located with incredibly easy access to the heart of Denver.
Perhaps one of the nicest things about this area is the mix of services and living styles all nicely melded together – restaurants and shops sit next to historic mansions, new construction lofts and condominium projects. Small office buildings are tucked next to great restaurants, and it’s easy to get around on foot.
A longtime anchor in Uptown is the complex of hospitals in the neighborhood’s core. St. Joseph Hospital, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente are major employers in the neighborhood, and many hospital supply stores, doctor’s offices and related businesses are located in nearby buildings.
The hospitals employ nearly 10,000 workers, so the neighborhood is always bustling as local coffee shops, sandwich shops and other establishments serve workers and families visiting the hospitals. On its southern boundary, Uptown proudly includes Colfax Avenue, where remarkable renovations have taken place and new retail, residential and office development is changing the landscape and creating even more reasons to love this neighborhood.
Broadway, Colfax Avenue, 23rd Avenue, Downing Street
The architectural styles and housing options in Uptown cover the spectrum from Denver Squares, Victorians, apartment complexes, bungalows, Queen Anne-style houses with second-story porches and much more. A majority of the neighborhood homes are single-family detached with tree-lined boulevards that separate sidewalks from the street.
The Fillmore Auditorium
First built as the Majestic Hall and Majestic Academy of Dancing in 1912, this building originally saw Wednesday night socials and masquerade balls. Over the years, it has been a dance hall, a roller rink and a concert hall. The refurbished Fillmore Auditorium is still the ticket to see and hear the most exciting up-and-coming talents.
Marcyzk Fine Foods
Marcyzk Fine Foods is a locally owned, full-service grocery store. Pete and Paul Marcyzk travel the globe to find the finest everyday and hard-to-find specialty goods for Denver foodies. The store is located in a mixed-use area of tree-lined streets, handsome Victorians and new loft projects.
Steuben’s recreates an American regional classic. It is named after a restaurant that opened in Boston in 1945 by the owner’s great uncles. Steuben’s dishes are America’s cuisine and American’s interpretations of the dishes of our diverse cultural heritage.
Meander down the blocks that comprise Lower Downtown, or LoDo, and you’ll move from beautiful, historically-preserved buildings to new lofts and some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment venues in town. This 25-block neighborhood is a marriage of western history, urban chic and gracious living. Best of all, the Colorado sunshine permeates this part of the city, warming balconies and decks and rooftop terraces.
Today, the neighborhood includes a vibrant combination of historical storefronts, brick warehouses, industrial buildings and commercial structures that have been renovated into offices, lofts and retail space. Today’s booming Lower Downtown was almost lost forever 40 years ago. After much of Denver’s industrial economy shifted away from the area, almost one-fifth of the buildings were demolished in the 1960s and 1970s, and other historic sites were in danger as well.
To preserve Denver’s legacy, Denver City Council created the Lower Downtown Historic District in 1988. This designation limited building heights, preserved dozens of buildings from the wrecking ball and instituted strict guidelines for building rehabilitation and new construction. LoDo’s historic designation saved these beautiful blocks and helped create this mixed-use neighborhood that is also a regional destination attraction for entertainment.
Art galleries, restaurants, brewpubs, jazz clubs and specialty retail stores line the ground floors of historic buildings, while offices, condos and lofts sit above. The building height restrictions mean plenty of sunshine and a more “human scale” to this part of the big city. LoDo residents will tell you there’s a great sense of community in this very urban setting.
Neighbors greet each other on the streets each morning, and they’re on a first-name basis with many a shop owner, coffee barista or waiter in the area. Although this neighborhood is most certainly ensconced in the grit of the real city, residents are always just a few blocks from the Cherry Creek bike path and the 30-acre Commons Park in the Central Platte Valley.
Larimer Street, Speer Boulevard, Wewatta Street, 20th Street
LoDo housing options range from expansive industrial style lofts to charming apartments. The majority of apartments and lofts are situated in historic buildings above stores and neighborhood bars.
Denver Union Station
Currently under transformation, the station will become a hub of the public and private local, regional, statewide and national transportation systems. The gorgeous architecture and rich history of this building make it one of the best treasures in the neighborhood.
Tattered Cover Book Store
With its hardwood floors, steaming coffee and overstuffed chairs, this Denver icon is much more than a bookstore. It is a gathering place for residents and travelers, a haven from winter’s cold or summer’s heat and a mecca for book lovers of all sorts.
Wynkoop Brewing Company
Colorado’s oldest brewpub, which was founded in 1988, is the Wynkoop Brewing Company. It is housed in the glorious J.S. Brown Mercantile Building, where hardwood floors, thick timber pillars and pressed tin ceilings still look much like they did to miners, ranchers and city folks shopping for goods in 1899.
Stroll the streets of Downtown Denver’s La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood and you’ll be taken in by colorful lights decorating many of the homes, the smell of Latino dishes wafting out of windows and the charm of architecture that dates back to the turn of the century. This is a neighborhood teeming with a sense of family and one of the only places left where you’ll often find two and three generations still living in the same few blocks.
La Alma/Lincoln Park is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, and it lies just to the south of today’s Auraria Higher Education Center campus. This is where many a gold-seeker came to find fortune when Denver was settled in the 1850s. The homes here still reflect the rich culture and beautiful attention to architectural detail from that time period.
Bordered by 6th Avenue, Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue and Osage Street, La Alma/Lincoln Park is often referred to as the “West Side.” This charming neighborhood is incredibly close to the heart of Downtown, yet still attractively affordable. It’s a last oasis for those wanting to get into a historic neighborhood without the price tag that often accompanies such a venture.
In recent years, Santa Fe Drive, La Alma/Lincoln Park’s primary retail and commercial corridor, has come into its own. Revitalized and brimming with cafes, authentic Mexican bakeries, art galleries, photography studios and a variety of offices, this area is alive both day and night. Nearly 20 buildings along this stretch have new facades, including two refurbished historic buildings, giving the entire area a fresh, vibrant feel.
With newly planted trees, a mixture of ethnic cooking and modern offices and the festivities of Denver’s First Friday art gallery shows, the spirit of the city is reflected along each block of this neighborhood. Residents are equally proud to house the Denver Health Medical Center and Denver Public School’s West High School, as well as the Asian and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the Latino Cultural and Visitors Center.
West Colfax Avenue, Speer Boulevard, 6th Avenue, Osage Street
There are a variety of architectural styles and eras reflected in the homes of La Alma/Lincoln Park. Two-story brick Victorians, row houses, duplexes, brick bungalows and one-story stucco houses line La Alma/Lincoln Park’s streets. The 1,050-unit Parkway Center apartment and condominium complex is located at 12th Avenue and Galapagos Street, with a prominent frontage on Speer Boulevard.
Museo de las Americas
La Alma/Lincoln Park is proud to house the first museum in the region dedicated to the artistic and cultural achievements of Latinos in the Americas.
Sunken Gardens Park
Just east of West High School, you’ll find Sunken Gardens Park. Built in 1909 on the site of a city dump, it was created by landscape architect Saco DeBoer, the same architect who created Civic Center Park.
Even though this neighborhood is just minutes from Downtown, its own park gives it a suburban, family feel. This is where neighbors gather, children play and the community reconnects.
This 105-year-old restaurant holds the state’s first liquor license and more mounted bears, deer, elk and other wildlife than you can count. It’s a treasure for those who want a taste of the real west.
Just to the south of the Highland neighborhood, a community called Jefferson Park is situated on a perch overlooking Downtown Denver. Jefferson Park is named for the 6.7-acre park that has served as the central gathering place for neighbors and visitors since the early 1900s.
This neighborhood is sought after by those looking for homes close to the urban core in a district that offers apartments, condos and single family residences with yards. Its streets are dotted with a variety of housing styles and architecture from various eras, so it has a little something for all tastes and budgets.
Today, Federal Boulevard is this neighborhood’s main shopping corridor with several unique restaurants and shops. From its hilly vantage point, this quiet jewel of a neighborhood has stunning views of Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park, the Children’s Museum of Denver, the Downtown Aquarium and the mountains to the west.
I-25, Speer Boulevard, Federal Boulevard, West Colfax Avenue
In Jefferson Park, single family homes from the early 20th century stand next to newly built apartment complexes and townhome projects.
Children’s Museum of Denver
This inventive, young-at-heart museum offers one of Denver’s best hands-on experiences for children newborn to age eight and their grown-ups. It is both educational and just plain fun. Here, the programs and playscapes are designed to engage children physically at the same time as they stimulate their minds and imaginations. Exciting programs and special events are constantly on the agenda.
La Loma Mexican Restaurant
Perched on a hill near 26th and Federal, you’ll find Denver’s La Loma Mexican Restaurant. This beautiful gem is located in a distinctive Denver home that was constructed in 1887. The home accommodates a cantina with a large fireplace and three unique dining rooms: The Colonial Room, The Victorian Room and The Galleria, all a blend of early American and Southwestern Cultures.
This funky neighborhood favorite proudly displays a sign saying “We are not fast food.” Locals say it is well worth the wait for Jack Martinez’s specialties. His food reflects Jack’s father’s motto: “Comida sin chile, no es comida,” or “A meal without chile is not a meal.” Chiles are roasted by the Martinez family on-site, and they’re also famous for their Frito pies and calabasitas.
With its hilly, tree-lined streets and eclectic mix of housing, the Highland neighborhood overlooks Downtown Denver. Set up on a hill above the city, Highland residents say they have the unique feeling of living far away from the city’s hubbub while still being a quick bike or scooter ride from the heart of Downtown.
In recent years, this thriving area has become the place to be for young urbanites wanting to own homes close to Downtown. Its popularity has meant a boom in home sales, new buildings and the overall vibrancy of the neighborhood. Yet traditional bungalows and brick homes remain mainstays up and down each quiet street.
Sprinkled among the old homes and new lofts, you’ll find neighborhood churches, corner groceries and family-owned cafes and shops. There’s a little bit of everything from block to block, creating the neighborhood’s old-world charm. Highland’s rich ethnic history includes many waves of American immigrants – Italian, Irish, German and Mexican.
These families established the neighborhood’s still-thriving churches, businesses and cultural events and are the reason Italian and Mexican restaurants in the area are second to none. Highland is also characterized by its diverse age demographics. Here you’ll find young couples, elderly residents who have lived in the same house for decades and the largest population of kids aged newborn to five years in the City and County of Denver.
Part of Highland’s appeal lies in its unique commercial districts with locally owned specialty retailers and restaurants along 32nd Avenue between Tejon Street and Clay Street, LoHi Marketplace at 16th Street and Boulder Street, Upper 15th Street and the Navajo Street Arts District. On these city blocks you’ll find hip boutiques, art galleries, chic restaurants and a variety of shops selling everything from flowers to gourmet chocolates. On a warm afternoon, the neighborhood is alive with shoppers, coffee sippers and workers enjoying their lunchtime.
Federal Boulevard, 38th Avenue, I-25, 23rd Avenue
Highland United Neighbors Inc.
Highland offers a wide range of homes, including row houses, duplexes, apartments above retail shops, grand Victorian and Queen Anne mansions and post-WWII era single family detached houses. Many buildings are also being renovated into lofts, condos, studios and small offices.
Little Man Ice Cream
Little Man Ice Cream is handmade in small batches with some of the finest local ingredients. They go beyond the typical with vintage uniforms, big smiles and an “anything goes” attitude. Check out their fountain sodas, floats, malts, shakes, banana splits and sundaes.
Named one of the top five places to drink tequila in America by Food & Wine, LoLa has become one of Denver’s most acclaimed restaurants, serving cuisine inspired by Mexico’s coastal regions. LoLa is in the original home of the Olinger Mortuary; below, the 1926 winter resting place of Wild Bill Cody is now their new tequila bar, BeLoLa.
Open since 2008 in a former gas station, Root Down aims to connect the neighborhood to a dining experience in the same way ingredients are connected to food. Recently a sister restaurant, Linger, opened down the street.
In this quirky, artsy, eclectic neighborhood, some of the best conversations have gone to the dogs. That’s because many members of this community have taken to meeting at the little parks nearby to walk their dogs and chat around bedtime each night. It’s just one of the ways this energetic neighborhood has come back to life and created its own distinct culture.
Located right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue and Lincoln Street, the Golden Triangle is just to the south of Downtown. Today, the Golden Triangle is a resurrected neighborhood. Thanks to several new construction developments, including luxury rentals and for sale condominiums and lofts, new residents are being drawn in every day.
Part of the attraction, of course, is the neighborhood’s central location, proximity to Downtown and the amazing cultural and entertainment opportunities right outside the front door. The Golden Triangle is transforming into a mixed-use neighborhood, which is home to restaurants, childcare centers, clubs and multiple art galleries.
Several former garages and industrial buildings have been renovated for use by law firms, architects, interior designers and other small office users, bringing a more neighborly feel to the blocks. And where slabs of parking lots once reigned, small urban parks (and all those dog lovers) are sprouting up.
In the past decade, the cultural icons of Denver, including the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library, have undergone enormous transformations, making this area the hot spot for art lovers, culture buffs and those who want to be right in the thick of the city’s action.
The Golden Triangle offers renters and owners many luxurious, modern and architecturally interesting choices. From funky row homes and classic Denver bungalows to modern high-end rentals with loads of amenities and beautiful for sale condominiums and lofts, the art and culture from the neighborhood spills over into the homes.
Denver Art Museum
This incredible museum is a work of art in itself. It recently underwent a $62.5 million expansion by Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind, who was recently selected as architect of the rebuilding of New York City’s World Trade Center. The museum is such a part of the Golden Triangle neighborhood that lofts have even been built specifically to offer magnificent views of the stunning Libeskind architecture.
Denver Public Library
The beautiful Central Denver Public Library was designed by world famous architect Michael Graves. It serves not only as a focal point for the community but as the largest neighborhood library and gathering place you could imagine.
Located at 950 Broadway, Tony’s is a specialty food retailer offering local produce, a large deli, a European-style bakery and a huge selection of meats and seafood. Along with a mix of fine foods, Tony’s Market on Broadway also features an in-store bistro with indoor and outdoor seating.
Civic Center Park
Civic Center Park is truly an oasis in the city. This expansive park is located in the heart of the city and state’s government activity, anchored on either end by the Denver City and County Building and the Colorado State Capitol. The Voorhies Monument and the Greek Theatre anchor the other two sides of the park, attracting residents, tourists and sunbathers alike. In 2012, the park and surrounding area were designated as a National Historic Landmark – the first in the City and County of Denver.
There is a neighborhood in Denver with a history so rich that you can feel it as you walk along its streets. This neighborhood is known affectionately as “Five Points,” a name derived from Denver’s old tramway company that used the nickname, because their streetcar signs were not big enough to list all of the street names at this end-of-the-line stop. Today, Five Points encapsulates the busy retail, restaurant and services corridor on Welton Street.
Five Points was founded in the 1860s as one of Denver’s first residential suburbs, and it features some of Denver’s oldest homes and historic storefronts. Brimming with history and pride, its commercial district was a requisite stop for the world’s premier African American jazz musicians – including Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and countless others – who stopped in Denver on their way between Midwest and West Coast tours to play in Five Points’ clubs and performance halls. Many of them stayed at the historic Rossonian Hotel, which still stands today.
Music and celebration are still alive in the neighborhood. Five Points’ Juneteenth celebration, an annual parade and festival commemorating the day in 1865 when African Americans in Texas first heard word of the Emancipation Proclamation, attracts an upward of 120,000 people over four days each year.
As Welton Street runs along Five Points, you’ll find the bustle and hum of 75 businesses, including restaurants, cafes, boutiques, barber shops, salons, a bank and a radio station. What you’ll also find is that Welton Street is the only predominantly African American owned commercial strip in the country. From its jazz roots to this proud stretch of merchants, Five Points has made its mark on the history books and in the hearts of its residents.
Park Avenue, Downing Street, Stout Street, Tremont Place. Note: The boundaries between Curtis Park, Five Points and Ballpark overlap. Census authorities apply the name “Five Points” to all three, but other authorities call the entire area “Curtis Park.” This profile treats all three as distinct neighborhoods.
Some of the oldest and most beautiful Victorian homes make up block after block of this historic neighborhood. In addition, a remarkable rebirth is taking place throughout the community with new housing developments popping up in Five Points, including luxury lofts at 29th Avenue and Downing Street and 26th Avenue and Washington Street.
Black American West Museum and Heritage Center
The Black American West Museum and Heritage Center tells the forgotten story of the African American pioneers who helped to shape the West. This small museum is housed in the former home of Dr. Justina Ford, Colorado’s first African American female doctor.
Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library
The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library was the brainchild of Denver’s first African American mayor Wellington Webb and his wife Wilma Webb who felt that the history of African Americans in Denver and the American West was underrepresented. The library was designated the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in honor of Omar Blair, the first black president of the Denver school board, and Elvin Caldwell, the first black city council member.
Stiles African American Heritage Center
This center was created to teach African American history and encourage young people to go forward with dignity and pride. Its mission is to help all people become aware of the significant contributions African Americans have made toward the development and progress of America.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble Studio
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) began in 1970. Founded with the belief that the language of dance transcends the boundaries of culture, class and age, this institution is committed to bringing dance into the lives of many diverse people. CPRD is composed of a professional modern dance ensemble, year-round dance school, 300-seat theatre, in-school lecture demonstration series, international summer dance institute and outreach program for at-risk youth.
Just north of Downtown Denver, you will find the Curtis Park neighborhood, a historic area developed in the 1860s and 1870s as a fashionable residential suburb. Neighbors here are quick to proudly point out that this is the oldest residential neighborhood in the city. Take a quick trip to Curtis Park today and you’ll see it remains one of the center city’s most accessible neighborhoods for Downtown workers and shoppers.
As you stroll down its tree-lined streets, one of the most noticeable aspects of the community is its incredible diversity. It’s a wonderfully integrated mix of all kinds of housing, a variety of social and economic levels and neighbors who are evenly split between African-American, Latino and Caucasian.
Since its founding, Curtis Park has had a rich tapestry of people and cultures. It has always been a mixed-income neighborhood where, interspersed among the neighborhood’s turn of the century mansions, smaller homes were built by waves of immigrants who came to Denver to join the workforce during the city’s early years. Back then, residents took the streetcar to jobs Downtown or strolled the 15-minute walk to the city’s center.
Today, neighbors can take a quick ride on the light rail to get to Downtown’s businesses and office buildings. The economic diversity of the community helps make Curtis Park a unique and welcome home to all types of people.
Broadway, Downing Street, 23rd Avenue, 38th Street. Note: The boundaries between Curtis Park, Five Points and Ballpark overlap. Census authorities apply “Five Points” to all three, but other authorities call the entire area “Curtis Park.” This profile treats all three as distinct neighborhoods.
Curtis Park’s housing mix is as charming and varied as its residents. Single story duplexes stand next door to recently renovated grand Victorian mansions. Flat-roofed row homes reside beside classic two-story Denver Square brick houses, and Queen Anne-style homes with second-floor porches are also numerous.
RedLine is a center for contemporary art that combines an artist residency program with project-based community engagement in the arts. RedLine encourages artistic growth in an environment where artists can cross the red line to lose the inhibitions that may hold an artist back and gain support systems to excite the senses and realize one’s dreams. Artists are required to share their experiences and their personal creativity with the community.
Women’s Bean Project
The Women’s Bean Project is an entrepreneurial business and ob-skills program for low-income women and is housed in a renovated firehouse. For more than 16 years, they have helped women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment by teaching workplace competencies for entry-level jobs and by teaching job readiness skills in their gourmet food production business.
Sacred Heart House of Denver
The oldest functioning church in the city, this place of worship was established in 1879 for Italian and Irish immigrants. Run by the Jesuits, this church is in the traditional cruciform shape. The present wooden steeple was replaced after the original belfry threatened to crash through the roof. Back in 1912, two priests in residence restored the scaffolding and repainted the whole church. The interior has a Gothic feel with ornate windows of stained glass. In addition, there is a beautiful mural of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This is the neighborhood’s namesake open space. It lies in the center of the neighborhood and was created in 1868 as Denver’s first public park. Originally named after postmaster Samuel S. Curtis, the name was recently amended to Mestizo-Curtis Park to celebrate the cultural diversity of the community. The park offers an outdoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, horseshoe pits, soccer field and a new playground.
If ever there was a new frontier in Denver, it’s the Central Platte Valley (CPV) neighborhood. This expansive neighborhood to the west of Downtown is almost evolving before our eyes. This is the area Jack Kerouac wrote about when he wandered the rail yards of Denver and wrote “On the Road” in the 1940s.
Now after spending most of the 20th century marked by warehouses, viaducts and rail yards, the CPV has been transformed into an exciting, mixed-use urban neighborhood with a variety of homes and more than 3 million square feet of offices, shops, restaurants and hotels.
From the busy blocks of Lower Downtown (LoDo), you simply need to travel a few minutes west to find yourself in the 120 acres of the Central Platte Valley neighborhood. Here you’ll not only find more than 2,000 residential units but also something unheard of in an urban setting: 90 beautiful acres of parks. Along the South Platte River lie Gates-Crescent, Centennial, Fishback, Confluence and Cuernavaca Parks, plus the neighborhood’s 30-acre centerpiece, Commons Park.
The parks anchor the main residential community, “The Commons,” which will be completed over the next 20 to 30 years. Mixed in with bohemian coffee shops, neighborhood wine shops and cafes is something for the art lovers in town. The new building for Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by London Architect David Adjaye, is located at 15th Street and Delgany Street in the heart of the neighborhood.
For the young and young at heart, this neighborhood also has the exciting new Denver Skate Park, the largest outdoor public skate park in the United States. There is a pedestrian bridge that crosses I-25 that links the Highland and Central Platte Valley neighborhoods and makes the entire area pedestrian friendly to bike or walk between the two.
This unique combination of luxury lofts, apartments, quaint shops and green space is sure to attract those who want to be close to the urban hub but also have room to spread their wings, walk their dogs and roller blade or kayak all in the same neighborhood. A children’s playground as well as a dog park were completed recently to make families and man’s best friend all feel at home.
I-25, Wewatta Street, Auraria Parkway, 23rd Street
CVP offers a variety of housing options for renters or buyers. There are the apartments, shops and restaurants on Platte Street. And just a quick stroll across the river is the 90-acre Riverfront Park, which anchors the area. Surrounding the park are more apartments, condos, lofts, penthouses, townhomes and brownstones.
Arts and Entertainment
This neighborhood boasts the city’s most prominent entertainment venues, including the Pepsi Center, The Children’s Museum of Denver, Six Flags Elitch Gardens amusement park, the Downtown Aquarium and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.
The bridge, which was designed by local architectural firm Architecture Denver and ARUP, spans the consolidated main line railroad tracks and proposed light rail line. The bridge functions as a public sculpture and is visible throughout a wide area, including Downtown Denver. The entire bridge is architecturally unique and a great example of the successful fusion of architecture and engineering design.
Denver Skate Park
Designed for both street skating and vertical skating, the Skate Park mimics an urban environment of planters, curbs, rails, bowls and more. Novices and experts alike can take on the mogul-inspired “washboard,” the 10-foot-deep “dog bowl” and the half-pipe.
When Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) scouted Denver locations for its flagship store, it found the 1901 Denver Tramway Power Company Building occupied the most appealing location in this neighborhood: along the banks of the South Platte River. Once the tallest edifice in Denver, the late-Victorian, Richardson-Romanesque facility burned coal to fuel the city’s trolley system until 1950. In 1968 to 1998, the building housed the Forney Transportation Museum. When REI purchased the building, they received a grant from the Colorado Historical Society to help preserve the historic structure. Today, this huge store hosts lectures, classes and offers fun for the whole family with one of the tallest freestanding indoor climbing walls in the Denver area.
The Central Business District (CBD) may sound like a stuffy array of bank buildings, but don’t let the name fool you. While Lower Downtown (LoDo) has garnered most of the publicity for growth and housing over the last decade, the truth is that residential growth in the upper end of Downtown – the Central Business District – has been equally strong.
One of the most charming aspects about this neighborhood is the history its buildings hold and the links they have to Denver’s past. In recent years, several vacant historic structures in the upper end of Downtown Denver have been renovated into apartment and condominium projects. With a little research, each building tells a story of the early days of Denver’s bustling Downtown, from banking and railroads to fine shopping.
One of these projects is the Denver Dry Lofts, built in what was one of Denver’s grand and stylish department stores of an earlier era. A walking tour of this neighborhood will take you past The Baldwin Lofts (16th Street and California Street), the Denver Dry Lofts (15th Street and California Street), A.T. Lewis and Rio Grande Lofts (16th Street and Stout Street), Boston Lofts (17th Street and Champa Street) and Bank Lofts (17th Street and Stout Street). Two developments on Champa Street include the Buerger Brothers Industrial Lofts (1742 Champa Street) and the Chamber Apartments (1726 Champa Street).
Residents of the CBD are certainly not all business. They’re surrounded by some of the city’s best dining, shopping, arts and culture. Everything is a quick walk or a short free shuttle ride away, making cars necessary only for trips out of the city. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver Art Museum, Colorado History Museum, Cherry Creek bike path, Denver Public Library, Civic Center Park, Pepsi Center and the Paramount Theatre are just a few of the treasures within walking distance for these Downtown residents.
Broadway, Speer Boulevard, Larimer Street, 20th Street. Note: The area between Speer Boulevard, 20th Street, Larimer Street and Wynkoop Street is LoDo.
The CBD offers a wide variety of unique housing options and amenities. From restored loft buildings to luxury apartments and high-rise condos, you can find a wide variety of homes throughout the urban core.
Opened in 1998 and updated in 2011, the Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall has more than 50 shops, restaurants and a 15-screen movie theater.
A quaint historic street of hip shops, great restaurants and plenty of sunny places to sip a cappuccino, the block is a favorite shopping and eating destination of tourists and locals alike.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Founded in 1972 and dedicated to excellence in the arts, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is a showcase for live theatre, a nurturing ground for new plays, a preferred stop on the Broadway touring circuit, an award-winning multimedia production facility, a national training school for actors and the site of a voice clinic and research facility. The DCPA is currently the largest tenant of the Denver Performing Arts Complex and encompasses Denver Center Theatre Company, Denver Center Attractions, the Education Department, Denver Center Media and the National Center for Voice and Speech.
Capitol Hill residents describe themselves as funky, eclectic and fiercely proud. This multigenerational, happily diverse neighborhood is home to people who all have staunch loyalty to their part of Downtown Denver. Many older, established families have lived in the big, beautiful Capitol Hill homes for decades, while a younger crowd is now renting apartments or buying condos in the area. But age makes no difference when they talk about the great sense of neighborhood here.
With lots of walkable streets and almost every amenity close by, foot traffic outnumbers car traffic. There is a steady stream of pedestrians taking in the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and boutiques. In fact, Capitol Hill’s longstanding popularity has made it the center city’s most densely populated neighborhood. Strolling through the neighborhood, you’re reminded that Capitol Hill was founded in the 1880s as a new residential suburb for Denver’s wealthiest families.
You can still see many of the extravagant Victorian, Tudor and Greek revival mansions they built using sandstone, granite and other materials native to Colorado. Among the most prominent residents was legendary Titanic survivor, Molly Brown, whose house still stands on Pennsylvania Street. On the north edge of Capitol Hill, Colfax Avenue is having its own resurgence. With new retail, entertainment venues, offices and even apartment developments along the fabled street, Capitol Hill residents have even more reasons to be proud.
Colfax Avenue, Downing Street, 6th Avenue, Lincoln Street
The neighborhood offers perhaps the city’s widest range in housing types and price ranges: everything from high-rise apartments to single-family homes, apartments in historic mansions, to lofts in renovated commercial buildings. Many apartment buildings have been rehabilitated throughout Capitol Hill, commercial buildings have been transformed into mixed-use housing projects and vacant lots have given rise to new construction housing developments.
Molly Brown House
In 1970 local citizens formed Historic Denver, Inc., to preserve the long-time home of Titanic’s most famous survivor. Today, you can visit the Brown’s opulent 1889 home and hear fascinating tales of Molly Brown’s incredible life, from instant mining-own wealth, to labor reform and the stages of New York.
City Grille is within a block of the state capitol. This power-lunch spot is a favorite meeting place for the capitol’s legislators and lobbyists. At night, with its warm, pubbish atmosphere, the Grille is a perfect pace to gather with friends or catch a game.
Colorado State Capitol
Dedicated in 1890, the State Capitol stands on the neighborhood’s far west side at Colfax Avenue and Lincoln Street. With its gold dome glistening in the Colorado sun, it creates an easy landmark.
The Ballpark neighborhood lies to the north of Lower Downtown (LoDo) and Downtown Denver’s Central Business District. The southern end of the neighborhood is anchored by Coors Field and stretches almost 20 blocks to the north into a section of Downtown that is still very much a functioning warehouse and light industry district.
Now a historic district, most of its original industrial buildings still stand today. During its peak, this area revolved around Denver’s rail line with warehouses and factories all catering to train-related activities. As this part of Downtown grew alongside the railroad tracks that carried goods and raw materials into Denver’s industrial market, waves of immigrants – Italian, Irish, Japanese, Chinese and, more recently, Mexican – left their own unique stamp on the area.
While the lure of summer baseball games and hotdogs may appeal to some residents, there is also the wonderful commercial corridor of North Larimer Street, adding spunk to the neighborhood. From 20th Street all the way to the northern edge of Downtown at 38th Street, Larimer Street offers a unique mix of buildings and tenants: pawn shops, jazz clubs, bars, antique shops, art framers, galleries, brewpubs, authentic Mexican restaurants, small companies and more.
Here you’ll find many brick buildings that still sport train and truck loading docks on their street frontages. In 2002, the Ballpark Historic District was formed for much of the Ballpark area to preserve many of the historic warehouses and buildings that define this great neighborhood’s historical uses.
18th Street, Broadway, Blake Street, Central Platte Valley rail yards. Note: Ballpark is often incorporated within the boundaries of the greater Curtis Park neighborhood.
Converted lofts, new construction and apartments are in abundance, and many more are planned in this neighborhood. Ballpark’s rail yard history makes it ideal for classic loft conversions. Many of the original warehouses have been stripped, updated and now offer loft space with exposed beams and pipes.
Several more projects are planned, guaranteeing more growth and development in this expanding area. Developers have purchased and raised a few valueless buildings, creating space for new construction. New loft apartments and brownstones are available for rent and purchase, ensuring viable housing options for a wide range of prices and lifestyles.
Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, having a major league stadium in your backyard has plenty of charm. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, anchors the neighborhood at 20th Street and Blake Street.
Established in 2006, Snooze invites you to a new kind of breakfast and lunch experience. With recipes made from scratch using the highest quality ingredients, a setting filled with energy and pouring over in creativity and service radiating fun and knowledge throughout, Snooze reenergizes the way you think, feel and eat breakfast.
Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza
Marco’s is the only certified authentic Neapolitan restaurant in Colorado, and it is one of only 40 in the U.S. They use only the finest, most authentic ingredients: flour from a third-generation Italian family, artisan cheeses from the Italian countryside and fresh, locally grown produce found here in Colorado.
With three separate higher education institutions enrolling approximately 44,000 students, Auraria is the largest college campus in Colorado. Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State College of Denver and the University of Colorado Denver and Health Sciences Center Downtown Denver Campus share classroom space and general services on the commuter campus, which is located in the heart of Downtown.
Auraria’s cost effective, non-traditional environment allows students to choose from a wide range of educational choices. Classes are offered from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Sessions are also held on weekends, at off-campus sites and even online.
Community College of Denver is a two-year institution offering more than 90 programs that lead to an associate degree or certificate. CCD guarantees that general education core curriculum credits will transfer to any Colorado four-year college or university.
Metropolitan State University of Denver is the largest undergraduate college in the United States. The college is a comprehensive, state-assisted four-year institution offering 50 majors and 69 minors, as well as individualized and many unique degree programs.
The University of Colorado Denver is the only public university in the Denver metropolitan area. CU Denver offers 36 undergraduate degrees, 43 master’s degrees and Ph.D. degrees in public affairs, applied mathematics, health and behavioral sciences, civil engineering and educational leadership.
Auraria Parkway, North Speer Boulevard, West Colfax Avenue
The Auraria Campus is proud to offer rental housing assistance to students, faculty and staff. Here are two options:
Campus Village Apartments is a recently completed, all-inclusive student housing community:
318 Walnut Street, Denver, CO 80204
Auraria Student Lofts combines student high-rise urban living with unparalleled location:
1051 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Tivoli Student Union
The Tivoli is a Denver landmark. The first of its 12 buildings was built in 1866 as a brewery and brewed its last beer in 1966. In 1994, the newly renovated Tivoli opened as one of the premier student unions in the country.
Ninth Street Historic Park
At the heart of the Auraria Campus, the structures on Ninth Street Historic Park comprise the oldest restored block of residences in the city. Ninth Street houses serve as campus offices.
Emmanuel is Denver’s oldest church building, which was constructed in 1876. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 and currently serves Auraria as a shared art gallery for the three schools on campus.
St. Cajetan’s Center
Built in 1925, St. Cajetan’s served as the focus of Auraria’s Spanish-speaking community until 1973. The landmark church now serves as a multi-purpose auditorium for lectures, concerts, recitals and other events.
Finding a parking space in Downtown Denver can be easy and inexpensive when you plan ahead.
Off-Street Parking Options
There are approximately 43,000 off-street parking spaces throughout Downtown Denver. Use our new interactive parking guide to find public parking lots and garages located near your Downtown destination. The parking map will provide information to help you find a parking location and an approximate rate that fits your needs. Remember, it’s always a good idea to identify a second location in case your first choice is full or prices have changed.
Park NOW Program
The Downtown Denver Partnership and Denver Public Works know that locating reliable public parking in Downtown Denver is a priority for drivers. With so many reasons to come Downtown, we want your parking experience to be a good one.
The Park NOW program helps drivers recognize public parking options in Downtown Denver that guarantee a reliable and consistent parking experience based on the Top Five Parking Priorities:
Clearly posted parking rates for regular and event parking
Visible payment options that include both cash and credit card
Clear posted hours of operation
Regularly open to the public and on a consistent schedule
Operator phone number prominently posted with timely customer service from the operator in case of concerns or questions
The new “Park NOW” public parking symbol will be posted on participating parking garages and lots throughout Downtown Denver. When you park in one of the participating locations, you can be assured that the Top Five Parking Priorities are met.
On-Street Parking Information
The City of Denver’s Smart Meters accept debit and credits cards, as well as coins and ParkSmart cards. Rates at on-street parking meters in Downtown Denver vary by location and are posted on the meter or kiosk. Visitors who need to park for longer periods of time are encouraged to consider parking at one of the many off-street parking lots or garages in Downtown Denver.
The Overnight Parking Program allows visitors to park vehicles at meters overnight. Parking is allowed on certain nights of the week, depending on the side of the street and street sweeping schedules. Downtown visitors, employees or residents who would like to take advantage of the Overnight Parking Program will need to pay attention to overhead signs and the information located on the parking meters.
On-street parking is free on Sundays and city holidays. To see a list, visit the City’s website.
Follow these smart tips to avoid a parking citation in Denver!
Individuals with mobility impairment and appropriate documentation may park at on-street meters and signed time limit zones for up to four hours without paying. Visit www.denvergov.org for more information on Denver’s Disability Parking ordinance.
Oversized Vehicle and Motorcycle Parking
Motorcycles and oversized vehicles have special parking options in Downtown Denver.
Motorcycle Parking: Motorcycles can be parked four to a meter space. Multiple motorcycles may park at an on-street meter as long as they do not obstruct traffic and the meter is paid accordingly. Should the meter expire, all motorcycles are subject to tickets and/or fines.
Oversize Vehicle Parking: Individuals wishing to park oversized vehicles primarily have two options: Obtain a permit to park at an on-street meter or contact a parking operator directly and make arrangements to park the vehicle in an off-street lot.
Scooter Parking: Scooters with engines that are 50 ccs or less may park legally on the sidewalk in Downtown Denver, but scooters cannot be locked to lights, benches or trees.
Downtown Denver is the hub of the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) transit system, serving commuters and visitors from all parts of the seven-county Denver metro region. RTD offers an integrated network of buses and light rail, including the FREE MallRide, to help get you where you want to go.
RTD’s light rail system offers 35 miles of track over six lines to take you to destinations in Downtown Denver, Lower Downtown (LoDo), Five Points, Arapahoe Square, the Central Platte Valley, Auraria and beyond. Find route details and schedules below.
If the light rail doesn’t take you where you need to go, there are more than 60 RTD bus routes that head into Downtown Denver. Many stop at or near the two major RTD stations along the 16th Street Mall: Civic Center Station and Union Station.
RTD Trip Planning Tool: Enter an intersection, address or landmark for your origination and destination points.
Google Maps: Get step-by-step travel directions on public transit with Google maps.
MyStop: RTD’s MyStop is an automated phone service that lets you know when your next bus will arrive. Just provide the unique five-digit number on the sign by the stop and you’ll be given the next three scheduled arrivals for that stop.
m.rtd-denver.com: RTD’s mobile website lets you find nearby stops and stations, check schedules and arrival times, check fares and more, all from your mobile device’s web browser – no app required!
Want to know the latest on schedule and routes changes? Click here!
Once Downtown, commuters and visitors can ride the free 16th Street Mall Shuttle. Running the length of the 16th Street Mall, the shuttle runs at frequent intervals offering convenient connections to all parts of Downtown, from Union Station and LoDo to the Denver Pavilions and Civic Center. The shuttle also connects to the two major transit stations in Downtown: Union Station and Civic Center Station, as well as all light rail lines.
With limited stops between the new bus concourse at Union Station and Civic Center Station along 18th and 19th streets, the Free MetroRide is the perfect option for downtown commuters. This free bus service runs during weekday rush hours (6:00am – 9:00am and 3:30pm – 6:30pm) and provides convenient connections to bus, light rail, and future commuter rail. The Free MetroRide is a fast, reliable alternative and convenient companion to the 16th Street Free MallRide.
Fares and Passes
Fares for RTD light rail and bus service range from $2.25 to $5 and are completely transferable. Discount fares are available for those who qualify.
FasTracks is RTD’s voter-approved transit expansion program – the largest in the nation – transforming transportation through the Denver metro area.
This three-block oasis in the middle of Downtown is home to a variety of seasonal activities and events, and it provides a spectacular setting for outdoor restaurant patios.
Free events occur in the park throughout the year, including games, ice skating, culinary markets, concerts, movies and more. In addition, you will find food vendors and a Downtown Denver Information Center in the Pavilion of the park located between 15th Street and the 16th Street Mall.
Spanning the length of Arapahoe Street from 15th Street to 18th Street, Skyline Park’s grassy areas, amazing flowerbeds and stunning architectural detail invite you to relax and enjoy the vibrant urban setting in Downtown Denver.
This Winter in Skyline Park:
Southwest Rink at Skyline Park
During the holiday season, Skyline Park is converted into an outdoor skating rink to provide fun for all ages and to activate a vital space in the core of Downtown. Besides the free skating, people can enjoy live entertainment, face painting, holiday movies, broomball, a photobooth and hot cocoa.
Dubbed the “Ambassador Street” due to its concentration of visitor-oriented facilities – including the Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Performing Arts Complex and five hotels – 14th Street is the front door to Downtown for many visitors and serves as the welcome mat that creates a lasting first impression.
This street boasts sparkling skyscrapers, top rated restaurants and bars, entertainment options from theater to live music, comedy and more.
DTD extends from the 16th Street Mall and Arapahoe Street to Speer Boulevard, Speer Boulevard to Welton Street, Welton Street to 14th Street, 14th Street to Champa Street, Champa Street to the 16th Street Mall.
Built in 1982, the 16th Street Mall is a tree-lined promenade of red and gray granite that runs through the center of Downtown. It is the premier pedestrian environment in the Rocky Mountain Region.
As the commercial heart of Downtown Denver, it is a main attraction for a rapidly growing number of visitors, workers, residents and conventioneers. The Mall is filled with outdoor cafes, renovated historic office buildings, sparkling glass-walled skyscrapers, shops, restaurants and retail stores.
With nearly 50,000 people using the FREE MallRide on an average weekday, the Mall has become the linchpin of RTD’s transportation system by connecting light rail stations, express bus terminals and local bus routes between the Denver Union Station and Civic Center. Free shuttle buses cruise the mile-long Mall seven days a week.
The Mall has received accolades for its visionary urban design guidelines, which preserved impressive sight lines, encouraged the addition of public art and created a “sunshine ordinance” to enforce height restrictions, thereby allowing sunlight to reach the street. These guidelines also require ground floor retail in all new developments and encourage the preservation of the facades of historic buildings that line the Mall today.
See what the 16th Street Mall has to offer.
Information Centers are located at 16th Street and California Street on the 16th Street Mall.
The six award winners listed below exemplify how organizations, individuals and groups of people come together and take the initiative to make big ideas a reality and each has contributed to the Partnership’s 20-year plan of making Downtown one of the most desirable places to live. They each demonstrate that collaboration, ingenuity and hard work are positive ways to help shape a city. Every day is our chance to make this city a little better, and we are proud to honor those that do.
Denver Crime Laboratory
For creating a state-of-the-art crime laboratory equipped with cutting-edge technology that sets a new standard for forensic science and enhances the ability of the Denver Police Department to quickly solve and prevent crimes.
In 2007, $36 million was set aside within Denver’s Better Bond Program to transform a vacant parking lot in Downtown’s Golden Triangle neighborhood into a 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art crime laboratory. The LEED-Gold Certified Denver Crime Laboratory is the product of a step-by-step collaboration between contractors and city government, including Denver Public Works, the Denver Police Department and the District Attorney’s office.
In order to better equip the top-ranked Denver Crime Laboratory Bureau, construction company JE Dunn worked in concert with each forensic department to ensure the facility’s efficiency and longevity. The building was completed at more than a million dollars under budget, but this project falls short of nothing. The photography lab features an elevated catwalk to allow technicians a vertical view of the evidence as it is photographed. The arson and explosives labs have heavy-duty fume hoods to quickly exhaust carcinogenic chemicals. Most extraordinary, however, may be the three-bay car garage with a 16-ton lift, where specifically made mobile fingerprinting tents allow technicians to fingerprint an entire vehicle at once.
“The Denver Crime Laboratory, with its cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art equipment, will be a tremendous asset to our crime solving efforts,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This impressive laboratory will significantly enhance the Denver Police Department’s ability to swiftly solve crimes and bring justice to victims.”
MSU Denver Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center
For leveraging an innovative public/private collaboration to create a dual purpose educational facility that combines classrooms with interactive laboratories, a hotel and restaurant, providing students with hands-on learning and a dynamic curriculum.
Last year, Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) and Sage Hospitality unveiled a unique addition to Downtown in August 2012: the MSU Denver Hospitality Learning Center (HLC) and a 150-room SpringHill Suites Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown. The dual purpose facility represents a crossroads between education and business, helping students get one-of-a-kind real world experience in the hospitality industry. The $45-million project sits on the eastern edge of the MSU Denver campus, increasing the connection between the Auraria Campus and the Downtown business community.
“MSU Denver is taking a leadership role in providing Colorado with educated workers through our Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center,” said MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan. “This amazing facility will allow us to change our curriculum in a dynamic way that will provide hands-on learning for our students on a daily basis.”
Since opening last summer, the project is on track to reach its third year projections this July. With the HLC’s vision statement intact, the program is preparing tomorrow’s hospitality leaders within an experiential learning for-profit hotel located in urban Denver, a living laboratory.
Denver Startup Week
For highlighting Downtown Denver as an entrepreneurial center with the most successful inaugural startup event in the nation, connecting and engaging over 3,500 startup community members at more than 70 community-driven events.
Denver Startup Week launched last October with the help of the Denver startup community, made up of over 500 active companies in the Downtown area. Organizing Chairs Ben Deda and Erik Mitisek had three goals in mind: 1.) Enhance the sense of community amongst Denver entrepreneurs 2.) Highlight Denver as an entrepreneurial center on the local, regional, and national stage and 3.) Provide education, inspiration, and networking events.
The week showcased some of the Denver’s most successful startup companies through events and seminars designed to bring a sense of comradeship among local startups. Projections were exceeded and events overflowed with more than 3,500 startup community members engaged in over 70 community-driven events celebrating everything entrepreneurial in the Mile High City.
Erik Mitisek said it best as he explained, “Now is the time to grab the reins and capitalize on the energy of Denver Startup Week. By continuing to connect, collaborate and brainstorm, even after the event has ended, we will put Denver on the map as the best city for entrepreneurs.”
Boettcher Foundation 75th Anniversary
For 75 years of investing in Downtown Denver while acting as a catalyst in driving support for nonprofit organizations and civic initiatives that inspire, educate, and enrich the lives of Colorado citizens.
Last year, the Boettcher Foundation celebrated their 75th anniversary. Since 1937, the Boettcher Foundation’s mission has been to invest in the minds and mortar of Colorado, and nowhere is that more evident than Downtown Denver.
The Foundation has served as a catalyst for Denver’s growth and prosperity by bestowing capital grants to some of Colorado’s most forward-thinking nonprofits. Projects like he Denver Art Museum, Denver Public Library, and Denver Center for Performing Arts are some of Downtown’s most significant anchors that the Boettcher Foundation made possible.
In addition to their visible support of arts and culture, the Boettcher Foundation has invested in other long-term initiatives as well, including biomedical research, education, and countless social needs. Under the leadership of President and Executive Director Timothy Schultz, the Boettcher Foundation continues work behind the scenes in furthering Downtown Denver’s vitality.
University of Colorado Denver Business School
For locating in the heart of Downtown Denver where students, faculty, and business leaders come together to share ideas, conduct research, and explore new curriculum through innovative programs to address key talent needs and change the way students learn.
The new University of Colorado Denver Business School began the 2012 school year in their new building located smack dab in Downtown. After previously conducting school operations in 15 different locations, the consolidated business school offers students opportunities to become familiar with the Downtown Denver business community in more ways than one.
“I think the exciting thing about it is to have a top quality business school in the heart of Denver,” CU Denver Business School Dean Sueann Ambron explained. “The accessibility is good for employees working in companies in Downtown Denver. They can walk down the street, go to class, and network with other professionals. And with the light rail and online programs the business school is a powerhouse, accessible to the front range and the world.”
With amenities like the JP Morgan Center for Commodities, the CU Denver Business School is gaining worldwide attention from companies looking to hire students equipped to translate their education and skills seamlessly to the real world. In addition, the business school is directly engaged with over 250 local companies, which contribute their expertise to student projects and class lectures, often finding future employees within the university.
The LEED-Gold certified structure not only represents a hub of innovation, collaboration, and discovery, but emphasizes the importance of higher education in Downtown Denver. Most noteworthy, the CU Denver Business School is integrating the Auraria Campus and urban core through strong physical, social, economic, and programmatic connections.
For transforming an historic building into a collaborative work space utilizing capital, community, and curriculum to propel Downtown Denver as a hub of innovation and a magnet for the future workforce.
When tech entrepreneur and local restaurateur Jim Deters went looking for his next big project in 2012, he realized that Denver’s vast startup population, although booming, needed an innovation ecosystem designed to give entrepreneurs and innovators the best chance of being successful.
“I kept seeing all this activity,” explained Deters. “I kept using the word, ‘who’s going to galvanize the community?’ There’s just a ton going on here, but it’s not really well-organized.” Based on the three pillars of capital, community, and curriculum, Galvanize was born.
The Galvanize team moved quickly on renovations of the old Rocky Mountain Bank Note Building as they transformed the vacant building into a functional, collaborative space capable of housing over 300 individuals and more than 80 startups. The facility, complete with Gather, a full-service café, allows companies access to shared workspace, potential investors, mentorship, and a unique school specializing in training software engineers called gSchool.
With constant media buzz, Galvanize is a new breed of company that is creating an innovation ecosystem right here in Downtown Denver. By offering a space for work, an active support network, opportunities for capital and education, Galvanize is leaving no need untouched for entrepreneurs.
In Downtown Denver, you’ll find pedestrian-friendly city blocks and miles of bike lanes. With over 20 miles of bike lanes in Downtown and easy access to the Cherry Creek and Platte River trails, bicyclists have safe and convenient options for biking into and around Downtown Denver. Based on the 2012 Commuter Survey, more than 8 percent of Downtown employees commute to work by biking and walking.
Even if you have a long commute, consider walking or biking for part of the trip. Walking and biking can only lead to a happier, healthier you. Learn more about how “walkable” Downtown Denver is on walkscore.com.
If biking, remember that bicycles are vehicles and must follow all the same rules: obey lights and signs, ride in the direction of traffic, ride on the street (except for designated bike routes on sidewalks) and use hand signals when navigating.
Where can I lock my bike in Downtown Denver?
First, check with your building. Many of the large Downtown buildings offer secure bicycle parking for free or a low rate. Otherwise, there are over 600 racks scattered throughout Downtown Denver, including “U” racks at every Mall intersection. Lock bicycles to bike racks rather than trees, street lights or other sidewalk furnishings along the sidewalks. Please do not park your bike along the 16th Street Mall.
Can I ride my bike on the 16th Street Mall?
Bicycling (as well as skateboarding, rollerblading, and the use of Segways) is currently prohibited on the Mall, except on Sundays. Bicycling is allowed on every other street in Downtown.
Can I take my bike on the bus and light rails?
Absolutely! It’s easy to take your bike along for the ride with RTD’s Bike-n-Ride program. Bikes travel free on bus and light rails on a first-come, first-served basis. If you only need your bike for part of the trip, RTD also offers bike lockers and racks at many Park-n-Rides and stations.
eGo CarShare is a local non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Its mission is to provide and promote alternatives to individual car ownership, thereby reducing the environmental and social impacts associated with motor vehicle use. eGo has been operating in the Denver/Boulder metro area for over 10 years.
A car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. Simple and straightforward. You can always find a vehicle in your area. You open it with the member card you receive after signing up. You go from A to B, park your car2go again and that’s that. It’s fun, saves money and helps the environment.
Zipcar is a membership based car-sharing service with vehicles available by the hour and by the day. Zipcar has a wide range of makes and models from Mercedes C300, Mazda 3’s w/bike racks and Ford Escape’s w/ski racks just to name a few. As a member of Zipcar, you have access to the more than 12,000 Zipcars all across the United States and Canada. Gas and Insurance is always included!
With cars located throughout Downtown, Uptown, and Capitol Hill, Enterprise CarShare is perfect for running errands across town or heading up to the mountains for a day. Signing up today allows you to take advantage of all the freedoms of a car, without the costs of owning one, for low hourly and daily rates.
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