History and Transit Innovation Meet at Denver’s Union Station

The reopening of Denver’s Union Station has catalyzed an economic and civic boom of the surrounding LoDo neighborhood, 14 city blocks between Wynkoop and Riverfront Park — previously a no-man’s land of abandoned rail yards — into a progressive urban center buzzing with offices, restaurants, stores, condos, hotels and entertainment.


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EcoDistricts Summit attendees can take a walk with Denver’s leading economic development and transit experts this September on a compelling mobile tour, gaining first-hand insight into the challenges and key learnings that led to this successful transformation.

Lower Downtown (LoDo) area – Denver’s oldest neighborhood – has suffered from a tumultuous past and uncertain future.

As a result of the Urban Renewal movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s, many low-income downtown residents were displaced, more than 20% of Denver’s historic building stock was demolished, and entire downtown neighborhoods were cleared, including what is now called the LoDo district. Citizen activation led a shift away from displacement toward preservation, leading to LoDo’s designation as a Downtown Historic District, preserving 127 building and 23 square blocks of the area’s architectural, historical and economic value.

Now, thanks to the re-opening of Union Station, the long-languished blocks to the west are alive once again, and residents and visitors are streaming in to the neighborhood’s 2,000 new apartments, 100,000 square feet of additional retail space and 15 acres of public plazas and parks.

Check out this photo slideshow of the neighborhood transformation Union Station has catalyzed, more than 20 years in the making.


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