Citation
Downtown area plan, 2007

Material Information

Title:
Downtown area plan, 2007
Creator:
Moore Iacofono Goltsman, Inc.
Progressive Urban Management Associates
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
City and County of Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
City planning
Spatial Coverage:
Denver -- Downtown

Record Information

Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of copyright holder or Creator or Publisher as appropriate]. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
DOWNTOWN AREA PLAN
prepared by
M I G
Moore lacofano Goltsman, Inc.
Progressive Urban Management Associates
In Association with
Fehr and Peers Transportation Consultants
UrbanTrans Consultants, Inc.
Carl Walker, Inc.


July 2007
jje nv^r
DOWNTOWN AREA PLAN
City and County of Denver
Denver Civic Ventures, Inc.
Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc.
Prepared by
Moore lacofano Goltsman, Inc.
Progressive Urban Management Associates
In Association with
Fehr and Peers Transportation Consultants
UrbanTrans Consultants, Inc.
Carl Walker, Inc.
Prepared under the direction of
The Denver Downtown Area Plan Steering Committee


acknowledgements
The 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan is the result of extensive hard work and collaboration among a range of
stakeholders, community and business leaders, elected officials, and members of the public who care deeply about the
future of Downtown Denver. In particular, the following people are recognized for their contributions to this effort.
Steering Committee Co-Chairs
Jim Basey, Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc.
Cole Finegan, City and County of Denver
Steering Committee
Ron Abo, President, The Abo Group
Sueann Ambron, Dean, University of Colorado
at Denver and Health Sciences Center Business
School
Kim Bailey, Manager, Denver Department of
Parks and Recreation
Jim Basey*, Chair, Denver Urban Renewal Authority
Board of Directors
Kathleen Brooker, President, Historic Denver, Inc.
Brad Buchanan, FAIA, Principal, Buchanan
Yonushewski Group L.L.C.
Jeffrey Campos, President/CEO, Denver Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce
Sara Thompson Cassidy, Director of Public Affairs,
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Linda Clark, Managing Director, Piper-Jaffray
Gene Commander, Shareholder/Director,
Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, P.C.
Dana Crawford, Chair, Urban Neighborhoods, Inc.
Gary Desmond, President, AR7 Architects, P.C.
Tami Door*, President/CEO,
Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc.
Bill Elfenbein, Director of District A, Regional
Transportation District Board of Directors
Cole Finegan*, Managing Partner,
Plogan + Plartson L.L.P.
Jack Finlaw, Director, Denver Theatres
and Arenas Division
Bob Flynn, Executive Vice President, Amerimar
Realty Management Company
Patty Fontneau, Chief Administrative Officer,
IMA Financial Group, Inc.
Shannon Gifford, Board Member, Lower Downtown
Neighborhood Association
Jerry Glick, Managing Partner,
Columbia Group L.L.L.P.
Jaime Gomez, Director of Commercial Lending,
Colorado Plousing and Finance Authority
Tom Gougeon, Chief Development Officer,
Continuum Partners L.L.C.
Nancy Green, Past President, Downtown Denver
Residents Organization
Allegra "Plappy" Playnes, Assistant to
Superintendent, Denver Public Schools
Fabby Hillyard. Executive Director,
LoDo District, Inc.
Tracy Huggins, Executive Director, Denver Urban
Renewal Authority
Don Hunt, President, The Antero Company
Walter Isenberg, President,
Sage Hospitality Resources
Barbara Kelley, Chair, Denver Planning Board
Gail Klapper, Principal, The Klapper Firm
Sharon Linhart, Managing Partner,
Linhart Public Relations
Dan May, Principal, Quitman Consulting
Judy Montero, Denver City Council
District 9 Representative
Bill Mosher, Area Director, Trammell Crow Company
John Moye, Senior Partner, Moye White L.L.P.
Amy Mueller, Deputy Chief of Staff,
Denver Office of the Mayor
Karen Mulville, General Manager, Denver Pavilions
Peter Park*, Manager, Denver Dept, of Community
Planning and Development
Janet Preisser, Director of Special Programs, U.S.
General Services Administration
Agnes Ryan, President,
Golden Triangle Association
Plassan Salem, President, US Bank-Denver
Richard Scharf, President/CEO, Denver Metro
Convention and Visitors Bureau
Tim Schultz, President, The Boettcher Foundation
John M. Shaw, Senior Vice President and General
Manager, Opus Northwest, L.L.C.
Bill Vidal, Manager, Denver Dept, of Public Works
Elbra Wedgeworth, Chief Government and
Community Relations Officer, Denver Health;
formerly Council District 8
Jarvis Wyatt, Chief Operating Officer, TC logiQ, Inc.
Technical Committee
City and County of Denver
Karen Aviles, City Attorney's Office
Lindy Eichenbaum-Lent, Mayor's Office
Crissy Fanganello, Department of Public Works
Chad Fuller, Office of Economic Development
Karen Good, Community Planning and Development
Steve Gordon, Community Planning and
Development
Tyler Gibbs, Community Planning and Development
Victor Grassman, Office of Economic Development
Ellen Ittelson, Community Planning and
Development
Fran Mishler, Community Planning and Development
Mark Najarian, Department of Public Works
John Overstreet, Department of Parks and
Recreation
Andrea Riner, Department of Parks and Recreation
Christopher Smith, Office of Economic
Development
Wayland Walker, Community Planning and
Development
Julius Zsako, Community Planning and
Development
Downtown Denver Partnership
Jessica Baker
Jenna Berman
Malia Campbell
John Desmond
John Kerns
Jim Kirchheimer
Sarah McClean
Brian Phetteplace
Aylene Quale
Project Management Team
Ellen Ittelson*, City and County of Denver,
Project Manager
John Desmond*, Downtown Denver Partnership,
Project Manager
Jessica Baker, Downtown Denver Partnership,
Deputy Project Manager
Consultant Team
MIG, Inc.
Daniel lacofano, Principal-in-Charge
Chris Beynon, Project Manager
Eric Phillips, Project Planner
Rosemary Dudley, Project Planner
Progressive Urban Management Associates
Brad Segal
Anna Jones
Jamie Licko
Pamela Phox
Fehr and Peers, Transportation Consultants
Jeremy Klopp
UrbanTrans Consultants, Inc.
Brendon Plarrington
Carl Walker, Inc.
Scot Martin
Premier Sponsors
City and County of Denver
Denver Civic Ventures, Inc.
Boettcher Foundation
Regional Transportation District
Denver Newspaper Agency
Downtown Denver Business Improvement District
Jerrold Glick
Susan Powers
Denver Urban Renewal Authority
First Community Bank
US Bank-Denver
Sponsors
Xcel Energy
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Piton Foundation
Qwest Communications
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Continuum Partners, L.L.C.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Peter Grant
Preservation Fund
Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority
Wells Fargo Bank N.A.
AR7 Architects, P.C.
Lowe Enterprises, Colorado, Inc.
1st Bank
Denver Place Associates Limited Partnership
Ballpark Neighborhood Association
Buchanan Yonushewski Group, L.L.C.
Charles Knight
IMA Financial Group, Inc.
Shames-Makovsky Realty
Document design and production by MIG, Inc.
* denotes member of Executive Committee


table of contents
i. introduction..................................1
planning process................................2
plan context....................................3
how to use this plan............................5
ii. strategy framework............................7
accomplishments, challenges and opportunities...8
the vision elements ............................12
seven transformative projects...................12
iii. plan strategies and projects.................15
a. a prosperous city............................16
b. a walkable city..............................21
c. a diverse city...............................27
d. a distinctive city...........................32
e. a green city.................................36
iv. district strategies..........................41
commercial core.................................42
cultural core...................................44
golden triangle.................................46
auraria.........................................48
lower downtown (lodo)...........................50
central platte valley (cpv).....................52
ballpark........................................54
arapahoe sguare.................................56
v. moving forward.................................59
photo credits.......................................60
appendices (under separate cover)
global trends and implications for downtown denver
visual preference survey summary
phase 1 report: existing conditions assessment




I
. i ntrod uction
^Jenver's Downtown Area Plan is a tool to help community leaders, decision-
makers, and citizens build upon Downtown's assets and guide future development to reflect
the community's vision of a livable, healthy, sustainable and vibrant Downtown.
WITH A DIVERSE COMMUNITY OF 573,000 citizens and an
economy that employs more than 560,000 people, the City
and County of Denver serves as the transportation,
business, entertainment and cultural center of the Denver
metropolitan area and the greater Rocky Mountain West.
Both public and private agencies will use the 2007 Denver
Downtown Area Plan in the coming years to guide decisions
and actions that affect the form and function of Downtown.
The plan provides a sound policy basis for citywide decision-
making and strengthening Downtown's role as the heart of the
region.
The 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan builds on the 1986
Downtown Area Plan by providing an updated Vision and set
of goals and recommendations for Downtown. While much of
the Vision as conveyed in the 1986 plan remains valid, many
conditions have changed dramatically over the past 20 years.
Further, most of the areas surrounding the Downtown core
have established new plans and carried out significant pub-
lic and private investment, altering the role and relationship
of these various districts. While much of the success of the
1986 plan was related to the completion of major projects, the
2007 plan recommends "1000 small steps that strengthen
Downtown's fabric and make it economically, socially and envi-
ronmentally more vital.
As a result of these changed circumstances, the City and
County of Denver, Denver Civic Ventures and the Downtown
Denver Partnership agreed in 2005 to undertake a signifi-
cant and comprehensive look at the Downtown area and its
direction for the next 20 years. This document outlines the
major components of the plan and the steps toward making
Downtown Denver one of the most livable places in the
world.
Introduction
1


planning process
j
The planning process included numerous community
workshops and forums to help craft the Vision and
plan strategies.
The 2007 Downtown Area Plan pro-
cess integrated visioning and urban
planning recommendations within a
comprehensive public participation
and outreach process.
Steering, Technical and Executive
committees were formed to help
guide the process. The Steering
Committee represented a broad and
diverse group of public officials,
private businesses, residents, edu-
cational institutions and cultural
facilities. This committee served as
the policy advisory group for the
plan, discussing and approving the
vision, strategies and final plan. The
Technical Committee was composed
of staff members from several City of
Denver agencies and the Downtown
Denver Partnership. Technical
Committee responsibilities included
plan research, analysis, administra-
tive duties and communications. The
six-person Executive Committee over-
saw administration during the plan-
ning process, set Steering Committee
meeting agendas, and served as the
public face of the Steering Committee.
The makeup of the Executive
Committee reflected the joint respon-
sibility for the plan shared by the City
of Denver and the Downtown Denver
Partnership.
The Downtown Area Plan was crafted
over a 15-month period that spanned
four planning phases: Existing
Conditions Assessment, Visioning for
Downtown, Development of Concept
Plan and Strategies, and Final
Implementation Plan. Each phase
of the process featured extensive
outreach, and over the course of the
process more than 2,000 partici-
pants lent their voice to shaping the
Downtown Area Plan. Specific out-
reach events included:
Thirteen Steering Committee
meetings open to the public;
Visual Preference Survey in per-
son and on-line;
Downtown Outlook Survey;
Four Community Workshops;
Four Neighborhood Roundtable
Meetings;
Interviews with key stakeholders,
including the Minority Chambers
of Commerce; various economic
development organizations;
Denver Public Schools; and the
Mayor and City Council; and
Three Community-wide educa-
tional sessions focused on the
topics of sustainability, living in
Downtown, and a family-friendly
Downtown.
Downtown Planning Timeline
1986-2007
2000-----
Southwest Light Rail opens
Downtown Historic District designated
Comprehensive Plan 2000 completed
Lower Downtown Neighborhood Plan completed
1986
Downtown Area Plan completed
1998----
1988 =J
Lower Downtown
designated as Historic district
B-7 zoning revised
1994
Central Light
Rail line finished
Denver Pavilions opens
Golden Triangle Plan
o
1995 1
Coors Field and Central Library
expansion completed
Northeast Downtown Plan completed
1999
Pepsi Center
opens
2004
Voters approve FasTracks Plan
Union Station Master Plan adopted
Colorado Convention
Center expansion finished
2001
Invesco Field
at Mile High
and Commons
Park completed
2002
Blueprint Denver adopted
Central Platte Valley
Light Rail Line opened
Ballpark Historic
District designated
2005
Ellie Caulkins Opera House dedicated
Hyatt Regency Convention
Center Hotel opens
L
2007
Downtown
Area Plan
completed
Downtown Area Plan Update commences
2
Introduction


plan context
SETTING
Downtown Denver's unique setting
and historical role in the region help
position it for continued leadership
and innovation in the 21st century.
Denver is the largest urban center
in the Rocky Mountain West, and
Downtown serves both the city and a
burgeoning metro area of more than
2.7 million. Greater Denver comprises
about half of Colorado's population of
more than 4.8 million.
Regional Context
As the region's main hub of com-
merce, transportation connections,
government, and social and cul-
tural amenities, Denver influences
trends and patterns throughout the
West. People drive from through-
out Colorado and nearby states
to conduct business, shop, attend
performances and sporting events,
visit museums, or catch a plane at
Denver International Airport. Major
cities such as Fort Collins, Boulder,
Greeley, and Colorado Springs are
within an hour's drive. The state's
world-renowned winter resorts and
year-round outdoor recreation attract
millions of national and international
visitors, with most making their
passage through the Denver area.
Little has done more to reinforce the
importance of Downtown Denver to
the region than the 2004 passage of
the FasTracks Regional Transit Plan.
FasTracks will provide regional tran-
sit connections from Denver Union
Station east to Denver International
Airport, north to Thornton, northwest
to Broomfield, Boulder and Longmont,
west to Arvada and west to Lakewood.
The importance of Denver Union
Station as the region's transit hub will
reinforce Downtown Denver's central
role in the metro area.
City Context
Downtown Denver is located in the
heart of the city at the confluence
of the South Platte River and Cherry
Creek. The grand mountains of the
Front Range provide a beautiful back-
drop to the bustling Downtown environ-
ment that includes a visually dynamic
mix of historic and contemporary build-
ings. In 2005, approximately 9,000
people lived in the Downtown core. An
estimated population of 80,000 resided
in Downtown and its adjacent neighbor-
hoods, defined as those within 1.5 miles
of Downtown. These neighborhoods,
each with its own sense of community,
surround the city center and provide a
strong base of housing, small-scale re-
tail, and landscaped open spaces.
Planning Context
Since 1986, the City has undertaken
numerous plans for portions of the
area incorporated in the Downtown
Area Plan, and these studies influence
the direction of the 2007 Area Plan.
The most significant of these plans
are listed below and described in the
Appendices:
Denver Comprehensive Plan
(2000);
Blueprint Denver: An Integrated
Land Use and Transportation Plan
(2002);
Denver Union Station Master Plan
(2004);
Downtown Multimodal Access
Plan (2005);
Civic Center District Plan (2005);
Lower Downtown Neighborhood
Plan (2000);
Golden Triangle Neighborhood
Plan (1998);
Bicycle Master Plan (2001); and
Pedestrian Master Plan (2004).
Denver is at the heart of Rocky Mountain West.
Denver is the largest city in Colorado and the
economic and social hub of the Front Range region.
Downtown Denver is at the city's crossroads and is
surrounded by many robust neighborhoods.
Introduction
3


Skyline Park is an attractive open space amenity in the
heart of Downtown.
The Central Platte Valley is a district booming with
new residential and mixed-use development.
Blueprint Denver divides the city into Areas of Change
and Areas of Stability. Downtown and its surrounding
neighborhoods are designated Areas of Change,
projected to accommodate the highest densities and
widest mix of uses.
The diagram to the right illustrates the Downtown Area
Plan study area (multi-colored districts), a transition
area (orange), and surrounding neighborhoods (tan).
DOWNTOWN STUDY AREA
The 2007 Downtown Area Plan study
area boundary (see map below)
encompasses approximately 1,800
acres and is divided into eight dis-
tricts. The following districts are
included in the study area and
addressed in detail in the plan:
Commercial Core
Cultural Core
Golden Triangle
Auraria
Lower Downtown (LoDo)
Central Platte Valley
Ballpark
Arapahoe Sguare
Relationship to Surrounding Areas
Planning for these districts also
involves careful consideration of
the need for improved connections
beyond the defined Downtown core.
The planning effort included analy-
sis of a "transition area (in orange
in the diagram below) that links the
Downtown districts to surrounding
neighborhoods.
The extensive redevelopment of the
Central Platte Valley's railyards into
mixed-use housing and open space
has transformed Downtown's relation-
ship to the Highland neighborhood
to the northwest. The construc-
tion of Coors Field, Pepsi Center
and INVESCO Field at Mile High
has brought millions of visitors into
Downtown.
Light rail service in Curtis Park has
also helped to activate the neigh-
borhood. The La Alma/Lincoln Park
neighborhood has begun to be
recognized due to its proximity to
Downtown, 10th and Osage light rail
station, and emerging arts district on
Santa Fe.
While not within the Downtown Area
Plan boundary, all of these surround-
ing historic neighborhoods are impor-
tant to the success of the plan and
are addressed with respect to adja-
cencies, relationships, connections
and impacts.
4
Introduction


how to use this plan
The 2007 Downtown Area Plan super-
sedes the highly successful 1986
Downtown Area Plan. To be as suc-
cessful over two decades, the 2007
plan paints a vision of the direction
Downtown Denver must take in the
21st century to succeed globally, not
just nationally. The plan is intended
to give the latitude needed to pursue
unforeseen opportunities that will
certainly arise and to respond to new
challenges. The plan must also give
enough direction to guide day-to-day
decision making related to land use
decisions, public investments, and
development opportunities.
Both public and private agencies will
use the 2007 Denver Downtown Area
Plan in the coming years to guide
decisions and actions that affect the
form and function of Downtown. The
plan provides a sound policy basis
for citywide decision-making and
strengthening Downtown's role as the
heart of the region. It also educates
present and future generations about
Downtown's importance to Denver
and Colorado.
The remainder of the Downtown
Area Plan consists of the following
chapters:
Chapter II: Strategy Framework
This chapter lays out a 20-year vision
for Downtown. To support the vision,
the chapter presents five elements
that are supported by 19 strategies.
The chapter identifies the seven
"transformative projects from the
greater list, and presents a develop-
ment concept to guide future growth.
Chapter III: Plan Strategies and
Projects
This chapter expands upon the 19
strategies that support the vision and
identifies projects and programs to
carry out each strategy.
Chapter IV: District Strategies
This chapter focuses on applying plan
strategies to individual districts within
Downtown and provides additional
recommendations for specific dis-
tricts.
Chapter V: Moving Forward
This chapter outlines the active, on-
going commitment to implementation
that is needed to realize the 20-year
vision for Downtown Denver.
Appendices
Several Appendices accompany this
document. The Appendices consist
of background reports and technical
documents that offer additional
information on topics described in
this Downtown Area Plan.
Introduction
5




strategy framework
^^owntown 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. Accompanying each of these elements is a set of strategies and
actions that will help turn the Downtown vision into reality.
As it has for the past 150 years, central Denver epitomizes
the lifestyle of the urban Rocky Mountain West to the region,
nation and the world. Quality of life is an increasingly impor-
tant factor in location choices by individuals, families, and
businesses. The combination of its rich history, well-protected
historic building fabric, population growth, public infrastruc-
ture, and cultural assets uniguely position Downtown Denver
at the forefront of the 21st century urban West.
Vibrancy and economic vitality are keystones of this plan.
Downtown Denver's future depends on its ability to attract
growth and investment, maintain an inviting and active urban
environment, and responsibly manage resources and infra-
structure. Authentic and appropriate urban forms, high guality
design of both private buildings and the public realm, a dense
mix of compatible activities and land uses, and preserva-
tion of historic assets are all essential elements in assuring
Downtown's continued vitality and unigueness. Balancing and
meeting these demands will position Downtown to fulfill the
vision of the plan.
The economic prosperity of Downtown will depend on the
city's ability to capitalize on the opportunities described in
the following section and implement the vision outlined in the
remainder of this chapter.
Strategy Framework
7


accomplishments, challenges and opportunities
Accomplishment: Coors Field
Challenge: Undeveloped surface parking lots
Since 1986, Downtown Denver has
emerged as one of the nation's pre-
eminent urban success stories.
Downtown is continuing its transfor-
mation into a "24/7" environment,
with a variety of uses that together
create an energetic ambiance and
make Downtown a preferred location
for working, living and entertainment.
The 1986 Downtown Area Plan set the
framework for many of the
accomplishments in Downtown
Denver, including:
Designation of Lower Downtown
as a Denver Landmark District
and public-private partnership
strategies resulted in a highly
successful mixed-use district:
The conversion of the Central
Platte Valley from a rail yard to an
urban neighborhood:
Access improvements in and
out of Downtown, including the
removal of viaducts and the
installation of improved entryways
such as Auraria Parkway and Park
Avenue:
Emergence of a regional transit
system that is centered on
Downtown;
Development of new housing,
primarily in areas surrounding the
core; and
Creation of significant new parks
and open spaces along the South
Platte River.
Other changes in Downtown were not
envisioned in 1986, but have added to
its overall vitality, including:
Growth of dining and
entertainment as an economic
engine generating sales tax
revenue and helping to position
Downtown as a regional
destination;
Development of new venues for
sports and culture, including Coors
Field, Pepsi Center, INVESCO Field
at Mile High, and an expanded
Denver Performing Arts Complex;
Development and expansion of the
Colorado Convention Center and
the emergence of Denver as the
top visitor destination in the state;
On-going historic preservation
efforts, including designation of
the Downtown Denver Historic
District, and the Ballpark Historic
District;
Development of housing in the
core of the central business
district, in addition to adjacent
districts; and
Construction of the Hyatt Regency
Hotel at the Convention Center.
Despite these significant accomplish-
ments, some challenges remain:
Downtown's employment level has
remained largely unchanged;
Retail sales of goods have
diminished Downtown;
Downtown lacks a cohesive
pedestrian environment and
strong connections to adjacent
neighborhoods;
Named streets throughout
Downtown lack distinction;
Infrastructure and assets such
as the 16th Street Mall and most
Downtown office buildings are 25-
30 years old and in need of
reinvestment;
Underutilized sites contribute
to an inconsistent street
environment;
Arterial streets, such as Speer,
Broadway and Colfax, create
physical and perceptual barriers
around Downtown; and
The economic success of
Downtown and its surrounding
neighborhoods has made
the current housing market
unaffordable to many people.
8
Strategy Framework


NATIONAL AND GLOBAL TRENDS
In addition to local and regional mar-
ket forces tha t influence potential
changes in Downtown Denver, nation-
al and global trends create challenges
and opportunities for the city center.
Key findings particularly applicable to
Downtown Denver are:
Embracing cultural and
demographic diversity:
Diversifying housing options and
amenities:
Leveraging transit for
development:
Fostering healthy and active
lifestyles:
Making Downtown event-friendly;
Providing a guality pedestrian
environment;
Capitalizing on established
attractions; and
Creating an environmentally,
socially and economically
sustainable Downtown.
Demographic trends point toward the
country gaining significant popu-
lation and becoming more ethni-
cally diverse in the coming decades.
Overall, the population continues to
grow, supported significantly by immi-
gration. Both the older and younger
markets have fueled Downtown
population growth over the past
decade and are poised to continue to
populate urban environments. As this
growing population ages, significant
demand will be placed on the urban
environment to accomodate the
changing mobility and housing needs.
America will become increasingly cul-
turally and ethnically diverse, creat-
ing an advantage for downtowns that
welcome, accommodate and celebrate
diversity.
Broader distribution of information
technologies is encouraging bottom-
up innovation from entrepreneurs
throughout the globe. Downtowns are
poised to continue to attract creative
vocations if they can offer a business
climate favorable to the incubation
and growth of small dynamic enter-
prises.
The emergence of an international
middle class, currently demonstrated
by rapid growth and urbanization in
countries like China and India, will
continue to strain the supply and
increase the costs of non-renewable
resources over the next 20 years.
Increased petroleum and construction
costs are likely to dramatically affect
American lifestyles, making traditional
suburban land use and transportation
patterns increasingly expensive and
inefficient. Cities will look to maxi-
mize the use of existing infrastructure
and explore sustainable development
policies. Vibrant downtowns are
well positioned to capitalize on an
economic imperative to downsize
consumption, while offering lifestyle
advantages of entertainment, culture,
recreation, transportation options and
human interaction.
To capture the potential for change
created by these overall trends,
Downtown Denver must create an
environment that caters to changing
demographics, provides a high-qual-
ity urban lifestyle, and maximizes the
ability of local businesses to compete
globally.
Dramatic growth in many places throughout the world
will impact how Downtown Denver evolves. Cities like
Hong Kong, China (above), will be in direct competition
with Denver for natural resources, building materials
and intellectual capital in the coming years.
Strategy Framework
9


2007
The 1986 Downtown Area Plan (top) set forth a physi-
cal framework that in many ways remains in place
today (bottom). As Downtown grows, the framework
will continue to evolve and expand, particularly on the
"named" streets (facing page).
DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT
The Development Concept presents
the broad, foundational components Existing Intra-Downtown Transit
for development in Downtown Denver.
Future Intra-Downtown Transit
Activity Node
Physical assets and amenities frame
cities. As the 1986 plan stated, "A
harbor, a large urban park, a specialty
shopping district, a historic area, a
cathedral, distinctive office towers
- these are elements which people
remember... The specific arrange-
ment of these elements, the links
among them, and the character of
their landmarks distinguish one city
from another.
These grand boulevards link three
major activity nodes in Downtown: the
evolving Arapahoe Sguare/Ballpark
area, an urbanizing Auraria district,
and a strengthened Civic Center. The
fourth activity node, centered around
Denver Union Station, is connected
via an intra-Downtown transit network
that links all of the nodes and branch-
es outward to surrounding neighbor-
hoods.
Downtown Denver is blessed with an
abundance of such features. From
the nationally-recognized 16th Street
Mall and Coors Field to the historic
Union Station and modern Denver
Art Museum; from the flowing, natu-
ral environments of the South Platte
River and Cherry Creek to the grand
beauty of Civic Center Park, the
essence of Downtown its sense of
place begins with its major physical
features.
Additional transit connections, such
as the Downtown Circulator along
18th and 19th streets and a connec-
tion along Larimer Street between
Auraria and Ballpark, boost business
development and employment oppor-
tunities Downtown.
Q LRT Stop
LRT Line
^ FasTracks Rail Line
16th Street Mall
Following the framework envisioned
by the 1986 Downtown Area Plan, 16th
Street continues to be the spine of
Downtown in the 2007 Development
Concept. This corridor is anchored by
the Civic Center on the southeastern
end and Denver Union Station to the
northwest.
_____ Grand Boulevard
The wide, auto-oriented barriers of
Speer, Colfax, Broadway, Park Avenue
and Auraria Parkway are addressed
through pedestrian improvements and
development that is brought to the
street edge.
Transit-oriented development is
important to organizing building
forms and uses to create pedestrian
friendly environments in and around
existing and planned rail stations.
Priority Pedestrian
Connection
High guality pedestrian connections
are essential to linking the Downtown
core to the rest of the study area.
Initial priority projects include
14th Street and the Named Streets
InitiativeLarimer, Curtis, California
and Tremont.

Focus Areas such as the Theatre
District, Visitor District, and Business
Opportunity District help lend defini-
tion to areas of the core and create
additional development interest.
Together, these elements create a
structure to guide and foster future
development Downtown.
10
Strategy Framework




the vision
elements
To achieve a vibrant, economically
healthy, growing and vital down-
town, Denver must be committed
to a sustained effort in each of the
elements: Prosperous, Walkable,
Diverse, Distinctive and Green.
The numbered strategies and proj-
ects in each category are critical
for Downtown to remain competi-
tive within local, state, national and
international markets in the coming
decades. The orange bars indicate
the seven transformative projects
described below. All of the strate-
gies and projects are outlined in
detail beginning on page 16.
A. A Prosperous City
Attracting Jobs, Growth,
and Investment
B. A Walkable City
Putting
Pedestrians First
B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian
Environment
B2. Building On Transit
B3. Bicycle City
B4. Park The Car Once
B5. Grand Boulevards
seven
transformative
projects
These seven projects are identi-
fied as the most critical steps to
advance Downtown development -
and enhance livability and economic
health over the next 20 years.
Multi-layered and long-term in
nature, these projects will take con-
certed effort and collaboration by
both the public and private sectors.
All energy and resources should
be harnessed toward making these
a reality. Only through executing
these projects can Downtown Denver
truly transform and achieve the
vision of a vibrant, livable 21st cen-
tury city center.
A2. Energizing the
Commercial Core
B2. Building On
Transit
B5. Grand
Boulevards
Bolster economic devel- Couple the regional Transform Speer, Colfax,
opment opportunities transit network with an Broadway, Park Avenue
and enhance the pedes- equally ambitious local and Auraria Parkway
trian experience in the Denver-serving trans- into memorable, multi-
Commercial Core. portation system that modal boulevards as a
provides guick and effi- complement to Denver's
cient connections. parkway system.
12
Strategy Framework


the vision for downtown denver
VIBRANT An Economically Healthy, Growing and Vital Downtown

C. A Diverse City
Being a Socially and
Economically Inclusive Place
D. A Distinctive City
Cultivating a Mosaic
of Urban Districts
E. A Green City
Building a
Greener Denver
C3. Embracing Adjacent
Neighborhoods
Enhance pedestrian,
bike and transit con-
nections between
Downtown and the
surrounding neighbor-
hoods.
D2. Connecting
Auraria
Foster expanded physi-
cal and programmatic
connections between
the Auraria Campus and
the rest of Downtown.
D3. Downtown's
New Neighborhood:
Arapahoe Sguare
Redevelop Arapahoe
Sguare as a cutting-
edge, densely
populated, mixed-use
area and center of inno-
vative businesses.
E2. A Rejuvenated
Civic Center
Restore and reactivate
Civic Center to attract
more visitors, residents,
workers and students to
the park.
Strategy Framework
13




Mi. plan strategies
and projects
Q
uccess of the Downtown Area Plan depends on the implementation of high
impact strategies and projects throughout the city center. This chapter outlines the action
plan for Downtown.
Strategies and projects are organized according to the five
vision elements that support the overarching vision of a
vibrant Downtown:
A. A Prosperous City
B. A Walkable City
C. A Diverse City
D. A Distinctive City
E. A Green City
Within the 19 strategies and projects, seven transforma-
tive projects are highlighted for extra emphasis. While all 19
strategy elements are essential to achieving the Plan vision,
seven of them are highlighted as transformative projects
because without early and concerted effort in these areas,
the other elements of the plan will not be as successful. These
projects are listed below and indicated on the following pages
by orange bars.
A2. Energizing the Commercial Core
B2. Building on Transit
B5. Grand Boulevards
C3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods
D2. Connecting Auraria
D3. Downtown's New Neighborhood:
Arapahoe Sguare
E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center
Plan Strategies and Projects 15


a. a prosperous city
ATTRACTING JOBS, GROWTH AND INVESTMENT
Since its historical beginnings, Downtown Denver has served as the economic
and cultural hub for a vast interior region ranging from Mexico to Canada and
from the Great Basin to the Missouri River Valley. Downtown Denver is well
positioned to continue this role through the next century. A key to Denver's
continued prosperity will be adapting to the economic realities of a global
economy. Economists point to urban livability as the single most important
factor in attracting and retaining the intellectual capital needed to sustain
an information-based, creative economy. New business development will be
increasingly dependent on small firms seeking a progressive environment
that encourages innovation. Jobs, businesses and investment are the critical
building blocks for a vital city center.
Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a prosperous city are
listed below and described in detail on the following pages:
A1. The Downtown of the Rocky Mountain Region
A2. Energizing the Commercial Core
A3. A Comprehensive Retail Strategy
A4. Clean and Safe


A1. The Downtown Of The Rocky Mountain Region
GOAL
Ensure Downtown's continued primacy as the business center of the region
and establish its role as a leader in the 21st century global economy. Add
35,000 new jobs by 2027.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
A key to Denver's continued economic dominance will be adapting to the
economic realities of a global economy. New business development will be
increasingly dependent on small firms seeking a progressive environment that
encourages innovation.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
A1a. Create a program to support small- and medium-sized businesses,
bolstering Denver as the best place for businesses to thrive
Cultivate new business clusters (e.g. alternative energy)
Support start-ups
Sponsor a national small business conference
Overcome barriers such as health care, transportation costs, and
childcare
A1b. Create a world class portal from Denver International Airport to Denver
Union Station via the East Line, an essential FasTracks line for Downtown
A1c. Create a brand identity that promotes Downtown as a place to live, work,
play, visit and learn
Aid. Strengthen the effective coordination of Downtown, City, regional and
state business retention, expansion and recruitment programs
A1e. Cultivate arts and culture as key economic drivers
Retain and expand the clusters of world-class arts, cultural, and
performance facilities in Downtown
Provide temporary and permanent creative space to meet the
broad spectrum of needs for administrative, rehearsal, performance
and studio functions
Establish connections to emerging arts districts such as Santa Fe,
Five Points, Golden Triangle and River North (RiNo)
Establish an urban tourism program that highlights historic
buildings and districts as part of Denver's story
A1f. Promote Downtown as the most transit-rich location in the state and
tailor planning, marketing, and investment to capitalize on regional
transit investment and resulting access to jobs and housing
A1g. Preserve, reuse and reinvest in historic buildings and places throughout
Downtown. These buildings and places demonstrate to future generations
Denver's pre-eminence as a western city over the past 150 years
A1h. Enhance the appearance of the vehicular connection from 1-70 to
Downtown along Brighton Boulevard and provide signage identifying it as
a direct route to Downtown
Enhancing Downtown's strengths as the region's office
and financial capital is paramount to the plan's
success.
Arts and cultural facilities are vital elements of
community life that can also be leveraged for
economic development.
Plan Strategies and Projects
17


A2. Energizing the Commercial Core
Strategy Diagram: Energizing the Commercial Core
THEATRE AND VISITOR DISTRICTS
Establishment of new destination
districts is a key element of energizing
the Commercial Core. The Theatre
District, with a central axis along Curtis
Street that connects the 16th Street
Mall, Denver Performing Arts Complex
and Auraria, will have enhanced signage,
venues for outdoor cultural events, and
arts-related commercial activities. The
Visitor District, with a central axis along
California Street, will connect the Colorado
Convention Center to the 16th Street Mall
and 17th Street hotels. It will contain a
mix of authentic and unigue urban retail
that serves both locals and visitors (see
Development Concept on page 11 for
district locations).
GOAL
Invigorate the Commercial Core by enhancing the pedestrian and transit
experiences and creating an economically thriving district for business, retail
and tourism.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
As the city center's defining district, a vital and vibrant Commercial Core is
critical to the overall real and perceived success of the Downtown.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
A2a. Design the Downtown Circulator to provide high frequency, high
quality transit service that enhances the economic development and
transit benefits of the investment
A2b. Establish a Business Opportunity District and the Larimer Mixed-Use
District to capitalize on transit investments and rebalance Downtown
economic activity
Market the area along the Downtown Circulator to employers
and developers
Use the new Larimer transit line to strengthen economic activity
and identity in the Larimer Mixed-Use District.
Evaluate development potential on vacant sites to assure that
current regulations result in desired building forms and street
character
A2c. Strengthen the vitality of the 16th Street Mall
Create and enhance recognized sub-districts along the Mall,
including Theatre and Visitor districts
Create and implement a Mall activities strategy
Develop a balanced retail strategy that includes entertainment,
dining and specialty retailers
Conduct a study of Mall infrastructure to assess needs and
reconstruct to meet the goals of sustainability, usability and respect
for the existing design
Re-evaluate 16th Street Mall transit service in light of the Downtown
Circulator frequency, operation, and technology
A2d. Create distinct identities along named streets through physical
improvements
Visitor District along California
Theatre District along Curtis
A2e. Build 14th Street as envisioned in the 14th Street Initiative; establish it as
a model sustainable streetscape
18
Plan Strategies and Projects


A3. A Comprehensive Retail Strategy
GOAL
Improve Downtown's overall economic vitality by restoring the area as an
important retail center for an expanding residential, workforce, and visitor
customer base. Add approximately 1.5 million sguare feet of diverse retail
uses that serve these customers throughout the plan area by 2027.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
The vibrancy of Downtown retail depends on a growing residential population
and offering a diverse range of options and activities to those who live, work
and seek entertainment in Downtown.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
A3a. Reinforce existing or develop new retail clusters at key locations: Larimer
Street, 16th and California, Denver Union Station, and Auraria (see Retail
Strategy diagram below)
Establish a retail management and enhancement program for 16th
Street between Welton and Curtis
A3b. Develop a public market as a regional destination in the core of
Downtown
A3c. Create and implement a marketing plan to promote Downtown retail
goods and services to in-place markets, including residents, workers,
visitors and students
A3d. Encourage neighborhood serving retail in every district
Encourage small retail businesses by eliminating parking
reguirements where appropriate
Downtown Denver Retail Strategy
Ballpark
Neighborhood-Oriented
Retail
Cur^Bfh
Golden Triangle
Neighborhood-Oriented
Retail
A European-style public market would be a focal point
of Downtown retail. The market would draw residents
and visitors year-round, with fresh produce, specialty
goods, and places to sit and eat.
Large format retailers can be designed for urban
environments, such as this multi-story Target store
with structured parking in Stamford, CT.
RETAIL STRATEGY
The Retail Strategy for Downtown
identifies areas for development
of greater retail identity, focus and
differentiation.
All types of retail should be encouraged
throughout Downtown. However, in order
to foster clusters of healthy retail and
commercial services, different areas may
take on distinct retail identities.
Around Denver Union Station, transit-
oriented urban retail with some larger
format stores (designed to fit in the urban
environment) will serve residents and
commuters. Along the Mall, the lower,
middle and upper sections will all serve
a broad range of users but should take
on unique identities to break up the
length of the street. These areas, along
with California Street, will also have
a focus on visitor and tourist serving
retail. The northeast part of Auraria
should be developed with retail that
serves students, faculty and staff while
also orienting across Speer Boulevard
to attract other Downtown shoppers.
Neighborhood-serving retail in the core of
the Golden Triangle and Ballpark districts
and throughout LoDo will aim to meet the
everyday needs of residents.
Plan Strategies and Projects
19


A4. Clean and Safe
The Downtown Denver Business Improvement District
currently funds daily cleaning and maintenance efforts.
GOAL
Downtown Denver remains an environment where people feel safe and the
streets and sidewalks are clean, well-maintained and well-lit basic under-
pinnings of an enjoyable urban experience for residents, workers and visitors.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
A clean and safe environment is a prerequisite for all activity that happens
within Downtown, including business, living and entertainment. Public percep-
tion of clean and safe is just as important as the reality.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
A4a. Implement Denver's Road Home in Downtown
Establish 24-hour shelters for the homeless
Police services enhance the real and perceived safety
of residents, workers and visitors in Downtown.
Advocate for balanced distribution of service providers throughout
the metropolitan area
A4b. Strengthen regulatory requirements for building, property and sidewalk
maintenance
A4c. Expand clean and safe programs, including policing, ambassador,
and sidewalk washing, beyond the BID boundaries
A4d. Install more uniform and consistent lighting of sidewalks, parks and
open spaces
DENVER'S ROAD HOME
As of 2007, there were more than 4,600 homeless men, women and
children in Denver, with many of these individuals living in and around
Downtown. Through transitional housing, counseling, treatment services
and employment training, Denver's Road Home aims to decrease the City's
cost of homelessness while giving people the tools to become self-sufficient.
Over 10 years, the program is determined to achieve the following goals:
1. Permanent and Transitional Housing
Develop 3,193 permanent and transitional housing opportunities.
2. Shelter System
Make safe and legal shelter beds and activities for all populations both
day and night until adequate permanent housing is in place including
the addition of 110 beds in year one of the Plan.
3. Prevention
Provide Denver residents facing homelessness more tools to keep them
from ending up on the streets or in emergency shelters.
4. Services
Provide better access to supportive services that promote long-term
stability and improved functioning.
5. Public Safety and Outreach
Improve public safety by increasing homeless outreach efforts to
reduce panhandling, loitering and crimes.
6. Education, Training and Employment
Assist 580 people who are homeless to obtain skills and knowledge
necessary to participate in the workforce.
7. Community Awareness and Coordinated Responses
Build community awareness and support for coordinated responses to
eliminate homelessness.
8. Zoning, Urban Design and Land Use
Reform Denver's zoning, building and development codes to facilitate
an adequate supply of emergency and affordable housing.
20
Plan Strategies and Projects


b. a walkable city
PUTTING PEDESTRIANS FIRST
Walkability is a key ingredient to a successful urban environment. It enhances
public safety, fosters personal interactions, and increases economic vitality.
The great cities of the West, including Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San
Francisco, all feature street-level experiences that invite and stimulate the
pedestrian. Denver's emergence as a truly livable city reguires a new emphasis
on the pedestrian environment.
Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a walkable city are listed
below and described in detail on the following pages:
B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian Environment
B2. Building On Transit
B3. Bicycle City
B4. Park The Car Once
B5. Grand Boulevards
Plan Strategies and Projects
21
4**


B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian Environment
With its streetscape amenities, mix of uses, slower
traffic and active ground floors, LoDo has an
outstanding pedestrian environment.
The great cities of Europe, including Barcelona, Spain,
feature street-level experiences and design that
engage pedestrians and promote walking.
Bulb-outs, brightly-striped crosswalks and landscaping
help to make this intersection in Germany more
pedestrian friendly.
Curtis Street looking south from 18th Street (right,
above) is illustrative of many streets Downtown, with
long blank walls and empty spaces that are unfriendly
to pedestrians. Recommended improvements (right,
below) include permanent seating and kiosks, public
art, and special pavement to create a more active and
attractive space.
GOAL
Make every street safe, comfortable and attractive for pedestrians as
recommended in the Downtown Denver Pedestrian Master Plan.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Walkability is a key ingredient to a successful urban environment it enhances
public safety, fosters more personal interactions, and increases economic
vitality. Denver's emergence as a truly livable city reguires a new emphasis on
the pedestrian environment.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
B1a. Designate Downtown as a "pedestrian priority zone incorporating
universal access standards, Complete Streets policies, which insure
safe and convenient access for all transportation modes, and priority to
capital investments in pedestrian-oriented improvements in the public
right of way
B1b. Reguire ground floor active uses throughout Downtown through changes
to zoning and design guidelines
B1c. Develop a comprehensive streetscape plan and funding strategy
Reguire surface parking lots to comply with landscaping
reguirements
Improve the pedestrian environment on named streets; start with
Larimer, Curtis, California and Tremont
Extend connections into surrounding neighborhoods to include the
enhancement of existing infrastructure particularly over I-25 along
West 23rd Avenue, Colfax and Park Avenue
Enhance pedestrian crossings through the use of bulb- outs, mid-
block crossings, pedestrian refuge islands, pedestrian count down
signals and improved signage and striping
Bid. Create and maintain a comprehensive wayfinding system throughout
Downtown for pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists and drivers
utilizing available technology
B1e. Convert selected streets from one-way to two-way as identified in the
Downtown Multimodal Access Plan and other plans
22
Plan Strategies and Projects


B2. Building On Transit
GOAL
Reinforce Downtown as the region's largest and most convenient transit
district with local, regional, statewide and national connections.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
In an era of decreasing resources and increasingly consumptive lifestyles,
transportation alternatives will provide competitive advantages for urban
centers. The development of both FasTracks and a complementary local transit
system will make transit-based living possible in Downtown. Furthermore,
transit stops and stations are appropriate locations for nodes of higher inten-
sity uses.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
B2a. Reinforce Denver Union Station as the regional transit hub and Civic
Center Station as the local transit hub
Advocate for development of Denver Union Station as conveyed in
the vision, goals and principles of the Denver Union Station Master
Plan
Ensure that the Downtown Circulator is constructed as an
attractive, high-guality, high freguency transit connection between
Union Station, Civic Center Station, and the Cultural Complex, as
described in the Downtown Multimodal Access Plan and FasTracks
Plan
Complete a study of the multi-modal access to Civic Center Station
and address potential conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists,
motorists and transit vehicles
Support studies of high-freguency fixed guideway transit on East
Colfax, Broadway and Broadway/Speer/1st Avenue as the first
components of the Denver focused transit system
B2b. Create a free fare zone within Downtown
B2c. Introduce car sharing services (such as Zip Car or Flex Car) as an
alternative to private vehicles
B2d. Expand bus connections between Downtown and adjacent neighbor-
hoods; explore high-freguency circulator service similar to the Hop, Skip
and Jump in Boulder
B2e. Provide cross-town transit on Larimer and/or Lawrence to connect
Auraria West Station with Ballpark and Arapahoe Sguare
B2f. Change regulations to improve taxi service, especially for short-distance
trips, in the Downtown area.
Streetcars can provide quick, efficient and attractive intra-Downtown transit connections.
Strategy Diagram: Building on Transit
Denver Union Station and Civic Center Station will
work in concert as hubs of regional and local transit.
Strengthening transit will increase opportunities for
transit-oriented development, such as this mixed-use
housing project in San Francisco, CA.
Civic Center Station will be strengthened as the local
transit hub, with improved connections throughout
Downtown and to the surrounding neighborhoods.
Plan Strategies and Projects
23


B3. Bicycle City
Strong connnections to the greater city and region will
promote increased ridership in Downtown.
"Critical mass" bicycle rides elevate the concept of
biking as a viable form of transit.
GOAL
Provide clear bicycle network connections into and through the Downtown,
and incorporate services and facilities that address the whole trip.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Given Denver's relatively flat terrain, favorable climate and recreational orien-
tation, bicycling is a viable transit option that can work for a variety of individ-
uals given the appropriate infrastructure. Increased bicycle use also enhances
the overall livability of Downtown and augments the Denver Bicycle Master
Plan.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
B3a Accommodate bicycle riders on all Downtown streets through the
adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies
B3b. Connect the local, regional and Downtown bike networks
Initiate a pilot project to connect the West 14th Avenue, East 16th
Avenue, and 12th Avenue routes into Downtown
Complete the Creekfront trail project
B3c. Improve bicycle parking and amenities throughout Downtown
Establish bicycle stations at Denver Union Station, Civic Center
Station and other locations
Add more bike parking, especially near 16th Street
Explore installation of shared bike stations as recommended in the
Downtown Multimodal Access Plan
Bicycles are an intrinsic part of the urban environment in Copenhagen, Denmark.
24
Plan Strategies and Projects


B4. Park The Car Once
GOAL
Make parking easy to find and access, and connect parking facilities with
clear and logical transit and pedestrian linkages.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
For many visitors to the city core, parking is the first and last impression of their
overall Downtown experience. Making parking logical and easy will help the
visitor experience. Ensuring an adeguate supply of strategically located parking
is also important to support retail, employment and new development.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
B4a. Create a public/private parking management organization to implement a
comprehensive parking management program that utilizes available
technology
Explore opportunities to share large reservoirs of parking to
accommodate the needs of commuters, large events and visitors
Identify strategic locations for additional parking, if needed
Create a comprehensive parking identification system identifying
available parking spaces
On-street parking must be managed to ensure that it is
supportive of and integrated with the pedestrian-
oriented Downtown.
B4b. Retain and expand the availability of on-street parking throughout
Downtown
Identify opportunities for flex parking lanes during off-peak hours
B4c. Establish financing mechanisms to reinvest in the parking
management program
A good wayfinding system will include
informational and directional signage that
guides people from parking facilities to
Downtown destinations.
New technology such as real-time displays of
parking availability will enhance usability of
Downtown parking.
Plan Strategies and Projects
25


B5. Grand Boulevards
This boulevard in Paris, France allows through-traffic to
travel down the center while local traffic travels down
slower side access lanes.
Cherry Creek and Speer Boulevard should relate to
each other and contribute to a complementary design,
such as this green street in Dusseldorf, Germany.
GOAL
Transform Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue, Broadway, Park Avenue and
Auraria Parkway into celebrated, multimodal boulevards to overcome the
physical and perceptual barriers of these major thoroughfares.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
The Grand Boulevards provide an opportunity to expand the 1907 parkway
system one of Denver's most cherished and defining features into
Downtown. Like the historic parkways 7th, 17th and and 6th avenues, the
Grand Boulevards can help define the community and facilitate personal inter-
actions. These major streets should provide a memorable experience that is
comfortable, safe and attractive for all users.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
B5a. Apply urban design concepts to distinguish the grand boulevards: align
building facades with the street; scale buildings to the width of the street;
orient active uses to the boulevard; consider unigue features such as the
green triangles created by the intersecting Downtown and City street
grids; and improve the access to and visibility of Cherry Creek from
Speer
B5b. Provide safe and attractive pedestrian crossings of Speer; give first
priority to the Speer and Larimer intersection
B5c. Complete a plan for Speer Boulevard that enhances it as an historic
parkway, location for guality development, and a truly great street
B5d. Design and construct Broadway north of 20th as a green boulevard as
recommended in the Downtown Multimodal Access Plan
B5e. Enhance pedestrian crossings of East and West Colfax to provide good
connections within the Cultural Core district
B5f. Design each Grand Boulevard with specific plans that respond to the
unigue context and environment of each street
1
Grand boulevards are streets that are designed to help foster a sense of community and strong
personal interactions; are physically comfortable and safe for pedestrians; and are places that are
interesting and memorable. The world-famous Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, has multiple lanes
for auto traffic but maintains a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere through elegant landscaping, wide
sidewalks, cafes and retail shops, and mid-rise buildings that are in scale with the street.
26
Plan Strategies and Projects


c. a diverse city
BEING A SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY INCLUSIVE PLACE
Downtowns thrive on diversity of people and opportunity. Attracting more
jobs, residents, amenities and visitors is key to the future of Downtown Denver.
Housing affordable to families and Downtown workers, jobs of all types, educa-
tional opportunities, and global connections are all part of this eguation.
Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a diverse city are listed
below and described in more detail on the following pages:
Cl. Downtown Living
C2. A Family-Friendly Place
C3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods
C4. An International Downtown
Plan Strategies and Projects
27


Cl. Downtown Living
To compete with the experience offered by other
cities, such as Vancouver, B.C., Downtown must provide
environments for a range of people, including families,
seniors, those with disabilities, and people with a range
of income levels.
GOAL
Expand housing options to broaden the array of household types and income
levels in Downtown, and provide amenities for a range of people. Add 18,000
new housing units to Downtown by 2027.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Affordable housing is important to provide options to the Downtown workforce.
Family housing can help provide a continuum for young couples to stay down-
town as they have children. Eventually, a significant Downtown population will
help increase the demand for retail services.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
C1a. Continue to attract more people to live Downtown with expanded housing
opportunities in different types and prices, including:
Housing suitable for families
Housing for seniors
Housing for students, faculty and retired faculty
Affordable housing options, including units below 50 percent or 30
percent of adjusted median income (AMI)
Housing for Downtown employees
Clb. Create regulatory incentives that encourage a more diverse array of
housing options
Clc. Take advantage of the diversity of available housing opportunities as
center city transportation options expand
Leverage close-in transit stations as an opportunity for a broader
range of housing
Use enhanced connections to adjacent neighborhoods to expand
housing choices including family housing, retail market and cultural
diversity
Cld. Inventory existing affordable housing units in Downtown, identify when
affordability expires and work to preserve existing units
Mixed-use housing with active ground floor frontages will increase the attraction of living in Downtown.
28
Plan Strategies and Projects


C2. A Family-Friendly Place
GOAL
Attract children and their parents to visit, go to school, recreate, explore and
live Downtown.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Children bring liveliness and a sense of comfort and safety to any neighborhood.
Downtown Denver has yet to tap into the economic benefits of family markets.
Increased family patronage will help boost retail, entertainment and special
events. Family-oriented businesses, housing and amenities offer a variety of
development opportunities to stimulate future investment in Downtown.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
C2a. Create guality education options for Downtown residents and workers and
their families
Establish a magnet K-8 school in the core
Provide early childhood education options in Downtown
C2b. Launch a series of events aimed at attracting children and youth to
Downtown
C2c. Integrate fun features, such as fountains and play environments, into the
16th Street Mall, streetscapes, and open spaces
C2d. Create and distribute a marketing piece aimed at families living, visiting
and shopping Downtown
C2e. Provide transit, bike and pedestrian connections to family attractions
Family-oriented retail options will help keep families
with small children Downtown.
Fun events and activities, such as ice skating at
Rockefeller Plaza in New York, NY, are vital to
attracting families to explore and live in Downtown.
Plan Strategies and Projects
29


C3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods
Strategy Diagram: Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods
The surrounding neighborhoods add vitality to the
urban core of Downtown.
GOAL
Link Denver's neighborhoods more closely with its Downtown.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Downtown Denver has emerged as a residential neighborhood over the past
20 years with nearly 10,000 new units of housing in the core. It is important
to recognize that a number of vital neighborhoods surround Downtown as well,
and strong connections between these areas will benefit the City as a whole.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
C3a. Connect the Downtown pedestrian and bicycle network to the
surrounding neighborhoods
C3b. Create new RTD routes or rebrand existing routes to be special
circulators to and from adjacent neighborhoods
C3c. Ensure that zoning and design guidelines direct a "stepping down in
density outward to nearby neighborhoods
C3d. Provide enhanced pedestrian crossings at key locations along the Grand
Boulevards (beginning with Speer, Colfax and Broadway/Lincoln) to
connect Downtown with established and emerging neighborhoods and
districts such as Denargo Market, River North, Uptown Health Care
District, Santa Fe Drive and Five Points
C3e. Strengthen neighborhood schools in addition to creating schools within
the Downtown core
C3f. Link visitors to the core to surrounding neighborhoods, particularly
Santa Fe Drive and Welton Street, to support local arts and culture
Major Neighborhood Connection Points
IIIIIIIIIBSaSBIIIIIIIIIIIIII
IIIIIIIIIBSSBIIIIiailllll
r -JIIIHIII £ £ g illlll
SlBilli" 1 3 I I J_ H i I llll!
Lie:: 11 jl i jr
BaiBsijuifiiHiBiaaiMiM
iaKfiiii
%nni
*ini
iiniffiEs*?!
HUH!! Kill
lipinsmi?
Joe
ilillllllllifj
hiiiiiniiiiiii
IIIIIII III! I! !!t
illlllE
Hill
30
Plan Strategies and Projects


C4. An International Downtown
L
GOAL
Recognize and celebrate the diverse backgrounds of Downtown residents,
employees and visitors while making Denver a more inviting worldwide
destination.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
As the local population becomes more diverse, featuring a wider range of busi-
ness and amenities will create a competitive advantage for Downtown. Offering
events that appeal to world travelers will also enhance the city center as a
tourist destination.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
C4a. Create a wayfinding system that welcomes international visitors as part
of the comprehensive wayfinding system
C4b. Encourage businesses that reflect ownership of and cater to culturally
diverse markets; Sakura Sguare is an example
C4c. Create and advocate for event-friendly policies to attract and retain
events appealing to a variety of cultures
Oktoberfest in Larimer Square draws thousands of
people to eat, drink and relax with friends and
experience German culture.
Cinco de Mayo parades and other events celebrate
Latin American culture and should be a part of an
increasingly diverse Downtown Denver.
T *
Greater social and economic connections to Asian
cultures will enhance Downtown's competitiveness and
enrich its residents.
Plan Strategies and Projects
31


d. a distinctive city
CULTIVATING A MOSAIC OF URBAN DISTRICTS
Downtown Denver has often been overshadowed by its dramatic sense of place
at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. In recent years, Lower Downtown and the
16th Street Mall have emerged as nationally recognized destinations within the
city center, creating a definable civic identity. Downtown can build upon these
notable features and encourage the creation of a mosaic of distinct districts
that each build on their own unigue features, and collectively create a city
known for its diverse, well-designed and vital urban environment. In turn, the
image of Downtown Denver will become as well known as its setting.
Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a distinctive city are
listed below and described in detail on the following pages:
D1. District Evolution
D2. Connecting Auraria
D3. Downtown's New Neighborhood: Arapahoe Sguare
32
Plan Strategies and Projects


D1. District Evolution
GOAL
Restore and activate the iconic features, such as mountain views, major
public buildings, cherished historic buildings and parks and parkways, that
provide distinctive identity to Downtown and the Denver region, and foster a
collection of identifiable districts throughout Downtown.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Great cities have tangible and memorable features, including distinct districts
and architectural elements that have an authentic basis in the city's history,
climate and geography. Denver can build upon its existing environmental
strengths its sunny and temperate climate, mountain and urban views, 21st
century innovation, cultural diversity and architectural richness to cultivate
truly memorable districts.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
D1a. Use features such as transit stations, changes in the grid, terminating
vistas, grand boulevards, character of existing buildings, and
relationships to adjacent districts and neighborhoods to influence district
form including the intensity of development, height of buildings, ground
floor activity, and mix of uses. Enact zoning and design guidelines to
realize desired district character
Modify the B-5 Zone District and Design Guidelines to incorporate
desired building attributes including views, solar access, energy
efficiency, ground floor activity, open space, parking location and
appearance, and other factors
Identify mid- and high-rise building forms that promote intense use
while maintaining a pleasant street environment with light, views,
and visual interest
D1b. Use distinctive ground floor retail, other active uses, and the street
environment to reinforce district identity
D1c. Retain and reuse historic buildings to fortify the distinct identity of
districts
New development around the Denver Art Museum and
Civic Center is poised to change the area.
Robust neighborhoods, like Little Italy in New York, NY,
evolve and grow while deepening their district
identities.
Did. Coordinate master planning efforts with owners of underutilized
districts such as the Central Platte Valley-Auraria District; incorporate
recommendations of the Downtown Area Plan and Auraria Master Plan
Die. Prepare and update adopted plans for district areas (e.g. Golden Triangle
Neighborhood Plan, Central Platte Valley Plan and Northeast Downtown
Plan) to reflect changing character and other planning issues
Plan Strategies and Projects
33


D2. Connecting Auraria
Strategy Diagram: Connecting Auraria
Portland State University in Portland, OR, seamlessly
connects with the downtown along a green street.
GOAL
Fully integrate the Auraria Campus and the Downtown core through strong
physical, social, economic and programmatic connections.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
With three college campuses, Auraria is a critical educational amenity that can
fortify Downtown's economy by providing educational, employment, and knowl-
edge transfer opportunities for students, workers and businesses. Coordinate
closely with the Auraria Campus Master Plan (2007) to accomplish the goals of
both plans.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
D2a. Enhance Speer Boulevard between Arapahoe and Wewatta as an
urban gateway to better connect Auraria to the adjacent districts and
by bringing buildings closer to the street, expanding sidewalk areas,
augmenting landscaping and improving access to Cherry Creek
D2b. Promote a public-private development project on campus that connects
to the Commercial Core and LoDo to boost Downtown vitality
D2c. Establish programmatic, economic and cultural links between Downtown
and Auraria
Market Downtown retail to students, faculty and staff
Develop employee training and student internship programs
Market continuing education programs to the Downtown community
Develop a knowledge and technology transfer program
Market campus cultural, sports and recreational events and
facilities to the Downtown community
D2d. Connect Auraria and Auraria West Station and Downtown with the
Larimer/Lawrence transit line
The physical and perceptual gap between Downtown
and Auraria must be closed (above). The Larimer
Street connection, among others, should be improved
with wider sidewalks, distinctive paving and crosswalks,
and development that comes to the edge of Speer
Boulevard (as depicted in the simulation at right).
34
Plan Strategies and Projects


D3. Downtown's New Neighborhood: Arapahoe Square
GOAL
Redevelop Arapahoe Square as a cutting edge, densely populated,
mixed-use area that provides a range of housing types and a center for
innovative businesses.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Arapahoe Square affords great opportunity for another distinct district to
develop in Downtown. The relatively large amount of underutlized land
presents an opportunity to intensify that is unique within the core.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
D3a. Reinforce neighborhood character by restoring the landscaped tree lawns
(the area between the sidewalk and curb) and converting selected one-way
streets to two-way
D3b. Improve Broadway and Park Avenue streetscapes
D3c. Revise land use regulations to implement the Plan
D3d. Provide building space and amenities to attract innovative businesses
Strategy Diagram: Downtown's New Neighborhood -
Arapahoe Sguare
D3e. Complete a small area plan for Ballpark and Arapahoe Square as a cutting
edge, mixed-use district that has an exciting intensity of residential
development and innovative businesses
Issues for Arapahoe Square include zoning and design guidelines,
protection of historic buildings, retail needs, local transit
connections, and street design for the Grand Boulevards Park
Avenue and Broadway
Examine zoning and create and adopt design guidelines for the
Ballpark District to reinforce historic character through compatible
infill development
Vibrant urban districts like Yaletown in Vancouver,
BC are models for future redevelopment of Arapahoe
Sguare.
The simulation at left illustrates some of the building
types that will someday replace the area's existing
surface parking lots and underutilized properties
(above). Proposed concepts include slender
residential towers, cutting-edge space for innovative
businesses, mid-rise mixed-use buildings, ground floor
active uses, and new open spaces.
Plan Strategies and Projects
35


e. a green city
BUILDING A GREENER DENVER
Downtown Denver enjoys a variety of local and regional-serving outdoor ameni-
ties, from plazas, pocket parks and civic landmarks to natural river corridors.
It also has a sunny and dry climate that fosters extensive use of these spaces.
Enhancing existing amenities, creating outdoor places, and extending the well
landscaped public realm of Denver's residential areas thereby connecting indi-
vidual green spaces as part of a larger network will make Downtown Denver a
more livable and inviting destination.
Building on Greenprint Denver, Downtown Denver has a unigue opportunity to
be a leader in "green" practices as well. The Rocky Mountain Region has many
natural resources that can be harnessed to provide sustainable energy options
such as abundant sunshine and reliable winds. Through providing a dense
mix of appropriate land uses, enhancement of the the multimodal transporta-
tion system, implementation of energy efficient building standards, promotion
of progressive energy preservation technigues, and the utilization of natural
resources, Downtown Denver is positioned to be a model city for environmen-
tally friendly, sustainable living.
Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a green city are listed
below and described in detail on the following pages:
El. An Outdoor Downtown
E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center
E3. Sustainable Use of Resources
36 plan Strategies and Projects


El. An Outdoor Downtown
GOAL
Strengthen connections between existing parks, plazas and recreation
areas, and enhance the public realm to provide venues for outdoor activity
throughout Downtown.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Providing venues for residents, workers and visitors to gather, relax and play
in public is a key component of fostering a balance between urban life and the
outdoors.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
E1a. Create a green public realm in Downtown by adding street trees and
landscaping in the public right-of-way, in private open spaces and on
rooftops
Commons Park plays host to both formal and informal
recreational activities.
E1b. Host events that promote biking and walking in Downtown and develop
educational and interactive programs such as walking and bicycle tours
E1c. Create and implement a Downtown parks and open space master plan
incorporating existing parks, open space and connecting routes in and
around Downtown. Include the South Platte River, Cherry Creek and
other parks near Downtown
Promote healthy living with more active outdoor spaces
Improve bike and pedestrian connections to the Cherry Creek and
South Platte River greenways
Provide new pocket parks or other publicly accessible open spaces
in underserved areas
E1d. Activate Skyline Park as a central gathering place for the Downtown
community
Complete the 2004 Skyline Park design, including reactivation
of the fountains, enhanced park lighting, signage and paving of
selected gravel areas
Activate the park through programming that appeals to a diverse
audience
Create a family-friendly environment through amenities and
activities with particular emphasis on children and youth
E1e. Continue to cluster world-class sports facilities in Downtown
Downtown Denver Open Space Strategy
Skyline Park plays host to a range of activities in the
center of Downtown.
Paley Park in New York, NY is a small, intimate urban
plaza that brings life to the surrounding area.
Grand Boulevard
Green Connection
* (Tree-Lined Streets
Or Pedestrian
Connections)
Park
&
Proposed Public
Open Space, Plaza
or Park
Plan Strategies and Projects 37


E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center
Civic Center's Carnegie Library does not currently
activate the park (above). Proposals for revitalizing
the space (below) include opening up the space with
outdoor dining, walkways and other pedestrian-
oriented enhancements to enliven the area.
GOAL
Strengthen Civic Center as an outdoor amenity to attract visitors, residents,
workers and students to the park.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
As one of the most iconic elements of Downtown Denver, Civic Center Park
must be restored and reactivated to support the vision elements of green and
distinctive.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
E2a. Restore and reactivate the Civic Center
E2b. Restore the Carnegie Library to accommodate new uses that help
activate the park based on the recommendations of the Civic Center
District Plan and Civic Center Park Master Plan
E2c. Create clear street-level pedestrian connections to link 14th Street and
Colfax; 15th Street and Colfax to the Acoma Plaza; and Civic Center
Station to the Art Museum
E2d. Provide enhanced safety and maintenance services to the park
E2e. Enhance the park's function as the central downtown location for
community celebrations and festivals
E2f. Invest in the Civic Center area, including the station, park and cultural
facilities
E2g. Implement street enhancements identified in the Civic Center District
Plan for West Colfax Avenue and West 14th Avenue between Speer
Boulevard and Bannock Street
E2h. Encourage a mix of activities and vibrant, transparent ground-floor uses
in buildings facing the park
38
Plan Strategies and Projects


E3. Sustainable Use of Resources
GOAL
Incorporate sustainability as a core value for Downtown and integrate its
concepts into all future projects, programs and policies.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Global trends find that sustainable building, water conservation, and energy
utilization practices will be increasingly important to propel economic growth
as articulated in Greenprint Denver. With a region rich with research and devel-
opment facilities for renewable resources, Downtown Denver can emerge as a
national leader in reduced energy use and sustainable energy production.
POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
E3a. Develop a Downtown-wide strategy to reduce resource consumption,
especially energy, water and materials, and to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions
Install energy efficient street lighting that meets "Dark Skies
standards
Retrofit existing buildings and encourage new buildings to be more
energy efficient
Encourage reuse of existing buildings to retain embedded
energy
Establish sustainable street design practices beginning with
14th Street
E3b. Build a high-profile renewable energy project, such as the Colorado
Convention Center roof solar panels
Aggressively recruit companies involved in developing alternative
energy and sustainable building technologies
E3c. Expand existing transportation demand management programs for
employees, businesses and residents to decrease use of single occupant
vehicles
E3d. Develop a sustainable storm water management system for Downtown
Integrate green street elements, such as bioswales, along streets
and in parking lots to attenuate surface runoff and minimize
impervious surfaces
E3e. Establish parking lot landscaping reguirements that reduce heat island
and storm water impacts
E3f. Expand and enhance public sector, residential and business waste
reduction programs
Water is perhaps the most precious resource in
Denver's semi-arid climate.
Portland, Oregon has made great strides in
incorporating green street elements that naturally
channel and filter stormwater into its streetscape
designs.
Plan Strategies and Projects
39




iv. district strategies
^^reat city centers are not simply centers of commerce. Instead, they are dis-
tinguished by a collection of distinct districts that work together. New York, Chicago, Paris,
London and Tokyo are good examples of vibrant central cities composed of multiple, intercon-
nected districts, each with their own urban form, character and individual identities.
Strong districts possess key anchors and points of identity
- such as an historic monument, specific economic activity
or land use, or a special street environment that contribute
to their character and vibrancy. They also feature intense
activity areas, such as gateway elements, distinct building
scale, and physical connections that signal to people that they
are within, or entering into, a distinctive place. The amalga-
mation of several districts in a Downtown environment enables
a richness of commerce, lifestyles and experiences that no
single district could achieve on its own.
Downtown Denver is indeed a mosaic of districts. Some are
strong, established neighborhoods that are the foundation of
Denver's history and success; others are new and evolving,
trying to take hold and create their own economic identity and
urban character. Together they will make Denver a premier
national and international city in the 21st century.
Each district contains a unigue combination of features that
will influence public and private decisions about future devel-
opment location and intensity, planning, and public invest-
ment. Important considerations are shown on each of the
district maps.
District Strategies
41


commercial core
Related overall plan strategies and
transformative projects include:
A1. The Downtown of the
Rocky Mountain Region
A3. A Comprehensive Retail
Strategy
A2. Energizing the
Commercial Core
B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian
Environment
Curtis Street and 16th Street (right, top) is envisioned
as the spine of a lively Theatre District straddling
the Commercial Core and Cultural Core. Proposed
improvements (right, bottom) include enhanced
streetscapes and crosswalks, dramatic lighting, use
of public art, development or redevelopment of key
sites, and highlighting of the Denver Performing Arts
Complex as a visual landmark and terminus to the
street.
The Commercial Core is the heart
of Downtown's bustling commerce
and economic activity. The district
is comprised primarily of large office
buildings generally housing major
employers and small businesses. One
unigue aspect of the district is the
Downtown Historic District, comprised
of 43 individual structures such as the
Brown Palace Hotel, D&F Tower, and
Eguitable Building.
The 16th Street Mall is the most distinc-
tive contemporary urban design feature
of Downtown Denver. The Mali's length,
guality design and materials, heavily
used transit and pedestrian accom-
modations make it the dominant orga-
nizing element of the Commercial Core.
However, the Mall's infrastructure is
aging and it has struggled in recent
years to maintain a healthy and diverse
balance of retail and other active uses.
The area that is often referred to as
"the Wall Street of the West encom-
passes the large office buildings along
17th, 18th and 19th streets. This collec-
tion of tall buildings defines Denver's
skyline. The east end of the district is
most densely developed. Private plazas
provide some visual relief to the canyon
effect that dominates some blocks, but
these plazas also diminish the sense of
vibrancy if oversized or inadeguately
activated. Blocks to the west and north
of this office node have a greater mix of
tall buildings, historic buildings, parking
garages, and surface parking or vacant
sites. The Downtown Federal Center
is within this area and includes the
historic Byron White Courthouse and
the Customs House, as well as many
contemporary courthouse and office
buildings. The security reguirements
of this federal district have diminished
the sense of activity as entrances have
been consolidated and parking elimi-
nated.
In addition to the Mall, major corridors
through the Commercial Core include
15th, 17th, 18th, and 19th streets and
Broadway. These streets vary in char-
acter and intensity along their lengths
but are generally marked by sizable
mid- to high-rise buildings, freguent
parking structures, some surface
parking lots, and a mix of experiences
at the street level from a few attrac-
tive, walkable blocks to numerous blank
walls and pedestrian-unfriendly spaces.
New residential and hotel development
is occuring along 14th street.
To remain vital as other districts such
as Lower Downtown and the Central
Platte Valley develop, the Commercial
Core must build on its strengths,
including a large office worker popula-
tion, and enhance its role as Denver's
central business district by incorpo-
rating a greater mix of uses and activi-
ties. The coming investment in transit
connections such as the Downtown
42
District Strategies


Circulator will create additional devel-
opment opportunities. As the Mall
bus service reaches capacity with
continued development in the core
area and completion of FasTracks, the
Downtown Circulator will provide a
vital role as another transit connec-
tion.
The expanding residential population
in the Commercial Core provides an
opportunity to improve urban plazas
and integrate them into the open
space system. Goods and services
oriented to residents, not just visi-
tors, will also need to expand in order
to meet the needs of a growing local
population. Both recreational and
retail amenities can serve employees
and students as well.
It will also be essential to reinvest in
the 16th Street Mall infrastructure
and adjacent buildings in order to
maintain both the Mall's retail viability
and its reputation as the region's
premier pedestrian environment; it is
necessary for the continued efficient
operation of the Mall shuttle, which
is essential to the regional transit
system in Downtown.
This 3-D model highlights existing (dark orange) and
potential future development (light orange) in the
Commercial Core.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
OPPORTUNITY SITES
Embrace a named streets initiative to enhance connections along Larimer,
Curtis, California, Welton and Tremont streets.
Continue development of the 14th Street cultural corridor.
Opportunity sites are identified in the
strategy diagram on this page and on all
of the district diagrams in this chapter.
Develop focus areas, especially the Theatre, Visitor, Larimer Mixed-Use, and
Business Opportunity districts.
Establish the Downtown Circulator.
Continue development of enhancements to Skyline Park.
Conduct an urban form study as the basis for modifying B-5 zoning and
design guidelines.
Preserve historic buildings and districts through established design review
and demolition protection.
Two main criteria define the selection
of these areas. First, each site is chosen
for its strategic location and potential to
not only shape new development on the
site itself, but also catalyze additional
development in the surrounding areas.
Second, these sites are usually either
vacant or underutilized parcels, or they
possess building form that is an obstacle
to catalyzing future development (such
as a building that has large, blank walls
that inhibit pedestrian connectivity).
Development or redevelopment of
these key opportunity sites is essential
to creating a dynamic, connected and
walkable Downtown Denver.
Commercial Core Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
I I Grand Boulevard
Special District
-> Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies
43


cultural core
B2. Building On Transit
B5. Grand Boulevards
E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center
The Cultural Core is the robust civic,
government and cultural center of
the city and state. At the district's
center lies Civic Center Park, a grand,
City Beautiful-era green space that
anchors the area and is home to many
special events and public celebra-
tions. Major local, state and federal
buildings the State Capitol, City and
County Building and the Denver
Mint define the central portion of
the district.
Government buildings are located on
an east-west civic axis that extends
from the State Capitol to the City and
County Building, and then west to
the Justice Center. Cultural facilities
are clustered along a cultural axis at
Acoma and continues to the north-
west along 14th street. The Denver
Art Museum, Denver Public Library,
and Colorado History Museum are all
located south of Civic Center Park,
while the Colorado Convention Center
Denver Performing Arts Complex
and the planned Justice Center are
at the northern and western end of
the district. These civic and cultural
buildings epitomize the image of the
area. However, nascent residential
development is adding a new element
to the Cultural Core, creating a more
round-the-clock district.
The area is at the crossroads of
three major auto corridors Speer
Boulevard, Colfax Avenue and
Broadway/Lincoln Street that
connect the Cultural Core outward
to the city and region. Cherry Creek
runs along the western edge of the
district.
Homelessness and other social issues
plague the public realm. Restoration
and activation of Civic Center Park,
along with improved access and
regular programming, will be vital to
creating a safe, clean and thriving
place for all Denver residents.
This 3-D model highlights existing and proposed development (dark blue) and potential future
development (light blue) in the Cultural Core.
44
District Strategies


The Grand Boulevards of Speer, Colfax
and Broadway/Lincoln provide vehic-
ular connection to the region, but
act as severe barriers to pedestrian
movement within, into and out of the
district. These obstacles must be
overcome to effectively connect the
Cultural Core to adjacent Downtown
districts as well as the nearby neigh-
borhoods of La Alma/Lincoln Park,
Curtis Park and Capitol Hill resulting
in better movement and access for
residents and tourists alike.
Similar to Denver's Civic Center, Boston Common in
Boston, MA is an active public park with green space,
civic uses, and recreation surrounded by a dense built
realm.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Restore and reactivate Civic Center Park.
Study multimodal access to Civic Center Station, the local transit hub.
Create a link to the Commercial Core via 14th Street as a cultural connector.
Create a mixed-use, public-private development that includes the Emily
Griffith Opportunity School and other complementary uses.
Implement pedestrian improvements on Speer, 14th Street, Colfax, 14th
Avenue and Broadway.
Preserve the Civic Center Historic District through established design
review and demolition protection.
Cultural Core Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
I I Grand Boulevard
TZZ Special District
Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
f '* Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies
45


Related overall plan strategies and
transformative projects include:
B5. Grand Boulevards
C1. Downtown Living
golden triangle
Located just south of the Cultural
Core, Golden Triangle is experiencing
significant residential development
and emerging as an arts-oriented
district. The 1998 Golden Triangle
Neighborhood Plan set the stage for
the development occurring today.
The northern part of the district is
home to the Denver Art Museum
(shared with the Cultural Core), Civic
Center Cultural Complex Parking
Garage and surrounding joint devel-
opment, and the new Denver Justice
Center. The recent museum expan-
sion forms a campus centered on
Acoma Street, which will become a
pedestrian promenade connecting
to Civic Center Park. Many surface
parking lots are nearby, especially
along blocks between 11th Avenue and
13th Avenue. The museum expansion
is fueling new residential develop-
ment, ranging from low-rise town-
houses to 20-story towers, on many
of these lots.
Cherokee Street is the primary resi-
dential street in the Golden Triangle,
with a variety of housing types, but
predominately multi-family. Acoma
Avenue of the Arts connects the Art
Museum and Central Library with
Downtown via Civic Center. In addi-
tion to civic, cultural and residential
uses, the district is home to small
professional firms such as architects,
landscape architects, and attorneys.
Neighborhood retail such as art
galleries, restaurants, entertainment
venues, coffee shops, salons and
health clubs serve the area, espe-
cially along Broadway and Lincoln
Street on the district's eastern edge.
Opportunity abounds for the Golden
Triangle, as public sector improve-
ments particularly related to arts,
civic and cultural resources will
continue to catalyze private sector
investment in the area.
The Broadway/Lincoln Street corridor
remains a dominant feature that
brings tens of thousands of cars
through the area, limiting pedes-
trian mobility and access, particu-
larly between Capitol Hill and parts
of the Cultural Core. The same is
true for Speer Boulevard and La
Alma/Lincoln Park to the west. As
discussed in the Grand Boulevards
strategy, the transformation of these
major streets will add character and
definition to the Golden Triangle, as
well as embrace pedestrian access
to surrounding neighborhoods.
Appropriately designed and scaled
buildings along Speer Boulevard will
urbanize the district's western edge,
while Broadway's historic architec-
tural character can be enhanced with
compatible infill development.
46
District Strategies


The future Downtown Circulator
connection, which will terminate in
the northern part of the district and
connect to Denver Union Station,
will be key in connecting to the core
of Downtown and, in turn, will foster
additional housing in the district. As
housing increases, more neighbor-
hood-serving retail will be needed,
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
as will smaller parks and gathering
spaces for residents. The neighbor-
hood feel and pedestrian friendli-
ness of the Golden Triangle would
be further enhanced by returning
Cherokee and Delaware to two-way
traffic.
nun ^
Urban open spaces, like this park in San Francisco, CA,
can provide an outdoor amenity as development in the
Golden Triangle intensifies.
Activate the restored Evans School and develop compatible infill on the
remainder of the site to facilitate appropriate development along Acoma
Avenue of the Arts.
Enhance the pedestrian and bike environment throughout the district and
provide improved pedestrian crossings of the Grand Boulevards where
appropriate.
Connect to Civic Center Station via the Downtown Circulator.
Orient development to reinforce the scale, guality and character of Speer
and Broadway/Lincoln, the bordering Grand Boulevards.
Encourage growth of existing arts-oriented retail uses.
E 5TH AVE
Golden Triangle Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
1 1 Grand Boulevard
TZZ Special District
Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
f '* Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies
47


auraria
The historic Tivoli Brewery is now the Auraria Student
Center. Views of the Tivoli from other parts of the
campus and Lower Downtown are important.
Related overall plan strategies and
transformative projects include:
B5. Grand Boulevards
D2. Connecting Auraria
Incorporating the campuses of
three higher education institu-
tions the University of Colorado at
Denver/Health Sciences Center, the
Community College of Denver, and
Metro State College Auraria's loca-
tion and features offer great oppor-
tunities for Downtown. The district is
currently a mix of low-density brick
structures with many surface parking
lots. Lawns and pedestrian pathways
surround the buildings. The Library
stands out as a unigue metal-paneled
structure among the red brick build-
ings. The historic Tivoli Brewery now
serves as a Student Union and offers
retail shops and a movie theater
complex.
The campus is part of Downtown
but is physically and perceptually
isolated from it by difficult crossings
at each of its edges. Speer Boulevard
separates Auraria from the Cultural
Core, Commercial Core and Lower
Downtown. Similarly, the campus
boundaries to the northwest (Auraria
Parkway) and south (Colfax Avenue)
are diminished by fast-moving vehic-
ular traffic. Both of these streets
serve as main vehicular routes for
traffic accessing 1-25 and for cross-
city traffic.
Stronger connections will be essen-
tial to making Auraria a vital part
of Downtown, starting with Speer
Boulevard. The heavily trafficked
roadway is difficult for pedestrians
to cross; buildings are set back and
oriented away from the street, and
distances are great across the right-
of-way. The bike and pedestrian
path along Cherry Creek is a green
respite along this major corridor, but
its below-grade location hinders its
attractiveness, visibility, and percep-
tion of safety. A comprehensive
design study and plan for Speer
Boulevard is needed to reassert the
historical importance of the street,
demonstrate connection, and foster
pedestrian safety.
This renewal must occur in conjunc-
tion with new development along the
Speer Boulevard will become a more stately and
accessible Grand Boulevard and gateway street to
Downtown. Recommended improvements to create
a pedestrian-oriented boulevard include enhanced
sidewalks and intersections, greening of the landscape,
a transit connection up Larimer Street, and buildings
that come to the street edge.
In the future Auraria will seamlessly connect to the Downtown core along Larimer Street at
Speer Boulevard via multiples modes, including potential streetcar transit.
48
District Strategies


corridor and the creation of a more
urbanized Auraria Campus, particu-
larly at its northeast corner. Inspiring
and attractive higher density mixed-
use development, potentially in part
through public/private partnerships,
will bring the campus physically closer
to the edge of Speer Boulevard.
This will help reduce the percep-
tion of excessive space between the
Downtown core and Auraria's edge
and make the campus more appealing
to Downtown users.
The redevelopment of Speer must
also take into account the impact
of the Historic Urban Edge District
guidelines on the LoDo side of Speer.
This will densify Speer Boulevard
and help link Downtown and Auraria.
These improvements can combine to
make Speer Boulevard a true "grand
boulevard and urban gateway for
Downtown, as well as a showcase for
sustainable design and green building
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Transform Speer Boulevard into a Grand Boulevard.
Intensify campus development, particularly at its northeast corner as
recommended in the recently completed Auraria Master Plan.
Link Auraria to Downtown via a streetcar-style transit system along
Larimer/Lawrence streets.
Implement priority pedestrian improvements along Speer Boulevard and
Auraria Parkway; specifically, develop an improved crossing at Speer and
Larimer.
This 3-D model highlights existing development (dark
green) and potential future development (light green)
in Auraria.
The Auraria Master Plan (2007) calls for a more urban
campus with strong connections to other Downtown
districts.
Auraria Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
1 1 Grand Boulevard
Special District
-> Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies
49


lower downtown (lodo)
£5
Related overall plan strategies and
transformative projects include:
A1. The Downtown of the
Rocky Mountain Region
A3. A Comprehensive Retail
Strategy
B2. Building On Transit
Lower Downtown is an urban renais-
sance success story that continues to
thrive as an historic mixed-use hub of
housing, retail, office and entertain-
ment. Characterized by its historic
buildings and the Historic District
enacted to protect them, LoDo's turn
of the century architecture consists
of two to six story buildings with
commercial uses (retail, restaurants,
bars) on the first level and office or
residential uses above. The district,
once filled with industrial and whole-
sale uses, is now home to hundreds
of loft dwellers in converted historic
buildings and mid-rise new construc-
tion. Surface parking lots periodically
interrupt the urban streetscape.
LoDo is completely surrounded by
other Downtown districts and for
the most part is distinguished by its
character rather than its boundaries.
Since designation of Lower Downtown
as a Denver Landmark District, the
area has gained a vital mix of uses
including neighborhood-serving
and boutigue retail and additional
office and housing. Many of the once
prevalent surface parking lots have
been replaced with compatible new
construction.
The boundary between LoDo and
the Central Platte Valley consists of
Denver Union Station, vacant land and
rail infrastructure. The two districts
will be connected with the Denver
Union Station transportation and
development investments.
The district's distinct character is
set on its named streets Market,
Blake, Wazee, and Wynkoop. The
historic buildings typically face these
named streets (the long side of the
block), resulting in a more interesting
streetscape than provided by the
larger buildings facing numbered
streets characteristic of other
districts. Market and Blake streets
funnel traffic into and out of Lower
Downtown from I-25 and Auraria
Parkway. However, once in the
district, it becomes more pedestrian-
oriented. Wazee Street offers an
eclectic mix of galleries, restaurants,
lofts, and offices in renovated brick
buildings on Wynkoop. The row of
large warehouse buildings opposite
Union Station provide a unigue urban
street experience.
Larimer Street, Denver's first and
much beloved historic district,
provides a transition between
the Commercial Core and Lower
Downtown. Larimer Sguare has attri-
butes much like Lower Downtown.
Denver Union Station, at LoDo's
western edge, is poised to once
again become the active multi-modal
transportation hub of the region
and gateway to Downtown. This
redevelopment will have profound
This 3-D model highlights existing and proposed development (dark yellow) and
potential future development (light yellow) in LoDo.
50
District Strategies


impacts on development, pedestrian
connections to Central Platte Valley
on 16th, 17th, and 18th streets, and
transportation patterns in the district
and throughout Downtown. Wynkoop
Plaza on the east side of Denver
Union Station will be a new open
space for Lower Downtown.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Lower Downtown must continue
to evolve and grow as one of the
country's best urban historic districts.
Maintaining the historic character
- the hallmark of LoDo's success -
while integrating new mixed-use infill
housing development and neighbor-
hood-serving retail will be crucial.
Restaurants and retailers have signage and space
design that respect the historic heritage of LoDo and
contribute to its character.
The Denver Union Station Master Plan includes a
pedestrian promenade along 17th Street.
Assure that restoration of Denver Union Station and development of the
site as a transit hub becomes a significant benefit to LoDo with improved
pedestrian connections into and through the site on 16th, 17th and 18th
streets and the Wynkoop Plaza open space.
Preserve the historic character of the buildings and district through
established design review and demolition protection.
Connect Denver Union Station to Downtown via the 18th and 19th Street
Circulator.
Redevelopment of Market Street Station and the Office Depot site will
together enhance the visual link between Lower Downtown and the
Commercial Core on 16th Street.
Continue to implement the street design and circulation recommen-
dations of the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Plan (2000) including
converting 18th Street for two-way traffic.
Implement the Historic Urban Edge Design Review District to enhance
LoDo's relationship to Cherry Creek and Speer Boulevard.
Lower Downtown (LoDo) Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
I I Grand Boulevard
Special District
-> Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies
51


central platte valley (cpv)
B2. Building On Transit
B3. Bicycle City
C2. A Family-Friendly Place
E1. An Outdoor Downtown
Situated at Downtown's western
boundary, the Central Platte Valley
is a dynamic, livable urban neigh-
borhood with connections to open
spaces and natural areas. The
Central Platte Valley has undergone
massive redevelopment since the
late 1980s. The area was once dedi-
cated to rail yards, warehouses and
viaducts, and is now comprised of
open space, cultural and entertain-
ment facilities, and mixed-use housing
and retail.
The Central Platte Valley is divided
into three sub-districts: Prospect,
Commons and Auraria. The Commons
sub-district is bounded by Wewatta,
Cherry Creek, the South Platte River,
and 20th Street. The Consolidated
Main Line (CML) bisects the district.
Public land uses in the Commons
include the Denver Skate Park,
Commons Park, Confluence Park, and
bikeways along the South Platte River
and Cherry Creek. While considerable
land remains to be developed, the
Commons now has a mix of low- to
high-rise residential development and
some commercial. The Millennium
Bridge is a dramatic pedestrian bridge
that connects Commons with Lower
Downtown; its sophisticated archi-
tecture reflects the character of the
district. It is one of three bridges that
connect Downtown with the Highland
neighborhood to the northwest.
To the north, the Prospect sub-district
is a compact area bounded by 20th
Street, Park Avenue, Coors Field, and
the CML. It is a mixed-use area with
residential, restaurant, office, indus-
trial and some new retail.
The southern part of the district
(Auraria) abuts the Auraria Campus
and contains large entertainment
uses, including Elitch Gardens and
the Pepsi Center; the Downtown
Aguarium (formerly Colorado Ocean
Journey), Children's Museum and REI
are across the river. Large parking
lots serve these facilities and charac-
terize the area. Future opportunities
to density these areas are beginning
to emerge as transit use increases
and parking demand decreases.
This 3-D model highlights existing development (dark purple) and potential future development (light
purple) in the Central Platte Valley.
52
District Strategies


Speer Boulevard and 20th Street
Viaduct are major roads that act as
barriers for pedestrians within the
district. To the west, Interstate 25
divides the Central Platte Valley
from the Highland and Jefferson Park
neighborhoods, however new pedes-
trian bridges extend the 16th Street
connection from Civic Center Park to
Northwest Denver.
The Central Platte Valley will continue
to attract mixed-use development
in the coming years. With its open
spaces and park amenities, family-
oriented housing could be a major
opportunity. Denver Union Station is
one of the most significant opportuni-
ties for this district. It will connect
Lower Downtown and the Central
Platte Valley as never before on both
17th and 18th streets. 17th Street
will become a promenade that is
the central spine of a transit district
between 16th and 18th streets. It will
be the epitome of integrated land use,
urban design and transportation.
Vancouver, BC, is an example of a downtown
that incorporates the urban environment with a
recreational waterfront.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Attract family-oriented development.
Provide additional amenities such as schools and daycare centers.
Improve pedestrian and bicycle access to open spaces along the South
Platte River and Cherry Creek.
Create high guality multimodal connections between the light rail station
and Denver Union Station on 16th, 17th, 18th and Wewatta streets. 17th
Street Promenade will be the spine of the transit district and provide a
high guality connection across the district.
Central Platte Valley (CPV) Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
I I Grand Boulevard
Special District
-> Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies
53



Related overall plan strategies and
transformative projects include:
D1. District Evolution
Along 21st Street (above) the viewshed, narrow
street width, and multiple surface parking lots offer
the opportunity to create a bustling urban district.
Pedestrian improvements, mid-density development,
and a mix of uses (rendered below) can leverage the
baseball stadium and transform the district.
ballpark
Ballpark is a lively historic district
that is emerging as a fully mixed-
use hub of entertainment and living.
The Ballpark Historic District extends
north past Park Avenue. The combi-
nation of historic storefront and
factory/warehouse buildings has
provided a dynamic environment for
new residential and business uses.
Coors Field, home of the Colorado
Rockies and special events, is the
centerpiece of Ballpark. Its construc-
tion in 1995 sparked significant rein-
vestment in the area, much of it in
restaurant, bars and other entertain-
ment-related uses, as well as rental
and for-sale housing. Since the early
2000s the area has experienced a
range of mixed-use development. The
area's historic structures have been
protected by the Ballpark Historic
District status and converted into
housing, retail and office space. Blake
Street contains many warehouses
that are now used as residential lofts.
Ballpark's streets also are home to
new, infill loft development and some
restaurants and bars close to Coors
Field.
The portion of Larimer Street in
Ballpark is the historic retail district
of this old Denver neighborhood, with
many buildings dating back to the
turn of the 20th century. The street
is lined with storefront buildings that
contain retail below and residential
above. The district's eastern blocks
contain a mix of commercial buildings
and surface parking lots.
Ballpark has direct pedestrian links
to Lower Downtown but is largely
cut off from the Central Platte Valley
by Coors Field and 20th Street. A
lack of strong urban fabric marked
by one-way streets and vacant lots
- also creates a disconnect between
Ballpark, the Commercial Core and
Arapahoe Sguare. The district
transitions well toward the historic
structures and renovated warehouses
north of Park Avenue.
Ballpark is evolving into a round-the-
clock urban district. Lofts and urban
style housing animate the area with
commerce and activity outside of
game days or nightlife hours. New
development or redevelopment
54
District Strategies


contains many commercial spaces
that can serve the neighborhood.
should broaden the variety of residen-
tial options, densities and amenities,
while respecting and maintaining the
historic gualities of the area.
Extending east from Coors Field, 21st
Street is a slow-traffic roadway with
pedestrian-scale width that affords
the opportunity to develop a true
neighborhood street. Larimer Street,
running perpendicular to 21st Street,
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Better connections to the Downtown
core, as well as a transit link down
Larimer Street to the Auraria Campus,
are needed to strengthen Ballpark and
fully integrate the district with the
rest of the city center.
Z.I. L.
This 3-D model highlights existing development (dark
red) and potential future development (light red) in
Ballpark.
Update plan and create design guidelines to integrate new residential
and mixed use development options.
Preserve the historic character of the buildings and district through
established design review and demolition protection.
Connect to Auraria via streetcar-style transit service along Larimer.
Implement pedestrian improvements throughout the district with
emphasis on Larimer, 21st Street and Park Avenue.
The South of Market district around San Francisco,
CA's baseball park has transformed into a dense,
vibrant, mixed-use district. Denver's Ballpark District
has the same potential.
Ballpark Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
I I Grand Boulevard
TZZ Special District
Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
f '* Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies
55


arapahoe square
Related overall plan strategies and
transformative projects include:
A4. Clean and Safe
B5. Grand Boulevards
D3. Downtown's New Neighborhood:
Arapahoe Square
Located southeast of Ballpark and
just north of the Commercial Core,
Arapahoe Square is probably the most
underutilized area of Downtown. In
turn, it perhaps has the most poten-
tial for redevelopment and revitaliza-
tion in the coming years.
Arapahoe Square is situated between
the high-rise development of the
Commercial Core and the lower-
density neighborhoods of Curtis
Park and Five Points. The south-
western edge of the district is 20th
Street, which is heavily traveled by
automobiles going towards 1-25 and
Coors Field. The northern edge of
the district is Park Avenue. It tran-
sitions to Ballpark to the west and
East Village and Uptown to the south.
Broadway bisects the district creating
the triangular building sites where the
two grids intersect.
In the 1970s and 80s, much of
Arapahoe Square was cleared to
serve as a parking reservoir for
the Commercial Core, specifically
between Park Avenue, Welton Street
and Broadway. It is still dominated by
surface parking lots and some vacant
parcels. The remaining buildings are
both economically and architectur-
ally diverse, combining urban lofts
and low-rise neighborhood commer-
cial with warehouses, transportation
facilities and light industry. Many
social service providers are located in
Arapahoe Square.
The Clements Historic District, Ebert
Elementary School, and East Village
reconstruction are key features just
outside the district. Light rail transit
along Welton Street is attracting
new residential development and
provides connections between the
Downtown core as well as Five Points
and Curtis Park. FasTracks improve-
ments include extending this line
north along Downing and converting
it to streetcar. The light rail station at
20th and Welton has begun to attract
some higher-end housing than previ-
ously existed.
Vancouver, BC offers many models for developing Arapahoe Square. Pedestrian-scale town houses
line the street while higher towers are developed in the block interiors (left). Historic buildings are
preserved alongside new housing and connected via pedestrian-friendly streets (right).
56
District Strategies


Arapahoe Square holds vast unre-
alized potential. Its proximity to
other Downtown districts and the
historic neighborhoods to the north-
east makes it an ideal location for a
greater range and greater density of
uses. However, challenges persist in
its re-invigoration particularly on
surface parking lots and the concen-
tration of homeless shelters and
other social services. The perceptions
and realities regarding social service
issues must be addressed.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Prepare a small area plan.
Implement Denver's Road Home program.
Encourage appropriate redevelopment of surface parking lots and other
underutilized properties.
Identify redevelopment opportunities adjacent to the Welton Street Light
Rail Transit line.
Implement pedestrian improvements on Broadway, Park Avenue, 21st and
Curtis streets.
Restore landscaped tree lawns and consider converting selected streets to
two-way.
This 3-D model highlights existing (dark green) and
potential future development (light green) in Arapahoe
Sguare.

!
The Pearl District in Portland, OR, is a former
industrial site that is now one of the country's most
livable urban neighborhoods. Arapahoe Sguare shares
similar possibilities.
Arapahoe Square Strategy
Legend
o LRT Stop
LRT Line
Proposed FasTracks Rail Line
Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site
I I Grand Boulevard
Special District
-> Priority Pedestrian Connection
o 1/4-mile Radius Around
Key Node/Transit Hub
Neighborhood-Serving
.* Retail
District Strategies 57




v. moving forward
2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan provides a Vision, Strategy Framework
and Action Plan to guide the evolution of Downtown over the next 20 years. Moving forward,
a combination of market forces and public policies will shape investment and development
patterns in the city center.
First, immediate action must be taken toward realizing the
seven transformative projects. Simultaneously, other
strategies and actions, large and small, must be undertaken.
The steps outlined in the plan are intended to be carried out
by a range of entities, both public and private. Some are rela-
tively easy to undertake, others are more complex and time
consuming. But they are all realistic and achievable if the right
forces are brought to bear. It will take concerted, sustained
partnership among all stakeholders to tackle these initiatives
and set the course for success.
Committee members should be knowledgeable about the
plan and its recommendations and be able to steer the
implementation actions through the political and technical
challenges that will emerge. Members should be drawn
from City Council, the DDP Board, managers of key City
agencies, the Downtown BID, and City and Partnership
staff. Membership can change as needed, and specific
people may be added to facilitate certain plan actions.
Just as the planning process is a joint effort of the City and
County of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership,
these partners must share the responsibility of plan imple-
mentation. To facilitate the coordinated effort and sustained
commitment, it is critical that the two entities form a standing
Downtown Area Plan committee. The committee should have
the following attributes:
Include leaders and key staff from the City, the
Partnership and other key downtown organizations;
Remain a workable size (eight to 10 members);
Conduct regular meetings;
Establish measurable goals, priorities and time frames
for implementation of plan items;
Invite public participation and comment;
Review the Area Plan annually to define success and
prepare work programs; and
Celebrate and publicize accomplishments.
Moving Forward
59


photo credits
Big Stock Photos: p. 0, p. 42,
Jim Rae: p. 1
Downtown Denver Partnership: p. 4, p. 6. p. 18, p. 20, p. 25, p. 28, p. 37, p. 50, p. 52
Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau: p. 8, p. 17, p. 59
Havey Productions: p. 12, p. 16
Stan Obert: p. 12, p. 13, p. 21, p. 32
IStock: p. 15, p. 17,
Peter Park: p. 22, p. 26, p. 38
Denver Urban Spectrum: p. 31
Steve Turner: p. 33, p. 39, p. 44
David Owen Tryba Associates: p. 38
Union Station Neighborhood Company: p. 51
Denver Public Library: p. 37
MIG, Inc.: All images not otherwise credited
60
Photo Credits


Full Text

PAGE 1

prepared byMoore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. Progressive Urban Management AssociatesIn Association with Fehr and Peers Transportation Consultants UrbanTrans Consultants, Inc. Carl Walker, Inc.DOWNTOWN AREA PLAN

PAGE 2

denverDOWNTOWN AREA PLAN City and County of Denver Denver Civic Ventures, Inc. Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc.Prepared by Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. Progressive Urban Management AssociatesIn Association with Fehr and Peers Transportation Consultants UrbanTrans Consultants, Inc. Carl Walker, Inc. Prepared under the direction of The Denver Downtown Area Plan Steering Committee July 2007

PAGE 3

Steering Committee Co-ChairsJim Basey, Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc. Cole Finegan, City and County of DenverSteering CommitteeRon Abo, President, The Abo Group Sueann Ambron, Dean, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center Business School Kim Bailey, Manager, Denver Department of Parks and Recreation Jim Basey*, Chair, Denver Urban Renewal Authority Board of Directors Kathleen Brooker, President, Historic Denver, Inc. Brad Buchanan, FAIA, Principal, Buchanan Yonushewski Group L.L.C. Jeffrey Campos, President/CEO, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Sara Thompson Cassidy, Director of Public Affairs, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Linda Clark, Managing Director, Piper-Jaffray Gene Commander, Shareholder/Director, Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, P.C. Dana Crawford, Chair, Urban Neighborhoods, Inc. Gary Desmond, President, AR7 Architects, P.C. Tami Door*, President/CEO, Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc. Bill Elfenbein, Director of District A, Regional Transportation District Board of Directors Cole Finegan*, Managing Partner, Hogan + Hartson L.L.P. Jack Finlaw, Director, Denver Theatres and Arenas Division Bob Flynn, Executive Vice President, Amerimar Realty Management Company Patty Fontneau, Chief Administrative Of cer, IMA Financial Group, Inc. Shannon Gifford, Board Member, Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association Jerry Glick, Managing Partner, Columbia Group L.L.L.P. Jaime Gomez, Director of Commercial Lending, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Tom Gougeon, Chief Development Of cer, Continuum Partners L.L.C. Nancy Green, Past President, Downtown Denver Residents Organization Allegra Happy Haynes, Assistant to Superintendent, Denver Public Schools Fabby Hillyard, Executive Director, LoDo District, Inc. Tracy Huggins, Executive Director, Denver Urban Renewal Authority Don Hunt, President, The Antero Company Walter Isenberg, President, Sage Hospitality Resources Barbara Kelley, Chair, Denver Planning Board Gail Klapper, Principal, The Klapper Firm Sharon Linhart, Managing Partner, Linhart Public Relations Dan May, Principal, Quitman Consulting Judy Montero, Denver City Council District 9 Representative Bill Mosher, Area Director, Trammell Crow Company John Moye, Senior Partner, Moye White L.L.P. Amy Mueller, Deputy Chief of Staff, Denver Of ce of the Mayor Karen Mulville, General Manager, Denver Pavilions Peter Park*, Manager, Denver Dept. of Community Planning and Development Janet Preisser, Director of Special Programs, U.S. General Services Administration Agnes Ryan, President, Golden Triangle Association Hassan Salem, President, US Bank-Denver Richard Scharf, President/CEO, Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Tim Schultz, President, The Boettcher Foundation John M. Shaw, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Opus Northwest, L.L.C. Bill Vidal, Manager, Denver Dept. of Public Works Elbra Wedgeworth, Chief Government and Community Relations Of cer, Denver Health; formerly Council District 8 Jarvis Wyatt, Chief Operating Of cer, TC logiQ, Inc.Technical Committee City and County of Denve r Karen Aviles, City Attorneys Of ce Lindy Eichenbaum-Lent, Mayors Of ce Crissy Fanganello, Department of Public Works Chad Fuller, Of ce of Economic Development Karen Good, Community Planning and Development Steve Gordon, Community Planning and Development Tyler Gibbs, Community Planning and Development Victor Grassman, Of ce of Economic Development Ellen Ittelson, Community Planning and Development Fran Mishler, Community Planning and Development Mark Najarian, Department of Public Works John Overstreet, Department of Parks and Recreation Andrea Riner, Department of Parks and Recreation Christopher Smith, Of ce of Economic Development Wayland Walker, Community Planning and Development Julius Zsako, Community Planning and Development Downtown Denver Partnership Jessica Baker Jenna Berman Malia Campbell John Desmond John Kerns Jim Kirchheimer Sarah McClean Brian Phetteplace Aylene QualeProject Management Team Ellen Ittelson*, City and County of Denver, Project Manager John Desmond*, Downtown Denver Partnership, Project Manager Jessica Baker, Downtown Denver Partnership, Deputy Project ManagerConsultant TeamMIG, Inc. Daniel Iacofano, Principal-in-Charge Chris Beynon, Project Manager Eric Phillips, Project Planner Rosemary Dudley, Project Planner Progressive Urban Management Associates Brad Segal Anna Jones Jamie Licko Pamela Phox Fehr and Peers, Transportation Consultants Jeremy Klopp UrbanTrans Consultants, Inc. Brendon Harrington Carl Walker, Inc. Scot MartinPremier SponsorsCity and County of Denver Denver Civic Ventures, Inc. Boettcher Foundation Regional Transportation District Denver Newspaper Agency Downtown Denver Business Improvement District Jerrold Glick Susan Powers Denver Urban Renewal Authority First Community Bank US Bank-DenverSponsorsXcel Energy Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Piton Foundation Qwest Communications Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Continuum Partners, L.L.C. National Trust for Historic Preservation Peter Grant Preservation Fund Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority Wells Fargo Bank N.A. AR7 Architects, P.C. Lowe Enterprises, Colorado, Inc. 1st Bank Denver Place Associates Limited Partnership Ballpark Neighborhood Association Buchanan Yonushewski Group, L.L.C. Charles Knight IMA Financial Group, Inc. Shames-Makovsky Realty Document design and production by MIG, Inc. denotes member of Executive Committee acknowledgementsThe 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan is the result of extensive hard work and collaboration among a range of stakeholders, community and business leaders, elected officials, and members of the public who care deeply about the future of Downtown Denver. In particular, the following people are recognized for their contributions to this effort.

PAGE 4

table of contentsi. introduction . . . . . 1planning process . . . . . . . .2 plan context . . . . . . . . .3 how to use this plan . . . . . . . .5ii. strategy framework. . . . . 7accomplishments, challenges and opportunities . .8 the vision elements . . . . . . . .12 seven transformative projects . . . . .12iii. plan strategies and projects. . . 15a. a prosperous city . . . . . . .16 b. a walkable city. . . . . . . . .21 c. a diverse city. . . . . . . . .27 d. a distinctive city . . . . . . . .32 e. a green city . . . . . . . . .36iv. district strategies . . . . 41commercial core . . . . . . . .42 cultural core. . . . . . . . . .44 golden triangle. . . . . . . . . .46 auraria. . . . . . . . . . .48 lower downtown (lodo) . . . . . . .50 central platte valley (cpv). . . . . . .52 ballpark. . . . . . . . . . .54 arapahoe square . . . . . . . .56v. moving forward. . . . . . 59photo credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60appendices (under separate cover)global trends and implications for downtown denver visual preference survey summary phase 1 report: e xisting conditions assess ment

PAGE 6

1 WITH A DIVERSE COMMUNITY OF 573,000 citizens and an economy that employs more than 560,000 people, the City and County of Denver serves as the transportation, business, entertainment and cultural center of the Denver metropolitan area and the great er Rocky Mount ain West. Both public and private agencies will use the 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan in the coming years to guide decisions and actions that affect the form and function of Downtown. The plan provides a sound policy basis for citywide decisionmaking and strengthening Downtowns role as the heart of the region. The 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan builds on the 1986 Downtown Area Plan by providing an updated Vision and set of goals and recommendations for Downtown. While much of the Vision as conveyed in the 1986 plan remains valid, many conditions have changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Further, most of the areas surrounding the Downtown core have established new plans and carried out significant public and private investment, altering the role and relationship of these various districts. While much of the success of the 1986 plan was related to the completion of major projects, the 2007 plan recommends small steps that strengthen Downtowns fabric and make it economically, socially and environmentally more vital. As a result of these changed circumstances, the City and County of Denver, Denver Civic Ventures and the Downtown Denver Partnership agreed in 2005 to undertake a significant and comprehensive look at the Downtown area and its direction for the next 20 years. This document outlines the major components of the plan and the steps toward making Downtown Denver one of the most livable places in the world. envers Downtown Area Plan is a tool to help community leaders, decisionmakers, and citizens build upon Downtowns assets and guide future development to reflect the communitys vision of a livable, healthy, sustainable and vibrant Downtown.D Introduction i. introduction

PAGE 7

2 The 2007 Downtown Area Plan process integrated visioning and urban planning recommendations within a comprehensive public participation and outreach process. Steering, Technical and Executive committees were formed to help guide the process. The Steering Committee represented a broad and diverse group of public officials, private businesses, re sidents, educational institutions and cultural facilities. This committee served as the policy advisory group for the plan, discussing and approving the vision, strategies and final plan. The Technical Committee was composed of staff members from several City of Denver agencies and the Downtown Denver Partnership. Technical Committee responsibilities included plan research, analysis, administrative duties and communications. The six-person Executive Committee oversaw administration during the planning process, set Steering Committee meeting agendas, and served as the public face of the Steering Committee. The makeup of the Executive Committee reflected the joint responsibility for the plan shared by the City of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership. The Downtown Area Plan was crafted over a 15-month period that spanned four planning phases: Existing Conditions As sessment, Visioning for Downtown, Development of Concept Plan and Strategies, and Final Implementation Plan. Each phase of the process featured extensive outreach, and over the course of the process more than 2,000 participants lent their voice to shaping the Downtown Area Plan. Specific outreach events included: Thirteen Steering Committee meetings open to the public; Visual Preference Survey in person and on-line; Downtown Outlook Survey; Four Community Workshops; Four Neighborhood Roundtable Meetings; Interviews with key stakeholders, including the Minority Chambers of Commerce; various economic development organizations; Denver Public Schools; and the Mayor and City Council; and Three Community-wide educational sessions focused on the topics of sustainability, living in Downtown, and a family-friendly Downtown. The planning process included numerous community workshops and forums to help craft the Vision and plan strategies. Introduction 1986 Downtown Area Plan completed 2007 Downtown Area Plan completed 1988 Lower Downtown designated as Historic district B-7 zoning revised 1994 Central Light Rail line finished 1995 Coors Field and Central Library expansion completed Northeast Downtown Plan completed 1998 Denver Pavilions opens Golden Triangle Plan 1999 Pepsi Center opens 2000 Southwest Light Rail opens Downtown Historic District designated Comprehensive Plan 2000 completed Lower Downtown Neighborhood Plan completed 2001 Invesco Field at Mile High and Commons Park completed 2002 Blueprint Denver adopted Central Platte Valley Light Rail Line opened Ballpark Historic District designated 2004 Voters approve FasTracks Plan Union Station Master Plan adopted Colorado Convention Center expansion finished 2005 Ellie Caulkins Opera House dedicated Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel opens Downtown Area Plan Update commences preparedby Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. Progressive Urban Management AssociatesIn Association with Fehr and Peers TransportationConsultants UrbanTrans Consultants, Inc. Carl Walker, Inc.draft | may 2007DOWNTOWN AREA PLAN Downtown Planning Timeline 1986-2007 planning process

PAGE 8

Introduction 3 Denver COLORADO KANSAS NEBRASKA WYOMING SOUTH DAKOTA UTAH NEW MEXICO ARIZONA IDAHO MONTANA TEXAS OKLA. SETTING Downtown Denvers unique setting and historical role in the region help position it for continued leadership and innovation in the 21st century. Denver is the largest urban center in the Rocky Mountain W est, and Downtown serves both the city and a burgeoning metro area of more than 2.7 million. Greater Denver comprises about half of Colorados population of more than 4.8 million. Regional Context As the regions main hub of commerce, transportation connections, government, and social and cultural amenities, Denver influences trends and patterns throughout the West. People drive from throughout Colorado and nearby states to conduct business, shop, attend performances and sporting events, visit museums, or catch a plane at Denver International Airport. Major cities such as Fort Collins, Boulder, Greeley, and Colorado Springs are within an hours drive. The states world-renowned winter resorts and year-round outdoor recreation attract millions of national and international visitors, with most making their passage through the Denver area. Little has done more to reinforce the importance of Downtown Denver to the region than the 2004 passage of the FasTracks Regional Transit Plan. FasTracks will provide regional transit connections from Denver Union Station east to Denver International Airport, north to Thornton, northwest to Broomfield, Boulder and Longmont, west to Arvada and west to Lakewood. The importance of Denver Union Station as the regions transit hub will reinforce Downtown Denvers central role in the metro area. City ContextDowntown Denver is located in the heart of the city at the con uence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. The grand mountains of the Front Range provide a beautiful backdrop to the bustling Downtown environment that includes a visually dynamic mix of historic and contemporary buildings. In 2005, approximately 9,000 people lived in the Downtown core. An estimated population of 80,000 resided in Downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods, de ned as those within 1.5 miles of Downtown. These neighborhoods, each with its own sense of community, surround the city center and provide a strong base of housing, small-scale retail, and landscaped open spaces.Planning Context Since 1986, the City has undertaken numerous plans for portions of the area incorporated in the Downtown Area Plan, and these studies influence the direction of the 2007 Area Plan. The most significant of these plans are listed below and described in the Appendices: Denver Comprehensive Plan (2000); Blueprint Denver: An Integrated Land Use and Transportation Plan (2002); Denver Union Station Master Plan (2004); Downtown Multimodal Access Plan (2005); Civic Center District Plan (2005); Lower Downtown Neighborhood Plan (2000); Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan (1998); Bicycle Master Plan (2001); and Pedestrian Master Plan (2004). plan contextDenver is at the heart of Rocky Mountain W est. EDGEWATER WHEAT RIDGE LAKEWOOD Sou th P la tte Rive rDOWNTOWN STUDY AREACommons ParkJEFFERSON PARK CURTIS PARK FIVE POINTS UPTOWN LA ALMA/ LINCOLN PARK CAPITOL HILL HIGHLANDSHERIDANBLVDALAMEDA AVE COLFAX AVE SIXTH AVEFEDERAL BLVD BROADWAY UNIVERSITY BLVD YORK ST COLORADO BLVDB RIGHTO N48TH AVESP EERBLVD 25 CherryCreekDowntown Denver is at the citys crossroads and is surrounded by many robust neighborhoods. GREELEY DENVER BOULDER COLORADO SPRINGS RockySouthPlatteRiver MountainsDenver is the largest city in Colorado and the economic and social hub of the Front Range region.

PAGE 9

4 DOWNTOWN STUDY AREAThe 2007 Downtown Area Plan study area boundary (see map below) encompa sses approximately 1,800 acres and is divided into eight districts. The following districts are included in the study area and address ed in detail in the plan: Commercial Core Cultural Core Golden Triangle Auraria Lower Downtown (LoDo) Central Platte Valley Ballpark Arapahoe Square Relationship to Surrounding Areas Planning for these districts also involves careful consideration of the need for improved connections beyond the defined Downtown core. The planning effort included analysis of a transition area (in orange in the diagram below) that links the Downtown districts to surrounding neighborhoods. The extensive redevelopment of the Central Platte Valleys railyards into mixed-use housing and open space has transformed Downtowns relationship to the Highland neighborhood to the northwest. T he construction of Coors Field, Pepsi Center and INVESCO Field at Mile High has brought millions of visitors into Downtown. Light rail service in Curtis Park has also helped to activate the neighborhood. The La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood has begun to be recognized due to its proximity to Downtown, 10th and Osage light rail station, and emerging arts district on Santa Fe. While not within the Downtown Area Plan boundary, all of these surrounding historic neighborhoods are important to the success of the plan and are addressed with respect to adjacencies, relationships, connections and impacts. 25 W COLFAX AVEN LOGAN ST O N ST E N ST N A ST O N S T N G STE 6TH AVEN ACOMA ST N BRO ADWAYN BANNOCK S T N GRANT ST O N STN LINC OLN S T N SHERMAN ST ONST N MARION STPLATTE ST WYNKOOP ST WAZEE STE 25TH A VEE 24TH AVE E 23RD AVE E 22ND AVEN DOWNING S T6TH AVEN SANTA FE D RN KALAMATH STN GALAP AGO STN ELATI S TN DELAWARE STN MARIPOS A STN OSAGE STN INCA S TN LIPAN STN FOX STE 7TH A VEE 9TH AVEE 8TH AVEE 11TH A VEE 17TH A VE E 13TH AVE E 16TH A VEE 12TH AVEE 18TH AVEE 14TH AVEE 10TH AVEE 20TH A VEE 19TH AVEN SPEER BLVD15TH ST 14TH ST 17TH ST 18TH ST 19TH ST 16TH ST 20TH ST21ST ST 22ND STBLAKE S T LARIMER ST LAWRENCE ST ARAPAHOE ST CURTIS S T CHAMPA ST STOUT ST CALIFORNIA ST WELTON ST GLENARM PL W 35TH AVE W 34TH AVE W 33RD AVE W 32ND AVE W 29TH AVEPAR K AVE 24T H ST 25TH STN CHER OKEE S TMARKET STCENTRAL PLATTE VALLEYAURARIACENTRAL PLATTE VALLEYCOMMONSCENTRAL PLATTE VALLEYPROSPECTAURARIA CULTURAL CORE COMMERCIAL CORE BALLPARK ARAPAHOE SQUARE LODO GOLDEN TRIANGLE Highland La Alma/Lincoln Park Curtis Park Capitol Hill Uptown Jefferson ParkLincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatt eRiverSouthPlatt eRiverMestizo Curtis Park The Central Platte Valley is a district booming with new residential and mixed-use development. Skyline Park is an attractive open space amenity in the heart of Downtown. Introduction The diagram to the right illustrates the Downtown Area Plan study area (multi-colored districts), a transition area (orange), and surrounding neighborhoods (tan). COLFAXPENAI-25SHERID ANCOLORADOYORKFED E RAL TO WER38THBRO AD WAYYALEHA M PDENJEWELLHA VAN AUNIVE R SITY48TH6THEV ANSP EORIAALAMEDALEETSDALECO LFAXCH A MB ERSM ISSISSIPPII-25MONA C O6T HI-70 I-70GATEWAY STAPLETON BRIGHTON BOULEVARD NORTHEAST DOWNTOWN WEST38TH AVENUE WESTCOLFAX/ WESTTRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT DOWNTOWN JEFFERSONPARK/ HIGHLANDS NORTH INDUSTRIAL ALAMEDA TOWNCENTER MORRISON ROAD SOUTHFEDERAL BOULEVARD SOUTH BROADWAY GATES TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT CHERRY CREEK SOUTHEAST TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENTS HAMPDEN LOWRY EASTCOLFAX (EASTOFCOLORADOBLVD.) EASTCOLFAX (WESTOFCOLORADOBLVD.)Legend City/CountyBoundary AreasofChange AreasofStability ArterialsAreasofChangeBlueprintDenverGraphicsDepartment,CommunityPlanning&DevelopmentAgency2002 Map in the Plan Blueprint Denver divides the city into Areas of Change and Areas of Stability. Downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods are designated Areas of Change, projected to accommodate the highest densities and widest mix of uses.

PAGE 10

5 The 2007 Downtown Area Plan supersedes the highly suc cessful 1986 Downtown Area Plan. To be as successful over two decades, the 2007 plan paints a vision of the direction Downtown Denver must take in the 21st century to succeed globally, not just nationally. The plan is intended to give the latitude needed to pursue unforeseen opportunities that will certainly arise and to respond to new challenges. The plan must also give enough direction to guide day-to-day decision making related to land use decisions, public investments, and development opportunities. Both public and private agencies will use the 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan in the coming years to guide decisions and actions that affect the form and function of Downtown. The plan provides a sound policy basis for citywide decision-making and strengthening Downtowns role as the heart of the region. It also educates present and future generations about Downtowns importance to Denver and Colorado. The remainder of the Downtown Area Plan consists of the following chapters: Chapter II: Strategy Framework This chapter lays out a 20-year vision for Downtown. To support the vision, the chapter presents five elements that are supported by 19 strategies. The chapter identifies the seven transformative projects from the greater list, and presents a development concept to guide future growth. Chapter III: Plan Strategies and Projects This chapter expands upon the 19 strategies that support the vision and identifies projects and programs to carry out each strategy. Chapter IV: District Strategies This chapter focuses on applying plan strategies to individual districts within Downtown and provides additional recommendations for specific districts. Chapter V: Moving Forward This chapter outlines the active, ongoing commitment to implementation that is needed to realize the 20-year vision for Downtown Denver. Appendices Several Appendices accompany this document. The Appendices consist of background reports and technical documents that offer additional information on topics described in this Downtown Area Plan. how to use this plan Introduction

PAGE 12

ii. strategy framework Strategy Framework 7 As it has for the past 150 years, central Denver epitomizes the lifestyle of the urban Rocky Mountain West to the region, nation and the world. Quality of life is an increasingly important factor in location choices by individuals, families, and businesses. T he combination of its rich history, well-protected historic building fabric, population growth, public infrastructure, and cultural assets uniquely position Downtown Denver at the forefront of the 21st century urban West. Vibrancy and economic vitality are keystones of this plan. Downtown Denvers future depends on its ability to attract growth and investment, maintain an inviting and active urban environment, and responsibly manage resources and infrastructure. Authentic and appropriate urban forms, high quality design of both private buildings and the public realm, a dense mix of compatible activities and land uses, and preservation of historic assets ar e all essential elements in assuring Downtowns continued vitality and uniqueness. Balancing and meeting these demands will position Downtown to fulfill the vision of the plan. The economic prosperity of Downtown will depend on the citys ability to capitalize on the opportunities described in the following section and implement the vision outlined in the remainder of this chapter. owntown Denver must solidify its reputation as the regions 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. Accompanying each of these elements is a set of strategies and actions that will help turn the Downtown vision into reality.D

PAGE 13

Strategy Framework 8 Since 1986, Downtown Denver has emerged as one of the nations preeminent urban success stories. Downtown is continuing its transformation into a 4/7 environment, with a variety of uses that together create an energetic ambiance and make Downtown a preferred location for working, living and entertainment. The 1986 Downtown Area Plan set the framework for many of the accomplishments in Downtown Denver, including: Designation of Lower Downtown as a Denver Landmark District and public-private partnership strategies resulted in a highly successful mixed-use district; The conversion of the Central Platte Valley from a rail yard to an urban neighborhood; Access improvements in and out of Downtown, including the removal of viaducts and the installation of improved entryways such as Auraria Parkway and Park Avenue; Emergence of a regional transit system that is centered on Downtown; Development of new housing, primarily in areas surrounding the core; and Creation of significant new parks and open spaces along the South Platte River. Other changes in Downtown were not envisioned in 1986, but have added to its overall vitality, including: Growth of dining and entertainment as an economic engine generating sales tax revenue and helping to position Downtown as a regional destination; Development of new venues for sports and culture, including Coors Field, Pepsi Center, INVESCO Field at Mile High, and an expanded Denver Performing Arts Complex; Development and expansion of the Colorado Convention Center and the emergence of Denver as the top visitor destination in the state; On-going historic preservation efforts, including designation of the Downtown Denver Historic District, and the Ballpark Historic District; Development of housing in the core of the central business district, in addition to adjacent districts; and Construction of the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Convention Center. Despite these significant accomplishments, some challenges remain: Downtowns employment level has remained largely unchanged; Retail sales of goods have diminished Downtown; Downtown lacks a cohesive pedestrian environment and strong connections to adjacent neighborhoods; Named streets throughout Downtown lack distinction; Infrastructure and assets such as the 16th Street Mall and most Downtown office buildings are 2530 years old and in need of reinvestment; Underutilized sites contribute to an inconsistent street environment; Arterial streets, such as Speer, Broadway and Colfax, create physical and perceptual barriers around Downtown; and The economic success of Downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods has made the current housing market unaffordable to many people.Accomplishment: Outdoor dining and activity Accomplishment: Coors Field Challenge: The wide expanse of Colfax Avenue Challenge: Undeveloped surface parking lots accomplishments, challenges and opportunities

PAGE 14

Strategy Framework 9 NATIONAL AND GLOBAL TRENDS In addition to local and regional market forces tha t influence potential changes in Downtown Denver, national and global trends create challenges and opportunities for the city center. Key findings particularly applicable to Downtown Denver are: Embracing cultural and demographic diversity; Diversifying housing options and amenities; Leveraging transit for development; Fostering healthy and active lifestyles; Making Downtown event-friendly; Providing a quality pedestrian environment; Capitalizing on established attractions; and Creating an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable Downtown. Demographic trends point toward the country gaining significant population and becoming more ethnically diverse in the coming decades. Overall, the population continues to grow, supported significantly by immigration. Both the older and younger markets have fueled Downtown population growth over the past decade and are poised to continue to populate urban environments. As this growing population ages, significant demand will be placed on the urban environment to accomodate the changing mobility and housing needs. America will become increasingly culturally and ethnically diverse, creating an advantage for downtowns that welcome, accommodate and celebrate diversity. Broader distribution of information technologies is encouraging bottomup innovation from entrepreneurs throughout the globe. Downtowns are poised to continue to attract creative vocations if they can offer a business climate favorable to the incubation and growth of small dynamic enterprises. The emergence of an international middle class, currently demonstrated by rapid growth and urbanization in countries like China and India, will continue to strain the supply and increase the costs of non-renewable resources over the next 20 years. Increased petroleum and construction costs are likely to dramatically affect American lifestyles, making traditional suburban land use and transportation patterns increasingly expensive and inefficient. Cities will look to maximize the use of existing infrastructure and explore sustainable development policies. Vibrant downtowns are well positioned to capitalize on an economic imperative to downsize consumption, while offering lifestyle advantages of entertainment, culture, recreation, transportation options and human interaction. To capture the potential for change created by these overall trends, Downtown Denver must create an environment that caters to changing demographics, provides a high-quality urban lifestyle, and maximizes the ability of local businesses to compete globally.Dramatic growth in many places throughout the world will impact how Downtown Denver evolves. Cities like Hong Kong, China (above), will be in direct competition with Denver for natural resources, building materials and intellectual capital in the coming years.

PAGE 15

10 DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT The Development Concept presents the broad, foundational components for development in Downtown Denver. Physical assets and amenities frame cities. As the 1986 plan stated, A harbor, a large urban park, a specialty shopping district, a historic area, a cathedral, distinctive office towers these are elements which people remember The specific arrangement of these elements, the links among them, and the character of their landmarks distinguish one city from another. Downtown Denver is blessed with an abundance of such features. From the nationally-recognized 16th Street Mall and Coors Field to the historic Union Station and modern Denver Art Museum; from the flowing, natural environments of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek to the grand beauty of Civic Center Park, the essence of Downtown its sense of place begins with its major physical features. Following the framework envisioned by the 1986 Downtown Area Plan, 16th Street continues to be the spine of Downtown in the 2007 Development Concept. This corridor is anchored by the Civic Center on the southeastern end and Denver Union Station to the northwest. The wide, auto-oriented barriers of Speer, Colfax, Broadway, Park Avenue and Auraria Parkway are address ed through pedestrian improvements and development that is brought to the street edge. These grand boulevards link three major activity nodes in Downtown: the evolving Arapahoe Square/Ballpark area, an urbanizing Auraria district, and a strengthened Civic Center. The fourth activity node, centered around Denver Union Station, is connected via an intra-Downtown transit network that links all of the nodes and branches outward to surrounding neighborhoods. Additional transit connections, such as the Downtown Circulator along 18th and 19th streets and a connection along Larimer Street between Auraria and Ballpark, boost business development and employment opportunities Downtown. Transit-oriented development is important to organizing building forms and uses to create pedestrian friendly environments in and around existing and planned rail stations. High quality pedestrian connections are essential to linking the Downtown core to the rest of the study area. Initial priority projects include 14th Street and the Named Streets InitiativeLarimer, Curtis, California and Tremont. Focus Areas such as the Theatre District, Visitor District, and Business Opportunity District help lend definition to areas of the core and create additional development in terest. Together, these elements create a structure to guide and foster future development Downtown. Strategy Framework Activity Node LRT Stop LRT Line FasTracks Rail Line Existing Intra-Downtown Transit 16th Street Mall Grand Boulevard Focus Area Priority Pedestrian Connection 25 SouthPlatt eRi verSouthPlatt eRi verC herr yC C herr yC The 1986 Downtown Area Plan (top) set forth a physical framework that in many ways remains in place today (bottom). As Downtown grows, the framework will continue to evolve and expand, particularly on the named streets (facing page). 1986 2007 Future Intra-Downtown Transit

PAGE 16

11 Strategy Framework 25 Auraria Civic Center Station Denver Union Station Lower Downtown Ballpark/ Arapahoe SquarePark AvenueBroadwayColfax AvenueSpeer Boule vardLincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatteRiverSouthPlatteRiverCherryCreekCherryCreekCommons Park Theatre District Business Opportunity District Visitor District Larimer Mixed-Use District

PAGE 17

To achieve a vibrant, economically healthy, growing and vital downtown, Denver must be committed to a sustained effort in each of the elements: Prosperous, Walkable, Diverse, Distinctive and Green. The numbered strategies and projects in each category are critical for Downtown to remain competitive within local, state, national and international markets in the coming decades. The orange bars indicate the seven transformative projects described below. All of the strategies and projects are outlined in detail beginning on page 16. seven transformative projectsThese seven projects are identified as the most critical steps to advance Downtown development and enhance livability and economic health over the next 20 years. Multi-layered and long-term in nature, these projects will take concerted effort and collaboration by both the public and private sectors. All energy and resources should be harnessed toward making these a reality. Only through executing these projects can Downtown Denver truly transform and achieve the vision of a vibrant, livable 21st century city center.A. A Prosperous CityAttracting Jobs, Growth, and Investment B. A Walkable City Putting Pedestrians First A1. The Downtown of the Rocky Mountain Region A2. Energizing the Commercial Core A3. A Comprehensive Retail Strategy Bolster economic development opportunities and enhance the pedestrian experience in the Commercial Core. Couple the regional transit network with an equally ambitious local Denver-serving transportation system that provides quick and efficient connections. Transform Speer, Colfax, Broadway, Park Avenue and Auraria Parkway into memorable, multimodal boulevards as a complement to Denvers parkway system. B2. Building On Transit B5. Grand Boulevards Strategy FrameworkA2. Energizing the Commercial Core B2. Building On Transit B5. Grand Boulevards 25 Civic Center Station Denver Union Station Lincoln Park Civic CenterSou thPlat teRiverSou thPlat teRiverMestizo Curtis Park Commons Park 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSou t hPlatte RiverSou t hPlatte RiverMestizo Curtis Park Commons Park 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSou thPlat t eRi verSou thPlat t eRi verMestizo Curtis Park Commons Park B3. Bicycle City B4. Park The Car Once 12 B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian Environment the vision elements A4. Clean and Safe

PAGE 18

the vision for downtown denver C. A Diverse CityBeing a Socially and Economically Inclusive PlaceD. A Distinctive CityCultivating a Mosaic of Urban DistrictsE. A Green City Building a Greener Denver E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center VIBRANT An Economically Healthy, Growing and Vital Downtown Enhance pedestrian, bike and transit connections between Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. Foster expanded physical and programmatic connections between the Auraria Campus and the rest of Downtown. Redevelop Arapahoe Square as a cuttingedge, densely populated, mixed-use area and center of innovative businesses. Restore and reactivate Civic Center to attract more visitors, residents, workers and students to the park. Strategy FrameworkC3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods D3. Downtowns New Neighborhood: Arapahoe Square D2. Connecting Auraria13E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSou thPlatteRiverSou thPlatteRiverCh er r Ch er r Mestizo Curtis Park Commons ParkAuraria 25 Lincoln ParkCivic CenterSouthPlatteRiverSouthPlatteRiver ChCh Mestizo Curtis Park Commons Park 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatt e RiverSouthPlatt e River CC Mestizo Curtis Park Commons Park 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSout hPlat te Ri verSout hPlat te Ri ver CC Mestizo Curtis Park Commons Park C1. Downtown Living C2. A Family-Friendly Place C3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods D1. District Evolution D2. Connecting Auraria E1. An Outdoor Downtown C4. An International Downtown D3. Downtowns New Neighborhood: Arapahoe Square E3. Sustainable Use of Resources

PAGE 20

15 iii. plan strategies and projects Plan Strategies and Projects Strategies and projects are organized according to the five vision elements that support the overarching vision of a vibrant Downtown: A Prosperous City A Walkable City A Diverse City A Distinctive City 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 vision, seven of them are highlighted as transformative projects because without early and concerted effort in these areas, the other elements of the plan will not be as succ essful. These projects are listed below and indicated on the following pages by orange bars. A2. Energizing the Commercial Core B2. Building on Transit B5. Grand Boulevards C3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods D2. Connecting Auraria D3. Downtowns New Neighborhood: Arapahoe Square E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center A. B. C. D. E. uccess of the Downtown Area Plan depends on the implementation of high impact strategies and projects throughout the city center. This chapter outlines the action plan for Downtown.S

PAGE 21

16 Plan Strategies and Projects a. a prosperous city ATTRACTING JOBS, GROWTH AND INVESTMENT Since its historical beginnings, Downtown Denver has served as the economic and cultural hub for a vast interior region ranging from Mexico to Canada and from the Great Basin to the Missouri River Valley. Downtown Denver is well positioned to continue this role through the next century. A key to Denvers continued prosperity will be adapting to the economic realities of a global economy. Economists point to urban livability as the single most important factor in attracting and retaining the intellectual capital needed to sustain an information-based, creative economy. New business development will be increasingly dependent on small firms seeking a progressive environment that encourages innovation. Job s, businesses and investment are the critical building blocks for a vital city center. Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a prosperous city are listed below and described in detail on the following pages: A1. The Downtown of the Rocky Mountain Region A2. Energizing the Commercial Core A3. A Comprehensive Retail Strategy A4. Clean and Safe

PAGE 22

17 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Ensure Downtowns continued primacy as the business center of the region and establish its role as a leader in the 21st century global economy. Add 35,000 new jobs by 2027. WHY ITS IMPORTANT A key to Denvers continued economic dominance will be adapting to the economic realities of a global economy. New business development will be increasingly dependent on small firms seeking a progressive environment that encourages innovation. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS A1a. Create a program to support smalland medium-sized busine sses, bolstering Denver as the best place for businesses to thrive Cultivate new business clusters (e.g. alternative energy) Support start-ups Sponsor a national small business conference Overcome barriers such as health care, transportation costs, and childcare A1b. Create a world class portal from Denver International Airport to Denver Union Station via the East Line, an essential FasTracks line for Downtown A1c. Create a brand identity that promotes Downtown as a place to live, work, play, visit and learn A1d. Strengthen the effective coordination of Downtown, City, regional and state business retention, expansion and recruitment programs A1e. Cultivate arts and culture as key economic drivers Retain and expand the clusters of world-class arts, cultural, and performance facilities in Downtown Provide temporary and permanent creative space to meet the broad spectrum of needs for administrative, rehearsal, performance and studio functions Establish connections to emerging arts districts such as Santa Fe, Five Points, Golden Triangle and River North (RiNo) Establish an urban tourism program that highlights historic buildings and districts as part of Denvers story A1f. Promote Downtown as the most transit-rich location in the state and tailor planning, marketing, and investment to capitalize on regional transit investment and resulting access to jobs and housing A1g. Preserve, reuse and reinvest in historic buildings and places throughout Downtown. These buildings and places demonstrate to future generations Denvers pre-eminence as a western city over the past 150 years A1h. Enhance the appearance of the vehicular connection from 1-70 to Downtown along Brighton Boulevard and provide signage identifying it as a direct route to Downtown Arts and cultural facilities are vital elements of community life that can also be leveraged for economic development. Enhancing Downtowns strengths as the regions office and financial capital is paramount to the plans success. A1. The Downtown Of The Rocky Mountain Region

PAGE 23

18 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Invigorate the Commercial Core by enhancing the pedestrian and transit experiences and creating an economically thriving district for business, retail and tourism. WHY ITS IMPORTANT As the city centers defining district, a vital and vibrant Commercial Core is critical to the overall real and perceived success of the Downtown. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS A2a. Design the Downtown Circulator to provide high frequency, high quality transit service that enhances the economic development and transit benefits of the investment A2b. Establish a Business Opportunity District and the Larimer Mixed-Use District to capitalize on transit investments and rebalance Downtown economic activity Market the area along the Downtown Circulator to employers and developers Use the new Larimer transit line to strengthen economic activity and identity in the Larimer Mixed-Use District. Evaluate development potential on vacant sites to assure that current regulations result in desired building forms and street character A2c. Strengthen the vitality of the 16th Street Mall Create and enhance recognized sub-districts along the Mall, including Theatre and Visitor districts Create and implement a Mall activities strategy Develop a balanced retail strategy that includes entertainment, dining and specialty retailers Conduct a study of Mall infrastructure to assess needs and reconstruct to meet the goals of sustainability, usability and respect for the existing design Re-evaluate 16th Street Mall transit service in light of the Downtown Circulator frequency, operation, and technology A2d. Create distinct identities along named streets through physical improvements Visitor District along California Theatre District along Curtis A2e. Build 14th Street as envisioned in the 14th Street Initiative; establish it as a model sustainable streetscape The streetscape of the Commercial Core, shown here at 18th and Tremont (left), can be enhanced to create a more attractive environment that will help re-energize the Commercial Core (right). A2. Energizing the Commercial Core 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatt eRi verSouthPlatt eRi verC h err yC C h err yC Mestizo Curtis Park Commons Park Strategy Diagram: Energizing the Commercial Core The 16th Street Mall is a nationally recognized symbol of Downtown Denvers vitality. THEATRE AND VISITOR DISTRICTSEstablishment of new destination districts is a key element of energizing the Commercial Core. The Theatre District, with a central axis along Curtis Street that connects the 16th Street Mall, Denver Performing Arts Complex and Auraria, will have enhanced signage, venues for outdoor cultural events, and arts-related commercial activities. The Visitor District, with a central axis along California Street, will connect the Colorado Convention Center to the 16th Street Mall and 17th Street hotels. It will contain a mix of authentic and unique urban retail that serves both locals and visitors (see Development Concept on page 11 for district locations).

PAGE 24

19 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Improve Downtowns overall economic vitality by restoring the area as an important retail center for an expanding residential, workforce, and visitor customer base. Add approximately 1.5 million square feet of diverse retail uses that serve these customers throughout the plan area by 2027. WHY ITS IMPORTANT The vibrancy of Downtown retail depends on a growing residential population and offering a diverse range of options and activities to those who live, work and seek entertainment in Downtown. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS A3a. Reinforce existing or develop new retail clusters at key locations: Larimer Street, 16th and California, Denver Union Station, and Auraria (see Retail Strategy diagram below) Establish a retail management and enhancement program for 16th Street between Welton and Curtis A3b. Develop a public market as a regional destination in the core of Downtown A3c. Create and implement a marketing plan to promote Downtown retail goods and services to in-place markets, including residents, workers, visitors and students A3d. Encourage neighborhood serving retail in every district Encourage small retail busine sses by eliminating parking requirements where appropriate Large format retailers can be designed for urban environments, such as this multi-story Target store with structured parking in Stamford, CT. A European-style public market would be a focal point of Downtown retail. The market would draw residents and visitors year-round, with fresh produce, specialty goods, and places to sit and eat. 25 Lower Mall Retail Denver Union Station Retail Auraria Retail Larimer Street Retail Mid-Mall Retail Upper Mall Retail Lower Downtown Neighborhood-Oriented Retail Lincoln Park Civic CenterS outhPlatt eRi verS outhPlatt eRi verMestizo Curtis Park Commons ParkPARK AVE 16TH STSPEER BLVDBROADW AYCOLFAX AVE Golden Triangle Neighborhood-Oriented Retail California Street Retail Ballpark Neighborhood-Oriented RetailDowntown Denver Retail Strategy A3. A Comprehensive Retail Strategy RETAIL STRATEGYThe Retail Strategy for Downtown identi es areas for development of greater retail identity, focus and differentiation. All types of retail should be encouraged throughout Downtown. However, in order to foster clusters of healthy retail and commercial services, different areas may take on distinct retail identities. Around Denver Union Station, transitoriented urban retail with some larger format stores (designed to t in the urban environment) will serve residents and commuters. Along the Mall, the lower, middle and upper sections will all serve a broad range of users but should take on unique identities to break up the length of the street. These areas, along with California Street, will also have a focus on visitor and tourist serving retail. The northeast part of Auraria should be developed with retail that serves students, faculty and staff while also orienting across Speer Boulevard to attract other Downtown shoppers. Neighborhood-serving retail in the core of the Golden Triangle and Ballpark districts and throughout LoDo will aim to meet the everyday needs of residents.

PAGE 25

20 Plan Strategies and Projects The Downtown Denver Business Improvement District currently funds daily cleaning and maintenance efforts. GOAL Downtown Denver remains an environment where people feel safe and the streets and sidewalks are clean, well-maintained and well-lit basic underpinnings of an enjoyable urban experience for residents, workers and visitors. WHY ITS IMPORTANT A clean and safe environment is a prerequisite for all activity that happens within Downtown, including business, living and entertainment. Public perception of clean and safe is just as important as the reality. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS A4a. Implement Denvers Road Home in Downtown Establish 24-hour shelters for the homeless Advocate for balanced distribution of service providers throughout the metropolitan area A4b. Strengthen regulatory requirements for building, property and sidewalk maintenance A4c. Expand clean and safe programs, including policing, ambassador, and sidewalk washing, beyond the BID boundaries A4d. Install more uniform and consistent lighting of sidewalks, parks and open spaces A4. Clean and Safe Police services enhance the real and perceived safety of residents, workers and visitors in Downtown. DENVERS ROAD HOMEAs of 2007, there were more than 4,600 homeless men, women and children in Denver, with many of these individuals living in and around Downtown. Through transitional housing, counseling, treatment services and employment training, Denvers Road Home aims to decrease the Citys cost of homelessness while giving people the tools to become self-suf cient. Over 10 years, the program is determined to achieve the following goals: 1. Permanent and Transitional Housing Develop 3,193 permanent and transitional housing opportunities. 2. Shelter System Make safe and legal shelter beds and activities for all populations both day and night until adequate permanent housing is in place including the addition of 110 beds in year one of the Plan. 3. Prevention Provide Denver residents facing homelessness more tools to keep them from ending up on the streets or in emergency shelters. 4. Services Provide better access to supportive services that promote long-term stability and improved functioning. 5. Public Safety and Outreach Improve public safety by increasing homeless outreach efforts to reduce panhandling, loitering and crimes. 6. Education, Training and Employment Assist 580 people who are homeless to obtain skills and knowledge necessary to participate in the workforce. 7. Community Awareness and Coordinated Responses Build community awareness and support for coordinated responses to eliminate homelessness. 8. Zoning, Urban Design and Land Use Reform Denvers zoning, building and development codes to facilitate an adequate supply of emergency and affordable housing.

PAGE 26

21 Plan Strategies and Projects PUTTING PEDESTRIANS FIRST Walkability is a key ingredient to a su ccessful urban environment. It enhances public safety, fosters personal interactions, and increases economic vitality. The great cities of the West, including Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, all feature street-level experiences that invite and stimulate the pedestrian. Denvers emergence as a truly livable city requires a new emphasis on the pedestrian environment. Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a walkable city are listed below and described in detail on the following pages: B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian Environment B2. Building On Transit B3. Bicycle City B4. Park The Car Once B5. Grand Boulevards b. a walkable city

PAGE 27

22 Plan Strategies and Projects With its streetscape amenities, mix of uses, slower traffic and active ground floors, LoDo has an outstanding pedestrian environment. B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian Environment The great cities of Europe, including Barcelona, Spain, feature street-level experiences and design that engage pedestrians and promote walking. Curtis Street looking south from 18th Street (right, above) is illustrative of many streets Downtown, with long blank walls and empty spaces that are unfriendly to pedestrians. Recommended improvements (right, below) include permanent seating and kiosks, public art, and special pavement to create a more active and attractive space. Bulb-outs, brightly-striped crosswalks and landscaping help to make this intersection in Germany more pedestrian friendly. GOAL Make every street safe, comfortable and attractive for pedestrians as recommended in the Downtown Denver Pedestrian Master Plan. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Walkability is a key ingredient to a successful urban environment it enhances public safety, fosters more personal interactions, and increases economic vitality. Denvers emergence as a truly livable city requires a new emphasis on the pedestrian environment. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS B1a. Designate Downtown as a pedestrian priority zone incorporating universal access standards, Complete Streets policies, which insure safe and convenient access for all transportation modes, and priority to capital investments in pedestrian-oriented improvements in the public right of way B1b. Require ground floor active uses throughout Downtown through changes to zoning and design guidelines B1c. Develop a comprehensive streetscape plan and funding strategy Require surface parking lots to comply with landscaping requirements Improve the pedestrian environment on named streets; start with Larimer, Curtis, California and Tremont Extend connections into surrounding neighborhoods to include the enhancement of existing infrastructure particularly over I-25 along West 23rd Avenue, Colfax and Park Avenue Enhance pedestrian crossings through the use of bulbouts, midblock crossings, pedestrian refuge islands, pedestrian count down signals and improved signage and striping B1d. Create and maintain a comprehensive wayfinding system throughout Downtown for pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists and drivers utilizing available technology B1e. Convert selected streets from one-way to two-way as identified in the Downtown Multimodal Access Plan and other plans

PAGE 28

23 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Reinforce Downtown as the regions largest and most convenient transit district with local, regional, statewide and national connections. WHY ITS IMPORTANT In an era of decreasing resources and increasingly consumptive lifestyles, transportation alternatives will provide competitive advantages for urban centers. The development of both FasTracks and a complementary local transit system will make transit-based living possible in Downtown. Furthermore, transit stops and stations are appropriate locations for nodes of higher intensity uses. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS B2a. Reinforce Denver Union Station as the regional transit hub and Civic Center Station as the local transit hub Advocate for development of Denver Union Station as conveyed in the vision, goals and principles of the Denver Union Station Master Plan Ensure that the Downtown Circulator is constructed as an attractive, high-quality, high frequency transit connection between Union Station, Civic Center Station, and the Cultural Complex, as described in the Downtown Multimodal Access Plan and FasTracks Plan Complete a study of the multi-modal access to Civic Center Station and address potential conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit vehicles Support studies of high-frequency fixed guideway transit on East Colfax, Broadway and Broadway/Speer/1st Avenue as the first components of the Denver focused transit system B2b. Create a free fare zone within Downtown B2c. Introduce car sharing services (such as Zip Car or Flex Car) as an alternative to private vehicles B2d. Expand bus connections between Downtown and adjacent neighborhoods; explore high-frequency circulator service similar to the Hop, Skip and Jump in Boulder B2e. Provide cross-town transit on Larimer and/or Lawrence to connect Auraria West Station with Ballpark and Arapahoe Square B2f. Change regulations to improve taxi service, especially for short-distance trips, in the Downtown area. Civic Center Station will be strengthened as the local transit hub, with improved connections throughout Downtown and to the surrounding neighborhoods. Denver Union Station and Civic Center Station will work in concert as hubs of regional and local transit. B2. Building On Transit 25 Civic Center Station Denver Union Station Lincoln Park Civic CenterSout hPlatteRiv erSout hPlatteRiv erCh er Ch er Mestizo Curtis Park Commons Park Strengthening transit will increase opportunities for transit-oriented development, such as this mixed-use housing project in San Francisco, CA. Strategy Diagram: Building on Transit Streetcars can provide quick, efficient and attractive intra-Downtown transit connections.

PAGE 29

24 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Provide clear bicycle network connections into and through the Downtown, and incorporate services and facilities that address the whole trip. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Given Denvers relatively flat terrain, favorable climate and recreational orientation, bicycling is a viable transit option that can work for a variety of individuals given the appropriate infrastructure. Increased bicycle use also enhances the overall livability of Downtown and augments the Denver Bicycle Master Plan. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS B3a Accommodate bicycle riders on all Downtown streets through the adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies B3b. Connect the local, regional and Downtown bike networks Initiate a pilot project to connect the West 14th Avenue, East 16th Avenue, and 12th Avenue routes into Downtown Complete the Creekfront trail project B3c. Improve bicycle parking and amenities throughout Downtown Establish bicycle stations at Denver Union Station, Civic Center Station and other locations Add more bike parking, especially near 16th Street Explore installation of shared bike stations as recommended in the Downtown Multimodal Access Plan Strong connnections to the greater city and region will promote increased ridership in Downtown. Critical mass bicycle rides elevate the concept of biking as a viable form of transit. Bicycles are an intrinsic part of the urban environment in Copenhagen, Denmark. B3. Bicycle City

PAGE 30

25 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Make parking easy to find and access, and connect parking facilities with clear and logical transit and pedestrian linkages. WHY ITS IMPORTANT For many visitors to the city core, parking is the first and last impression of their overall Downtown experience. Making parking logical and easy will help the visitor experience. Ensuring an adequate supply of strategically located parking is also important to support retail, employment and new development. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS B4a. Create a public/private parking management organization to implement a comprehensive parking management program that utilizes available technology Explore opportunities to share large reservoirs of parking to accommodate the needs of commuters, large events and visitors Identify strategic locations for additional parking, if needed Create a comprehensive parking identification system identifying available parking spaces B4b. Retain and expand the availability of on-street parking throughout Downtown Identify opportunities for flex parking lanes during off-peak hours B4c. Establish financing mechanisms to reinvest in the parking management program On-street parking must be managed to ensure that it is supportive of and integrated with the pedestrianoriented Downtown. A good wayfinding system will include informational and directional signage that guides people from parking facilities to Downtown destinations. New technology such as real-time displays of parking availability will enhance usability of Downtown parking. B4. Park The Car Once

PAGE 31

26 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Transform Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue, Broadway, Park Avenue and Auraria Parkway into celebrated, multimodal boulevards to overcome the physical and perceptual barriers of these major thoroughfares. WHY ITS IMPORTANT The Grand Boulevards provide an opportunity to expand the 1907 parkway system one of Denvers most cherished and defining features into Downtown. Like the historic parkways 7th, 17th and and 6th avenues, the Grand Boulevards can help define the community and facilitate personal interactions. These major streets should provide a memorable experience that is comfortable, safe and attractive for all users. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS B5a. Apply urban design concepts to distinguish the grand boulevards: align building facades with the street; scale buildings to the width of the street; orient active uses to the boulevard; consider unique features such as the green triangles created by the intersecting Downtown and City street grids; and improve the access to and visibility of Cherry Creek from Speer B5b. Provide safe and attractive pedestrian crossings of Speer; give first priority to the Speer and Larimer intersection B5c. Complete a plan for Speer Boulevard that enhances it as an historic parkway, location for quality development, and a truly great street B5d. Design and construct Broadway north of 20th as a green boulevard as recommended in the Downtown Multimodal Access Plan B5e. Enhance pedestrian crossings of East and West Colfax to provide good connections within the Cultural Core district B5f. Design each Grand Boulevard with specific plans that respond to the unique context and environment of each street This boulevard in Paris, France allows through-traffic to travel down the center while local traffic travels down slower side access lanes. Cherry Creek and Speer Boulevard should relate to each other and contribute to a complementary design, such as this green street in Dusseldorf, Germany. Grand boulevards are streets that are designed to help foster a sense of community and strong personal interactions; are physically comfortable and safe for pedestrians; and are places that are interesting and memorable. The world-famous Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, has multiple lanes for auto traffic but maintains a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere through elegant landscaping, wide sidewalks, cafes and retail shops, and mid-rise buildings that are in scale with the street. B5. Grand Boulevards 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatt e RiverSouthPlatt e RiverCh e Ch e Mestizo Curtis Park Commons Park Strategy Diagram: Grand Boulevards

PAGE 32

27 Plan Strategies and Projects c. a diverse city BEING A SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY INCLUSIVE PLACE Downtowns thrive on diversity of people and opportunity. Attracting more jobs, residents, amenities and visitors is key to the future of Downtown Denver. Housing affordable to families and Downtown workers, jobs of all types, educational opportunities, and global connections are all part of this equation. Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a diverse city are listed below and described in more detail on the following pages: C1. Downtown Living C2. A Family-Friendly Place C3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods C4. An International Downtown

PAGE 33

28 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Expand housing options to broaden the array of household types and income levels in Downtown, and provide amenities for a range of people. Add 18,000 new housing units to Downtown by 2027. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Affordable housing is important to provide options to the Downtown workforce. Family housing can help provide a continuum for young couples to stay downtown as they have children. Eventually, a significant Downtown population will help increase the demand for retail services. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS C1a. Continue to attract more people to live Downtown with expanded housing opportunities in different types and prices, including: Housing suitable for families Housing for seniors Housing for students, faculty and retired faculty Affordable housing options, including units below 50 percent or 30 percent of adjusted median income (AMI) Housing for Downtown employees C1b. Create regulatory incentives that encourage a more diverse array of housing options C1c. Take advantage of the diversity of available housing opportunities as center city transportation options expand Leverage close-in transit stations as an opportunity for a broader range of housing Use enhanced connections to adjacent neighborhoods to expand housing choices including family housing, retail market and cultural diversity C1d. Inventory existing affordable housing units in Downtown, identify when affordability expires and work to preserve existing units LoDo is one of many districts experiencing a boom in housing. To compete with the experience offered by other cities, such as Vancouver, B.C., Downtown must provide environments for a range of people, including families, seniors, those with disabilities, and people with a range of income levels. Mixed-use housing with active ground floor frontages will increase the attraction of living in Downtown. C1. Downtown Living

PAGE 34

29 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Attract children and their parents to visit, go to school, recreate, explore and live Downtown. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Children bring liveliness and a sense of comfort and safety to any neighborhood. Downtown Denver has yet to tap into the economic benefits of family markets. Increased family patronage will help boost retail, entertainment and special events. Family-orient ed businesses, housing and amenities offer a variety of development opportunities to stimulate future investment in Downtown. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS C2a. Create quality education options for Downtown residents and workers and their families Establish a magnet K-8 school in the core Provide early childhood education options in Downtown C2b. Launch a series of events aimed at attracting children and youth to Downtown C2c. Integrate fun features, such as fountains and play environments, into the 16th Street Mall, streetscapes, and open spaces C2d. Create and distribute a marketing piece aimed at families living, visiting and shopping Downtown C2e. Provide transit, bike and pedestrian connections to family attractions Family-oriented open spaces and pathways weave through Downtown Vancouver, BC. Fun events and activities, such as ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza in New York, NY, are vital to attracting families to explore and live in Downtown. Family-oriented retail options will help keep families with small children Downtown. C2. A Family-Friendly Place

PAGE 35

30 Plan Strategies and Projects C3. Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatt eRiverSouthPlatt eRiverCherryCr ee kCherryCr ee kMestizo Curtis Park Commons Park GOAL Link Denvers neighborhoods more closely with its Downtown. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Downtown Denver has emerged as a residential neighborhood over the past 20 years with nearly 10,000 new units of housing in the core. It is important to recognize that a number of vital neighborhoods surround Downtown as well, and strong connections between these areas will benefit the City as a whole. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS C3a. Connect the Downtown pedestrian and bicycle network to the surrounding neighborhoods C3b. Create new RTD routes or rebrand existing routes to be special circulators to and from adjacent neighborhoods C3c. Ensure that zoning and design guidelines direct a stepping down in density outward to nearby neighborhoods C3d. Provide enhanced pedestrian crossings at key locations along the Grand Boulevards (beginning with Speer, Colfax and Broadway/Lincoln) to connect Downtown with established and emerging neighborhoods and districts such as Denargo Market, River North, Uptown Health Care District, Santa Fe Drive and Five Points C3e. Strengthen neighborhood schools in addition to creating schools within the Downtown core C3f. Link visitors to the core to surrounding neighborhoods, particularly Santa Fe Drive and Welton Street, to support local arts and culture 25 COL FAX AVEN LOGAN ST A R KSON ST N OGDEN ST C OR ONA ST M ERSON ST O WNING STE 6TH AVEN ACOMA ST N BROADWAYE 5TH AVEN BANNOCK ST N GRANT S T H INGTON STN LINC OLN ST N SHERMAN S TMARION STN MARION STN BRIGHTON BL VD PLATTE ST WYNKOOP ST WAZEE STE 25TH AVEE 24TH AVE E 23RD AVE E 22ND AVE NLAFAYETTE ST N DOWNING S T N CLAY S TN PE COS STN NAVAJO STN LIPAN S TW 38TH AVEN WYANDOT ST N MARIPOSA STW 40TH AVEN TEJON ST N SHOSHONE STN OSAGE ST N ELIOT ST N QUIV AS STN DEC ATU R STW 39TH AVEN VALLEJO S T6TH AVEN SANT A FE DRN KALAMATH STN GALAPAGO STN ELATI STN DELAWARE S TN MARIPOS A STN OSAGE STN INC A STN LIPAN STN FOX STE 7TH A VEE 9TH AVEE 8 TH AVEE 11TH A VEE 17TH AVE E 13TH AVE E 16TH AVEE 12 TH A VEE 18TH AVEE 14TH AVEE 10TH A VEE 20TH AVEE 19TH AVESPEER BLVD15TH ST 14TH ST 17TH ST 18TH ST 19TH S T 16TH ST 20TH ST21ST ST 22ND STBLAKE ST LARIMER S T LAWRENCE ST ARAPAHOE ST CUR TIS ST CHAMPA ST STOUT ST CALIFORNIA ST WELTON ST TREMONT ST GLENARM PLW 36TH AVE W 37TH AVE W 35TH AVE W 34TH AVE W 33RD AVE W 32ND AVE W 29TH AVEPARK AVE 24TH ST 25TH STN CHER OKEE S TMARKET STHighland La Alma/Lincoln Park Curtis Park Capitol Hill Uptown Five Points Jefferson ParkLincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatt eRiverSouthPlatt eRiverMestizo Curtis Park Commons Park Coors Field Major Neighborhood Connection PointsStrategy Diagram: Embracing Adjacent Neighborhoods The surrounding neighborhoods add vitality to the urban core of Downtown.

PAGE 36

GOAL Improve Downtowns overall economic vitality by restoring the area as an important retail center. A3a. Reinforce and enhance retail clusters at key locations: Larimer Street, 16th and California, Denver Union Station, and Auraria (see Retail Strategy Diagram) Establish a retail management and enhancement program for 16th Street between Welton and Champa A3b. Develop a public market in the core of Downtown A3c. Create and implement a marketing plan to promote Downtown retail goods and services to in-place markets residents, workers, visitors, students Caption Title 31 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Recognize and celebrate the diverse backgrounds of Downtown residents, employees and visitors while making Denver a more inviting worldwide destination. WHY ITS IMPORTANT As the local population becomes more diverse, featuring a wider range of business and amenities will create a competitive advantage for Downtown. Offering events that appeal to world travelers will also enhance the city center as a tourist destination. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS C4a. Create a wayfinding system that welcomes international visitors as part of the comprehensive wayfinding system C4b. Encourage businesses that reflect ownership of and cater to culturally diverse markets; Sakura Square is an example C4c. Create and advocate for event-friendly policies to attract and retain events appealing to a variety of cultures Oktoberfest in Larimer Square draws thousands of people to eat, drink and relax with friends and experience German culture. Cinco de Mayo parades and other events celebrate Latin American culture and should be a part of an increasingly diverse Downtown Denver. Greater social and economic connections to Asian cultures will enhance Downtowns competitiveness and enrich its residents. C4. An International Downtown African-American culture is featured during Denvers Juneteenth event. Downtown is a place that embraces its ethnic diversity, providing activities and experiences for all.

PAGE 37

a. prosperous32 Plan Strategies and Projects d. a distinctive city CULTIVATING A MOSAIC OF URBAN DISTRICTS Downtown Denver has often been overshadowed by its dramatic sense of place at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. In recent years, Lower Downtown and the 16th Street Mall have emerged as nationally recognized destinations within the city center, creating a definable civic identity. Downtown can build upon these notable features and encourage the creation of a mosaic of distinct districts that each build on their own unique features, and collectively create a city known for its diverse, well-designed and vital urban environment. In turn, the image of Downtown Denver will become as well known as its setting. Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a distinctive city are listed below and described in detail on the following pages: D1. District Evolution D2. Connecting Auraria D3. Downtowns New Neighborhood: Arapahoe Square

PAGE 38

GOAL Improve Downtowns overall economic vitality by restoring the area as an important retail center. A3a. Reinforce and enhance retail clusters at key locations: Larimer Street, 16th and California, Denver Union Station, and Auraria (see Retail Strategy Diagram) Establish a retail management and enhancement program for 16th Street between Welton and Champa A3b. Develop a public market in the core of Downtown A3c. Create and implement a marketing plan to promote Downtown retail goods and services to in-place markets residents, workers, visitors, students Caption Title 33 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Restore and activate the iconic features, such as mountain views, major public buildings, cherished historic buildings and parks and parkways, that provide distinctive identity to Downtown and the Denver region, and foster a collection of identifiable districts throughout Downtown. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Great cities have tangible and memorable features, including distinct districts and architectural elements that have an authentic basis in the citys history, climate and geography. Denver can build upon its existing environmental strengths its sunny and temperate climate, mountain and urban views, 21st century innovation, cultural diversity and architectural richness to cultivate truly memorable districts. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS D1a. Use features such as transit stations, changes in the grid, terminating vistas, grand boulevards, character of existing buildings, and relationships to adjacent districts and neighborhoods to influence district form including the intensity of development, height of buildings, ground floor activity, and mix of uses. Enact zoning and design guidelines to realize desired district character Modify the B-5 Zone District and Design Guidelines to incorporate desired building attributes including views, solar access, energy efficiency, ground floor activity, open space, parking location and appearance, and other factors Identify midand high-rise building forms that promote intense use while maintaining a pleasant street environment with light, views, and visual interest D1b. Use distinctive ground floor retail, other active uses, and the street environment to reinforce district identity D1c. Retain and reuse historic buildings to fortify the distinct identity of districts D1d. Coordinate master planning efforts with owners of underutilized districts such as the Central Platte Valley-Auraria District; incorporate recommendations of the Downtown Area Plan and Auraria Master Plan D1e. Prepare and update adopted plans for district areas (e.g. Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan, Central Platte Valley Plan and Northeast Downtown Plan) to reflect changing character and other planning issues New development around the Denver Art Museum and Civic Center is poised to change the area. Robust neighborhoods, like Little Italy in New York, NY, evolve and grow while deepening their district identities. D1. District Evolution

PAGE 39

GOAL Based on the principle of identifying compatible strategies for Downtown uses are a key part of the Downtown Development Strategy. These overlays provide a framework for ensuring that major uses complement, rather than compete, with one another. A2a. Design the Downtown Circulator to provide high frequency, high quality transit service that enhances economic development and transit benefits of the investment A2b. Establish a business opportunity zone to rebalance downtown economic activity Invest in the Civic Center area, including station, park and cultural facilities Market the area along the Downtown Circulator to employers and developers Caption Title 34 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Fully integrate the Auraria Campus and the Downtown core through strong physical, social, economic and programmatic connections. WHY ITS IMPORTANT With three college campuses, Auraria is a critical educational amenity that can fortify Downtowns economy by providing educational, employment, and knowledge transfer opport unities for students, worker s and businesses. C oordinate closely with the Auraria Campus Master Plan (2007) to accomplish the goals of both plans. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS D2a. Enhance Speer Boulevard between Arapahoe and Wewatta as an urban gateway to better connect Auraria to the adjacent districts and by bringing buildings closer to the street, expanding sidewalk areas, augmenting landscaping and improving access to Cherry Creek D2b. Promote a public-private development project on campus that connects to the Commercial Core and LoDo to boost Downtown vitality D2c. Establish programmatic, economic and cultural links between Downtown and Auraria Market Downtown retail to students, faculty and staff Develop employee training and student internship programs Market continuing education programs to the Downtown community Develop a knowledge and technology transfer program Market campus cultural, sports and recreational events and facilities to the Downtown community D2d. Connect Auraria and Auraria West Station and Downtown with the Larimer/Lawrence transit line Portland State University in Portland, OR, seamlessly connects with the downtown along a green street. D2. Connecting Auraria 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatt eRi verSouthPlatt eRi verCherryCre ekCherryCre ekMestizo Curtis Park Commons ParkAuraria Strategy Diagram: Connecting Auraria The physical and perceptual gap between Downtown and Auraria must be closed (above). The Larimer Street connection, among others, should be improved with wider sidewalks, distinctive paving and crosswalks, and development that comes to the edge of Speer Boulevard (as depicted in the simulation at right).

PAGE 40

35 Plan Strategies and Projects D3. Downtowns New Neighborhood: Arapahoe SquareVibrant urban districts like Yaletown in Vancouver, BC are models for future redevelopment of Arapahoe Square. 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSou thPlat teRiv erSou thPlat teRiv erCherryCree kCherryCree kMestizo Curtis Park Commons Park Strategy Diagram: Downtowns New Neighborhood Arapahoe Square GOALRedevelop Arapahoe Square as a cutting edge, densely populated, mixed-use area that provides a range of housing types and a center for innovative businesses.WHY ITS IMPORTANTArapahoe Square affords great opportunity for another distinct district to develop in Downtown. The relatively large amount of underutlized land presents an opportunity to intensify that is unique within the core.POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS D3a. Reinforce neighborhood character by restoring the landscaped tree lawns (the area between the sidewalk and curb) and converting selected one-way streets to two-way D3b. Improve Broadway and Park Avenue streetscapes D3c. Revise land use regulations to implement the Plan D3d. Provide building space and amenities to attract innovative businesses D3e. Complete a small area plan for Ballpark and Arapahoe Square as a cutting edge, mixed-use district that has an exciting intensity of residential development and innovative businesses Issues for Arapahoe Square include zoning and design guidelines, protection of historic buildings, retail needs, local transit connections, and street design for the Grand Boulevards Park Avenue and Broadway Examine zoning and create and adopt design guidelines for the Ballpark District to reinforce historic character through compatible infill development The simulation at left illustrates some of the building types that will someday replace the areas existing surface parking lots and underutilized properties (above). Proposed concepts include slender residential towers, cutting-edge space for innovative businesses, mid-rise mixed-use buildings, ground floor active uses, and new open spaces.

PAGE 41

36 e. a green city BUILDING A GREENER DENVER Downtown Denver enjoys a variety of local and regional-serving outdoor amenities, from plazas, pocket parks and civic landmarks to natural river corridors. It also has a sunny and dry climate that fosters extensive use of these spaces. Enhancing existing amenities, creating outdoor places, and extending the well landscaped public realm of Denvers residential areas thereby connecting individual green spaces as part of a larger network will make Downtown Denver a more livable and inviting destination. Building on Greenprint Denver, Downtown Denver has a unique opportunity to be a leader in green practices as well. The Rocky Mountain Region has many natural resources that can be harnessed to provide sustainable energy options such as abundant sunshine and reliable winds. Through providing a dense mix of appropriate land uses, enhancement of the the multimodal transportation system, implementation of energy efficient building standards, promotion of progressive energy preservation techniques, and the utilization of natural resources, Downtown Denver is positioned to be a model city for environmentally friendly, sustainable living. Strategies and projects for making Downtown Denver a green city are listed below and described in detail on the following pages: Plan Strategies and Projects E1. An Outdoor Downtown E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center E3. Sustainable Use of Resources

PAGE 42

37 GOAL Strengthen connections between existing parks, plazas and recreation areas, and enhance the public realm to provide venues for outdoor activity throughout Downtown. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Providing venues for residents, workers and visitors to gather, relax and play in public is a key component of fostering a balance between urban life and the outdoors. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS E1a. Create a green public realm in Downtown by adding street trees and landscaping in the public right-of-way, in private open spaces and on rooftops E1b. Host events that promote biking and walking in Downtown and develop educational and interactive programs such as walking and bicycle tours E1c. Create and implement a Downtown parks and open space master plan incorporating existing parks, open space and connecting routes in and around Downtown. Include the South Platte River, Cherry Creek and other parks near Downtown Promote healthy living with more active outdoor spaces Improve bike and pedestrian connections to the Cherry Creek and South Platte River greenways Provide new pocket parks or other publicly accessible open spaces in underserved areas E1d. Activate Skyline Park as a central gathering place for the Downtown community Complete the 2004 Skyline Park design, including reactivation of the fountains, enhanced park lighting, signage and paving of selected gravel areas Activate the park through programming that appeals to a diverse audience Create a family-friendly environment through amenities and activities with particular emphasis on children and youth E1e. Continue to cluster world-class sports facilities in Downtown Commons Park plays host to both formal and informal recreational activities. Paley Park in New York, NY is a small, intimate urban plaza that brings life to the surrounding area. Plan Strategies and Projects E1. An Outdoor Downtown Skyline Park plays host to a range of activities in the center of Downtown. 25 Lincoln Park Civic CenterSouthPlatteRiverSouthPlatteRiverTo Mestizo Curtis Park Commons Park Skyline Park Union Station Plaza Confluence Park Centennial Park Gates Crescent Park Creekfront Park Denver Center For Performing Arts Park To Sloans Lake Park, Jefferson Park Downtown Playground Sonny Lawson Park Benedict Fountain Park To Chessman Park To City Park Sunken Gardens Park Cuernavaca Park Skate Park Park Grand Boulevard Proposed Public Open Space, Plaza or Park Green Connection (Tree-Lined Streets Or Pedestrian Connections)Downtown Denver Open Space Strategy

PAGE 43

A4. CLEAN AND SAFE38 Plan Strategies and Projects E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center GOAL Strengthen Civic Center as an outdoor amenity to attract visitors, residents, workers and students to the park. WHY ITS IMPORTANT As one of the most iconic elements of Downtown Denver, Civic Center Park must be restored and reactivated to support the vision elements of green and distinctive. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS E2a. Restore and reactivate the Civic Center E2b. Restore the Carnegie Library to accommodate new uses that help activate the park based on the recommendations of the Civic Center District Plan and Civic Center Park Master Plan E2c. Create clear street-level pedestrian connections to link 14th Street and Colfax; 15th Street and Colfax to the Acoma Plaza; and Civic Center Station to the Art Museum E2d. Provide enhanced safety and maintenance services to the park E2e. Enhance the parks function as the central downtown location for community celebrations and festivals E2f. Invest in the Civic Center area, including the station, park and cultural facilities E2g. Implement street enhancements identified in the Civic Center District Plan for West Colfax Avenue and West 14th Avenue between Speer Boulevard and Bannock Street E2h. Encourage a mix of activities and vibrant, transparent ground-floor uses in buildings facing the park 25 Lincoln ParkCivic CenterSouthPlatt eRi verSouthPlatt eRi verCh erryCree kCh erryCree kMestizo Curtis Park Commons Park Strategy Diagram: A Rejuvenated Civic Center Civic Centers Carnegie Library does not currently activate the park (above). Proposals for revitalizing the space (below) include opening up the space with outdoor dining, walkways and other pedestrianoriented enhancements to enliven the area.

PAGE 44

GOAL Improve Downtowns overall economic vitality by restoring the area as an important retail center. A3a. Reinforce and enhance retail clusters at key locations: Larimer Street, 16th and California, Denver Union Station, and Auraria (see Retail Strategy Diagram) Establish a retail management and enhancement program for 16th Street between Welton and Champa A3b. Develop a public market in the core of Downtown A3c. Create and implement a marketing plan to promote Downtown retail goods and services to in-place markets residents, workers, visitors, students 39 Plan Strategies and Projects GOAL Incorporate sustainability as a core value for Downtown and integrate its concepts into all future projects, programs and policies. WHY ITS IMPORTANT Global trends find that sustainable building, water conservation, and energy utilization practices will be increasingly important to propel economic growth as articulated in Greenprint Denver. With a region rich with research and development facilities for renewable resources, Downtown Denver can emerge as a national leader in reduced energy use and sustainable energy production. POLICIES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS E3a. Develop a Downtown-wide strategy to reduce resource consumption, especially energy, water and materials, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Install energy efficient street lighting that meets Dark Skies standards Retrofit existing buildings and encourage new buildings to be more energy efficient Encourage reuse of existing buildings to retain embedded energy Establish sustainable street design practices beginning with 14th Street E3b. Build a high-profile renewable energy project, such as the Colorado Convention Center roof solar panels Aggressively recruit companies involved in developing alternative energy and sustainable building technologies E3c. Expand existing transportation demand management programs for employees, busin esses and residents to decrease use of single occupant vehicles E3d. Develop a sustainable storm water management system for Downtown Integrate green street elements, such as bioswales, along streets and in parking lots to attenuate surface runoff and minimize impervious surfaces E3e. Establish parking lot landscaping requirements that reduce heat island and storm water impacts E3f. Expand and enhance public sector, residential and business waste reduction programs Water is perhaps the most precious resource in Denvers semi-arid climate. Portland, Oregon has made great strides in incorporating green street elements that naturally channel and filter stormwater into its streetscape designs. E3. Sustainable Use of Resources

PAGE 45

Strategy overlays based on the principle of identifying compatible strategies for Downtown uses are a key part of the Downtown Development Strategy. These overlays provide a framework for ensuring that major uses complement, rather than compete, with one another. Building from the Downtown Development Concept and District Strategies analyses, the overlays in this section relate to three essential uses in Downtown housing, retail and entertainment. These overlays do not dictate where every type of residential project, retail store, or entertainment venue must be located in the city center. Rather, they are intended to (1) build on concepts already in use, such as the clustering of clothing stores and garment outlets in the Fashion District, and (2) help capitalize on existing elements and potential opportunities within districts to create a stronger overall Downtown. For example, the planned Staples Center Mixed-Use Development Project proposes a range of uses, including family and sports-oriented retail. The development of similar retail uses on adjacent properties would help to build a unique shopping area an active family and sportsrelated retail district, capitalizing on the presence of the Staples Center Arena that offers services that are distinct from Downtowns other retail centers. Of course, this type of retail can also be located elsewhere in city center, but the grouping of similar stores and activities will help to ensure a critical mass of distinct goods and services in each district, ultimately bolstering the viability of all Downtown retail. Caption Title 2. AURARIA CAMPUS AND ITS EDGES Caption Title 40 Plan Projects and Strategies

PAGE 46

iv. district strategies District Strategies reat city centers are not simply centers of commerce. Instead, they are distinguished by a collection of distinct districts that work together. New York, Chicago, Paris, London and Tokyo are good examples of vibrant central cities composed of multiple, interconnected districts, each with their own urban form, character and individual identities. Strong districts possess ke y anchors and points of identity such as an historic monument, specific economic activity or land use, or a special street environment that contribute to their character and vibrancy. They also feature intense activity areas, such as gateway elements, distinct building scale, and physical connections that signal to people that they are within, or entering into, a distinctive place. The amalgamation of several districts in a Downtown environment enables a richness of commerce, lifestyles and experiences that no single district could achieve on its own. Downtown Denver is indeed a mosaic of districts. Some are strong, established neighborhoods that are the foundation of Denvers history and success; others are new and evolving, trying to take hold and create their own economic identity and urban character. Together they will make Denver a premier national and international city in the 21st century. Each district contains a unique combination of features that will influence public and private decisions about future development location and intensity, planning, and public investment. Important considerations are shown on each of the district maps.G41

PAGE 47

42 The Commercial Core is the heart of Downtowns bustling commerce and economic activity. The district is comprised primarily of large office buildings generally housing major employers and small busine sses. One unique aspect of the district is the Downtown Historic District, comprised of 43 individual structures such as the Brown Palace Hotel, D&F Tower, and Equitable Building. The area that is often referred to as the Wall Street of the W est encompasses the large office buildings along 17th, 18th and 19th streets. This collection of tall buildings defines Denvers skyline. The east end of the district is most densely developed. Private plazas provide some visual relief to the canyon effect that dominates some blocks, but these plazas also diminish the sense of vibrancy if oversized or inadequately activated. Blocks to the west and north of this office node have a greater mix of tall buildings, historic buildings, parking garages, and surface parking or vacant sites. The Downtown Federal Center is within this area and includes the historic Byron White Courthouse and the Customs House, as well as many contemporary courthouse and office buildings. The security requirements of this federal district have diminished the sense of activity as entrances have been consolidated and parking eliminated. The 16th Street Mall is the most distinctive contemporary urban design feature of Downtown Denver. The Malls length, quality design and materials, heavily used transit and pedestrian accommodations make it the dominant organizing element of the Commercial Core. However, the Malls infrastructure is aging and it has struggled in recent years to maintain a healthy and diverse balance of retail and other active uses. In addition to the Mall, major corridors through the Commercial Core include 15th, 17th, 18th, and 19th streets and Broadway. These streets vary in character and intensity along their lengths but are generally marked by sizable midto high-rise buildings, frequent parking structures, some surface parking lots, and a mix of experiences at the street level from a few attractive, walkable blocks to numerous blank walls and pedestrian-unfriendly spaces. New residential and hotel development is occuring along 14th street. To remain vital as other districts such as Lower Downtown and the Central Platte Valley develop, the Commercial Core must build on its strengths, including a large office worker population, and enhance its role as Denvers central business district by incorporating a greater mix of uses and activities. The coming investment in transit connections such as the Downtown District Strategies A2. Energizing the Commercial Core B1. An Outstanding Pedestrian Environment A3. A Comprehensive Retail StrategyCurtis Street and 16th Street (right, top) is envisioned as the spine of a lively Theatre District straddling the Commercial Core and Cultural Core. Proposed improvements (right, bottom) include enhanced streetscapes and crosswalks, dramatic lighting, use of public art, development or redevelopment of key sites, and highlighting of the Denver Performing Arts Complex as a visual landmark and terminus to the street. Related overall plan strategies and transformative projects include: A1. The Downtown of the Rocky Mountain Region commercial core

PAGE 48

District Strategies 43 Circulator will create additional development opportunities. As the Mall bus service reaches capacity with continued development in the core area and completion of FasTracks, the Downtown Circulator will provide a vital role as another transit connection. The expanding residential population in the Commercial Core provides an opportunity to improve urban plazas and integrate them into the open space system. Goods and services oriented to residents, not just visitors, will also need to expand in order to meet the needs of a growing local population. Both recreational and retail amenities can serve employees and students as well. It will also be esse ntial to r einvest in the 16th Street Mall infrastructure and adjacent buildings in order to maintain both the Malls retail viability and its reputation as the regions premier pedestrian environment; it is necessary for the continued efficient operation of the Mall shuttle, which is essential to the regional transit system in Downtown. Embrace a named streets initiative to enhance connections along Larimer, Curtis, California, Welton and Tremont streets. Continue development of the 14th Street cultural corridor. Develop focus areas, especially the Theatre, Visitor, Larimer Mixed-Use, and Business Opportunity districts. Establish the Downtown Circulator. Continue development of enhancements to Skyline Park. Conduct an urban form study as the basis for modifying B-5 zoning and design guidelines. Preserve historic buildings and districts through established design review and demolition protection. TT 20TH STCOL FAXE 17TH AVE E 16 TH A VEE 18TH AVEE 14T H AVEE 20TH AVEE 19TH AVE15TH ST 17TH ST 18TH ST 19TH ST 16TH ST 21ST ST BL LARIMER ST LAWRENCE S T ARAPAHOE S T CURTIS ST CHAMPA S T STO UT ST CALIFORNIA ST WELTON ST GLENARM PL MARKET S TCULTURAL CORECOMMERCIAL COREARAPAHOE SQUARE LODO Civic Center Park State Capitol Civic Center Transit Station Denver Performing Arts Center Brown Palace HotelSkyline ParkColorado Convention CenterCirculator Circulator16th Street ShuttleLight R ailGreyhound Station Site Visitor District Theatre District Welton Block !6th and California Block Larimer Mixed Use District Federal District This 3-D model highlights existing (dark orange) and potential future development (light orange) in the Commercial Core.Commercial Core Strategy KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OPPORTUNITY SITESOpportunity sites are identi ed in the strategy diagram on this page and on all of the district diagrams in this chapter. Two main criteria de ne the selection of these areas. First, each site is chosen for its strategic location and potential to not only shape new development on the site itself, but also catalyze additional development in the surrounding areas. Second, these sites are usually either vacant or underutilized parcels, or they possess building form that is an obstacle to catalyzing future development (such as a building that has large, blank walls that inhibit pedestrian connectivity). Development or redevelopment of these key opportunity sit es is essential to creating a dynamic, connected and walkable Downtown Denver.Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail

PAGE 49

District Strategies 44 cultural core The Cultural Core is the robust civic, government and cultural center of the city and state. At the districts center lies Civic Center Park, a grand, City Beautiful-era green space that anchors the area and is home to many special events and public celebrations. Major local, state and federal buildings the State Capitol, City and County Building and the Denver Mint define the central portion of the district. Government buildings are located on an east-west civic axis that extends from the State Capitol to the City and County Building, and then west to the Justice Center. Cultural facilities are clustered along a cultural axis at Acoma and continues to the northwest along 14th street. The Denver Art Museum, Denver Public Library, and Colorado History Museum are all located south of Civic Center Park, while the Colorado Convention Center Denver Performing Arts Complex and the planned Justice Center are at the northern and western end of the district. These civic and cultural buildings epitomize the image of the area. However, nascent residential development is adding a new element to the Cultural Core, creating a more round-the-clock district. The area is at the crossroads of three major auto corridors Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue and Broadway/Lincoln Street that connect the Cultural Core outward to the city and region. Cherry Creek runs along the western edge of the district. Homelessness and other social issues plague the public realm. Restoration and activation of Civic Center Park, along with improved access and regular programming, will be vital to creating a safe, clean and thriving place for all Denver residents. B5. Grand Boulevards E2. A Rejuvenated Civic Center B2. Building On TransitThis 3-D model highlights existing and proposed development (dark blue) and potential future development (light blue) in the Cultural Core.Related overall plan strategies and transformative projects include:

PAGE 50

District Strategies 45Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail The Grand Boulevards of Speer, Colfax and Broadway/Lincoln provide vehicular connection to the region, but act as severe barriers to pedestrian movement within, into and out of the district. These obstacles must be overcome to effectively connect the Cultural Core to adjacent Downtown districts as well as the nearby neighborhoods of La Alma/Lincoln Park, Curtis Park and Capitol Hill resulting in better movement and access for residents and tourists alike.KEY RECOMMENDATIONSRestore and reactivate Civic Center Park. Study multimodal access to Civic Center Station, the local transit hub. Create a link to the Commercial Core via 14th Street as a cultural connector. Create a mixed-use, public-private development that includes the Emily Griffith Opportunity School and other complementary uses. Implement pedestrian improvements on Speer, 14th Street, Colfax, 14th Avenue and Broadway. Preserve the Civic Center Historic District through established design review and demolition protection. Theatre District Emily Griffith Opportunity School 14th Avenue Opportunity Site N A COMA ST N BR OADWAYN BANNOCK ST N LINCOLN ST N SHERMAN STWAZEE STE 11 TH A VEE 13 TH A VEE 12TH AVEE 14TH AVE15TH S T 14 TH S T 17 TH S T 16TH STAR APAHOE ST CURTIS S T CHAMP A ST ST OUT S T C ALIF ORNIA ST WEL T ON S T GLENARM PLN CHEROKEE ST DELAWARE S TC OLFAX AVE14TH S TCULTURAL CORECOMMERCIAL CORE ARAPAHOE SQUARE LODO GOLDEN TRIANGLE Civic Center Park Colorado Convention Center Future Justice Center City and County Building Denver Performing Arts Center Denver Public Library Denver Art Museum State Capit ol Civic Center Transit StationCirculator Circulator Cultural Core Strategy Similar to Denvers Civic Center, Boston Common in Boston, MA is an active public park with green space, civic uses, and recreation surrounded by a dense built realm.

PAGE 51

District Strategies 46Related overall plan strategies and transformative projects include: golden triangle Located just south of the Cultural Core, Golden Triangle is experiencing significant residential development and emerging as an arts-oriented district. The 1998 Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan set the stage for the development occurring today. The northern part of the district is home to the Denver Art Museum (shared with the Cultural Core), Civic Center Cultural Complex Parking Garage and surrounding joint development, and the new Denver Justice Center. The recent museum expansion forms a campus centered on Acoma Street, which will become a pedestrian promenade connecting to Civic Center Park. Many surface parking lots are nearby, especially along blocks between 11th Avenue and 13th Avenue. The museum expansion is fueling new residential development, ranging from low-rise townhouses to 20-story towers, on many of these lots. Cherokee Street is the primary residential street in the Golden Triangle, with a variety of housing types, but predominately multi-family. Acoma Avenue of the Arts connects the Art Museum and Central Library with Downtown via Civic Center. In addition to civic, cultural and residential uses, the district is home to small professional firms such as architects, landscape architects, and attorneys. Neighborhood retail such as art galleries, restaurants, entertainment venues, coffee shops, salons and health clubs serve the area, especially along Broadway and Lincoln Street on the districts eastern edge. Opportunity abounds for the Golden Triangle, as public sector improvements particularly related to arts, civic and cultural resources will continue to catalyze private sector investment in the area. The Broadway/Lincoln Street corridor remains a dominant feature that brings tens of thousands of cars through the area, limiting pedestrian mobility and access, particularly between Capitol Hill and parts of the Cultural Core. The same is true for Speer Boulevard and La Alma/Lincoln Park to the west. As discussed in the Grand Boulevards strategy, the transformation of these major streets will add character and definition to the Golden Triangle, as well as embrace pedestrian access to surrounding neighborhoods. Appropriately designed and scaled buildings along Speer Boulevard will urbanize the districts western edge, while Broadways historic architectural character can be enhanced with compatible infill development. This 3-D model highlights existing and proposed development (dark pink) and potential future development (light pink) in the Golden Triangle. B5. Grand Boulevards C1. Downtown Living

PAGE 52

District Strategies 47Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail The future Downtown Circulator connection, which will terminate in the northern part of the district and connect to Denver Union Station, will be key in connecting to the core of Downtown and, in turn, will foster additional housing in the district. As housing increases, more neighborhood-serving retail will be needed, as will smaller parks and gathering spaces for residents. The neighborhood feel and pedestrian friendliness of the Golden Triangle would be further enhanced by returning Cherokee and Delaware to two-way traffic.KEY RECOMMENDATIONSActivate the restored Evans School and develop compatible infill on the remainder of the site to facilitate appropriate development along Acoma Avenue of the Arts. Enhance the pedestrian and bike environment throughout the district and provide improved pedestrian crossings of the Grand Boulevards where appropriate. Connect to Civic Center Station via the Downtown Circulator. Orient development to reinforce the scale, quality and character of Speer and Broadway/Lincoln, the bordering Grand Boulevards. Encourage growth of existing arts-oriented retail uses. Evans School Site N LOGAN STE 6TH AVEN AC OMA S T N BRO ADWAYE 5TH AVEN BANNOCK ST N GRANT S T N LINCOLN ST N SHERMAN STN GALAPAGO STN ELATI STN DELAWARE ST N DELAWARE ST N FOX STE 7TH AVEE 9TH AVEE 8TH AVEE 13TH A VEE 12TH A VEE 10TH AVEN CHER OKEE STCULTURAL COREGOLDEN TRIANGLE Civic Center ParkAcoma Avenue of the Arts Signature Development Area Urban open spaces, like this park in San Francisco, CA, can provide an outdoor amenity as development in the Golden Triangle intensifies.Golden Triangle Strategy

PAGE 53

District Strategies 48 B5. Grand BoulevardsRelated overall plan strategies and transformative projects include: auraria Incorporating the campuses of three higher education institutions the University of Colorado at Denver/Health Sciences Center, the Community College of Denver, and Metro State College Aurarias location and features offer great opportunities for Downtown. The district is currently a mix of low-density brick structures with many surface parking lots. Lawns and pedestrian pathways surround the buildings. The Library stands out as a unique metal-paneled structure among the red brick buildings. The historic Tivoli Brewery now serves as a Student Union and offers retail shops and a movie theater complex. The campus is part of Downtown but is physically and perceptually isolated from it by difficult crossings at each of its edges. Speer Boulevard separates Auraria from the Cultural Core, Commercial Core and Lower Downtown. Similarly, the campus boundaries to the northwest (Auraria Parkway) and south (Colfax Avenue) are diminished by fast-moving vehicular traffic. Both of these streets serve as main vehicular routes for traffic accessing I-25 and for crosscity traffic. Stronger connections will be essential to making Auraria a vital part of Downtown, starting with Speer Boulevard. The heavily trafficked roadway is difficult for pedestrians to cross; buildings are set back and oriented away from the street, and distances are great across the rightof-way. The bike and pedestrian path along Cherry Creek is a green respite along this major corridor, but its below-grade location hinders its attractiveness, visibility, and perception of safety. A comprehensive design study and plan for Speer Boulevard is needed to reassert the historical importance of the street, demonstrate connection, and foster pedestrian safety. This renewal must occur in conjunction with new development along the Speer Boulevard will become a more stately and accessible Grand Boulevard and gateway street to Downtown. Recommended improvements to create a pedestrian-oriented boulevard include enhanced sidewalks and intersections, greening of the landscape, a transit connection up Larimer Street, and buildings that come to the street edge. D2. Connecting Auraria The historic Tivoli Brewery is now the Auraria Student Center. Views of the Tivoli from other parts of the campus and Lower Downtown are important. In the future Auraria will seamlessly connect to the Downtown core along Larimer Street at Speer Boulevard via multiples modes, including potential streetcar transit.

PAGE 54

District Strategies 49Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail corridor and the creation of a more urbanized Auraria Campus, particularly at its northeast corner. Inspiring and attractive higher density mixeduse development, potentially in part through public/private partnerships, will bring the campus physically closer to the edge of Speer Boulevard. This will help reduce the perception of excessive space between the Downtown core and Aurarias edge and make the campus more appealing to Downtown users. The redevelopment of Speer must also take into account the impact of the Historic Urban Edge District guidelines on the LoDo side of Speer. This will densify Speer Boulevard and help link Downtown and Auraria. These improvements can combine to make Speer Boulevard a true grand boulevard and urban gateway for Downtown, as well as a showcase for sustainable design and green building. KEY RECOMMENDATIONSTransform Speer Boulevard into a Grand Boulevard. Intensify campus development, particularly at its northeast corner as recommended in the recently completed Auraria Master Plan. Link Auraria to Downtown via a streetcar-style transit system along Larimer/Lawrence streets. Implement priority pedestrian improvements along Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway; specifically, develop an improved crossing at Speer and Larimer. 25 WYNKOOP ST WAZEE STN SANTA FE DRN KALAMA TH S TN MARIPOSA STN OSAGE STCOLFAXN LIPAN S T15TH STAUR ARIA PARK WAY14TH ST 17TH ST 16TH STBLAKE ST LARIMER ST MARKET STCENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY AURARIAAURARIACULTURAL CORE COMMERCIA L CORE LODO Northeast Auraria Site Auraria West Station Opportunity Site Lincoln Park Auraria StrategyThis 3-D model highlights existing development (dark green) and potential future development (light green) in Auraria. The Auraria Master Plan (2007) calls for a more urban campus with strong connections to other Downtown districts.

PAGE 55

50 A1. The Downtown of the Rocky Mountain Region B2. Building On TransitRelated overall plan strategies and transformative projects include: lower downtown (lodo) Lower Downtown is an urban renaissance success story that continues to thrive as an historic mixed-use hub of housing, retail, office and entertainment Characterized by its historic buildings and the Historic District enacted to protect them, LoDos turn of the century architecture consists of two to six story buildings with commercial uses (retail, restaurants, bars) on the first level and office or residential uses above. The district, once filled with industrial and wholesale uses, is now home to hundreds of loft dwellers in converted historic buildings and mid-rise new construction. Surface parking lots periodically interrupt the urban streetscape. LoDo is completely surrounded by other Downtown districts and for the most part is distinguished by its character rather than its boundaries. Since designation of Lower Downtown as a Denver Landmark District, the area has gained a vital mix of uses including neighborhood-serving and boutique retail and additional office and housing. Many of the once prevalent surface parking lots have been replaced with compatible new construction. The boundary between LoDo and the Central Platte Valley consists of Denver Union Station, vacant land and rail infrastructure. The two districts will be connected with the Denver Union Station transportation and development investments. The districts distinct character is set on its named streets Market, Blake, Wazee, and Wynkoop. The historic buildings typically face these named streets (the long side of the block), resulting in a more interesting streetscape than provided by the larger buildings facing numbered streets characteristic of other districts. Market and Blake streets funnel traffic into and out of Lower Downtown from I-25 and Auraria Parkway. However, once in the district, it becomes more pedestrianoriented. Wazee Street offers an eclectic mix of galleries, restaurants, lofts, and offices in renovated brick buildings on Wynkoop. The row of large warehouse buildings opposite Union Station provide a unique urban street experience. Larimer Street, Denvers first and much beloved historic district, provides a transition between the Commercial Core and Lower Downtown. Larimer Square has attributes much like Lower Downtown. Denver Union Station, at LoDos western edge, is poised to once again become the active multi-modal transportation hub of the region and gateway to Downtown. This redevelopment will have profound District Strategies This 3-D model highlights existing and proposed development (dark yellow) and potential future development (light yellow) in LoDo. A3. A Comprehensive Retail Strategy

PAGE 56

District Strategies 51Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail impacts on development, pedestrian connections to Central Platte Valley on 16th, 17th, and 18th streets, and transportation patterns in the district and throughout Downtown. Wynkoop Plaza on the east side of Denver Union Station will be a new open space for Lower Downtown. Lower Downtown must continue to evolve and grow as one of the countrys best urban historic districts. Maintaining the historic character the hallmark of LoDos success while integrating new mixed-use infill housing development and neighborhood-serving retail will be crucial. KEY RECOMMENDATIONSAssure that restoration of Denver Union Station and development of the site as a transit hub becomes a significant benefit to LoDo with improved pedestrian connections into and through the site on 16th, 17th and 18th streets and the Wynkoop Plaza open space. Preserve the historic character of the buildings and district through established design review and demolition protection. Connect Denver Union Station to Downtown via the 18th and 19th Street Circulator. Redevelopment of Market Street Station and the Office Depot site will together enhance the visual link between Lower Downtown and the Commercial Core on 16th Street. Continue to implement the street design and circulation recommendations of the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Plan (2000) including converting 18th Street for two-way traffic. Implement the Historic Urban Edge Design Review District to enhance LoDos relationship to Cherry Creek and Speer Boulevard. WYNKOOP ST WAZEE ST15TH ST 14TH ST 17TH ST 18TH ST 19TH ST 16TH ST 20T H ST 21ST ST 22ND STLARIMER ST LAWREN CE ST ARAP AHOE S TPA RK MARKET STCENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY COMMONS CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY PROSPECT COMMERCIAL CORE BALLPARK ARAPA H SQUA R LODO Denver Union Station Area Office Depot Site Denver Union Station 16th Street ShuttleCirculator CirculatorMarket Street Station Site Lower Downtown (LoDo) StrategyThe Denver Union Station Master Plan includes a pedestrian promenade along 17th Street. Restaurants and retailers have signage and space design that respect the historic heritage of LoDo and contribute to its character.

PAGE 57

52Related overall plan strategies and transformative projects include: central platte valley (cpv) Situated at Downtowns western boundary, the Central Platte Valley is a dynamic, livable urban neighborhood with connections to open spaces and natural areas. The Central Platte Valley has undergone massive redevelopment since the late 1980s. The area was once dedicated to rail yards, warehouses and viaducts, and is now comprised of open space, cultural and entertainment facilities, and mixed-use housing and retail. The Central Platte Valley is divided into three sub-districts: Prospect, Commons and Auraria. The Commons sub-district is bounded by Wewatta, Cherry Creek, the South Platte River, and 20th Street. The Consolidated Main Line (CML) bisects the district. Public land uses in the Commons include the Denver Skate Park, Commons Park, Confluence Park, and bikeways along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. While considerable land remains to be developed, the Commons now has a mix of lowto high-rise residential development and some commercial. The Millennium Bridge is a dramatic pedestrian bridge that connects Commons with Lower Downtown; its sophisticated architecture reflects the character of the district. It is one of three bridges that connect Downtown with the Highland neighborhood to the northwest. To the north, the Prospect sub-district is a compact area bounded by 20th Street, Park Avenue, Coors Field, and the CML. It is a mixed-use area with residential, restaurant, office, industrial and some new retail. The southern part of the district (Auraria) abuts the Auraria Campus and contains large entertainment uses, including Elitch Gardens and the Pepsi Center; the Downtown Aquarium (formerly Colorado Ocean Journey), Childrens Museum and REI are across the river. Large parking lots serve these facilities and characterize the area. Future opportunities to densify these areas are beginning to emerge as transit use increases and parking demand decreases. District Strategies This 3-D model highlights existing development (dark purple) and potential future development (light purple) in the Central Platte Valley. B3. Bicycle City E1. An Outdoor Downtown C2. A Family-Friendly Place B2. Building On Transit

PAGE 58

District Strategies 53Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail Speer Boulevard and 20th Street Viaduct are major roads that act as barriers for pedestrians within the district. To the west, Interstate 25 divides the Central Platte Valley from the Highland and Jefferson Park neighborhoods, however new pedestrian bridges extend the 16th Street connection from Civic Center Park to Northwest Denver. The Central Platte Valley will continue to attract mixed-use development in the coming years. With its open spaces and park amenities, familyoriented housing could be a major opportunity. Denver Union Station is one of the most significant opportunities for this district. It will connect Lower Downtown and the Central Platte Valley as never before on both 17th and 18th streets. 17th Street will become a promenade that is the central spine of a transit district between 16th and 18th streets. It will be the epitome of integrated land use, urban design and transportation. KEY RECOMMENDATIONSAttract family-oriented development. Provide additional amenities such as schools and daycare centers. Improve pedestrian and bicycle access to open spaces along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. Create high quality multimodal connections between the light rail station and Denver Union Station on 16th, 17th, 18th and Wewatta streets. 17th Street Promenade will be the spine of the transit district and provide a high quality connection across the district. Pepsi Center Site CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEYAURARIACENTRAL PLATTE VALLEYCOMMONSCENTRAL PLATTE VALLEYPROSPECTAURARIA CULTURAL CORE COMMERCIAL CORE BALLPA R LODOPLATTE ST WYNKOOP ST WAZ EE ST S PEER BLVD15TH ST 14TH ST 17TH ST 18TH ST 19TH ST 16TH ST 20 Denver Union Station AreaPepsi Center Elich Gardens Confluence Park Commons Park Central Platte Valley (CPV) StrategyVancouver, BC, is an example of a downtown that incorporates the urban environment with a recreational waterfront.

PAGE 59

54Related overall plan strategies and transformative projects include: ballpark Ballpark is a lively historic district that is emerging as a fully mixeduse hub of entertainment and living The Ballpark Historic District extends north past Park Avenue. The combination of historic storefront and factory/warehouse buildings has provided a dynamic environment for new residential and business uses. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies and special events, is the centerpiece of Ballpark. Its construction in 1995 sparked significant reinvestment in the area, much of it in restaurant, bars and other entertainment-related uses, as well as rental and for-sale housing. Since the early 2000s the area has experienced a range of mixed-use development. The areas historic structures have been protected by the Ballpark Historic District status and converted into housing, retail and office space. Blake Street contains many warehouses that are now used as residential lofts. Ballparks streets also are home to new, infill loft development and some restaurants and bars close to Coors Field. The portion of Larimer Street in Ballpark is the historic retail district of this old Denver neighborhood, with many buildings dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The street is lined with storefront buildings that contain retail below and residential above. The districts eastern blocks contain a mix of commercial buildings and surface parking lots. Ballpark has direct pedestrian links to Lower Downtown but is largely cut off from the Central Platte Valley by Coors Field and 20th Street. A lack of strong urban fabric marked by one-way streets and vacant lots also creates a disconnect between Ballpark, the Commercial Core and Arapahoe Square. The district transitions well toward the historic structures and renovated warehouses north of Park Avenue. Ballpark is evolving into a round-theclock urban district. Lofts and urban style housing animate the area with commerce and activity outside of game days or nightlife hours. New development or redevelopment District Strategies D1. District Evolution Along 21st Street (above) the viewshed, narrow street width, and multiple surface parking lots offer the opportunity to create a bustling urban district. Pedestrian improvements, mid-density development, and a mix of uses (rendered below) can leverage the baseball stadium and transform the district.

PAGE 60

District Strategies 55Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail should broaden the variety of residential options, densities and amenities, while respecting and maintaining the historic qualities of the area. Extending east from Coors Field, 21st Street is a slow-traffic roadway with pedestrian-scale width that affords the opportunity to develop a true neighborhood street. Larimer Street, running perpendicular to 21st Street, contains many commercial spaces that can serve the neighborhood. Better connections to the Downtown core, as well as a transit link down Larimer Street to the Auraria Campus, are needed to strengthen Ballpark and fully integrate the district with the rest of the city center.KEY RECOMMENDATIONSUpdate plan and create design guidelines to integrate new residential and mixed use development options. Preserve the historic character of the buildings and district through established design review and demolition protection. Connect to Auraria via streetcar-style transit service along Larimer. Implement pedestrian improvements throughout the district with emphasis on Larimer, 21st Street and Park Avenue. CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY COMMONS CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY PROSPECT COMMERCIAL COREBALLPARKARAPAHOE SQUARE LODO W YNKO OP ST W AZEE ST15TH ST 4 TH ST 17TH S T 18TH ST 19TH ST 16TH ST 20T H ST 21ST ST 22 ND STBLAKE ST LARIMER ST LAWRENCE ST ARAPAHOE ST CURTIS STPAR K AVE 24TH ST 25TH STMARKET S TN BR OADWAYCoors Field Ballpark StrategyThis 3-D model highlights existing development (dark red) and potential future development (light red) in Ballpark. The South of Market district around San Francisco, CAs baseball park has transformed into a dense, vibrant, mixed-use district. Denvers Ballpark District has the same potential.

PAGE 61

56 A4. Clean and SafeRelated overall plan strategies and transformative projects include: arapahoe square Located southeast of Ballpark and just north of the Commercial Core, Arapahoe Square is probably the most underutilized area of Downtown. In turn, it perhaps has the most potential for redevelopment and revitalization in the coming years. Arapahoe Square is situated between the high-rise development of the Commercial Core and the lowerdensity neighborhoods of Curtis Park and Five Points. The southwestern edge of the district is 20th Street, which is heavily traveled by automobiles going towards I-25 and Coors Field. The northern edge of the district is Park Avenue. It transitions to Ballpark to the west and East Village and Uptown to the south. Broadway bisects the district creating the triangular building sites where the two grids intersect. In the 1970s and 80s, much of Arapahoe Square was cleared to serve as a parking reservoir for the Commercial Core, specifically between Park Avenue, Welton Street and Broadway. It is still dominated by surface parking lots and some vacant parcels. The remaining buildings are both economically and architecturally diverse, combining urban lofts and low-rise neighborhood commercial with warehouses, transportation facilities and light industry. Many social service providers are located in Arapahoe Square. The Clements Historic District, Ebert Elementary School, and East Village reconstruction are key features just outside the district. Light rail transit along Welton Street is attracting new residential development and provides connections between the Downtown core as well as Five Points and Curtis Park. FasTracks improvements include extending this line north along Downing and converting it to streetcar. The light rail station at 20th and Welton has begun to attract some higher-end housing than previously existed. District Strategies D3. Downtowns New Neighborhood: Arapahoe Square B5. Grand BoulevardsVancouver, BC offers many models for developing Arapahoe Square. Pedestrian-scale town houses line the street while higher towers are developed in the block interiors (left). Historic buildings are preserved alongside new housing and connected via pedestrian-friendly streets (right).

PAGE 62

57Legend LRT Stop LRT Line Proposed FasTracks Rail Line Intra-Downtown Transit Opportunity Site Grand Boulevard Special District Priority Pedestrian Connection 1/4-mile Radius Around Key Node/Transit Hub Neighborhood-Serving Retail Arapahoe Square holds vast unrealized potential. Its proximity to other Downtown districts and the historic neighborhoods to the northeast makes it an ideal location for a greater range and greater density of uses. However, challenges persist in its re-invigoration particularly on surface parking lots and the concentration of homeless shelters and other social services. The perceptions and realities regarding social service issues must be address ed.KEY RECOMMENDATIONSPrepare a small area plan. Implement Denvers Road Home program. Encourage appropriate redevelopment of surface parking lots and other underutilized properties. Identify redevelopment opportunities adjacent to the Welton Street Light Rail Transit line. Implement pedestrian improvements on Broadway, Park Avenue, 21st and Curtis streets. Restore landscaped tree lawns and consider converting selected streets to two-way. E 25TH A V E E 24TH AV E E 23RD A V E E 22ND AV E 17TH AVE E 16TH AVEE 18TH AVEE 20TH AVEE 19TH AVE 1 9TH ST 20TH ST 21ST ST 22 ND STLARIMER ST LAWRENCE ST ARAPAHOE S T CURTIS ST CHAMPA ST STOUT ST CALIFORNIA ST WELTON ST GLENARM PLPAR K AVE 24T H ST 25T H ST COMMERCIAL CORE BALLPARKARAPAHOE SQUARELODOLight R ail Arapahoe Square Strategy District Strategies This 3-D model highlights existing (dark green) and potential future development (light green) in Arapahoe Square. The Pearl District in Portland, OR, is a former industrial site that is now one of the countrys most livable urban neighborhoods. Arapahoe Square shares similar possibilities.

PAGE 64

59 he 2007 Denver Downtown Area Plan provides a Vision, Strategy Framework and Action Plan to guide the evolution of Downtown over the next 20 years. Moving forward, a combination of market forces and public policies will shape investment and development patterns in the city center. v. moving forward Moving Forward First, immediate action must be taken toward realizing the seven transformative projects. Simultaneously, other strategies and actions, large and small, must be undertaken. The steps outlined in the plan are intended to be carried out by a range of entities, both public and private. Some are relatively easy to undertake, others are more complex and time consuming. But they are all realistic and achievable if the right forces are brought to bear. It will take concerted, sustained partnership among all stakeholders to tackle these initiatives and set the course for success. Just as the planning process is a joint effort of the City and County of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership, these partners must share the responsibility of plan implementation. To facilitate the coordinated effort and sustained commitment, it is critical that the two entities form a standing Downtown Area Plan committee. The committee should have the following attributes: Include leaders and key staff from the City, the Partnership and other key downtown organizations; Remain a workable size (eight to 10 members); Conduct regular meetings; Establish measurable goals, priorities and time frames for implementation of plan items; Invite public participation and comment; Review the Area Plan annually to define success and prepare work programs; and Celebrate and publicize accomplishments. TCommittee members should be knowledgeable about the plan and its recommendations and be able to steer the implementation actions through the political and technical challenges that will emerge. Members should be drawn from City Council, the DDP Board, managers of key City agencies, the Downtown BID, and City and Partnership staff. Membership can change as needed, and specific people may be added to facilitate certain plan actions.

PAGE 65

60 Photo Credits photo creditsBig Stock Photos: p. 0, p. 42, Jim Rae: p. 1 Downtown Denver Partnership: p. 4, p. 6. p. 18, p. 20, p. 25, p. 28, p. 37, p. 50, p. 52 Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau: p. 8, p. 17, p. 59 Havey Productions: p. 12, p. 16 Stan Obert: p. 12, p. 13, p. 21, p. 32 IStock: p. 15, p. 17, Peter Park: p. 22, p. 26, p. 38 Denver Urban Spectrum: p. 31 Steve Turner: p. 33, p. 39, p. 44 David Owen Tryba Associates: p. 38 Union Station Neighborhood Company: p. 51 Denver Public Library: p. 37 MIG, Inc.: All images not otherwise credited