And there's more to
In 2004, voters
approved a sales-tax increase to fund FasTracks, a $4.7 billion plan
to build at least 10 new rail lines over the next decade, bringing
riders from throughout the region into downtown's Union Station.
"Denver is not one of
America's largest cities, but there are phenomenal initiatives going
on," said ULI chairwoman Marilyn Taylor, urban design partner with
the New York architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.
One of Denver's
attributes is its great street life, a key component of
transit-oriented developments, Taylor said. Lower Downtown, the 16th
Street Mall and the region's bike paths all are evidence of people's
willingness to get out of their cars and be part of public spaces.
"When people ride
transit, they're pedestrians," Taylor said. "The scale of community
building and place-making around transportation nodes has lots to do
with addressing the places between buildings where people interact."
The promise of people
wanting to live and work near transit stations already has lured
developers from Raleigh, N.C.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Chicago to sites
along the T-REX line slated to open next month.
"Denver did an
exceptional job of contemplating the realities of population growth
and urban sprawl," said Zack Davidson, a Tulsa-based developer who
has a $170 million mixed-use project a quarter-mile from the Orchard
Road station in Greenwood Village.
It's one of 18 projects
along the T-REX line either built or under construction, with a
total value of nearly $680 million, according to the Regional
Transportation District's transit-oriented development team.
Case is working on two
projects along T-REX. The $63 million Dry Creek Crossing at the Dry
Creek Road station will include about 248 condos when it's completed
late next year.
Case also is working
with Chicago-based Joseph Freed & Associates on the 50-acre
redevelopment of the former Gates Rubber plant at I-25 and South
"Denver has this
opportunity to create a series of linear cities where development is
dense at these rail stops," Case said. "Combine the fact that you
create this transportation system with the fact that people are
liking this urban lifestyle, and it's a pretty powerful force. It
becomes a lifestyle choice."
FasTracks and Denver
International Airport have earned Denver a reputation as a world-
class city, said Chris Coble, a senior association with CB Richard
Ellis who specializes in transit-oriented development.
"When developers look
at different investments across the country, Denver rolls up at the
top of the list," Coble said. "We're serious about our future. We're
concerned as voters and public professionals that we want a