Train stations − probably not at the top of your list of favorite places to hang out, but they are some of the most iconic, historically rich, and beautiful buildings found around the world. They are the hearts of cities, circulating movement, facilitating journeys, and creating rhythm in the hustle and bustle.
Denver’s 120-year-old Union Station is no exception. Recently having undergone a much-needed facelift this past May, it has transformed into an expansive, first-rate hub for transportation, and has landed on the Thrillist list of America’s most beautiful train stations.
After a whopping $1 billion investment, the makeover that boasts a 112-room boutique hotel, an exposed Train Hall made of 11 striking steel arches, several restaurants, shops, and bars, not to mention displays over 600 works of art that one can easily spend hours admiring.
These new developments however, have not taken away from the exquisite original structure of the building. “Union Station … may have undergone a few nips and tucks recently, but that hasn’t compromised its Beaux Arts facade, which was built in 1894 after a fire burned down the original building.” It’s no wonder this project was honored at the annual NAIOP awards for commercial real estate.
The new and improved station will undoubtedly have an impact on surrounding real estate. Having established itself as one of the main attractions in the city, it wouldn’t be surprising if a gradual price hike occurs in the homes around this highly desirable area. Who wouldn’t want to live nearby to this epicenter of convenience?
How Has This Reno Changed the City?
Denver Union Station President Frank Cannon believes the “mobility and accessibility” of the city will change forever. In other words, this will drastically reshape the cityscape itself. “All the local corridors converge at Union Station and you have the ability to get anywhere in the world — due to the [future] connection to the airport — from this location.”
The renovation has also created a measly 10 new acres of public space (Wynkoop Plaza space, the 17th Street linear gardens, the light-rail plaza) at the hub of the city. This means a sprawling playground for those who want to stop and smell the roses after a long day at work.
Cannon also notes, “When you look at the amount and the mix of development that’s occurred — in great part because of the infrastructure investments and the plan that was created — we have taken an area of the city that for so many years was vacant rail yard and have accelerated the development and creation of a new neighborhood and place in a time frame that hasn’t been seen in the real estate world.” This is above and beyond the culturual and economic impact that creating new jobs and generating new business will have on Denver.
This new business is epitomized in sea of younger travelers, ever-present at the grand opening of the station, which took place Saturday, July 26th of last year. The event saw many enjoying the space−dining at the numerous restaurants, relaxing, socializing, and even utilizing the convenience of the chic Crawford hotel.
With this increased fun factor, and one-stop-shop of an entertainment complex (you can literally dine, play and catch a ride home or stay over at the hotel, all in one convenient location) you may want to consider adding the Denver Union Station to your list of hangouts after all.