“Massive sections of Denver saw redevelopment in the late 1990s. The conversion of Lowry Air Force Base and Stapleton International Airport into residential neighborhoods is probably the most visible transformation. And the inner-ring neighborhoods (Highlands) and former industrial areas (RiNo) have come alive through infill projects and creative new development. But the Central Platte Valley has grown almost out of nothing. Once the black hole of gone-to-seed space, the Valley now has an impact on the vitality of downtown as well as the evolution of transportation facilities.”
Sounds quaint, doesn’t it? That was written almost six years ago for the second edition of The Guide to Denver Architecture. I said that the Valley had gone from “dregs to diamonds.” I’m not sure “diamonds” is the word I would use today. Perhaps a city on serious steroids?
If you’ve been following the development of The River Mile project proposed for along the South Platte River in the Valley, yesterday was an important day: The Denver City Council okayed a development agreement and rezoning for the property. According to today’s Denver Post, “the change gives developer Rhys Duggan [of Revesco Properties] high-level approvals for a plan to build roughly 8,000 residential units and some of the city’s tallest buildings along the South Platte River.” The development agreement involves the city and KSE Elitch Gardens / Revesco / Second City, LLLP. (The rendering at the top also topped stories from The Denver Post and Denverite).
This huge project will include an affordable housing component, and other structures. Elitch Gardens eventually will need to move, but The River Mile is designed to evolve over many years. The architect team includes Denver-based Shears Adkins Rockmore (SAR) and Wenk Associates, and DIALOG, which has offices in Canada.
Below are links to news coverage by The Denver Post and Denverite, as well as a link to a post on Denver Infill, which not only lays out information on The River Mile but also gives background on how the Central Platte Valley has changed over the years. It also features aerials of the Valley over the years – fascinating.