Mar 9, 2021 - News

Denver City Council approves major upgrade to 16th Street Mall

Rendering of the upgrade to 16th Street Mall

Rendering image courtesy of the City and County of Denver. Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It's official: The core of downtown Denver is getting a serious facelift.

Driving the news: Last night, Denver City Council approved a nearly $150 million investment in the 16th Street Mall, a project that's been inching down the pipeline for a decade.

Why it matters: The long-overdue renovation on an iconic — yet increasingly fading — part of Denver could act as a catalyst for downtown and the region, which is struggling to rebound from the pandemic.

What they're saying:

  • The reconstruction will "deliver immediate impact with the project expected to generate over 1,800 new jobs and an overall economic impact of over $4 billion," Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, tells Axios.
  • "It will be a more open and safer feel, for both our [bus] drivers and the people on the sidewalk," Susan Wood, RTD's project planning manager, told the Denver Gazette.

Details: The city finalized a deal with PCL Construction Services to carve out more sidewalk space along the mall, centralize bus lanes and add extra tree coverage.

  • The redesign is meant to create more places for people to gather and vendors to set up shop, planners say.

What to watch: Construction on the 16th Street Mall is slated to begin by the end of this year and wrap up by the end of 2024, the Denver Business Journal reports.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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