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Jul 6, 2017

Multi-Purpose Public Space in Denver Could See Redevelopment

Opened in 1982, the popular 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver has long been a place for residents to play chess, perform street theatre, or just relax.

But the 1.2-mile thoroughfare is also the home to two shuttle stops serving thousands of people daily as part of the Regional Transportation District’s Free Mall Ride system.

Add to the mix the existence of some 400,000 charcoal-gray granite paver stones designed by the legendary architect I.M. Pei, and the mall is a space with an abundance of attractions and uses.

Whether the mall should remain as it is or be repurposed is now the subject of a study being undertaken by the City of Denver, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The study, coordinated by the Denver-based CH2M engineering firm, is specifically looking at proposals to move the shuttle stops away from the mall entirely, or simply relocate them from both sides of 16th Street to only one side.

Other proposals include widening sidewalks on both sides of the street in order to enhance the mall’s public space component.

According to reports, the Denver Urban Renewal Authority has up to $68 million in funding available that can be used for upgrading or reworking the mall.

At least two public input meetings on the re-designing the 16th Street Mall are scheduled for later this month.

 

By Garry Boulard

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