As the FasTracks initiative steams toward completion, the project‘s potential economic impact on downtown Denver is coming into view. Deemed the largest public transit project in the United States, FasTracks is helping to create thousands of jobs until completion in 2020. Not only will it turn the historic Union Station facility into a major transit hub for rail, buses, taxis and more, but it’s expected to spur $500 million in activity around the 40-acre Union Station neighborhood.
First, developers will spend $48 million to renovate Union Station, adding restaurants, retail, and 120 hotel rooms. Various public projects, including Wynkoop Plaza, are on the drawing board. And numerous lots are targeted for private projects as businesses are drawn to the transit hub. Among five commercial buildings in store, the five-story, $32 million IMA Financial Group project is under way and due to open late next year.
“We’re just getting going at Union Station,” said Chris Frampton, managing partner for East West Partners-Denver, which is part of the Union Station Alliance of project developers. “This place will help identify the whole city. You get off the train here from the airport, and it’s the terminus for every line, and that has a really big macro-regional effect.”