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First the former geologist and future governor opened a brewpub there, then the Rockies built a ballpark, the city gussied up Union Station, and swanky hotels (the Maven, Hotel Born) sprung up throughout the neighborhood. Now LoDo is one of—if not the—most vital, walkable, and dare-we-say-hippest quarters of Denver. The one thing missing, though, is a wide selection of spots to shop for chinos. That void, however, will soon be filled.
Last week, Continuum Partners began construction on Market Station, a $200 million mixed-use development that will stand over the former RTD bus terminal property bordered by 16th and 17th streets on one end, Market and Blake streets on the other. “There’s not another available property like this downtown,” says Roger Pecsok, development director at Continuum Partners, a Denver development firm that helped develop the Union Station project. “There are cars-in and cars-out, and because it’s on the 16th Street Mall, it’s at a crossroads of pedestrian traffic.” Continuum acquired the two–acre property for $14.5 million from the city after Denver shuttered the bus terminal in 2014.
While Market Station will include 95,000 square feet of office space and 225 apartments—including 400-square-foot micro units that will provide affordable rent in an otherwise cost prohibitive neighborhood—Pecsok says the 85,000 square feet of retail is what will set the project apart. There will be a few restaurants, yes, but much of that space will be dedicated to shopping. The block fronting the 16th Street Mall will be home to established national brands, which will then support emerging brands, some of them local, throughout the remainder of Market Station’s 370,000 square feet.
The idea, Pecsok says, is that visitors will be able to dine at one of Union Station’s elegant restaurants and then saunter over to Market Station to do a little window-shopping. Obviously, he hopes browsing turns to buying. “The energy at Union Station is largely food-oriented,” Pecsok says. “We’re going to provide a lot larger retail base.” Continuum won’t reveal Market Street’s tenants yet, but there’s still plenty of time for unveilings: The project is expected to open in summer 2019.