Buckle up—more construction is headed downtown. The Colorado Rockies announced last week plans to redevelop an entire city block next to Coors Field, transforming the stadium’s west parking lot into a mixed-use development space. Early models of the project show a completely transformed downtown gathering area at 19th and Wazee streets, featuring entertainment, retail, restaurants, and a Colorado Rockies hall of fame.
The project is still in its final planning stages, and not much detail has been released by the Rockies or Stantec, the Colorado-based architecture firm taking lead on the project. The specifics will likely be finalized in early 2018, according to Stantec’s director of public relations, Danny Craig. In the meantime, here’s the lowdown on what we know so far.
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‣ 50 percent of the project will be dedicated to office and ground-floor retail space, Craig says. The rest of the development will be made up of restaurants, a hotel, and residential apartments.
‣ The three-acre space is designed to become Denver’s ‘Outdoor Room,’ said senior principal at Stantec, Daniel Aizenman, in a Thursday press release. The goal is to create an outdoor (but accessible year-round) “content plaza,” to hold concerts, festivals, and other community activities, as well as serve as a pre- and post-game gathering area.
‣ It’ll be high-tech. We may not yet know what it’ll look like, but the space is going to include state-of-the-art audio and visual technology, according to Thursday’s announcement. Renderings of the space show TV screens displaying Rockies’ games, large speakers and lighting.
‣ The project will take over what is currently a parking lot, eliminating about 299 downtown parking spots. But, according to Craig, there are early projections of a two-story underground lot beneath the new development.
‣ It’s all about baseball. A Rockies’ hall of fame will be the centerpiece of the project, and if the project renderings are any indication, the plaza is purple-themed and will feature the team’s logo at its center.
‣ The Rockies paid high dollar for the lot, the Denver Post reported last week. The 99-year lease on the lot was part of a $200 million deal the Rockies made last March to secure their home base at Coors Field. According to the Denver Post, the baseball team paid $7.5 million for their first year of the lot rental, and will pay the same amount for the next four years. After that, it’ll cost them an annual $5 million for 15 years, and then $1.25 million a year for the following 10.
This project—while innovative and massive—is not the first of its kind among professional sports franchises. Similar plazas have been built adjacent to hockey and basketball stadiums in Dallas and Los Angeles, and the Chicago Cubs are in the midst of finishing a ballpark plaza outside of Wrigley Field. Though the specifics of this project are yet to come, the home of Blake Street Bombers will be getting a serious upgrade.