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Summer suds: Downtown's Skyline Beer Garden opens June 8

It’s a sure sign that summer is just around the corner when the Skyline Beer Garden opens at Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall at Arapahoe Street.

Sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnerships and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, the Skyline Beer Garden opens June 8. It will have nearly 40,000 square feet of outdoor space with open-air and tented seating that will feature live music every Friday and Saturday. The communal Oktoberfest-style picnic tables can collectively seat more than 350 guests.

Weekly programming also will offer a host of evening activities, including Sweat & Sim (exercise classes followed by beer), Trivia Night and a Meet the Maker series. The family friendly game area features giant Jenga, foosball, ping pong, a nine-hole miniature golf course and cornhole.

The Skyline Beer Garden features 12 different brews on tap and serves up casual fare, including locally made street tacos.

The Skyline Beer Garden is also available for private events. Reservations for parties of 20 or more are being accepted for special events and private gatherings, including office happy hours, convention after parties and gatherings, birthday celebrations and family get-togethers. To book your party, contact Kristen Becker at kirsten@citystreetinvestors.com.

The Skyline Beer Garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from June 8 through mid-October, weather permitting.
 

Downtown Denver award winners announced

The Downtown Denver Partnership recently announced the 57th Annual Downtown Denver Awards winners recognizing transformative projects in downtown Denver that contribute to an economically health, growing and vital center city.

The honorees, selected by a jury of key business leaders convened by the Downtown Denver Partnership, are businesses, projects and initiatives that have had the most significant economic impact on the center city in 2017. The winners were showcased at an event April 17 attended by nearly 1,000 business and civic leaders with videos produced by Comcast and Westworks Studios.

The award winners were:
  • Ashley Union Station
  • Confluence Park-Shoemaker Plaza Reconstruction
  • Le Meridien and AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown
  • The Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Initiative at Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Rocky Mountain Seed Buildings
  • Union Station Block A
“Tonight’s 57th annual Downtown Denver Awards dinner is about the brave, bold risk-takers who have shaped our city,” Downtown Denver Partnership President and Chief Executive Tami Door said during the dinner. “Thank you to the winners, the business community and all who help make this city stronger.”

In addition to recognizing the winners, the partnership also honored The Brown Palace for 125 years of service and hospitality and the Community College of Denver for 50 years of service to education.
 

"Happy City" exhibit will help break down social barriers

Public art that will be installed throughout the city starting May 18 will bring together 11 artists’ perspectives that address ideas of happiness and wellness.

The project — “Happy City: Art for the People” — will provide unexpected art experiences in public spaces with the purpose of breaking down persona, emotional and social barriers. The art installation sites will be located throughout Denver and include streets, alleyways, billboards, video screens, Union Station and others. in addition to the installations, “Happy City” will offer programming such as conversations and a panel discussion to engage the community.

Produced by The Denver Theatre District, “Happy City” is under the artistic direction of Black Cube, a nonprofit experimental art museum that operates nomadically. Black Cube, which partners with artist fellows to commission popup art experiences, describes itself as an unconventional museum pursuing the most effective ways to engage audiences while supporting individual artists with critical professional guidance.

“Through the artists’ diverse lenses, the ‘Happy City’ experience will focus on creating stronger communal ties and ask important questions about what it means to be happy,” says Cortney Lane Stell, Black Cube's artistic director. “The art interventions are inquisitive in tone and offer many perspectives on the topic of happiness, from practical through playful.”

Participating artists include Colorado artists Theresa Anderson, Matt Barton, Carlos Fresquez, Kelly Monico, Zach Reini, John Roemer, Joel Swanson and Frankie Toan. Also joining the exhibit are Milton Melvin Croissant III of New York, Vince McKelvie of California and Stuart Semple of the United Kingdom.
 

Celebrate public art with selfies

Denver Arts & Venues is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Denver Public Art, a program that sets aside 1 percent of every municipal capital improvement project over $1 million for the creation of public art, by inviting people to share photos and videos of how they engage with the collection.

Denver residents and visitors can share their photos and videos through social media using the hashtag #DenverPublicArt30.

“The Denver Public Art collection is an anchor of the city’s cultural landscape,” Mayor Michael Hancock said. “This will be a celebration that encourages residents and visitors to engage with and celebrate the collection by finding and interacting with some of Denver’s iconic artworks, as well as those pieces located in their own neighborhoods.”

The social media campaign will encourage people to focus on 15 themes — two per month — and 30 favorite photographs from these posts will be displayed at the end of the year at Buell Theatre. Favorites will be selected by Denver Arts & Venues staff and Denver artists. All submissions will be highlighted on PublicArtDenver.com.

“There are some pieces in the collection that everyone recognizes,” says Denver Public Art Manager Michael Chavez. “But by identifying themes, we hope people will seek out the art hidden in plain sight.”

Monthly themes are as follows:
  •  March: Art in Cold Weather, and Women’s History and Heritage
  •  April: Animal Art, and Public Art Selfies
  •  May: Memorials and Statues, and Asian and Pacific American History and Heritage
  •  June: Summer-Time Art (Picnics and Park Fun), and Find Art in Your Neighborhood
  •  July: Denver International Airport Collection, and Light or Kinetic Art
  •  August: Urban Arts Fund, and Indoor Art
  • September: Latino and Hispanic History and Heritage
In addition to the public art funding ordinance which was created in 1988, the Denver Public Art Collection of more than 400 pieces includes several donated artworks, many of which are more than 100 years old. Denver Public Art also offers free, year-round tours in addition to other Public Art related events, and manages the Urban Arts Fund (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year).
 

Johnson Nathan Strohe designs City Park Golf clubhouse

Johnson Nathan Strohe has designed a view-oriented clubhouse to anchor the City Park Golf Course, which is being rebuilt.

The design’s stone, wood and glass materials will help to integrate the clubhouse into the new golf course. Its curvilinear form will allow for public functions with a panoramic facade that will capture course, city and mountain views.

Slated for completion in the spring of 2019, the 22,560-square-foot project includes an upper level for golf operations and entertainment, as well as a sunken lower level for golf cart storage. In addition to serving as an amenity space for golfers, the clubhouse is suited for events such as weddings, family reunions and other social gatherings.

The clubhouse also includes space for The First Tee of Denver golf program, which aims to educate and inspire youth academically, socially and physically through the game of golf. Adjacent new buildings will accommodate maintenance operations and a comfort station.

The project is part of a broader golf course redesign that will increase course yardage, create a driving range without netting, provide new sidewalks to improve connectivity and integrate storm water detention.

Johnson Nathan Strohe has previously designed public golf clubhouses for Indian Tree Golf Club, Riverdale Golf Club and The Greg Mastriona Golf Courses at Hyland Hills.

Denver Tennis Park under construction

Construction has started on Denver Tennis Park at 1560 S. Franklin St. adjacent to Denver Public Schools All City Stadium complex.

The project, being built by PCL Construction, is the first publicly accessible youth-centered indoor/outdoor tennis facility in the Denver region. It will feature seven indoor courts and six outdoor courts. The project is expected to be completed in October.

The Denver Tennis Park is a new non-profit organization with a mission to foster whole child development for youth of all ages and abilities. The initiative is a collaboration of the Denver Tennis Park, the University of Denver and Denver Public Schools. The project has been funded philanthropically, and DPS has provided funds for a portion of the drainage work at the site. Fundraising efforts are under way as part of a capital campaign.

“This will be a tremendous addition to the Denver tennis community, as well as to student athletes for the Denver Public Schools and Denver University,” says Kerri Block, PCL’s project manager for the Denver Tennis Park. “PCL is looking forward to delivering an outstanding tennis complex to the people supporting this effort and everyone who plays — or wants to learn to play — a great lifelong sport.”

The project also includes regrading part of the surrounding athletic fields to divert storm runoff to a new 48,000 cubic foot underground retention system. The 279-space parking lot also will be preserved to serve sporting events, as well as the tennis park.

Side Stories exhibit debuts on RiNo buildings

Coming soon to a building near you: Side Stories // RiNo, a large-format outdoor film installation on the exterior of River North Art District Buildings from Feb. 21-March 2.

The immersive event will project digital works from 10 Colorado artists onto outdoor walls in east RiNo, creating a walkable art experience through the neighborhood. The Side Stories website will provide an augmented realty, allowing visitors to follow an interactive map and audio tour of the event, complete with historical RiNo highlights and block-by-block suggestions about where to stop for a warm drink and a bite to eat or to shop along the way. A printed version of the installation also will be available.

Each participating artist was matched with an exterior wall and received a $5,000 grant to create a site-specific, three- to five-minute film loop inspired by RiNo’s historic neighborhoods. Film genres include live action, documentary, historical, motion graphics, animation and experimental.

“Side Stories supports local artists, enlivens a neighborhood and small businesses during winter evenings and creates an experience to encounter art while exploring our city," says Fiona Arnold, president of Mainspring Developers, who had the initial idea for Side Stories. “Our goal is to combine all three elements together in a new way that we hope will be interesting, inspring and just plain fun.”

Side Stores // RiNo will launch as a partnership between Mainspring Developers; Mary Lester/Martin Family Foundation; RiNo Art District; the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media; and the Denver Film Society.

The installation will be located through the area between Broadway to 36th Street and Blake Street to Larimer Street. Visitors are encouraged to bring their smartphones and earphones.
 

Riverfront plaza opens at Confluence Park



At long last, the new $9.3 million riverfront plaza at Confluence Park is finished.

The project stalled for more than a year after coal tar was discovered buried on the river’s west bank. Work restarted last December and wrapped up with the culmination of a ribbon cutting on Oct. 14.

The completion of Confluence Park marks the first project of Phase II of River Vision, the expanded plan to improve the South Platte River corridor and make it the premier outdoor recreation destination and environmental educational resource for the city and the state. Since 2012, multiple partner organizations have raised nearly $50 million toward the renovation of parks along the South Platte. Phase I of River Vision created more than 30 acres of new parkland and greenways, and Phase II will include four additional revitalization efforts north of Confluence Park.

“For our growing city, it’s never been more important to protect, preserve and grow our parks and recreational opportunities, and reclaiming the river has been vital in celebrating and cultivating new outdoor experiences for Denver residents,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “Phase I of the River Vision investment has already transformed the banks of the South Platte into a spectacular network of parks for residents to enjoy, and there are more great improvements to come.”

Phase I of River Vision broke ground in 2013 and wrapped up in the spring with the completion of Grant Frontier Park. It also included Johnson Habitat, Vanderbilt and Pasquinel’s Landing.

In addition to Shoemaker Plaza, Phase II will include:
  • Globeville Landing Park
  • Heron Pond/Northside Park Master Plan
  • River North (RiNo) Park
  • RiNo Promenade
The completely rebuilt Shoemaker Plaza is now ADA compliant and includes improved bicycle and pedestrian flow, increased river access and new gathering places meant to create a vibrant environment at Denver’s historic birthplace.
 

City and County Building gets new composition for chimes

A new composition has been installed in the 10-bell chime of the Denver City and County Building. 

“Ascent,” by artist Kevin Padworski, will be played on significant and special days for the City of Denver.

“The goal of the composition was to capture the essence of the people the music aimed to represent — the people of Denver,” Padworski says. “With a quickly growing population, full of diversity and a multitude of backgrounds, I sought to create the music that would evoke this catalytic energy. The task of composing for bells combined with a limitted set of pitches was a unique and exciting challenge and privilege.”

Padworski visited the building multiple times to play and hear the bell tower. He planted himself “on location” downtown so he was surrounded by people he could draw the music from. The composition features ascending musical lines that represent the city — its growth, the people, the topography of the state and hope in its future.

“Bells have such an iconic and timeless sound, and it is my hope that this new music can be heard in a new way to serve and inspire the people of this city,” Padworski said. 

Street artists to paint RiNo for CRUSH

Graffiti and street artists will descend on the RiNo to transform the neighborhood’s streets and alleys into an urban open-air gallery for the 7th annual CRUSH.

CRUSH celebrates the craft of graffiti and street artists who bring life to walls while maintaining the unique identity of the rapidly evolving community. It gives all ages and demographics a chance to experience graffiti and street art first hand. The event is a forum for community engagement and creative expression, inviting locals and visitors to engage in forward-thinking public art in Denver. 

Event organizers also will work with local youth artists, providing them unique opportunities to paint alongside the world’s best.

“These artists are building the creative culture right in front of our eyes,” says Amanda Kriss, program assistant at the RiNo Art District. “Besides working on walls, these artists are now gaining respect in the gallery community too, showing t heir work alongside other fine artists.”

The CRUSH event brings graffiti and street artists into the spotlight as a positive medium that unites the community through creativity and empowerment to make positive change in areas that may be disregarded.

“As a district, we’ve found that murals not only help with our graffiti issues but tend to attract people from all walks of life to enjoy free access to world-class artwork,” says Tracy Weil, the district’s creative director.

Centered on 27th and Larimer between 40th and Williams, CRUSH attracts 20,000 visitors to the district during the week of the event, scheduled for Sept. 11-17.

Oakwood Homes takes over Reunion development

Oakwood Homes has taken over as the master developer of Reunion, a 2,500-acre community in northeast Denver that is currently home to nearly 2,000 families.

Under terms of the agreement, Denver-based L.C. Fulenwider Inc. will continue to maintain ownership of the community while the master plan development transitions from Shea Homes to Oakwood.

“I am excited by the transition and know that Reunion and its residents will benefit from Oakwood Homes’ expertise in developing and implementing community-focused master plans,” says Cal Fulenwider, CEO of Fulenwider. “Shea Homes has been a tremendous partner in the initial development of Reunion, and I am confident that Oakwood Homes will be excellen stewards of the future expansion of this wonderful community.”

Oakwood’s plans for Reunion include additional residences, an active 50-plus adult community, enhancing educational opportunities for children and creating additional neighborhood amenities.

Originally established in 2001 as a Shea Homes Master Planned Community, Reunion encompasses more than 900 acres of mixed-use and commercial development within Commerce City. It houses a 21,000-square-foot recreation center, 152 acres of parks, an 18-hole golf course, 10 miles of trails, 8 acres of lakes and an adjacent grocery store and other retail amenities. Oakwood Homes is one of four home builders in the community and is currently building the 2017 St. Jude Dream Home in Reunion.

“Our mission is to create luxury homes that are accessible and customizable at every budget and stage of life,” says Pat Hamill, founder and CEO of Oakwood. “We will complement the existing personality of Reunion by creating community gathering spots for residents, expanding educational options for children and building quality homes that reflect the existing look and feel of community.”

Re-inventing the playground: Ground broken on Re-Imagine Play at Paco Sanchez Park

PCL Construction has broken ground on Denver Parks and Recreation’s Re-Imagine Play at Paco Sanchez Park. 

Re-Imagine Play is an innovative concept that goes beyond the traditional playground. It’s intended to be a multi-generational activity and play area that gives park users of all ages the opportunity to remain active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

The $9 million project could include a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course, new athletic fields and a walking loop dotted with play pods. The play equipment is designed to encourage interactive play so parents can play with their children. Structures will be large enough that kds and adults can fit in them.

The playground will be themed around music because Paco Sanchez, the namesake of the park, was a musician whose Spanish-language radio station was a central part of they city's Latino communities in post-war Denver.

Located at West 13th Avenue and Knox Court, Paco Sanchez Park was selected  because its playground equipment is in need of repair or replacement; it’s large enough for a big play area in a part of the city that’s underserved when it comes to open space; the location is accessible through multi-modal transit options; it’s near an existing recreation center; and it’s in a part of the city where childhood obesity is a growing issue.

Perry Row at Sloans model opens

Perry Row at Sloans is opening its model home this month and welcoming its first homeowners to the community. 

The model, located at 1569 N. Perry St., provides all the features and amenities found in the Perry Row at Sloans homes.

The three-bedroom home features an open floor plan, custom kitchen and baths by Caruso Kitchens of Denver, outdoor living spaces on all three floors, including a 700-square-foot rooftop patio with views of the mountains, downtown skyline and Sloans Lake Park, and a ground-floor mud room and private library.

More than half of the homes at Perry Row have already sold. The final phase of 16 homes will be released later this summer.

Prices for Perry Row townhomes, located in the Sloans district at the former St. Anthony Hospital site, range from the low $500,000s to more than $800,000. The floor plans range in size from about 1,400 to 2,200 square feet. Designed and built by Sprocket Design-Build, the residences will feature two-car garages, rooftop decks and a brownstone-style architecture.

The project is a block south of Sloans Lake Park, featuring a three-mile jogging trail, the city’s largest lake with a marina and water sport activities and plentiful open space.

Out of urban ruins, a new pocket park in Westwood

The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) has transformed a dangerous, abandoned building into a pocket park in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood. 

The Thriftway Pocket Park at 4401 Morrison Road, another step in the revitalization of the neighborhood, includes a futsal court and community gardens.

“ULC is proud to see the impact of our investment in the Westwood community,” says Aaron Miripol, president and CEO of ULC. “This park would not have been possible without direct support from the neighborhood and the many partners who we have worked with in the development of this new park.”

For more than 15  years before ULC’s acquisition of the Thriftway building in 2014, the site was often the scene of violent crimes, squatting and drug activity. The 6,000-square-foot building sat in the heart of the Westwood community, and residents made it a priority to work with ULC, Trust for Public Land and the City and County of Denver to create a space that would serve as a community asset instead of a hazard.

ULC demolished Thriftway in 2014 and started the three-year process of converting the site into its interim use as a community park.  Long-term plans for the site are to create a development that meets the needs of the community. The need will be determined through a focused and inclusive community engagement process in partnership with Westwood Unidos.

Levitt Pavilion debuts with first concert July 20

Denver’s newest outdoor concert venue is gearing up for its grand opening on July 20.

The Levitt Pavilion Denver in Ruby Hill Park has announced the first wave of concerts for its inaugural summer concert season:
 
  • July 20: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
  • July 23: The Stone Foxes
  • Aug. 3: The Suffers
  • Aug. 4: John Fulbright
  • Aug. 24: Gaby Moreno

“Levitt Pavilion Denver began as a dream five years ago,” says Chris Zacher, founder and executive director of the nonprofit behind the venue. “Since then, we’ve been working diligently to turn this dream into a reality. We’re incredibly excited to begin presenting free music to the community, ensuring access to high-quality performances for people of all ages and socio economic backgrounds.”

Furthering Levitt Pavilion Denver’s commitment to supporting Denver’s music scene, each concert will feature at least one Denver-based opening act, to be announced at a later date.

The public is invited to bring their picnic blankets and lawn chairs to the free concerts.

“We believe Colorado’s music scene is something special and deserves to be showcased, as well as cultivated,” Zacher says. 

Through a partnership with Emporium Presents, Levitt Pavilion Denver also will present a handful of ticketed shows, featuring artists like UB40 and 311.

Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 30 free concerts this year featuring Denver artists and award-winning regional and national talent in an array of music genres. Next year and thereafter, Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 50 free concerts annually. Additional concerts will be posted on a regular basis
93 Parks and Public Spaces Articles | Page: | Show All
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