Author Topic: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center  (Read 7080 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« on: November 12, 2014, 03:00:03 AM »
Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center



No 'Regional Transportation Intermodal, Multimodal, International, Governor, Mayor, or General so-and-so Memorial, All Purpose, Transportation Palace.' Just DENVER UNION STATION and that says it all in The Mile High City. Metro Jacksonville's Robert Mann takes us on a stroll through a stunningly amazing place to catch a ride, play, eat, read, shop or hook up in the heart of Denver. If we're lucky, we'll discover some lessons that will be applicable for Jacksonville.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-nov-denver-union-station-a-real-transportation-center

simms3

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 04:44:33 AM »
Nice article.  I work on several of the developments surrounding DUS.  We opened an office building earlier this year right next to the Crawford.  We have another that is now topped off but was captured in this thread.  Another office tower and a condo tower in predevelopment with an option to buy another parcel.  It's by far the hottest submarket in Denver, attracting tech tenants from Boulder and a TON of new housing - one project has a Whole Foods on the ground level.


Definitely a model urban "downtown" neighborhood for sunbelt cities such as Jax.  And keep in mind Denver is not super university heavy but has found a way to thrive.  Definitely a so called "clean" downtown environment.
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 06:19:43 AM »
I didn't see a map in the article, so here's one from a 2010 Metro Jacksonville story on the subject:

« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 05:14:28 PM by Ocklawaha »
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 06:43:55 AM »
Here's a few diagrams of Denver Union Station's layout:


http://denverinfill.com/blog/2010/05/union-station-plan-light-rail.html


http://www.rtd-denver.com/servicechange-unionstation.shtml


http://www.thedenverrealestatebroker.com/blog/massive-real-estate-growth-in-denver/



It looks like a transfer between commuter rail and light rail, requires a three block walk. This can be done either in the underground bus terminal or the street level pedestrian promenade that appears to be integrated with a few blocks of TOD.

Below, illustrates a evolution of the JRTC's design:

original version


late 2000s version


most recent version


Just playing devil's advocate here. In the current JRTC design, it would be a two block walk between Amtrak/commuter rail and the Skyway (already exists)/JTA bus terminal (already partially exists), and BRT. It would be a three block walk to Greyhound. Unless you're arriving by bus in Denver, it appears you'll be walking a similar distance in Denver to move between modes.  The largest difference I can see is that the Denver complex is integrated pretty well with TOD and playmaking opportunities.

Short of getting rid of the convention center, which isn't going to happen any time soon (no one has an extra $100 - $200 million to address it), it would seem possible that we could plan and implement a similar experience on the surrounding blocks. What would be your suggestion for how to take advantage of placemaking and land development opportunities associated with the JRTC, in the scenario that the convention center stays?
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2014, 10:01:46 AM »
I think the answer here is much simpler then what is put forward by JTA/FDOT.

1. WAIT for the Prime Osborn to close up
2. Initiate a temporary plan to handle all trains, buses and intercity coaches from the old rail platforms and the current Skyway terminal, while awaiting a corrected opportunity and plan.
3. Build a DOWNTOWN convention center. This is easier accomplished then what we are being told as the Denver station remodel was a $54,000,000 dollar job. Jacksonville plans to blow $180,000,000 on scattering the station's all over LaVilla. Imagine we only spent around $54,000,000 on ONE STATION... and frankly I'm sure we could spend even less and still get our station back. The $120,000,000 dollar difference would go a long way in building a simple, clean, ultra-modern convention center.

thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2014, 10:13:09 AM »
1. WAIT for the Prime Osborn to close up?

It's not closing up. So could what's proposed now be considered a "temporary" plan?  Excluding Greyhound's terminal across the street, it is taking advantage of the existing skyway station and bus platforms. Also, I don't think what's proposed now is anything near $100 million much less $180 million. 
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 02:14:07 PM »
I think the argument for waiting be it 2 or 20 years is that the PO is going to expand and nobody is going to bet on that horse to say where it's at. It's either that or shut down all together and get out of the business or turn it over to local hoteliers.

Nothing says the temporary station has to be expensive or expansive and it could open tomorrow.

thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 02:31:21 PM »
COJ getting out of the convention industry is less likely to happen than the Jags leaving Jax for London. The Hyatt (ballroom can get as large as 28,000 sf) is probably the area's second largest meeting space and it's no where near the 78,500 sf of exhibition space currently at the PO.

If we're willing to wait 20 years for a conclusion with the PO (Jax getting out the convention industry), then what's proposed is essentially "temporary."  In 2 or 3 decades, it would be time to retrofit anyway. The cheapest temporary way to accommodate skyway/bus is to use the facility that's already there, which is across the street from the PO. That's the current plan. The extra is the $5 million Greyhound terminal across the street from it.
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jaxjaguar

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 02:40:49 PM »
WOW! I haven't been to Denver in about 13 years, but it looks like I need to go visit. That landscaping is beautiful... Not a piece of trash can be seen in any of those pictures and all of the marble / sidewalks are pristine. I didn't even see a hobo in any of the pictures. THAT's what Jacksonville needs to shoot for!

Redbaron616

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 04:21:03 PM »
How about comparing the average taxes paid in Denver to the average taxes paid in Jacksonville. At least that would be more about comparing apples to apples.

vicupstate

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 05:52:49 PM »
How about comparing the average taxes paid in Denver to the average taxes paid in Jacksonville. At least that would be more about comparing apples to apples.

I wouldn't mind seeing that myself, but to be a true Apples to Apples comparison, there would need to be a comparison on what you GET for your taxes.  Which city has the better schools, the lower crime, the faster response times from public safety, the better library system, the better parks and recreation programs, the higher household income, etc.   
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simms3

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 06:43:55 PM »
^^^You'd be blown away by Denver.  It's probably Top 3-5 in this country for what you get for your money.  There's a reason it's so immensely popular and spoken highly of.  If the topography/flora&fauna were a little different and it were geographically closer to other cities, I'd consider moving in a heartbeat.  Most others overlook those things or don't care and flock there in droves.  You can basically get a high CA quality of life for less than half the price.

Property taxes are also not high at all; maybe even lower than in DT Jax.  There are other fees and CIDs, etc, but overall you really get what you pay for.  There are also implemented standards, master plans to adhere to (though privately financed/implemented - look at LoDo around DUS), and quality control measures.  You pay to play, but not so much on the tax side.

Lower sales taxes and lower transfer taxes.  It really defies all general odds whereby effectively managed high taxes yields significant results, in this case there are still significant results without high taxes.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Denver Union Station: A Real Transportation Center
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 11:10:01 PM »
Okay lake, 'I'm your huckleberry!' Here are a few more ideas that could turn the JRTC around, keep it in one central station, all modes sharing the waiting room, ticket lobby, restaurants and other services. ONE STATION! You could even use this as an auxiliary parking/amenity to the Prime Osborn. Elevating the whole station would open up a world of other possibilities. Some of these could be two story (Skyway height) while others could be built at ground level using a pedestrian subway for the rail concourse.

Let's apply a bit of Denver-Milwaukee sense in Jacksonville.