Area developers want to keep historic RiNo present in changing community

District leaders hosting project tours

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DENVER –  Whether you're a native or newcomer, familiar skylines across the state are changing.

The tremendous growth is being met with even more interest and curiosity about what is being built right around the corner from downtown Denver.

Located just a few blocks away, the growing RiNo Art District is adding much more than residential buildings. In fact, district leaders and developers say they understand growth is a delicate process.

"We celebrate ourselves as a collection of four historic neighborhoods that all have very interesting and diverse stories," said district president Jamie Licko.

The district incorporates four historical Denver neighborhoods, including Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points and Cole.

This is a corner of Denver that is no longer recognizable to long-time residents.

"There were a lot of abandoned warehouses and structures and vacant land, and now life has been breathed into it again," Movement Gym Founder and CEO, Anne-Worley Moelter, said.

Life also means more people, more traffic and more options.

About these options, Licko said, "With all of the changes and developments and new things emerging in this district, we don't have a hotel."

She explained that will change in the next 60 days, when the Ramble Hotel on Larimer Street and 25th, and The Source Hotel on Brighton Boulevard both open doors to guests.

Licko added, "I think it's going to be a game changer in terms of how people experience the district."

However, with the growth comes growing pains. You'll remember a gentrification sign went up in the district, outside of Ink! Coffee.

The sign incited protests – not about the coffee, but about the changing face of the neighborhood. This is a concern that remains top of mind with the construction of these new hotels.

The hotels aren't the only change coming.

"We've maintained the integrity of the entire structure," Moelter said, inside 3201 Walnut Street. "We're excited to be bringing in something new, but also keeping the historical integrity of this building."

This summer, the 50,000-square-foot warehouse will essentially put all things "Colorado" under one roof.

"We are going to have climbing, and yoga and fitness, and childcare and coffee and a bakery and a taproom and a food truck park," Moelter described.

She said she's always wanted to put roots down in RiNo, and she's being deliberate in her approach to growth. Moelter is keeping the historic aspect of the RiNo she once knew present.

"To see the RiNo neighborhood come from what it was 10, 15, 20 years ago to what it is now -- just thriving with energy -- is an incredible change," Moelter said.

You can get in on the action.

The RiNo Art District will begin a behind-the-scenes tour series on Wednesday, April 4, taking guests through the soon-to-be Ramble Hotel. According to the district, this will be the first hotel to open in the flourishing RiNo.

The three-story Ramble Hotel will open in May 2018, at 1280 25th Street. The new development just north of downtown Denver will have 50 guestrooms, a theater and bar, meeting space, a small retail outlet, courtyard, an independently-owned restaurant, and a marquee lobby bar.

Tickets are $35 per tour, which will include a behind-the-scenes look at the projects and insider information. Money collected from the ticket sales will go back to the Art District.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said RiNo Art District co-founder Tracey Weil. “The community gets exclusive access to exciting new projects, the developers get to present their hard work, and artists in the district get additional funding.”

You can find tickets on the RiNo Art District website here.

In May, guests will tour The Source Hotel. In June, the tour will take people through O’Dell Brewery.

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