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DENVER -- Denver's three major sports venues have found themselves at the center of a new urban infill trend, in part, because of massive, underutilized parking lots and connectivity to mass transit.
“I think cities have started to recognize those stadiums and fields have a lot of activity, but only on a few days of the year,” said Sarah Cawrse, associate city planner with the City of Denver’s Planning and Development Department.
The Mile High Stadium and Pepsi Center redevelopment projects are close in proximity, but entirely separate, unique developments.
The Stadium District Master Plan would include shops, restaurants and condos. It would include several new buildings up to 30 stories tall in the parking lot just south of Mile High.
"The Stadium District area could be amazing and it's a great opportunity for the city to focus on some transit-oriented development to serve the every-day need and the game day need," Cawrse said.
The tidal wave of growth continues near Pepsi Center. The owners want to call it the River Mile and it would lead to the eventual relocation of Elitch Gardens theme park.
The plan includes the construction of at least a dozen new buildings, including one that would be the tallest in Denver. It would be a 59-story hotel.
The River Mile would also include three riverfront parks along the South Platte, affordable housing options, more pedestrian bridges and bike lanes and flood control improvements to the area.
It also includes a whopping 8,000 new residential units.
McGregor Square at Coors Field is the furthest along. It's already under construction and scheduled for completion in less than two years, by January 2021.
It will feature a 200-room hotel, 100 private residences, a courtyard with a massive LED screen, an ice rink in the wintertime and the Rockies Baseball Hall of Fame.
"I think it's smart development,” said Eric Sahl, who owns a condo right beside McGregor Square. “I’m going to lose my view, but you can’t buy next to an empty parking lot and think it’s not going to be developed. It will make Denver even more of a destination."