More people are moving into RiNo. Denver is building them a park.

RiNo has plenty of breweries and art galleries, but it doesn’t have a lot of public amenities.

staff photo

RiNo has plenty of breweries and art galleries, but it doesn’t have a lot of public amenities. There are no parks in what has been a heavily industrial area, and it’s not an easy place to walk around.

A vacant lot at the future site of River North Park between Brighton and the South Platte in Five Points. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  river north park; five points; south platte river; denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty;

The future site of River North Park between Brighton and the South Platte in Five Points. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The plan for River North Park takes industrial land between 35th Street and what would be 33rd Street (the street doesn’t go through right now) between Brighton Boulevard and the South Platte River and turns it into a park with river access, promenades, plazas, spacious lawns, play areas, pavilions and a festival street that can be closed down for events.

Preferred concept plan for River North Park. Courtesy city of Denver.

The preferred concept plan for River North Park. Courtesy city of Denver.

Wenk Landscape Architecture and Planning did the design for the park, and they have a slideshow of what it could look like here.

Rendering of future River North Park from Wenk Landscape Architecture.

A rendering of the future River North Park from Wenk Landscape Architecture.

This has been a long time coming.

The city bought the land for the park back in 2011 using a $1 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado and another $1.4 million that the city had saved within its own budget.

Final design is expected to wrap up this year, with construction to begin next year.

The park plan takes two existing buildings, the Police Service Building and the Interstate Shippers building, and partially deconstructs them to create pavilions and other spaces. Known as adaptive re-use, this approach is in vogue right now and has won praise from people who follow urban design and infill.

The park design also helps manage stormwater to make the river a little cleaner. It’s one more piece in the city’s decades-long effort to improve water quality in the South Platte.

The park plan also fits into broader efforts to make it easier to get into and around River North.

Plans call for a pedestrian and bike bridge over the South Platte to the TAXI development to the north at a cost of somewhere between $2.5 and $3.5 million.

The city already has built a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks between 35th and 36th streets to connect River North with the Curtis Park and Cole neighborhoods. There’s also a pedestrian bridge at the A Line station at 38th and Blake streets, built by the RTD.

As part of the station project, the city also redid a small bridge on Blake Street, smoothing out a hump that made it hard for drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians, and built thousands of feet of sidewalks around the transit station.

Now that the A Line is running, the city is working on plans for hundreds of units of housing and offices around the train station that will bring yet more new workers and residents to River North.

Hi! You’re like us!

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.