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Denver officials unveil plan to improve Skyline Park in city's central business district

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Posted at 7:54 PM, Sep 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-12 00:16:26-04

DENVER — Denver city officials on Monday unveiled their plan to improve Skyline Park in the city's central business district.

Jenna Harris, the downtown parks program manager for Denver Parks and Recreation, called Skyline Park the most significant park in Denver’s central business district.

“This is a park that is very important for the future of Denver Parks and Recreation, as well as the city as a whole,” she said.

It's why, according to Harris, the park is in need of an upgrade.

“The Skyline Park of today is just not living up to its full potential,” she said.

Skyline Park as it stands offers several activities for the public, including a beer garden, pickleball court and ice skating. However, Harris said there aren't a lot of programs being provided to the public. The Skyline Project aims to change that.

Officials will first update Block 2 of the park.

"The first goal is to be a welcoming destination with program elements that have food and beverage, a flexible plaza space. It will be a park that will be a cultural icon. It has opportunities for performances and community-based events,” said Harris.

Harris said the park will connect to the rest of downtown, with new renovations at the 16th Street Mall as well as an enhanced bike lane. Gardens will be planted around the design, and an interactive water play area will become an ice rink in the winter.

The Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) said these renovations will bring life to the city.

"I’ve certainly heard from local businesses and local property owners, and it's really just a bunch of excitement about the future opportunity of the park,” said Andrew Iltis, vice president of planning community development for the Downtown Denver Partnership. "We know that when we bring activity to a public space, it helps liven up the entire vibe of that space and helps people really come into it and feel like they're welcome.”

The renovations are also more cost effective, according to the DDP.

“Just to crane a lot of activities in — whether it was the ice skating rink or other things we had there — that was a pretty big expense. And this new design really takes those costs out. We don't need to have those costs in the budget anymore. It can really be put towards activation itself,” said Iltis.

The changes are made possible through funding from the Elevate Denver Bond Program and Denver Parks and Recreation.

The city expects construction for Phase I to begin in mid-2025 and finish by end of 2026.

The community will get the chance to learn more about Phase 1 of the project as well as provide their input Tuesday during a public open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Skyline Beer Garden, located on Arapahoe Street between the 16th Street Mall and 17th Street.

For more information or to share your feedback through an online survey following the event, click here.

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