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Pop-up Boxyard Park aims to combat lack of public space in rapidly developing RiNo

Plans to open in July, corner of Blake & Broadway
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 16:31:49-04

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Boxyard Park design images courtesy of Joe Lear and James Atchison with Davis Partnerships.

DENVER -- The rapidly developing River North Art District (RiNo) plans to see a new park in about a month from now. Denver City Council approved the temporary pop-up park called "Boxyard Park" on Monday to be constructed at the corner of Blake Street and Broadway. If the park is a success, the space may have the opportunity to become permanent.

RiNo is often praised as an innovative vibrant community with many people moving to the neighborhood to invest, develop, open businesses and live there. With that influx, some community members are worried RiNo is at risk of forgetting about public spaces.

“Having to keep up with the public infrastructure side, how do you accommodate loads of people walking and biking and needing places to recreate and do things when this was a former industrial area that didn’t have any of those amenities previously?” asked Jamie Giellis, RiNo Art District President.

Boxyard Park organizers worked in cooperation with the city of Denver and Denver Parks and Recreation during the 13-month approval process. Plans for the park began 18 months ago. The 21st Street pop-up park in Denver last summer became an inspiration for Boxyard Park.

Once completed, Boxyard Park will have a dog park, shade sails, bistro lighting, a stage for events, picnic benches and a climbing wall for kids designed by CU Denver Architecture professor Matt Gines and his students.

The park will go through a five-month pilot phase. After that time, the park will have an opportunity to become permanent as long as the community puts the park to use.

"What we want to see is trees and grass and less concrete in an industrial area that’s converted to a residential commercial part of town,” said Chris Riedl, Co-Owner of Community First Commercial Real Estate. "Healthy activation here would be the cornerstone to the story that we need to push that process forward."

Businesses and RiNo neighbors donated money to fund the project. Organizers have already raised more than $70,000 to launch the park, but the goal is to get to $100,000. The plan is to go forward with construction while they finish raising the rest of the money. The park is set to open in July.

If you would like to donate to help fund Boxyard Park, click here.