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Upper Downtown plan will focus on keeping people in the area seven days a week

Welcome Denver's new neighborhood, Upper Downtown
Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 20:52:03-05

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DENVER -- As Denver continues to grow, one area in downtown is looking to differentiate itself and create an identity.

Chief Business Development Officer with Denver Economic Development and Opportunity, Deborah Cameron, says it's time for a makeover.

"You’re looking at a lot of high-rise buildings that were built in the '70s and its time for a reboot and a refresh."

The Upper Downtown area, as it is now being called, is located between Champa Street and Sherman and between 20th Street and 14th Street.

"So we’re really trying to transform what is happening inside the walls as well as what’s happening outside the walls, especially on the street level where pedestrians, workers, residents that live in this area and will live in this area will have a different kind of experience."

From remodeling old buildings to the construction of new ones, Upper Downtown's goal will be to enhance streets with more businesses on ground floors of buildings, a new parking strategy and a greater use of art and trees.

Cameron says bringing more trees to the area helps downtown identify with the natural beauty found across the state.

"We’re really trying to bring more trees into the downtown area and bring some of that outdoors feel into our urban environment."

Several business owners said they weren't aware of the new initiative but were optimistic of a plan to keep people in the area.

Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Downtown Denver Partnership, Randy Thelen, says their goal is to keep people in Upper Downtown for more than just work.

"We're really putting a lot of energy, a lot of planning, a lot of thought in to how do we make it a softer, more inviting place for people. Both employees, residents and visitors alike," Thelen said.

Developers say Upper Downtown will be paid for through a series of private , public and nonproft partnerships.