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Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 9:05 PM
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TakeFive TakeFive is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Logo courtesy City/County of Denver

Part One

What if Fastracks had never happened?
  • There would be no $450 million DUS transit center. Maybe they would have cobbled together money for an above ground bus center?
  • There would be no Train to the Planes
  • Would investors even have been interested in developing the DUS neighborhood? Certainly it would have been a poor imitation of what it is today.

Looking Back
The transit center project built by Kiewit started in 2010. The W Line had started construction in 2008. By 2011 Denver was pinging on various city ratings as a Top Five City for attracting millennials. Fastracks was a primary driver for Denver's image at that time.

About the same time and following national investors/developers initial surge in coastal cities they started looking around for other attractive cities to invest. The Two Buzz Word things they were looking for was a vibrant urban area (attracting millennials) and transit. No doubt in my mind that without Fastracts and all those millennials that the surge into building apartments (etc) in Denver would have been much slower and half as intense and dense. The pattern of investing in Denver just accelerated from there.

The Return on Investment of Fastracts has been eye-popping

True story
The first three buildings in the DUS neighborhood that were sold went to European investors for all cash: the two wing office buildings and the Cadence apartments. Had transit expert Jon Orcutt from NYC suggested to the buyers they better first check the APTA ridership numbers because they were less than impressive our European friends would merely have smiled and proceeded with their purchases. Interesting 'we Americans' tend to obsess over quarterly results whether with transit or stocks. Europeans in contrast are famous for taking the (very) long view (like decades). They would have looked to the $450 million new transit center, the train to the planes and the obvious energy in developing downtown Denver, smiled and said "Denver has decades to worry about building up the ridership numbers for all the new lines. We like what we see."

Seattle, Austin and Denver
Seattle had Amazon; Austin was the next big thing in tech; Denver had Fastracks. It's just that simple. Over-simplification? Sure just ask the Mayor of each city and they'll give you a laundry list of features. But those three booming metro areas boiled down to one primary driver in each case. For Denver Fastracks was the catalyst that led Denver to be second only to Seattle for number of cranes.
Cool... Denver has reached puberty.

Last edited by TakeFive; Jan 28, 2018 at 9:16 PM.
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