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Mayor Hancock, City Officials, and Community Partners Celebrate Opening of River North Park and Promenade Groundbreaking

Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR), Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca (Dist. 9), Andrew Feinstein, Co-chair RiNo Art District, and community partners today celebrated the opening of River North Park and groundbreaking of phase one of the Promenade. This project is part of Game Plan for a Healthy City, a citywide and long-range parks and recreation plan utilizing voter-approved funds in 2018 to help provide the places – indoors and outdoors – where our community gathers.

The new 3.5-acre park, located along the South Platte River on Arkins Court between 35th Street and 33rd Street, is the first green space in an area that historically has been occupied by warehouses, rail and manufacturing industries. River North Park will be a recreational focal point for the community, create an amenity throughout the area, and a key entry point to the South Platte River.

“Parks and green spaces are critical to creating complete neighborhoods for our residents, and thanks to the people’s investment in our parks system, we can bring these amenities to the River North community,” Mayor Hancock said. “By bringing our love for our parks and our love for the arts together in this way, River North Park will be a wonderful outdoor space for the residents here in the area.”  

The River North Park design includes seating, performance areas, flexible event space, creative play areas, public art and stormwater gardens. The park also features two buildings that are being repurposed and activated by the River North Art District to provide engaging art programming where the community can gather for culture and entertainment. The park also includes features repurposed materials through the lounge seating areas, performance areas, flexible event space, creative play areas, public art and stormwater gardens.  In addition, Festival Street was constructed with the River North Park project and provides parallel parking for park use. Festival St. will connect to future 33rd St. and Brighton Blvd. by the adjacent developer in the future.

“River North Park is one of the many improvements the city is bringing to the area,” said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “These serve as critical gathering places help foster healthy lifestyles and ensure our communities will continue to thrive for generations to come. It is fundamental to the future and resiliency of our city.”

The River North Promenade, which is anticipated to be completed in 2021, will run between 29th and 38th Streets and will serve as a linear park providing a place for leisure, outdoor recreation, connection to the river and flexible festival space that will complement the park. Phase one of the Promenade will convert Arkins Court, from 35th to 38th Avenues, into a new linear park that provides enhanced access to South Platte River. Improvements will include park amenities such as a pavilion and an elevated walkway along the river, enhanced paving, public art, a small play area, seating areas, shade and landscaping. 

DPR, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and a $1 million lottery grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), purchased the property as a key component of the River Vision Improvement Plan led by DPR and the Greenway Foundation to expand parkland to a developing area of Denver that was lacking public open space. DPR and the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC) advocated for funds to design and build the park and engaged the community to provide a vision for their neighborhood park. Community involvement reflected the desire to retain and repurpose the existing buildings into plazas and collaborative work spaces and provide innovative programs within the Denver Parks system. DPR entered into a partnership with RiNo Art District to support programming and to help manage the buildings. Current program plans call for an artist maker space, artist-in-residence spaces, library, restaurant and coffee shop. Construction simultaneously started for River North Park, Festival Street and Phase One Building Renovation in spring 2019 totaling over $6 million in improvements.

Graphic representations of the Promenade:

Livestream of River North Park: https://bit.ly/DenverParkUnveiling