- The Downtown Denver Partnership held an award ceremony tonight.
- It was the Partnership’s 54th.
- More than 1,000 attended the ceremony, where 7 projects were lauded.
The Downtown Denver Partnership this evening presented seven awards to places and businesses, and the people behind them, that are driving forces that continue to foster an economically healthy, growing and vital downtown.
The awards were presented at the 54th Annual Downtown Denver Awards Dinner,
The honorees, selected by a jury of key business leaders convened by the Downtown Denver Partnership, are businesses, projects and initiatives that had the most significant impact on the center city in 2014.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to pause each year to celebrate the excellent achievements that advance us toward our vision of a world-class center city,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership.
“This year’s winners are city builders who have made Denver stronger, and they are instrumental in establishing Downtown as the economic engine that drives the city, state and region.” Door added.
Awards, and what the judges had to say about the winners, were:
- Denver Public Library 125th Anniversary
Denver Public Library has been an amenity and staple of Downtown Denver for 125 years and continually draws people Downtown for innovative educational opportunities. The library links millions of customers with the tools and resources needed to provide enjoyment, enrich lives and strengthen our community, and connects customers with information, ideas and experiences. “We are honored and privileged to be recognized by the Downtown Denver Partnership for our service to the community,” said Michelle Jeske, City Librarian, Denver Public Library. “For a century and a quarter, the Denver Public Library has welcomed customers from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe. The Library has grown up with the city of Denver, and we love calling Downtown Denver our home. We’ve seen tremendous growth and change, but it’s the spirit of excellent customer service that continues to guide us. We are eager to see what the next 125 years will bring, but one thing is certain: we’ll continue to connect millions of customers to information, ideas and experiences.”
- Mile High United Way Morgridge Center for Community Change
Mile High United Way’s new 63,000-square-foot headquarters, located adjacent to the Arapahoe Square neighborhood, serves as a community anchor in Downtown Denver. A catalyst for change, Mile High United Way elevates the quality of life of children, families and individuals by convening nonprofits, government agencies and businesses to collectively solve community-wide challenges. “Receiving the Downtown Denver Partnership Award is a true honor for Mile High United Way,” said Christine Benero, President and CEO, Mile High United Way. “For 128 years, we have worked to create a strong community network to positively change the lives of children, families and individuals in Denver. The lasting impact the Downtown Denver Partnership has by transforming our Downtown to make it stronger, and more vibrant, beautifully aligns with the vision of the new Mile High United Way Morgridge Center for Community Change.”
- Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel
The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel is a 230-room, four-star hotel located in Downtown Denver’s historic Colorado National Bank. The investment, renovation and opening of the hotel ensures this landmark remains alive with activity and sustains its historic contribution to the commercial core. “Stonebridge Companies is truly honored to receive this recognition from the Downtown Denver Partnership and even more pleased to return the Colorado National Bank building and the wonderful Allen Tupper True murals to the public realm,” said Navin Dimond, President and CEO, Stonebridge Companies. “The building has been a fixture in Downtown Denver for the last 100 years and now, reimagined as the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel, promises to be a focal point of the community for the next 100 years.”
- Emily Griffith Campus and Downtown Denver Expeditionary School
Denver Public Schools converted a 52-year-old vacant building into an education mecca, and beacon of innovation and opportunity, through its Emily Griffith Campus. As part of the campus, the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School accomplishes the long-held goal to establish an elementary school in the heart of Downtown, and leverages the rich resources of Downtown Denver to enable all students to achieve academic and personal excellence, encouraging them to become ambassadors of change by learning to impact the community. “It’s an honor to be recognized for the transformation of our building into the Emily Griffith Campus serving thousands of students of all ages,” said Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools. “It serves as a tangible reminder of the power of bringing people together, in the heart of Denver, to work, to collaborate and to be a thriving part of the social and economic fabric of our community.” “This award celebrates the collaboration between the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, Denver Public Schools and the Downtown Denver Partnership to provide a crucial amenity for families who live and work Downtown,” said Letia Frandina, Ph.D., Director of Partnerships, Downtown Denver Expeditionary School. “Further, being honored with this award highlights Downtown Denver’s investment in youth education to nurture our future urban leaders.”
- Stout Street Health Center and Renaissance Stout Street Lofts
The Stout Street Health Center and Renaissance Stout Street Lofts increase access to health care for up to 18,000 homeless individuals each year, while providing supportive housing for those who were formerly homeless. The center demonstrates successful collaboration of public, private and non-profit organizations to provide a vital resource to aid the city’s homeless population. “The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is honored to be recognized for our service to the Denver community through our latest development – the Stout Street Health Center and Renaissance Stout Street Lofts,” said Bette Lacino, Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. “This project increases integrated health care access for up to 18,000 homeless individuals each year while providing supportive housing for 78 formerly homeless households. We are deeply grateful to the Downtown Denver Partnership and the awards jury for selecting us – and we offer our warm congratulations to the other outstanding awardees.”
- Regional Transportation District’s Free MetroRide
Regional Transportation District (RTD) created a Downtown connection between Denver Union Station and Civic Center Station to provide high-frequency and quality service for commuters. The Free MetroRide is a fast and reliable companion to the 16th Street Mall Free Mall Ride Shuttle and accommodates increased capacity for those moving within and through Downtown Denver. “The positive impact on public transit in Downtown Denver of RTD’s Free MetroRide is underscored by this award from the Downtown Denver Partnership,” said Bill James, RTD Board Director, District A. “RTD is proud and grateful to be recognized for this project that provides commuters with a fast, frequent and reliable option for traveling between Union Station and Civic Center. We look forward to watching the service grow.”
- And the Denver Union Station
Denver Union Station Project Authority, RTD, Union Station Alliance and Union Station Neighborhood Company are recognized for their collaborative efforts to bring Denver Union Station back to life. This renovation and development changed the way people arrive and experience the center city, and incorporates public transportation, a luxury 112-room hotel, and various dining and retail experiences. “The Denver Union Station Project Authority (DUSPA) Board of Directors are civically minded volunteers who have dedicated themselves to complete the project ahead of time and below budget, and not many that can say that,” said Elbra Wedgeworth, President, Denver Union Station Project Authority Board of Directors and Chief Government and Community Affairs Officer, Denver Health. “For DUSPA, the Denver Union Station project is a national model and transportation legacy for the people of Denver and Colorado.”
“Union Station is the nerve center of the entire RTD district. With all of the transportation modes like bus, light rail, commuter rail (in 2016), pedestrians, bikes and more in one place, Union Station allows travelers and daily commuters to easily connect throughout our transportation network,” said Chuck Sisk, RTD Board Chair. “There was an unprecedented level of collaboration that went into Union Station. If it wasn’t for the partnerships of RTD, the City and County of Denver, CDOT, DRCOG, as well as our partners in the private sector, this beautiful station simply wouldn’t exist. We are honored to have been a part of this project and to have the Downtown Denver Partnership recognize this project that has truly transformed Denver.” “The creation of the Denver Union Station neighborhood was really a team effort that involved the entire city,” said Dana Crawford representing Union Station Alliance. “It means something to each of us to have the historic building, as well as all the development around it, honored by the Downtown Denver Partnership. We created a whole new neighborhood, and we appreciate the recognition of this great success in Downtown Denver.” “Continuum Partners and East West Partners are honored to have the Union Station Neighborhood Company recognized by the Downtown Denver Partnership for our role in the transformation of the Union Station neighborhood and the success of the Denver Union Station transit project,” said representatives from Union Station Neighborhood Company. “In the real estate development business, there are few opportunities to truly transform cities at the scale of what has been accomplished in the Union Station neighborhood. We owe a great deal of thanks to our team members – Kiewit, SOM, AECOM and Hargreaves Associates, to our public partners – RTD, City and County of Denver, CDOT, DRCOG, and the Denver Union Station Project Authority, as well as the community stakeholders led by the Downtown Denver Partnership, for a truly successful city building effort.”
The award presentation, presented by Polsinelli, a law firm, attracted a record-setting 1,000 people. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.
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