Denver’s Cole, RiNo neighborhoods set for dramatic redevelopment

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DENVER – Two of Denver’s neighborhoods are about to see dramatic changes because of major redevelopment plans.

The construction has already started where East 39th Avenue and Franklin Street intersect, near the Cole neighborhood’s boundary with River North.

The city of Denver is currently working on the 39th Avenue Greenway. It’s replacing pavement with a 12-acre park and greenway, from Franklin to Steele streets.

On the northern border of that, Saunders Construction has started a major renovation to the Denver Rock Drill.

It’s a $300 million plan to renovate the old brick buildings and add more. When complete, it will feature a hotel, restaurants, retail and office space.

“I think that it’s cool that it’s happening down here,” said Kerry Pastine, who lives next to the old rock drill. “I think it’s also inevitable just because of the growth in Denver.”

Pastine and her husband — like many of their neighbors — are excited to see the changes, but don’t love the construction.

“We sort of look out over it and it doesn’t look that great,” said Jay Gallagher, who also lives near the rock drill. “But it’s also fun to see the progress being made every week.”

The greenway is set to be done in 2020 and the first phase of the rock drill renovation should be done in 2021.

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