Denver International Airport unveils conceptual design of the South Terminal Redevelopment Program July 29

Posted: 29 July 2010 | Denver International Airport (DEN) | No comments yet

DEN unveiled the design of the South Terminal Redevelopment Program. Speakers included…

Denver International Airport (DEN) today unveiled the conceptual design of the South Terminal Redevelopment Program at the Westin Tabor Center in Denver. Speakers included Mayor John W. Hickenlooper, Denver Manager of Aviation Kim Day and Architect Santiago Calatrava. In conjunction with RTD’s FasTracks East Corridor, the South Terminal Redevelopment Program is expected to create more than 6,600 jobs and is scheduled for completion in 2016.

The South Terminal Redevelopment Program includes the construction of a train station to connect the airport to downtown Denver, a signature rail bridge and a plaza. The program also includes a planned 500-room hotel and conference center connected to Jeppesen Terminal.

DEN is one of the few major airports in the world without a passenger rail link to the downtown city core. The train station, plaza and hotel will form a highly integrated and dynamic complex located directly south of and adjacent to the existing Jeppesen Terminal. This program will complete the original plans for the airport, which included an on-site hotel and a train station for a link to downtown Denver.

At present, the South Terminal Redevelopment Program Phase I, which includes the hotel, train station, signature bridge and plaza, is estimated to cost $650 million. This estimate is based on a conceptual design, and individual projects will be developed only after analysis shows their financial viability. Phase II of the redevelopment program includes a new parking structure and renovations to the Jeppesen Terminal Great Hall. If airport management decides to move forward with Phase II of the redevelopment program, it is estimated to cost an additional $250 million, for an overall estimated total of $900 million, which is less than the $950 million originally projected.

The program will be primarily financed by General Airport Revenue Bonds (GARBs) which will be repaid from airport revenues. No taxpayer and no General Fund money from the City will be used for the program. The City is in the process of reviewing the various program components to further refine the figures and develop a financing plan.

“Denver International Airport is one of the most envied facilities in the industry,” Denver Manager of Aviation Kim Day said Thursday. “With the addition of the rail connection to our city core and the terminal hotel, we will truly be competitive with major international airports worldwide. The design complements the existing iconic architecture and provides an enhanced passenger experience while improving the connectivity for passengers and employees alike.”

The airport will approach each project in the South Terminal Redevelopment Program individually in an effort to control costs and maintain budgets.

“We are committed to fiscal responsibility for this project,” Day added. “We will keep a close eye on costs and we will not move forward with any project that does not make good financial sense. In addition, no taxpayer or General Fund dollars will be used to complete any of the projects in the South Terminal Redevelopment Program.”

Parsons Transportation Group’s Denver office was selected as program manager in July 2009 based on its expertise and proposed personnel, including Santiago Calatrava as the team’s signature architect. Calatrava is a world-renowned structural engineer and architect who has designed visually stunning and instantly recognizable structures such as the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Calif., the TGV Railway Station in Liège, Belgium, the new Sondica Airport terminal in Bilbao, Spain, and the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece.

Calatrava developed the overall concept of the South Terminal Redevelopment Program, which encompasses the siting and relationships of all the elements (hotel, train station, plaza and signature bridge) as well as establishing the passenger flow.

The hotel architect is Gensler, a global design and architecture firm with a local office in Denver. M.A. Mortenson, Co., also located in Denver, is the construction manager/general contractor (CMGC) and will collaborate in the design process with Gensler to ensure constructability and an on-time and on-budget project. The hotel, scheduled to be completed in late 2013, is expected to create approximately 1,000 construction jobs, 225 permanent hospitality jobs and will potentially provide the City with up to $2 million in annual tax revenue. Revenue generated by the hotel will be used to pay off bonds used for its construction costs. Additional non-airline revenue generated by hotel amenities and plaza retail locations will help to maintain a competitive cost structure for DEN’s airline partners.

The signature rail bridge is expected to be finished by early 2013, the terminal station two years later, and RTD’s train is scheduled to be opened to passengers in 2016. RTD’s train will link passengers between downtown’s Denver Union Station and the airport. The 22.8-mile airport corridor is the first for RTD to use commuter rail technology, with larger and heavier cars than the existing light rail system. Over 5,400 jobs are expected to be created at peak construction in 2012. It is being financed through a public-private partnership between RTD and an international team led by Fluor and Macquarie, which will operate the system for RTD.

For more information, the project description and photos of the South Terminal Redevelopment Program, visit

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