Denver Union Station

DALLAS — With its grand opening a month away, Denver's Union Station redevelopment has attracted nearly $1 billion in private investment, according to the Regional Transportation District.

The once underused but historic train station is the centerpiece of RTD's new FasTracks system and replaces a newer bus depot nearby. About $480 million of public funding in the form of debt and federal loans has poured into the 19.5-acre redevelopment that drew private investors to the Lower Downtown site.

The Denver Union Station Project Authority is responsible for the financing and construction. The Authority is a partnership of RTD, the City and County of Denver, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Denver Union Station Metropolitan District.

DUSPA issued two levels of debt in 2010 — a $146 million TIFIA note and a $155 million, 30-year note secured by a senior lien and a subordinate lien of pledged revenues.

DUSPA is rated A by Fitch Ratings.

The Union Station project includes an underground bus terminal with 22 bays, a light rail station, a commuter rail station with eight tracks that will also serve Amtrak, and public plazas. The project is scheduled to open May 9, though Amtrak trains have already returned to the historic Union Station platforms after a three-year hiatus.

RTD's current Market Street Station for buses will close on May 11, officials said.

Under a 2004 voter authorization, the RTD was allowed to issue up to $3.477 billion of debt to finance FasTracks. The program was designed to add 121 miles of new light rail and diesel-powered commuter rail transit, 18 miles of new bus rapid transit, 57 additional rapid transit stations, and more than 21,000 new parking spaces.

The Union Station hub will serve the Eagle P3 commuter rail link to Denver International Airport when it opens in 2016. At an estimated cost of $1.64 billion, Eagle P3 is one of the nation's largest public-private partnerships.

About $956 million worth of private construction has been built, or is planned, around Denver Union Station, RTD said.

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