Denver International Airport (DIA) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) have announced that a sixth station will be added to RTD’s East Line adjacent to a planned 400-acre transit oriented development.
RTD’s East Line is a 22.8 mile commuter rail line that is slated to open in 2016. This line will connect Denver’s Union Station with DIA. The original plans for the East Line did not include this sixth station that will be located at 61st and Peña Boulevard.
Travel time from Union Station to DIA was originally slated to be 35 minutes. With this station at 61st, the estimated travel time is now 37 minutes. The commuter trains will travel at a top speed of 79 mph.
“This new station provides a convenient access point into RTD’s regional rail system for commuters and other riders from the growing northeast metro area,” said David Genova, RTD’s interim general manager and CEO. “This improvement would not have been possible without our long-term partnership with Denver, its airport team and the landowners, who worked together to create an asset that will significantly benefit the region.”
The transit oriented development that is planned to be developed adjacent to this new East Line station has been named “Peña Station.” This master planned mixed-use development is slated to include commercial, multi-family residential, hotel, healthcare and retail components.
The first ground-up construction at Peña Station will be the 112,000 square-foot headquarters facility for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company.
“This rail stop, anchored by the Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company headquarters facility, will create a unique smart sustainable transit-oriented development which will set the stage for the next generation of transit-oriented developments in North America,” said Cal Fulenwider, President of L.C. Fulenwider Inc.
The planning of new East Line station and Peña Station has been a joint venture between four property owners, including DIA and L.C. Fulenwider, Inc. They also agreed to an overall finance plan to fund all of the initial infrastructure. Fulenwider will serve as lead developer for Peña Station.
“The transit oriented development at Peña Boulevard Station validates the Mayor’s vision of an Aerotropolis: the airport serving as a catalyst for regional economic development around its perimeter,” said airport CEO Kim Day. “Airports around the world are increasingly using development opportunities to enhance the economic benefits to their airports and their communities and while many are ahead of us, we are now well on our way.”
Construction of the Panasonic facility is expected to begin this October and the East Line is slated to begin service in the spring of 2016 with the Peña Boulevard station being operational at that time.