Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver International Airport commemorated a significant construction milestone of the South Terminal Redevelopment Program on August 29. Elected officials, travel and aviation industry members and employees impacted by the program all gathered to witness the ceremonial release and transfer of the Jeppesen Terminal roof tension cables to temporary structures that will support the tents for the duration of construction.
“We are building Denver’s future at DIA,” Hancock said. “On the face of it, ‘building’ can appear simple: a hotel, a train station. But ‘building’ also means opportunities and jobs for local and diverse businesses, spurring a new frontier of economic growth for the entire region.”
The South Terminal Redevelopment Program will complete the original vision of the airport, adding a 500-room Westin hotel and a public transit center to house the RTD East Rail Line, which will connect DIA to downtown Denver. The program is expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs, including 600-700constructionanddesign jobs and more than 200 permanent hotel jobs, generating approximately $2 million in annual tax revenues for the City and County of Denver’s general fund.
“We have been rolling up our sleeves, working hard to get the South Terminal Redevelopment Program off the ground and the project is progressing on schedule,” said Aviation Manager Kim Day. “We officially unleashed the program when Mayor Hancock knocked out the final pin anchoring our iconic tent roof into the ground. It was a proud moment for [south terminal project manager] Stu Williams, his team and all the employees who have been doing just tremendous work in support of this initiative.”
DIA also unveiled a new design animation and architectural model for the program. The model will be on display inside the south end of Jeppesen Terminal.
“In our new animation and architectural model, the public will see a modern, 21st-century design that complements our iconic Jeppesen Terminal,” Day said. “Throughout the South Terminal Redevelopment Program design process, our focus has been to create new, game-changing amenities for our passengers and employees and to strengthen the public’s sense of pride and ownership in DIA.”
Gensler, lead architect on the design of the program’s hotel and public transit center, has imagined a swooping form whose curved lines are inspired by the city of Denver and its surrounding natural environment.
“Our goal is to create a true community that enables travelers—both locals and those passing through—to connect to
the greater city of Denver,” said Jennifer Johnson, managing director of Gensler’s Denver office. “Gensler has been in Denver for 39 years and by leveraging our local knowledge in tandem with our firm’s extensive airport, hospitality and retail design experience, we look forward to playing a key role in transforming our city’s gateway as we create new opportunities for the Denver metro region.”
Hancock was joined at the event by dignitaries and representatives from the Regional Transportation District, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and the South Terminal Redevelopment Program team.
“The South Terminal Redevelopment Program and the East Rail Line are about connectivity,” said RTD Board First Vice Chair John Tayer. “We are connecting people between downtown and the airport, as well as connecting people to jobs.”
“When the Westin opens in 2015, it will be a jewel in the crown of Starwood properties,” said Area Managing Director for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and General Manager of the Westin Downtown Denver, Tom Curley. “It will provide the 21st-Century passenger with a world-class travel experience, including the Westin Heavenly Bed, Westin Workout, and best of all, convenience.”
John Beeble, chairman of Saunders Construction and MHS Tri-Venture representative (Mortenson Hunt Saunders) added, “A project like the South Terminal Redevelopment Program is an important project for our region and to our communities. This project means jobs and economic development for the future, but it also means jobs today. Literally millions of dollars will be contracted into the small business community and the local economy over the course of this project. Today, we are full speed ahead with planning, design, engineering and contracting for this fast- tracked project.”
Currently, there are 147 firms working on the South Terminal Redevelopment Program, 131 of which are local and 87 of which are minority or woman-owned. Construction on the South Terminal Redevelopment Program began in fall 2011 when the program’s enabling contractor, Kiewit, started crucial utility and access work.
Earlier in the summer, traffic detours were put into place around Jeppesen Terminal so that the bridges connecting the south end of the airport to the terminal roadways could be dismantled and realigned. The transfer of the tent roof tension cables kicks-off the next phase of construction, with the MHS joint venture contracting team scheduled to begin foundation structural work this fall.