The Union Station redevelopment project was the nexus of public/private partnerships, real estate and hospitality law. Over just two years, the iconic Denver train station was transformed into both a multi-modal transit hub that caters to Amtrak and RTD light rail and bus passengers, and a destination for tourists and local residents.
Brownstein served, and continues to serve, as legal counsel to the Union Station Alliance, the development and investment group responsible for the station’s redevelopment. The Alliance includes Sage Hospitality Resources, Larimer Associates, McWhinney Real Estate Services, and developers Ferd Belz and Dana Crawford.
With a diverse team of specialists experienced in navigating the issues a project like this presents, Brownstein was one of the few legal firms in the nation suited to handle the size, scope and complexity of the project. Brownstein attorney Bruce James served as lead counsel, managing a deep bench of attorneys that provided integrated counsel on construction, hospitality, commercial real estate, public/private partnerships, historic tax credits and joint venture issues, among many others.
Structuring the Union Station redevelopment involved myriad complexities, including a long-term lease with a government entity, historic tax credits, landmark status issues, National Park Service approvals, an Amtrak sublease, multiple management agreements and guiding a construction lender through all of these issues.
Managing funding for the project involved orchestrating the flow of capital from multiple sources—equity invested by Union Station Alliance, a bank construction loan, grants from Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the State of Colorado for portions of the renovations, and historic tax credits.
The revitalized Union Station opened in July 2014, complete with a hotel, shops, restaurants and bars, and is already a vibrant centerpiece for the city of Denver.