What’re the hottest areas around Denver?
Vacationing in Denver can be quite dangerous for a lot of people. You see, it seems harmless enough coming out to “go to the mountains” or “Catch a Rockies game” or even “ Go on a Coors tour”. Just some innocent fun. But then people walk through Lower Downtown (LoDo) or River North (RiNo) and the next thing they know, they’ve fallen in love with the city and the neighborhoods. And there is a twinkle in their eye and a tug on their heart.
And then they move here. In fact a Wallet Hub survey of more than 500 cities ranked Denver as the 3rd fastest growing “large” city in America. And it’s no surprise.
You see, Denver is shaping up to be a big city with a small town feel. Neighborhoods have become both trendy living and destinations at the same time. Neighborhoods like The Highlands, a highly coveted spot just west of downtown boasts artisan Mexican (The Matador) next to Sweet Cow ice cream. Old craftsman houses are sharing sidewalk space with modern, townhomes, and modern townhomes. It is now a blend of family living with high-class culture.
Or consider RiNo.
5 years ago, you couldn’t shake a stick at more than a grunge bar on the outskirts of the downtown. Now, Phil’s Place and Great Divide Brewing anchor blocks of startups, apartments, and upscale eateries. The street art and murals that grace the walls of local brews and craft coffee is the perfect backdrop for tourists who want a lot of experience close to downtown or for the new transplant who wants their work-life balance blend into one rhythm.
According to the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP), the top neighborhoods in Denver as determined by growth are in the heart of the city. Using data and growth trends from 2010-2017, the DDP zeroed in on what’s growing the fastest. Nobody should be surprised that urban living came out on top.
The DDP ranked Central Platte Valley neighborhood as the fastest growing neighborhood in central Denver. And if you find yourself saying “Where is Central Platte Valley”, you’re not alone. In fact, this neighborhood almost doesn’t stand on its own feet because, unlike Wash Park or Capitol Hill, it doesn’t seem to have it’s own identity. Rather, it just blends with the rest of downtown.
But CPV is one of the most developed neighborhoods for city living. Bordered by Speer on the south, I-25 to the west, 20th street to the north, and Wazee, this trendy neighborhood boasts the flagship REI store, Denver Beer Co, Denver’s skatepark, the new common space WeWork and a host of mixed used retail & office space units and is slowly being dominated by infill. Not to mention the new Whole Foods and Union Station are only a stone’s throw away.
DDP’s 2nd fastest growing neighborhood is Ballpark. Similar to CPV, a couple years ago, you wouldn’t even know this as a neighborhood… Rather it was a destination. But with infll apartments lining up, Ballpark has pulled away from Union Station to become its own “thing”. It has grown 52% since 2010 and currently boasts 5,000 people. Biker Jim’s Hot Dogs and Work and Class, Snooze Breakfast Eatery are some of the hot spots in the neighborhood.
And while the lines between LoDo (a notable, distinct neighborhood) and Ballpark are ambiguous, Trip Advisor suggests visiting Beta nightclub or the Great Divide taproom.
The Central Business District is also coming into its own, not only as the economic hub of Denver, but as a destination to work and play. On the southern edge of the CBD, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts plays host to some of the country’s most premier acts, such as Cirque Du Soleil to Hamilton.
Next door to the Center for Performing Arts is the Convention Center, home to the Great American Beer Fest (an event that attracts 60,000 attendees and more than 800 breweries across the USA). The Convention Center also serves close to 1 million people with dozens of other conferences throughout the year, according to Denver.org.
The CBD also has a great foundation of restaurants that serve the working population and attract diners from all over the city for the night life. It’s also notable that many of the infill projects in the CBD are residential as opposed to business as more Denverites desire to live and work downtown. New projects such as SkyHouse boast luxury living with resort-style pool, floor to ceiling windows, and mountain views and on the same power block as prestigious law firms and banks.
If you had looked at the city even 5 years ago, you would find yourself saying “I don’t even recognize this city anymore.” More restaurants and local food and culture have sprung up to serve. There are dozens of start-ups making Denver a tech hub. And the architecture is changing across the city with dozens of cranes lining the sky, slowly adding more apartments, condos, and office space. And new or remodeled homes and grass-roots culture are starting to define neighborhoods as places to live, work, and enjoy life.