Downtown Denver, CO

For this  evaluation I combined the Union Station and CBD districts. Both districts have Dwtn qualities and naturally flow into one another.

Dwtn Denver is home to the original site of the City at current day Confluence Park where the Platte and Cherry Creak rivers meet. This was founded in the late 1850s. Dwtn quickly grew as Denver became a boom  town housing the headquarters of many mining businesses operating in the Rocky Mountains. This produced a wonderful concentration of gorgeous turn of the 20th century historic architecture. As Denver became a major US city after WWII many corporate headquarters located here and modern high-rises naturally followed. In the 50s & 60s many Civic leaders desired to sweep away most of Downtown’s historic fabric with an ambitious urban renewal campaign. Fortunately, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dana Crawford, much of historic Downtown was saved, especially the Union Station (aka LoDo) area. Her first big win was the preservation of Larimer Square, a now vibrant mixed-use restaurant area. After this Dana went on to preserve the Union Station area and helped pull together Union Station’s revitalization as a major transit hub.

The 16th Street Pedestrian Street is also a major urban asset to Dwtn and one of America’s most successful pedestrian streets still lined with numerous retail and clothing stores. With Denver’s growth, blocks of blocks of dense mixed-use development were built between Union Station and the Platte River creating an urban environment on par with Portland’s Pearl District. McGregor Square and the Ballpark District are part of this area. There are still many surface parking lots on Dwtn eastern edge near Broadway ripe for new in-fill development.

Click to view my Denver CBD album and my Union Station Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Great density for a Dwtn area.
* Generally very good sidewalk infrastructure and ADA curbs throughout downtown.
* High quality transit within Denver and to many of its suburbs especially Lakewood & Aurora.  This is helped Denver’s several rail lines spurring out in every direction.
* Very  consistent gridded street system Dwtn.  Streets are pretty wide but only a handful of the main  streets are too wide (i.e. Broadway, Colfax, and  Market). Much of the width has been converted into a great bike lane system.
* The Denver region has a great dedicated bike system almost as good as West Coast cities. Good dockless bike and scooter system that covers most of urban Denver.
* Lots of for sale hsg options but certainly on the expensive end. Studios and 1-beds can range anywhere from 300K-1M but a good # of options btwn 300K-500K. 2-beds condos can range anywhere from 350K-2M Lots of diversity in product. Lots of 3-bed condos ranging anywhere from 650K-3 M. Some 4-beds that are even more expensive.
* Dwtn is generally safe besides a decent amount of homeless activity.
* Great array of small plazas and pocket parks Dwtn. Also an excellent trail along Cherry Creek and Speer Park and the expansive and multi-faceted Confluence park along Platte River.
* Union Station Square has been a quality Civic Heart of Dwtn. Very active, well designed and good # of events. 16th Mall is also a great plaza like space.
* Culturally great array of Food & Beverage biz, several theaters in the PA Complex, a Cineplex, many art galleries, several live music venues, and decent # of museums. 2 major sports stadiums Dwtn and a large Convention Center.
* Dwtn Employment is around 100K but closer to 130K when adding Golden Triangle.
* Great retail amenities w/ a target, a couple supermarkets, plenty of boutiques, Denver Pavilion Shopping Mall, plenty of banks, and plenty of other retail.
* Great university presence with ~ 40K on the western edge of Dwtn.
* Great vibrancy and mixed-use character.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Scooter regulation is a real issue in Denver. Scooters rides frequently use sidewalks and create a rather uncomfortable walking environmental for pedestrians.
* Some racial diversity living Dwtn but much lower than the City as a whole.
* Not a very kid friendly dwtn nor do many reside Downtown.
* Really no schools within the Dwtn area but several decent options on the edges of Dwtn.
* Great supply of rentals but pricey. studios and 1-beds lease btwn the mid 1Ks-mid 3Ks. 2-beds btwn the high 1Ks to 4K. Good # of 3-beds generally leasing in the 3Ks & 4Ks, some are more expensive.
* Some government offices Dwtn but many of them are just south of Dwtn in the Golden Triangle area.
*Good # of surface parking along Downtown’s eastern edge near Broadway.

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