HIGHLAND — On Friday, April 7, 2017, romantic sounds and dance will fill the historic site at 3220 Federal Blvd in the Highlands, off Federal & Speer. Former Delmonico Hall, the building used to be Denver’s first Masonic Lodge, and is now the home for Gabriela Tango, the Argentine Center for Tango in Colorado. Directed by […]

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West 35th Ave. Neighborhood Bikeway presents final designs

NORTH DENVER — Denver’s population continues to explode a focus on alternative transportation modes continues to accelerate. Bicyclists are a key area of concern as traffic increases and safety decreases. Since 2015 “Denver Moves,” the City and County of Denver’s Bicycle and Walking Action Plan, called for 270 new miles of bicycle facilities, including a future […]

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HUD awards $30 million to City of Denver to revitalize Sun Valley neighborhood

DENVER — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Principal Deputy Secretary of Public and Indian Housing Lourdes Castro Ramirez announced that the Denver Housing Authority and partners will receive $ 30 million to revitalize the Sun Valley neighborhood during a press conference and tour of the Sun Valley Homes with Mayor Michael Hancock. Earlier this morning, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced the following communities will receive grants totaling $ 132 million awarded through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative:  Denver; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; St. Louis; and Camden, New Jersey.

“These game-changing investments will breathe new life into distressed neighborhoods and offer real opportunities for the families who call these communities home,” Castro said. “What we do today will leverage private investment and bear fruit for generations of families looking for an opportunity to thrive in neighborhoods that are connected to the economic and social fabric of their communities.”

“This grant award is a major step in our collective work to improve the lives of residents in the Sun Valley neighborhood,” Mayor Hancock said. “The cycle of poverty that many here are experiencing has gone on for far too long, and it’s time we reverse that trend. The residents of Sun Valley deserve the same access to opportunities that so many others in our city have, and this plan will breathe new life into all of these efforts.”

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is part of the Administration’s drive to reinvest in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty by revitalizing distressed federally supported housing into sustainable, mixed-income housing with access to transit, better schools and jobs.

“DHA and the Sun Valley community have worked tirelessly for many years to bring forth this vision for the future of the neighborhood.” Ismael Guerrero, DHA Executive Director stated.  “More than anything, we are enthusiastic about this CNI award because of what it means for the children of Sun Valley.   We will replace the obsolete housing with new and improved housing, and we will make investments in the neighborhood.  And all of that will be with the goal of making Sun Valley a great place for families and a neighborhood where our children reach their full potential.   That is DHA’s commitment to our residents and the community.”

The Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver and the City and County of Denver were awarded a $ 30 million FY2016 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant for the Sun Valley neighborhood – Sun Valley EcoDistrict. Located just west of downtown Denver, Sun Valley is the lowest-income neighborhood in the city, and the Sun Valley Homes and Sun Valley Annex public housing developments are among the housing authority’s most distressed and isolated sites. Despite these challenges, Sun Valley holds incredible potential, with a new light rail station and significant planned private and public investments. In hopes of capitalizing on this potential, local partners secured a FY2013 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant and created a comprehensive Transformation Plan for Sun Valley. With the award of a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant, local partners will be able to build 750 new, mixed-income housing units; improve the neighborhood’s landscape by creating new open space and increasing opportunities for local businesses; increase families’ access to quality jobs and education and develop a centralized district energy program to serve the target area.

In recent years, Denver has become among the fastest growing city in the country, balanced by a strong entrepreneurial environment, expanded infrastructure, and a talented workforce. However, due to a disconnected street grid, an abundance of vacant and underutilized land and concentrated poverty, the Sun Valley neighborhood has been isolated from the City’s growth. Eighty-three percent of Sun Valley households live below the poverty line and the neighborhood’s Part I violent crime rate is the highest in the city – 5.6 times the citywide average. Despite these challenges, new investments being made in Sun Valley are laying the groundwork for future growth. The Decatur-Federal Light Rail Station was completed in 2013 and now connects the Sun Valley to downtown and the surrounding region. In the northern part of the neighborhood, the Denver Broncos plan to construct a $ 351 million Entertainment District with retail, commercial and residential developments. Additionally, the City is continuing to invest in the neighborhood’s light industrial area to attract new businesses.

Read a comprehensive summary of each the Choice Neighborhood grants announced today.

Choice Neighborhoods build on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, linking housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity. With today’s announcement, HUD has awarded more than $ 633 million in Choice Implementation Grants since 2011. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood;

People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and

Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.

Choice Neighborhoods is HUD’s signature place-based program, which supports innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The program also encourages collaboration between HUD and the Departments of Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools all families need.

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Great garage makeover turns into neighborhood hub

WEST HIGHLAND — In the original North Denver, the garage was as ubiquitous as a burrito. The kind of garage that cars got fixed in. Scattered on every other block this kind of building was the backbone of blue collar, honest laborers. The kind of place that Bob and Ted built. It was the kind of place that felt real…kind of homey, in that down to earth way. No pretense.  But, as the Highlands started trading in low-riders for the Lexus, the garage was traded in for big boxes. All that seemed to be left were garage doors that started appearing as walls and windows in trendy restaurants. Mostly, though, the garage door closed on an era of the north side.

The garage that sits across the street from the Highlands United Methodist Church (HUMC) has long been abandoned as a mechanics joint. Although the community has gathered there often for events from Halloween to Christmas tree lightings to the Taste of Highlands, its use has been primarily for Church storage and the parking lot that the congregants utilize. That is all about to change.

Highlands United Methodist Church has a vision. Unlike many churches who have sold parcels of land to shore up financial reserves or fix failing infrastructure, HUMC’s mantra is “Building a Home Where all Belong.” Rather than sell out, Reverend Brad Laurvick plans to share this vision with the entire community to bring a beating heart back to the type of building that once represented the heartbeat of the community.

A capital campaign is underway to reinvest and renovate the building, as a community space, as well as for much-needed church improvements. On November 20 the congregation will make its commitments toward the $ 400,000 goal that will finance the renovation of the garage, as well as the restoration and preservation of the church’s stain glass windows, and swap a boiler before it bursts. While the congregants will finance the majority of needs within the house of worship, the goal is to engage the entire community in the effort to build the community hub.

Laurvick explained, “Finance wise, the church will be funding the majority of everything including the garage. We want to invest what we have, what we do, and whom we are to make this possible. We also want to invite the neighborhood to support it as well.” The idea is inspiring many and generous donations have started to flow in from neighborhood business leaders like Matthew Hibler, Cliff Bautsch and Fire on the Mountain.

He said, “With all the things the Highlands of Denver offers, one thing missing is space. There aren’t enough spaces for people to gather, for neighborhood get-togethers, for free classes and workshops, and more. We will turn our unused parking lot garage into a “Hub for All Things Highlands.”

Laurvick’s imagination runs the gamut for its potential uses including Co-working Monday’s that bring those who work from home together with other creative people. Early plans also include gardening workshops, bike maintenance classes, live music, and a spot for kids play days during the winter.

Getting under the hood of other ideas being considered include concepts as varied as a spot to stay in for youth groups on missions, a reclaimed and recycled playground with yard games and climbable art, a neighborhood art gallery with rotating exhibitions featuring local schools and local artists’ works, community yoga, quilting classes, dance classes, music lessons, a community conversation pit and after-school tutoring. He envisions it as “a community space with a micro-park vibe where people intentionally choose to stop by to see what’s going on while they are out for a walk.”

The old garage.
The old garage.

Laurvick believes the renovation and reimagination of this space will take it from “urban blight to urban delight. Instead of redeveloping, we will be reinvesting and reinvigorating.” He hopes that the building will be activated for community use by the summer of 2017.

The interior plan includes keeping the space open and airy to encourage a variety of functions. Exterior concepts include the integration of art and murals, another anchor concept of the old north side, now modernized. The wrap-around “guerilla-art” will reflect the various aspects of the neighborhood and Colorado that keep bringing new disciples to its mile high ground. Motifs on the mural could include imagery like bicycling, The Millennial Bridge, gardens, strollers, and eating ice cream. The idea is in very early conceptual stages, but ultimately serves to reflect the mission that HUMC stands by; to serve its community with “open hearts, open minds, open doors.”

The annual holiday tree lighting is on Sunday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m. Laurvick will open the garage doors in their current raw state to invite neighbors in for hot cocoa and cookies so that they, too, can be part of the dream team that reimagines what their community space could be. Laurvick will provide a financial update and is seeking ideation input for the plan. For this writer who has lived through the radical changes in North Denver and witnessed that everything old is new again, I hope they call it “The Garage.”

Everyone in the community is encouraged to donate to the capital campaign to have a place that we can all “own,” a place where all belong. For more details and to donate visit

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Neighborhood awakens with Sloan’s Lake Tap & Burger

SLOAN’S LAKE — It’s getting real now. St. Anthony’s is gone and in its place is a new hipster city neighborhood awakening on the south shore of Sloan’s Lake. Gone are the cracked seas of parking and steady hum from the hive of healthcare workers and their patients buzzing in and out at all hours of the day including by air from the helicopter pad. A new section of Raleigh Street that had, for 100 years, been blocked by the hospital is now open with romantic apartment balconies, a pedestrian suspended bridge linking the apartments, and Sloan’s Lake Tap and Burger bustling with the new business of the day – food and drink with lots of televised entertainment at every angle.

Taking advantage of a car-free evening, my husband and I met after work. We needed to lock our bicycles across the street as the bike racks had not yet been installed on the northwest corner of Conejos and Raleigh. There is a parking structure to the west of the building that is dedicated to patrons of the businesses on the street.

The restaurant space looms large. Very tall ceilings have large industrial pipes leading from the back rooms to the center of the bar where over 40 different beers await. There is a wall of floor to ceiling windows with two-seat and four-top tables, as well as a long patio overlooking Raleigh. On the other side of the bar, there are large comfortable booths for parties of six and more. There is also a private space that can be closed off for a private party. Every seat in the house offers a view of large screen TVs. I get overwhelmed by so many TVs but the fans appreciated watching the World Series there along with other sporting events.

We came for the food. On the first night we dined, I selected a burger, well because its name is Sloan’s Lake Tap and Burger so it seemed prudent to think they might be good at the burger. And sure enough, the Shroom Luva’s, $ 10.50, was one creamy, mushroomy, delicious combination of a beef patty topped with a plentiful pile of sautéed mushrooms with melted Swiss Cheese and truffle oil. It was a juicy, filling and overall satisfying experience. It was definitely not a first date burger as so much creamy deliciousness was hard to corral to my mouth without dripping back down on the plate. The hand cut fries that accompanied the burger were thin and crispy, but they seemed a bit dried out and cool.

My husband selected the Tuna Poke Burger, $ 13. It came topped with jalapeno tempura, radish sprouts, a black sesame sauce, and caramelized onions on a bun. Although it sounded really zesty, my husband said it did not have as much flavor as he expected. The tuna was plentiful and seared on the outside as forewarned by the waitress.

On a return visit, we shared a three meat BBQ platter, $ 23, that included BBQ bison brisket, BBQ lamb, and a Hatch Chili pale ale and cheddar hot link. A plentiful square plate arrived filled with the sliced and pulled meats as well as the sides we ordered: corn bread hot cakes and Pilsner battered onion rings. The meat comes unadorned with sauce. Instead, three house-made BBQ sauces range from sweet to spicy to tangy. I thought this was a good value and something to share while watching a game. On this night, the Virginia Tech Alumni Association took advantage of the space and packed the place with hooting fans.

We also ordered two salads. The Beets by Tap, $ 11, came beautifully arranged on the plate with fennel, orange, almonds, aged goat gouda, with a light sherry vinaigrette. My husband tried the Baby Kale and Arugula Salad, $ 10. This salad was more heavily dressed in a good way with a honey miso dressing that added richness to the zesty pomegranate, ginger beer apples, puffed quinoa, and goat cheese. For a sports bar, this salad hit the spot.

As we sat on the edge of the action while two college teams battled it out on the field, it felt as if the bartenders were in the middle of the field with so many sets tuned to football action. While I am not a big sports fan, the food, beers and gracious seating will make this a winning spot for anyone seeking out a venue from which to take in a game.

Sloan’s Lake Tap & Burger | 1565 Raleigh Street | (720) 456-6779

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Denver Real Estate Gets Help From the Neighborhood Stabilization Plan

            Denver is going to get a boost from the recently announced 29.3 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding in 2010. There are high hopes that this stimulus plan will help the City of Denver's efforts to combat the foreclosures that have been a problem since the housing bust. This will not only improve Denver real estate, it will produce thousands of jobs for people involved in construction.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Plan – via the Housing and Economy Act of 2008 – was developed to combat the ills that foreclosed properties can bring upon a neighborhood – lowered home values, abandonment, higher crime and gradually spreading urban blight. With the funding provided through the Plan, Denver can now buy, renovate or redevelop and resell properties that have been foreclosed upon.

In 2010, the Denver Office of Economic Development and Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. will receive $ 18,994,444 and $ 10,263,440, respectively. This will be used to solve problems caused by residential foreclosure and to boost revitalization efforts in Denver neighborhoods that have been most affected by foreclosures and the problems associated with them.

The Denver Office of Economic Development will be targeting 12 Denver neighborhoods to purchase and revitalize properties affected by foreclosure. In all, 325 properties will be selected and restored to create accessible, affordable housing for:

Households with income not exceeding 120% of the area median income
Households at or below 50% of the area median income.

The redevelopment plan also includes:

rehabilitation of 245 abandoned / foreclosed homes
land bank of 15 properties
demolishing of 50 vacant properties
redevelopment of 35 vacant / demolished properties for housing

Loan assistance for 195 low-moderate income households will also be available for the purchase of homes near public transit lines. This targets raising home values, job creation, improved public transit and local business development and patronage. In the years to come, this will stabilize the neighborhoods where these homes are and provide a platform where the real estate in general starts increasing in value.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Plan is working towards raising home values and providing low-median income households with the opportunity of home ownership. The City of Denver’s strong support of revitalization efforts means that home buyers today are likely to see rising home values and equity in the future. It’s a good time to look into buying real estate in Denver, especially for people with moderate incomes.

Explore for the latest Metro Denver homes on the market. Find the best of Baker real estate today!

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Denver Neighborhood Profile: Baker Homes

If you are looking for a Denver-area home to invest in in the near future, you might want to include Baker homes in your home search. Baker is an appealing and diverse neighborhood that is one of the most historical communities in the Denver area.

Denver’s Baker community has a long history with roots going back to the 1870s. The neighborhood played a large role in Denver’s history. It was home to several Denver mayors and grew from commercial and industrial growth around South Broadway. Today, Baker is an urban neighborhood with a diverse population.

Most Baker homes were built by 1900, so they are now well over a century old. However, don’t let the age of the homes trick you, since most of the properties have been extensively renovated and remodeled so they are as good as new.

Starting in the $ 200s and going over the half million mark, Baker homes are affordable compared to nearby Denver communities , including Washington Park. Baker homes have been a solid investment over the past few years, since they have posted gains while many Denver homes have suffered price declines. There are many architectural styles in the Baker neighborhood, including a large number of Queen Annes and Victorians.

The Baker neighborhood is bounded by West 6th Avenue to the north, Broadway Street to the east, West Mississippi Avenue to the south, and the South Platte River to the west. This desirable location is hard to beat for homebuyers needing to be close to downtown Denver, but are looking for a charming neighborhood.

Baker has a great location that is a short bike ride to many of Denver’s hottest spots; including the Cherry Creek shopping district, the Pepsi Center, and to downtown Denver’s many restaurants, cultural attractions, sport venues, and shops. There is a light rail station near Alameda and Broadway that is very convenient for residents commuting to downtown or to the Denver Tech Center. The neighborhood is only a stone’s throw away from South Broadway’s chic shops and restaurants, known as SoBo. Sobo is home to many trendy art galleries, a vibrant nightlife, and it is home to the Mayan, a well-known movie theater. The Baker neighborhood is close to Antique Row, which showcases 18 blocks of antique dealers, restaurants and galleries.

Please consult with a local Denver real estate agent prior to beginning any home search. He or she will guide you in finding the best neighborhood for you and your family. We wish you good luck in your real estate search.

Visit our website for information on Baker homes.