is a common perception that the majority of Downtown Denver's housing growth during the
1990s has happened in Lower Downtown. However, the rate of residential growth in the upper
end of Downtown--in what is often referred to as the central business district--has been
on par with Lower Downtown. Both areas have populations of approximately 3,500 people.
In recent years, several
vacant office buildings in the upper end of Downtown Denver have been renovated into
apartment and condominium projects--Baldwin Lofts (16th and California Street), the Denver
Dry Lofts (15th and California Street), A.T. Lewis & Rio Grande Lofts (16th and Stout
Street), Boston Lofts (17th and Champa Street) and Bank Lofts (17th and Stout Street). The
latter three projects in this list include below market-rate apartments for Downtown's
workforce. Two recent developments on Champa Street include the Buerger Brothers
Industrial Lofts (1742 Champa Street) and the Chamber Apartments next door (1726 Champa
Street)--again, both with below market-rate apartments for Downtown's workforce. All of
the buildings mentioned above are historic structures renovated for housing--including
Denver Dry Lofts, which was once Denver's grand department store. The upper end of
Downtown now has approximately 1,550 rental units and 650 for-sale units.
has high rise apartment and condominium buildings that were built in the 1970s and 1980s
as part of Denver's urban renewal project--Barclay Tower (1625 Larimer Street), The
Windsor (1777 Larimer Street), Larimer Place (1555 Larimer Street), Brooks Towers (1020
15th Street) and Denver Place Apartments (19th and
Curtis Street). The Midland Lofts (17th and Glenarm) is an example of recent
renovations of historic buildings into residences.
The increase in
residents in Downtown's central business district can be attributed in part to a growing
list of Downtown amenities. Coors Field, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver Art
Museum, Colorado History Museum, Cherry Creek bike path, Denver Public Library, Civic
Center Park, Pepsi Center and the Paramount Theatre are all within walking distance for
Downtown residents. The opening of Denver Pavilions entertainment retail complex in 1998
on the 16th Street Mall introduced 52 shops, restaurants and a 15-screen movie theater to
Downtown, and significantly increased the number of pedestrians on the Mall. Larimer
Square and the recently renovated Tabor Center remain primary shopping and dining
destinations for Downtown residents. The number of Downtown restaurants has increased by
almost 100 since 1995. And many Downtown residents also take advantage of their proximity
to continuing education opportunities at the Auraria Higher Education Center campus.
A critical project
for Downtown residents was the extension of the 16th Street Mall to Commons Park, which
now links Downtown with the Central Platte Valley. The pedestrian Mall gives Downtown
residents (and workers) quick access to the 30-acre Commons Park and the other parks in
the South Platte Greenway, with the Millennium bridge carrying pedestrians over the
valley's consolidated main line (CML) track into the vibrant Riverfront Park complex.
boundaries (central business district): Broadway, Speer, Larimer Street, 20th
Street. Note: the area between Speer Boulevard, 20th Street, Larimer Street and Wynkoop
Street is Lower Downtown.
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