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Denver Downtown
Central Denver (Business District)

There 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.

Downtown also 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.

FACTS:

General 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.

Population: 3,500

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