|Lower Downtown--or LoDo, as
it is commonly referred to--is located in the area where Denver was founded in 1858 by
General William Larimer. Today, LoDo is a vibrant 25-block urban neighborhood comprised of
brick warehouses, industrial buildings and commercial structures that have been renovated
into offices, lofts and retail space.
Lower Downtown was a bustling commercial area during Denver's early years.
However, much of Denver's industrial economy shifted away from Lower Downtown after World
War II, and almost one-fifth of the buildings in the area were demolished in the 1960s and
1970s. In order to preserve Denver's historic legacy, Denver City Council created the
Lower Downtown Historic District in 1988. The historic district designation introduced
zoning ordinances that limited building heights, preserved dozens of buildings from the
wrecking ball, and instituted strict guidelines for building rehabilitation and new
construction. Tax incentives and grants attracted investors to LoDo's brick and stone
structures. More than 20 buildings in LoDo have been renovated since 1991.
Today, LoDo is a mixed-use neighborhood
that is also a regional destination attraction for entertainment. Art galleries, literally
dozens of restaurants, brewpubs, jazz clubs, and specialty retail stores line the ground
floors of historic buildings. LoDo residents enjoy proximity to outdoor parks and
amenities, including the Cherry Creek bike path, the 16th Street Mall, and the recently
completed 30-acre Commons Park in the Central Platte Valley. Coors Field, home of the
Colorado Rockies, anchors the neighborhood's northwest corner at 20th and Blake Street.
Wynkoop Street is home to historic Denver Union Station, the Tattered Cover bookstore, and
the Wynkoop Brewing Co., Denver's first brewpub (and the country's largest) that opened in
LoDo housing options range from million
dollar lofts to below-market rate apartments. New construction-housing projects are
beginning to appear as the number of vacant buildings in Lower Downtown available for
renovation shrinks to nearly zero.
The most notable construction projects in
Lower Downtown at this time are three new office buildings that were recently built on the
former sites of surface parking lots. One of these developments--16 Market Square--has
condominiums on the top floors of the building.
Larimer Street, Speer Boulevard, Wewatta Street, 20th Street
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