Like many of you, I am a Denver native and can remember a quieter city with less traffic and fewer people. Can you recall the 1980s and 1990s when Denver’s population was shrinking? The oil bust devastated our economy. Families were moving to the suburbs because of court-ordered school busing. In 1990, our population hit a low of about 468,000.
Since then, our city and business leaders have worked hard to diversify our economy so our prosperity is not dependent on a single industry. DIA has been a critical factor in our economic growth. Lowry, Stapleton and Green Valley Ranch are wonderful, new planned communities attracting families. The Denver Public Schools has record high enrollment and is building new schools. The Denver Union Station is a jewel made possible by public-private partnerships. Denver is now a world class city, and the 2nd fastest growing in the U.S. It is a top destination for millennials. Our population is expected to reach 700,000 this year!
Denver’s economic position is the strongest that it has ever been. The economy is booming and unemployment is low. It is a business-friendly place, attracting both Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. Housing is one of our biggest challenges. There is not enough of it, so rents and home prices are high. Colorado is 55,000 housing units short of meeting our housing demand. To meet the demand, there are new apartment buildings going up throughout Denver.
Much of the new construction is near light rail stations. Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) are designed for Denver’s residents to live, work, eat, innovate, and socialize—and to get us out of our cars, using public transportation. Many people are surprised to learn that density at stations is actually better for traffic congestion and the environment than sprawl which uses many more resources.
We are fortunate in Southeast Denver to be home to four light rail stations: Colorado, Yale, Southmoor and Belleview. Additionally, the Dayton Station is on our border. We are seeing lots of changes and new construction of housing, offices and retail near our stations. This new development is an opportunity for us to imagine the possibilities of a connected, walkable, bike-able, greener and more aesthetically pleasing southeast Denver.
Many of you have asked what we can do to improve southeast Denver, attracting more local retail and restaurants and creating some gathering places like a “main street.” You can help to create a vision and shape the future of southeast Denver. Using your vision, we will develop a work plan to implement our ideas in the follow-up workshop. Please fill out our survey and join us:
You are also invited to a citywide planning process. Denveright is a community-driven planning process that challenges us to shape Denver’s future in four key areas: land use, mobility, parks, and recreational resources. Task forces that include neighborhood advocates will draft four plans.
Visit www.denvergov.org/denveright for more information.
We want to hear from you!
Join us this fall and learn how Denver is changing and to share your ideas about the future of southeast Denver, while preserving our neighborhoods and parks. Please attend these important sessions:
TOWNHALL & VISIONING
Thomas Jefferson High School
3950 S Holly St.
Denver, CO 80237